Item: Finished my fifth book (50bookchallenge). George Orwell's novel Burmese Days was published in the early 1930s, and it's a bit of a shock in these politically-correct times to listen to his characters expound on life and the universe as they think it should be. The novel is set in Burma during the closing days of British Imperialism, and is the story of a small group of Englishmen - colonial officials and timber merchants - who meet daily at the European Club to drink whiskey and play tennis and otherwise try to ease the tedium and loneliness of their very insular lives. Orwell served with the Military Police in Burma, and he does a wonderful job of evoking the setting, with all of its alien sights and smells. If you know Orwell, you can probably guess that this isn't a light and happy story. It's a very good story, though, and I recommend the book. Next up is Christopher Isherwood's A Single Man (yes, jenni_snake, finally, lol).
Item: Through a comment from foudebassan I learned about an lj community called linguaphiles. Have a burning question about another language? Just need to find a Finnish insult along the lines of "Your mother wears army boots" for that fic you're writing? Go here for help. :-)
I thought I had more to talk about, but I guess not. I'm off now to have breakfast and look at the newspaper, and then head out in an hour or so for a faux-European day (an Irish film this afternoon (The Wind That Shakes the Barley), a belated birthday dinner with my sister at a Spanish restaurant, and finally a concert of Russian music (Rachmaninoff's "Vespers") to cap things off). And tomorrow it's a visit to my folks and then playing in the political sandbox.
ETA: For the sake of accuracy (not that it really matters to anyone but me, I suppose), I didn't manage to see The Wind That Shakes the Barley on Saturday. Instead, I saw Mira Nair's new film The Namesake. Barley is still on the "films to be seen list", though.