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I'm a few days overdue for my promised update and yes, the soundtrack to my leave of absence continues to play. Life is still very busy and overwhelming, so I'm not quite ready to return to posting, but will get back to it either for the beginning of Great Lent or shortly thereafter. As I said, my break from posting isn't necessarily to relax, but to attend to more pressing personal matters and to catch up on things I've let pile up so I can return to a more normal routine. Posting here on Mystagogy is only one of a few things I've had to temporarily set aside to do this. I'd say I'm about 30% into where I'd like to be.
I had alluded to the fact that during this time I wanted to get back to reading, since it had been a few months since I had completed a book. Below is a list of the books I have either read over the past few weeks or am currently reading:
Handbook: The Correspondence Between Fr. J. S. Romanides and Prof. P. N. Trembelas (Greek)
Greece's Dostoevsky: The Theological Vision of Alexandros Papadiamandis by Anestis Keselopoulos
Counsels On The Spiritual Life (vol. 1 and 2) by Mark the Monk
The End of Christianity: Finding a Good God in an Evil World by William A. Dembski
Is God a Moral Monster?: Making Sense of the Old Testament God by Paul Copan
Against Happiness by Eric G. Wilson
Warrant for Genocide: The Myth of the Jewish World Conspiracy and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion by Norman Rufus Colin Cohn
Readings in Propaganda and Persuasion: New and Classic Essays edited by Garth S. Jowett and Victoria J. O'Donnell
Voodoo Histories: The Role of the Conspiracy Theory in Shaping Modern History by David Aaronovitch
The Diary of a Madman and Other Stories by Nikolai Gogol
Melmoth the Wanderer by Rev. Charles Robert Maturin
Best Ghost Stories of Algernon Blackwood
Best Ghost Stories of J. S. LeFanu
Ghost and Horror Stories of Ambrose Bierce
I had also mentioned in an earlier post that I wasn't able to fully catch up on various TV shows and music from 2011. I'm still in the process for these, but did get to complete the second season of Boardwalk Empire and got caught up with The Walking Dead, which are two of the best shows in this our golden age of television. As for music in 2011, I have mentioned in the past a few albums worth mentioning in an otherwise soulless year in music, but over the past week I have come across two very good albums to add to my list. The first is the self-titled album Anna Calvi by Anna Calvi, which interested me initially because it was endorsed by Nick Cave and Brian Eno and was produced by PJ Harvey's producer. Second is the debut album Light Me Up by The Pretty Reckless fronted by Gossip Girl star Taylor Momsen, who will be opening for Marilyn Manson's "Cruel World" tour this spring. I've also had the opportunity to purchase my tickets to see Roger Waters perform The Wall this summer at Fenway Park.
Personal errands are still getting done, book orders are getting fulfilled, and updates to this website are far from complete. I should mention that I will be removing certain posts I have made in the past that have either became outdated or misapplied by my readers to promote agendas I do not necessarily endorse. I will also update posts in many ways, for example videos that do not play anymore or links that do not work anymore. Categories will also be made clearer, updated and easier to access. One thing I also wish to emphasize in the future more and more is that this website is a personal website and is not necessarily an "Orthodox" website. This is why I keep it in blog-style and why my web address bears my name and not that of Mystagogy. When I get emails from people telling me what I should and should not be posting I typically ignore them, and this is why. Just because I primarily identify myself as an Orthodox Christian and tend to post on these topics doesn't mean that I will only stick to those topics just to satisfy some of my readers. This website is by an Orthodox Christian and I am inviting everyone to a few aspects of my world, and so far this website has reflected only a few of my many many interests which some would like while others would despise, and both are cool with me. Below are a few randomly chosen topics I will tackle when I get back, and keep in mind that I have about 500 posts set aside waiting to be posted which I will do slowly over time, God willing:
A Miracle of the Three Hierarchs
A Romanian Villager Who Saw the Uncreated Light
The Origins of Anti-Semitism and Conspiracy Hysteria in Modern Greece
How Henry Ford Fueled the Fire of the Jewish Holocaust
Elder Porphyrios' Censure of Elder Paisios
The Disciplines of Singing in the Ancient Greek World
The Nazi Origin of Modern UFO Phenomena
The Greek Diaspora of Venice
The Funeral of an Athonite Monk
The Avaton of Mount Athos
The Errors of Post-Patristic Theology
The 1919 Divine Liturgy in Hagia Sophia
Was Nietzsche An Atheist?
The Position of the Laity in the Orthodox Church
Fasting: A Study
Elder Gabriel and His Incorrupt Relics
The Actor Who Became an Orthodox Monk
On Elder Epiphanios Theodoropoulos by Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos
The time once again has come to take a short break from posting here. My life has become too busy and I'm more than overwhelmed, and every day something new seems to pop up leaving many things undone as new things pile up and nothing really gets done. Working a full time job in a fast paced environment doesn't help my situation or energy level either, but that is something I can't give up temporarily unless I took a vacation which I would rather save for an actual vacation since I have not taken one since 2003. My house needs cleaning and fixing, my personal library needs to be organized, I need to get back to reading at least six books at a time like I usually do and have not done in months, my DVR needs to get out of the perpetual 90+% full indicator, errands need to be done, appointments must be made, orders from my bookstore need to be fulfilled, books I'm writing which are past their deadline need to be updated, decisions about my future must be made, and the updates I've promised for this website must take place, among many other things. When all these things are done, I'll be back with maybe some peace of mind which I have feel like I have not had in many years to give this website and all my endeavors the energy and time and effort that they deserve. Hopefully this won't take more than a week or two, but my goal is to certainly be back to posting here by my birthday on February 15th if not sooner. I will continue to post past webposts, especially concerning feast days, on both Facebook and Twitter. When I come back, I'll let you know how everything went. A blessed Triodion to all!
As I was thinking of what to write here at 3:00 AM I was fooling around on MixPod.com listening to some music, so I thought I would share some songs and videos (all 15 of them can be browsed through below using the forward button and can be seen also at the link below the video that says "Get Tracks") I quickly and randomly compiled that will provide the soundtrack to my leave of absence.