Vulcan’s Peak

Catching up

January 14, 2009 4:56 pm

Well, a happy new year to you all!  Pug and I were fortunate in that we were able to spend a nice long time at home over the holidays and got to spend time with many of you!  (…she says, having only a vague idea of who might actually be reading this.)  And having been sufficiently poked about having not posted here since Halloween, here we go again!

It’s sunny and gorgeous here in the lovely southwest — cool enough to pull out jackets and maybe some sweaters, but warm enough to enjoy the outdoors.  This is great.  I love cute jackets.

Since late September, I’ve had a freelance writing/editing gig going with a company that produces vacation planning materials.  I’m still hoping for a local, full-time publishing niche to open up, but having this for the time being is very nice.  It keeps me from sitting here bored, it keeps me from getting rusty, and of course the pay is appreciated as well.

Wedding planning is moving along smoothly.  In addition to the ceremony location and the reception location, we now also have a minister and a pair of classical guitarists to play at the ceremony.  I have my dress, shoes, and veil in my closet, and Poke even has her bridesmaid dress.  (We settled on a shade of burgundy that the dressmaker decided to call “wine.”  It’s pretty.)  Next up are tux rentals and invitations, and after that, we’ll get to flowers and cake.

Pug and I are continuing our leisurely re-watch of the ever genius Babylon 5, in which we’re ready to start season 3.  We’ve also been watching the season 1 DVDs of The Big Bang Theory, which were a Christmas gift — his parents’ way of insisting that he really would enjoy it (and, of course, he does).  And one of these days I’m going to get him caught up on the current season of How I Met Your Mother.  I’m not usually much for sitcoms, but those two I like a lot.

Speaking of which, I have been “moonlighting on another blog,” as Courtney sneakily pointed out on my last post.  Courtney, my Boston roommate, has been keeping a TV review blog called Raked for about a year and a half, and I sometimes get in on the fun through ridiculously long comments on the Heroes posts and guest-blogging about How I Met Your Mother.  We enjoy it, and apparently other people out there read it too!  Amazing. I don’t use the same handles I use here, but you’d recognize me.

On the literary front, once I finished the pile of various vampire books, I moved into a category of “other people’s extra copies” — many thanks to the generosity of my friends!  I finally went back to Dune, which I  started (barely) months ago, read on the plane at Christmas time, and finally finished shortly after getting back.  It’s a neat book and I enjoyed it a great deal, but the story didn’t really start to move for me until Stilgar and his group find Paul and Jessica in the desert.  From there to the end, I was hooked.   I would ask those of you who’ve read the book, though: is it just my preference for micro over macro, or did you find Herbert’s descriptions of hand-to-hand combat more effective than his large battle scenes?  It was clear to me from the first description of training exercises in the early chapters that Herbert could write a duel, and I thought the later, higher stakes ones were captivating. Regardless, I enjoyed the subtle machinations throughout, and was very impressed by the …unique-ness of the world Herbert created.

After Dune, I flew through The Eyre Affair, a book-lover’s sci-fi mystery madness, if there ever was one!  Set in the England of an alternate universe in which the Crimean War has lasted over 130 years and French revisionists seem to be altering not just the history but the actual past, a woman named Thursday Next works for a branch of detectives who solve literary crimes and briefly gets trapped inside the story of Jane Eyre.  Hilariously good fun! I figured out the parallel between an aspect of Thursday’s life and of Jane’s well before Thursday did, which I enjoyed.  Perhaps the only weak spot in the book is that the bad guys (an unsophisticated term, but utterly appropriate) are far less intersting than the good guys.

My next read is Bleak House, by Dickens, because January seems the right time of year to read it.  (I intended to last year, but there was the whole grad school plus full-time job madness going on at the time.)  I picked up a second-hand copy a couple of years ago and it’s been calling to me to read it…  I haven’t read any Dickens except for picking up A Tale of Two Cities in high school (I’ve never even actually read A Christmas Carol) so it’s high time I started filling in some of those gaps.

7 Responses to “Catching up”

Courtney wrote a comment on January 14, 2009

If you’ll note, at least I was fair. I didn’t mention Raked AND I used my personal blog address, not the Raked one with my comment. No self-promotion there, just teasing. 🙂 But I love my guest blogger.

As for A Christmas Carol, I’ve read that. Plus A Tale of Two Cities, which I forgot was Dickens. Let me know if you recommend Bleak House. I’d like to know if I should try reading it. Right now I’m in the middle of Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes. Always heard the phrasing, never read the book.

As for vampire books, what about True Blood? With the HBO series, I’m curious, but I haven’t checked it out.

Fun stuff with wedding planning and jacket weather! Boston misses you. We have jacket weather here, too. You just have to wear a few dozen at a time.

Odette wrote a comment on January 14, 2009

I know, I just thought it was sneaky of you to phrase the question as though you didn’t know the answer. 😉

I love Bradbury, but Something Wicked is one I haven’t read — I’ll be interested to hear what you think of it. I think the phrase comes from Macbeth, originally? “By the pricking of my thumbs,” and all that.

If you think it’s worth checking out, I’ll keep True Blood in mind for the next time I feel the need for a vampire book.

Stay warm!

Tae wrote a comment on January 15, 2009

I’ve read “A Christmas Carol” in 7th grade. I hated it at the time though it could’ve been from being jaded at seeing various versions of it upteenth number of times on tv and such (the Muppets did it best imho).

I think I’ve read a little bit of the book the “True Blood” show is on. Unless vampires hanging around in Southern swamps is the new ‘it’ thing in literature. I thought it was kinda interesting from what I recall but a little slow and not really snarky enough for me.

Happy to see you’ve updated. I’ve been pondering the letter game the last couple days but I’m having writer’s block on what would be good for Lena to tackle next. I might have to just plunge ahead regardless. <3

Sarah wrote a comment on January 15, 2009

I also enjoy the Jasper Fforde work (Thursday Next), though I’m behind on the series. A cow-orker also likes his other series, which IIRC is intended for Young People.

Odette wrote a comment on January 16, 2009

I tend to think that “intended for young people” is largely a marketing device — either it’s worth reading, or it isn’t — but it’s good to know where it’ll be shelved. 🙂 I’ll definitely look for more of his books next time I’m at the library.

Tae, I think we did A Christmas Carol in 7th grade, too, but what we read was a play, not the original. But I remember seeing the Muppet’s version in the theater when I was… eight? So yeah, any Tiny Tim who isn’t literally green is just isn’t quite right to me. (Sort of the way I’m convinced that Robin Hood is a fox, tail and all.) Fun movie, definitely one of my Christmas favorites.

Tae wrote a comment on January 16, 2009

What do you mean Robin Hood isn’t a fox?

(Better than ol’whathisname. Though to be fair he did have Alan Rickman in his movie…)

Odette wrote a comment on January 16, 2009

I didn’t say that!

Care to comment?