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What’s up with me, lately…

First, because it’s too cute to resist:
(from a mailing list I’m on.)

Other than that, not a lot of news. I’m back from a vacation that wasn’t, in the end, all that relaxing… though I will have got my AA Platinum renewed for another year once the miles post for the flight home. I’m not sure I’m going to bother next year; I’ve got the miles for Marie’s graduation trip, and I can’t help feeling that I’ve got better things to do with my life than travelling by myself (with company would help, I grant… perhaps someday, when Marie is done with school, or under other better circumstances.)

Slappy’s getting married this Saturday, which is really cool, though I am sad I will be missing a third weekend in a row out of town. Work is hectic; we have some deadlines coming up I have been procrastinating on finishing up rather badly, so I will be busy with that. Ah well.

If you’re really bored… some book/movie commentary follows.

I’ve seen a couple of movies in the theater lately; most recently _The Sound of Thunder_, which was OK – although it stretched WSOD quite significantly at times, and even when it didn’t, things were a little too convenient. Prior to that, _Flightplan_ (which was good, if a bit scripted-feeling) and _Just Like Heaven_ (which was a delightful surprise; a sweet, not-too-predictable romance, with a nice old-fashioned-ish feel to it.)

On DVD, I’ve seen a couple of new things although I’ve actually been acquiring at a rate faster than I’ve been watching… most recently, _The Passion of Ayn Rand_ which was an interesting film if a bit of an train wreck, as I suppose was necessary given the subject matter. And also, though on cable, a thing called _Shooting Stars_ (shows up in IMDB as “Shoot or Be Shot”) an indescribably bad-but-campy-good comedy about a film student and a psycho-stalker screenwriter.

I have been catching up on my reading; I finished _The Protector’s War_, which started off very slowly but worked well… not quite as long a haul as the first book, and not a huge climax, but develops the world nicely and set itself up for a sequel well. I don’t think it’s up to Stirling’s prior series, _Island in the Sea of Time_ (ISoT) although on re-reading it does drag at points as well. It’s rare that a me-too book surpasses the original, but (assuming I don’t have the dates backwards; I don’t think so) I’d recommend Eric Flint’s _1632_ a little more highly. It doesn’t have quite the scope or the apparent depth of detail that ISoT (or its own sequels) have, but it’s got an emotional depth to it that I haven’t found in much present alt-history/time travel fiction. I’ve also been re-reading the ISoT series, although it is beginning to drag a little on re-reading the second/third volumes.

I’ve also been rereading Forester’s Horatio Hornblower books; I’ve reread the first three so far and am about to start on the fourth (_Hornblower and the Atropos_). Very good stuff, I read it over the summer between 8th grade and 9th, and I’m rather sorry I’ve waited so long to rewrite it. The story of Hornblower’s meeting and marrying Maria has a much greater resonance for me now, almost 5 years into my marriage, than it did then (still getting over my first attempt to ask a girl out, and still in the midst of my first crush.)

Lastly, I’m waiting for two sequels to come out later this fall… John Birmingham’s _Designated Targets_ (the sequel to _Weapons of Choice_) and _A Feast for Crows_ (the latest in GRRM’s Song of Ice and Fire). I’m looking forward more to the first; DT was a nicely-researched bit of futuristic military fiction (sort of Clancy-esque writing), with a rather shallow wrapper of a time travel story… but very good fun, and raised some very interesting questions about where he’ll go with the series. If it doesn’t degrade into Mary-Sue-ism (unless he’s Leo Frankowski, who somehow gets away with it) then it should be a great read.

As for AFfC, I am going to read it, but after _A Storm of Swords_ I have gotten used to GRRM’s rather overly-bloodthirsty style of writing, and we’ll see if I can actually relate to any of the characters before he kills them off. Oh well, gotta see how the series ends, and *maybe* when he finally finishes the series I’ll reread it — I’ve started rereading _A Game of Thrones_ a few times, and it’s always been too pained esp. realizing I’ll plow right to the end of _ASoS_. Ah well.

Anyone have any good books or movies to recommend?

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