Thursday, July 15, 2010

The More Things Act Like They Change

After fits and starts, my contract with Butler is signed and I am officially going to teach in the fall. My main stressor with that development is getting all the material read and some notes taken before the class begins in earnest. I know I'm not going to have time to read it with the students, since I'm going to work full time in the Mail Center as well, but I figure if I've read it in the past year, that's good enough. I'm almost done with Dracula, which may be the densest book of the course.

It doesn't help that a friend of mine just got me hooked into the Dresden Files series. If you've never heard of it before, it's Sam Spade meets Harry Potter (to put it vulgarly) - Harry Dresden is the world's only practicing magician that advertises his services for private investigations, for $50/ hour plus expenses. The premise may not seem phenomenal, but the execution is very well done, it treats itself smartly without coming off as pretentious. It treats cliches well while adding twists where appropriate. Basically, it's fun reading that soaks up hours and days of your time, and when I didn't have many of them free to begin with, I can say freely that I hate my friends sometimes.

I've been focusing on my novel project (when my digestive system isn't invaded by legions of viral centurions), and I'm getting deep enough into it that I'm having to go back and forth in the story to set things up for later payoffs. As I do this, I find out more things about the world the characters live in that I have to go into other documents to record and explore, and then go back to the text and rewrite one scene or start another. It gives me a whole new respect for the people that do this full-time - there really is enough work to be done to constitute calling this full-time work.

Friends warned me against playing Final Fantasy 13 for various reasons. I won't go deep into my personal experiences, mostly because the game isn't worth the space. There was an essence the Final Fantasy games had, something that made you dump days and weeks into them without giving you the sense that you wasted your time. The gameplay may not have been extraordinary or the stories captivating in any special way, but it was enough that you felt you got a good return on your investment. Whatever that essence was, the series has lost it.

I'm going to visit my sister next week, and it's going to be awesome! She lives near a beach on the West Coast, so it'll be a cool bit of role-reversal from the time she visited me in Cornwall. Less Arthurian sightseeing, more boozeries!

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