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Seer of ghosts & weaver of stories

(You are very much not forgotten)

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On reading, restaurants, & road work
My new job is treating me well, but, for these first few weeks, that hasn't always been the case with my commute. Tuesday, yesterday, and today are the first three days I've managed to make my preferred start-time, which are minor victories. I've missed working in an academic museum environment, although the commute is still substantially long enough on each end of the day that, by the time I get home in the evening, I'm too tired to write and ready to crash by 11pm. I expect this will change somewhat when the weather warms up again; I react quite badly to both ends of the spectrum, extreme cold and extreme heat, and the fallout is usually that my energy levels and my capacity for social interaction outside the context of my work-day plummet. If I have been giving distant, tetchy answers to text messages and similar, please know that it's entirely down to the fact that my professional life (at the museum, at the magazine, etc.) is demanding a lot more of me than usual under the pressure-cooker circumstances created by the weather.

I'm reading more than I've had the time to do in ages. I spent January on the most recent Vampire Chronicles, believe it or not; I first read Interview With the Vampire, The Vampire Lestat, and The Queen of the Damned when I was in 6th or 7th grade. My parents' first reaction on catching me with one of these was wary disapproval; by several years later and several more books from said series under my proverbial belt, my mother started outright buying them for me as birthday and holiday gifts each time a new one came out. I was a more casual reader after The Tale of the Body Thief, which I didn't care for as much as the core opening trilogy; the middle stretch was boring, and Merrick made me mad enough to walk away for a while. I read Blood and Gold, although only in the sense that I reserved it for bored-stuck-in-airport type reading and never actually finished it (oops). After that, I just didn't think about the series for years. I recently found out by way of idle conversation that there were three I hadn't read; on finding a blurb re: Prince Lestat, I had something of a giggle-fit and wondered if I ought to read Blackwood Farm, Blood Canticle, and PL as an exercise in MST3K-ing whatever I may find in them. To my surprise, Blackwood Farm was a ghost story with some merit (as many of you know, I love ghost stories), although Lestat's part in it made me roll my eyes as hard as I've always done when he's around (he felt weirdly out of character even for all that he's mercurial to begin with). It took an incredible amount of willpower just to get through BC; I've never read any of the Mayfair Witches content, and that bleeding heavily into the vampires' storyline did nothing to interest me in it. PL pleased me more than I thought it would, but only in the sense that the huge ensemble cast aspect was back (as well as a storytelling style reminiscent of QotD; it's by and far the strongest novel in the series, and I swear I'm happier just pretending this was a trilogy with a perfect ending note). Louis got the last word, and, while that didn't win me over wholesale, it certainly undid some of the unnecessary damage he'd sustained several novels back. Many of you also know I have intense issues with character-torture that does nothing to further plot or teach me anything new about, well, the characters involved. Hurt the ones I hold dear without sound narrative cause to do so, and I will have it in for you until such time as you fix what went wrong. And if you don't fix it, if I'm mad enough, sometimes I'll even fix it myself.

February's reading consists of Hild, by Nicola Griffith. So far, I'm loving it, but it's something of a slow, dense path. I'll reserve commentary and judgment for when I'm finished.

I decided on Tuesday that the way to combat this weather is to start trying all of the extremely nice restaurants in Boston that I've been putting off for months. On Mardi Gras evening, I dined alone at Craigie On Main, and the food was to die for (please see my tweets on the subject). Tonight, I have a reservation at Giulia, and I'm not going alone.

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I also did not much care for Tale of the Body Thief. The first three books are very enjoyable, though, my personal favorite being Queen of the Damned.

The Queen of the Damned is not only my favorite book in this series, but also quite possibly one of my favorite books of all time. I like it for reasons similar to why I like American Gods, actually; both cover a huge amount of ground and have sections that feel like short stories, quiet little glimpses that don't bear directly on the main plot, but which nonetheless have profound impact on / resonance with the greater whole.

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