summer summary

August 26, 2007 at 2:32 pm (gaming, nonfiction, personal)

well summer’s over already, and i’m not quite sure how i feel about that.
i don’t really feel like i had all that much of a break, even though i know many people that worked a whole lot harder than i did all summer long.
still, while i feel like it would be nice to have more time off, i’ve also been starting to get restless and unfocused, and being back in class usually helps me get my brain working again.

so anyway. summer.
this summer was . . . all right, i guess.
i found a pretty decent temp job, working for this company that converts documents into digital formats. not too bad a gig, some of the work required a little more thought than a lot of data entry, and some required less. they liked me there, which was cool. they definitely would have let me stay as long as i wanted, but frankly, despite it being the first job on which i was allowed to listen to music, podcasts, or audiobooks for pretty much the entire day, i was happy to get out of there. too much longer and i’m sure i would have been in danger of getting carpal tunnel or something.

beyond that job, most of the summer was fairly uneventful. at the beginning i took a summer class, american lit 2, and it was fast and intense, but went quite well. i now only have one required lit class left, american 1, which i’ll be taking this fall.

i made a small dent in my huge reading list and managed to resist buying any more fiction. not counting kurt vonnegut’s breakfast of champions, which i read for american 2, i read four other books, and got a good start on a fifth. i know, not very impressive. but it’s something.
during the summer i finished reading if on a winter’s night a traveler by italo calvino. i recommend it. especially to people interested in unusual ways to tell a story, or language in general. it’s a strange, very meta, but very interesting book.
i also read predator’s gold by philip reeve, the 2nd book of 4 in the hungry cities chronicles. it was pretty good, though i think i liked the first book better. still, if you’re tired of reading harry potter but want to read something written for about that kind of age group, reeve writes good stuff.
then i read the anubis gates by tim powers. a few people have recommended his book last call to me several times and (despite owning it) i still haven’t read it. but the anubis gates was great so i’m looking forward to reading more of his work.
finally, i read the latest book by haruki murakami, kafka on the shore and it was quite excellent. i had issues with the wind-up bird chronicle being a little too surreal, confusing, and convoluted. i mean, i love my surreality, but that book had no real, consistent plotline that i could follow, and so while i enjoyed parts of it, the book, as a whole, didn’t work for me. kafka on the shore on the other hand, was perfect. very surreal and strange and mysterious, but i could still follow the basic chain of events and plot. it’s a good ‘un. check it out.
then i began to read jonathan strange and mr norrell by susanna clarke. this is one big, fat book so i knew i’d better get a good start on it before classes began or i’d never have a hope of reading it in the near future. i’m about a third of the way through it now, and it’s pretty interesting, though it moves a little slowly. part of the whole 1800’s setting and feel the author was going for to a certain extent. still, there is enough magic and mystery and amusement to keep things interesting. hopefully i’ll manage to keep reading and finish it up at some point.

my writing schedule was less successful even than my pretty sad reading schedule. but anyone who ever looks at my blog and has noticed the lack of movement on my word count meter is already aware of that. i simple did not get done what i had planned and intended to get done over the summer. but as i said, being back in class usually helps my mental focus, even as it depletes my free time, so i’m hoping that i’ll be able to start making better use of the time i do have in the fall.

the final big thing that happened this summer was that i went to gen con for the 2nd time (and 2nd year in a row) and it was a pretty good time, as i expected. i won’t go into too much detail here, because some people might not care, and if i do want to go into detail, it should probably just get a post of its own . . . but as last year, i didn’t do quite as much as i wanted to do, and i spent more money than i really should have, but i also met some cool people and brought back some really neat things.
and, in terms of gaming, i’ve decided that i have WAY too many rpgs that i’ve never played. i’ve become something of a collector without ever really intending to do so and starting now i’m hoping to change that. i’m going to start trying to play more and shorter games. i’ll probably start trying to play or run games that last somewhere in the range of 1 to 5 sessions for the most part. some of the games i brought back from gen con (or ordered earlier in the year) are real cool, interesting things, and i’m tired of them just sitting on my shelf. if i manage to make this resolution stick, you can expect to hear more about what i’m playing on here in the future.

and thats about it. it was a fairly uneventful summer, but all things considered, it went pretty well. as long as the fall doesn’t bring too much misfortune with it, i’ll be pretty content.

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