[personal profile] rusty_halo
Hey look, I'm back. Thank god. *gives NYC a big hug and promises never to leave again*

I may write about my vacation later, or maybe not; I'm trying to be less whiny, and I have very little to say that is positive. One good thing: there is an amazing new vegan restaurant in Fort Lauderdale called Sublime, which just opened, and which I encourage anyone in that area to try. Even my dad, who has never once liked vegan food in his life, enjoyed it. We went there the evening of my birthday, and had a very nice dinner.

Unfortunately that's just about the only positive.

I've not yet caught up with my friends list, and I'm loath to start posting without doing so (I have this compulsive need to be thorough, and it feels wrong to post without first catching up with my friends list). Is there a way to display posts in chronological order? That would make it a lot easier ...

However, I'm not going to catch up with LJ until I finish the book I'm currently reading, which is the third in George R. R. Martin's "Song of Ice and Fire" series. I finished the first two on vacation, and got this one yesterday. I'm greatly enjoying the series, and like I said, I'm obsessively thorough; I'm not going to be able to do much of anything until I finish this book. (I'm the type of person who reads all night and into the next day, because once I'm into a book I cannot stop until it's finished).

I also re-read Stephen King's "The Gunslinger," which is the first book in his "Dark Tower" series; he re-wrote bits of it, and it has improved quite a bit (I always thought that "The Gunslinger" was the weakest in the series, but I found it immensely engaging this time around). If you have a chance, I strongly recommend the series. I'm not a big King fan at all, but I love this particular series; it's very different from most of his other work. I'll probably be re-reading it as well, as soon as I get a chance.

And I will of course be catching up with my website; I had only about 30 minutes of internet access for the entire vacation (and was getting yelled at by all the people in line behind me), so I managed only minimal updates over the week. (And they were cheats, actually; I'd archived those stories before I left, but hidden them; I just put them on the home page and sent updates while I was gone. So it looked like I'd done some archiving, even though I actually hadn't).

Anyway, must go work now, and I'll catch up with LJ and fanfic and websites and all that as soon as I finish this book. (Everyone tells me I'm going to love Jaime Lannister, but right now I'm finding Tyrion the most engaging; he's an outcast and a freak, and just about everyone hates him, yet he's smarter and better-hearted than anyone in his family. Jaime is very Spikish though ... I've been having all these thoughts about different ethical systems, one based on rigid principles and the other based on love and personal connections, and how they connect, and how they are gendered, and how they relate to the Buffyverse ... so if I get more free time I'll type that up into an unpolished mini-essay as well.)

(no subject)

Date: 2003-07-07 02:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] onetwomany.livejournal.com
Welcome back.

Sorry to hear the holiday wasn't all that great, though :( Please bitch about it to your heart's content on LJ - that kind of thing is always cool to read!

(no subject)

Date: 2003-07-07 02:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hazel75.livejournal.com
Hmm, let me know your thoughts on the G.R.R. Martin book. I read the first two, liked them alot and then waited so long to read the third one that I can't remember what happened in the first two. And I do remember them being pretty damned dark and depressing, so I haven't really been in the mood to reread them and, thus, enable myself to read the third.

And, re: the Gunslinger -- when did he rewrite parts of it. I read it several years ago and loved it. It's my favorite out of the series -- had such a Clint Eastwood feel to it and some really great imagery. I need to know if I need to buy a new copy -- maybe I'll like it even more!

(no subject)

Date: 2003-07-08 08:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rusty_halo.livejournal.com
Well, I'm still in the middle of the third book, but so far I've liked it at least as well as the others (probably more, because this one has scenes told from Jaime Lannister's POV, which the others didn't, and he's indeed very similar to Spike). If you enjoyed the first two, this is definitely worth reading. I was checking websites yesterday ... there are a number of good ones devoted to the series. You could probably find one to summarize the first two for you, so that you could jump into the third one without re-reading the first two. I'm not finding them terribly dark and depressing ... there are some happy moments.

King just really recently rewrote "The Gunslinger"; I went into B&N the other day and found it amongst a display. They've rereleased the whole series with new covers in preparation for the release of the final three in the series (which have all been written, apparently). He re-wrote it to fit in better with the others, so the continuity has improved, and the writing has improved as well. There are a few new scenes, but they fit in well. All the references to the past made a lot more sense now that I've read "Wizard and Glass," and make the story more emotionally engaging than before (at least for me ... I just couldn't get into Roland's character the first time around, but after reading the others I like and understand him so much more). And yes, it does have such a wonderful Clint Eastwood feel ... I'm sure part of the reason I love it is that I love those old Clint Eastwood movies. If I were you, I'd buy a new copy, or at least read it from the library.

(no subject)

Date: 2003-07-08 03:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hazel75.livejournal.com
Cool. Thanks for the info re the re-written Gunslinger novel. I'll have to stop by Borders and pick one up (not good at returning books to the library and I just love owning them -- the one thing I can be rich in :P).

And I'm glad to find another Clint fan. My Christmas presents from my dad consisted of the Dirty Harry collection, the Spaghetti Western collection and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Yes, I am a strange girl.

(no subject)

Date: 2003-07-09 01:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rusty_halo.livejournal.com
That's so neat that you're an Eastwood fan. I stumbled across "A Fistful of Dollars" on TV one afternoon several years ago, and I've loved it ever since. (Along with TGTBTU, although the that other one never seemed as engaging ... "For a Few Dollars More"?). I don't think I've met anyone else who appreciates them, and it's hard to explain why I do, except for that morally ambiguous character kink. Plus, in his younger days, Clint Eastwood was really quite pretty ....

(no subject)

Date: 2003-07-07 02:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gwyn-r.livejournal.com
I'm sorry to hear you didn't have a good time -- I was hoping it would be, if not restful, then at least a bit easier on your psyche than how things have been going, and help you get that vacation you need from the archive. There must be a cloud of darkness hanging around a lot of us lately, or something!

I haven't read the book you're talking about, but I always liked Martin from the other things I've read. Enjoy!

"The man in black fled across the desert..."

Date: 2003-07-07 03:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] behindblue-eyes.livejournal.com
Oooh, another DT enthusiast. I think those books are my favorites, and I've read a lot of books (read: librarian). And I agree, The Gunslinger always had a different feel about it than the other books. And I'm so happy he's going to finish writing the series before he retires.

(no subject)

Date: 2003-07-07 03:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] witling.livejournal.com
You're back! Yay!

::welcomes you with the beverage of your choice::

::and obligatory baked good::

King's underrated. His early work, when he was young and hungry, could be very very good (The Shining) as well as very very bad (Salem's Lot). He had a gift for tapping into a weird undercurrent of pan-American gothic; he's regional but not limited by that; and he wrote with respect and tenderness about children and other disfranchised people. Well, sometimes he got a little sentimental on the childhood thing. But overall? He's a solid writer, one whom I respect a great deal. He has a Voice. That's rare.

(no subject)

Date: 2003-07-07 03:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wesleysgirl.livejournal.com
::Agrees with [livejournal.com profile] wiseacress about King::

(no subject)

Date: 2003-07-07 04:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] circe-tigana.livejournal.com
Plus, his book "On Writing" is a must read.

(no subject)

Date: 2003-07-08 08:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rusty_halo.livejournal.com
Ooh, yummy. (I wish I'd had you sneaking me treats while I was on vacation eating lots of boring salads and bland vegetables!)

Hmmm ... I agree with you about King. I've read most of his work at some point or other, and I've found that the quality varies immensely. I remember liking The Dead Zone and Carrie, and wishing I hadn't wasted my time with, well, quite a few others. He's never been my favorite, but you're very right that he has a Voice. The more I've read, the more I've come to respect him as a writer, although much of what he writes is just not to my taste. (The Dark Tower series seems to have struck a chord in me, though; I adore it more than all his other work combined.)

(no subject)

Date: 2003-07-07 04:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] queenofthorns.livejournal.com
However, I'm not going to catch up with LJ until I finish the book I'm currently reading, which is the third in George R. R. Martin's "Song of Ice and Fire" series.

WHEEEE! I LOVE those books. Jaime Lannister is my fictional boyfriend :) (Well, one of them ...) I dunno how far along you are (do the words "bear-pit" mean anything to you yet?) but I think he has many of the characteristics I loved about Spike - and I was really REALLY hoping that Spike's character would evolve as Jaime's did but sadly, no dice :( It's funny, though, because Jaime has exactly the same kind of polarizing effect on Martin fans that Spike does on "Buffy" fans - I've read comments about Jaime where you could just change the names and they'd be exactly what everyone on TWOP used to whine about Spike for ;)

OK, I will shut up now and not be all pestering about this any more!

(no subject)

Date: 2003-07-08 08:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rusty_halo.livejournal.com
Oh, man, I can just imagine. I'm sure they get up on their self-righteous moral high horses and call us "baby killer lovers" or whatever. That's kind of what I'm thinking of writing an essay about ... In a women's studies class last year, we discussed this study that some sexist guy had done that "proved" that woman have lesser morals than men. But if you looked at his study, what it actually showed is that men were more likely to follow rigid ethical standards, regardless of circumstance, while women were more likely to consider circumstances, personalities, motivations, etc. The guy doing the study obviously thought the rigid, unwavering ethical standards, regardless of circumstance, was Right, and that women were "weak" for caring about circumstances and reasons.

It seems like the struggle between these two ethical views is central to the Ice and Fire series; almost all of them are struggling between love/family and duty (Jon choosing between helping his family or staying on the Night Watch, Catelyn letting Jaime go to get her daughters back, etc). As far as characters, Ned Stark believes in rigid ethical standards no matter what (though in his final confession, he betrays this to try to save his daughter). Jaime Lannister is the opposite; he couldn't care less about honor and duty, but he'll do just about anything for love. Spike's like Jaime, and Buffy's like Ned Stark. And I think that the Spike and Jaime type is more likely to appeal to those who value love more than duty, while the Buffy or Ned type appeals to those who believe in duty no matter what. For all our squabbling about meaning and motivation, it seems to me that these disagreements ("serial killer lovers!" and all that) come from a fundamentally different way of viewing morality itself (although I doubt most of us fall fully into one side or the other). And it also seems (because of the way our culture is constructed, NOT because of anything inherent) that women are more likely to value the love side, while men are more likely to value the rigid ethics and honor side.

Well, that was long. Sorry for babbling so much. I'm still in the middle of the book ... bear-pit means nothing to me yet. If only I could quit working and not need to sleep, then I could just sit down and finish it! (I keep wanting to skip ahead to the Jaime parts ... I don't care about boring Bran or whiny Sansa!)

(no subject)

Date: 2003-07-08 09:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] queenofthorns.livejournal.com
The guy doing the study obviously thought the rigid, unwavering ethical standards, regardless of circumstance, was Right, and that women were "weak" for caring about circumstances and reasons.

I think Martin is making a very strong case FOR caring about circumstances, to be honest. The people who blindly follow their vows are not necessarily the ones we are supposed to root for - I think it's in the confrontation with Catelyn in the dungeons that Jaime tells her that he has made so many vows and he *can't* follow all of them - because his vow to protect the weak came into direct conflict with his vow to serve Aerys without question...

If only I could quit working and not need to sleep, then I could just sit down and finish it! (I keep wanting to skip ahead to the Jaime parts ... I don't care about boring Bran or whiny Sansa!)

Heh! Well, Sansa may surprise you a little, but she's one of my least favorite characters. I find the Bran chapters interesting because they are beginning to give us some hints about events in the past that have had a direct impact on the present. But like you, I did want to skip to the Jaime sections :)

Please, please post as soon as you finish A Storm of Swords - I like your description of being motivated by love or duty, but I think it’s harder to pin Jaime down in that regard, only I can’t say why because I don’t want to spoil you. To some extent, yes, much of his relationship with Cersei has been about being love’s bitch, but he is not only driven by love, the way that you so rightly point out that Spike is… Again, though, I don’t want to spoil you ;)

I fell in love with Jaime in the scene in the dungeons of Riverrun with Catelyn towards the end of A Clash of Kings - and the reasons were twofold: First, his sheer arrogance and “fuck you” attitude were completely captivating to me, given that he had none of the power in that scene (and he reminded me very much of Snarky Spike there); and secondly, for the first time, we got a chance to see that maybe there was a different side to the Kingslaying – or at least, we saw how Jaime had been revolted by what Aerys did to Ned Stark’s father and brother and that he was not as blindly obedient to his vows as some of the other Kingsguard were…


(no subject)

Date: 2003-07-07 04:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mahaliem.livejournal.com
I love those George R. R. Martin books. I tried to get my daughter to start reading them but she refused. Maybe I shouldn't have described them to her as fascinating - like a train wreck.

(no subject)

Date: 2003-07-07 05:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cindergal.livejournal.com
It's interesting about DT - I am a King fan, but have avoided those books for the same reason as you have read them, I guess - they do seem to have a different feel than most of his other work. I am going to have to check them out one of these days.

(no subject)

Date: 2003-07-08 08:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rusty_halo.livejournal.com
Oh, you must read them! I'm admittedly not a huge King fan, though I like a couple of his other books quite well. But the Dark Tower series is just amazing. It might take you a while to get into them (I actually started with the third book, then went back and read the first two) but it's really really worth it once you've read them. (And the fourth book just pulls everything together in such an amazing way ... I can't wait for the final three). If you get a chance, definitely check them out.

(no subject)

Date: 2003-07-07 06:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/beingboring_/
Welcome back! You've been missed! And happy reading!

Welcome Back

Date: 2003-07-08 04:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] soulmate815.livejournal.com
So glad you're back -- back where you belong! Sorry to hear the vacation was not so great, but don't worry -- you're back!

You sound like your reading plate is rather full. That's always good for the summer. I'm trying to read 3 books at once: Jim Butcher's FOOL MOON, Neil Gaiman's NEVERWHERE and Richard Russo's EMPIRE FALLS. I just can't even think about the 3 James Patterson books I have in the wings -- oh and I forgot the new Harry Potter book. And don't forget my beloved fanfic. And now you are talking about how much you're enjoying the books that you are reading... *heavy sigh* I'd better get back to reading!

Glad you're back. When is the next Spike-a-thon?

Mar (soulmate)

Re: Welcome Back

Date: 2003-07-10 10:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rusty_halo.livejournal.com
>>You sound like your reading plate is rather full.<<

It is; I've literally fallen asleep with the book as a pillow (and all the lights on!) the past two nights. I really want to finish this "Ice and Fire" series so I can read about it online and not get spoiled.

Let me know how you like "Full Moon." I tried reading "Storm Front" while on vacation and got too bored to continue. Should I try again?

I read "Neverwhere" a while ago, and heard nothing but praise from it from everyone I know, but I actually didn't like it myself. Not sure why that is ... it seems like something I should like, but mostly I was just bored.

What's "Empire Falls"? I've never heard of it. Did you read the new "Harry Potter" yet? I liked it a lot ... not as much as the previous two, but still good.

We definitely have to arrange something for this weekend; I'll email you in a bit.

rusty-halo.com

I blog about fannish things. Busy with work so don't update often. Mirrored at rusty-halo.com.

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