Alright, much to say. First of all, I recently (well, for a given value of "recent") got back from my aunt's beach house in the fine state of Maine. I appreciate that through the magic of nepotism my family gets for free a week of lodgings that would probably cost several grand in one of the greatest vacation spots in the US, and yes, Maine is an incredibly nice place, but I must mention something to you: for some reason, many people consider Maine to be a great place for swimming. Do not be fooled. I have been to the place, and felt the water, in every different part of summer, and at none of these times has it been warm enough to not make my teeth start chattering and my lips turn blue within half an hour. Enjoy the beaches and such, if you go there, but for God's sake don't try to swim, I want you with all your toes.
Next item: During aforesaid week in Maine (during which there were no internets nor video games, eek) and the following week or so during which I have been cut off from those same activities, I ripped through a godawful amount of reading, most of it the first seven of the eight books in something called the Dresden Files, by Jim Butcher. I've since read the eighth. It's kind of hardboiled Sam Spade detective-y, only the detective in question is Chicago's only professional wizard. Really good stuff, intensely badass, although the series is supporting a lot of weight by the end of this book. During that one, Harry Dresden acquires a vendetta with an immensely powerful creature from the Nevernever (meaning the magical otherworld) and the reader essentially goes "what else is new," since he already has two after him at this point, from two other adventures. Dresden has (begin spoilers) recently picked up a roommate who is actually a sex-vampire character introduced several books ago, who it turns out is actually his long-lost half-brother, who it turns out his mother (who it turns out was not the angelic person he always imagined, but was in fact a wayward black magician who it turns out had at one time been tutored by the mage who taught Harry, who it turns out actually ignores the magical laws he instilled in Harry, and who is a hitman for the wizard government) had when she got it on with the king of one of four Vampire Courts, three of whom Harry has separately under different circumstances in three different books given cause to want him dead, in between which he killed one of the Faerie Queens (there are six) and then, after that, got a copy of a fallen angel stuck in his head. (End spoilers.) When you start needing a flowchart to understand the overarching plot, there's something wrong, and ordinarily this would kill a series outright, but somehow Butcher stops you from noticing it practically at all and everything is tight and page-turner-y. Definitely pick it up, it's awesome. Butcher also has a much more traditional tolkien-y series out, which I intend to pick up soon.
As a final note, I'm going to ape PA (because hey, if you're going to steal, steal from the best) and start leaving cryptic little lyrics snatches in italics at the ends of my posts. I don't know how to make them do that tooltip thing, though, so it'll be a little game of Guess That Tune for the reader.
i can’t hear you ’cause we’re breakin’ up