Derik Badman's Journal

2020-08-30 09:16

Time marches on, and it is almost September. I'm not even sure where August went, but I'll be glad to see September. We're heading to the beach one week. Thankfully our beach trips tend to be as socially distanced (if not more) than our current home life, so we're not too concerned about the pandemic in that respect. I've been piling up some books to read there (as that's mostly what I do at the beach), and I have a few writing projects to work on (2 comics reviews and then more work on my stories). I've got some more Ancient Greek reading to do (Burkett's Greek Religion and Connelly's Portrait of a Priestess), so maybe I'll dive back into my Ancient Greek D&D work I did last beach trip (2 years ago now).

Gave up on Tyll after reading probably two-thirds or more of it. The longer I read it the less I could understand what it was all about. The sections jumped from character to character and setting to setting and they were all connected by place or people and all in the same time period, but I couldn't ever really grasp the purpose. It never felt coherent to me, which is funny considering the Nocilla Trilogy I've been reading is much more fragmented yet much more... coherent.

Also gave up about halfway through The Exhibition of Persephone Q, another recent novel, which I just didn't care about mostly, I think, because the progatonist narrator felt so distant and kind of incomprehensible.

Which leaves me on the prowl for what to read next. Perhaps I'll finish up my reread of The Book of the New Sun, or I'll dive into the B.S. Johnson Omnibus that recently arrived in the mail. I'm saving Gene Wolfe's The Wizard Knight for the beach, in it's new collected edition.

Finished up Carnival Row and am looking forward to season 2 (which apparently did finish filming). It's not a thematically rich show, in fact it is fairly consistent in its focus around the prejudice of the humans of this fantasy city/world against the refugee fairy folk. But it was well plotted, was not totally obvious in its plot twists (though some were very easy to see coming), and had excellent production design. By the end (which was pretty much a big downer), it seemed to be expanding the scope of the plot to a larger field, it will be interesting to see where it goes.

Had our now biweekly D&D game where Ian is running Waterdeep: Dragon Heist for 5e. The increased pace of sessions is a nice change from our old in person schedule every 4-6 weeks. It seems easier to keep the plot in mind which extensive reference to notes, which is extra helpful as this adventure is a lot of mystery and investigation and downtime and such.

We've been rewatching Mad Men in the evenings, after quite a few years. So far it is holding up really well, I remember some of the plot points, but not all of them, and in knowing some of where it goes, I feel I can get a little more of the subtlety out of the characters and dialogue. Surprisingly, it is a lot funnier than either of us remember, lots of good lines that make us laugh. The writers do at times (especially in the first season) play the "it's the early 60's" card a little too often and too blatantly, like they really didn't want us to miss the smoking and the (even worse than now) sexism and such. A few episodes into the second season it seems like they have toned it down and let it be more subtle, which is to say its still all there, but they are not jumping up and down and pointing at it to make sure we don't miss it.

I finished the draft of my fifth story the other day and now am at the harder part of figuring out what I need to changea and thinking about what should happen next. I have to keep moving forward, because I find if I stop, then it's harder to start again (kind of like with this journal and my decreasing pace).