Thursday, April 03, 2008

Sidebar Update

It's been ages since the last Sidebar Update. October 17 of last year, to be exact. Dang, I've really let things slide around here. Hopefully this new Update is a sign that this blog is back on track for good. I guess we'll see.

If you don't recall, when last I updated the sidebar I was in the middle, or pretty much toward the end, really, of my Kurt Vonnegut Reading Project. My plan was to reread every one of Vonnegut's books in 2007, following Vonnegut's passing on April 11th. I made it through 17 books before real life derailed the Project, but I'd say that's pretty darn good. I fell short of completing the entirety of his published work by four books, if I'm judging correctly: two novels (Deadeye Dick and Timequake) and two essay collections (Fates Worse Than Death and God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian). And, weirdly enough, among those four are three of the only four books of his I had never previously read (the three other than Deadeye Dick). It's not likely I'll get to them all by the one year anniversary of his death (which is one week from today), but get to them I will. This I swear!

Object of My Affection: Tara Spencer-Nairn. She plays Karen Pelly, the rookie half of Dog River's two-person police force on one of my favorite shows, Corner Gas. She's cute enough in her cop uniform, but every time the show allows her to appear in her civvies and let down her hair, I'm taken aback by how tremendously lovely she really is. Plus, she's got an adorable bit of a lisp.

Reading: Stephen King, Song of Susannah. I've decided I'm finally going to finish the Dark Tower series, dammit! I've been a huge fan of these books for over two decades, but when the seventh and final book was released, I found myself unable to read it, for whatever reason. That was four years ago.

I knew that if I jumped into Book 7 (conveniently titled The Dark Tower) after four years away from the series, I'd be totally lost. So I decided to reread Book 6, Susannah, first. And I'm still totally lost! I should've started rereading with Book 5 (Wolves of the Calla) instead. Books 1-4 of the series are kind of the first half of the tale, telling mostly self-contained adventures in Roland and company's quest for the Tower (excepting the cliffhanger between Books 3 and 4). Whereas Books 5-7, the second half of the tale, are so inextricably interconnected, they may as well have been issued as one gigantic volume. I can barely begin to understand the language, characters, and events of Book 6, not having read Book 5 immediately beforehand. And since I don't seem to own Book 5 any more, I have no choice but to continue reading Book 6, hoping to piece it together as I go, though each new chapter seems to introduce (or reintroduce) new threads to confuse me.

That said, I'm really enjoying it. So there you go. I'm almost done with Book 6 now; as soon as I finish, I'll put a picture of Book 7 in its place on the sidebar.

Watching: Battlestar Galactica. With the final season premiere tonight, what else could it be? I can't wait. Less than two hours away! And here's a slightly larger version of the sidebar picture for you to enjoy:

Jesus is a Cylon.

Listening: Foo Fighters, Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace. This is the last new CD I bought -- actually, I didn't even buy it; it was a Christmas present. I literally have not bought one album in 2008. Dang, that's weird. I used to go CD shopping every week. Maybe it has something to do with that weird condition I've been experiencing since I moved to Austin... what's it called again? Oh, yeah: poverty.

Anyhoo, I've been getting into this album slowly; I don't listen to it often, but I like it better each time. I have yet to dislike a Foo album. I think I'd have to say they're my favorite band currently making music.

Loving: my record player. It's been about two years since I've had this thing set up, and I had no idea how much I missed it. I am just endlessly thrilled with it. Every day after work, I pick a record at random, and then it's 40 minutes or so of vinyl-assisted chill-out. Heavenly. I think I'm gonna go record shopping this weekend. Maybe I can find some more old Hoyt Axton albums!

Lyric of the Moment: The Cure, "Just Like Heaven." No particular reason, other than it's one of my favorite songs. And that's that!

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