It’s the start of a three-day weekend, which I got to start a little early when my office closed (not unexpectedly; they sent out an e-mail earlier in the week) at 3 PM. That I managed to finish the one piece of work I needed to finish before the end of the day — and a few other small bits besides — is nothing short of a minor miracle.
Well, a very minor miracle. But this was definitely something I wanted to finish and send out to an editor before the end of the day, and I’m pleased that I did. I won’t get feedback on it until next week, and it’s for a meeting I have yet to schedule for the week right after, but I don’t think it will be too much of a problem. Even if I am out of the office all of next week.
I’m cheating a bit by not taking next Tuesday off. I do plan to work that day, but it’ll be from home, nestled between Memorial Day and three days of vacation. Plus, of course, next weekend…and the Monday following, kind of, since starting that first week of June my telecommuting day will switch to Mondays. I don’t expect to go back into the office until June 4th.
Of course, I’ll also be moving into summer hours then, which means an extra forty-five minutes of work four days a week, but I’m glad I’ll be able to ease into it like this.
I’d originally taken the days off because I thought I’d be house-sitting while my parents were away, but they’ve decided, for various reasons, not to be away. I suppose I could have cancelled the days off, and there’s a part of me that would like to be using my vacation time for something more productive, for an actual vacation, for going somewhere, preferably someplace where the weather’s a touch more consistent or at least free of the disgusting humidity we’ve endured most of this week.
Of course, there’s also a part of me that’s planning to look for an apartment soon, the part of me that’s already on the hook for a couple of thousand (and counting) to future Kaleidotrope contributors, and the part of me that recognizes that I don’t make a huge amount of money. (Kaleidotrope certainly doesn’t bring in any.) A real vacation might be nice, and it’s been a while, but it’s not like I won’t enjoy several days of just sitting around, watching TV, reading, and — and this is something I’ve told myself I have to do — writing.
For now, I’m just going to enjoy the Memorial Day weekend and play it from there.
A busy day, running from one short meeting to another.
Meanwhile, it seems like summer is finally here, weather-wise. Temperatures were up into the high 80s today, with humidity around the same. It was not altogether pleasant. Last night, I had a small fan on but didn’t sleep terrifically well. This evening I switched the air conditioner on, and I’m hoping that’s an improvement.
Winding my way to the end of the week. I’ll be home all of next. It won’t be much of a vacation, and I won’t escape the humidity — oh, the humidity — but I am kind of looking forward to just hanging around.
Today was a pretty good day, especially for a Monday.
I had a launch meeting for a book I recently put into production, which is something I haven’t done before. The meeting, not the other thing. I’ve actually lost track of the number of books I’ve put into production, although this is the first since I started my new development position last April.
The meeting was really just an opportunity to talk with sales and marketing about the book, make sure everybody’s on the same page about how best to sell and market it, and it seemed to go really well. It helps that it’s a good book.
Some other stuff happened too, but it was pretty much just a Monday all around.
The weekend went by pretty quick, but it was pretty decent, the rain notwithstanding.
Last night, for reasons that seemed perfectly sensible at the time, I watched the first Tomb Raider movie for the first time. (It was on Netflix.) The movie was…I hesitate to say bad, because there were things to enjoy about it. I like Angelina Jolie, and she at least seems to be having fun throughout most of it. And I’ve also grown to like Iain Glen’s work on Game of Thrones (which I’m close-ish to being caught up on). But the film is maybe one of the silliest things I’ve ever seen. I thought I knew from silly movies, but this is something else. Let’s just say that Daniel Craig’s American accent is one of the least ridiculous things about the movie and leave it at that.
After that, I watched the…I guess we’ll call it “season finale” of Doctor Who. I liked a lot of it in the moment, not least of all because I think it explained a lot about what I guess we’ll also call “the Clara era.” But out of the moment, actually taking a look at what I’d just watched…well, I think Alasdair Wilkins of the AV Club gets at a lot of what I think does and doesn’t work, about the episode, the season, Steven Moffat’s writing in general. I’m a lot more forgiving of the episode that Wilkins is, because I did genuinely like it, and it played to classic Who in some fun ways, though I do agree with him on its weaknesses and missed opportunities. (Seriously, casting Paul McGann in a cameo would have been inspired, if only because it would have meant a weird Withnail & I reunion on screen.)
So while I liked the episode, more or less, I kind of hope that next season, Moffat goes smaller.
Oh, and in between those two, I watched Hannibal. So it’s altogether possible my brain was in a really weird place by the end of the evening’s entertainment.
Today, I went to see Star Trek: Into Darkness. (Maybe you’ve heard of it?) I think the movie is a lot of things, like shiny and fast-paced and entertaining. But like its predecessor, there are a lot of things that it’s probably not, like smart and consistent and, ultimately, Star Trek.
Wading into spoiler territory here, I think the movie does some interesting things in the way that it quotes from the original series, Wrath of Khan in particular, but in the end that’s all those feel like: quotes. As I watched a pivotal, climactic scene, I kept thinking, “well, yeah, but Wrath of Khan did this first, and better. There’s no great accomplishment in proving that you’ve seen that movie, too.” The movie’s fun, I won’t deny that. It’s well acted, looks great, and Benedict Cumberbatch owns basically every scene he’s in just through voice and glower alone.
But there are things about it… For one, Felicia Day’s not wrong in asking “Where are the women?” But even beyond that, looking deeper into the movie, the philosophy of Star Trek — those tenets and deeper questions that made it something special, if sometimes a little hokey — that really does seem to be missing. I realize, as I did after the first movie, that while this is the future of the franchise, it doesn’t really feel like the future of Star Trek. There are more interesting places for it to go, I think, than a shiny, lens-flare-filled re-imagining of its past.
Oh, and before the movie, I wrote this with my writing group:
You can’t kill a man who’s already dead, Pa always told me, but some men, they hide the death inside them better than others. I don’t know if the man who shot him did it because Pa finally glimpsed the evil thing inside him, and he worried that Pa might raise hell with the local exorcist, but I know me and my brothers never cottoned to the secret Jim Hardy was keeping.
He was a hired hand, just there that summer to help with chores and mucking out the stables, and I rarely had cause to look the man in the eyes. But when I did, I never once thought I saw death peering back at me. He looked just like any other. And that, more even that what he done, that’s what haunts me.
That I didn’t know means that death like that can just walk among us, never fearful of discovery. They used to tell us in school we had to be on guard for evil men. They taught us the golden rule and warned us to be wary of them who’d break it, like that by its lonesome would be enough to protect us. But if evil men look no different than the good, if you can’t tell a demon ’til the exorcist’s got him bound and panicked in a trap, what good is any of it? Watching out for evil men didn’t save my Pa.
I used to think I’d take my revenge on Jim Hardy, or whatever that thing was that wore Hardy like a skin. I guess I still hoped he’d be made to answer for his crime. I was just a boy when he shot Pa in the back, and I don’t know how long I held on to that hope, took whatever scant comfort I could in it. After Pa died, it fell to my brother Tom to look after the farm, and in those three years I lost track of how often I’d dream of tracking Hardy down, lighting out after him across Indian territory, even if I didn’t know for sure that’s the way he’d gone, and finally watching him swing. Maybe I envisioned myself a lawman, catching up to him decades later. “You’re the man who shot my Pa,” I’d say, and then I spout the Latin I’d made myself memorize, the words that’d cast him back from where he came. I think in those three years I still believed in justice, still saw Jim Hardy as the problem, not just a symptom, and I still allowed myself the comforts of boyhood hopes and dreams.
And then the war came, and Tom died, and I had occasion to look real, true evil in the eyes.