Sunday, October 09, 2005

Home again, home again

We had a lovely five days off. It was cool--even cold--but it didn't rain, so it was bearable. Bob would get up early in the morning and go out and fish while I stayed in bed, then he'd come back a couple of hours later and we'd go out to breakfast, then we'd take a drive somewhere, or he'd fish some more while I sat on the bank in a folding chair and read or knitted. I had packed a tote bag with yarn and books--my two indispensibles, my talismans against boredom--and I was perfectly happy.

We ate breakfast every morning at the Bennet Spring Dining Lodge; we ate dinner there one night, ate at Applebee's in Lebanon one evening, drove into Springfield and had dinner with Bob's friend Phil and his daughter Laura last night. We saw Serenity one afternoon--it was wonderful. The whole time we were away was just great. I love this place so much. I'm so comfortable there, and we have such great memories. We've been going there for 30 years! We spent our honeymoon there, in a pup tent, showering in the public showers, Bob fishing, then cooking fish over a campfire.

We don't camp anymore, though. We had booked a kitchenette unit at the motel where we were staying, but it was only available for two nights; we had to move to a regular room for the rest of our stay. It was annoying, but the second room turned out to be nicer than the first one, really. We really didn't need the kitchenette--we weren't going to be doing any cooking--but those units are larger and it's nice to have the extra room. The room we moved to on Friday was almost as large, though, and seemed newer, or at least better cared for.

Unfortuntely, though, they were having problems with the cable television. The first room only got three television channels--two fuzzy local network channels and ESPN. Which was fine, really, since I don't care much either way about television and at least Bob could watch sports. But then the second room got three channels, too--two fuzzy local network channels and CNN. Which was crummy. No one wants to watch news all evening long, and there were games on that Bob would have liked to have watched, so that was disappointing. He watched it as long as he could stand it, then asked if I had any books that he would like to read.

I had been catching up on Jim Butcher's Dresden Files books. Harry Dresden is a wizard who lives in Chicago and fights supernatural crime with the help of a policewoman friend and various other cohorts, supernatural and otherwise (a vampire, a werewolf, a disembodied spirit, etc.) I'd read the first three a couple of years ago: Storm Front, Fool Moon and Grave Peril; then I just couldn't get into the fourth one, Summer Knight. I'd started to read it a couple of times, but found it hard going. Then I saw that there was a new one out in hardback, the seventh book, Dead Beat, and I put it on the request list at the library.

Then I figured I'd better get with it and get caught up so that I would be reading them in order. So I took Summer Knight, along with the fifth (Death Masks) and sixth (Blood Rites) books in the series with me, and read them all while we were gone. Summer Knight picked up after awhile, although it's still probably my least favorite. Death Masks was very good--I enjoyed the story more--and that was the one that I gave to Bob to read. He read the entire thing last night, in three or four hours. I'm not as fast a reader as him, although I guess I did read about one a day.

Anyway, now I'm up to speed and ready for Dead Beat whenever it's ready. I'm next on the list, so it shouldn't be too long. I guess if Bob is really interested in the series, I might end up buying it. He wants to go back and read them from the first so he can see how the characters develop, and obviously that would be the ideal way to do it. Although a lot of times I'll read the latest installment of a series just to see if I like it enough to go back and start from the beginning. What fun, though, to find a new series character that you enjoy and get to go back and read five or six (or more) books all at once.

It's always fun, too, to have Bob read something that I've read. It doesn't happen all that often. It was nice to sit in the room with him, both of us reading, and hear him chuckle over a humorous passage, or have him ask, "Who's Bob?" (Bob the Skull -- an "air spirit"/Harry's "research assistant" who resides in a skull on a shelf in Dresden's workroom) or ask him, "did you read about the Archive yet?"

The books are apparently going to be made into a Sci Fi Channel television show next year, according to this article in Variety, produced by Nicolas Cage:

Story follows Harry Dresden, a wizard who makes his living as a Chicago-based private eye. Using his extraordinary abilities to see the paranormal forces behind crimes, Dresden helps the police solve their more baffling cases.

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