As of today, I have worked for 25 years for the same company, the so-called “day job”. The business’s name has changed a couple of times over the years, but it’s the same place. I’ve meandered through a variety of roles and positions within the company over that quarter of a century, which is not quite half my life, but almost.
All I need is another 20-22 more years to match the record my father set working in the paper mill. He had a head start, though.
I learned one more cool thing about that short story contest sponsored by Hofstra Law School where I finished third. As you may recall, the only stipulation was that the crime story had to have a lawyer as the protagonist. Well, as it turns out, I finished third behind a law school professor and a trial lawyer, so I figure I’m in good company. Given that the judges all went to law school, I must have gotten the details mostly right.
I’ve been on a good reading run lately. There’s Buster Voodoo by Mason James Cole (RJ Sevin), The Children Act by Ian McEwan, The Killer Next Door by Alex Marwood, and The Day of Atonement by David Liss, all reviewed at the hyperlinks. I really enjoyed Liss’s book, which is a revenge novel set in Lisbon during the Inquisition that incorporates a number of historical incidents that impact the plot.
Then I decided to take the plunge into Jeff Vandermeer’s Southern Reach trilogy. I tore through Annihilation, which is relatively brief, and am now in the midst of Authority, which is longer. It’s a fascinating story that is Lost as told by Poe or Lovecraft crossed with Under the Dome, Invasion of the Body Snatchers and the allegorical works of C.S. Lewis, but the fusion is very much its own thing. It’s about a coastal region, called Area X, where something strange happened 30 years ago. Exactly what happened is being doled out slowly, but the government agency known as Southern Reach has been sending in teams to explore ever since. There’s an impenetrable border around the place with one massive entrance. Many of the people from previous missions have died or gone missing, whereas others have showed up back at home with no recollection of how they got there or what happened while they were “away.” The first book describes the most recent mission and the second one deals with the aftermath back at Southern Reach. I can’t wait to see where this is going.
I got my wife addicted to The Blacklist, so we’ve been bingeing on that for the past several days. We should be through the first season by the time the new season begins next week. I’m meandering through Hemlock Grove in 30 minute chunks as I do my time on the elliptical trainer in the morning. It’s funny to see Famke Janssen in two different, very different, roles at much the same time—she’s also on season 2 of The Bridge.
Speaking of which, Annabeth Gish went from getting (spoilered) on The Bridge to becoming the new police chief in Charming on Sons of Anarchy. I wonder if there are odds makers taking bets on who survives the series finale. I think it would be the funniest thing in the world if Wayne Unser, the character with a terminal illness, ended up as the last man standing. I didn’t like his odds after Juice got his hands on him, but that ended up okay.
Lots of people talking about the “Listen” episode of Doctor Who, which I quite enjoyed. So far I’ve like three out of the four Capaldi episodes. I wasn’t so hot on the second one. I like the ambiguity inherent in “Listen.” The Doctor hypothesized a species of aliens that were so good at hiding that no one knew they existed, but his hypothesis couldn’t be tested—or at least it wasn’t. In the best Graham Joyce tradition, there was both a rational and a supernatural explanation for everything that happened. The shape under the sheet could have been an alien or a prankster, for example. But that’s not what people have been discussing. The big thing was the fact that SPOILERS AHEAD Clara went back to the barn in Gallifrey when the Doctor was a little boy scared of the dark and basically gave him the tools he needed to become the Doctor. Sure, it was all wibbledy-wobbeldy relative to canon and lore, but I found it a touching scene. I gasped when I realized what was happening. To me, the episode’s biggest mystery was how the hell Clara was able to run in those heels. But she did.