There’s kicking myself to be done.
While I was unemployed, I didn’t read all that much that wasn’t on the Internet. Now, I’m beginning to think this is mildly tragic. As per usual, I received a number of books for Christmas. This time around, the haul included Gary Schmidt’s The Wednesday Wars, two Batman graphic novels (Year One by Frank Miller and The Killing Joke by Alan Moore), the Hunger Games trilogy, and Nathan Rabin’s The Big Rewind: A Memoir Brought to You by Pop Culture. So far, I’ve read The Wednesday Wars, The Killing Joke, and the first book of the trilogy, The Hunger Games. All three have been brilliant in completely unique ways. The Wednesday Wars in particular struck a chord. It’s fascinating how Schmidt takes what could’ve been a fairly mundane story (boy reads Shakespeare with an unlikely friend, his teacher, while the Vietnam War threatens the world around him) and makes it absolutely vibrant. I literally laughed and cried through this book, and would recommend it to anyone with a soul.
The one reason I can think of that I all but quit reading recreationally for that year I didn’t have a job is this: reading, to me, is a reward. You put in eight hours of reasonably hard work without many breaks, you come home, you eat, and then what? You do something fun, and lately, for me, that’s curling up with a good book (and, OK, playing Donkey Kong Country Returns, which, in my defense, is badass by definition). It’s as though I feel I deserve it. And that seems about right to me.
Life, by the way, is going just fine. The holidays were jam packed with family and friends and general tomfoolery. One highlight was going to see Black Swan while some truly wonderful people were in town. It’s a gorgeous film, overwhelming in its intentional mind-bending and a seamless blend of genres. I still really want to see True Grit, but I’m glad to have seen Black Swan first. I also took to writing fan fiction and posting it on, well, FanFiction.net, because really, where else? I won’t share my user name here, but I will say this: it’s been great for my ego. And the people on the site are truly helpful, something I didn’t expect.
Also, I’m glad it finally looks and feels like winter outside. Those temperatures above 35 degrees Fahrenheit and being able to see the ground completely, that was getting ridiculous.