Backpacking/camping did not happen, sadly, due to uncooperative weather radar.  Instead I had the laziest four-day weekend imaginable.  I don’t think I even left the house on one day.  I had lunch at Tir Na Nog with friends on Thursday and wandered around the Raleigh street fair, and on Friday I went to the Garner fireworks, which were surprisingly impressive.  The town must put their entire annual budget into fireworks.  On Sunday I visited Sam and Gentry at their snazzy new Durham digs.  Everybody’s buying beautiful houses these days!

This week was quiet, aside from my and Sarah’s annual participation in Cow Appreciation Day at Chik-fil-A.  This year I was a standard cow, no 1920s bovines.  I enjoyed the heck out of some free chicken, and the giant cow hit on me again.  I’m trying really hard to take it as a compliment that I’m the bovines’ type.  The only other exciting thing to happen this week was seeing a fox while I was out running at night.  We nodded in mutual acknowledgement of each other’s coolness and went our ways.



Books: I grabbed The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter at the Charlotte airport in desperation, but it turned out to be an excellent decision.  I’m usually leery of co-written works; authors are typically people who work best by themselves, and tandem works often seem stilted, with jarring plot elements.  Not so, this time around.  I’ve never read any Baxter, but he works very well with Pratchett.  Pratchett is often a little scattered, a little too harum-scarum to be exactly coherent, and Baxter seems to solidify things.  The premise of the novel is fascinating: a possibly infinite number of parallel earths exist, and one day everyone discovers how to step into them.  What would be the ramifications, if suddenly billions of people could leave this world for another?  Word has it that a sequel has just come out, so I’ll keep my eyes open for it.

Since I was on a Pratchett kick anyway, I went ahead and read Johnny and the Dead next, which is part of the Johnny Maxwell trilogy.  I haven’t read the other books, so this was my first foray into Pratchett’s young adult fiction.  It was very enjoyable, but my socks weren’t knocked off.  Perhaps they would have been if I’d read it at 12.  I should find a 12-year-old and see what he thinks of it.

I just finished The Door in the Hedge by Robin McKinley, and it was delightful.  This had all of the things I love about McKinley and none of the things that occasionally bother me about her.  Several of the stories are retellings of existing fairy tales and one or two are original creations, but all of them have the same feeling of authenticity.  I love fairy tales, and these are of the best.  I particularly enjoyed the last story, a retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses.