Normally, I’m not particularly interested in novels with romantic elements, yet somehow, this debut novel by Lev AC Rosen appealed to me from the first moment I picked it up. It helps, of course, that it has a handsome cover. I received an advance copy a while ago, amused by the description on the back. Immediately I envisioned a novel full of Victorian intrigue and romance, populated by a menagerie of mad scientists and rogues. I wasn’t disappointed.
So I’ve decided to start a second post-ironic blog. This new blog will focus on the creative endeavors of Portmandia Jr. In keeping with my crypto-hipster nature, I’ve decided to craft this new site as the sort of design house that I might favor in my more pretentious moments. Portmandia Jr. on the other hand, could care less, as he is only three.
I discovered this book by Michal Ajvaz a while back on a Locus list of notable fantasy novels from 2010. Literary fantasy novels like this intrigue me more than most of the mainstream sword & sorcery. Since The Golden Age was translated from Czech by Dalkey Archive, who publish quite a bit of literature in translation, I figured that I would give it a try.
Last Thursday, I hiked up Monitor Ridge to the rim of Mount St. Helens. This was the most physically demanding hike that I’ve ever taken. According to the red book, it was a 9.4 mile hike with 4500 feet of climb. Sullivan rated it as Extremely Difficult. As usual, he really wasn’t kidding. Every hike that I’ve taken in the last couple of months had been to prepare me for this one, and I was still brutalized.
I’ve taken three hard hikes in my Fivefingers, and I must say that I continually impressed by them. I saw them at Rei back in spring and they sparked my interest. I’d been hiking in a more traditional hiking shoes, but they never really worked for me. I tried a number of different sock configurations, but no matter what I did, I usually came home with a blister somewhere on my toes. About the same time, I’d been talking to one of my co-workers about minimalist running shoes, so I decided to see if I could do some hiking in these goofy
This last weekend I hiked up to Cooper Spur on the eastern side of Mt. Hood. This was the most physically demanding hike I’ve ever undertaken, with an ascent of approximately 2800 feet in about four miles. As if the constant climb wasn’t hard enough, the last half mile to the peak was a trail-less scramble over volcanic rock and sand. Oh and for some real icing on the cake, we started at 6000 feet of elevation (thin air) and there was little or no shade for 80% of the hike. Yep, awesome.
Tomorrow I’m taking a hike. I’m hiking up the Cooper Spur trail to Tie-In Rock (8.2 miles with 2800 feet of elevation gain) with a couple of other guys. Tonight, I am preparing my gear and provisions. My ride is picking me up early, so I set everything out the night before to cut down on my prep time in the morning and to make sure that I actually take everything that I might need.