Reading ‘Round the ‘Roll

Here are the highlights of the minutes snatched here and there, catching up on blog reading:

* “John & Belle”: has been Belle-less for a good stretch, but she’s back for a couple entries, including a “fun description”: of dinner with Howard Dean’s mom. John makes for mighty good reading, of course, but it sure is nice to have Belle in the mix again as well. No doubt for me this has something to do with the fact that I suddenly find all the anecdotes about their daughter Zoe completely fascinating. Wonder why.
* Slacktivist has a “good suggestion”: for guerilla bell activity during the holidays.
* Alan Sullivan has an “exhaustive breakdown”:, with comments, of the additions in the _Two Towers_ extended cut — and he’s only halfway done. Special focus on which bits are canonical Tolkien.
* Aaron Haspel, this blogroll’s official curmudgeon, is true to form with his “anti-blogwatch”:, in which he talks about blog posts that he _didn’t_ like. He picks needlessly on the good folks at “Crooked Timber”:, but you’ve still got to love the notion. This takedown of “A.C. Douglas”: is lovely:

Note to A.C.: Sentences like this may kill blogging too: “More prosaic, I, at the first damp and drizzly November day of each year, account it high time to plunge once more into the pages of Melville’s enduring masterpiece, there, for a time, to sweetly perish deep sunk in its overrich language, crowded detail and incident, and mystic and metaphysical loomings as would Tashtego have sweetly perished deep sunk when falling head first into the great Heidelburgh Tun of a beheaded sperm whale had not that leviathan’s capacious case been almost completely baled of its pure, unctuously rich, sweetly fragrant spermaceti.” Melville never actually wrote that way. For excellent reason.

* If, like me, you have only a vague notion of what a “Mary Sue” is, you will find Teresa Nielsen Hayden’s “disquisition on the subject”: informative and highly entertaining. It’s probably even more fun for people who already know about the wide, weird world of fanfic.