Having just touched on my initiation into metal fandom (not to say that I am a huge metal fan by any means), it got me onto the topic of changing tastes.

I’m not sure if it’s the four-year stint at art school or what, but I have recently picked up a few novels and realized that, where I once found them boring beyond all description, they’re now entertaining, enlightening, funny. Iain M. Banks’ Matter and Neal Stephenson’s Quicksilver. They were both stumbling blocks for me… the Stephenson book all the more so. I’ve read, and enjoyed (to various degrees, but generally “greatly”) every book he’s written, but after having eagerly picked this book up shortly after its release… I couldn’t stand it. I remember pushing through three hundred torturous pages, clutching my love for his other books close, only to get to a section that I found passably entertaining… and then have it end all too briefly, plunged back into the fictional discourses of historical figures! I threw the book down in disgust and never touched it again.

Until a few weeks back, when I decided I’d give it another shot, and was immediately enthralled. I wonder how I feel about the part that I thought was decent, back in the day. Am I just older? Wiser? Smarter? More full of shit?

My experience with Banks’ latest was similar, I think. I was able to appreciate nuances that I was blind to on my first attempt with it… almost to the point of “jeez, Banks, I get it.”.

Whatever the change is, I appreciate it. Every now and then, usually at the supermarket, I start to get dragged down with the horrible, mind-numbing routine of life. Oh. Good. Cheerios again. Any proof that I am changing and becoming a different (hopefully better) person is something that must be cherished.

Excuse me while I go have some Cheerios.