I figured out that you can go up in level fairly quickly by killing sirines on the Sword Coast. Each sirine gives 2000 XP, and when I try to sleep, I'm usually woken by a pair. I usually manage to kill three pairs before one of my characters gets killed and I have to retreat. So that's 10,000 XP for each go, and now my characters are at levels 5 and 6 in a game where the maximum level is 8. And I've hardly done any of the quests.
The sirines can be tough, sure. They cast Dire Charm which instantly turns one of my characters against me. And they usually cast it three times. And after that, they start firing poison arrows and Confuse spells.
My technique? Immediately upon waking, my mage, Dynaheir, casts Stinking Cloud. The sirines don't move very much--it'd cramp their style, I guess--so they just stand there letting the noxious gas affect them. It periodically knocks them unconscious, and they have to routinely Save vs. Death. Meanwhile, I have three characters with bows (Imoen, Safana, and my custom paladin character), firing at them from outside the cloud, usually using the poison arrows from previously defeated sirines.
Of course, the sirines still usually manage to shoot off a couple Dire Charms, so I have my cleric stocked with Dispel Magic. If my cleric's charmed, I have my bruiser, Shar-teel, use her fists to knock her out. I use the same method on anyone else if I run out of Dispel Magics, and everyone's carrying antidotes for the poison arrows.
Otherwise, there's not much to say about the past couple of days. I read a lot. I've been following Huffington Post's ongoing story about John McCain getting roasted at a college graduation ceremony, at a school far less safe for his 2008 Republican presidential ploy than Jerry Falwell's school.
And I came very, very close last night to going to see The Proposition, the new film written and scored by Nick Cave (yes, that Nick Cave). I'll probably see it later this week . . .