November 21st, 2004


Home again, by myself

The trip to LA wasn't bad, although Friday was a long day. I taped not one, but two, appearances. The main one will probably run the week after Thanksgiving (the week of the 29th, for those of you not in the US), and the other won't run till just before Christmas. They do count separately for getting paid, though. Whee.

The appearance next week will be a departure in one respect from usual. It'll be interesting to see what kind of reactions it gets.

I did score first class upgrades on both flights. This is becoming disgustingly easy to get used to. They ran short of meals in first class on the flight back - seems the caterer shorted them one meal cart's worth - but I got one. Guess I wasn't quite far enough down the list to miss out.

I'll make at least one more trip to LA before the end of the year. That will put me at 49,886 elite qualifying miles on Northwest in 2004...or a mere 114 short of Gold Elite qualification. That would make me more likely to get first class upgrades and save me some extra money on my WorldClub membership. If they don't bring me out there twice, I might have to take a little trip just to get me over the hump. I've done it before.

vakkotaur should get home very late tonight, probably after I've gone to bed. The house seems empty. We will have a couple of days at home before driving down to see my parents in Blue Eye, AR (southwest of Branson, MO) for Thanksgiving.
  • Current Mood
    calm calm

Finished The Handmaid's Tale

I finally sat down and finished Margaret Atwood's novel The Handmaid's Tale. I have no trouble understanding bronxelf_ag001's horror at the prospect of such a society actually coming to pass. Along the same lines, I'd suggest she stay away from several other modern SF series. It seems that many writers fall back on the concept of hyper-fundamentalist Christianity as dystopia. Examples I've read recently include David Drake's Honor Harrington universe, specifically the planet Masada; James Doohan and S. M. Stirling's Flight Engineer series' villains, the Mollies; and Elizabeth Moon's Familias Regnant series, where one planet, New Texas, has a similar concept of women as property valued only for work and childbearing. I emailed Moon after reading whichever book it was where she introduced that society, taking her to task over propagating an oversimplistic stereotype of Texans, and she replied that she lived not far outside Austin (which I wasn't aware of) and that she knew several families nearby who were even more fundamentalist than the ones she wrote about in the book.

As foolscap001 pointed out in a previous comment, The Handmaid's Tale paints a vivid picture of a dystopia as a common SF plot device. What it failed to do for me, though, is convincingly explain how it happened. I doubt that was Atwood's intent, and in any case the novel stands on its own without it. However, in order for it to be an example of where this country will be headed if we don't somehow get the Religious Right under control, there must somehow be a reason to believe there's a way to get there from here. A half page of story about a massacre of the President and Congress, and a suspension of the Constitution, isn't enough - and that's not what would happen in the real world in those circumstances anyway.

I'm not about to tell a woman she has nothing to be scared of should Roe v. Wade be overturned. I cannot, however, share in the consternation about the subject evident in the reaction to the recent elections. It's a slippery slope argument, and nobody's yet shown that there's a can of Teflon, or even Crisco, waiting to pour.
  • Current Mood
    bored bored

How'd I miss this one?!

I just found out that my aunt and uncle didn't know much of anything about my exploits in the TRON costume. I spoke to my aunt Janice a few minutes ago and got a little rap on the knuckles from her about it.

I'll have to rectify that. I'm going to digitize the three segments that I haven't yet gotten from the uplink tapes, then build a new compilation and make copies for my parents (who probably don't have them all), my sister, and my aunt and uncles (I presume the other uncle doesn't know much either). They also all get copies of the Sentinel with me in it, and autographed pictures.

Until this all started, my uncle Ken Bradshaw was the only famous person in the family. He's a professional big-wave surfer, and holds the record for the biggest wave ever ridden. One of these days, I'd like to sit down and compare notes.
  • Current Mood
    embarrassed embarrassed