Saturday, April 30, 2011

When the storyline diverges

Did you ever read Dune by Frank Herbert?  It's kind of a sci-fi classic, but I never finished it.  I got stuck in the part where the main character started to see all these diverging futures, and it made him a little insane.  I can kind of understand that because I'm dealing with no more than three, and it's wearing me out.

In one most likely future, I stay here with my current job but purchase a decent condo or townhome to move into when my lease expires this summer.  (Other variations involve extending my lease 3-6 months and going after the perfect short sale home and possibly getting a roommate or subletting from someone else/moving in as someone else's roommate while looking for that short sale home, thus necessitating two moves in the space of a year, which is . . . problematic.)

In the other future, I get a job elsewhere, and I have to purchase a condo or townhome in another state to move into this summer at the same time as I start the new job.  House hunting from afar is . . . difficult.

The timing is bad/good because I think I'll likely end up moving at the same time either way, so there will definitely be packing, and I can get a head start on that.  See?  I can be positive!

The closer I get to the divergence, the more I feel like I'm living two lives.  I have to put all my eggs in both baskets because there will be serious repercussions and difficulties if I neglect one or the other.  I thought I was having enough trouble trying to fully commit to one life.

Well, Paul (if that was your name) I think with your tons of future vision diverging paths, you were entitled to a little bit of insanity.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Why I love fantasy, part x

For these three reasons this week

  • vampire hummingbirds
  • zombie dinosaurs
  • debunked, drug-addicted dragons

What else really needs to be said?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

House hunting for the melodramatic buyer

House hunting is kind of hard right now.  It's a buyer's market, and that's good for me as a potential buyer.  It means there're some nice houses out there for low prices.  Unfortunately, the reason for this buyer's market is foreclosures and near-foreclosures, which means that these great deals are places people used to call home until they got kicked out, often for financial reasons beyond their control.  It's chilling and sobering and makes me sad.  It's especially hard when I'm looking at pictures of a foreclosure or short sale home, and I see that one of the bedrooms obviously belonged to a child, and all that's left is whimsical wallpaper and memories.  If houses are haunted, I wonder if they can be haunted by regret.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

House hunting for the lost

I was house hunting, and I got lost in Centerville, which, true to its name, was in precisely the middle of nowhere.  Who thought it was a good idea to make all the streets start with E and only post the names if one comes in the back way?  And why did the realtor not think it worth telling me in her cryptic message that the house had already been sold, so I would be wasting 2 gallons of gas on the trip?  Gee, what fun this is. :)  I'm sure I'll get lots of stories out of it . . .

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What is a good review?

I read a lot of reviews preparing to teach a class about a particular book, and I enjoyed the experience of trying to reconcile all the reviews to that actual book.  They painted an odd picture, indeed.  I found myself thinking about reviews, in general, so I'm probably going to be posting bits for the next few posts.  :)

"My definition of a “good review”, along those lines, would be one where I can tell whether or not I’ll like the book, regardless of what the reviewer thought." - from comment 16

What do you think about that idea?  What's your definition of a good review (if you read them at all)?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Teaching The Sparrow

Well, that was fun. 

In case you wondered where I disappeared to for the last week, I was getting ready for tonight.  I just got back from guest teaching a class about The Sparrow.  Aside from the few people who never said anything (probably hated it), everyone seemed engaged with it on some level, though a few people didn't really get it.

"Such hubris!  Those Jesuits . . ."
"Um, I don't think we can just pin this on Jesuits."
"Oh, I know; it's all missionaries!"
"Um, no, I think it's all humans."

That was the most frustrating misunderstanding, and it came at the end in a flurry of discussion, so I couldn't redirect the reader's attention.  :(  This isn't (just) a book about Jesuits in space.  It's about people and how we, with the best of intentions, sometimes get really terrible results, even if/though God exists.  (The book allows for either.)  Yes, science fiction with subtext!  (And how.) 

This book had super-high reread value.  Nothing was wasted; everything had meaning (the theme was on every page in every conversation).  It was so painful . . .  I started crying around page 179.  I didn't even bother with tissues; I didn't want my nose to be peeling off when I tried to teach the class.

It's nice to talk about a great book with bright people.  There were so many things we didn't get to talk about.  I want to do it again.  :)