Happy Death (Of Life and Science Fiction)

Flash Gordon is worth watching — nothing like cheesy Sci Fi Channel shows to finish off the evening. Stargate SG-1 may be no more, but there will always be plenty of second-rate science fiction to go around. Ah yes, the time portals, alien bounty-hunters, and nearly witty dialog… I don’t know that I could survive without it. I’d quote the dialog here, but the choicest lines defy reproduction.

I’ve been reemerging myself in some scifi roots lately rereading a few of my favorite novels. Of recent times, Fitzpatrick’s War is one of my favorites — possibly because nobody has heard of it, possibly because it’s currently a standalone work, but most likely because it’s written with skill. The characters are craft into a future setting in the 26th century in which America has fallen by 2081, and a new confederacy has arisen. It’s future fiction with all the trappings of science fiction: altered scientific possibilities (via satellites that disrupt electricity), the movement and motion of empires and civilization (a la Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series), but also the crafting of excellent characters with breath and emotion and the ripples of change carrying them through the pages.

A book of classic scifi persuasion, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury has my eyes rushing through each page looking to find more fuel for my mind and being completely satisfied with ever bit of it. The book’s overall theme shines the spotlight on the topic of censorship of books. Firemen no longer put out fires (because houses are now fireproof), but instead have been recruited as the enforcers of the government’s censorship program to burn books.

Most interesting though in Fahrenheit 451 is not the obvious theme of censorship. It speaks directly to other problems envisioned by Bradbury when he wrote the book in 1953 which affect our world today and speak strongly of the human condition in general. The protagonist in the story, Guy Montag, has a wife who holds no love for him. She stares at the television walls in her house all day, and at night has her ears stuffed w/ ‘seashells’ (Bradbury’s envisioning of what could now be considered portable radios, or, more aptly to present society, iPods). People are so distracted living in the fast times and drowning their minds in fun/entertainment that in the process they lose something of their souls.

In any case, if you’ve never read either of these books, I recommend them. At some point, I plan to also reread 1984 and Animal Farm.

If you’ve got any scifi you’d like to recommend, please leave your comments. (Oh, and don’t bother mentioning Star Wars Universe, Star Trek, or Halo books. Plus, I think Master Chief has more important tasks for you than reading.)

Returning Home

I’m back home to Washington. I’ll post more later, but I’ll summarize simply by saying this trip rocked my world and I can’t believe how much happened in the last eight days. Tomorrow I’ll be getting ready for even more craziness because my new job starts Wednesday.

Boy Who Works in a Shop

Today is best described as a day with complete lack of woe. I carried no woe for anything.

I woke up early to whisper to mom about what to get dad for his birthday. “… it’ll only be $10 more there, mom.”

I quickly dressed and put on my current favorite red “CA” shirt and my new sexy faded jeans in order to head down to Starbucks for breakfast. Coffee cake and hot chocolate started the morning. Mom headed off for work, but Dad had the day off so we sat for a while.

Upon heading home I stumbled upon the only downside of the day: while driving, we noticed a man and bicycle laying unmovingly on the sidewalk with two people standing over him unsure of what to do.

Today’s the first time I’ve ever called 911. The Asian man lay on the sidewalk with blood dripping from his nose. Apparently, the curb did not have much regard for his bicycle and he crashed while trying to get onto the sidewalk. At first the man didn’t want help, but by the time the paramedics arrived he let them take him to the hospital.

We got home and then I borrowed the car to go shopping for a present of my own to get dad.

After I got back, I went with dad on a couple errands and then we went to Estes Park. We went to The Big Horn for some steamed hickory pork/beef, meandered through various shops, and I bought a new hoodie. I found the restaurant Locals and took a cameraphone picture as a reminder of previous fond memories.

Dad & I wound our way down and back around the shopping district of Estes Park. Soda at Subway, then we returned home. I napped in the car, shades on, and dad drove.

Time passed and mom arrived home. Dad opened his gifts: a Superman comic book (he remarked the other day his mom had thrown away his comics when he was in college) and the new Eisley album (new indie-rock flavor to try). Mom bought him an iPod (black 30GB w/ video). I showed him how to buy TV shows — he’s looking forward to watching Leno on the bus to work.

Wahoo’s Fish Taco’s for dinner (although we all had burritos and mine had shrimp). The brothers didn’t make it, but we’ll see them on Sunday.

For evening entertainment, we watched Catch & Release — a movie based in Boulder. A comedy, romantic, but more sad than cheery. I enjoyed the flavor: Celestial Seasonings, Bolder Boulder t-shirts, and a few scenes actually filmed there.

And tomorrow will be another day.