HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast

Hey. I love HP Lovecraft’s body of work, well, most of it, and Chad and Chris over at the HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast have just finished going through every story he ever wrote in detail. The show has been three years of excellence and now they are moving the podcast into connected but new and awesome territory. I highly suggest you check out the site, download and listen to a few if not all of the old shows and prepare for more awesome to come.
HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast show for July 12, 2012

The new show starts in a few weeks and will be uber-cheap with the cost at $6.66 every three months. That’s ridiculous. They deserve more than that!!!

America the Awesome

I wasn’t actively seeking them out, but I was making note in my head every time I saw one and from the Ontario border to Newark new Jersey I only noted five, yes, five, US flags. I was expecting flags and sixty foot high crosses and billboards stating “support the troops!!!” everywhere I went and I was wrong.  This was of course to me, a Canadian to whom it was whispered all my life (when they weren’t listening) that Americans were in fact flag waving crazies, confusing.  I was also taught that in general Americans were often rude, belligerent, uncaring and pushy. I saw none of this during my seven and half hour trek including a quiet though frustrating two-hour tie-up in a traffic jam in the middle of Pennsylvania. Nobody was swearing, calling forth judgment from their god upon persons they were unhappy with or threatening to shoot someone with the five or six handguns that they all carry on their person even in the shower (or so, again, I was led to believe). All in all, my trek to and from Manhattan was uneventful when it came to average US citizens and many stereotypes were shattered.

Upper New York state was beautiful and the roads and woodsy area well maintained. Pennsylvania need to fire everyone who works in their department of transportation and hire people from New York as well as let go everyone that works in fast food or highway-side gas stations, but otherwise was equally friendly a place to visit. New Jersey and Manhattan were equally pleasant to visit and drive in. Seriously. Nobody even honked at me when I got lost due to my mother’s inability to either read a map or not point out distractions when I was trying to find the port. Some woman from another part of new York even politely asked ME (!) for directions on 10th avenue ad I was able to direct her to the Lincoln Tunnel. She said thank you and smiled. Nobody behind me even got mad that I missed a light giving directions to her. Wow. A pleasure to drive there.

My family and I then boarded the most wonderful and luxurious cruise ship imaginable, the Disney Magic and spent the next 9 days traveling through weather, good and bad, to the Bahamas and Florida. It was a wonderfully fun time and the food and entertainment was both excessively posh and pleasing. The beaches and water clean and fish-full, Disney world was all I have heard it to be (excellent) and staff of the ship, the resort and the assorted connected sub-businesses were polite and always smiling (well, apart from the very nice but honest woman from Chile who told me at breakfast one day when I asked how she was doing that she was in fact terribly hung-over.).

This was where the stereotypes started to flutter back down into view. Don’t get me wrong, most people on the ship and at the ports of call were spectacularly polite and friendly. There were however a number of the typical USA Jersey Shore like TV crazoids one expects when one is a Canadian raised to be nice to everyone from down south of the border but secretly accept that while the US is our extended family,  we know they all grew up in a trailer park. The sad thing is that primarily, those few rude people who made being around them tedious were from New Jersey and New York, which went counter to my recent experiences. Demanding, overweight, rude, arrogant sarcastic little bastard children. People I met from the southern states and staff of the ship were embarrassed by them and related tales of rudeness they experienced to me over a beer or in hushed voices at dinner.

But apart from these individuals, I must say my experience surrounded by Americans was good. I loved it and I loved them (mostly) as a people. A fun vacation and a fun bunch of people to share it with. Sitting through the Hall of the Presidents animatronic show at Disneyworld I can see why they are such a proud bunch of people and ever so slightly it made me think that the US wasn’t all that bad. It also made me wonder how a whole country formed with the ideals that all men are created equal and that church and state should be separate and that the civil war was right and won by the right side could still have people who were racist, homophobic and anti-socialist. I then changed gears and thought how cool it would be to see the Hall of the Presidents (as well as the Country Bear Jamboree) again but without the animatronic beings wearing any costumes. Sort of like the Country Robot Presidents Jamboree. That would be cool.

All in all, I had an excellent time and want to go back. I have been won over by Disney, Cruise travel and most of the people of the United States.

Go Team America!

Addiction

I have what one could possibly describe as an anti-addictive personality. I have a hard time staying focussed on any one thing for an extended period of time so to me, it seems odd to be one who is addicted to, well, anything that is detrimental to ones health or wellbeing. Seriously, I have a hard time with it.

This brought about a mildly heated discussion with my wife today that started when I noted that I couldn’t get why people who were smart enough to know that smoking wasn’t exactly even mildly good for them wouldn’t just quit. She noted that for someone like me, it is easy to just turn an urge off. I don’t eat a lot of fatty greasy foods mainly because I don’t like them. I exercise, drink in moderation, don’t do drugs of any sort. Frankly I don’t see the draw.

However perhaps I am taking it the wrong way. Perhaps, I need a different viewpoint. But can’t find one that makes sense.

To me, persons who are addicted to anything are weak. Easily manipulated. Malleable.

Feel free to jump in on this in the comments as I don’t really know where I am going with it.

And we are back…

We have returned. We survived. We traversed three US states to board a ship at the Port of New York, travelled on the most excellent Disney Magic cruise ship to the Bahamas and Florida (and Disneyworld! Yay!) and then returned. A most excellent 9 days. In lieu of a summary post I actually make handwritten journal entries in my Moleskine book and will scan them posthaste and then decipher them for you all to read. But first I must attend a good friends funeral. Back on Friday.

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