I believe I can fly

Ah, travel in the holiday season. Is there anything better?

Yeah, I started writing this post yesterday at the Las Vegas airport. It has free wi-fi! That is hot. But I had to stop because it also has slot machines, everywhere. Noisy slot machines which drilled into my awake-since-4:30-a.m. skull like a, uh… like drills. It’s like the city very carefully laid out its strategy to remind people why they hate the very concept of Las Vegas the minute they disembark from the skyway. That is some fine civic planning right there if I do say so myself.

Anyway, I’m back in the fertile incubator of my existence, aka west Texas. I actually felt sort of nostalgic for a few minutes upon arrival, which surprised me. Then some guy started ranting about how he was all in favor of the Left Behind videogame because it lets you kill Muslims. (Real quotes burned indelibly into my brain: “Those ragheads go too far. Hell, if I were younger I’d join the army so I could pop a few myself. Nothing good’s ever gonna come from the Middle East, no matter what happens. At least in Vietnam, those little brown people could go back to farming rice.”) For some reason I suddenly remembered why I moved away.

So far I’ve spent most of my vacation finishing off Retronauts and the weekly roundup, but now that I’m done with that it’s time to end my month-long FFXII drought. It turns out my sister is right at the same place I was when I left off, i.e. hunting marks and stalling before entering the Henne Mines. And what better way for a family to bond than by trashing Orthros together?

(A family of nerds, I mean.)

39 thoughts on “I believe I can fly

  1. Texas on the whole sounds like one of those places nice people are from. Just as around here you’ll meet an awful lot of nice people from Dundalk, MD. Make the mistake of going into Dundalk, however, and it is what I figure a southern trailer park must have looked like in the late `70s.

  2. …it just now occurs to me that the way I phrased that implies that any members of your family still living there are probably a bunch of jerks, which is totally not what I was going for. Apologies.

  3. To be fair, not all of Texas is that way. There are quite a lot of wonderful good natured people down here.

  4. My dad’s from around there and he’s had more or less similar experiences. He grew up in Jal, New Mexico, and I think my grandmother still lives in Kermit (if you know where any of those little dots are — in the, uh, Odessa area, I think). He says he tracked down an email list of his old high school buddies, which he thought might be fun… until he found they were all hardcore right-wing fundamentalists hoping Bush would kill all the Muslims. I think he got a bit depressed.

    I’m going back from the Bay Area too to visit my parents in Minnesota, but I don’t think the transition will be quite so extreme, except that most of the restaurants suck.

  5. Is the Left Behind game like Koei’s Romance of the Three Kingdoms games? Is it possible to recruit Billy Graham? And how many graphics does it have?

  6. Yeah, there’s a reason I made David move to Toronto instead of just moving down to North Carolina.

  7. Yep, FFXII has a wonderful way of bringing people together. But living where I do, I’ve had to put up with a lot of weird stuff, as well. I went over to my grandmother’s house the other day to drop some stuff off, and next to her computer there was a little note she had apparently written. All it said was “Grand Theft Auto, Scarface: games known to cause violent tendances and murderous urges.” This last part was underlined.

  8. Where I’m from, there’s a college with a building named for Billy Graham. In fact, I bet they’re having Left Behind LAN parties there right now.

  9. Thank goodness all the crazy people conveniently occupy the same few states! If we had to judge people by who they were instead of where the lived, gosh, things would get complicated!

  10. To be fair, not all of Texas is that way. There are quite a lot of wonderful good natured people down here.

    Thank goodness all the crazy people conveniently occupy the same few states! If we had to judge people by who they were instead of where the lived, gosh, things would get

    Dammit. I should not be allowed to phrase things today. More apologies to, hell, everybody. I’m honestly not stupid enough to think there’s nothing but awful people in Texas. But there is definitely such a thing as a majority opinion, by region, noxious enough to make people want to move. It’s why, to reiterate, both my parents and a number of the wonderful, good-natured people I know are from that particular area here in Maryland.

  11. no offense taken on my part – I just really enjoy living in Texas and hate to see when it gets a bad rap because of a few bad seeds.

  12. Whoops again, my browser is playing tricks on me. (Or, I need to get to bed and not try to post comments whilst barely awake. . .)

    Anyway, I was going to say, Parish, that your conversation reminded me of one I had (or rather, unwillingly participated in) during a flight to Germany this summer. Of all the people I could have been seated next to, I got an old, cranky alcoholic American bastard who had a habit of speaking loudly about unsavory things at random times throughout the flight. At one point he started ranting about how our “liberal Yankee government won’t do what it needs to in order to get rid of all of the damn towel heads” and the like. I think he may have even called them “Ali Babas” or something like that. All of this was, of course, while gesturing wildly at the Arab lady in the seat in front of me and making sure every German passenger within earshot heard him. As concerned as I was during that trip (even on the flight out) about making sure I didn’t ever come off as a “stupid American”, he’s lucky I didn’t open the emergency door and throw him out right then.

  13. Listened to Retronauts, and was surprised to hear someone going on about ‘SNES games that emulators can’t run properly.’ As far as I know, emulators have been running pretty much every SNES game smoothly for the past 8 years — since the 486. I mean, sure, people have outdated hardware, but … really?

  14. Actually, 8 years ago was more like the Pentium 2. I’m losing track of the years, apparently. Anyway, it ran everything perfectly on a Pentium 2.

  15. PS3 question since you have more experience than the average bear: Is wi-fi required for game transfers to PSP, or is that done over USB? I ask because there’s that remote play option only available over 60GB because it uses wifi, and I don’t want to lock myself out of being able to buy PSone games and move them to PSP or whatever.

  16. Yeah, I actually mean the part of NC where my husband’s family told me we had to destroy Saddam’s regime, and if people died it’s okay because they’re better off dead than under Saddam anyway. Other parts of NC are awesome, like the foody parts and definitely the weather parts. But I can’t speak for Texas, I’ve never been there.

  17. (Correction: *friends* of my husband’s family. I mean, they’re extremely kind people but when something like that comes flying at you it tends to make you uneasy. Same with people loading their guns at the dinner table. It’s just something you have to grow up with, I guess?)

  18. Now I’m confused. I thought Texas was like that picture of the fat kid at mcdonald’s pointing for more food.

  19. If you make to DFW-ish area this holiday season, let Michelle and me know. At any rate have a happy holiday!

    FFXII is a great bonding experience– my wife and I played together a few weekends ago and it made things that much more fun.

  20. Of course being from Texas doesn’t automatically make you horrible — otherwise I’d hate half my family.

    Jimmy: for what it’s worth, we all sort of sat in incredulous shock as Jennifer went on about emulation woes. She’s an odd one and it was all very much par for the course.

  21. Nadia – glad you clarified; I was just about to point out that NC is perfectly lovely… as long as you’re within a dozen-mile radius of Chapel Hill or Asheville. At least as far as I’ve been able to ascertain. There might be a few other pockets hiding out here somewhere.

  22. Hey, whats wrong with Legend of Kage?! I loved that game! How can you knock a game where you jump around in trees (ala The House of Flying Daggers) and kill ninjas? You can not love it, but how can you hate it?

  23. Also, what’s the grudge with Texas?

    You know how you meet people from Texas and they say “please don’t judge me by the stereotype or politicians that you know from Texas because I’m not at all like that?”

    I get the feeling nobody has said that EVER in Parish’s hometown. He makes it sound like everyone keeps nothing but a cross and a bronze-framed portrait of Tom DeLay on their fireplace or something.

  24. Lubbock’s not that bad. I’ve met very few people who are a hairtrigger away from commiting a hate crime. I did know a lot of really wonderful, caring, thoughtful people who had deeply ingrained prejudices to which they were totally oblivious. But where isn’t that true? San Francisco’s basically the mirror image of Lubbock, TX… I’m just more comfortable with left-wing bigotry, I guess.

  25. Welcome back to the hellhole we call West Texas. Try to enjoy your stay (I’ve had to for years, blegh).

  26. Hey, I just remembered I have that Ducktales tune on my cell phone. I hope I can die humming it.

  27. Something fun happened here in Abilene today. I was coming out of Sam’s (big store that’s affiliated with Wal-Mart, in case they don’t have them wherever you might be) and there was a guy driving a huge truck back and forth in front of the store, clogging traffic. It had a huge sign on the side saying “No more domestic perverts!” and “Wal-Mart Repent! Homosexuality is evil!”

    It was… baffling. Luckily, everyone around me seemed to find it as amusing as I did.

  28. Hahaha. Those damn muslims. Almost as nasty as jews. Definetly nothing good will ever come out of the middle east. Algebra, pffft, who needs it!

  29. Jesus H. Christ. Super Metroid is emulated perfectly. What’s wrong with the world today? Such a lovely voice though…

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