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06 March 2019 @ 01:21 pm
I'm back— at home and on the planet  
Sorry for the absence the last few weeks! After the last Idol vote, we were given a set of 5 prompts to write over several weeks, and I've been banging my head against them ever since. Some of them are truly thwarting me, and it's all going very slowly. :O

I made a last-minute trip out of town for a wedding last weekend, which caused much flailing beforehand and lots of busy-ness during. It was all worth it, but the last-minute flight and hotel arrangements, and the worries about driving across a mountain range in snow and sub-freezing temps, really hijacked my brain. Also, I had to buy a new carry-on suitcase, since my 20-year-old previously-legal one is now too big for Delta and United airlines, which is obnoxious. And that led to worrying about getting all my crap in the smaller suitcase, partly driven by having to choose dress clothes over winter gear.

My sister-in-law made a comment about my really being nervous about driving in the snow ever since an accident I had in Illinois, back 30+ years ago when I lived there for 3 years. But it's not the snow, really—it's ICE that I worry about. Which can happen when you get packed snow or slush and the temperature drops into the 20s, as was forecast for where I was going. And again—this involved driving across mountains, which are steep, colder than lower elevations, and where the roads are prone to being twisty. Plus, my main winter-driving experience for the last 30 years has involved the Siskiyou Summit on I-5, which can be extremely dangerous in the winter. I'm paranoid for a reason, you know? Fortunately, it was a safe journey all around.

Some weirdness of a different kind: the rental car only seemed to get a few AM radio stations, and for more than a day I had trouble figuring out how to turn the radio OFF. So I wound up listening to some talk-radio show where the hosts were discussing how parents could reach their teens better, and it veered off into girls in particular and recent social movements to 'feminize' God and some girls having difficulty with God as being male. And then suddenly they were talking about this being where fathers came in, because fathers were a girl's first experience of God.

WHAT? What kind of nonsense is that? And then—

Ugh. As a second-wave feminist, you're unlikely to ever hear me going on about The Patriarchy. But I had forgotten that not only is that religion's power structure patriarchal, it considers men to be the spiritual leaders of their own households. I.e., it elevates them to a level of divinity above their wives and children. I felt so slimed by that realization. And by the female co-host on this talk show, who was assertively "yup, yup, yup" over all of this, like Robin on the Howard Stern show agreeing with every dumb-ass thing he ever said.

This also explains why the bride's brother-in-law spoke during the wedding ceremony, but not her sister. Ugh again. :(

I mean, I'm not a religious person at all, as you may know, but I have real issues with how many of them treat women, LGBQT people, and people of color. I'm so glad my dad didn't succumb to the teachings of that church.

Well, that whole sour note aside, it was a good (and safe!) trip, though it was also two days in the snow and slush, and multiple rounds of clearing the car off. I sure don't miss that. Three years of living with that in Illinois was enough for a lifetime!

How have all of you been? :D

ETA: Rental cars! They are their own hell. I had to look up the windshield wipers in the User Manual, and later, how to open the stupid gas cap to fill up the car before I turned it in. Gah!

Ariss Tenohariss_tenoh on March 7th, 2019 04:40 am (UTC)
Yeah, most religions are patriarchal. To an almost alarming degree.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on March 7th, 2019 06:26 am (UTC)
Among Christian religions, this level of patriarchal focus isn't as common any more, though. Remembering how deep it went was kind of a jolt!
Ariss Tenohariss_tenoh on March 8th, 2019 03:32 am (UTC)
There's been a resurgence in nationalism, right-wing parties, and strict interpretations of religion. It's an alarming trend worldwide^^
Direst Ryl: Danaeryl on March 8th, 2019 12:52 am (UTC)
This is why it's a bad idea to let Puritans found a country. Their patriarchal bs lingers through the centuries.

I'm extremely extremely careful about driving in ice after a couple of incidents 20 years ago. One of those incidents ended with me almost going off the side of the road into a valley. O_O Sometimes I wonder how I made it to 30.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on March 8th, 2019 01:36 am (UTC)
These weren't related to the Puritans, though now that you mention that, I can sort of see a direct line to Baptists and fundamentalists. Puritans hated life and they hated joy. What better way to preserve that mentality than to ban a lot of things that bring happiness or even just a moment of feeling carefree?

Ice is so scary to drive on, especially if you don't know it's there. Mine was an episode of freezing rain on a highway, where it was rain on one side of the overpass and the strong wind on the other had turned it into ice. My car whipped around and rolled into the (large) median, which was very lucky. Thank goodness I was wearing my seatbelt. :O

And this was in a flat area. With ice, even the tiniest hill becomes worrisome. :O
passing_through: owls!passing_through on March 8th, 2019 03:54 am (UTC)
Yikes! That Summit road looked scary covered in snow. I haven't driven in snow or ice since I left Dallas. We don't really get that kind of weather in Central Texas.

Sometime in the late 1980's I had to drive to work one morning (I lived outside of Dallas at the time) and it was solid snow and ice on the freeway and I was barely moving and hit a patch of ice and ran off the freeway into the median. It wasn't bad because I had been going so slow. I got out of my car and stood in the snow in my dress shoes and then watched as a car came creeping over the hill and slowly rolled down the freeway and ran right into the back of my car. It took a wrecker to pull both of us out of the median and back onto the road. Needless to say, I missed work that day and ruined my shoes :)

When Alicia and I rented a car to go to freshman orientation I picked up a car at Enterprise and drove off, only to have to go back to the store because I didn't know how to turn the car on or off. It was my first time driving a keyless car and I wasn't used to such futuristic technology :D
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on March 8th, 2019 08:17 pm (UTC)
The Summit there has a fairly steep approach and descent--mainly on the north side, where it goes up 2500 feet in about 13 miles, and it's twisty. If the weather is really bad (but the pass is still open), I've been known to put the car in low gear on the descent just to get more control instead of basically sliding down the mountain while tapping the break. Ugh.

a car came creeping over the hill and slowly rolled down the freeway and ran right into the back of my car.
!!! Like the driver didn't even try to steer? It's kind of like something in a cartoon, where you just can't believe it's happening even as you're watching it!

:D Your car rental experience sounds like mine. One of our cars is 23 years old and the other is 11, so not remotely new. And of the two of them, I prefer the dash/command on the older one, where I can 'braille' over all the controls and change them without having to stare at a display screen and repeatedly jab a spot on it to, say, raise or lower the temperature!
Trigger Warning: Lifematchboximpala on March 11th, 2019 05:41 am (UTC)
So glad to hear you survived the drive, though it sounds like it was a special kind of torture - having to deal with terrible roads AND being a captive audience for that kind of bullshit. Urgh.

The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on March 11th, 2019 06:38 am (UTC)
Hahahaha-- the content sure didn't help the situation.

Rental cars are so disorienting to begin with, and this was one of those situations where you're trying to turn the radio off so you can see better (ironic but true). Turning it down was the best I could manage, but nonetheless, "Why are you still talking? Shut up, I'm trying to think here!"