Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

This is Las Vegas?

I changed planes in Vegas, today, and have to say, flat out -- that airport is pathetic. Granted, Southwest  is in the older section and some construction was going on...but just 3 places to eat? Sbarro's, Burger King, and some mexican-food place that doesn't offer plain enchiladas? But they got 6000 slot machines, fer damn sure.

I've changed planes in that place, before, but I guess because I never had to deal with lunch, I never paid attention. If I was a city thought of as glitzy and glamorous, I'd want the airport to reflect that. But then...when I went to Honolulu to meet a great aunt of mine for the first time, that airport was like something out of Siberia. Not at all welcoming.

Of course, Lubbock's wasn't great -- it only has 7 or 8 gates and two whole luggage carousels -- but it's a small city, maybe 200K in population. Everyone who flies out of here gets shuffled off to Dallas or Phoenix for their connections.

BTW, Penske Trucks is just as screwy as U-Haul. I reserved a 12 foot truck for today; I got 2 calls confirming it; but when I got to the truck rental location...they didn't have one. No location in Lubbock had one. I'm now driving a 16 foot behemoth that makes me nervous and will be hard to load. But it was that or nothing, and I have to pick this shipment up tomorrow. So...

I'd like to think these are aberrations, but I'm finding more and more nonsense like this is happening. And it's not just with businesses. It's education, too. I had dinner with my nephew who teaches architecture at Texas Tech, and he told me the first essays from his freshman undergraduates were unreadable. And his wife, who's doing her Masters in literature with a focus on manuscripts, told me of a lecture a PhD in Lit gave where she consistently used "magnanimous" incorrectly throughout her speech. It's thought she meant "magnificent." And another friend told me of a guy who just graduated college who didn't know the correct meaning of "detrimental"; he thought it was a positive description.

And no, English was not their second language; that would be understandable.

All of a sudden, I don't feel as stupid as I usually think I am. 

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