I just got back from a vacation in lovely Pasadena with my fabulous girlfriend Vanessa. We stayed with my brother and his wife, and got a nice taste of life in greater Los Angeles. I gotta tell ya... it's a lot like life in Tulsa, except with way, way, way more traffic and vastly more expensive housing. We hit the Norton-Simon museum, got in lots of shopping and dining, stuffed ourselves at a huge farmer's market, watched Man of Steel (second time for me, first time for everyone else), and took plenty of walks.
It's funny, because my brother and his wife (and her entire family, really) are always trying to get me and my parents (who live roughly 20 minutes from me) to move out there. They seem to have this impression that it's just a given that LA is just so much better and more interesting than Tulsa. But Vanessa and I came to the conclusion that while Tulsa obviously doesn't have things on the scale of LA, pretty much anything you can do there you can do in Tulsa, too. The difference is that in Tulsa it only takes 15 minutes to get there, and our 'heavy' traffic is akin to a pretty light day on the 5. Also, Tulsa has such comparatively low cost of living that it practically doesn't even compute how much it costs to live in LA.
Case in point, my bro's home in Pasadena is valued at somewhere around $750,000... and it's 1200 square feet. For that amount of money, you could live in a spacious house in one of Tulsa's beautiful historic neighborhoods (that, frankly, are at least as nice as anything you can find in Pasadena) and still have money left over to buy yourself a sweet ride and hire a gardener.
So, it's a fun place to visit, and my bro and my extended family there are all fantastic, generous and fun people. But man, I have no desire to live there.
In blog-related news, I've been reading A.C. Grayling's book The God Argument, and I love it. I love it not only because he tackles many of the popular 'proof of God' arguments with a level of academic rigor that a certain other notable atheist has been accused of lacking, but because of how clearly, cleverly and concisely he communicates his ideas. He quite thoroughly eviscerates religious apologetics and has had me saying to myself "Why didn't I think of that?" on many occasions.
Given some of the extended dialogues in recent posts (I try to respond to as much as I can, but I can't reply to all of them) as well as the book, I have plenty to write about. The only difficult part is deciding where to start.