Tuesday, September 27, 2016

NPR Fact-checks the Debate for All


This is great -- NPR not only provides a transcript, they provide fact-checking (and links) on both candidates.

Go here: Fact Check and Analysis of First Debate 2016


Monday, September 26, 2016

Underground Railroad, Underground Airlines


I read over this past week and weekend, back to back, Colson Whitehead's Underground Railroad and Ben Winters' Underground Airlines.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Fragile


This is your semi-regular reminder that you should be reading my kid's wonderful comic, Fragile.




Now with more dragons!

You can find it here: Fragile.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Review of Hwarhath Stories


Over at Strange Horizons, my review of Eleanor Arnason's Hwarhath Stories is now live.

This is a wonderful book, which all y'all should all read.


Saturday, September 17, 2016

RIP Big Dog 2001-2016



Thursday when I was at work -- Thursday is my long day, when I'm at work from seven in the morning until eight at night, and this Thursday things were made even longer by meetings -- but anyway, when I came back from one of the meetings, I had four missed calls on my phone, and one message. The message was from my kid, saying that Big Dog, our sweet old blue heeler / dingo mix, had collapsed in the back yard and couldn't seem to stand, and that they had taken him to the vet.

I called back, and Dr. Skull said he'd talked to the vet, who had done some blood work, which looked good, and they were going to watch him overnight; but that Big Dog was still having trouble getting up.

Friday morning, he was worse, and he grew worse all day. He wasn't eating, and was confused and altered.

This was not, exactly, a surprise. My poor sweet dog has been going downhill all year, getting more addled and having more and more trouble walking and eating. He's been essentially blind and deaf for the past year and a half. But he still seemed to enjoy his biscuits, and he liked lying in the sun.

Plus he was my Big Dog. He was always so swift, running full out across the yard to chase birds and squirrels out of his yard, catching tennis balls right out of the air; and also such a good dog, sweet-tempered and friendly with everyone. Except the UPS guy. Boy, did he have it in for the UPS guy.

The end just came so fast.

Yesterday afternoon I held him while he died. He was a good brave boy even to the end, laying his head against me and holding still for the vet.





Saturday, September 10, 2016

SO MANY MEETINGS


I have an excellent teaching schedule this semester -- Tuesdays and Thursdays only, with my first class starting at 11:00 -- but I begin to fear that this wonderful schedule, which looked as if it would leave me plenty of time to write, is going to be wrecked by a plethora of meetings.

I am on far too many committees, and each of these committees seems determined to hold weekly meetings. Then we have a monthly faculty meeting. Then I have ad hoc meetings, for this and that, all of them necessary -- I agree they're necessary, each one of them -- but sweet Jesus, they're eating my life.

The biggest time suck now is a work-intensive committee involving a university-wide responsibility which ought to resolve itself by early October. Here's hoping.

And some of the other committees, I hope, will also calm down soon.

Meanwhile, though...


Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Changing Your Name: a Rant


Here's why I think women should not take their husband's name upon getting married -- or, well, you know, why NO ONE should change his or her name upon marrying ANYONE, though let's be honest, it's women who change their names, 98% of the time.

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Reading for Vampires, Zombies, Apocalypses


So I'm reading wide and deep for my Popular Lit Spring class in Apocalyptic Lit. So far I am mostly finding books that I'm not going to include, for one reason or another, although I did find another short story to include, Naomi Kritzer's "So Much Cooking."

(That was sort of cheating, though. I'd already read it, it just slipped my mind when I was making up my list. But then when I was doing my Google Trawl, there it was. This is one of the stories that should have been nominated for a Hugo this year, had the troll pups not been up to their usual griefing.)

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

New Course for Spring


In the spring, I will be teaching a course tentatively titled Vampire, Zombies, and Apocalypses: Our Hunger for Destruction. It's for our general studies, sophomore level class in popular lit, and we'll be looking at why works on mass death and destruction are so population.

That said, this is a bleg, or at least a call for suggestions. What movies, books, graphic novels, or short stories do you think I should include in this class? These should be fiction and they should fall into the category of popular culture, though they don't necessarily have to be American or current.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Unpleasant Things That Happened This Week So Far


(1) My genderqueer kid got told by an adult who should know better that being LGBT is an evolutionary error, because gay people don't have babies, and evolution is all about passing on those genes, isn't it. Evolution is teleological, y'all. Who knew.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Insomnia


I'm having the worst insomnia, y'all.

I've always had trouble sleeping -- I'm talking since infancy. One of my earliest memories is being four years old (we had just moved into our new house, out of the trailer) and wandering around in the dark in the middle of the night after everyone else was asleep. This wasn't just once, either. I did this all the time.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

One Good Thing From Our Pre-School Training...


This was shown during the Title IX Training session:




It's from the folks at College Humor. Watch it to the end, as those kids today say.