Thursday, October 27, 2016

I Need Xanax

Sweet Jesus, this election is on my last nerve.

I'm mainlining Nate Silver, which only helps a little.

Dr. Skull, the kid, and I went down to the courthouse and voted early. Now we just gnaw our nails and wait.

Saturday, October 22, 2016


So oddly enough -- odd, because I don't usually get enough space in my day to watch this much media -- I watched two documentaries yesterday, back to back.

First I watched 13th, the documentary by Ava DuVernay about the loophole in the 13th Amendment that made it possible to continue slavery by another name, by turning black Americans, and specifically black males, into a criminal underclass.

It's very well done and worth watching, though I'd also recommend reading Slavery by Another Name, which adds a lot of the deep background this documentary presents in summary.

I knew most of the information in 13th, but not all of it -- I didn't know the information toward the end, for example, about ALEC and its connections to the prison industry. And I'd heard some bits of the information about what's happening with immigrants and private prisons, but I learned more here.

Well worth watching.

Then -- right after watching this film, which made me angry and depressed and furious about how fucked up our country was -- I watched the PBS documentary Hamilton's America.


I don't know if you saw it. (You can stream it for a limited time through the link above.) But it's lovely, and Lin-Manuel Miranda is just lovely in it. This documentary made me feel so hopeful and happy about this country. Brilliant, talented people working hard and well, creating something amazing, and having amazing success: that's the America we all love.

Both of those are the real country, hard as that is to wrap our heads around sometimes.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

So, This Happened (TW: medical procedure)

I may have mentioned my ulcer.

I've got this ulcer, caused by my hiatal hernia, caused by having a baby -- well, by being pregnant.

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Raising a Genderqueer Kid in Arkansas

I didn’t intend to give my kid – a brilliant Jewish atheist with anxiety and depression issues – a childhood in a small hyper-conservative city in Arkansas, where most of the people she went to school with would be Evangelical Christians, not to mention Far-Right (read: Trump-flavored) Conservatives.

Monday, October 03, 2016

Rosh Hashanah 2016

Yesterday was Rosh Hashanah, the last the kid will spend at home as a child -- she goes off to college next year.

As we've done every year since she turned four, when we moved to this town, we went down to the Arkansas River to throw bread in the water and our sins with them.

"I'm sorry I yelled at the dog!"

"I'm sorry I fight with people on the internet!"

"I'm sorry I use gendered insults!"

"I'm sorry I don't pay more attention to Mom!"

Then we came back here and had a fine meal of stewed chicken with garlic, grilled asparagus, challah, and honey cake.

"Have some more honey cake," Dr. Skull said. "You have to have more honey cake, so you'll have a sweet new year. Here," he said, giving a bit of honey cake to Heywood. "You have a sweet new year too, you little freak."

Have a sweet new year, all y'all!

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


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


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.