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Monthly Archives: June 2014

What Maya Meant

June 30, 2014, 1:11 am

I find that I haven’t stopped thinking about the life and legacy of Maya Angelou. She seems one of these people who, had she not existed, we would have tried to invent: living so many American lives, including alongside so many in the civil rights movement before she herself was famous; writing soul-nurturing poetry and prose that will stay with our generation until we die; transcending categories of race and gender yet inhabiting them all the same. These days, many
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My diary from Asia from August 1979, when I was 8 (part 1 of 2)

June 27, 2014, 1:38 am

You ever want to travel outside the West, but think…”I can’t do it with kids”? Ever wonder what your 8-year-old might be thinking while you’re traveling with him…and your boyfriend? Well, pull up a chair. Here are the unexpurgated files…my only writing to survive the 70s. Day 1: Sat or Sun The plane trip was in a 747. I liked looking out the window and seeing the foggy ocean below. To eat I had chicken, string beans, rice, peanuts, crackers, and apple
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Courage on an Island of Miscommunication

June 25, 2014, 7:17 am

A helpful and generous correspondent asked me to watch A Mother’s Courage: Talking Back to Autism, and so I just checked it out on Netflix streaming. The movie is about an Icelandic couple who have three sons, two of whom are typical, while the third and youngest, Keli, is diagnosed as “severely autistic.” The opening scene is extremely effective, as her son Keli, who looks to be about 10, smiles and plays next to other peers on a swing structure…looks to be waiting
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Mad over Marvel, Marveling over Mad

June 23, 2014, 11:59 am

If you’re traveling to New York City without pre-planning one or two places you want to visit, well, you’re just not trying. In my case, when I was 19 and paying for a coast-to-coast trip for the first time, I made a plan to hit two of the main dream factories of my youth. Now, perhaps if I were a more literate sort of person, these places might have been fabled book-publishing houses (e.g. Simon and Schuster, Random House), or
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Kevin McCarthy, starring in…Invasion of the GOPy Snatchers?

June 20, 2014, 11:28 am

On June 19, 2014, when Republicans announced that they had chosen Kevin McCarthy, from a small town in Central California, to become the House Majority Leader, most Americans met the news with a shrug. A few were disquieted. “Kevin McCarthy? Where do I know that name from?” asked one. “Kevin McCarthy, small town in California?” said another. “Something…weird about that. Something…familiar. I guess it’s nothing.” Then, a movie buff in the Washington press had an epiphany. At Representative McCarthy’s next
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It isn’t what it isn’t

June 18, 2014, 9:41 am

So…what’s going on with Dar here on Waaambulance Wednesday? Well, the BUSD has a week off between regular sesh and summer sesh. Making this an appropriate time to tell you about the stuff that wifey and I are supposed to work on with him, every day. You know how you hang out with your four-year-old and wait for them to say cute stuff and then post it on facebook? Yeah, we don’t do that. We work instead. You know how when
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New Black vs. Talk Back

June 16, 2014, 11:28 am

Last night, millions watched as Game of Thrones wrapped up a superlative season. Tomorrow night, millions will watch as Fargo closes the curtain on its likewise terrific season. Yet for many, many of those millions, the experiences of the shows aren’t finished when the credits roll. People go online seeking what Abigail Derecho called archontic extensions: reading about the show, talking about the show, or even talking back to the show. Back in 2007, when I published “Still More Gilmore:
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theworldinayear.com 2 of 2: the itinerary

June 13, 2014, 12:08 pm

So…as I was saying…this was a fun procrastination device for me about two years ago…so fun that I figured out all the travel times online. Like gadventures and the other groups that do things like this (but as I said, they don’t do anything close to 12 months), there would have to be room for flexibility in case injury or weather or political instability became a problem. But I think about 15 to 20 people could do this, perhaps as
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“Action Plan” Because “Plan” Would Be Too…Inactive?

June 11, 2014, 12:16 pm

Today, just a weensy window into our world. At the recent IEP, the school gave wifey and I copies of the below. You can figure your kid is doing well – try to be happy about it! – when you haven’t been given one of these. As for us, well, this seems like a reasonable foundation. Why doesn’t this plan mention the promise that Dar will always receive 1-on-1 supervision? Why don’t we see a fuller description of the work
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Game of Thrones: The Metal Defense

June 9, 2014, 11:48 am

(Very mild spoilers; no spoilers from the books) Not everyone loves Game of Thrones. It’s true! What’s the first argument against it? It’s too violent, it’s too misogynist, it seems to revel in needless cruelty. Andy Greenwald in Grantland, he of the 38000 Twitter followers, said something to this effect a week ago. And he’s hardly the only one.  I don’t think Game of Thrones is perfect by any means, but reading through the comments, I do think there’s something that
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