Skip to Content

Monthly Archives: June 2016

This summer’s swimming

June 29, 2016, 1:06 am

Another summer, another swim class for Dar. The YMCA offers them all year, but we find it’s easier for us to attend in summer, when Dar doesn’t have school, when days are long and warm at the time we get out of the early evening class. Signing up is not as simple as making a phone call or clicking a few links. Because Dar can’t be in a class with most other kids. He doesn’t listen like they do, at […]

Soundtracks 101

June 27, 2016, 9:43 am

Sometimes, on this blog, I like to provide a little educational tool that I haven’t seen elsewhere in textbooks or on the internet. In this case, I answer the musical question: what are the most historically important soundtracks? My editor at film recently asked for our three favorites, and I and my colleagues gave him those. However, what I left out of that was not necessarily the best (that’s easy to google), but the most historically important soundtracks ever made in […]

Peru 2016: Final thoughts (Part 3 of 3)

June 24, 2016, 11:43 am

Imagine you had the following two choices for President in 2016: a former First Lady who could become your country’s first female President, a woman both revered and reviled because of her association with the successful-yet-tumultuous 1990s and her famous last name (a name she shares with a former President, making some people grumble about a “dynasty”), or a septugenarian twice-married tall guy of German descent who campaigns on his history with, yet separation from, the world of high finance. […]

Dar is Beautiful

June 22, 2016, 10:14 am

In 30 months of weekly blogging about Dar and his autism, I’ve never broached today’s subject: his face and body. I have a confession to make to you. Dar’s physical appearance, from forehead to feet, is a balm. It’s a comfort. It’s a relief, when his communication progress seems to be going nowhere. Considering Dar was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when he was barely 2 years old – like autism, a diagnosis that is for life – we have been […]

“Game of Thrones” Loses Friction, Becomes Fan Fiction

June 20, 2016, 2:27 pm

Game of Thrones didn’t jump the shark last night. However, it transmogrified, a bit like Bran altering his form, into fan fiction. Like Jaime the Kingslayer, that’s both good and bad. SPOILERS I only write about Game of Thrones once a year; this is it. However, like you, I read those who write about it a lot more often. Not so much on the Lannister corporate friendly sites like Vulture and Slate, but snarkier tumblrs like this and this. In case you hadn’t […]

Peru 2016: The Rainforest (Part 2 of 3)

June 17, 2016, 9:58 am

Do I believe in God? Well, I suretainly believe in the rainforest. These days, you can’t walk into an elementary-school classroom without books about the rainforest, but that wasn’t true for us 1970s-born kids. I believe the change had something to do with growing environmental awareness in the 1980s’ days of acid rain and a fraying ozone layer. At some point, Anton mused that what made me a good traveling compañero was that I never say no. I rebuked: I would […]

Dar’s autism roundup, mid-June 2016

June 15, 2016, 11:29 am

This being Dar’s final week of his second kindergarten, each day is “themed” – Monday was bad hair/hat day, Tuesday was dress-alike day, today is Pajama Day. I don’t mind dressing Dar with themes, when I think of it, though he doesn’t seem to notice or care. This is how I dressed him today. He got many compliments. We started him in summer swim classes at the Berkeley YMCA and they’re going horribly. Last summer he did the same class, […]

From Omar to Lin-Manuel

June 14, 2016, 9:41 am

Both millennial men, born in the U.S.A. to parents born who had been born outside, but emigrated inside, these fifty United States. Both identifying as minorities. Both intensely political, thinking about identity politics and politics more generally. Both carrying grudges, both wanting to make statements. One on the cover of this week’s Rolling Stone, the other appearing on some newsier covers. But one carries a pen and a piano and a stage sword. The other carried an AR-15. One reacted […]

Peru 2016: Cusco, the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu (Part 1 of 3)

June 10, 2016, 10:49 am

“Are people the same all over the world, or are they different?” I ask my traveling companion, Anton, in the back of our taxi as it careens through the streets of Ica, Peru. Having just come back from seeing the congested, but tightly regimented, superhighways of ants and termites in the rainforest, it’s clear that Peruvian drivers operate on something closer to chaos theory, merging and unmerging like panic-stricken patrons fleeing a fiery theater. Twice, our taxi driver turned right […]

Dar’s IEP 6/6/16

June 8, 2016, 12:45 pm

If we left it up to the school, Dar would have one IEP meeting a year, around the time of his birthday. However, we feel we need progress reports more often than that. A couple of months ago, we called for an end-of-school-year IEP. We’d noticed that he’d had a lot of staff turnover from his first year of kindergarten to his second year of kindergarten at the same school, and we thought it wise to ask for a year-in-review […]