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Monthly Archives: March 2017

The War for Mars United, Chapter 11: The Top of Olympus Mons

March 31, 2017, 10:14 am

  Julia Maciel flew all night. The distance between New Jerusalem and Olympus Mons was about 5300 kilometers; their training plane maxed out at about 600 km/h. With decent wind, Julia calculated the trip would take about eight hours. Kenyatta, Deleuze, Stuart and Isabel slept doubled up in their gunner’s chairs, but Julia had to remain awake. Well, it was nothing she hadn’t done before, on patrols. She listened to her favorite Mars bands – nothing from Earth. Music was […]

Dad and Dar

March 29, 2017, 4:13 pm

This is a blogpost I’ve been considering, contemplating and even dreading for months now. This is where I admit that taking care of an autistic child compares, in some ways, to taking care of an elderly relative with diagnosed mental problems. This is where I admit that last year, my father was diagnosed with early-stage Alzheimer’s and dementia. This is where I add that last weekend, a friend and I moved my Dad from his house in Benicia, where he’d […]

The 40 Biggest Moves of “Big Little Lies”

March 28, 2017, 11:04 am

I love Big Little Lies, both book and show. All praise goes to Reese Witherspoon for adapting this into a mini-series and for bringing it to HBO instead of Netflix or Amazon, where people would have binged it and promptly lost the feeling of being in these women’s shoes as they sweat out the weeks trying to solve the mystery. And all praise to HBO for not insisting that the episode count be an artificially imposed 8 or 10; if the story works […]

The War for Mars United, Chapter 10: Wang Jiangou Train Station

March 24, 2017, 3:04 pm

Martina couldn’t get used to her house without John in it. She kept expecting him to come in the door any minute. That wasn’t as bad as the nights when she would dream he was alive and talking to her. When she woke up, it was like losing him for the first time all over again. All her life, she’d dealt with frustration by focusing harder on training, often by hitting a punching bag or running a 5k. But she […]

I h8 IPT

March 22, 2017, 3:26 pm

Whatever you did last weekend, our weekend was harder. Don’t believe me? Keep reading. Our home therapists almost never come on weekends. Certainly, their supervisors have never come on a Saturday or Sunday. That changed last Saturday, when Tyler came over to implement “intensive potty training.” Why not begin it on, say, a Wednesday, while Dar is with his therapist doing his exercises? We found out rather quickly that you can’t get anything else done while doing intensive potty training. […]

Donny and Libby Hit the Two-Month Mark

March 21, 2017, 3:23 pm

“The last woman I was in was the Statue of Liberty.” – Woody Allen “Libby, we’ve been dating for two months now.” “It’s no exaggeration to say that they’ve been two of the most astonishing months of my life.” “Right, well, two months is when I usually start noticing flaws. And I’m gonna need you to change a little bit.” “You want…me to change? Then why did you want to be with me in the first place?” “I guess every […]

The War for Mars United, Chapter 9: The Octagon Office

March 17, 2017, 9:29 pm

Norine Maciel awoke with a start. Pablo Maciel rustled. “Todo bien, mi amor?” “Uh, yeah.” She had sweated through her pajamas. She got up to change them. “Bad dream?” her husband asked. “Yes,” she said, changing clothes, not letting Pablo see how round her middle had become in the last few years. “Do you want to talk about it?” Norine was still shaking, a little. “I was dreaming…about the day Uniparney’s snow globe arrived on Mars. The image of it […]

“Perfectly Normal” Reviewed

March 15, 2017, 4:32 pm

The New York Times started its “Op-Docs” feature about a year ago; this is the first time I’ve felt motivated to comment. This 12-minute doc was aired yesterday, on my birthday, March 14; it’s called Perfectly Normal and it’s directed by Joris Debeij. First the name reminds me of “Bosom Buddies.” In the intro, didn’t Tom Hanks say, “see, this whole thing is perfectly normal,” just before Billy Joel’s “My Life” began? Despite the maddening rabbit hole you’ll go down if you […]

To Facebook On Our Ten-Year Anniversary

March 13, 2017, 9:02 am

Dear Facebook, Holy cats, it’s our ten-year anniversary. And, uh, I didn’t get you any diamonds. Instead I got you one of those rants that you sometimes like. See how it shines like your white face, though? Ten years together Facebook, can you believe it? I admit that when we met, I was a little skeptical. People kept telling me to try you, but I was like, uh, no. I’d been hurt in the past. I really don’t want to […]

The War for Mars United, Chapter 8: Armstrong Air Base

March 10, 2017, 3:30 pm

Planet-wide registration was announced two days after the mothership left Earth. Every Mars citizen had to serve anyway – that was written into the constitution, to keep certain corporations from monopolizing the military. Nonetheless, something like one fourth of the population had managed to find some technicality to avoid service, often abetted by their corporation. The Prime Minister’s latest speech called for fresh updates from every person on the planet, itemizing recent changes in health, location, last time in space, […]