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Monthly Archives: September 2017

The War for Mars United, Chapter 35: New Dagreb Facing the World

September 29, 2017, 5:30 pm

New Dagreb was on the move. Though the floor was designed to cushion the effects of movement, everyone in the snow globe city could feel the lurching, like a cruise ship making a turn. New Dagreb occasionally twitched, but this was different: anyone could tell that it was moving steadily and purposefully…somewhere. The movement was enough to awaken Julia, who found herself strapped to the same table where she’d found Kenyatta. Her hands were bound to the same places on […]

They Can Take That Away From Me

September 27, 2017, 3:00 pm

When Dar first got his autism diagnosis, around age two, I said to myself: yeah, but no one can stop me from showing him the world. Whatever they may say, they can’t take that away from me. Turns out they can. Or at least, they can remove the joy of it. If I say “Dar look at that cow!” or “Dar look at that full moon!” or “Dar look at this beautiful canyon!” there is absolutely never any indication that […]

That Time When I Failed to Stand for Our National Anthem

September 25, 2017, 7:44 pm

I remember it like it was yesterday. By the time I was 16, I rarely babysat, but gears shifted on the day I got my driver’s license. Like me, my neighbor’s kid loved roller-coasters; unlike me, my neighbor had no desire to drive all the way from Berkeley to Santa Clara. One nice summer day in the late 1980s, me and her 10-year-old kid and the kid’s friend woke up early, jumped in my neighbor’s mini-van, and drove an hour […]

The War for Mars United, Chapter 34: Waste Pipes

September 22, 2017, 4:42 pm

The stench was almost paralyzing all by itself. Crawling through the waste pipes of the mothership was just about the most difficult thing Martina Maciel had ever done in her life. First, there was the diameter – exactly 50 cm. Her shoulders and hips were squinched to the point of vicious soreness. Martina wasn’t someone you typically accuse of poor planning. After learning about the Trojan Horse scheme, Martina got Chee to give up all he had on the ship’s […]

A Garden Guardian?

September 20, 2017, 10:21 am

Sometimes it takes years for someone to point out something that, in retrospect, looks obvious. And with that epiphany, it’s like you’ve been living in a fog that has just lifted. That may have just happened yesterday. Maybe, maybe not. For the first time yesterday, I phoned in my presence on an IEP of Dar’s. (My phoning it in was not the epiphany.) My phone-presence was partly due to child-care arrangements, mostly because this wouldn’t be “the real IEP,” which […]

Emmys 2017: More Milestones Than You May Realize

September 19, 2017, 8:42 am

Now that Stephen Colbert, host of CBS’s The Late Show, has hosted the Emmys on CBS in the same calendar year that Jimmy Fallon, host of NBC’s The Tonight Show, hosted the Golden Globes on NBC and Jimmy Kimmel, host of ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!, hosted the Oscars on ABC, it’s official: for the first time ever in a year, the late-night M.C. of each of America’s three broadcast networks hosted its major screen-content awards-show. At this point, this milestone registers […]

The War for Mars United, Chapter 33: The War Room: Under Attack

September 15, 2017, 9:10 am

Just like that, the main phase, namely the air war, was over. About 34,000 of Mars United’s 39,000-odd planes had fallen, disabled, somewhere on the slopes of Mt. Sharp. Mars United had fought well. The Asian Alliance had lost more than their fair share; about 50,000 down, and another 26,000 or so heading back to the mothership and refuel. The Asian Alliance still had about 25,000 to provide air cover for the ground melee on Mt. Sharp. When the last […]

IEP Prep, Sep 2017

September 13, 2017, 10:13 am

It’s autumn again, and parents everywhere have got their adorable progeny outfitted in the latest fashions, bedecked with brand-new school supplies, and situated to do writing that will reveal and indeed stimulate their remarkable growth and development. Uh, unless they’re a parent of a severely autistic child like mine. As he begins second grade, no one, least of all me, is expecting Dar to finish the year writing his own name, much less writing something that would demonstrate growth or development. Every year, […]

The Terror-Totalitarianism Tango

September 11, 2017, 9:51 pm

  Today is the first September 11 under President Trump. Perhaps fittingly, it’s also the first time that the amount of years since that fateful day can be expressed as a discreet square of a square – because the number 16 is a square of 4, which is a square of 2. Why would that be fitting? Because a square of a square invokes a box in a box, and 9/11 is both a Pandora’s box that continues to expand […]

Weekend of Labor

September 6, 2017, 7:26 pm

As a kid, Labor Day weekend to me suggested a final barbecue before the end of summer. These days, the thought of proactively adding more chemicals to the atmosphere seems mildly perverse. Besides, Mother Nature gave us West Coasters her own barbecue for Labor Day, not a finale but a harbinger: record temperatures and ashy smoke all over the coast plus Los Angeles’s biggest fire ever. (Good thing we know none of that could possibly have any relation to Hurricanes […]