Banned Books Week 2014

This post also appears on the Deep Stacks blog at Round Rock High School Library. It’s not news that comic books, or at least stories and characters that were born in that medium, have become more and more visible over the past several years. Even if you’ve never darkened the door …

Review: In Real Life, by Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang

The integration of the internet into day-to-day and now moment-to-moment life continually narrows the distinction between still relatively abstract actions mediated by the network and those taken apart from it. Stories told since the popularization of the internet, especially those about young people, often include an element of moral panic, …

Nona

Nancy Jeanne Riviello, née Decker, was amplified by her voice. While small in stature, her presence in song soared to fill any space; while lightly built, she carried conversations tirelessly. Years ago, her decline robbed the maestra of her instrument – as if a normal life’s supply of notes and …

Christmas 2011

Friends & Family, Thither & Yon, The world appears to spin faster and faster about the sun, each year briefer than the last, events separated by what once would have been long intervals now practically on top of one another. Reviewing our lives in 2011 reveals an astonishing wealth of …

Big WTF Candy Mountain

A favorite since I was introduced to it, strangely enough, in bowdlerized form in the Rankin-Bass classic The Easter Bunny is Comin’ To Town, Big Rock Candy Mountain (in its non-bowdlerized form) has popped up twice in recent days on my various music-shuffling devices. The all-knowing oracle tells me that …

Papa

The night he passed after a sudden decline in health, my mother asked that I handle my grandfather’s obituary. She specified that it should be something out of the ordinary for printing in a handout at the funeral, with a shorter version for publication in the local news and in …

Meet the Heat

I entered this post in the My Ride Writing Contest at Austin on Two Wheels, and was named the winning entry for Week 9. When I discuss my commute, the first two questions are invariably “How far do you ride?” to which I respond “One-point-six miles each way, if Google …

On a Misty Morning

I entered this post in the My Ride Writing Contest at Austin on Two Wheels, and was named the winning entry for Week 6. Four out of five weekdays, I stir myself from bed and tidily fold up my work clothes in my bike bag. Instead of donning the dress-code …

Cartophiliac

If there’s a verb I enjoy most, it might be poring. Not pouring, mind you, although I do that often, too, but rather the act of detailed examination of every aspect of something. Oftentimes, this leads me down the ol’ Wikipedia Rabbit Hole. Other times, I get to pore over …

A Gentle Winter’s Rant

Kids are taught that the seasonal cycle begins with Spring, but each year is born into Winter. I’ve never been a big fan of January. Or the bulk of February, for that matter. The brilliance of December’s holidays makes even the few bright and sunny days seem dull by comparison, …