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{ Monthly Archives } May 2011

Baby Birds

Hustling from the car into the schoolyard this morning, it turns out I wasn’t too rushed to pause for some birdwatching. A cluster of five birds hopped across one of the tiny patches of grass Newark still affords, foraging. I don’t know what kind of bird they were— the shiny black birds ubiquitous temperate, urban […]

John Scalzi: Writer

We attended a panel of sorts this week, which proved to be more of a book reading. Three authors read selections from the novels they’re pushing. The fourth, John Scalzi, read instead a joke project, about a page of deliberately bad fantasy writing, the story behind it, and anecdotes from the aftermath. In short, someone […]

Reliving the Past

I dream about school all the time, now. Hardly surprising when half my day is spent there. What bothers me, though, is that most of my dream classes are at least partially filled, sometimes entirely filled, with kids from my own high school days and not the kids I’m now teaching. What does it mean? […]

The “I” of “It”

Okay, that was cute. “The I of It” is a freebie web game that might loosely be called a platform jumper, even though there’s no actual jumping. You control a capital I, separated from and looking for its soulmate, a small t. In place of the jump button, you can choose to elongate or shorten […]

Show ‘n’ Tell

As our current RPG campaign approaches a (somewhat premature) close, we must once again enter a round of negotiations over what to play next. This is somewhat difficult for our group, because we split on our preferences for all the major axes distinguishing styles of play: upbeat/downbeat, internal/external conflict, first-person/third-person narration, all those labels that […]

You Just Need More Bullets

Perhaps it’s just because I heard a clip from “This American Life” last night portraying the geniuses of Wall Street as the most self-pitying sons of bitches in the universe. They haven’t been victimized so much as the remaining 99% of America, much citizens of developing nations upon which the US squats, but they see […]

Poor Newt. Nobody understands him. There he was, ambushed in a scheduled appearance on Meet the Press by being allowed to speak at length. And in one tiny slip of the tongue, a slip of the tongue that lasted about a minute, Newt clarified the substance of the current Republican plan for Medicare (“get rid […]

For Valhalla!

We watched Thor last night, which confirmed my original suspicions. Thor wasn’t an appealing comic book, and I didn’t expect much from the movie, but friends of friends became very enthusiastic after watching, so Eileene and I allowed ourselves to hope it had risen above its origins. It didn’t. It wasn’t out-and-out bad, but it […]

It’s Not You; It’s Me

When I took calculus in high school, it was with a poor teacher. She took questions as threats, perhaps because she wasn’t quite firm on the material herself—I’m told she flunked calc at ECC. I learned straight from the textbook. Fortunately I could. Still, on the first test I scored only a B. Three other […]

Dominant Species

This month’s game day was something of a bust in one respect: we only had two guests, who already hang out often with each other (and with Eileene), so there wasn’t much in the way of contact with distant friends. But that shortcoming had a silver lining, in that Tor and Nik are both willing […]