Elly

Elly

"I did something bad," she said. Inspired by a workplace speaker, Caitlin had been browsing rescue sites before I got home from work. For months we had been talking about getting a dog but we worried that we weren't ready. Now the search had begun and there were three pups pulling on her heartstrings. She [...]

Paternity Leave

Paternity Leave

2020 has been a, um, challenging year. There was the massive wildfire that destroyed lives, reshaped entire biospheres and underscored the urgency of addressing climate change at every level, as soon as possible. No, not that wildfire, the other one. There were protests against the racial injustice that is baked into American life, a widespread [...]

More Recommended Reading from Black Writers

More Recommended Reading from Black Writers

Malcolm Gladwell's Talking to Strangers introduced me to "Hell You Talmbout," a magnificent piece of social activism by Janelle Monae and Wondaland Records from 2015. The song is primarily a roll call of Black Americans that have been murdered by the police and that it feels even more prescient right now than it did in [...]

Shelter in Place, Pt. II: We Can Do Good

Shelter in Place, Pt. II: We Can Do Good

If last week's post got a little dark it's only because considering the inability of the sitting American president to adequately guide the American people through the COVID-19 pandemic—a failure to do his job resulting from the sheer force of his staggering incompetence and narcissism—is enough to send me into a depressive thought spiral that I, [...]

Shelter in Place, Pt. I: COVID-19 and the Failure of American Empathy

Shelter in Place, Pt. I: COVID-19 and the Failure of American Empathy

Post-apocalyptic fiction rarely focuses on the fall. There's the initial outbreak, the surprising interaction between man and beast or man and nature that introduces some mutagenic pathogen to first one individual and then, rapidly, countless others. Then comes the smash cut to a hollowed out world of ghost towns and ragged survivors, a bombed out [...]

A Gaming Origin Story

A Gaming Origin Story

During a recent episode of Kotaku Splitscreen, the concept of gaming origin stories was discussed, the general idea being that every gamer can point to a singular gaming experience that convinced them that video games were a worthy use of their time. Co-host Maddy Myers made the important distinction that this experience doesn't have to [...]

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

Everything is complicated and Thanksgiving is no exception. Setting aside the impacts of colonialism and systemic inequality—which are quite a lot to set aside and deserve more attention than I'm allotting here!—the idea of dedicating a day to reflection, to consideration of those people, things and circumstances to which we are grateful, is a good [...]

A Single Song from The Lord of the Rings Is Destroying Me

A Single Song from The Lord of the Rings Is Destroying Me

J.R.R. Tolkien was an academic with a vibrant interest in storytelling traditions and, because it was a lot easier for 13th century bards to remember rhyming stanzas than one long string of prose text, most of those traditions involve stories written in verse or performed as songs outright. Not content to merely translate and rewrite those existing verse [...]