Bathrooms: The Writing Is On The Wall

Good morning, class. Great presentations today! Everyone showed up and put in time and terrific effort. Today, as we look over your group work, let’s review what we have learned about audience and purpose and apply our rubric: “A successful persuasive campaign will have a clear message directly aimed at the concerns of a targeted… Continue reading Bathrooms: The Writing Is On The Wall

The Battle of Waterloo

Billy Joel’s “Movin’ Out” keeps running through my head today. It began with my morning micturation. I looked down into my toilet bowl, and a fly circled by in that dark hollow. Flies, you know, have those two large compound eyes. They can process visual information about seven times faster than I, which means mini… Continue reading The Battle of Waterloo


Guys. I was doing great until the coffee spilled all over the counter this morning, and then I just completely lost my shit. “Great” is relative. I woke up semi-rested. Tutoring kids in my dreams isn’t what I’d call great recovery sleep. It’s not particularly lucrative either. But no one fell down a well or… Continue reading CoronaDiary

The Humor of Overactive Parents in Books for Kids

I don’t know about you, but every time I hear the term “helicopter parenting” I want to duck for cover. It’s not that I’m so opposed to the concept as much as I’m afraid something is about to swoop down and take off my head. Usually, I’m not so far off—“Ten Warning Signs You Are… Continue reading The Humor of Overactive Parents in Books for Kids

Nothing Works

I’ve spent half a century knocking my head against the wall because I really couldn’t accept this basic axiom: nothing works. I keep thinking all of these things should work, but sure as day becomes night, my never-looked-so-fabulous-but-can’t-stand-how-you-look tricenarian juniors, and my rapidly-approaching-hot flashes-creatively bursting-quadragenarian friends–nothing works. Oh, sure, some things work, but there’s always something… Continue reading Nothing Works

Long Range Honeymooner

Well, you missed it, y’all. I was in North Carolina blogging about how one of the three cameras taking all those amazing pictures of Pluto is called LORRI. That’s right. After all those hurricanes blowing around with names like Isabel and Wilma, they finally named something of global consequence after me. Never mind that it’s an acronym. Long Range… Continue reading Long Range Honeymooner

Battlefield 4, Rated M

I come from the school of Constructivist not Behaviorist parenting. No sticker charts. No gold stars. No allowance. You do what you’re supposed to do for the intrinsic rewards. Clear boundaries. Clear rules. Logical consequences. In second grade, my son angsted (that’s a fine word for his big, fat, intractable, boulder-sized opposition) one day when… Continue reading Battlefield 4, Rated M

On Freedom and Independence: Eleven-Year-Old Boys

When eleven-year-old boys walk and talk their whole bodies are busy in the conversations and they weave in and out of one another as they go. Eleven-year-old city boys camping, ride bicycles freely as we once did, up and down the cul-de-sacs, no helmets, no curfews, no limits. Coming and going as they please, a… Continue reading On Freedom and Independence: Eleven-Year-Old Boys