The Nobody Brigade

An acquaintance of mine from sci-fi fandom recently posted what I term a rant on Facebook. She was responding to a blog post by an author I respect, Theodora Goss, about how Ms. Goss is re-evaluating how she spends her time. The main sticking point was conventions: Ms. Goss describes how many conventions don’t routinely…

Once Upon a Time at the DMV…

All the best stories start with “Once upon a time…” Once upon a time, I got a letter from the Department of Motor Vehicles. It seems my current driver’s license is due to expire in a couple of months–on my birthday, conveniently–so I had to get a new one. Being the sort of person that…

Under Pressure

I’ve come across an annoying trend recently, and wanted to share a few of my experiences. The trend is the “Buy it now or you’ll lose this discount” variety of sales tactics, and some places resort to near blackmail to trick you into buying something you may or may not need. Here’s an example: I…

Death Comes to Call

A friend of mine just died today. She was recently diagnosed with a Glioblastoma – a type of aggressive brain cancer. I now have three friends and acquaintances who have passed from this particular form of cancer in recent memory, when I can’t recall even having heard of it before the first one was diagnosed.…

Not So Great News

Local friends may have noticed that I haven’t been very upbeat recently. I went to the doctor last month. I’ve already had my annual check-up several months ago; this visit was relating to a specific issue that has cropped up in the last month or two. I’ve been trying to keep it under wraps, but…

Disappointing Zombies

I went to see the latest Jim Jarmusch film, “The Dead Don’t Die” recently. To be honest, zombies aren’t really my thing. However, I was highly impressed with Jarmusch’s moody, dream-like vampire film, “Only Lovers Left Alive,” and wanted to see what he could do with the mindless undead. I had been thoroughly captivated by…

Monarchs of the Garden

Last autumn, I tried to sow a tiny patch of ground outside our condo with a few milkweed seeds. I was rewarded this spring by finding a bunch of milkweed plants growing in that patch of ground. They started sprouting before we left on our trip to Venice, and by the time we got back…