Archive for November, 2018


As promised, Thanksgiving was the first day I left the crutches at home. I still wear the moon boot to clomp around, and I tire very easily. Breaking your leg at 47 is different from breaking it at 16. Medical technology is way better, for one thing. I had a spinal rather than a general anesthetic and I was up and about in a matter of hours. The two plates holding my tib and fib together were custom-milled in Fremont to match the curves of my bones. The moon boot is an infinite improvement over a plaster cast, and I can take it off for showers. You also get treated very differently, and much more respectfully, as a silver-haired, highly-educated captain of industry than you did as a clueless teen.

In lots of other ways of course it was worse, and I’m stir crazy and I’ve read too many library books and watched WAY too much TV. Hurry up healing factor you bastard, I gotta get outta here.

a life of my own, by claire tomalin

Looking back at what I know about only from their accounts, I see my young father advancing toward a fate that will change his prospects and character, driving him close to madness. And my mother too will be transformed, crushed and partly destroyed. Yet things began simply and happily between these two gifted and attractive creatures when they met and were drawn to one another. For both of them, reaching London was a reward won through hard work.

small fry, by lisa brennan-jobs

My mother said asbestos was insulation that turned out to be a kind of poison, and I thought about this at the farm, how clean the air was, how lush the farm, yet built on the proceeds of poison.

the witch elm, by tana french

I had been wondering why my aunts had quit leaving me voicemails, why my cousins’ texts had dried up. I had figured, with a hot scraped soreness, that it was because they were sick of me not answering and had decided not to bother any more. It came as a shock, cut with a bit of shame and a bit of outrage, to realize that it had had nothing to do with me.

the golden state, by lydia kiesling

Maybe the malaise, all the rotting homes and sagging enterprise, are punishment for taking the land. Maybe nothing good is ever happening on this land again for anybody.

the line becomes a river, by francisco cantú

You asked me once how it felt looking back on my career. Well, the Park Service is an institution, an admirable one, but an institution nonetheless. If I’m honest, I can see now that I spent my career slowly losing a sense of purpose even though I was close to the outdoors, close to places I loved. You see, the government took my passion and bent it to its own purpose. I don’t want that for you.

dead girls, by alice bolin

The Gothic as a literary aesthetic is completely entwined with the sins of colonialism and the unwelcome and uncanny ways they manifested themselves in Europe. The chaotic forces in the Brontës’ haunted-house stories are albatrosses of the colonial world, like the Caribbean madwoman Bertha Rochester and the dark changeling Heathcliff, whom other characters surmise could be Indian or American.