Public Like a Frog


I’m nobody. Who are you?

Are you nobody, too?

Then there’s a pair of us. Don’t tell!

They’d banish us you know.

How dreary to be somebody,

How public, like a frog, to tell your name the livelong day

To an admiring bog.

To be fair, this frog was just minding his own business.

A Very Rivendell Christmas

I usually post on Sundays, and this Sunday is Christmas. A holiday themed post is required. But to be honest, I’m not really feeling the holidays this year. 2016, globally speaking, has been a dumpster fire. Personally, it’s been a mixed bag in which even the many good things were still very hard. After the election, I felt compelled to make the holidays extra joyful this year, but only managed to wear myself out. Judging by the number of Mordor-themed memes in my social media feed, I’m not alone in this.  Continue reading


image c/o Gratisography

image c/o Gratisography

Remember the line from a Primus song that goes, “Funny thing about weekends when you’re unemployed. They don’t mean so much, except you get to hang out with your working friends”? Well, in that way, freelancing is like unemployment. The internet is loaded with TGIF gifs and memes, but they have rarely resonated with me. Unemployed or freelancing, Friday is equally likely follow a day off or precede a work day. Those times in my life when weekdays necessarily meant work and weekends freedom have been few, and have almost never been happy.

It is great to take a break from work, and it’s great to have work to take a break from. But for too many people TGIF means “Finally I can get back to my life,” and in that case I’ll skip it. I can appreciate some separation between work and family, but I want to be living when I’m at work.

Just a Moment


Photo from

Photo from

I am not a morning person. I do my best work at night, after the kids have gone to bed. I have to get up early to get my kids to school, but I do it in a fog, and my kids know not to expect more from me than transportation. This morning, I dropped my seventh grader off at school, and as she walked away, noticed for the first time what she was wearing. Athletic shorts and cowboy boots, an outfit almost guaranteed to generate teasing, even at her liberal, be yourself, everyone’s a snowflake school. Continue reading

You may be a cartoon villain if…


The other day my kids made me watch Descendants. I’m a fan of the fractured fairy tale, so I liked the premise: a generation after all the fairy tale villains have been banished, the new king invites their children to return to the kingdom, where they must decide for themselves whether to integrate into society or play to type. Unfortunately, the execution was everything one could have hoped from a made-for-TV Disney movie, complete with a live action “hip hop” cover of “Be Our Guest.” Despite my best efforts to follow the family rule of “no complaining when it’s not your turn to pick the movie,” I couldn’t resist giving it a bit of the MST3K treatment. Apparently, I cackle when I crack myself up, which resulted in my being compared to the Evil Queen. Which got me thinking… Continue reading

Perfectly Safe

In the white, liberal, upper middle-class circles I usually inhabit, safety trumps all other values. Helicopter parenting has become the standard for responsible parenting, despite data to the contrary. Schools and parents are increasingly making decisions based on the fear of lawsuits or the fear of disapproval from more safety-conscious parents instead of their own best judgement. So this quote from Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book struck me as particularly meaningful.

“I wanted to keep you perfectly safe,” said Silas. “But there is only one perfectly safe place for your kind and you will not reach it until all your adventures are over and none of them matter anymore.”

We should not seek perfect safety for our children, or for anyone we care about.