It’s been two months since I posted anything here, and updates were sporadic before that. Partly that’s because, for six weeks, I had bronchitis and then pneumonia plus three cases of something similar to the flu. (No, really. I mean, I feel great now. But what the heck.)

Mostly, though, I just haven’t been feeling it — the blog, I mean. It feels like something I’m supposed to do, a box to check, rather than something I want to do. And that’s not great for anybody.

I’m going to sign off. Maybe I’ll be back in a few months or a few years if I get the urge again, or maybe not. If you’re curious what I’m up to, you know what to do.

But don’t be getting all sentimental on me.

Thanks, hypothetical reader, for reading!



Going anywhere with a toddler

  • Clean.
  • On time.
  • Happy.

Pick any two.

Crane Girl progress update

Inching up toward Katara …

What friends are for

Last night I texted my good friend Benjamin R. Trube, Esq., III, and mentioned that I was feeling a bit sick and going to bed early. (Don’t worry, I’m fine.) He texted me back “Feel better soon.”

He could’ve stopped there. No one would’ve blamed him for it.

But, because he is Benjamin R. Trube, Esq., IV, he went the extra mile and followed up with this:

At least you’re not a 14 year old boy forced to fight in a giant biomechanical robot for a dad who abandoned you.

And you know what?

He’s right.

Thank you, Benjamin R. Trube, Esq., V.

P.S. He’s referencing Neon Genesis Evangelion, but part of me thinks it’s funnier without the context.

Making a joyful noise

Every day, after his nap, Evan gets to watch 15-20 minutes of videos, usually on YouTube. Past favorites have included scenes from Frozen and various animations of “Wheels on the Bus.” Lately he’s been watching a bunch of low-budget CG videos that he calls “colors” because they feature brightly colored balls, eggs, shapes, animals, and other assorted oddities performing surreal actions accompanied by perky music. The videos are very … what’s the word? … dumb.

One song they sing over and over is:

Red color, red color,
Where are you?
Here I am, here I am,
How do you do?

Then they iterate through various other colors (e.g., “Orange color, orange color”). He pronounces the last line “How do a do?” and corrects anyone who differs.

So that’s been in his head. Also, separately, he’s been reading his children’s Bible. At first he didn’t care about anything but David and Goliath (mostly Goliath), but gradually he started getting interested in the New Testament as well. And of course we’ve been talking with him about the stories there. So that’s been in his head too.

All that is just to explain why, earlier this week, completely unprompted, he invented and sang the following for Betsy and me:

Jesus color, Jesus color,
Where are Jesus?
Here I am, here I am,
How do a Jesus?

Look, I’m just gonna say it. This is by far the best new Christian music in the last thirty years.

Have a good weekend!

Postmortem: Endgame (100% spoiler-free)

Avengers Endgame poster

Just got home from the movie theater half an hour ago, so it’s all still fresh in my head. As I said, no spoilers; we’re not savages.

First of all, yes, it’s very good. Probably the best in the MCU so far, although my memory has gotten fuzzy on a lot of the older movies. Definitely better than Infinity War. I liked IW, but it was heavy on plot. EG does more with the character side of things, and I liked that.

And yeah, EG has a lot of surprises. I had read beforehand in (spoiler-free) reviews that there would be a bunch of surprises, that the story wouldn’t go the way you’d expect, and even so, I was saying “wow” a lot. I can think of at least … let’s count … four separate things that especially hit me. (No wait, just remembered another one. Five.) All were “twists” in a good way, all fitting organically in with the movie.

Virtually every big film has a three-act structure. In EG, the difference between the three acts seems especially distinct. The first act begins strangely (again, in a good way), and then is slow, quiet, beautiful, and sad. The second act is a wild action-y ride. And the finale is gigantic, fun, satisfying, and sad. If you noticed that I used “sad” twice there — well, I cried through probably half of this movie. Granted, it doesn’t take much to make me cry at the movies, or IRL for that matter, but this was exceptional even for me. Some of the strongest moments were the most understated. EG knows when to be loud and when to be quiet.

And believe me, there are some big, loud moments. The final act is about as epic as you could possibly want. I still found it just a little unsatisfying, but I think that’s because nothing could possibly live up to this amount of hype. The ending is fist-pumping, glorious fun. It’s not perfect, but nothing is.

A few small disappointments. First, a giant mystery from IW was solved in EG, but in a sort of offhanded way, making it much less central than they had built it up to be. And three of the people in the center of the story — Thanos, Nebula, and Gamora — did get a bit more character exploration and depth, but never in a way that made me care much what happened to any of them. C’est la vie.

Anyway, it was great. You should see it. I should get to bed. Adios!

Crane Girl progress update

Just passed 25%! Even more importantly, I just revealed Toph’s fingertips. Anything can happen now.

At least I have a respectable answer to the question: Why don’t you ever blog anymore? 🙂




Crane Girl progress update

The voyage south

In December, I wrote:

The last month has been a whirlwind, and the next month will be a whirlwind too. I can’t get into a lot of details yet, but life in Buckleyland has been changing — a lot. Good changes, but stressful at the moment. We’ll be glad when it’s over.

Well, it’s over.

If you haven’t heard already, we moved down to Texas back in January — partly for Betsy’s job, partly because we’d been living in one little town in Ohio for about a decade and we wanted a change in our lives. We stayed in a hotel for a few weeks while we bought our new house, then we got moved in, and then we sold the old house. (All of those things had complications of their own, but I won’t bore you with details.) We’re still transitioning in a few areas, but for the most part, we’re full-time Texans now.

Big changes like this never feel real to me ahead of time. I always feel instinctively that they won’t happen, or that they’ll be an explosive disaster, or both. I don’t believe that, I just feel it. So I’m happy to report that we didn’t get disastered (yet) and we’ve settled in pretty well and life is pretty good. We’ve got Evan in a new daycare. We get to see a lot more of my dad and stepmom, who now live (relatively) nearby. We even found a Half Price Books in the area — I’m reading some stories by Jorge Luis Borges right now, and they’re fabulous, but that’s another topic.

One thing we were really worried about was having Evan on a 3-4 hour airplane flight. I had visions of screaming and more screaming — not because he’s a habitual screamer, but because you never know how a kid will react to something new. But he did great. Played with stickers the whole time, didn’t cry a bit.

Plus, we’re living fairly near the coast, so the weather isn’t quite as horribly hot in the middle of summer — or so I’m told.

We live in a great little neighborhood, lots of big old trees for shade, not much traffic, plenty of other families with kids. We go out walking around side streets with Evan a lot, and he loves pointing out house numbers. (I sometimes suspect it’s his main reason for wanting to walk.)

On one such walk, I saw a car with the bumper sticker:

I’m a conservative. DEAL WITH IT.

Of course, I was taken aback by the car owner’s courage and boldness. (A conservative? In Texas?) But you’ll be happy to learn that, after a week of soul-searching and intensive therapy, I have, in fact, dealt with it.

I’ll be fine as long as we never have any hurricanes or anything like that. I’m pretty sure that the quadrupling of our homeowner’s insurance premiums was just an abundance of caution.

Have a good weekend!