Just not AWM’s™ week…
Meghan Gurdon, who is America’s Worst Mother™, wrote a Fever Swamp column this week about taking two of her of her daughters (I believe she took Wasabi and Asphyxia Mae, but definitely not her son Vato who is much too manly for any fancy book-learnin’) to a library reading that was doubling as some kind of pro-turkey re-education camp. Quite frankly, the column was unreadable. Well, let’s just say more unreadable than usual and call it even.
Therefore we will take up some more mundane issues this week, but not so mundane as to be be confused with a Lileks column. I would have to go into a coma to crawl under that bar. First off:
The Mysteries of the Animal Kingdom
Every evening about nine-ish we take the dogs, Satchmo (known to our housekeeper as “Gordo”) and Beckham (known to the rest of us as “Sir Poops-A-Lot”) out for an evening walk…and poop. Exactly two weeks ago as we came up the steps we encountered a family of four raccoons cavorting out front. We think it’s a female with three kids (we call them Meghan, Phoebe, Violet, and Molly. Don’t ask us why). Naturally the dogs went apeshit (or bassetshit to be exact) as the larger of the raccoons hunched it’s back and hissed at us. Since raccoons are fairly unpleasant creatures with big nasty teeth, we beat a retreat back into the house for awhile until the coast was clear.
Saturday night…no raccoons. Sunday night …no raccoons. And so on.
Last Friday night…raccoons. This time in the neighbors tree and peering out from under some bushes. Again with the hissing and arched back.
Again Saturday night…no raccoons, etc.
Again, tonight: raccoons.
So, what is it with raccoons who only go out on Friday nights?
Why Sci-Fi Writers Can’t Write Good Porn or Bad Harlequin Romances
For school Casey has to read three books for three classes by Christmas break. For her English class, she chose Friday Night Lights for obvious reasons (it’s the serious book du jour for the teenage set this year). For her Asian studies class she had to choose a novel dealing with Asian culture, and since they started off the year reading The Good Earth, she chose The Joy Luck Club, mainly because we thought she wouldn’t be able to finish Memoirs of A Geisha in time.
For her anatomy class the students were asked to read a science fiction novel that had something to do with the body. Hmmmmm.
We’re not really a sci-fi family, so we hopped in the car and headed off to Mysterious Galaxy, an absolutely terrific independent bookstore in San Diego that specializes in science fiction/fantasy/mystery/horror literature, to pick their collective enlarged brains. After much consulting and phone calls to off-duty employees, we arrived at Darwin’s Radio by Greg Bear.
Since I’m the kind of swell dad that most kids can only dream about, I offered to read Darwin’s Radio while Casey is finishing up Joy Luck so that I could answer any questions that she might come up with before report time.
Greg Bear prose:
Tilde weighed and measured everything, took only the best, discarded the second best, yet never cut ties in case her past connections should prove useful. Franco had a square jaw and white teeth and a square head with thick black hair shaved at the sides, an eagle nose, Mediterranean olive skin, broad shoulders and arms knotted with muscles, fine hands, very strong. He was not too smart for Tilde, but no dummy, either. Mitch could imagine Tilde pulled from her thick Austrian forrest by the prospect of bedding Franco, light against dark, like layers in a torte. He fely curiously detached from this image. Tilde made love with a mechanical rigor that had deceived Mitch for a time, until he realized she was merely going through the moves, one after the other, as a kind of intellectual exercise. She ate the same way. Nothing moved her deeply, yet she had real wit at times, and a lovely smile that drew lines on the corners of those thin, precise, lips.
This won a Nebula Award.
Why You Should Be Glad That None Of Your Friends Are Conservatives
NRO has a list of what conservatives are giving as gifts for Christmas.