Beta Culture: Drowning Puppies So You Don’t Get Dogs

I’m a professional editor. I’m also a professional writer. I can tell you which one is easiest: Editing.When I sit down to a blank screen and have to write, oh boy, is it a challenge. Normally I write with what I call “the fire.” I might wake up in the morning with a ... well, call it a shape in my head, the shape of an essay or short story, and I can sit down and write the entire first draft in no time at all.When I don’t have the creative fire – annoyingly, it seems to come less often as I … [Read more...]

Bracing For Superstorm Sandy

Storm preparations:  Guns, knives, ammo ... check, check, check. Mormon neighbor with year's supply of food ... check. Storm Survival Tips #413: Lhasa Apsos are nicely marbled, but mini-dachshunds have more actual meat. Kiddinnnng!When Hurricane Irene made landfall in August of 2011, I lived in a nice, safe farmhouse well above floodline. We even had a fireplace, so if the power had gone out, we'd be warm and might have even finagled a way to cook. … [Read more...]

The Passing of a Loved One

Greta Christina recently lost her father. My father died on October 1, 2012, at the age of 79.My dad, like me, was an atheist. And when you’re an atheist and a non-believer, and the people you love die, you don’t get to tell yourself that they aren’t really dead. You don’t get to tell yourself that you’re going to see them again someday, in some hypothetical post-death existence that somehow both is and is not life. You have to accept that death is really permanent, and really final.This may … [Read more...]

Sorry, Way Too Busy to Blog

I just started a new class today, and I was studying hard for almost half of it. I know you'll understand the sometimes exhausting demands of higher education.Official school picture below the fold (click to embiggen): … [Read more...]

First Person Revolutionary — Part 4

[ First read Part 1 , Part 2 , Part 3 ]All the civilizations I ever heard of had this in common: Somewhere right near each one’s heart was religion.It seems impossible to get away from. And yet it shouldn’t be. After all, it’s never been true that religion is ALL people do.And it’s not as if religion is food, or water, or air. It’s just this ... idea. Hideously embroidered, massively wrapped in confusing, fanciful language, aggressively forced upon people in their vulnerable years and momen … [Read more...]

Thoughts On My Upcoming 60th (!) Birthday

Okay, fuck it. I’ve decided to celebrate.To explain why I actually had to decide that: I had a thing happen a few weeks back. Was at a dinner party and a close friend happened to mention the date of my birth right out in public. I was peeved at him for several minutes.For years now, I haven’t liked people knowing my birthday.I’ll tell you why. It’s a glitch left over from childhood, but apparently I’m still carrying it around. (I’ve just apologized to my good friend, who puts up with my cou … [Read more...]


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