Star Wars, Star Trek And V Author Ann Crispin Passes Away

As a high school student, I wrote a fan letter to AC Crispin, in which I critiqued her capitalization. (She gave me the address of her editor, Ann O’Malley, who agreed to critique a few sample chapters of my in-progress novel.) Crispin wrote several early Star Trek novels, as well as the novelization of the 80s miniseries V, and some early Star Wars novels. I confess I did not read…


Date a girl who reads.

I earned a +8 or +9 spousal bonus when I told my wife this little essay, by Rosemarie Urquico, made me think of her. It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand…


Self-Regulation: American Schools Are Failing Nonconformist Kids

For a while, we were part of a homeschool co-op, where the organizer — a parent to two darling girls who happily sat through lessons — would discipline fidgety boys like my Peter by withholding their recess breaks. During a group activity, I overheard another parent say “Peter, don’t work ahead.” We didn’t sign up for that co-op the next year. “We’ve been around for a couple hundred thousand years,…


Dear daughter, let Miley Cyrus be a lesson to you

I am intrigued by the possibility that Miley Cyrus’s alleged “performance” at VMA was intended as a criticism of the pro-date-rape sentiment of Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” but I suspect we’re just witnessing the latest celebrity breakdown. Here’s a mommyblogger who calls it as she sees it. Yes, this is what happens when you constantly hear everything you do is awesome. This is what happens when people fawn over your…


In Which The Geekiness of My Kids Surpasses My Own

A former student of mine who often wore a Star Trek VI T-shirt was trying to make an annoying person go away, so when he spoke to her, she said “Servant, attention!” in Goa’uld. When I paraphrased this story to my son, he immediately said, “Jaffa, kree!” Then he said something in Goa’uld that he translated as “You have come here to destroy me” (from the movie, he said). My…