Get smart

Or get stuck in traffic trying

Tomorrow, Trump is holding a rally one mile from my daughter Nadia’s school. Everyone is in panic mode. Will traffic be a nightmare? Do Trump’s supporters pose a risk to the students and staff? Why does Trump even need to hold a rally months after he won the election?

Busineses in the area are closing early, but the school district has decided to stay the course, which is admirable. I mean, Trump is the one who sucks – why should students have to miss out on a day of learning just because he wants to rile up his base?

At best, she’ll have a normal day of classes, with a longer than average commute. At worst, traffic will be a horror show the likes of which has never been seen. But, hey, at least I’ll be driving away from the madness when I pick Nadia up from school.

Hot takes: Game of Thrones

Do the writers know there are only six episodes left?

I don’t think I can muster the enthusiasm to write whole paragraphs about this show any more. As predicted, none of the major players in the Fellowship of Expendable Characters bit the dust. And Dany continues to illustrate why she’s the last person who should sit on the Iron Throne. Other thoughts:

  • Knowing that the Dorne plot goes absolutely nowhere is going to make reading those sections of the next book (which we’re never getting) really painful.
  • Well I guess The Wall is pretty useless, seeing as how Dany’s recklessness gave the Night King a freaking dragon, which, you know can fly.
  • Speaking of which – was there ever any doubt that Jon was going to survive those seemingly insurmountable odds against the Night King’s army? He’s fire. Dany’s ice. They’re basically the show’s end game.
  • Continuing on that note, the show’s increasing reliance on deus ex machina is draining the suspense from what should be tense moments. But as the cast gets leaner, they really can’t afford to lose people.
  • Sansa sent Brienne away to plant a trap for Littlefinger, right? I mean, dude is up against a trained assassin, a Three-Eyed Raven and, um, Sansa. He’s going to lose.
  • I am enjoying The Hound’s redemption arc and am cautiously optimistic that Jaime will continue to not be stupid.

Rowan, the littlest Mirza

Parenting on (somewhat) easy mode

From the moment I first met Rowan Eloise – First of Her Name, Second in Line to the Throne of Mizaros, the Twice-Napped, the Always Soiled and, most importantly, the Self Soother – I knew she was going to be an easy baby. Nadia, our oldest daughter, screamed  bloody murder during her first and only night in the hospital. Then, she repeated the act at home. It took so many months for her to sleep through the night that, when she finally did, we woke up terrified that something had happened to her. Continue reading

Palm trees

Palm trees

A requiem in 17 syllables

You crowded our yard

and put roots in our plumbing.

Rest in pieces, bros.

Brick and murder

running store

Navigating the modern running store

I can’t remember when I bought my last pair of Brooks Adrenaline GTS running shoes, or what number was tacked on to the end of what already seems like the name of precision sports car. But I can tell you when I realized that their soles had given out.  Continue reading

New shoes


Because I ran the old ones into the ground (literally)

Pebble in my arch –
Where did all that rubber go?
A chance barefoot run.

Decoding the language of alt-right racists in America


A primer for the rest of us

In the wake of violence perpetrated by the alt-right movement, I’ve decided to re-evaluate not only my role as a writer but also what I’m choosing to do with the platform I’ve built for myself. That means I’m breaking the coda that guided the 100 posts I wrote on Medium over the course of 100 days: no politics.

The turning point for me wasn’t the death of an innocent woman, or the fact that a bunch of angry Nazis marched through Charlottesville carrying tiki torches. Nah, it was a Tweet. From The Onion. Continue reading

Game of Thrones, “Eastwatch”

They remembered to save something for the finale

After a breathless four episodes, it seems the folks in the writers’ room over at HBO figured out that they have to give all the people who cancel HBO Now after Game of Thrones wraps up for the season a reason to renew their accounts when the show comes back. So basically this episode was just one big setup for an epic finale.

Which is fine. We did get the long-awaited Tyrion/Jaime reunion, and all the emotional baggage that comes with it. There’s some great acting there between Peter Dinklage and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (whose name I will never not have to Google). Of course for all the effect the revelations of that conversation had on Jaime, Cersei dismisses Tyrion’s offer, and the news that he didn’t kill Joffrey, with just a smirk and gritted teeth. Continue reading

Dead Cross @ Marquee Theatre

Three bands and a (punk) baby

I dig Mike Patton’s work ethic. He’s been in like 100 bands, but people mainly know him from his work in Faith No More, since it’s the project that sold the most records, got air time on MTV and sounds radio-friendly (some of the time). But he never stopped making the rounds.

When I heard he was doing a hardcore punk thing Dave Lombardo from Slayer and a couple of maniacs from The Locust (a band known to perform in nothing but diapers and gas masks) and Retox (which rose from the ashes of The Locust), I was more than intrigued. I pre-ordered the album without even thinking about it. And, then, when I heard they were coming to Tempe, I bought tickets just as fast. Continue reading