My parents live on unincorporated land, but the nearby city may decide to annex it. Only people who live in the city will get to vote on annexation. And with "exurbs" more and more place are annexed that really have no business being part of a city or town. » 7/20/14 11:03pm Sunday 11:03pm

I'm not here to argue that anyone who is unsure of having children should have them. (My three best female friends don't want kids and I have never, ever said a word about their decisions. Not about to start with internet strangers.) But this sounds like a case of bad news burnout. May I suggest the following… » 7/18/14 9:49am Friday 9:49am

Having gone to screenwriting school (on the same floor where they kept the film students), let me just say that there is a reason for #15. It seemed like everyone actually had Daddy Issues. (And influence anxiety, which is just another form of Daddy Issues.) As someone who gets along with my dad, I found a lot of… » 7/17/14 6:34pm Thursday 6:34pm

My middle school library had a complete set of Heinlein's "juveniles" (aka YA novels). To me they are still the ur-texts of YA sci-fi (the ending of Podkayne of Mars notwithstanding). It's a funny personal quirk that come up a lot in my book reviews (Heinleinesque is a compliment, gosh darn-it!), but most people I… » 7/14/14 8:07am 7/14/14 8:07am

They're saying the summer cold spell next week could drop nighttime lows into the forties and fifties. The baby spiders might not make it through July. And that's if mama can handle traffic and NYC rats (tarantulas are not known for being good in traffic). » 7/11/14 11:45pm 7/11/14 11:45pm

If it's in the mornings you could try a checklist: Giving them control over their things can help. If they're ready to go, but just dawdle, set a kitchen timer to go off so they know they have to leave now. » 7/11/14 8:30pm 7/11/14 8:30pm

Garbage can or specially placed bowl by bedside for those with flu. Sink or bathtub in emergency / can't get to toilet in time. But that's about it. (I work with kids — I'm happy if other people's vomit doesn't get on my face/in my hair. Kids really lower your standards.) » 7/11/14 10:52pm 7/11/14 10:52pm

Scale seems to be difficult all over Arizona (and the non-tree part of the West) for non-natives. My great-grandma worked at a hotel on the railroad in Southern AZ. One of her stories that's still told is of an easterner who went for a several hour long walk and missed dinner. When he finally got back, he said… » 7/11/14 4:34am 7/11/14 4:34am

I really don't know any more, but when I was a kid (mid-1980s) I remember getting my final school vaccines at the county health department. We had health insurance, but my parents were school teachers with pretty crappy insurance (which mostly had to cover my terrible vision, my sister's teeth and my brother's rather… » 7/04/14 11:46pm 7/04/14 11:46pm

I'm a heterosexual girl and I knew I was into boys by the time I was three. (I happen to be one of those people who remember quite a bit from their early childhood.) I imagine if I'd been gay I'd have known by the time I was three also. » 6/29/14 9:16am 6/29/14 9:16am

The same things people said about novels. The Female Quixote is actually a very early novel that was also a parody of this fear. A girl who read to many "French novels" thinks they are historically accurate and tries very hard to make her life live up to this slightly delusional version of reality. It nearly kills… » 6/26/14 5:30pm 6/26/14 5:30pm

When your grandfather wrote for The Andy Griffith Show, Donna Reed, The Dick van Dyke Show and Leave it to Beaver and your dad wrote for Captain Kangaroo, The Muppets, The Electric Company, Benson, Alice and The Golden Girls and you want to be a writer and everybody in Hollywood kind of thinks (just a little) that… » 6/26/14 5:10pm 6/26/14 5:10pm