An Open Letter to Nancy Pelosi

Dear Ms. Pelosi,

We don’t know each other, but apparently you have my email address and feel comfortable using it to ask me for money. I have some thoughts on your most recent request. But first, let’s take a look at it:

I am not — nor have I ever been — a registered Democrat. Nor am I a registered Republican. I suppose I’m one of those sought-after “independent voters” we hear so much about quadrennially.1 However, for the past several cycles, I’ve been pretty reliably in the Democratic corner, mostly because the alternatives are — I won’t mince words — typically insane.

But let’s talk, shall we? [Read more…]



  1. My reasons for being so are steeped in history — 1990, to be exact. Let’s just skip it for now.

2016: The (Lyga) Year in Review

Last year around this time, I saw that Holly Black had posted a Year in Review on her blog. On my podcast, I lamented that I hadn’t thought to do the same, and resolved to give it a shot.

So of course, I decided to do my first Year in Review post at the end of what may be the lousiest year in my lifetime, with the promise of more bad yet to come.

Oh, well.

Personal

In my personal life, it was a year of upheaval and complexity, but ultimately one of great joy. [Read more…]

Recommended Reading 2016

Every year, I take a moment to post some books I read over the past twelve months that I think you should consider. This was a crazy-busy year for me, so I didn’t get a lot of reading done, but here is this year’s crop of recommended titles:

  • The Wild Robot by Peter Brown
  • Uprooted by Naomi Novik
  • When Friendship Followed Me Home by Paul Griffin
  • Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen

People as Apps

My daughter’s speaking vocabulary is still limited to toddler-ese, but one thing she can definitely say is Call Gramma.

She usually does this while pointing at my iPad or my phone. She doesn’t actually mean to make a phone call — she wants to FaceTime, but while she understands the word FaceTime, she can’t say it. Hence, call Gramma.

She says the same to my wife for her other grandmother. She’s enjoyed FaceTiming them both since very early in her life, and now she has the ability to demand it. Once presented with the iGadget in question, she can even navigate to FaceTime and tap on the right contact in the list.

But I realized something the other day that made this adorable tendency a little…odd.

I think my kid thinks her grandmothers are apps.

No, really!

She says “call Gramma” and we do, and then after a few seconds, she wanders off, occasionally stopping by to peer at the screen and giggle. And then, after I’ve signed off, she’ll stroll back over, look at me, and say, “Call Gramma.”

Unlike a couple of months ago, she doesn’t summon forth her grandmothers so that she can interact with them. She just conjures them to the screen, giggles at them, and then goes about her business. And that conjuring part can happen over and over!

She doesn’t understand wi-fi, video calling, networking, or even distance. All she knows is this: When she wants to see Elmo, she taps on an icon and he’s there. When she wants to drop shapes into holes in her favorite game, she taps on an icon and it’s there.

And when she wants to see a grandmother…

She taps on an icon…

There’s no need to engage, then. No need to “stay on the line”1 because there’s always another tap. “Call Gramma,” run around and play, “call Gramma” again, run around some more, “call Gramma…” Lather, rinse, repeat.

Don’t worry — this isn’t a post in which I rail against the demons of technology. My daughter will realize soon enough that her grandmothers don’t live inside the iPad, always waiting, always ready to heed the call of her persistent, tiny finger taps. In the meantime, it’s sort of hilarious to watch, as she invokes the holy tap-tap-tap and delights herself with her grandmothers, over and over and over again.



  1. Oh, man, how old does that make me sound?

How it Happened: I Hunt Killers

I Hunt Killers mass market paperback

This one’s easy. I’ve already written about it!

Check out this piece I wrote for Mulholland Drive a few years back. It’s basically got the story down pat, though in looking at it now, a couple of details (mostly about timing) are off. No big deal, though.