Big Ricky

When I was in fifth grade, my school bus driver gave me my first-ever cassette tape: Van Halen’s 1984. I don’t know what prompted him to do it. Big Ricky* was a heavyset black man who never got mad and always had a smile for even the worst-behaved kids on the bus. Maybe he looked … Continue reading Big Ricky

Missing the mark

When I was in college, I signed up for an archery class. It was the last half of the last semester of my senior year, and I needed one PE credit to graduate. I picked archery because, honestly, it seemed like the phys ed class with least amount of actual physical exertion. To my surprise, … Continue reading Missing the mark

Summer break

Today was the last day of school. It feels a little anticlimactic: the kids still had online lessons to complete, classwork to turn in. My older son graduated from 5th grade a week ago with a car parade past the school, 24 teachers and staff members (the maximum allowed) standing a careful six feet apart … Continue reading Summer break

Sijak

Last week, I was sparring a black belt in Taekwon-do. Let me first say, sparring is the thing I find most intimidating about the sport. I like practicing forms, I like breaking boards and kicking bags, but facing another person? A person who is unpredictable and fast and (presumably) kind and not actually intending me … Continue reading Sijak

Have yourself a merry little everything

The best Christmas song out there is Brenda Lee's I'm Gonna Lasso Santa Claus, and I know just why, because: This song is a social justice anthem. Think about: it's pretty much impossible to escape Christmas music around the holidays, whether or not you celebrate. From old classics like The Christmas Song to newer ones—Mariah … Continue reading Have yourself a merry little everything