Category Archives: Fiction

Ray Bradbury – Dandelion Wine – Book Review

Dandelion_wine

It’s fitting that I managed not to realize Ray Bradbury was dead until finishing Dandelion Wine for the first time the other night. Fitting because this gorgeous web of stories is about a boy who realizes he’s alive for the first time in the summer of 1928, only to realize that because of this great gift, we all must die.

Dandelion Wine exposes the fantastic possibility contained in “ordinary” life and transports you to another time and place. It’ll pull up ghosts from summers past and inspire something new in you at the same time. Whether you know Bradbury or not, his words have shaped corners of the world you live in and will continue to do so long after his death—and yours.

If you’re alive, it’s a must-read.

The summer opens with two young boys collecting grapes and berries in the woods with their father. They have tin pails and Douglas, the older of the two brothers, feels a looming presence in the woods. Something big. A primeval force coming toward him.

While his brother, Tom, is seemingly distracting Douglas from what’s approaching, they get into a fight and Douglas gets blindsided by the mysterious force—both of them ending up on the ground.

“And at last, slowly, afraid he would find nothing, Douglas opened one eye.

The world, like a great iris of an even more gigantic eye, which has also just opened and stretched out to encompass everything, stared back at him.

And he knew what it was that had leaped upon him to stay and would not run away now.

I’m alive, he thought.”

From there, the summer expands into a delicate fullness that runs away when you try to grab on to it. Fireflies and happiness machines, lost friends and deaths, soulmates, love, and ice cream—Bradbury leaves no stone unturned. Like life, his fantastic summer is captivated by the exquisite dance of tragedy and joy. The ebb and flow of what it is to be alive in all of the brightness and shadow in the world.

This book is a playful reminder to be present with the luminous beauty hiding in plain sight. It’s all around you—even in the darkness.

 

Japanese Ice Wall Wakes Godzilla & Michael Phelps Saves Mothra—2020 Olympics Best Ever

godzilla

After allowing TEPCO to let radiation pour into the earth and ocean for 2 years, the Japanese government finally spent 470 million dollars to create a subterranean ice wall to contain the nuclear disaster.  The effort, an obvious ploy to ensure the International Olympic Committee selects Tokyo as the host for the 2020 Olympics, worked.

Seven years later…

Michael Phelps carries the torch up the stairs in Tokyo to light the cauldron as a whaling ship suddenly falls from the sky, crushing dozens of well-oiled Olympians and sending the stadium into panic.  Air raid sirens wind up as a piercing roar rises above the sound of stampeding fans.  A beam of blue energy disintegrates half of the stadium and  in the remaining seats of the structure,  a few thousand fans who are too busy instagramming the action are able to capture Mckayla Maroney not being impressed as those two miniature ladies summon Mothra to help.

Godzilla continues to swat planes from the sky like flies and melts tanks, rocket launchers, and heavy machine guns with atomic breath as it gleefully hucks pieces of the Olympic National Stadium into the surrounding area of Tokyo.  It’s starting to look real bad for Tokyo when Mothra Swoops in with Michael Phelps riding on her back.  She rams Godzilla, knocking him into what remains of the stadium and finishing off all but a few people who are running around trying to capture the best Vines.

The great beast lifts itself from the ground and blasts Mothra with atomic breath, stopping her heart and sending her crashing into the ground. Phelps dives into the open wound and swims to her heart. He rams himself into it repeatedly until it starts back up and sucks him inside of it. He drowns in the blood of a great one as Mothra summons a divine bolt of lightning that mortally wounds Godzilla and sends him back to the sea.

The little fairies sing some strange-ass song about Mothra as she flies away into the sunset and the internet gapes in horror at what can happen when Japan tries to put an expensive band-aid on one of the biggest nuclear power disasters in the history of the world.