Showing posts from May, 2015

Saturday Serial: Captain America #14

Funny thing about time. It keeps passing.

I did buy Tommy another ring, if anyone is wondering. The package turned up on his birthday -- completely by accident, I don't think I could have arranged that if I'd been trying. Unbeknownst to me, Tommy has lately decided to go spot-checking that all of the ragamuffins he's adopted over the years really want to be in his motley band of misfits. It is a peculiar mix of satisfaction and relief to be able to answer, 'do you want to be here as much as I want you here?' with an unambiguous 'yes'. Doubly so if you weren't yet aware the question was on the table. I assume most people get to do sentimental stuff like this with their family, but as I have no relatives worth speaking of, it's pretty rare for me.

It occurs to me that there is no one in my mother's life, unrelated to her by blood or marriage, who has stuck around this long. So far as I know, no one's wanted to. There is probably a reason for t…

Monday Mystery: The Wreck of the Sunset Limited

I've been reading about train disasters lately, mostly because the Northeast Regional recently plotzed itself in Philadelphia. I've been on that train, although not on that segment of track. Excessive speed is a new one on me; my experience has been more one of crap wifi service and grinding to a halt in the middle of rural Connecticut while the engineer gets on the PA and helpfully explains that they have no idea what's wrong with the train.

"Driver forgot to brake" is much less exciting than "sabotage", which is what happened to the Sunset Limited in 1995. News stories from outside Arizona tend to characterize the wreck as happening 'near Phoenix', but that's because outsiders think that Phoenix and the Grand Canyon are the only notable things in the entire state. They're not all that far wrong, but the 1995 derailment actually happened down near Yuma, which is in the lower left-hand corner, in the general direction of California:


Saturday Serial: Captain America #13


Saturday Serial: Captain America #12

Once upon a time, I gave Tommy a ring.

He was eighteen and about to move away to college; I was seventeen and about to be left behind. It seemed like the sort of life event for which one might reasonably give mementos. Also the sort of life event that would enable the recipient to avoid one for the rest of his life, if it turned out that one was bonkers and really shouldn't have done that.

This was terrifying. I did not have a good track record with sentimental gift-giving. Affection was weaponized in my house; there was the obvious Pavlovian conditioning in effect, and also the sort of profound narcissism that led my 'loving' parents to more or less ignore whatever I did unless it suited them to pay attention.

In grade school, I once gave another girl the other half of those matched-set "best friend" necklaces. She looked at it rather skeptically, awkwardly said thanks, and I never saw it again. Important lesson here: If your parents have to tell you that you…

Saturday Serial: Captain America #11


Monday Mystery: Murder on the Métro

In the spring of 1937, a young Frenchwoman in a green suit boarded a train at la Porte de Charenton, headed into Paris. She was the only passenger in the first-class carriage when the train departed at 6:26 pm.

The lady in the green suit was found a minute later, at the next station, a 9" dagger buried in her neck. She died en route to the hospital. She had never named her killer.

The case of Laetitia Toureaux is a quintessential locked-room mystery: She was alone when she boarded the train, and alone when she was found, and yet in between stops someone else had apparently entered her isolated car and committed a brutal murder.

There does not appear to have been much of an investigation, or at least not much of a competent one. The inspector in charge had a temper and was furious when he found a young gendarme pawing stuff at the scene with his bare hands, destroying fingerprints willy-nilly. He did manage to stop everyone before they got their mitts all over the victim's han…

Saturday Serial: Captain America #10