If you feel like my comics have become more tightly themed around self-confident resistance lately, you are not wrong.

In other news, we are in Seattle spending time with family and friends, and it’s lovely. Yesterday afternoon we saw the new production of The Nutcracker at the Pacific Northwest Ballet, and it was, um, fine.

(Honesty: given my propensity for nostalgia I cannot be called upon to give an honest review; I was deeply affronted that they mothballed the beloved older version which was choreographed by a PNB director and designed by MAURICE SENDAK.

But I do, even in trying to be honest, think the old version did a much better job creating a coherent storyline, and appealing to what is great, mysterious, haunting, inspiring, and sometimes  a little bit scary about being a child. It was about childhood, but for everyone; the new version is really just for children. I missed the old peacock dance, which was always my favorite; I missed the musicality and charm of the old choreography in general, which in my opinion paid more attention to the character of the music – yes, I’m coming at Balanchine here; I realize I have no dance chops, it’s just how I feel! – and I missed the old growing tree which was engineered by Boeing, not just pulled up by a string.

There were nice things: the set design was often pretty even if I found the color schemes bizarre (puce and tangerine?). The dance of the flowers was actually great, and the Sugarplum fairy brought some actual grace and attitude to her dancing. But Clara was a weird child bride, and I cried at the end as the music swelled over what should have been her abandonment in the enchanted land, and then awakening from a nightmare. But see, yes, I cannot be trusted to exceed my nostalgia at all, at all.)

Anyway, let’s all read a lot of books and write a lot of books and hug some dogs and babies and be absolutely as kind to one another as we can.