Reading at the Halfway Point, or Why Reading is the Best Part of Summer

Though not a fast reader by any stretch of the imagination, I’m most definitely an avid reader. I always have at least one book going, and sometimes two or three.

It’s not uncommon to find people who love summer. They love being outside and don’t mind being hot, sweaty, swollen, and gross, I guess. Those are all of the reasons why I don’t like summer, by the way. I don’t tolerate heat well, and having anxiety means that I just frequently end up with my heart pounding, sweating even more than is normal for summer, and then I feel embarrassed and disgusting. Summer makes me feel really bad about myself.

Alas, this is not a post about any of that stuff, really, so allow me to now get to the point.

The one thing that has consistently always been a summer favorite of mine is reading. When I was a kid, we had this super old free-standing canvas hammock, and I would lie on that and read for hours in the sun. Later, when the hammock was gone, it was a chaise lounge chair where I sat to read in the yard. When it rained, I would plop down on the couch and read books while everyone else watched TV. Then I’d stay up late into the night reading with a flashlight under the covers.

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Dear Internal Editor: Shut Up, Shut Up, Shut Up, Shut Up

The inside of my brain is stuffed full of ideas. Thoughts, reactions, commentary, occasional witticisms. It’s piled high with boxes of topics I’d like to explore. Stacks of life I need to sort through. Hangups to shred. Anxiety to burn. … Continue reading

Theft By Finding: Diaries 1977-2002 by David Sedaris [Review]

Today I’m doing a little something different. The book review part isn’t different; I’ve reviewed a number of books here before (although, not for quite some time). Upon finishing this particular book at 12:30 a.m., I slept on it, and then I spent a good deal of time writing a longer review on Goodreads than I normally do. I use Goodreads a lot because if I don’t write down some details of a book I just finished, I won’t remember it. I refer back to it a lot just to refresh my memory if someone says, “Have you read_____?” and I have, but I can’t remember a damn thing about it because it was so long ago. I had a lot of thoughts, and I’m sharing it here because when I started to read this book, a lot of people said, “Let me know how it is!” This is my review. Happy reading! Continue reading

No One Sings Like You Anymore

screenshot/YouTube: Black Hole Sun by Soundgarden

Do you ever get tired of growing up? I do. Mostly because I’m tired of waking up to find out that someone I admire has died. Or that our government isn’t a bad dream … but I digress.

There are levels to how we appreciate music — at least, in my mind there are. There’s the music that we like because it’s what our parents listened to when we were young and it reminds us of that time. There’s music that we liked in high school, music that we liked in college and music we like as adults. But there’s a special place for the music that we discovered in the years when we were first cultivating our own tastes apart from the stuff our parents listened to.

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An Open Letter to PA Senator Pat Toomey, RE: Betsy DeVos

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Below is a letter that I sent to Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey today following not only his disappointing vote to confirm Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education despite how almost laughably unqualified she is, but also for his extremely disappointing treatment of his constituency in recent weeks. 

This letter has been slightly edited to protect personal information. I am going to also openly state that I am not interested in and will not approve comments attacking me for my beliefs. Education should not be political. Education is about doing the right thing. I will not host political battles here. Continue reading

How to Save Links on Facebook For Later (and Find Them Again)

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There are two types of people on Facebook: people who see a whole bunch of things in their feeds that they love and want to come back to later, so they share all of them… and people who are scrolling along, noticing that one of their friends has shared 12 Tasty videos in a row.

To be clear, I’m not share-shaming. I’m too heavy of a Facebook user to do that. But there is a seriously underutilized Facebook feature that I want to talk about that allows you to save all the links, videos, pictures, events, cat memes, etc., that your heart desires without putting 40 new posts into your followers’ feeds at once by going on a share-spree. This feature is a little bit hidden, but gives you the ability to bookmark items within Facebook (not just links, but virtually anything on FB – videos, pictures, events, etc.).

I know there are people who only share so much because they want to be able to find that stuff later (I know this because when they share, the write stuff like “saving this to come back to it” and “sharing so I can find this later”). Hopefully knowing about this feature will help you to never again spend 20 minutes scrolling through your feed trying to find that recipe or article you shared three weeks ago.

And best of all, this feature is as easy to use on the mobile app as it is on the desktop version of Facebook. You can save items from your friends as well as from public pages.  Continue reading

7 or 16 Years Later: Celebrating a Blogiversary

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7 years ago this month (January 7, to be exact), I hit publish on my first post on this blog. Since then (and 2 MacBooks ago), I’ve published nearly 160 posts. The most popular is my post about Stephen King’s novel 11/22/63. It gets hits every single day (and last I checked, was ranking right below King’s site for the term “Jimla”). The second most popular and the one that’s received the highest response is my post about the ensuing identity crisis when my college completely rebranded itself away from all my fond memories.

Admittedly, in the early days and years, I published a lot more frequently than I do now. It used to be at least once a week. Now I only get to publish a handful of posts each year, but with good reason. Just as my blog has undergone numerous changes in the last 7 years (different themes, different focuses, different looks), so have I. While I don’t write a whole lot about the details of my personal life here, the big picture still tells my story.

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