The way the wheel works

Ferris Wheel in Ybor, December 2012

I took this picture almost four years ago. There was a little pop up carnival across from The Bricks and I was mesmerized by the whimsy. I’m sitting here in August of 2016 at a point in my life where a plan I’ve spent the last four years on has been de-railed. And I thought of the song Wheel by John Mayer. And this picture.

My life is turning back around on itself. In some of the new things I’m pursuing my writing, reviewing books, and general blogging has popped back up as an outlet for an aspect of my personality I’ve spent the better part of the last four years suppressing. And now we’re back. I’m waving to my 2011 and 2012 self as I re-read some of those old entries. And I’m waving at myself now as I plan the next few weeks of blog entries. I hope you’ll join me as I review what I’ve been reading and other topics of interest. I will likely be very rusty. But I promise to show up and write.



The Love of History

My favorite subject in school was History. My senior year during an afternoon of taking notes about the Holocaust my teacher let loose the following anecdote and it further cemented her as my favorite teacher and History as my favorite thing to study.

She paused in the midst of her notes and said something to the effect of, “You know everyone talks about how awesome Winston Churchill was. And he was a great man. But he also smoked like a chimney and drank like a fish. And when he found out that Hitler was dead and they were going to be able to claim victory over Germany, Churchill got in his car, drove over (some bridge between wherever he was commanding and the enemy line), pissed on enemy soil, got back in his car and went back to HQ.” Continue reading “The Love of History”

Vivid Verbosity

Also titled Summer Reading – The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

  I first became conscious of The Book Thief‘s existence in the last Border’s near me. Jenna and I had made the trek to St. Pete in effort to find a Paperchase journal suitable for holding the next year of my life and Border’s was the only place to purvey these particular journals. Alas, we trekked in vain and found, much to my dismay, that whomever is in charge of graphic design for Paperchase’s journals is now heavily influenced by 12 year olds and neon color combinations.

  Anyway, Jenna said something about it supposedly being a good book. Then my friend The Scholastic Mind suggested it to me. I figured the fates were conspiring or something and added it to my Library Hold List. It joined the stack of books that went with me to vacation. Truth be told I actually finished The Book Thief back in Riverview (but it was Sunday night so it still counted as vacation). I looked at the first page on Amazon before I requested it at the library and was immediately hooked.

  Here’s the opening: Continue reading “Vivid Verbosity”

Just What I Needed

Ira Glass on Storytelling from David Shiyang Liu on Vimeo.

  I really love me some Ira Glass. This American Life is one of the coolest things that Pam ever introduced me to. I love hearing the stories (in some cases watching them) and Ira’s voice is so unique I feel like it’s quite the experience.

  Yesterday I was wasting time, procrastinating in the blog post I was trying to write. This week I’ve sort of felt like I was in a slump with the writing. Just lagging on motivation to write even though I’ve had the week planned out for awhile now. Then I find this video.

  I’m a big fan of typography. So I watch it and I’m annoyed  floored frustrated challenged. That’s it, challenged. Ira Glass is telling me that I might be terrible, but it’s okay because I have plenty of time to practice. It reminded me of this list that I copied into the front of my journal. Continue reading “Just What I Needed”

Not a Review

Not a Review

In 2003, Donald Miller gave us BLUE LIKE JAZZ: non-religious thoughts on Christian spirituality. As the book gained momentum, the process of turning it into a screenplay began. However, in 2010, the film was put on hold indefinitely due to a lack of funding. Fortunately, the people spoke. A campaign was launched called Save Blue Like Jazz. In less than 30 days, $345,992 was raised, effectively putting BLUE LIKE JAZZ THE MOVIE into production. It takes more than one person to tell a good story… in this case it took 4495.

Tuesday, September 30th at 3 pm I was at Enzian Theatre to see a rough cut screening of Blue Like Jazz The Movie. My friend Lauren was gracious enough to ride along in my air-condition-less car as we trekked across the state and braved a pretty evil looking storm.

When we arrived I felt like I was walking into hipster haven. The theatre is set in the middle of Winter Park (somewhere I’d like to live at some point). It was a fairly small crowd. Cameron Strang and Jamie Tworkowski, the founders of RELEVANT magazine and To Write Love on Her Arms respectively, were there. Steve Taylor and Don Miller introduced the movie and made us promise not to write any reviews about the movie yet.

So, I can’t write a review. And I don’t know when the movie is supposed to be released. But I do know this: when it does come out I’m going to drag each and every one of you to see it. Because I was part of that 4,495 people who believed in the story and who believed in the movie. I believe that sometimes we lose sight of where our stories are going and what role God plays in our story. I believe that sometimes all it takes is someone reminding you of the correct perspective.

If you haven’t read it, or it’s been awhile, grab a copy of Blue Like Jazz and then grab A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. The latter is one of those books that forces a change of perspective upon you.

Summer Reading – Water for Elephants

Water for Elephants
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

First of all, I didn’t read the one with this cover. Because I think it’s a bit too distracting. I think my motivation for reading it is a bit obvious. Though I was too late to see the movie in theatre and per my last google search far too early to see it on DVD. However, there’s a reason that the circus idea appealed to me.

I went to the circus for the first time that I really remember when I was about 14 (the things that I’m fuzzy on recollection-wise get punted into this year for some reason). Camille and I went to the circus at the Ice Palace with some friends of the family that at the time had two small girls. Camille left with one of those collapsible light-saber type toys that had a tiger head on the handle. I’m sure I got something, but I have no idea what it was. I remember thinking it smelled sort of funny and I wasn’t terribly impressed. It could have been my brief sulky teenager phase. I don’t know. But there’s something about the circus, huh? Continue reading “Summer Reading – Water for Elephants”

Summer Reading – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

This movie is almost three hours long. It was inspired by this quarter size, 52-page short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Creative License, for the win.

If you click here it takes you to a site where you can read the short story. It shouldn’t take you very long… I endorse it.

One Summer afternoon, worried that I would run out of interesting things to read and review and thus lose any sort of blog fodder I had developed I panicked and visited The Hillsborough County Public Library website and searched away until I ended up with about 80 books (or 9) that I’ve been lugging around for the better part of two months. I picked some doozies that I’m not very interested in but I thought might be impressive. Continue reading “Summer Reading – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”