The way the wheel works

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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.

-n.

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it’s cold outside today

and I’ve been reading The History of Love

and this is how I feel

“Writers don’t make any money at all. We make about a dollar. It is terrible. But then again we don’t work either. We sit around in our underwear until noon then go downstairs and make coffee, fry some eggs, read the paper, read part of a book, smell the book, wonder if perhaps we ourselves should work on our book, smell the book again, throw the book across the room because we are quite jealous that any other person wrote a book, feel terribly guilty about throwing the schmuck’s book across the room because we secretly wonder if God in heaven noticed our evil jealousy, or worse, our laziness. We then lie across the couch facedown and mumble to God to forgive us because we are secretly afraid He is going to dry up all our words because we envied another man’s stupid words. And for this, as I said, we are paid a dollar. We are worth so much more.”

-Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality 

I am supposed to write about the cars I’ve owned. Or maybe begin this short story I’ve been mulling over for a few days. But my toes are cold. And the words of The History of Love keep making me jealous. And my eyelids feel heavy.

Sic biscuitus disintegratum.

a shadowy game

Sherlock Holmes, A Game of Shadows

I’ve never been great at riddles. Though I think I’ve mentioned before that I used to race my dad when we watched crime dramas or movies built on mysteries and twists. The past few years I’ve been pleased when a movie manages to trick me, to keep me on tenterhooks so to speak. But if you give me one of those “How is a raven like a writing desk?” riddles I just sit back and wait for someone else to answer them.

I wouldn’t make a very good Sherlock Holmes.

Today I saw Mr. Ritchie’s newest installment to the legend created by Sir Conan Doyle and I just had to use this venue to gush about how enthralling I found the movie. I’m not a Holmes purist by any means, I haven’t read any of the novels featuring him as of yet. So, opinions being like belly buttons I realize that my endorsement leaves somethings to be desired.

And I’m not a movie critic. I could tell you the chase scene through a forest in Germany was one of the most beautiful scenes I’ve seen in film. I could tell you I absolutely love how Guy Ritchie translates Holmes and Watson’s adventures to the screen. And I quite enjoyed Mr. Stephen Fry as Mycroft Holmes.

It’s solid entertainment. And I mean that’s what most of us go to the movies for. Right? Brief transport to an alternate universe where nothing boring ever happens.

THE END ?

A Re-cap of the Beach Week

the three books I finished

At this point it may seem a little cruel to dwell on the fact that I spent last week on vacation. But I did want to give you guys a little update on some of the progress made. Plus, I’m sure you’ve all experienced that refreshing feeling you get from a week of doing pretty much nothing.

I finished three of the eight books I took with me (including Anna Karenina;well I took her with me, but I didn’t finish her). In order it was One Day, The Joy Luck Club, and The Book Thief. So, you’ll have those reviews to look forward to in the coming weeks.

I also got on a blogging frenzy and wrote posts halfway into next week. Which isn’t much further ahead than I normally am, but if you remember a couple weeks ago I was afraid I wouldn’t have anything interesting worth saying, and that little burst proved me wrong.

I also spent a lot of time interweb lurking. Thanks to my friend Catie I found Books of Adam. She said he’s her favourite blogger (which gives me something to work toward). I did however read his entire blog in one evening. There were a few other blogs I spent some time on. As well as making sure my Goodreads profile was up to date. And then there was that pesky beach I just had to spend some time on in effort to even out my ridiculous tan-lines.

The thing I’m perhaps the most stoked about was getting into Pottermore. People keep asking me what it is and I’m finding it difficult to describe. It’s best if you just watch J.K. explain it herself. Anyway, I will be a beta tester for the site and am anxiously awaiting the cyber equivalent of my Hogwarts Acceptance letter. (Sidenote: Lauren Gilmore, everytime I think about your plan with Chad to train an owl I bust up laughing).

Finally, Tuesday night last week we went to a show at my church called Jam Fest featuring my younger sister, her boyfriend’s band All I Am, and a friend of our’s band named I Surrender. It was a great little show. The kids all seemed to have a blast. And I felt like I was walking around like I was 16 again.

It was a good week. And now I’m glad to be home feeling refreshed and ready to go. The next couple of weeks will be exciting for me. I’m also participating (for the first time) in the twentysomethingbloggers Blog Swap. So that will be very cool.

Now, I’m gonna watch Wilfred and then head to work. Fingers crossed it doesn’t rain today…

A Decade Under the Influence

Alright, so, 2004 was a really big year for so much music. Like a REALLY big year. I felt like every other week a ten year anniversary tour of this or that album was coming through town and I was just feeling like a crazy person.

Earlier this month I was talking to a friend about his birthday and it hit me like a freight train that this January 1st when I celebrate turning 28 I will be 10 whole years away from my 18th birthday.

 

I dunno, man. There is A LOT about the last 10 years that I’m conflicted about. I recently did part of focusing strategy to figure out a theme word for 2015. I settled on “intent” pretty early on in the process. Because when I look back on the last 10 years I see large moments of my life where I was content to be swept up by circumstances, rather than making active decisions. Now, “God blessed the broken road” and all that. I’m not unhappy with where I am. But I think I’ve gained the perspective that I can be more intentional or “attentively occupied with” my life.

 

Some of my most favorite music came out between 2003 and 2005. As we head into 2015 I keep thinking of the punk rock kid that was me, trying to figure out what she wanted to be, and how she would ever convince anyone she was a grown up. Twenty-eight is freaking me out in the sense that I’m getting married 58 days after my birthday and we put a deposit down on a house today and I’m making Cash Flow reports (and finding that enjoyable). I keep taking these Zach Morris pauses in the middle of things and recognizing for a minute that adulthood is here. It’s here.

Thoughts on Turning 28

I have the birthday blues. I’ve been a sort of funk all day. Despite my best efforts to shake out of it I’m just feeling weird.

New Year’s is a weird day to have a birthday. This one feels especially like the true end of an era. There is now a decade spanning between my 18th birthday and this one. Ten years ago really great pop-punk music was coming out of central Florida, Fall Out Boy and Panic! at the Disco were just about to take the world by storm, I was heading into the second semester of my Senior year of high school. The world was spinning pretty well at the time. That kid and me, we’re almost entirely different people.

 

Her hair was just brushing her shoulders and mine almost reaches my waist. She wore size four jeans and I generally refuse to wear jeans. She wanted to be a youth pastor, thought that was her calling. I work with teenagers, and I still feel very strongly about marginalized youth, but I am wary of working in youth ministry now. She had yet to experience a panic attack or understand anxiety and I live most days working to recognize what might trigger me and preventing panic attacks from happening. Most importantly I think, she thought she was in love; I am about to get married and I think I have a better idea of what love is actually like at this point. 

We’re going to watch fireworks. We’ll be leaving soon to drive to the bay where we’ll watch the colors explode over the water. For now with this time to kill, Daniel taking a quick nap by my side, I’m trying to route out the source of my melancholy. I don’t want to walk into 2015 feeling this blah. But the words to Death Cab for Cutie’s song have just been repeating in my head all day today:

so this is the new year// and i don’t feel any different.

I read something heartbreaking today. At the end the blogger said something about this being an arbitrary date. A marker. I get to decide whether it means something or not.

So, this is the new year. Do you feel any different?

 

Red Velvet Cupcakes

I received a strange request from my boss a couple of weeks ago. An odd way to sort of showcase my encyclopedic random knowledge that I spout off whenever it seems relevant. She asked that I send out a “Fact of the Day” email to the rest of the leadership staff. My old supervisor used to send out thought for the day emails that were usually inspiring tidbits about working hard and accomplishing goals. The torch was passed to me. My boss has recently started saying, “I learn something new every time I talk to you.”

I’ve always collected bizarre pieces of knowledge and stored them away for later when they may become relevant. The particular moment in question had something to do with Red Velvet Cupcakes. I changed everyone’s world when I said that RV Cupcakes are really just red chocolate (which may be an oversimplification… oh well).

The thing is, my knowledge is referential. I absorb new knowledge quickly (unless it’s mathematical) and then quickly spit it right back out when an opportunity arises. I’m not always correct. I, too, bought into the idea that lovebugs were genetically engineered by scientists at UF. But that’s not true.

This new responsibility has me a little flustered. I started with facts that I already knew from prior reading or research. But I’m having trouble developing themes for facts that I find interesting to share with my co-workers. Do you think it’s cheating if I decided on themes and then look up things about that theme to share with everyone? I’m inclined to say no, because otherwise it appears that I’m saying I already know everything there is to know in the world and that IS NOT what I am about. This will be an interesting new thing to add to my weekly duties. But I’m up for the challenge. #thelifeofaknowitall