Marcie naps blissfully across my lap, her breaths coming through long, measured gaps. Gomez pads through the hallway, stepping softly so as not to stir his eager pursuer. The French press is still 2/3 full, and the coffee is just the right temperature. Ashley slowly stirs, the bed creaking under her soft movements, Sirius no doubt curled up at her feet. The book on my knee summons up bright, beautiful images set against one of the darkest backdrops imaginable. 

And for all that I lament not having kept a regular paper journal through the years, I remember little entries like this – on blogs, in a multitude of unfinished notebooks, on slips of paper – fragments of me scattered through space, that if collected, reveal more through the blank spaces in between than the records collected. The empty pages of the journal – my decision for an alternative ending ; the onset of a new notebook or blog signaling a new interest; and the “this time I’ll write more consistently” entries, the manifestation of inspiration, captured through pen strokes where a picture would ultimately fail. 

The chaise of the couch is stained with trails of Marcie’s fevered snacking, where the rest of the couch cushions have already been washed. Unfinished tasks. The breath beyond the credits. The next step after the last page has been turned. This couch is a thread of infinity. 


Alright, so I’ve got this bag of old t-shirts that I just CAN’T say goodbye to, including a classic Atmosphere godlovesugly shirt (the one on the left). People have made quilts out of old shirts, but I’m looking to do something a little different. I think I might have just found my solution.

Instructables – Expoxy vs. T-shirt.

More later, hopefully.


15 years.
15 years ago I was finishing my first semester of undergrad. 15 years ago I was diving very deeply into subjects that would shape how I view the world and bring me untold fulfillment. 15 years ago I was just barely re-kindling a love for reading that had survived as the dimmest of embers. But something even more significant was happening.
15 years ago I reconnected with Dante de Leon and Mario Moonboots after a couple of turbulent high school years (well, it was the summer prior), and I read The Lord of the Rings for the first time.
I couldn’t finish Fellowship in time for the film’s release (15 years ago today), but was able to finish the others shortly thereafter. Trailers had sparked my curiosity and prompted me to dive into a series I had only ever wondered about when I was younger. One trailer in particular – the one that focused on the scene with the Ring Wraith nearly catching the hobbits within the hollow created by the roots of a tree – captured my imagination so completely that I bolted to the closest Barnes & Noble I could find.
Perhaps most memorable for me was the midnight release of the film. I was introduced to Slipknot on the car ride there, and alongside my brothers Mario and Dante I witnessed the beginning of a beautifully interpreted film trilogy. The surge of energy coursing through me upon leaving the theatre was electric, and I was unable to fall asleep. My shift at the Bagel Express would begin within hours anyway, so they stayed awake with me until I had to leave. I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything in the world.
Reading the books was equally memorable, as I would make it a point to immerse my every sense in the world of Tolkien, reading the nighttime scenes after dark, and usually by candlelight. As much I wanted to abandon all other activities and focus on the story, I patiently waited to set the ambiance, sometimes even taking the novels into Kendall Indian Hammocks Park to simulate walking around with the fellowship. I don’t think I can say enough about how much these novels and films inspired me, and I’m always happy to share a conversation about them over a delicious spread of cheeses, olives, breads, and other finger foods, and of course accompanied by a delicious red wine or a fine pint of ale.
And now, to bring it full circle, my intelligent, beautiful, creative wife Ashley had “One ring to bind them” inscribed within my wedding ring. Perfection.
#thelordoftherings #thefellowshipoftherings #15years #fellowship15

What an AMAZING day. I met many librarians that exemplify why we are essential to schools, especially in the exciting ways we use our many skills on a regular basis in innovative ways. Be prepared to help support my efforts to advocate for libraries and education in general once the wedding is finished and I’m married to the love of my life. 

Here are a few of the takeaways:

1. Got to meet Kwame Alexander and Laurie Halse Anderson. 

2. They both spoke beautifully, and Laurie discussed race, including white privilege, candidly, saying: “They aren’t frightened of the topics… but of their own inadequacy in addressing that fear.” (About people afraid to discuss race). 


“We can only be who we are. That’s why we turn to diverse books – to expand ourselves.” 

3. Learned A LOT and was inspired by other librarians proving that we are VITAL to schools. 

4. Got to spend some time with my fabulous PLC mates, especially my middle school crew. It’s always great to spend time together, and it’s obvious that we’re building a strong group of dedicated, creative innovators. Be prepared. 

5. Same idea, different note – the downtime was equally special. I got to learn about my middle school PLC mates on personal levels, something that’s always hard to squeeze in. 

6. Next year I’m staying onsite because that many librarians in one place is pure kinetic energy. 

7. Already have an idea for presenting next year. 🙂

8. I love conferences! (But going to a session at every slot can be exhausted.)

9. I love my profession, my calling. I feel energized and inspired, but equally challenged to do better, to be better, to work harder. 

10. Librarians meeting authors is like anyone else meeting major celebrities. Except the authors talk to you, engage in conversation, take selfies, and are legitimately grateful when you praise them AND for the work you do. 

11.  Some year’s NCSLMA should include an option to go with a teacher from one’s school, so they can contribute AND learn about the possibilities first (second?) hand. 

I’ll let the song speak for itself. So many ignorant comments online (and it would be self-serving to respond), a long, long day…

Read the rest of this entry »

So far, Wendig has not improved his protagonists, with the exception of Jas and Sinjir – the effectively “bad” characters gone good… Well, gone dubious.

But Grand Admiral Sloane and her advisor are fascinating characters, and the continual insight into post-Empire life keeps me turning the pages. He writes from unique perspectives about the Galaxy far, far away, and each unique voice – from broken Imperial officer losing his grip on power, to the New Republic commandant insistent on the fact that being in war means killing people, means a murder of sorts – lends to a galaxy enriching panoramic view of the effects of war. Sloane – the standout for me – struggles to understand the definition of power, and struggles moreso with attempting to balance politicking with good governance.

And a chapter about Maz Kanata can’t hurt. She is written well, and her minor scene, one of the interludes unrelated (directly) to the overall narrative, is further evidence that he gets it right in fits and spurts. Still, I’m only now warming up to the major protagonists, and I think his two biggest mistakes – the mom afraid for who her son could become, and the wacky droid – are nowhere near being rectified.

If this entire series were from that post-Imperial perspective, with perhaps a Suicide Squad-esque small contingent playing a smaller role, and the masterful interludes, I think he’d have an unequivocal winner.

  1. Is there a term to describe the desire to write a “Destroy and Rebuild” (by Nas) of one’s own? People say stupid things that misrepresent and generalize, and it infuriates me to the point that I want to write such a song… but then I remember I’d have no audience.
  2. I miss Eyedea, and I saw a meme wondering why people care so much about the possible Eminem/Drake beef when Eyedea would’ve roasted them both. I agree.
  3. I really think Killer Mike is now in my Top 5.