On Hopeful Resistance

Hope is the thing with feathers  
That perches in the soul,  
And sings the tune without the words,  
And never stops at all,  
And sweetest in the gale is heard;          
And sore must be the storm  
That could abash the little bird  
That kept so many warm.  


Lessons I Learned From Punk Rock

Punk rock first dug its talons into my brain during my days as a suburban high school sophomore, as I allowed bands like the Ramones and the Clash to destroy my eardrums one song at a time. I was a fan of the genre for years before I witnessed a legitimate punk show last summer, when I saw the California-based band Plague Vendor on a hot day in Minneapolis. It’s hard to match the sheer enthusiasm of a wiry front man springing around stage, howling lyrics at bone-shattering volume and hurling spent bottles at the audience. Underneath its savage and unruly exterior, however, there’s something genuinely inspirational about punk.

An Open Letter to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Dear Mr. Shrug Shoulder Emoji Guy,

Thank you. Of all the emojis, emoticons, and GIFs, you have been the most faithful. You stand head and shoulders above the rest (mainly because you have both a head and shoulders with which to stand above the others).

Finding Hope in Sci-Fi Flicks

We’re doomed. Or at least, that’s how we’ve been conditioned to think. If the sci-fi blockbusters of recent decades are any indication of our world’s fate, the only question is whether the killer androids rise up before or after thermonuclear war obliterates society. Even if we manage to survive that, an alien invasion will probably do us in for good.

I Might Give Satan A Swirly: How to Be The Chance You Want To See In The World

What’s wrong with the world today? Occasionally, if you’re like me, you can’t help but wonder, as Flight of the Conchords did all the way back in 2007. While some issues are timeless, many are particular to this era. A quick check of the internet tells us these problems include, but are not limited to: Millennials (if the writer is a Boomer), Boomers (if the writer is a Millennial), both of those (if the writer is a Gen-Xer), the mainstream media (if you’re reading the President’s tweets), the President (If you’re reading basically anyone else’s tweets), “echo chambers,” the internet itself, and of course, whether or not your favorite food is a sandwich (somehow still a thing).

In Defense Of Owning Too Many Books

One night years ago, I was so excited over the books I would someday read that I couldn't sleep. As a child the happiest moment of my week was driving home from the public library with enough armfuls of books to last the weekend. Then in early high school my grandmother encouraged me to keep a reading log, providing the motivation to finish a volume.

It Is So Ordered: Celebrating 50 Years of Loving

I turned over in bed, embracing the cold of absence. My thoughts spun a web of sappy love poems and hopeless wishes, an eighteen year old's unrequited-love lullaby. I slept with my phone grasped in my hand, hoping to feel his heartbeat through it, or at least a vibration to suggest that he, too, was awake. This was the simplicity of lying on the precipice of love. Love often arrives with elegance--a  fresh bouquet of roses, incense, breakfast in bed, 100 candles burning in a field (come on, we’ve all seen Grey’s Anatomy).

In Defense of Running Away

I always start by explaining that I was only 19.

 I could say that I was young and foolish, that I trusted my heart more than my head. I could tell you what I did was impulsive, a little crazy, and completely out of character. But instead, I just say that I was 19, and trust that you understand.

Hope Starts Here: On Love and Legislation

If you’ve had your head stuck in the sand lately (and perhaps voluntarily), you may have missed a lot of recent happenings in the news. It almost seems as if the world is imploding every single day. People are getting fired, legislation is/is not passing, Russia is involved, everyone is mad at everyone. It’s a hot mess out there, people.

Eat, Drink, and Be Well-Read: Food Pairings for Literature

I’ve always believed that the best way to get to know someone is to know their favorite books and their last meal. By “last meal”, I mean that slightly dark question of, “If this were your last night on earth, what you want the last thing you ate to be?” I think there is something so telling about the answers to these two questions.  As C.S. Lewis said, “Eating and reading are two pleasures that combine admirably”, and I concur.

Women With Wit: 6 Ladies Changing Comedy

I remember as a pre-teen falling victim to the lie that…well, women just weren’t that funny. The boys at camp always got the most laughs on skit night (even though they mostly just dressed as girls). Funny YouTube sensations always seemed to be those cute, over-confident guys hurting themselves (or, once again, imitating women).