Now that’s a headline I can get behind.
This is an awesome article from Vox by a librarian who read a whole bunch in 2015, tracked it and learned some lessons.
Sounds a lot like me, right?
I read more than a hundred books each year and have cataloged them for years. I’ve even examined the racial and gender diversity in my reading, just like the author. Good stuff.
The author even has this awesome spreadsheet for all the books she read this year. Pretty freakin’ great.
The article has some great lines:
- Reading is amazing; it shouldn’t be a chore, and when it became one, I stopped doing it.
- There will never ever be enough time to read every worthwhile book.
- Deliberately seeking out new literary voices expands my perspective and pushes me out of my comfort zone. Ultimately, I hear more stories, and my life is richer for it.
It’s good to see I’m not the only book nerd cataloging all my books to glory in the joy of reading.
I already posted my lengthy post-movie thoughts on Star Wars: The Force Awakens. But that doesn’t mean I’m done. Oh no.
This will probably all be SPOILERS.
But first, a non-spoiler.
Today I told Milo his name rhymed with Kylo Ren. Then I watched his head explode.
OK, on to the SPOILERS.
You’ve been warned.
Continue reading More Post-Movie Force Awakens Thoughts
I’ve now seen Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens twice and I so want to talk about it!
I’ll start out spoiler-free, but then we’ll dive heavy into the spoilers. I’ll warn you when it’s coming in case you want to jump ship.
I don’t even know where to start. Being a writer, I want to craft the perfect essay about this experience. But I also need to process and just get my thoughts down. So this is probably going to be a mess. It’s a blog, not a polished essay.
Wow. What a great movie.
I’ve seen it twice and I want to go back for more. It was just a super fun thrill ride.
Now I’ve been caught up in Star Wars nostalgia before. I said this in my expectations—it’s Star Wars, and I’ll love the adventure. And I totally did. I’m so wrapped up in the excitement of the moment that I have absolutely no objective judgment.
That’s how I walked out of The Phantom Menace excited. But when the childhood wonder and excitement wore off, objectivity came back and I realized how ridiculous that movie was.
That could maybe happen here, but I doubt it. I need to give it some time for the wonder of the moment to pass. But at this point I’m pretty confident it’s going to be one of my favorite Star Wars movies.
So a few fun (non-spoiler) thoughts about the experience of watching the movie:
- The first thing I did after seeing the movie ? Stop at Target at 9:50 p.m. to buy Star Wars toys. The merchandising is strong with this one. And I love it!
- After my dad saw it we spent an hour and a half on the phone talking nothing but Star Wars (OK, we maybe gave five minutes on the Captain America trailer).
- My screening plan of seeing it before I took my kids worked out really well. The movie is intense and I had to prepare my kids. My almost 10-year-old still hid her face, and my 7-year-old buried his face in my chest a couple times and outright sobbed at one point. We didn’t have to leave the theater, but it was pretty distracting. I was glad I knew what to expect when and didn’t miss anything because I’d already seen it.
- Unfortunately, I think preparing my kid with a half spoiler made him think that half spoiler wasn’t a real spoiler. So while getting supper at Panera after the movie he’s jumping around with his light saber and tells some stranger that half spoiler. The guy slapped his hands to his ears and says, “No spoilers! No spoilers!” Sorry man. We had another talk about spoilers. 10 minutes later another guy asked us if we’d just seen the movie (OK, we’ve got a light saber in the restaurant and we’re all wearing Star Wars shirts… nerd central), asked if it was another Phantom Menace (“Absolutely not!”) and then quickly said, “OK, don’t tell me anything else” and covered his ears.
- While preparing the children for the movie, I showed them a picture of the bad guy, Kylo Ren. They had seen the trailers, but these masked men in black can be frightening in a big, loud, dark theater, so I wanted them to see what Kylo Ren looked like before he was big and scary. They took one look at his mask and dubbed him “Kylo Duckface.”
- At the beginning of the movie I leaned over to my son and read the opening crawl to him. I’ve done that for both kids as we’ve watched all the earlier movies. But doing it in the theater? That was pretty cool. I didn’t expect that to be a moment.
- One of the first things my daughter asked me this morning was, “Can we go see the Star Wars movie again?” That’s my girl.
Such a great movie-going experience.
Now let’s talk about the actual movie. Which means spoilers.
Continue reading Star Wars The Force Awakens: Post-Movie Thoughts
The hype has been building up forever, and tonight I’m going to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Yes!
I’m also going tomorrow.
But I’m not a crazy nerd or anything, I’m doing it for my kids. Yeah, that’s it. I’m screening it tonight to make sure there’s nothing too intense for my 7-year-old. Also if the kids do need to step out or ask ten thousand questions, I’ll have seen it once already and (hopefully) won’t be as annoyed by the distractions.
It’s a happy accident that I’ll get to see it twice in 24 hours.
Plus, unlike my dad and brother, I think the best part of seeing a movie like this is seeing it early with the die-hard fans who clap and cheer. Part of the fun of going to the movies is the atmosphere, and you couldn’t ask for better energy than a theater crammed full of excited fans.
My wife and I saw the Hunger Games on opening night, not because we loved the series but because we happened to have a babysitter. The theater was full of teen girls with Catniss braids who were super excited. Made the whole experience more fun. Also saw one of the Potter movies that way, with a crowd full of teens who had grown up on Potter. Way fun.
So anyway, I’ll be there tonight with my nerds. Continue reading Star Wars The Force Awakens: Pre-Movie Thoughts
You know what sucks? Having to explain to your kids why there are ribbons decorating the High Bridge in St. Paul. It’s not exactly a festive occasion—it’s because of the high rate of suicides.
Lots of people are jumping off the bridge to kill themselves, and the ribbons are an attempt at suicide prevention.
Another person jumped today.
In 2008 the City Pages called the bridge a “suicide hot spot,” and offers the chilling detail that some of the people who jump from the bridge actually survive.
In terms of statistics, the most common method of suicide is firearms. But the public nature of jumping seems to capture the public conscience.
If you are thinking about committing suicide, please talk to someone. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800.273.8255 to get help.