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Five Ways to Recommend Books to People with ADHD

Picture it: the early 1990’s. The Book It program by Pizza Hut is taking the school systems by storm! Free pizza for reading? Sign me up! Part of the program is that if all of the students met their Book It goals, the entire class would be treated to a pizza party. Sounds simple enough — read books, get pizza. Slam dunk. Home run. Touchdown.

Because it’s the early 1990s, there is an affliction going around that a lot of people either aren’t aware of, don’t know enough about, or dismiss it as new age bullshit: Attention Deficit Disorder. If you were a parent in that time, you couldn’t fathom the thought of your child having that thing they talk about on the news — even if you thought your child did, celebrities said the drugs to help with the affliction are bad and cause horrible conditions. No parent wants to put their kid through that. The kids themselves don’t quite understand why they can’t pay attention like the other kids.

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It’s not illegal …but it should be!

One of my favorite movies is “The Big Short,” starring Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale, and a lot of other amazing actors. The premise of the movie is about the 2008 housing crisis and the irresponsibility of the financial institutions that lead to the crash. One of the iconic lines of the film comes from an exchange with Steve Carell’s character incensed by the blatant negligence of the big banks — Jared Vennett (as played by Ryan Gosling said): “If being stupid was illegal, I’d have my wife’s brother in prison.” (paraphrasing).

That line got me thinking about things that should be illegal. Punishable by the full extent of the law. I’m talking about the kind of jail time that makes you sit with your back to the wall at a restaurant and hover over your plate like a mama lion guarding her cubs. For this week’s blog, I’ve come up with a list of things that are technically legal, but shouldn’t be.

All rise. Court is in session. The questionably honorable Judge A.P. Miller is presiding.

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When it’s time to dnf a book

DNF (v). 1. To put a book down without any intention of picking it up again to finish reading it; an acronym of the phrase “Did Not Finish.”

Over the last two years, I’ve had great opportunities to examine my penchant for holding on to something too long, and realizing the harm that it may cause me. I’m the kind of guy that can’t be told the stove is hot — I will only completely understand when I’ve been burned by the stove. I can assure you, this aspect of my personality has done a lot more harm to my well-being than benefit.

I think a lot of it comes from my cultural upbringing. Yes, I am American, but I am also a natural citizen of BFE* Appalachian coal country. My countrymen went to work before the sun came up and went home after the sun went down. We use everything until it can no longer be held together with tape, or glue, and we are going to complain loudly about the cost of replacing it. It is a society norm to see something through because you’ve committed to it. If you spent hard earned money on a book, then by God you better read it.

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Halloween Traditions in the Millerverse

One of the most endearing things about my girlfriend, Elizabeth, is how deep into her family’s Eastern European roots she is. In fact, her father taught a class on Slavic Cultures in my high school. Perhaps it’s seeing someone I hold in such high regard being so involved in their own family’s histories, but I’ve been inspired to delve more deeply into mine. 

As luck would have it, I’ve come across some information about how the first seeds of my family tree celebrated their All Hallow’s Eve. While my family is primarily of German descent, our Miller lineage isn’t defined by the political makeup of European borders. Some of these traditions won’t make sense, considering contemporary European Halloween customs.

From my fingers to your eyes, the celebratory customs of the Miller family, as practiced in the Old Country:

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We

Such a powerful word, “We.” Two letters, one syllable, and yet it has one of the most powerful context usages in the English language. We, while visually innocuous, speaks volumes when used in the correct sentence. Perhaps it’s because I wield language as both a sword and a shield, but I think a lot about the words we use, and how they too can be used as a sword and a shield. No word is as much of a Swiss Army Knife as “we.”

“We” is the defeat of solitude. Saying “we” conjures strength in numbers. “We” is the stark absence of loneliness. “We” is a first-world army against the militia forces of “I.” “We” could be as simple as two, or be as vast as a cast of thousands. “We” is Nirvana to those who dwell in “I.”

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