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The Tao of Making a Mixtape (or Playlist)

I have to be honest: I love that the younger generation is getting into older stuff. Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” topping the charts again because of Stranger Things is a prime example. My motives for loving this trend are completely egotistical—I feel like I’m not getting old as fast as I am. When I’m buying alcohol and the cashier only has to see the year I was born begins with a 1, it takes a toll on the youthful spirit.

With this resurgence of vintage tastes, like vinyl records becoming more popular than they ever were, it’s only going to be a matter of time before people start making mixtapes like they used to. For my purposes, mixtape shall be defined as a curation of music applied to a physical or digital medium for the sake of communicating feelings or in the hopes of discovering unifying musical tastes. A mixtape could be a cassette, a burned CD, or a Spotify playlist.

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Hooray for Andy Partridge! Who’ll Pray for Andy Patridge?

You may have heard me say once, or twice, “a storyteller can spot another storyteller from many miles away.” If not, now you know I’ve said it. This week’s blog is an ode to another storyteller, whose skills are admirable and deserve the recognition from another wordsmith.

Some backstory: I am, in the literary sense, a “pantser.” That means I don’t plot, I write from the seat of my pants. The blessing, and curse, of being a pantser is that I can see something innocuous and make a connections from it. That skill is how I bullshit my way through speech classes and wrote excellent book reports. Storytelling, after all, is the skill of weaving together semi-plausible events in fantastic ways, right? If I was blessed given a divine gift, that would be it.

A storyteller can spot another storyteller from many miles away.

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I’m Tired (An Ode to Broken Bones)

Where I come from, the litmus test for how bad you were hurt was how hard you were crying. If I had to guess, the leading cause of untreated illness and injuries in that area has a direct correlation to crying being seen as a weakness that would not be tolerated. Crying was the absence of toughness and only the tough had a place at the table. If you were injured today, you’d have your injuries compared to someone’s great-great-grandfather who had his leg blown off in the Civil War and then went to work the next day in the mines, on his birthday.

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Famous Book Synopsis (By A.P. Miller)

Before I had my diagnosis of ADHD, a lot of people thought I was lazy and uninspired. After a few years of being told what a fuck-off you are, you start leaning into it a little bit. My penchant for sloth was rivaled only by my gift for spite & contempt. In late 1995, my mother had to sign one of my social studies tests because I got a bad grade on it. She asks “Did you really answer a question about how European colonists expanded through South America with ‘they walked’?” Why yes, Mama, I did.

Note: I got the second-highest GPA in that fifth-grade class that year. That teacher, who looked WAY too much like her husband for people not to talk about it, had a hate-boner for your truly.

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I’m Sorry.

[DISCLAIMER]: The author is in a little bit of a mood and the following blog might be a little intense. Please read with caution. The author will try to return to his regularly scheduled baffoonery in the next edition.

More than anyone, I know the impact of words. Daily, I use words as a shield, as a weapon, as a platform, and as a remedy. The pen is mightier than the sword? Depends on your definition of might. Perhaps the most appropriate turn of phrase would be “the pen is deadlier than the sword.” How many lives have been taken because of rousing speeches, the interpretations of dogma, or even a scornful letter sent to an amour? Words can injure, kill, but also heal, and rebuild.

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