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A Diet of Dummy-Books: How Comic Books & Graphic Novels Ignited My Love for Reading

1995-1996

Moshannon Valley Elementary School – Madera, Pennsylvania

My fifth-grade teacher (who will not be named in this blog in fear of summoning the demon that occupied her flesh) gave us a writing assignment for our composition books: write a story. Obviously, this woman was packed to the brim with inspiration & vision, right? We could write a story about whatever we wanted, so I did. I never claimed to be a usual child, I had a wild imagination, and wanted everyone to be excited about it. In that tan-and-red composition book I penned a tale about a child that goes to the doctor to get something out of his eye, and the doctor turns out to be an alien cyborg whose head walked around on metal octopus ears. The doctor would shoot tendrils—long string like appendages, often found on plants—to grab things. Mrs. “I look too much like my brother for anyone to be comfortable about it” says to me: “I don’t even know what that word means.”

This woman was an educator. An educator was giving me shit about using a big word that exceeded her understanding.

Continue reading A Diet of Dummy-Books: How Comic Books & Graphic Novels Ignited My Love for Reading

Confessions of an Edgelord (A Blog In F-U Major)

Recently I was reminded that I used to be an idiot. Not just an idiot, but a cringey edgelord. If you look at my yearbook for senior year, you’ll see that it wasn’t signed by anyone. It’s not that people wouldn’t have signed it, I just didn’t have the desire to ask. I signed a few and someone reminded me of how I signed theirs. Please see the image below.

The signature reads “[Friend], Ever notice how pages like these get filled with crap because people are trying to justify bad high school memories with fake wishes and hopeless ambitions for the future? I would wish you luck, if I believed in it, and thought it would do any good. [Government Name Redacted] Miller.”

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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.

Continue reading “Hooray for Andy Partridge! Who’ll Pray for Andy Patridge?”

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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