On Second Thought

Okay, so it's possible that I spoke too soon. The section below may actually be my favorite passage from Nicola Yoon's novel The Sun Is Also a Star.

"We have big, beautiful brains. We invent things that fly. Fly. We write poetry. You probably hate poetry, but it's hard to argue with 'Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate' in terms of sheer beauty. We are capable of big lives. A big history. Why settle? Why choose the practical thing, the mundane thing? We are born to dream and make the things we dream about."

Lin-Manuel Digs It All

After fifteen months of nibbling away at it between other reads, I finally finished Hamilton: The Revolution last night. I'm crazy-go-obsessed with the musical of the same name so I super much adored this companion book.

Getting a behind-the-scenes glimpse at Hamilton and the folks involved in it was v. interesting and inspiring, but what stuck with me from Hamilton: The Revolution is that Hamilton creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda isn't just an incredibly talented artist, he's also an incredibly big fan of, well, basically everything. In fact, in just the footnotes from the first seventy-five pages he gushes over and claims to have gleaned inspiration from so many random things that I forced myself to grab a pen and a pad and start a list.

  • Sweeney Todd
  • Harry Potter
  • Tupac
  • Mobb Deep
  • Big Pun
  • The Notorious B.I.G.
  • "the amazing subway break dancers of New York City"
  • stage direction
  • Latin
  • South Pacific
  • Rodgers & Hammerstein
  • Stephen Sondheim
  • Wicked
  • New York City
  • Jay Z
  • Pharrell
  • Common Sense
  • Hugh Laurie
  • Pharoahe Monch's "Simon Says"
  • The Pirates of Penzance
  • Gilbert & Sullivan
  • West Side Story

Again, the above list is just from the first seventy-five pages of footnotes. In subsequent pages he drops props on Beauty and the Beast, The Roots and Leslie Knope of Parks and Rec, among a great big bunch of other stuff.

I love love love how much LMM loves loves loves the world around him.

Notes from the West

Steve picked me up at 5:45 on Tuesday morning and we headed to Ocean Beach for an easy run on flat ground. We'd planned to jog back and forth along a half-mile stretch of pavement between the road and the sand until we'd done three miles, but a section of the Great Highway was closed to traffic so we took advantage of its long, even terrain and ran that instead.

Mostly we stuck to the roadside, tracing the solid white line typically reserved for pedestrians during times of normal service, but every so often we'd allow ourselves to drift toward the center, feeling rebellious and silly as we did so, making our way through the darkness on this big famous boulevard that, for one cool morning in early autumn, belonged only to us.

At the halfway point we turned around to see bikers and joggers and men wielding surfboards moving about, criss-crossing the blacktop before us. Far off, the horizon line was aglow in pastels. When our three miles were through and we'd made it back to the car, sweating and out of breath, our hands numb from the ocean wind, we stretched our legs and watched the sun emerge to treat the West to a glorious barrage of rose-colored sky.

And We Call It God

I flipped over the last page of Nicola Yoon's The Sun Is Also a Star on my way home from work and even though I'm not even a little bit religious I think the passage below may be my favorite from the whole damn book.

"I think all the good parts of us are connected on some level. The part that shares the last double chocolate chip cookie or donates to charity or gives a dollar to a street musician or becomes a candy striper or cries at Apple commercials or says I love you or I forgive you. I think that's God. God is the connection of the very best parts of us."

"And you think that connection has a consciousness?" she asks.

"Yeah, and we call it God."

That Good 'Tude

Someone on my team called in sick and the sky was doling out drizzle so I splurged on a Lyft to work this morning and when I climbed into the car my driver, a spunky, middle-aged woman named Denise who currently resides in Sacramento but grew up in Flint, told me I was her first ride of the day and I said I hope I can help make the day a good one and she responded

"Hon, good days are the only kind of days I have."

When I grow up I wanna be Denise.