Saving yourself by serving others

On Thursday I had the privilege of attending a symposium on homelessness at the LA County Board of Supervisors. There, we watched a documentary called Skid Row Marathon. Here’s the synopsis:

When a criminal court judge starts a running club on LA’s notorious skid row and begins training a motley group of addicts and criminals to run marathons, lives begin to change.

SKID ROW MARATHON follows four runners as they rise from the mean streets of LA to run marathons around the world, fighting the pull of homelessness and addiction at every turn.

Their story is one of hope, friendship, and dignity.

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In memoriam, Stephen Hawking

As I wend my way to sleep, I am greeted with the gutting news that Professor Stephen Hawking has passed away.

I can’t say that I was consumed with his exploits. But I took comfort that a human existed who pushed at the boundaries of what was known.

My first real exposure to him was Errol Morris’ documentary A Brief History of Time. The combination of imagery, music, and science was intoxicating. I can’t claim that if I read the book upon which the movie was based I would understand it. But the film gave me an insight into a singular human being, beyond his revolutionary theories.

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To Patreon or not to Patreon

So. Part of the reason I took up the blog once more is because I’m thinking about starting a Patreon page.

Now, I’m not expecting to earn enough money to quit my gig. I wouldn’t quit my gig anyway: you have no idea how much joy I get from the hugs I receive from my library kids. But, besides pecuniary benefits—which would go to paying off debt and saving for a down payment for a house—I feel that if I had paying patrons I’d be more prone to write on a regular basis.

I feel weird even considering it, as I write for the sake of writing. But of course I also hope to publish my various projects, so the monetary aspect of my writing is never far away from my thinking.

So I’m opening it up to my readers: to Patreon or not to Patreon?

Beginning of a memoir

My wife often importunes me to finish a writing project, any writing project, so that I can bring in money and keep her in the manner into which she’s accustomed.

I have my novel, which I’ve been working on for longer than I care to remember. And I have another project which began to take shape after the Las Vegas massacre.

But, last night, I began to formulate yet another project, something a bit light, a bit jaunty, a bit devil-may-care, about a topic on which I know much: being a modern librarian.

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On “Between the World and Me”

I have discovered the joys of audiobooks. As an Angeleno, who spends some time behind the wheel, an audiobook streaming on my Bluetooth stereo is a veritable boon. I always resisted them, as I didn’t want someone else’s voice in my head. But they’ve made the reading experience so much easier and efficient.

The first audiobook I listened to was Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me. A book aimed at his son, in the line of De adminstrando imperio, it is a tour de force, detailing what it’s like to be black and American.

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