Reflecting on a Year of the Pandemic Lifestyle

It’s a bit cliché to write a reflection on the pandemic year, but I’m going to do it anyway. It’s been a long year, and it’s also been surprising to me how I’ve gotten used to pandemic lockdowns. Like most people, I was very nervous in the beginning, especially because of my mental health concerns. And as 2020 dragged on and all the terrible things that happened, it hit me emotionally like everyone else. But the pandemic lifestyle hasn’t been all bad.

Continue reading

What I’ve Been Doing for my Mental Health

January was a decent month for me, and I figured I’d give an update on things in an effort to advocate mental health. I’ve written about mental health a bit on this blog, but it usually falls by the wayside compared to the fiction and poetry stuff I share.

Over the past few years, I’ve developed some mental health routines. One of them is to track my mood every day on a phone app called Daylio. The app is free (I think) and it’s a great way to keep me present. It does feel weird to gather so much “data” on my mood – I can see charts, etc., broken down by day of the week, month, all sorts of things. But it’s still great.

Continue reading

Free Books? Yes, Please!

About a year ago, Rachel and I moved to a new neighborhood in Philly that’s, well, very well-read and educated. One of the reasons I say this is because of the bounty of “free libraries” we see during our walks.

Continue reading

A Relic from a Bygone Era (Photo)

Rachel and I spotted this old newspaper box the other night while walking around the neighborhood. I knew I had to take a picture of it. Nowadays, seeing these boxes has become more rare. I mean, just look at how rusted and worn this box looks.

The Philadelphia Inquirer is Philly’s flagship newspaper, and one in which I read growing up and interned at a few times during college. I still subscribe to the Inquirer, but I don’t read the print version. Instead, I read the Inquirer.com, which has been much improved recently. I can’t remember the last time I regularly read a print newspaper – it may have been up to 10 years ago.

Continue reading

On Giving up on Books and ‘Book Guilt’

I hate giving up on a book once I’ve started it. I like to call this “book guilt,” and from talking to a few others, I’m not the only one who has it. Recently, I’ve tried to let it go.

A few months ago, I started a book called Fall; Or Dodge in Hell by Neal Stephenson. It’s a huge, sprawling epic released in 2019 about a billionaire tech CEO who has his consciousness uploaded into the Cloud. Neal Stephenson is a widely acclaimed author in science fiction, and I was excited to start it. It’s a cool concept for a book, and something I’ve wondered about often (uploading our brains onto computers).

Continue reading

Embracing the Absurd

Every so often, when things get really crazy, I like to think about Albert Camus. I turned to Camus’ writings a few years ago when my personal life fell off the rails. Yesterday, when Pro-Trump loyalists stormed the U.S. Capitol, I began to think of Camus again.

American politics right now are definitely absurd. People have been throwing around a lot of words to describe what’s going on: unprecedented, dark, nihilistic. Absurd is a good adjective, too.

Continue reading

On Grief and Ramblings about Faith

As Christmas approaches, so does my father’s birthday (December 23rd). The holidays have been more melancholy since he passed in 2018. The first holiday season without him was the worst of the bunch, and 2019 was lighter. This time around, the grief still lingers.

Continue reading

Praying for Peace

Unless you live under a rock, you’re probably aware there’s an election going on in the U.S. right now – and it’s ugly. As the vote drags on, I’m becoming more weary and tired of the ugliness.

Full disclaimer: I support Joe Biden. I’m happy it appears he’ll win, and for the past four years, I’ve grown to very much dislike Mr. Trump. Either way, I’m sad about what’s happening in my country and the way this election has driven us even further apart.

Continue reading

On Reading Old Books to Escape the Anxieties of 2020

There’s something about old books, especially fiction, that transport me to a world where I feel safe. This has been the case lately, as I’ve jumped into the classics to escape this year’s anxieties.

Continue reading