Help Dani Get Healthy

The sass is strong with this one. (Shared From Dani's GoFundMe Page)

The sass is strong with this one.
(Shared From Dani’s GoFundMe Page)

A really good friend of mine needs our help.  I met Dani through The Sims 3 gaming site and we’ve become fast friends.  She’s funny, sarcastic, smart, and one of the sweetest people I know.  She’s always quick to lend a hand.  Dani is a wonderful mother to her three spunky kids and a loving wife.

I found out today that Dani needs surgery and has to pay $2500 out of pocket.  Her family has set up a GoFundMe page to offset the cost of these expenses.  If you have the means, please donate.  Otherwise, please share the link.  Together, we can make a difference.



Ivy Leave Bound and Broke as F***

Today I learned that I’ve been accepted to graduate school at Johns Hopkins University.  It was my first choice and I didn’t think I’d make it.  I’ll be pursuing a dual program with a Masters in Museum Studies with a focus in digital curation and a certificate in Non-Profit Management.  I am beyond thrilled that I will be able to pursue my passion for museums and education.

Yet here I am, a student at this prestigious university, and I have no way to fund it.  I’ve been job hunting since before my graduation from the University of Minnesota in May.  I’ve had no luck in finding permanent employment so I’ve taken temp jobs where I can.   I’m $3916 short of the tuition payment due by August 22nd.  I’ve got student loan payments fast approaching along with my other bills.  The debt is piling up and my opportunity is slipping away.

I’ve set up a campaign via GoFundMe to help me in my quest for my graduate degree.  I know money is tight for everyone these days.  However, if you have a few dollars to spare, I’d be beyond grateful.  Even if you don’t have any extra money to donate, I’d love it if you would just pass the word along.

Thank you,


It Is So Ordered

“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family.  In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than they once were.  As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death.  It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage.  Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment themselves.  Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilizations oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the lay.  The Constitution grants them that.”

–Justice Anthony Kennedy

In a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court of the United States grants marriage equality to all.

Thank you, SCOTUS.

Book Review: Revival

Warning: Contains language

Revival: A NovelRevival: A Novel by Stephen King

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had to take some time to process this book before I could actually write a review because my only thought upon finishing Stephen King’s Revival was: WHAT THE FUCK?!

A couple of weeks later I’m able to put together several semi-coherent thoughts on what I think is King’s best novel in recent years. I’m an “old school” King fan. I tend to set the bar kind of high for new King novels since Carrie, Pet Sematary, and The Shining are some of my favorites. Needless to say, I’ve been a bit disenchanted with King’s new novels…until now.

Revival takes the reader on a journey through 50+ years of Jamie Morton’s life. It begins innocently enough, as young Jamie plays in the dirt with his toy soldiers. Yet, from the moment the shadow of Charlie Jacobs passes over Jamie’s Mountain, it is clear that no good will come of this meeting. Reverend Charles Daniel Jacobs comes to town with a passion for the Lord and electricity. He uses both for good, breathing life into the small church and healing Jamie’s brother with electric medicine after an accident. When Charlie Jacobs suffers his own trauma, however, everything starts to go south for the young pastor.

I was torn through much of the beginning, Jacobs seemed like a man lost after tragedy, but I could not shake the feeling of unease that fell over me whenever he reappeared. That is the feeling that makes this book so compelling.

Revival is just what the title implies: a revival of good ol’ Stephen King horror. It’s not in your face horror, it’s in your mind. One of the scenes that will always be stuck in my head involves a dream Jamie Morton has after being “cured” by Reverend Jacobs. I don’t want to spoil anything, but suffice it to say that the worse part are the sounds and tactile feelings described rather than the sights.

There are a couple of issues that I have with the book. First, it had a tendency to be a bit slow. I got bogged down in the monotony and the details, some of which I felt were unnecessary. The thing that kept me going was the knowledge that something WAS going to happen and it was going to be BIG. This brings me to my next issue: the ending. I’m not going to give anything away but everything leading up to that pivotal moment was electrifying (pun intended). The climax happened pretty much the way I thought it would but somehow managed to still catch me 100% off guard. Seriously. What. The. Fuck.

That moment alone made the book worth reading.

Not going to lie, this book might be a little upsetting for the religious folks. It takes a hard, uncomfortable stance on miracles, the church, God, and the afterlife. Then again, it would be a Stephen King novel if it wasn’t upsetting and uncomfortable.

Revival is a tale of obsession. Whether one is obsessed with a hobby, an addiction, religion, or finding a cure for what ails them, this novel seems to serve as a warning. Humans don’t need to know everything about the universe and what lies beyond. Sometimes, questions are better left unanswered.

Overheard in Starbucks

Barista 1: Oh my God, you guys.  I am seriously so tired today.  I don’t know what my issue is.  I don’t drink coffee and I’ve had two shots of espresso and it’s still not working for me.

Barista 2: Hey, all!  I’m tossing this coffee that’s been sitting.  I’m going to make fresh Pike Roast to replace it.

Barista 1: RACHEL!  There are tired people in this world.  Why are you throwing out coffee!?

I love snippets of conversations.  It is one of my favorite things about life.  I don’t people watch.  I listen.  I grab little bits of things strangers say to each other and throw them into the mouths of my own creations when I write.  It makes my characters feel more tangible and real.  But when they say these silly things I hear on the street they also bring me back to a rainy day on the subway or a bright summer morning at the coffee shop.  In a way, they help me remember the insignificant moments that I too often take for granted.

So don’t stop and smell the roses.  Listen to the voices around you and see if you can’t find your character’s next quip.