What Makes a Coffee House?

A couple of weeks ago, my friend David suggested that we go to a certain coffeehouse called College Grounds (not its real name). David was extremely excited about going to there. He said to me, “you’ll love this place.” I did not. It was not a coffee house.

A coffeehouse welcomes all without qualification, not just one class of clients. Continue reading

Jurassic Park Blog

Mass Media and Jurassic Park

Michael Crichton’s The Lost World was printed in 1995, right at the onset of the age of the internet. Through his character Ian Malcolm, Crichton predicts the effect that the internet will have upon humanity. Continue reading

Why Erotica is not the only frustrating kind of story

If you were to go to Amazon and type in the word DESIRE, you would turn up a pulsating set of fictional books simply focused on erotic connection. However, desire is not merely a special feature of erotic literature, but the selling point of every human story, however mundane or sexually charged it may be. Stories are narratives about characters that possess, live with, struggle, and, in many cases, satisfy their desires. Consequently, stories can prompt our own desires, which can quickly turn into a frustrating experience. Continue reading

Stupid Guy: Movie Going and Motivation

I don’t know about you, but the ideal mandate for me is going to a movie with a couple of guy friends, and then head straight for the IHOP. I can take or leave gun shows, Irish pubs, etc. For me, a movie and a pancake dinner is about as good as it gets. This is precisely what me, Seth, and Nicholas decided to do one night. Seth and I chose the latest romantic comedy (I can’t remember if it was a Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Lopez, Natalie Portman, whatever!). We were excited about our choice, but Nicholas wasn’t. He explicitly expressed his disappointment as we went into the movie, during the movie, and after the movie while we were waiting for our pancake dinner. Continue reading

Why I Hate Nick Carraway

In a story full of unpalatable characters, Nick Carraway stands out as the most repulsive. He is the narrator and main character of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Every other character has a more pronounced character flaw; Tom Buchanan’s infidelity, Daisy Buchanan’s shallowness, Jordan Baker’s egocentricity, and Jay Gatsby’s phoniness. The reader learns of these through the observations of Nick, who tells the story as a memoir of his summer in West Egg in 1922. Nick’s flaw is not as glaring. He propels the narrative forward in one way; he is the person who can connect Gatsby with his desire: Daisy. Other than this, he is a passenger in the lives of the others: a facilitator and observer who displays a great apathy toward the evil which he surrounds himself with. Continue reading

“Mama doesn’t have powers!”


A couple of days ago, the girls were playing outside and, in a moment of opportunity, they decided they would plant flowers. This is the way they carried out their plan. There was a large pot filled with dirt next to the doorway of the apartment – the plot originally housed some type of tree or greenery that my mother-in-law had yet again purchased for us and we had yet again neglected it unto death. The pot no longer housed any greenery, but merely existed as an inert inanimate object, which they girls interpreted as their opportunity. They took some of the dirt and placed it in cups and claimed to have planted seeds within the dirt. At some point, Samantha picked up these cups and spread the dirt all over the front porch. Well, this resulted in all kinds of unforeseeable messes until Emily could take it no longer. This morning, in a spontaneous frenzy of activity, Emily quickly brushed up all the dirt from the front porch. She did this while the girls were waiting in the car to be transported to their appropriate destinations. This afternoon when Anastasia and Emily came home, Anastasia noticed that the front porch was clean and she said: “the porch is clean. Who did this?
I replied, “Mama.”
“How?”
“With powers,” I explained.
“Mama doesn’t have powers,” she insisted. Continue reading

Equality in To Kill A Mockingbird

Equality is often in the news today. Headlines abound about racial inequality in the justice system. Articles point out that African American males far out number white males in the prison system, and that unjust police practices and use of excessive force are often used on them. The LGBT movement is calling for marital-equality. The poor are protesting for income equality. Activists are rallying for gender equality. In all the rallying, all the discussing, all the legislating, there is a widespread belief that all should be equal. But what is equality? Continue reading