Alexander and Me

Two years ago today, the Sister and I were breathlessly seated in the very last row at the Public Theater – about to see Hamilton on stage for the first time. In honor of that anniversary, it seemed appropriate to share a little about my long-time history crush and the road that brought us to that room.

It took 5 years to get me into “the room where it happened” – or rather the house where Alexander Hamilton and his family once lived. The morning was bright and cold, and I had followed my friend uptown, navigating icy sidewalks until we arrived at the edge of St. Nicholas Park in Hamilton Heights, Harlem. Nestled in drifts of snow was a cheerfully yellow house built in the Federalist style. It was a Saturday at the end of February 2015, and it was the culmination of a trip I’d convinced my sister to take with me – flying across the country to a New York City still in mid-winter so that I could indulge my history geekery.

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The Sister marveling at the snow outside the Hamilton Grange.

An almost magical confluence of events and connections had led to this trip, involving a friend discovering my love of Hamilton and text messages about an upcoming off-Broadway musical that I honestly thought was not real. But the heart of this is my crush for the oft forgotten Founding Father, but that’s a story I have to the start to tell.

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Adulting: Money Saving Challenge

This post is a little unusual for the blog, but I think it goes well with my 2017 One Word Resolution and 30 Before 35 goals. Plus, because the country seems constantly in peril these days, it seemed like a good time to talk about personal finances – a.k.a. saving money for both adventure! and rainy days (or unforeseen catastrophe).

Making time for creative work, geekery, and traveling is so worthwhile to me, but that also takes money. And yes, I do work a day job and save when and how I can. What I would really like to do though is have a clearer view of my funds and where they’re going.

So for that, I checked out Earnest’s Money Saving Challenge for 2017. They have this neat year-long chart with recommendations on an easy way you can save money for each month, as well as interesting money stats (like the average amount of money people spend on Christmas gifts).

Here’s what my first quarter looks like with my personal goal in March to spend less on treats. This mostly means books because I buy way too many, but it also means like random geeky things like T-shirts and toys. Do I really need another Star Wars shirt…?

gotr-_-earnest-q1The rest of my personal goals were:

  • Review my financials – map it out.
  • Set up an emergency fund.
  • Set up a Big Expenses fund (for travel or more Hamilton tickets)

 

At the start of this post, I said this paired well with my other goal posts, and it does because dealing with your money is like a foundation of Adulting – and it’s really one I’d like to work at. I’m also aware that a lot of what I can do is possible because of my personal circumstances- one of the big ones being I didn’t have to take out student loans for college. So I at least don’t have that debt to worry about, but I know it is a very common thing for most people.

Setting up small but achievable saving goals like this can help with that, and there are other options – like Earnest’s student loan refinancing. Personally, I’m just trying to be better about knowing where my money is going and keeping to more consistent saving habits. And besides, better saving does also mean more cash in the future for the really fun stuff – like going to Comic Con or booking that flight to New Zealand for the most epic of LOTR sightseeing trips.

If you’re interested in making your own Money Saving Challenge sheet, here’s the full sheet. March, June, September, and December are for you to make your own!

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Bite-sized Love Poems

I was reminded yesterday, Valentine’s Day, that I used to write itty bitty love poems. A few years ago, I got back into poetry by writing bite-sized poems on Twitter with two author-friends. We came up with the hashtag #twtpoem for the micro-tales we created.

On Valentine’s Day in 2014, it turns out I wrote a few Twitter poems. One of them I remember writing because it’s still one of my favorite micro-poems. The other I rediscovered when I dove back into the tag.

Since we all need a little more love and beauty in the world these days, I present them here for your enjoyment. May your month be brimming with joy.

These sinews hum,
this red drum beats
These lips form words to speak.
Fill these pipes
For you, they’ll sing.

You linger there
at the edges like
dust dancing in the beams
Quiet breath, soft caress in my
dispersing dreams.

P.S. My poet-sister Tehlor Kay Mejia posted a new poem yesterday as well, and I think it is just beautiful. Check it out here: love in the borderlands

 


If you enjoy any of my content (poetry or not) and have the means, consider buying me a coffee (or tea)! It’s the fuel that keeps me going.

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Awards Eligibility 2016

Still weird to me that this is something I get to do. I had 2 poems published in 2016 that are eligible to be nominated for awards (like the SFPA’s Rhysling Award) if that’s something you do.

1. SUSURRUS in Through the Gate, September 2016

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The poem is linked above, but I wrote a little bit about the inspiration for it here: Of Sand and Stardust.

 

2. SKIN in Liminality Issue No. 10 – Winter 2016/2017

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Again, the poem is linked above, but I wrote about the inspiration and aesthetics here: Shift.

 

Thank you for your consideration and for reading!

2017: One Word Resolution

Just like last year, I’m discussing my One Word Resolution here instead of at A Nudge in the Right Direction. But my year-in-review/Bye 2016 is over there if you want to see all the shenanigans that happened last year! (Spoiler: it was a lot. I did 3 out-of-state trips!)

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Best 9 on my Insta for 2016

Some background: for the last few years, I’ve picked a one word to be my touchstone for the year to come. The word is less specific than individual New Year’s resolutions, but I like having something broad to guide and center me as I work through 2017.

I knew what word I wanted before December was over, but I’ve found Susannah Conway’s free workbook useful in the past, especially if you have no idea or several ideas you’re trying to narrow down.

My word for 2017 is:

REST

It’s funny because in reviewing my 2016 One Word post, I see I picked last year’s word, Intent, because I wanted to save more of my energy while remaining focused. I see now that I really should’ve prioritized the energy-saving part.

Thanks to the dramatic ups and downs of last year, I’m feeling even more stretched thin this January than I did at the start of 2016. And while I know moving forward, there’s only going to be a greater need for vigilance and resistance (I’m American and understandably concerned about the state of my nation), I know I won’t be useful if I’m burnt out. I want to make a stronger effort to protect my “me” time this year.

I don’t regret any of the things I committed to last year, but I know going into this one that I have to set better boundaries when I know I’m running on fumes. Rest is important for health, creativity, and building rebellions. 😉 When I looked to the tarot for guidance, it pretty much told me I needed to rest to truly enjoy things and that I should self-reflect more, look deeper to see what I need.

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Like last year, I’ve created a Pinterest board for my word. Maybe it’ll help remind you to take a break too.

But don’t worry! That doesn’t mean an end to adventures. It just means I will hopefully be managing my time better.

What’s your Word for the Year?

 

Supplement:
(Music) Take a Break | Hamilton OST