Book Review: Parisians

In case you’re new here, I’m an American who once upon a decade ago, lived in Paris for a year whilst I completed a master’s degree. That year was one of the best and simultaneously most challenging years of my life. I loved the endless charm of the architecture, the smell of the flowers, the…

A journey in purple (part four)

Day twenty-three: We’re in the final push to the end of the class. This is the time to edit out entire paintings and clean the remaining essentials. I don’t particularly enjoy this phase. It feels rather cold-hearted to abandon something that I created from nothing. As I consider this sentiment, I feel like a true…

A journey in purple (part three)

Day seventeen: Today is the first day back after the university’s spring break. I spent the week leading a group of college students on a volunteer trip to the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago. Most of the trip I spent considering whether or not I was an effective and inspirational leader. Most of the trip I…

A journey in purple (part two)

Day seven: We can only use seven pigments of watercolor paint: Cobalt Blue Hue, Prussian Blue, Cadmium Red Hue, Rose Madder, Lemon yellow, Cadmium Yellow Hue and Payne’s Gray. I spend lots of time thinking about (but never researching) if Payne’s refers to a possessive person, place or thing. I spend very little time using…

A journey in purple (part one)

A rumor that might be truth: purple sells paintings. A reality I know to be truth: despite color theory, purple is almost impossible to create using red and blue paints. The fact I’m left with: I probably won’t be selling many paintings. Day one: My introduction to watercolor class, held in the basement (ahem lower…

Book Review: A Promised Land

With the unforgettable events of early January, it is safe to say that America experienced extreme division through its political landscape. So, what better time to read a political memoir? Written by former president Barack Obama, A Promised Land, was my hefty, but timely choice for early 2021. The 701-page, first-person narrative briefly covered Mr….

Book Review: To Shake the Sleeping Self

Two years ago, I set out to add reading back into my life as a practice and a habit — one that inadvertently pairs well with my other established habit of reflective writing. First and foremost, I read and write for my own benefit. The pursuit of knowledge and wisdom is one selfish act that…

Book Review: Uncommon Type – Some Stories

Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks is a collection of fictional stories that all have some connection (if an extremely loose one) to a typewriter. While each vignette starts with a photo of a typewriter, the machinery rarely plays a part in the plot. The one story that did revolve around the actual typing tool —…

Book Review: The Actor’s Life—A Survival Guide

I have been a fan of the American version of The Office since I first saw an episode (roughly 2007). My extended family was collectively enjoying downtime on Christmas break and my uncle popped in a DVD disk of the show. I followed The Office throughout high school and college, frequently quoting memorable lines with…

Book Review: The Bourne Supremacy

This time last year, I was writing a review for The Bourne Identity, the first in Robert Ludlum’s trilogy. As I discovered while reading that book, the storylines of the book and the movie series are incongruent. Other than being fairly similar in the characterization of the main character, Jason Bourne, the screen writers really…