Check In

9 Dec

20151219_155136Hey there.  It’s Friday.  We’ve all been under a tremendous emotional strain these past weeks.  Just checking in with you to see a few things:

  • Have you had a shower or bath that involved not just cleaning up?  Just taken a bit of time in the steam or in the water to just think or shut off your brain?  Why don’t you plan one of those today or this weekend?
  • It’s getting darker here in our Northern Hemisphere.  Have you upped your Vitamin D intake?  Made it a point to go outside while it’s daylight?  Take a walk around the block next time there’s daylight.  It doesn’t have to be far.
  • How’s your jaw?  Clenched because you’re an iron jawed angel?  That’s what I thought.  Take a moment right now and just drop your jaw and let it hang loose.  Now yawn really nice and deep and let your jaw stretch out.  Promise yourself to pay more attention to this and to do some jaw relaxation when you think about it.
  • Breathe.  Breathe really slowly.  Sometimes lying on your back is nice for breathing.  Do that.  Put a video on that’s around 5 minutes long of a fire, or of the ocean, or of some rain.  Close your eyes and just breathe.  Some people like to pretend they are there, if that’s useful for you do it.
  • Have you eaten fruits or vegetables yet today?  Do that with your next meal.  I’m not going to judge you on whether or not you pick a “super food” vegetable or just get a wedge of iceberg lettuce covered in bleu cheese dressing.  Eat a fruit or a vegetable with your next meal.  Fruits and vegetables have nutrients in them that will make you feel like you have a bit more energy or are a bit more hopeful.  Maybe challenge yourself to eat one more fruit or vegetable a day than what you’re doing right now.  I know that comfort food feels good, fruits and veggies have these things called antioxidents in them that also feel good.

I’m writing these things because I also need to remember them too.  My jaw hurts and I’m overly tired and there’s nothing I would love more than to sink into my blankies and stay asleep until this year or the next four have gone away.  I do these things to remember that I’m not slipping away from something.  And I don’t want you to slip away either.  20151219_155136

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Who Am I?

7 Dec

“Speak the truth, even if your voice shakes.”   (Maggie Kuhn)

So who the heck is this person?  I’m Heather.  I think I have some stories to share and some thoughts about how I view life, and maybe some thoughts which will help you see something new about how you view life.  I find it best to know a bit about who the heck it is I’m listening to, so here’s a little bullet point list.  The fancy word for this is that I’m trying to flesh out a bit of my paradigm for you, so you can see how I view our world.  Some or all of this stuff will likely get flesh put onto it later, but I feel like you need to know it.  20161203_155954

  • I reside, and have resided, in Colorado for most of my life.  Exception is 2 years spent in Ventura, California.  I have lived in our capital city, in the Four Corners Region, surrounded by mesas on the Western Slope, but mostly I’ve lived in a smallish city in the northeastern part of my state.
  • I am just shy of 40 years old.  I identify as Generation X even though some bump folks my age up to the Millennial generation, I do not identify with much of what that generation values and has experienced.
  • I am a white person who was raised in a primarily white church and school system.  My interactions with people of color were always limited, and even now as an adult, are not as frequent as I would like.
  • I identify as a cis-female (mostly) straight woman.  For those of you who don’t know what the word cis means, it just means that I identify as the standard gender of the sexual parts I was born with.
  • Up until recently, I would describe my class background as “middle class,” or even “upper middle class” at times.  Significant thought on this matter and realizations about my life and how I live it lead me to believe that my family was “house poor,” and quite a few of the ways I live my life are influenced by being raised in a blue collar class (meaning we were never at or below the poverty level but that we certainly struggled and did not have as many bonuses as children who grew up middle class did).
  • I was identified as “gifted and talented” as a child, educated in 2 above average school districts, and was able to attend 41/2 years of college before being forced to drop out due to financial reasons.  While in college I was a History major (emphasis Europe, but really from about World War I to 1950) with a dual minor in Black Studies and Anthropology (I was getting ready to just take the last semester I needed for this degree when I had to drop out of school.)  I am a person who takes knowledge seriously and continues to educate myself by reading about people that I didn’t know about and books by authors who have different experiences than I did.
  • As a baby I was baptized Catholic and then when I was 5 years old, my parents started attending a non-denominational First Christian Church.  (The ones without the cup and flame.)  My mother raised me to strongly value reading and knowing the Bible and to pray and discern what it means.  In high school, I primarily attended a charismatic Four Square Church, and in college found an Evangelical Free Church.  8 years ago, I helped found a non-denominational church plant, but left about 2 years ago.  I currently identify as a Christian, and struggle with the baggage that goes along with that.  I do not presently attend a church with any frequency.

So now you know where I’m coming from so we can go together.  Yes?

 

Writing My Way Out

5 Dec

When the world turned its back on me
I was up against the wall
I had no foundation
No friends and no family to catch my fall
Running on empty, with nothing left in me but doubt
I picked up a pen
And wrote my way out                      (Lin-Manuel Miranda)

I have a lot of journals.  Some of them I’ve had since I was in high school.  Some of them are more recent.  Some are full, many are empty.  This blog is also a journal.  You can tell that sometimes I might set something down, wander away to other activities, then come back and rediscover that it’s there.

Writing has been something I’ve turned to journalsfrequently in life but not as frequently as I should.  The page has listened to more of my sadness, happiness, ideas from left field, and thoughts from right than the whole collective of my friends.  Sometimes the page has helped me to express something that was confusing me, or reason my way through a problem or concept I was trying to understand.  I would like to think sharing my thoughts might change someone’s mind or heart.  But I haven’t kept track of that much.

The time has come to remember that the written word is how ideas best disseminate.  The time has come for us to remember that we are all humans having human experiences together in this place.  And the time has come for us to acknowledge that not all of these experiences are positive.  And how we sometimes view our experiences can hurt ourselves and our friends.  In short, it is time to read and understand more, and to blindly hit the share button (so to speak) less.  I hope, in penning some of my experiences to these pages, that you might find something out of my experiences to apply to yours.

 

Skip a Latte Wednesday: Emancipate

4 Dec

“In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free – honorable alike in what we give, and what we preserve. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth. Other means may succeed; this could not fail. The way is plain, peaceful, generous, just – a way which, if followed, the world will forever applaud, and God must forever bless.”        ~Abraham Lincoln

Emancipation could not fail.  It had to happen.  I feel in a lot of ways in my American culture, generosity cannot be allowed to fail either.  In so many ways our clothing of freedom, grace, and humanity has become tattered because of our lack of generosity to our fellow man.

It’s something that’s been beaten to death really: the internet gives us so many chances to be critical of others, of ourselves.  We can call someone’s boobs fake, someone’s ass huge, and someone’s shiny car pretentious.  We can lambast someone’s ideas which to them make them feel free.  We can also silently pine over dogs, boyfriends, even lives which are better than ours through the window that social media gives us into our friend’s lives.

I want you to take a moment and think about someone in your life who is very generous.  They give of their time, talents, even money to help others have a spectacular day.  If you’re like me the first person to pop into my head is much, much older than myself.  You see?  Because generosity is a dying art.

Welcome to my first in a series I’m calling “Skip a Latte Wednesday,” where we forego 1 cup of America’s most acceptable addiction in favor of doing good with that five dollars.  This month I’ll be showcasing some worthy charities and hopefully our collective five dollars can make a difference around this time of year.  This first week, perhaps, is the most personal of the weeks.

Take some time to read about a cash money challenge given by a minister in Sherborn, Massachusetts:  http://www.wbur.org/kindworld/2013/12/03/a-ministers-challenge-use-this-gift-for-good

Now some of you might be thinking a bit revolutionarily here: I want you to actually get five dollars cash money.  And I want you to do this by the end of this week.  I want you to place that five dollars cash money separate from any of the other cash money you keep in your wallet.  In a different pocket if you don’t carry a wallet.  And here’s what I want you to do with it: keep your ears and eyes open for a way to bring generosity into someone else’s life.

I’ve only got one rule for you: it can’t be passive.  Sure it’s nice to buy the next cup of coffee in line at the drive through coffee place.  Also, it’s nice to drop a five dollar tip into the jar at the sub shop.  But with this five dollars.  This Lincoln’s picture, I want you to actually hand it to someone as a gesture of generosity.  Be creative.  You don’t have to say anything about why you have it, or you can tell them something about why you do, or why you’re participating.  I leave it up to you.

Be generous.  I dare you.  Be generous in a tangible, personal way.  Share your stories if you like.  But do it.  You’d be surprised what a difference five dollars can sometimes make.

five-dollar-bill

Expectation

2 Dec

“It is not despair, for despair is only for those who see the end beyond all doubt. We do not.”      ~Gandalf, The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkein

Have you noticed something about this time of year?  It is this time of year that most peoples of our hemisphere celebrate light.  Those who are Jewish celebrate lamps which always stayed lit through darkest times.  The Pagans place various forms of light onto evergreen (never dying) trees.  Christians speak of a “light of the world” appearing in darkness.  Even that great American commercialization asks us to seek relief from the dark, wee hours of Black Friday by making purchases.  We enter this season of darkness by placing lights on our homes, extra lights in our homes, and warm, rich colors.

Most Christian churches speak of this time as Advent.  Advent is simply defined as an arrival.  There are several ways to approach the four Sundays leading to Christmas Eve and day.  One is to assign broad themes to those weeks and then ruminate on them.  Take time to prepare for the arrival of Christmas.

I know that a fair share of my readers are not hardcore participants in the traditions of the Christian church, but I think there are some overarching themes to be found, needs of most human beings during this sometimes harried time of year lead us toward these themes. It’s what draws us all back to the Charlie Brown Christmas year after year.  We wish to find peace, joy, the “real” meaning of Christmas.

It is not my intent in writing these missives every Monday leading up to Christmas to convert you to a brand, a belief, or really anything more than just allowing you a bit of time to sit, think, perhaps sip a hot drink (you decide if that baby’s spiked), maybe dim the lights, and have quiet.  In the Bible’s Christmas story, it is said that Mary, Jesus’ mother, “treasured up these things and pondered them in her heart,”  my wish for you is to treasure some things and ponder them in your heart.

Christmas-Tree-Light-1024x682

In some traditions, this week of Advent is to focus on “Hope.”  “Expectation, a desire for a very specific thing to happen.”  Hope is a bit further up the line than say a wish, or even a dream really.  For me hope is almost something that I cling to and trust will come to be.  And for some reason that trust doesn’t waiver for me.

I think it is that unwaiveringness that allows me to fall so deeply for modern fantasies written in the Tolkeinian vein: where several times things seem they can get no darker, and then there is light and good wins once more.  It’s that tightness in your chest when you hold your breath and then suddenly the great draft of air which fills your lungs when you once again inhale deeply.

In the very beginning of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series, we see Dream of the Endless, The Sandman, engaged in battle with a Duke of Hell for a valued item of his which was stolen.  After this demon plays the card of being “anti-life, the Beast of Judgement.  I am the dark at the end of everything.  The end of universes, gods, worlds…of everything…and what will you be then, Dream Lord?”  The Sandman crosses his arms, and replies, “I am hope.”  Win.

Several years ago, I accompanied a dear, cherished friend of mine to a Children’s Hospital in Denver with her daughter.  Her daughter had been all over, talked to many doctors and still there seemed to be no end in sight for her crippling abdominal pain.  I sat in the room when the doctor very skeptically declared (with our darling one in the room with us) that the pain was merely psychological, in her head, a manifestation of her perfectionism.  And I watched a little girl become saddled with the reality that some adults, important ones even, may not believe her when she says her tummy hurts.

Very thankfully, my friend’s mommy carries the same hot blooded tenacity that I do, and armed with her strongest mama bear spirit, with hope that there was a solution that didn’t involve blaming her child, she blazed a trail through many hospitals.  This year I am honored to have been present as we finally found the more important person who believed every word my not as small anymore friend said.  Even better, she proposed something which represents forward thinking in the doctoring community: though our friend is so young, her gall bladder was bad, and all of those years of pain were that little organ turning from its lovely robin’s egg blue to nasty green and yellow; spitting out stones and just in general being not very fun to have around.  I giggled and talked with a very excited little girl before she went into surgery, and sat with a very woozy, groggy beautiful little girl who reported and continues to report that the pain has completely ceased.  The beauty of the arrival of pain free living was sweet and joyous.  A great reward for many of us.

So whether you see your hope through your cunning wit wielded alone doing battle with the legions of the under realms, or if you see your hope revealed through friends joining you in this battle, I say it can and will be seen.

There are many traditions who chase the darkness of this season closing in by lighting a candle.  That new light burning where there once wasn’t light (or light as intense anyway).  Perhaps there are parts of your life where there isn’t any light, or the light isn’t as intense.  I urge you – take some time to light a candle.  Ponder the flame.  Ponder the tenacity of that expectation.  Remember that very few things are beyond all doubt.  And do not despair.  Hope.

Prepare

1 Dec

We are now in December!  I didn’t quite make it to my “three days a week blogging” goal, but I certainly blogged a lot more and have found that I kind of love it.

I wanted to lay out what December’s gonna look like for you, my dearest reader.  This month will be full of many things.  In churchy words, this is the season of Advent, which merely means anticipation, waiting for an arrival.  We enter the darkest time of the year with the approaching Winter Solstice, and many prepare by adding light to our households; whether by menorahs, or Christmas lights, or trees, or adorning our homes with light.

Since it is always a time of year that I take to reflect on so many things, Mondays will be a time for reflection.  For myself and hopefully for you.  I want to make your Monday reading time a time to pause, reflect, and hopefully to bring some light into these ever increasing dark nights of December.

This is also a time of year when we ponder our generosity.  And so this December I’m going to bring you “Skip the Latte Wednesdays,” where we talk about skipping that Wednesday latte and giving to those that are considered “the least of these.”  To bring light into someone’s dark place.  This “Skip the Latte Wednesday” will feature charities that I feel are worth your five dollars.

This is also the time of year when we spend more time with those we hold dear.  On Fridays, I’ll be reviewing one of the Christmas movies from my list of unwatched films and tv shows and sharing with you my thoughts.  Then hopefully that will put them in mind for you to enjoy with your dearest ones with a nice big bowl of popcorn (either real or microwave) and perhaps a tasty beverage.

So there you have it:  December’s plan.  May you begin December with light in your heart, and joy for the season.  And may you also find peace during a time which seems so chaotic.  See you tomorrow!

Candles

It’s a Wonderful List

21 Nov

So before I bring you through a list of movies and TV specials which in my book are the Christmas Christmasy-est, I thought I should start with a list of shocking revelation.  Yes, Virginia, I haven’t seen all of the Christmas old standards.

Santa Claus

First we’ll start with versions of A Christmas Carol I haven’t seen.  I have a long lived hatred of Mr. Dickens and his paid by the word, adjective laden books.  But somehow, this one is dearly loved by myself.  Carol is one that I thought I could say I’ve seen most of the versions.  But I haven’t.  I’ve missed the following:

  • Bah Humduck, A Looney Toons Christmas (2006) Daffy as Scrooge
  • Barbie in a Christmas Carol (2008) Hm…wonder if my niece is still in like with her…
  • Bugs Bunny’s Christmas Carol (1979) Yosemite Sam as Scrooge
  • A Sesame Street Christmas Carol (2006)
  • A Christmas Carol (2004) Kelse Grammar as Scrooge AND IT’S A MUSICAL!
  • Scrooge (1970) Albert Finney as Scrooge, Sir Alec G as Marley (Apparently I have no soul if I’ve not seen this one.)
  • A Christmas Carol (1997) Animated!? Tim Curry as Scrooge
  • A Christmas Carol (2009) Creepy performance capture with Jim Carrey (No.)
  • Blackadder’s Christmas Carol (1988) Which I should watch since I now love this show.
  • Huh Huh Humbug Episode of Beavis and Butthead
  • Scrooged (1988)

Yes I know that last one is going to start public outcry.  Please don’t show up at my doorstep disguised as carolers with pitchforks and torches.  How about show up with the DVD and I’ll spike some hot cocoa and pop popcorn the real way.

The “Classics”:

  • The Shop Around the Corner (1940) JIMMY!  SO SORRY!
  • The Bells of St Mary’s (1945)
  • Going My Way (1944)
  • Holiday Inn (1942)
  • White Christmas (1954)

Yeah, I get it.  My upbringing significantly lacked Bing Crosby.  Basically I need to watch some Bing Crosby.

Television:

  • California Raisins Christmas Specials (I wish I could UNwatch these.  So dang creepy.)
  • Beauty and the Beast Enchanted Christmas (1997) Made during the years I was most Disney obsessed.  Not sure how I missed this one.
  • A Chipmunk Christmas (1981) Sure I know all the words to their Christmas songs, but I actually missed this one.

    Yeah guys.  I'm really sorry.  Really, I am.

    Yeah guys. I’m really sorry. Really, I am.

  • Olive, The Other Reindeer (1999) I was working at Borders the Christmas this one hit.  Never watched it…
  • The Snowman (1982) Let the wailing and gnashing of teeth begin…
  • Winnie the Pooh and Christmas Too (1991) For all the WtP obsessed I am, I’ve never much cared for the Silly Old Bear (SOB…HA!) as rendered by Disney.  I think there’s also a Piglet themed Christmas movie…I’ll skip that one too.

Get ready for the face-palming action…because here comes the rest of the confession:

  • Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas (1977) Jim, I’ve failed you and I will fix this immediately thanks to availability on Netflix.  I am so, so, incredibly and very sorry.
  • Hogfather (2006) Here’s where I lose massive amounts of SF/F points.  This movie is based on Terry Pratchett’s Discworld.  No, I’ve not read any of it.  Hence why I’ve not seen the movie.  Don’t worry, I’ve no qualms about Mr. Pratchett.  I’ve just only read his alongside Gaiman novel Good Omens and have just missed the train on his other stuff.  I’ll get there, I promise.  And along with that will come Hogfather.
  • Ghostbusters II (1989)  Yep.  I’m no longer a nerd.  Yeah, I’ll take my things and go.
  • The Polar Express (2004) I feel better about not seeing this one because it looked flipping creepy.
  • Joyeaux Noel (2005) Sooo…now I lose my European History cred too.
  • And now.  La piece de resistance!  That’s right folks, you can recoil with horror……………Elf (2003) I’m probably a farkle bummed mamma jamma ninnypoopsie or whatever, but myself and Mr. Ferrell only got along in 2 of his films, and both times because he was playing opposite such an incredible supporting cast that I didn’t mind he was there.  And in this movie?  My supporting cast in this film includes Zooey Deschanel.  No.

So what do you think?  What should be my priority to catch?  Perhaps you can confess your deepest darkest holiday movie secrets?

March

20 Nov

“I base my fashion sense on what doesn’t itch.”  ~Gilda Radner

So I promise I’ll get to those holiday videos I’ve been threatening to talk at you about, but I simply must make you view this.  It’s about an hour long and from BBC Channel 4.

This motley crew of septa and octagenarians share their sense of style and their thoughts on how being old doesn’t mean getting old, shopping in thrift shops and catalogs, and even wearing their own art that they’ve created. One is already a very famous model, and another tries to see if she can become a model.  There are some very surprising things in here.  Very surprising indeed.

The documentary is well crafted and basically makes these women gleam and sparkle with glamour, poise, and that general “wisdom of the former generations” that many of us who have long since seen our grandparents depart the earth crave.

There are many funny and endearing moments in this little film.  And here is why you should watch it:

1. Everyone wants to see multiple old ladies don Doc Martens and sparkly Chuck Taylors.  Everyone.

2. Two fingers in a V.  No, it doesn’t mean “Victory” in Britain.  Saucy, saucy ladies.

3. The main thing that struck me about these spry individuals is that each of them is very in tune with her body.  And each exercises and stretches daily.  Smart.

4. I love the idea of owning the look that you like to put on. There is no real rule about what you wear at a certain age.  These ladies certainly don’t go the blue hair, cardigan, dowdy dress look.  But mostly it’s about owning who you are and then showing that by how you dress.  I vow to do a bit more of that.

5. The idea, presented by one of the women, that dwelling on sadness and not moving on is what ages one.  I’ve always felt that dwelling only in the sadness of the departure kind of freezes you in a moment, and it’s not a very healthy moment.

6. This is a film about people who are comfortable in their skin.  Very.  Very.  Comfortable.  I do not think you need to be 87 to achieve this.  I think each of us could become this comfortable if we allowed ourselves the freedom to move on, to discover who we really are, and to march.  There may not be a beat, or maybe your beat isn’t a Sousa (quite easy to march to), but you just march.

7. One of them actually says her style is “street.”  And she doesn’t wish to look “smart.”  Yes.  Very.  Yes.

8.  Not one pair of Uggs among them.  Some funky slippers yes, but not one pair.  Not one.  None.  Zero.  Getting the point?

9. All the color!  So many, many colors!  “Beige, in my opinion, is the color of death.”  PREACH MY SISTER!

10. Old ladies.  Wearing Doc Martens. And exclaiming that wearing stockings suffocates the legs.  Have you not hit play yet?

Really, take an hour out of your day to watch this.  Even if you’re not fashion minded.  Or style minded.  Or old people minded.  Take the moment to just enjoy that these women are some of the people who populate this fine earth of ours.  That the same energy that they tai chi with is also energy that you have in your day to day living.  Be well, friends.  Be well.

Rabbit Hole

19 Nov

get some flowers

Forgive me. I’ve been making my teeny tiny 2005 Vaio do my bidding and it’s taken two days of work. I’ll be back tomorrow with wit, witticism, and the beginning of my holiday season media spectacular.

Tract

14 Nov

Image

This little quote floated across my Facebook page this week.  It is apparently penned by an author that my friends who are fans of Youth Fiction say I should read.  I’m sure I’ll get there as soon as I can.  Because, as any good book lover can tell you, I’m deeply entrenched in a long list of books that I’ve made for myself over the years.

But onto the subject matter at hand.  I’ve knocked on your door today to tell you about the book that everyone who is even remotely interested in the 80s, MMPOGs, science fiction, Atari, or Family Ties.  Or in finding the Easter Eggs on DVDs or in video games.  Or…just plain old video games.  You see today I am here to tell you about a life lived once  you have read this book:

Ready_Player_One_cover

This book I purchased blind after a very good friend of mine told me about it.  It had my curiosity piqued, and my friend hadn’t been wrong before about such life decisions as what my eyes and brain should devour so I gave it a shot.

So, Ernest Cline is the dude who wrote that sweet little movie Fanboys.  You know, about the crazy Star Wars fans who break into Skywalker Ranch to find the original cut of A New Hope?  And I think something about cancer, I don’t remember.  Anyway, he’s no stranger to worlds of science fiction.

The world in Ready Player One is very dystopic.  Which is of course how we Americans like our futures to be.  And Cline doesn’t have much else to add to the worlds that Neal Stephenson and William Gibson haven’t laid down plenty of times in the past: in this future the outside is awful and everyone lives their lives online.

In a massive multiplayer online game.  (MMPOG)

Yeah…you read right: in an online game like World of Warcraft.  Well, at least that’s how it started.  And then you could shop there.  And then they created other worlds where you could go.  And then…school migrated there.  All based around your money that you spend in the game.  Fancy eh?

So it turns out the creator of this universe has passed away.  It also turns out that the creator of this ‘Verse was absolutely dedicated to his love of all things 80s.  But you see in 2044 that is all so quaint and everyone had previously dismissed this as a quirk.  Until the will is read.  The inheritor of the billions and billions of dollars this creator leaves behind?  Is the one who can find the HIDDEN KEYS TO HIDDEN LEVELS IN THE GAME AND BEAT THEM.  Yeah!  Enter Wade Watts, a brave teenager, cue a motley crew of unlikely friends (the best kind to have in a scifi mystery throwback novel), and of course throw in the evil, senseless, ridiculously evil corporation who is cheating at the game to beat everyone to the prize, inherit the millions, and also to fully control the ‘Verse for its horrific profit and evilness.

In case I’ve not converted you yet, did I mention Family Ties?  Seriously, the book interweaves all of these crazy references and technologies all together into one brilliant story which kept me guessing til the end.  The best part?  If you don’t know what things like haptic gloves are, Cline takes time to briefly bring you up to speed on them.  But here’s the kicker: he doesn’t make you feel stupid for not knowing what they are in the first place!  Unlike a lot of other cyberpunky books, Cline’s not out there to either write for an audience that he just wouldn’t have to lower himself to by explaining technology.  (Stephenson is quite guilty of this in Snow Crash.)  Nor does he go into sometimes long, winding, intricate descriptions of such technology.  (As Gibson has been wont to do from time to time.)  Nope, you get a few sentences, and you feel brilliant, and you move on.

Cline treats his pop culture references much in the same way.  I actually created a really cool 80s music station on Pandora by typing in every single band or artist mentioned in this book.  You should do this as well.

You should do many things.  And I know you are a human being who can make decisions for yourself, but to paraphrase perhaps one of the most famous evangelical gospel tracts: it’s not enough to know that this book is awesome, or to feel its pages between your fingers, you must personally read it yourself and find it brilliant.

But you don’t have to take my word for it….

What about you?  What’s your book you must absolutely evangelize everyone about?