Hometown Heroes of Seattle (Part One)

“Who are Seattle’s hometown heroes? In many ways they are just like you and me. They walk the same city streets, with grand visions and dreams etched in their minds. They put on their shoes one at a time, then inspire us with their giant strides.”

These words adorn a bronze plaque in downtown Seattle, on the side of the flagship Nordstrom store. Growing up in the area, I’ve passed it many times, as well as the footprints of these “giant strides” from iconic Seattle entrepreneurs, politicians and artists – many of whom, like Olympian Apolo Ohno and baseball star Ken Griffey Jr., are pretty well known to people outside the Pacific Northwest. But as someone who has lived in Seattle for nearly my entire life (minus 7 years or so), there were some hometown heroes that even I hadn’t heard of!

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Vocabulary: The Etched City, by K.J. Bishop

Good vocabulary has always impressed me. In college, my roommates and I would play a game: over the course of the semester, we kept a collection of any unfamiliar words that we came across in our studies. When finals season came around, we would choose 6-8 really exceptional vocabulary words, and post them and their definitions on the wall in the kitchen where we write all our exam papers. The goal was to use as many words as possible per essay (properly, of course). I can still look over my senior thesis and pick out which words were that semester’s “house vocab” words.

But I noticed that I don’t do that anymore; my vocabulary is stagnating. My current read, The Etched City, has some fantastic vocab words in it. Here are some of my favorites so far:

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I’m Going to Party Like it’s 1999

Recently, I stumbled across an old Facebook post from May that said: “New apartment doesn’t have internet yet. Call or text like a regular human being during the evenings.” Well, eight months later and my apartment still doesn’t have internet. And that’s okay. I’m not using this as an excuse why I haven’t updated in a while. I still use the internet every day, mostly for work. But there is no more daily Netflix in my life, no mindless surfing the web or drunken Amazon impulse buys. I don’t think I’m better or more “authentic” than others. I just think the responses I get from people when they find out says a lot about our always-connected culture, especially in the tech Mecca of Seattle.

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2015 Reading Challenge: July and August

Here it is! The final installment of ridiculous haiku book reviews to chronicle my epic reading quest. I wasn’t able to write up each of the 52 books because sometimes I like to leave my house, but I am looking forward to reading what I want at my own pace. It’s not so bad when I first started my reading list, but as I continued to cross books off my list, it got harder and harder to have specific books lined up. I’m planning a conclusion post about what I learned and timely coincidences to neatly sum up everything, so stay tuned for that.

Without further ado, I present the last set of haiku I will ever post publicly (if you’re lucky):

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2015 Reading Challenge: May and June

When I first saw the list of 52 books, I figured I could do it in a year. Averaging one book per week – pretty simple, right? As I began to work my way through the list, I began to see that I couldn’t just start at #1 and work my way through in numerical order. For starters, I wanted to save the book set during Christmas for, well, December. I read the books that were difficult to obtain or more specific first, and now I’m left with an interesting mix of literature to cross off my list: a book based entirely on its cover, a book with bad reviews… and that Christmas book I will end up reading sometime in August.

I am very nearly finished with the reading list I’ve adopted – I’m averaging 1.4 books per week! – only time will tell if and how I choose books will change forever. But I probably won’t write any more haiku reviews about them, so enjoy them while they last.

2015 Reading Challenge

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2015 Reading Challenge: March and April

I found a list online of 50 types of books – 52 books in total (a trilogy only counts as one) – designed to get readers out of their comfort zones. I had the bright idea to read 1 book every week and check off every criteria on the list by the end of December 31, 2015. As someone who usually gravitates towards mysteries and memoirs, I was excited to try out genres like graphic novels, a book originally written in another language, or a book with magic or nonhuman characters.

So far, I am ahead of schedule: I’m working on book #28 – a book that became a movie. I’ve crafted more responses and reviews in haiku form, because, as the old chatterbox Polonius said, “brevity is the soul of wit.”

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2015 Reading Challenge: January and February

I found a list of 50 criteria designed to expand your “reading comfort zone” – genres and authors I wouldn’t otherwise pick up, different formats like plays and graphic novels, and old books that might have been forgotten. I decided to turn this reading list into my 2015 “To Do” list, and I’ve been working my way through it since January 1st. Here are some select reviews from the books I read during January and February.

2015 Reading Challenge

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