words beautyWords and I are pretty tight. They were my first love (I already mentioned that I was a huge nerd). They never use me and I can use them whenever I feel like it. But I don’t abuse them: I use them in the way that they were intended to be. That’s what makes words special: everyone has access to them, we all possess words, and we have the freedom to do what we wish with them.

You might decide to write a song while I write a story. Although we only have 26 letters at our disposal, we can do so much with them.

There are words that we’re supposed to use on a frequent basis (such as “I love you”) and those that shouldn’t leave our tongue (I’ll let your imagination handle this one). We all have access to the same alphabet, but what we make of it is completely up to us. They’re a medium that you don’t have to be an artist to manipulate into something beautiful; your existence as a human being is enough to make something meaningful out of our vocabulary.

Beauty Quote


An Artistic Intrusion

TitanicPeople move things and things move us. There’s a sacred relationship between humanity, the items people make, and the feats they accomplish through their ingenuity. Titanic was a vessel that was meant to transport people across the Atlantic Ocean; however, in the past and present it has served to move our very thoughts and perspectives of the world.

When she began her maiden voyage in 1912, Titanic embodied the heights to which technology would take humanity. As Titanic’s broken hull lies on the seabed of the North Atlantic, it warns about unpreparedness and bad judgement.

Titanic Dinner PlateThe artifacts on display from Titanic were only extraordinary because of the story they told about the disaster. The plates I observed were a tribute to the ocean liner they sunk with; however, the dishes were just another facet of dining on Titanic in 1912. Everything was grand and marvelous on the surface. Once the ship plunged under the cold water, everything onboard was shrouded in mystery.

An ominous hunk of ice sat in the middle of the next room. A sign encouraged all patrons to experience the cold of the North Atlantic Ocean.

Briefly touching the frigid ice was jarring; I instantly drew my hand away from it. I had a privilege denied to those in the Atlantic: I could leave my hand on the exhibit for as long, or short, as I pleased. My life wan’t threatened by hypothermia. I wasn’t worried about loved ones or panicking after being submersed in the ocean. I was safe and far from experiencing the plight of the passengers.  I felt like I was intruding on the suffering of the Titanic victims by participating in the experiential exhibit.Sunken Titanic

Photograph of Titanic at a Harbor

Photograph of Titanic on the Seafloor

Photograph of White Star Line Plate


Nerd Level: Bookbinder

NotebookSo one day over winter break I decided that I would learn to bind note books. I sacrificed my sketch pad and made my first book. I think I have achieved some special level in Nerdvana as I made this while watching “Mythbusters,” wearing my awful glasses, and wearing my hair in a sad excuse for a messy bun. I had recently finished a “Star Wars” marathon. I even engineered a way to have several colorful signatures at the beginning and end of the notebook. Yep, nerdiness achieved.

The Silver Screen’s Mirror

Non-Stop Flawed CharactersWithin the first few moments of the blockbuster “Non-Stop,” we watch air marshal Bill Marks throw back a few swigs of liquor and stare longingly at a photo of his daughter. Once in the air, he tapes the smoke detector in the lavatory so he can have an illegal smoke 30,000 feet above the Atlantic Ocean. In consideration of these negligent actions, no one is too inclined to sympathize for Liam Neeson’s character.

Soon, he receives a text demanding an astronomical ransom. No one on the plane is safe, for every twenty minutes the demand is not met a passenger will be killed. The lives of the passengers on the 767 were in his hands, you cheer for Marks because they depend on him. Now you want Marks to win, unless of course you’re one of the terrorists.

But why the sudden change of heart? The movie presents background information that makes his struggles human.  You learn that Marks struggles with alcoholism because his daughter died of cancer and his wife left him. You discover that he lost himself in his previous career with the New York Police Department so that he would not have to watch his daughter suffer. Characters are easily demonized when only their actions are seen; once the events that led up to their flawed state are revealed we can begin to empathize.

Everyone possesses different flaws and we all depend on other flawed people. Their lives consist of a wide range of messes. They have addictions and have made horrid choices, yet we still cheer them on. They’re perfect in the sense that they’re human.

Broken MirrorAlthough the action sequences in “Non-Stop” were perfected through Hollywood magic, the characters’ lives were left untouched. That is why we cheer for them: we see a bit of ourselves in them.



“Non-Stop” Photograph

Broken Mirror and Eye Photograph