Alexander Hamilton, Part 2

As I work my way through the biography of Alexander Hamilton (hopefully in advance of seeing Hamilton: An American Musical when it makes its stop in Salt Lake), I’ll be writing some thoughts about the book, or just thoughts about Hamilton in general. They won’t always be a direct critique of the book, but we’ll see what happens.

Alexander Hamilton wrote a lot. Three-quarters of the Federalist Papers. A report on public credit and the national bank. A pamphlet about an affair in an attempt to clear the air. Biographer Ron Chernow noted that Hamilton “must have produced the maximum number of words that a human can scratch out in 49 years.” If there were notes to be taken or thoughts about something, It was almost a guarantee that he wrote it down.

This was evidenced by his courtship of Elizabeth Schuyler. Granted, at the time, it wasn’t as if he could spend hours upon hours on the phone speaking with his future wife. For one, the telephone wasn’t yet invented; second, he was mostly away with the Army fighting the Revolutionary War as George Washington’s aide, so he didn’t really have a bunch of free time. Nevertheless, he wooed the young Eliza with his words on paper, sending her a letter nearly every day he was away (we know this because he chastised her for not keeping up with his prolific pace of letter writing). Continue reading

13 Reasons Why – A Review

Note: This post contains mild spoilers from the Netflix series “13 Reasons Why,” as well as some talk of suicide and sexual assault. Reader discretion is advised.

“13 Reasons Why” is the latest Original Series from Netflix. Based on the novel of the same name, the series begins after the “unexpected” suicide of high school junior Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford) and follows Clay Jensen (Dylan Minnette) after he receives a box of 13 tapes anonymously. The tapes outline the “13 reasons why” Hannah committed suicide, with Hannah narrating 13 distinct events, perpetrated by classmates and others, over the previous year that led to her taking her own life.

The subject person of each tape has listened to the series and passed them on to the next person, mainly because of unspoken consequences enforced by Tony (Christian Navarro), a friend of Hannah’s with promises to keep. Whereas the previous recipients of the tapes had simply listened and passed them on, Clay takes a special interest in the tapes in an effort to eliminate some of his own feelings of loss over the death of Hannah, but also in an attempt to hold the others accountable for their actions. This doesn’t make him very popular with the other folks on the tapes, who pressure him to just get through them and get to the end and put it all behind him. This culminates in a conclusion that is just, yet open-ended enough to potentially lead to future seasons of the show. The true fallout is just beginning to be felt by the end of the 13th episode, and many loose strings are left untied.  Continue reading

Why I Love Kim and Will Be Marrying Her Soon

I follow WordPress.com on Twitter, and today’s writing prompt led me to sit down and write this while I was sitting in the airport waiting to fly back to Chicago after a fun-filled vacation with Kim, my girlfriend since last May…or at least she was my girlfriend when we left Illinois last Friday. However, during our brief stay in Las Vegas, she became something more, the woman that I will spend the rest of my life with, the woman who will be the mother to my future children, and the woman that brings me the most joy.

Now, as many suspected and even mentioned, we did not get married in Vegas, though the thought had crossed my mind. At this point in our lives, I don’t think there is much need for a long courtship, and my time with her over the past 10 months has been nothing short of wonderful. I decided to “pop the question,” asking her to marry me and become my wife, something that I suspect will happen not long after we figure out where I will be working once I finish school in May. Continue reading