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Rise Up and Join the Fandom!

In April of 2017, I visited New York City to see the Broadway play that’s been taking the world by storm; “Hamilton.” This was not the first play that I’ve ever seen on Broadway, but this has been the only one to make an impact on me personally.

Richard Rogers theatre
View of the stage from inside the Richard Rodgers theatre.

The play “Hamilton,” is about one of the lesser-known or thought about founding fathers of our country, Alexander Hamilton. He grew up on a small island called Nevis which is part of the British West Indies. Hamilton had a rough childhood; he grew up poor, his mother died of sickness, and his father left him. At a young age, he wrote his way out of the horror that surrounded him by writing his pain away.

He wrote in a local newspaper and people of his town took up a collection to send him to New York City so that he could start a new life. They saw his potential and wanted him to be better and do better for himself.

The rest was history.

Hamilton had many accomplishments such as being the first U.S. Treasury Secretary, founder of the U.S. Coast Guard, and founder of the New York Post. These are all institutions and things that we have and use in today’s society.

I won’t give any more insider spoilers away, but this is a play that everyone should see at least once in their lives. Even if you have to go by yourself or hop on a plane, it’s worth the money and the trip.

Here’s why:

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The original music will stick with you.

As I’m typing this, I’m remembering lyrics and what part of the show it applied to. Lyrics such as “I will never be satisfied” and “I wrote my way out…wrote everything down far as I can see.” These lyrics made an impression before you even realized you’re singing along to a song that’s covering major parts in history. The music is a perfect blend of hip-hop, r&b, jazz and everything in between. Before you know it, you’ll be singing and dancing to yourself in your seat, while trying to be inconspicuous about it.

 

You’ll wish you had this when you were in school.

I wish that I had a teacher as cool as Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of “Hamilton,” when I was in history class. Certain parts of history bored me but I knew that I had to pay attention and learn the basics. Lin-Manuel cracked the code on making history come to life before your very eyes and leave you wanting more. After the play, I was researching the very characters in his play as if they were fictional; yet they were real life people with the same emotions, thoughts, and feelings that we have today.

 

It’ll impact you more than you think.

I know for me, thinking about the life of Alexander Hamilton, how he grew up as an immigrant and came here with nothing motivated me. With his passion and drive for writing, his creative thoughts and ideas, he went down in history as an influential figure. The play also drove home for me that you can’t always wait for things to happen to you. You have to go out and take it and make your own path through life. It may not be as recognizable as Hamilton’s contributions were, but what can you do so that you’ll be able to live with yourself and sleep at night? What things can you do locally that can positively impact your community?

Why not book a trip to see what all the hype is about!? You’ll be sorry you waited so long to see it!

Cast list.

Raise a glass to freedom!

Follow me on Twitter at @Jazzepentopaper and tell me your favorite parts of the show!

Travel For One?

Who doesn’t love to travel and be on the go? I know that I do. I feel as though the more that I’m on a plane, the better. There’s something about being in the air, overlooking the clouds, anticipating your arrival to your destination.

That feeling is one of a kind and there’s nothing like it.

Now picture yourself on a plane in your seat with your noise canceling headphones and bottle of water. Your eyes are closed and you’re thinking about what you plan to do once you touch down.

But here’s the thing; you’re traveling by yourself to this amazing location and you start to have second thoughts.

Don’t listen to them!

Lock them up and throw them away!

Sometimes traveling by yourself can be advantageous and more fun!

Let me give you three reasons why that’s the case.

1. You can do what you want. 

Who here has been on a trip with someone that didn’t want to do anything? What about someone who was super cheap and only wanted to eat at fast food places while you’re on your trip? I can say that I’ve experienced both of those types of people in my travels. The funny thing is that had I not invited them along, I would have had a more enjoyable time. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to have a friend with you when you travel, but at what cost?

Had I not invited my “travel partner” at the time, I would have been more apt to go on that ride, take that excursion, taste that exotic dish. Since they didn’t want to do it and I didn’t want to leave them behind while I did, I bit the bullet and stayed with them. When you travel, you want to be able to try and experience new things. It’s kind of hard to do that if the person you’re with only wants to take naps and doesn’t want to explore the place you’re visiting.

When you travel, you want to be able to try and experience new things. It’s kind of hard to do that if the person you’re with only wants to take naps and doesn’t want to explore the place you’re visiting. In that case, you’re better off on your own. By traveling by yourself, you can do all of the activities and try all of the food that you wish without feeling guilty that you left your friend behind.

2. You don’t have to pay for someone else. 

One thing that really grinds my gears are people who want to go on trips with you but they don’t have any money. Sometimes those same people weasel their way onto your trip only bringing a certain amount of money, expecting you to cover the rest.

Don’t do it.

I repeat, don’t do it!

By traveling by yourself, you are able to spend the money you’ve saved for your trip on you. No one else. If you invite someone along and then have to pay their way, that’ll only stress you out unnecessarily. Plus it will make you resent the person and that’ll be on your mind the entire trip.

3. You are more apt to reach out and meet new people.

Once again, there’s nothing wrong with traveling with a friend. But sometimes it’s easy to stay removed and by yourself with your friend because you don’t know anyone else around you.

Once again, there’s nothing wrong with traveling with a friend. But sometimes it’s easy to stay removed and by yourself with your friend because you don’t know anyone else around you.

By traveling by yourself, you force yourself to reach out to new people. That’s a good thing because sometimes you learn things that you normally wouldn’t have if you just stayed glued to your friends’ hip. You may learn of a hole-in-the-wall place that wasn’t on your tourist list of attractions. Or you may get invited to a club or even get a great suggestion on things that locals love to do.

Why do some of you like to travel alone?

Follow me on Twitter at @Jazzepentopaper and give me some of your thoughts!

A Step With Me

Mary Lou and Gabe slowly walk down the road, side-by-side. Mary Lou’s shoes were wet with each step as she intentionally stepped in each puddle. She enjoyed the crisp smell in the air after a fresh rainfall. Gabe didn’t like the rain or being outside for long periods of time.

Gabe remained quiet with his thumb in his mouth. Mary Lou reached out her hand to Gabe. He turned his head and looked at it.

“Trust me,” she says.

Gabe takes his thumb out of his mouth and grabs her hand.

They walk forward into the early light of daybreak.

3 In-Flight Travel Must-Haves As A “Germaphobe”

When you’re traveling and you have to catch a flight, it can be a bit of a stressful experience. Not only are you trying to make sure that you don’t miss your flight, but you start to wonder to yourself…”Have I forgotten anything? Did I pack my toothbrush? I think I packed that extra pair of socks…or did I?”

For those who are infrequent travelers, their anxiety level is much higher than those who are seasoned. However, the anxiety level doubles for those who are “germaphobes”, such as myself, and are constantly worried about safe hygienic practices. Airplanes are some of the nastiest places to be as they are not properly sanitized on a regular basis. There have been reports on how airplanes are breeding places for germs.

Therefore, it is up to you as a passenger to protect yourself.

Here are some easy tips that you can use while on an airplane that will make you not only feel safe but will give you peace of mind while you’re in-flight.

Stock photo of a canister of disinfectant wipes.

  1. Bring your own disinfectant wipes.

    It is important for you to bring disinfectant wipes with you in your carry-on bag to use while on a plane. If you do not choose to purchase a travel size container filled with pre-moistened wipes, you can always take wipes out of the disinfectant wipes canister that you have at home. If you decide to take the wipes out of a canister, you can place them into a small resealable plastic bag (for example, a Ziploc bag) to keep them fresh and ready for use on the plane. Once you arrive on the plane and before you sit down in your seat, use the wipes to clean your seat thoroughly. Wipe down your headrest, your actual seat, the arm rest, seat belt, and tray table if you plan on using it. These are things that flight attendants do not have time to do between passengers coming on and off of the plane. They focus mainly on picking up leftover trash. Therefore, it is in your best interest to sterilize your seat and the surrounding area of before take-off.

  2. Hand sanitizer gel

    Bring your own hand sanitizer.

    In your carry-on, you are allowed to bring small amounts of liquid onto the plane. When you are packing, you should make sure that hand sanitizer is one of those items. You need hand sanitizer while on the plane in case you decide to eat a snack, touch your face or simply want to sanitize your hands because you are touching other things, such as your cell phone, tablet, headphones, etc. It is also good to have your own hand sanitizer in case you have to use the bathroom; even though it would be in your best interest to wait until you land. Sometimes in the small airplane bathrooms, they run out of soap and the flight attendants do not have time to restock the inventory. Especially if a lot of people are using the bathroom in the same timeframe.

  3. Clear blue water bottle

    Bring your own bottle of water.

    It is important to bring your own bottle of water onto the airplane as you need to stay hydrated during the flight. A majority of airplanes do not have safe tap water, therefore some will use bottled water in order to make tea or coffee. However, it is in your best interest to bring your own bottle of water to ensure you are drinking healthy water. Staying hydrated while changing altitudes and remaining in the pressurized cabin of the airplane is important as the air dries out your skin and it can cause you to feel light-headed or feel nauseous.

What are some of your personal travel recommendations for fellow “germaphobes”?

Follow me on Twitter @Jazzepentopaper and share your favorite tips!

Creation Of A New Language-Seppe

Seppe is the langauge of a group of underground activists who have lived in the sewers underneath the city of Shalvaston for centuries. It allows for these people, who are known as the Blue Knights to speak in code and communicate with their spies.

The Blue Knights received their name by overthrowing evil King Bursos. King Bursos had an obsession with the color blue and often chose to torture his subjects with objects that had an association with that color. People died by drowning, suffocation and being thrown out of airplanes.

The Blue Knights stay away from the world up-top as they call it and do not associate with the top-dwellers. They stay to themselves. The Blue Knights have been in hiding and do not engage with the activities that take place above them. As far as they know, up-top is in total chaos.

Seppe means strength, resiliency, and bravery.

Trapped And Afraid

He took a deep breath and thrust his hand into the bag. His fingers made contact with something slimy, yet gritty in its’ consistency. He twisted his face as he lifted his hand out of the bag and glanced at Sheila.

“What are you trying to pull?” he asks. “When I told you I wanted this mixture to be smooth to the touch, I didn’t expect you would give me something like this!”

“I’m sorry Ray,” Sheila says. “I’ve been working on this day and night and I told you this would take time…”

“Time is a luxury we can’t afford!” Ray yells. “Keep this up and you’ll never see your husband and daughter again.”

“No,” Sheila whimpers and takes a step closer to Ray, attempting to clasp her hands together. Her hands are still restricted by the metal handcuffs clamped tightly to her wrists.

“Please…I beg of you.”

 

Six Reasons to Hire a Freelance Writer!

1. Receive personalized attention according to your needs or the needs of your business.

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4. Possess a direct line of communication between yourself and your Freelance Writer. This allows for a faster turnaround for deadlines and important articles/submissions.

5. You will always have someone reliable to work with in the future that will be there to help you with your writing needs.

6. Make connections with your Freelance Writer by utilizing the vast amount of skills they possess besides their writing abilities.

Remaining Positive in a Negative World

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Who hasn’t heard the saying, “Life isn’t fair”, at least once in their lives? I know that phrase is something I used to hear constantly growing up and it rings true. However, despite life not being fair, how is it that you can remain focused and positive even with the things that life throws at you?

It’s all about shifting your frame of mind. If you are constantly looking at the world negatively or seeing the glass as “half-empty”, you honestly won’t go far in life. You will be stuck in a perpetual cycle of doing the same things over and over again and not being any happier. In fact, you may become depressed which can lead to a whole host of other problems, making you feel even worse.

Positivity isn’t something that can be easily acquired. You have to change your thought processes and how you see yourself in the world. Even if you may not think too positively about yourself, or in general are not a positive person, it is a good practice to force yourself to consitently want to be better.

If you see an aspect of your life that you want to fix?

Change it.

If you want to start a new career?

Change it.

You can start by becoming a more positive person in three simple ways:

  1. Every morning when you wake up, look in the mirror and say one nice thing that you like about yourself.
  2. When you may be assigned a new project at work, instead of doubting yourself, say that you’re up for the challenge. You can handle it.
  3. Exercise at least 30 minutes a day. It can be something as simple as walking or dancing by yourself in your room. Either way, you need to get those endorphins engaged.

Now these ideas that I’ve shared above are just a start and they can be the building blocks on which you can begin to build your more positive outlook on life. You have to start somewhere, so why not start small and go from there?

Selfless pursuits versus Selfish pursuits

I totally love this! It is so easy to get caught up in our own situations and totally lose sight of what’s really important…which is people and our relationships. I remember going out to dinner with a friend and the entire night she was talking on the phone to her boyfriend. Then began to rush me as he wanted her to meet up with him later. Long story short, I dropped her off and we haven’t had a one-on-one dinner again. It’s all about how you treat people.

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Lets say you come across two people while you are out running errands. The first person you encounter is an old acquaintance. You all begin catching up and out of nowhere they say, “I just donated $500 to this organization.”  You wonder, “Why did they tell me that?” The second person you run into is an acquaintance as well. You all have a casual conversation. They share with you that they were inspired by a friend who recently donated their time to paint a community center. It made them want to do more and serve others in some way.

Both people are good people with well intentions. However, each one has a different pursuit. One is selfish and the other is selfless. The picture above illustrates a problem that all of us have encountered at some point. We are out with our friends, on a date or with family. However…

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