A Short Open Letter to Lin-Manuel Miranda

I have wracked my mind a thousand times over to find exactly what I want to say to you. Perhaps I still don’t, but I must write you to empty this swelling heart of my thoughts, my feelings, before they escape, dancing on the breeze until they fade out of existence.

I don’t know if you’ll ever read this, but I need to write.

I will, however, let you know that is will not be a gushing love-letter to “Hamilton”–although there will be moments in which I fanboy because, let’s admit it, it is nearly impossible not to.

I mean how can one not fall in love with cabinet meetings depicted as rap battles? How can someone not enjoy bumping their car’s bass to intricate political rhetoric?

Anyway, that is not the point of this letter. The point is legacy.

I imagine you, as Alexander Hamilton did, have wrestled with the legacy you will leave behind. I apologize if this is an off-base presumption, but it is hard for me to ignore such a strong theme under-girding the story of “Hamilton”.

As a fellow writer, fellow creator even, I believe your legacy will be more than giving us one of the most important things to happen to the hip-hop medium in recent years. Your legacy will be more than bringing one of the most important and one of the greatest shows to ever grace the stages of Broadway.

Your legacy, Lin, will be that of inspiration.

You are an inspiration to fellow writers, musicians, artists, and all creative persons alike. Most of all, you are an inspiration.

In you I see the culmination of a story that had to be told; a story that could only be told by you. A story that consumes and that you must share with the world.

In you I see reassurance and hope that dreaming in such a manner will never be for naught. That determination and following what your heart carries you to is not foolish. That continuing to push toward what you feel you are on this planet to do will never be pointless.

In you I see that anything is possible and that I must continue remembering that much.

Okay. So, the letter ended up being a little longer than the salutation may have suggested but I need to put this out in the universe.

I hope you can understand my ramblings. In the end, all I can say is thank you.

Your newest fan,

Jarrod Finn

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Sound

I wrote this rough draft of a poem today. Hope you guys enjoy. -Jarrod

I love sound.

All sound.

Not just the laughter of a child,

laughter reaching down to your soul,

and embracing it.

Not just the soft rustle

of a book’s pages.

Or the crackle,

of the perfect crust,

formed by wrinkled, aged,

but loving hands.

Or the steady beat,

of the one

heart

chosen to love you.

I even,

no,

most especially of all

love the sound found in silence.

True silence.

Silence where not even

fear,

doubt,

memories,

melancholy,

or hate

can reach you.

Howard Thurman calls this the

“Sound of the Genuine”,

that when it crescendos from a faint whisper

to an unrelenting buzz

to finally a swelling symphony,

you have found yourself;

your true self.

I call this sound peace.

At long last,

peace.

But Most of All

I wrote this piece as part of a poetry journal/final project for a class in seminary called, appropriately, Poetry and the Bible. It came out of a period of time–I believe it was at the middle point of my graduate studies–where I spent quite a bit of time contemplating what my late father would think of my life at that juncture, what it would be like to  discuss life and love with him as an adult, AND regret over not repairing our relationship sooner than we did. 

Feel free to let me know what you think. – Jarrod

 

If I could turn back time

I wouldn’t be Cher,

but I’d go back to Oct 2003 at Wrigley Field

and tackle Steve Bartman.

I’d cut off the first mullet,

steal the first pair of acid wash jeans.

I’d even destroy all the synthesizers.

Well, maybe not Van Halen’s.

I’d beg Wham! to PLEASE put on some pants.

I’d work on the set of Thriller.

I’d fly to San Francisco

and sip on a latte with Harvey Milk,

grab a scone with John Lennon,

even gnaw on some naan with Ghandi;

okay only when he wasn’t striking.

I’d be a Freedom Rider,

sit at Woolworth’s Lunch Counter,

shed tears while standing in awe

as he dreamt at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial.

I’d teach the slaveowners Scripture.

Hell… I’d even try to saddle up on a dinosaur.

But most of all

I’d tell you I’m sorry.

That I forgive you.

That I wish I could take back

all the cruel things that slipped off my tongue.

That I’d do anything to destroy those walls

between us,

the walls we only began to tear down.

That I am here,

strong, brave, confident, able to love

because of you.

If I could turn back time

I would tell you one more time

that I love you.

Bullets

I wrote the below poem almost a decade ago for a creative writing class at my alma mater the University of Illinois. The Iraq War was still in its early stages and I felt the poem was rather apropos at the time I wrote it. I chose it as my first creative writing piece to share as I feel it is still apropos considering the events of this year. 

I hope you enjoy.

-Jarrod

Bullets helped to build this nation,
now they help to tear it apart.
They scream of hatred and anger,
sing a chorus of pain and fear.
The putrid smell of corruption,
lingers with the smoke they leave behind.
The path they take,
cuts through families and friends,
taking with them true love,
love that was never shown enough,
or unrequited love never declared,
and shattering hopes and dreams,
leaving them in fragments with flesh and bone,
reverberating a sad and melancholy tone,
of bitterness and regret.
And let’s not forget,
how they are, for some,
the last resort for a ticket,
from this place.
Created by those who make money
on death and destruction,
they stifle a mother’s cry,
or the conscience of the desperate.

Dragon*Con: A Preview

Man, it’s been far too long since I last published something here. To my loyal readers, I apologize. As you already know my mother had surgery and I was home in Illinois helping her and the rest of my family through the circumstances. In addition to attending to that, I have been involved in and working on a big project. #NerdArmy friends know a little about that. The teasers have been fun. Muahahaha.

Never fear though, I have returned and the timing could not be more perfect. Dragon*Con is nearly upon us. This Dragon*Con virgin, for one, is incredibly excited.

jonahhillhappy

 

 

 

 

 

Okay. Woosah! Let me quell the excitement and briefly explain Dragon*Con for those who have no clue what I’m talking about.

Surely most people know about San Diego Comic Con–which is actually one of many Comic Cons but the granddaddy of them all nonetheless–as it has permeated pop culture (re: Discovery Channel’s Toy HunterThe Big Bang Theory, etc.). Now imagine the San Diego Comic Con (perhaps a little less grandiose) in Atlanta and you’ve got Dragon*Con. Since its inception in 1987, Dragon*Con has become one of the largest conventions in the Southeast bringing in a myriad of beloved actors and personalities.

Although I have lived in Atlanta for five years, I’ve only experienced the excitement from the periphery. Now I finally have the opportunity to bask in all of the nerd and cosplay glory firsthand.

I will do what I can to cover as much of Dragon*con. Pictures of cosplay. Attend as many panels as possible. And of course give you my thoughts on the whole experience. The one thing I do regret is that I am unable to purchase photo ops with celebrities that I love. Oh well.

If you visit the con’s website and see any guests you want me to try and meet, comment below. If you have any specific cosplay you would like me to find, please comment below. Also, if you are attending Dragon*Con and use the app, let me know and I will send you a friend code.

A Really Quick Hello

Hey everyone.

Yes, I’m still alive. I haven’t gone anywhere, but I am getting close to finding the lost city of Atlantis. I just need to learn how to swim first.

I am still stumped on how to travel back in time though.

Seriously though, I want to apologize for not being around and not keeping up with this site. It is still my labor of love, so I feel bad that I haven’t posted anything for all of you to read.

Over the last month or so I have some family circumstances that I have had to attend to back in Illinois: My mother had to have emergency triple bypass surgery. She made it through and is recovery quite well.

Suffice it to say, I haven’t had the time to devote to writing like I would want. I am back to writing though. So, stay tuned for more fun and more nerdy Jarrod.

The Huzzah Heard ‘Round the Nerd World

For the past ten weeks, us commanders of the Nerd Army (under the leadership of reigning king Kayla LaFrance) and with the help of those amazing nerds who volunteered have worked incredibly hard to convince TBS to renew King of the Nerds for a third season.

With the 1-2-3 Punch created by Kayla and our own Minister of Propaganda Melissa Corley, endless tweets and memes were sent out like beacons in hopes that TBS would see them and renew the show.  At times things seemed bleak. There were moments where maintaining hope was hard. But guys all that paid off because THE. SHOW. WAS. RENEWED!!!

That’s right. TBS has renewed King of the Nerds for a third season. Filming will commence this summer and the show will air in January of next year. Nerdvana’s doors will open once again.  Curtis Armstrong and Robert Carradine will be back in amazing cosplay guiding nerds through competitions that will test them deeply. And we’ll even get to see how the throne will become empty.

Now some of you out there may be asking, “Why make such a big deal out of this? It’s just another reality show”. Well, that’s where you’re wrong. KOTN is much more than just another reality show and this fact rings true for not only me, but also many many nerds alike.

King of the Nerds has provided images and examples of nerds to look up to that television has not had before. It has helped nerds become more comfortable in who they are. King of the Nerds has even opened doors to a community where nerds can feel safe and be in solidarity with other people like them.

Through Curtis Armstrong’s (Papa Nerd as many affectionately refer to him) efforts, something that changes and moves people was created. We couldn’t just let another season go by without KOTN on television. Other nerds who haven’t found the comfort and inspiration that we found in the show need to see a season. And it is also because of this that we can rejoice in the news of its renewal.

With that said, the battle isn’t over just yet. Per Kayla’s orders, we still need to get nerds over to @KOTNCasting. If you know anyone that is interested tell them to email casting at KingOfTheNerdsCasting@gmail.com. Also, and this is a big also, PLEASE send a ton of thanks in the direction of @tbsveryfunny.

Writer | Gamer | Movie Freak | Foodie Extraordinaire | Major Nerd