Victorian Christmas Stroll at Henry Plant Museum

January 5, 2017

Last year in December, Lea and I finally visited the Henry B. Plant Museum. Since our visit took place during the festive season, we had the opportunity to attend the 35th annual Victorian Christmas Stoll. It's been described as, "The exploration of the 1891 Tampa Bay Hotel bursting with holiday spirit". The atmosphere was enchanting. We loved every moment. The sound of caroling reached us as we entered the hallway. Our eyes were met with beautiful decorations, plenty of lights, Victorian fashion, antique toys, and history lessons to read. It was indeed an old-fashioned celebration of the holidays. We were even able to eavesdrop on what the hotel guests would have listened to during the 1890s through the receiver of a candlestick telephone. We heard music, speeches of a few famous people, and news coverage. It was neat! At the end of our visit, we sat outside on the veranda to enjoy complimentary apple cider and gingerbread cookies. The view was breathtaking at night. Later we ended up in Harbour Island to eat dinner at a place called Cafe Dufrain. After we stopped at a Starbucks for hot beverages, conversation, and laughs. I cannot wait to see what museums are in store for us in 2017!


Tampa Bay History Center

October 11, 2016

Lea and I visited the Tampa Bay History Center this weekend. We had this planned for several weeks. This visitation was a requirement for a history research paper I must write for one of my history classes. The exhibits that were of great interest to me were the ones of European exploration, Ybor City, and Pioneer living. Before our visit, I was unsure what my topic would be. I thought I would choose to write about the Spanish Conquistadors or the cigar industry of Ybor City. Instead, I have decided to research and write about pioneer education and family home.

I can always count on a nice day spent with Lea, it may be because we have a similar inclination and demeanor. Our day began around 10:00 a.m. We drove to Davis Islands to drink lattes at DI Coffee Bar. From there we went straight to the museum, where we spent a few hours exploring all the exhibits. We ate lunch at The Bricks in Ybor City. This was our second visit to this restaurant which I love because they serve plenty of tasty vegetarian options. I ate a vegetarian style "Cuban sandwich" with tortilla chips and black bean dip. After we ate, we explored Ybor City and a few thrifts shops nearby which further intensified my love for vintage dresses, books, and luggage. We browsed the books and gift shop in Oxford Exchange, grabbed coffee yet again at Wawa, visited a few stores at the mall, ate dinner at Whole Foods, purchased a few items for our pets (my cat, her dog) at PetSmart, and shopped at Marshalls.

I have a lot of work ahead of me this semester with twelve more history papers to write between now and early December. I am taking two history classes this semester. As much as I adore reading, writing, and breathing history I have to admit that I am looking forward to having more time to myself in December once this semester is behind me. More time to write about what I want, explore with friends, and leisure reading.


Literary & Liberty Bookshop

August 13, 2016

I have exciting news to share today! My bookshop on Etsy is finally open for business. A dream of mine has always been to own a bookshop. While I don't think I will ever own a physical bookshop, I think this is the next best thing for an aspiring historian. Literary and Liberty Bookshop will focus on selling vintage paperback, classic literature, history, and political books in good condition. As of right now, I love the name I picked for my online bookshop, however part of me isn't so sure if "literary" looks good next to "liberty". In the future, my bookshop may simply be Lit & Liberty Bookshop. We shall see.


Five Articles Worth Reading · July 2016

July 13, 2016

01 · Master of Many Trades "... Monopathy, or over-specialisation, eventually retreats into defending what one has learned rather than making new connections. The initial spurt of learning gives out, and the expert is left, like an animal, merely defending his territory. But the polymath, whatever his or her level or societal status, is not constrained to defend their own turf. The polymath's identity and value comes from multiple mastery."

02 · Palestinian Terrorism and Muslim Hypocrisy: An Open Letter From a Muslim Woman "... Why do we decry all other types of terrorism, but bend over backwards to legitimize violence against Israeli Jews? We hypocritically scream, 'Resistance is not a crime!' Stabbing pregnant women in the stomach is not resistance. Shooting people at a cafe is not resistance. Driving your car into pedestrians is not resistance. Bombing a bus is not resistance. Breaking into a woman's home and murdering her in front of her children is not resistance. And stabbing a little girl to death in the one place where she was supposed to be safe is certainly not resistance. Terrorism is not resistance."

03 · A Scientist's View: Why I'm An Equalist and Not a Feminist "... I'm a scientist but not a feminist. Yes, we could do with more women choosing a career in science and yes, we need more women at the higher levels of management but that doesn't make me a feminist: I'm an 'equalist'. I believe that all scientific outputs should be judged on their content rather than on the fact the author was a female or male scientist. Regardless of gender, ethnicity or any other factor, what matters most is achieving the results by having the best person for the job – male or female."

04 · Get a PhD, But Leave Academia As Soon As You Graduate "... Technology changes so quickly you can't rely on the tangible skills you learn in school anymore. Instead, the most valuable skills are intangible: how you process and present information, work well with others, and learn new things. The fact that there are more PhD candidates than academic jobs isn't necessarily a market failure; it can potentially suit both sides. As a PhD student, for several years you're paid to study something you care about and learn how to think creatively. In return, the university gets cheap teaching labor. That may be a reasonable trade. The failure happens at the end when many skilled, smart people feel trapped in the lowest tier of academia. The process could work better if universities acknowledged the realities, stopped brainwashing students, and did more to prepare them for jobs outside of academia."

05 · Swedish Muslim Fights Anti-Semitism "... Derahkti, director of Young People against Antisemitism and Xenophobia, is considered very unusual in Sweden. 'It is absolutely terrible to be Jew today in Malmö', said the Swedish Muslim. 'Antisemites believe in conspiracy theories that Jews rule the world. I organized pro-Jewish demonstrations and helped protect our cousins. If Jews can't live in Sweden, I feel it's a personal failure.'"

My 26th Birthday

May 15, 2016

New books.
Many gift cards.
St. Petersburg.
Vegan sushi.


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