Real Daymares

I was thinking about the everyday things that go on that actually have the ability to frighten. I don’t mean the stuff in our nightmares but the things that transpire during the day. The little things that take shape in culture and in politics and in economy instead of the usual scary suspects like monsters and murder and war. I was thinking about the normalization of lies. I was thinking about the manipulation of ideology. I was thinking about the dark little beliefs that are held in the mind that suddenly rise to the surface, get emboldened, and have the potential to threaten other people’s life and liberty. I was thinking about how too many people have a twisted perspective on freedom and reality and I wrote this short piece of writing.

Real Daymares

narrow myopic minds that just repeat and never think. intolerable people with rigid, inflexible beliefs. empty phrases, ad hominem attacks, and inconsistent hypocritical ideals that recirculate among a group. these are the things that terrify me when I am awake.

Until next time, good reading.

Time for Murakami

The world of literature is vast and sometimes we discover an author that is new to us that completely captivates our heart and imagination.

For me that author is Haruki Murakami.

My introduction to his work was with his short but wonderfully bizarre story The Strange Library. Now, I am onto this one Kafka on the Shore.

One of the things I like about him so far is he seems to have a deep adoration for books and libraries. I think most authors do but Murakami describes a library in this story that is elegant, enchanting, tempting, and inviting. The library is a major part of the story and the way he describes it and presents it’s history just fills you with envy for the ones lucky enough to be patrons of the facility. You want to be there and see it for yourself. Fortunately, Murakami is a wonderful storyteller and you get to live the library through his words using your imagination. It is a joy.

I know I will discover new authors in the future who capture my attention but for right I am enjoying Murakami.

What are your favorite books by this author?

Until next time, good reading.

The Ultimate Cooking Skill Book

Do you like to cook?

Do you wish you could cook?

If the answer to either of these questions is yes then you really should locate and acquaint yourself with the above pictured book. It is titled The Haven’s Kitchen Cooking School by Alison Cayne.

This book is a true resource for you and your kitchen. It is not a dry, boring manual. It is full of information, techniques, and recipes that will have you cooking better in no time. It is a very hands-on approach to everything culinary.

One of my favorite features is a short section titled How to Use this Book. This is an amazing section of the book because not all books are meant to be read in order from front cover to back cover. My favorite line in this section is the following: “write in the book.” Yes, that’s right, write in your book. I do all the time, and that’s why this blog is called Penciled Margins. Writing in your books is a tremendous way to remember things or question things.

This great book will guide you through almost anything you have wanted to cook. Don’t be afraid. Learn, develop new skills, and sustain yourself from hunger of the mind and well as hunger of the stomach.

Until next time, good reading.


Trying to Close What Can’t be Closed

Sometimes people want to contain what cannot be contained. They want to close what has been opened. They want to insult the present and the future by clinging to a time in the past.

I am referring to Nationalism here.

Nationalism can be effective on people because it really touches on people’s feelings. Leaders have used Nationalism to gain power in the past. Telling citizens that it is time to focus on us and take care of our country sounds nice. Who would be against taking care of their own country people? Who doesn’t want to see their own country succeed?

The problem is that Nationalism and it’s policies fall into economic fallacy. Protectionism and tariffs that usually accompany Nationalism are not even free market capitalism. They are in a way government intervention. They are an economic fallacy because the policies of Nationalism only look at one group and not all groups, and they only look at the short term and not the long term.

I have been convinced for a long time that most Americans don’t know what any of the “isms” actually are or mean. I’ve seen people completely confused and bewildered by talk of globalism and nationalism. Ask people to define socialism, communism, fascism, or Nationalism. If they truly knew the “isms” you would not have an embrace of Nationalism. You would not have a rise of Socialism. You would not have sympathizers of Fascism. Most of your “isms” are egocentric ideologies, convenient to whoever wants to distort and use them to gain power, full of inconsistency, and ripe with economic fallacy.

Beware of people who think or say there is absolute truth to any of these “isms.” At best they are ideas and theories that are bent and manipulated for those seeking power and the power seekers who use them to pit one group against another.

I was recently told by someone that Nationalism “is a care for one’s own country,” and didn’t see any problem. Okay. While it may involve a support for your own country it also involves an exclusion or detriment to other nations and this is where the economic fallacy comes into play because you are forgetting about the interconnections of all the other nations to our own. Relationships and markets have been built and established that can’t just be undone. Under Nationalism you may protect a steel worker’s job here for the short interval but you are doing so at the cost of all of those other unforeseen groups and connections. You help a job here for the short term but you cut off a job there that is connected to “x” number of other jobs and dependents. Maybe the job over there that you just cut off was sending money and demand for other things over here that are now going to suffer.You are also picking and choosing what to “protect” which is a lot like central planning. This is basic economic fallacy and it has been explained and written about by people far more intelligent than myself and I suggest you look this information up. Go beyond your feelings and really investigate whether Nationalism is even a road we need to be going down.

Whether you like it or not the world is vastly connected and Nationalism seeks to undermine that reality at a perilous cost.

I will leave you with the words pictured above which are from an article on nations and censorship but seem fitting for this post on Nationalism.

Is the nation a closed system? In this internationalized moment, can any system remain closed? Nationalism is that ‘revolt against history’ which seeks to close what cannot any longer be closed.” 

Until next time, good reading.


Frustration with Lovecraft

I don’t remember the exact singular moment in my life when I learned about the writings of H.P. Lovecraft. I have however seen mention of his work by various authors and artists as he was either an influence on them or they just like certain features in his writings. Ever since my discovery of H.P. Lovecraft I see his imprint on culture in a lot of places.

I  currently picked up a collection of his short stories for this post. If you look around culture right now you will find some references to his brand of fiction, but I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a rise in popularity. H.P. Lovecraft’s writing was too weird for it to be very popular. He is most known for his creation of the Cthulhu mythos. Certain musicians and artists have paid homage to this Lovecraftian creature through their music and art. He is also known for characterizing a certain fictional city in most of his stories known as Arkham and you can find this name littered in modern cultural aspects as well. Then there is the Necronomicon or book of the dead.

Lovecraft’s work is known as horror fiction and has even been called weird fiction. Some people think he was a terrible writer while others hold an affinity for his style of dread, terror, and the fear of the unknown. That is the art that Lovecraft created but then there is the artist himself. The artist has been and is currently under scrutiny for being a bad, awful person, mostly notably as a racist and misogynist. The author’s move away from obscurity and into popularity mostly comes from the recent HBO show called Lovecraft Country.

The HBO show Lovecraft Country is actually an adaptation of a book by Matt Ruff but the conjunction between racism and the fictional town of, you guessed it, “Arkham,” is enough to create some controversy and attention surrounding H.P. Lovecraft. He has had a vast imprint on culture but now it is culture/society that will decide what to do with Lovecraft. Frustration and strife already seem to be the emotions coursing through people as they decide how or if they will separate the artist from the art. Will Lovecraft be attacked and taken out, will he fade away from mainstream back in the shadows of obscurity, will his work be subverted and repurposed as a lesson on racism and how to move past it, or will something else entirely different transpire? We will see.

Until next time, good reading.


Yes, you read.

You keep your mind sharp. You don’t let that brain deteriorate.

Do you feel the same way about your body?

Do you defy atrophy by exercising your body the same way you do your mind?

If you do, then you may enjoy the book pictured in this post. It is titled Strong Like Her.It is an inspiring account of female athleticism. The athletes featured in this book have all defied convention and pursued physical strength in some way or another. In addition to the great profiles featured within the author also gives you a brief historical account of female athletes and how they were viewed throughout history. Each profile is wonderfully photographed by Sophy Holland.

The photographs and stories in this book will have you thinking twice before you ever pigeonhole any athlete every again. It is a good book and a nice celebration of what can be accomplished if you ignore limitations and just push yourself and do what you enjoy.

I hope you found this recommendation helpful and until next time, good reading.


Do you know about General Smedley Butler?

Do you know about General Smedley Butler?

If the answer is no then you should read this book. And, if the answer is yes, then you should still read this book.

I posted a poem I wrote about General Smedley Butler on this blog awhile back, you can find it here:

That poem is in relation to his speech he gave in 1933 but this book The Plot to Seize The White House is an in-depth book about General Smedley Butler and the powerful moneyed interests who tried to use his status as a war hero in a fascist plot to overthrow democracy. The things you think you know about country, military, money, ideology, and democracy are about to be challenged. This is a true story. Butler was an incredible man with tremendous integrity and learning his deeds will have you longing for people of this character.

Until next time, good reading.



Libraries are Reopening

Knowledge is a never ending quest for me. Leaving school did not mean leaving the books. I continue to learn new things all the time. The reason I read is because I feel I know too little. The world is so vast and abundant. Reading helps me fill that gap between the smallness of my mind and grandness of the world.

The library is the spot that helps me gain knowledge and become acquainted with wonderful stories. Where I live some of the libraries have re-opened. During their closure I wasn’t without however. I had my own collection of books as well as resources like Hoopla. The library being open means more choices. I recently chose a book on cooking, a book on arts and crafts, and a fictional novel by Cormac McCarthy since I have never read anything by him yet.

I am in the process of consuming these three finds right now and then I will happily venture back to the library for some material.

Until next time, good reading.


Operation Humble

I was thinking about how the ego limits and restricts our potential. I was thinking about how a fragile ego actually makes a person weak. I was thinking about how not enough people take the time for introspection and I wrote this.


Operation Humble

let it rise

reach inside

dig up

all the insecurities

all the weaknesses

cut yourself deep

with this introspection

excise and extract

that cancerous ego.




Intense is the word that comes to my mind after reading Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins.

Intense is this man’s normal. He has defied the odds and never succumbed to the role of victim. This is a powerful personal story laden with sweat, sacrifice, and toil. It will hit you in the stomach and reveal to you that no matter where you are at, you have more to give. Your mental and physical limitations rest way beyond where you think they do. Dig in deep like Goggins does and perform past your expectations.

No excuses, work harder.

If you are thinking about reading this, stop thinking and just read it already.

Until next time, good reading.


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