Space: The final frontier… OF SOUND! BOOM!

Music has had a significant impact on my life. It has helped me through difficult times. It has helped me realize things about the world and myself that I didn’t know. And, in many ways, it has kept me alive. So today’s post is all about some of the most significant albums I’ve ever listened to.

How did this start?

Some of my friends scattered across the country and I do a Zoom call every couple of weeks — which has also helped keep me alive during a pandemic and open heart surgery. Occasionally, we have a predetermined topic of…

Classics. They serve their purpose.

Recently, a student journalist at the school where I teach wrote an opinion piece for the school newspaper titled “Books with racial slurs should not be a part of the curriculum.” In it, she explains why books that use the n-word should not be taught, even when those books use it to illustrate how terrible racism is. She mentions Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, and Lorraine Hansberry’s play A Raisin in the Sun.

I know, white English teachers, you are probably thinking the same thing I thought when I first read it: “Come…

Good Morning. So. Much. Medicine.

Oh, you thought I was done, did you? You thought the struggle was over because I came to terms with the fact that life is short, that we all die alone, and that we are responsible for finding our own meaning not some celestial messiah with a big beard and deep, penetrating eyes?

Wait. You didn’t get that from all of my “Recovery Chronicles” posts? Read between the lines, folks.


This will be my last post for awhile as I have several fish in the fryer, much on my plate, and miles to go before I sleep.

I will…

Scary Ghost Stories. And tales of the glories of Christmases long, long ago.

Every year I reread Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. It is the one holiday tradition that I consider mine and mine alone. The rest of them, obviously, I share with family and friends. Though I enjoy all of my traditions, I am leery of holding any sacred. What I have seen of sacred traditions makes them more frightening than inviting. This one, however, is sacred to me. Even during a pandemic while I recover from open heart surgery, I find time to read what is absolutely my favorite Christmas story — maybe even my favorite story — of them all.

Heart. This is my pillow. This pillow is mine.

I’ve spent the last twelve weeks recounting what life has been like for me since my open heart surgery. I like to think that at times what I have written has been heartwarming, other times scary, and maybe even occasionally funny. I hope I’ve taught my readers a few things and I hope I’ve entertained. At the end of the day, that’s all any writer really wants. Now, I thought it might be time for a few photos to really illustrate my experience. They are either ill-thought out selfies I took or photos of me that my wife took. And…

Games. Make friends, make enemies.

Perhaps you’ve heard of this one. It’s called “Three Truths and a Lie.” In this game, I give you three truths and one lie and you figure out the lie. Naturally, my version has a theme. It’s (surprise, surprise) recovery from open heart surgery.

So without any further ado, here are my three truths and a lie:

  1. There is a part of me much larger than I’d care to admit that wouldn’t mind going back to my second or third week home from the hospital. It’s a bit fuzzy, but I remember my wife was with me and took care…

Feeling Froggy? Jump.

It has been one week since I returned to work after ninety days off due to my open heart surgery and gall bladder removal. Prior to those ninety days, I managed to work for six days of the first semester of the 2020–2021 school year. Before those six days, I managed to work on campus for approximately twenty days of the second semester of the 2019–2020 school year before school was shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic and I had to work virtually exclusively from home for the final quarter.

Though, so far, I’ve managed to avoid the Coronavirus…

Watch Me. Please.

After surgery, I was trapped for days. I could hardly move. My mind was a cloudy mess. Any serious thinking was out of the question. As I mentioned last week, I couldn’t even read for a bit.

But you know what I could do as long as I was awake? I could watch TV. And watch it, I did, folks, watch it I did. I started at the hospital and I didn’t stop… ever. Every hour staring mindlessly at those pretty moving pictures was a blessing that made me wonder how people survived open heart surgery before there were streaming…

Stacks. Books on books on books, yo.

Initially, when I was laid up, I could not read. My mind was so wracked with painkillers and my body was so wracked with pain that when I looked, the words swam around the page and darted off the screen like errant children hellbent on pissing me off. But eventually they came around. In case you haven’t picked up on it yet, for me, this was a big deal. And thanks to some friends of mine, I had a lot of reading material. On the eve of my return to work, I thought I’d share with you exactly what books…

AE Stueve

AE Stueve teaches and writes in Omaha, NE. Check out all of his available work at

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