Posted in Blogs, Fibromyalgia, kindness, social media

Head Over Heels

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2019/09/18/head-over-heels/I wanted to be  with you alone
(on the internet?).
And talk about the weather
(What is the deal with the weather?
Pick a season, stay with it til the next one).https://yadadarcyyada.com/2019/09/18/head-over-heels/
But traditions can’t be traced
(or can they, again, the internet).
We get tricked when
we only stick with our base.https://yadadarcyyada.com/2019/09/18/head-over-heels/Nothing keeps our attention…
We’re lost in admiration,
could we need it this much?Oh, is it wasting time?
Just, just, just wasting time.
Something happens and
we’re head over heels.
We never find out till
we’re head over heels…

  • We ‘humans’ fall head over heels quickly, with: people, pets, passions, movies, books, songs (I’m still on a Tears For Fears kick although The Cars too, goodbye Ric Ocasek, you were just what we needed), politicians, celebrities, television shows, smartphones and other electronic gadgets and gizmos, cars, causes, friends, fads, flights of fancy…oops1

And when we fall out of love, look out, love can quickly turn to hate (and shouldn’t continue to date, not great).

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/08/08/fibromyalgia-is-a-four-letter-word/                                                                   https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/08/29/next-time-you-bring-the-cookies/                              https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/11/23/f-is-for-fibromyalgia/

and migraines (latest treatment, painful and tiring, but seeing a glimmer of light at the end of the very long, very dark tunnel, oooh, hope it’s not just another train);and writing (trying) https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/06/21/how-to-get-your-book-published/.

I still love my readers, other bloggers, but sometimes I wish I knew how to quit you (or me, or WordPress, or the internet).

  • I’ve fallen hard for another Australian series (https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/09/06/miss-fishers-murder-mysteries/ or is that just gravity talking?), this time, “The Heart Guy” aka “Doctor Doctor”. A brilliant bad boy cardiac surgeon gets sent home, as a punishment, to practice medicine in his hometown, Whyhope. Naturally, things get complicated fast. Rodger Corser (In “Glitch” as well, S3 is about to crawl out of the ground soon) may play the lead, Dr. Hugh Knight but his cast-mates are bright shining lights cutting into any and all plans. Why hope? Why not? Another season has been approved and I’m cheering. Yahoo! For Canadians this dramedy reminds me a bit of “Corner Gas” with more actual drama and for the U.S., like “Seinfeld” but with less New York snark and more Down Under snark.

  • Bewitched by de-cluttering and minimalizing (is that even a word, seriously, it should be…) https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/02/14/who-loves-ya-baby/

  • I’ve got one of cupids arrows stuck deep in my heart (could explain chest pains, besides the Tietze Syndrome) for writing and reading then writing some more. Will I ever be an author, a real live published author, as many of my talented fellow bloggers are, as so many writers are, who knows, but it’s fun slow blogging and writing the world’s best novels…in my head.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/08/27/message-in-a-bottle/

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/04/10/im-hooked-on-a-feeling/

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/10/16/you-cant-handle-the-blogging-truth/

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/09/26/the-phantom-of-the-blogging-tips/

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/06/09/to-blog-or-not-to-blog/

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/11/07/can-you-feel-the-blog-love-tonight/

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/10/23/if-i-could-save-time-in-a-blog-bottle/

  • Captivated with “The Handmaid’s Tale”. Thank you to the parents of Margaret Atwood and Elisabeth Moss for giving us such gifts. It’s funny to think I first read this book almost 35 years ago, when I naively thought it was fiction and thank goodness this could never happen. Note to self, never say never. If you haven’t started reading one of Canada’s most precious natural resources, Margaret Atwood, I suggest you love yourself enough to begin your journey. I’ll continue with her latest, “The Testaments”, filled with hints of things to come. https://yadadarcyyada.com/2019/03/25/welcome-to-your-life/

  • Infatuated with the idea that all the mysteries of Area 51 could be revealed to the world on September 20, 2019 #theycantstopusall #stormarea51The Truth is Out There or more likely, anything interesting has already been moved to, er, Area 51-A or Area 52? https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/10/26/my-big-fat-supernatural-life/

love36

kittens, kindness, ice cream, cozy sweaters, Halloween https://yadadarcyyada.com/2018/10/26/the-more-the-scarier/

Thanksgiving
https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/10/13/thankful-i-know-enough-to-be-thankful/ ,

smiles (smile cookies), cake, curry, kindness, pumpkin spice, chocolate https://yadadarcyyada.com/2019/05/30/you-live-you-die-in-between-theres-chocolate/ ,

sunsets, puppies, pizza (note the coma, grammar saves lives, in this case, adorable puppy lives), Downton Abbey, The Addams Family, ancestry, kindness, songs https://yadadarcyyada.com/2019/02/06/dont-stop-me-now/ , friends, a new love (who doesn’t have to but if he looked like Negan, Starlord or Daryl Dixon that would be cool, just as completely random examples), muffins, laughter, strawberries, donuts, chocolate, chocolate donuts, kindness, cupcakes, family, and oh yeah, to write another chapter in my own story.Why suffer from FOMO, you’ll never miss out if you embrace the glorious chaos of life (every day above ground is another chance) https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/10/14/the-glorious-chaos/

  • Beguiled by apocalyptic, post-apocalyptic, and dystopian anything (“anything” may be hyperbole, but that’s how things work now, right, facts begone, trouble us no more with your truthiness!),

“The Walking Dead” S10 is soon-ish https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/04/11/why-zombies-will-rule/            https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/04/11/why-zombies-wont-rule/        https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/08/21/zombies-on-sesame-street/

I’m caught up on “The 100” (“May we meet again”); I miss “Colony”, “Helix”, “Falling Skies”, “Z Nation”, “Extant”, “Ascension”, “Revolution”, “V”, “iZombie”…but mostly I miss when watching/reading about this stuff was wildly fictional. But I guess, like horror, it’s a safe way to examine our fears without admitting they’re coming true. This is how we live now.

  • Enraptured by the final season of “Game of Thrones” (finally caught up with a free preview month). As a fan, little disappointed, as a writer, loved it, so I’m going with the latter.

                             https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/04/07/you-know-youre-obsessed-with-game-of-thrones-when/

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2019/05/03/very-me/

maybe we’ll magically return to the 80s, which we have glamourized to the point of insanity (‘stranger things’ have happened, but keeping remembering neon and big hair) https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/06/15/rock-me-amadeus/As long as you keep falling head over heels with life (just avoid the drama pitfalls https://yadadarcyyada.com/2019/07/29/eat-sleep-rule-the-galaxy-repeat/ ), your story is bound to be a bestseller https://yadadarcyyada.com/2019/07/07/how-to-be-a-bestselling-author-in-3-days-or-less/

  • What are you head over heels about, dear readers, tell me, tell me, cause I need more to love (my heart and mind are like the TARDIS, bigger on the inside).

  • Ways to contact me (on my home planet)

    darcyyada@gmail.com

time14

  • Please send me stuff to review…Despite the Ads Ruining My Posts, I’m Not Getting Paid A Cent by WordPress…I gratefully accept promotional materials, but respectfully reserve the right to decide whether said promotional material is suitable for my blog. 100% honest reviews and the opinions, thoughts, and beliefs will be my own, not that of the provider, party, or manufacturer.

  • Donations to help save the endangered broke and obscure bloggers who once roamed the internet free are appreciated…it’s Paypal, for anyone including, but not limited to eccentric millionaires who want to adopt a blogger.

  • P.S.  WordPress is greedily inserting ads into posts and holding our blogs hostage if we don’t pay the ransom to remove the malware (aka ads), I don’t get a single dime from them…

  • Follow me here, but in a completely non-stalkery way please: https://yadadarcyyada.com

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2019/09/18/head-over-heels/

And each time I feel like this inside
There’s one thing I wanna know:
What’s so funny ’bout peace love and understanding? 

– Elvis Costello

Posted in Books, Televison, Uncategorized

We Were On A Break!

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/09/28/we-were-on-a-break/Something has changed
within me.
Somehow I’m
not the same.
I’m tired of playing,
someone else’s game.
Too late for second-guessing. Too late to press stop (oops, I hit Publish!). Time to trust my instincts, close my eyes and leap!
Some things I cannot change, but till I try, I’ll never know!
I’m sick of denying gravity, now…I’m defying gravity!
Even by getting up in the morning…I’m defying gravity!https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/09/28/we-were-on-a-break/Yo, I’ll tell you what I want, what I really really want. I wanna—, I wanna—, I wanna stop hearing ‘want’ instead of ‘need’…So I have a problem, something I have to face…To move ahead at a more novel pace.https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/09/28/we-were-on-a-break/
We need to not believe everything we read and not only read everything we believe. My fondness wish? That we hit pause, stop fighting about who’s right and who’s wrong. Simple, the facts are right; what if we’re all wrong?https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/09/28/we-were-on-a-break/I want to read what I want…Not what’s fed to me by algorithms to feed greed, telling me what to read what to believe…https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/09/28/we-were-on-a-break/What’s the worst that can happen? I go to Over-Readers Anonymous meetings (Are those a thing?). I can find books for myself everywhere…https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/09/28/we-were-on-a-break/Mysterious buildings with ‘Library’ on the door. Bookstores, smartphones, laptops, tablets, family, friends, book sales…I’ll answer the siren call – pages whispering dreams, promising more and more.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/09/28/we-were-on-a-break/I could say ‘no’, follow steps…Or stand up proud and say, “I’m a bookaholic, but baby, I wouldn’t have it any…other…way!!!” So I’m defying gravity! Carrying books, swaying, falling, spilling dreams…Onto me!https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/09/28/we-were-on-a-break/Don’t try to pull me down; come with me instead. Think of what we could do, together…Just by saying yes! (You better believe I’m twirling…right now!).

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/09/28/we-were-on-a-break/

Yup, books are wicked. So is TV. Definitely Social Media – Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. Fashion. Movies. Food. Video games. Blogging. Holidays (isn’t it Thanksgiving, oops everyday, then how about Halloween then?). Seductively luring us from reality, or are they reality? Whatever, to thine own self be true (note Shakespeare didn’t say to thine own selfish be true).

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/09/28/we-were-on-a-break/

  • I’ve been trying slow blogging, er, being semi-unplugged? Whatever you want to call it. I enjoyed the time off, but glad to be back to blogging https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/02/02/theres-no-crying-in-blogging/ So, I know what I did this summer. I laughed, I cried. Got tired and inspired. Wondered and wired…all while we were on a break!https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/09/28/we-were-on-a-break/

  • I got cozy with a bunch of women who find murder victims then conveniently pin the mysterious crimes on others. Thank you Julia Buckley (My latest booky joy, but hey, I’ve exhausted the library’s supply of your books, hate to be presumptuous, I’m hungry for you to write more http://www.juliabuckley.com/blog), Laura Levine, Ellery Adams, Leslie Budewitz, Kym Roberts, Edith Maxwell, Lee Hollis, E.J. Copperman, and more! The worst killer ever? Doubt.

    https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/09/28/we-were-on-a-break/

  •  What else? Cooking, games, philosophy, writing, yardsaling, Goodwill (bargain) hunting, weight loss, ghosts, organizing – even a guy claiming he’s so organized, he could move out in 20 minutes, hey buddy, slow down, are The Sopranos after you, I’ve had longer bowel movements (oops, TMI?).

    https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/09/28/we-were-on-a-break/

  • I’ve recalled that the grass is always greener, not only on the other side, but over the septic bed, and if you’re using copious amounts of fertilizer (yes, even verbally). Which somehow made me want to reread Pride and Prejudicehttps://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/09/28/these-foolish-things/ hard to do when being bombarded by pumpkin spice (is there such a thing as death by pumpkin spice?), but I prevailed and Darcy and Elizabeth (spoilers!) got together once again. Love rules, pumpkin spice drools (or does it make people drool?). https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/10/09/you-may-say-im-a-dreamer/

    https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/09/28/we-were-on-a-break/

  • I was once again reminded that life isn’t just unfair, it can be downright sadistic, so, as we weather the storms of life, change buffeting and sometimes battering us, try to remember, people are people, not toys to be played with, in person or online – if you wouldn’t like it done to you, don’t do it to anyone else.

    https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/09/28/we-were-on-a-break/

  • I boldly went where no Blob has gone before, on The Orville, in a ‘Discovery’ of just how much Fox will pay to let Seth MacFarlane make love onscreen to Star Trek and all other things sci-fi and fantasy (I’m looking at Star Trek mini-ships and ET in my work area, I get it). I only watch each episode two or five times because they’re hilarious and thought-provoking, not because I have a tiny (huge) crush on Ed Mercer and Justin.

    https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/09/28/we-were-on-a-break/

  • I remembered I’m a 100% unique…just like everyone else. It’s my own personal This Is Us, minus Justin Hartley (I miss Smallville, Passions, and Revenge) and Milo Ventimiglia (I miss Gilmore Girls and Heroes), sigh, shake it off, it’s 2017…

    https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/09/28/we-were-on-a-break/

  • I was prodded into remembering the world’s two most important words (sigh): fine print. What you don’t know is more important than what you know or think you know…

    https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/09/28/we-were-on-a-break/

  • I wondered how Moonstruck could be 30 years old, I just watched it yesterday. Cher and Nicholas Cage are still bizarrely mesmerizing and I want baked goods…and opera (I don’t suppose Hamilton and Wicked count?).

    https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/09/28/we-were-on-a-break/

  • I was most definitely distracted by bloggers…and bloggers who wrote books. For example, Teagan (https://teagansbooks.com) was kind enough, even though she was going through a rough time to consistently give us the gift of her posts and another stimulating escapade ebook, Murder at the Bijou: Three Ingredients I (adventure awaits, flying by the seat of your pants!). https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/09/28/we-were-on-a-break/

    But wait, there’s more! https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/10/03/sweet-dreams-are-made-of-this/    https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/12/15/the-cats-pajamas-birthday-party/   I’m not complaining, but where’s the sequel to Atonement, Tennessee (ok, I’m whining a little).https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/09/28/we-were-on-a-break/

  • At times, I found myself so excited I couldn’t eat. Who am I kidding, chocolate and I started the summer in a serious relationship and I’m happy to announce, we’re getting engaged (oops, I ate the ring). Isn’t it weird when some people say stuff like, I was so excited or so busy I forgot to eat. What?!? There’s a way to forget to eat? Tell me! Now! Frankly, I’m too busy #Sheetcaking (Tina Fey dropped by SNL to demonstrate our technique; I think it has all the hallmarks of an Olympic sport – talk about defying gravity!).

    https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/09/28/we-were-on-a-break/

Nostaligia was always big and getting bigger as we struggle to return to simpler times, times when TV shows were discussed around the ‘watercooler’, when Sunday, Monday were Happy Days, when Tuesday, Wednesday were Happy Days, Thursday, Friday, well, you get the point. Times when all promises weren’t false, when lies weren’t the norm, where words and actions meant something…Where we didn’t forget the unforgettable.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/09/28/we-were-on-a-break/

 I think we’ll see even more of a rush of gentler shows and revival ‘nostaligaporn’ shows like Will & Grace – glad you’re back, guess you were on a break too – I missed your silliness; shows people can talk about without fist fights ensuing. We need more things that bring us together instead of tearing us apart. Look at our skeletons (not the closet ones) – we’re all the same, deep down.https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/09/28/we-were-on-a-break/

So no one told me it was gonna be this way (blogging and life).
Jobs are all a joke (and a 4-letter word).
Of course I’m broke, apparently my Donate button is mostly merely decorative…no eccentric billionaires want to adopt me and help save the endangered broke and obscure bloggers who once roamed the internet free…

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/09/28/we-were-on-a-break/My love life is not DOA, it’s just resting, pinin’ for the fjords…I’ll have you know my love life is not bereft of life, pushing up the daisies, or resting in peace! It hasn’t shuffled off its mortal coil, run down the curtain, or joined the bleedin’ choir invisible! It’s not a ex-love life!

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/09/28/we-were-on-a-break/Looks like I’m always stuck in Park (or Neutral?).
Because it hasn’t been my day,
My week, my month, but it has been a lark!
(Thanks to my old ‘friends’, we got together this Summer and Fall for coffee at Central Perk, thought my wrists are a bit sore from holding those huge cups and my ears ringing from the creepy laugh track).
My time off has taught me, I’ll be there for you…I hope you’re there for me too!

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/09/28/we-were-on-a-break/

Posted in Books, Movies, Political, Televison, Weight

This Is Not A Toy

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/03/18/this-is-not-a-toy/Remember that label?
This is not a toy?
As a child I used to think, really, or is it a toy? As an adult I think, really, or is it a toy?
Labels continue to amuse me. Remove plastic from pizza before placing in the oven. Are we just stopping natural selection with all these labels? Then again, with the taste of some frozen pizzas, who’d notice? It’s also amazing how many “Do not eat” labels on things you wouldn’t possible even think of eating.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/03/18/this-is-not-a-toy/

One of my all-time favourites is: if you can’t read the label, don’t use this. Huh? So basically, don’t spray deodorant in your eyes, sit on an oven door, don’t use a curling iron internally, don’t drink toner, pepper spray can irritate your eyes, hot beverages are indeed hot, and the list goes on. What’s your top weird label, dear readers?

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/03/18/this-is-not-a-toy/

1. Then again, observing people, I suppose these labels aren’t as weird as you’d think. Like those people who stand uber close to you in line. Do they think it’ll make the line move faster, or I’ll leave, either way, slow down, I’d appreciate dinner before you get that close.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/03/18/this-is-not-a-toy/

2. What is with eating while driving? Really, is life that busy that people can’t stop and have a sandwich? Try the ‘o’ word: organization. And those poor little Stop signs, they’re getting a complex from being ignored…

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/03/18/this-is-not-a-toy/

3. Who writes these TV shows (“Do you have a swab?, “Did you get the swab?” “Are you out of swabs, how can you be out of swabs, we need swabs!”, what you need to get is a Thesaurus and out of Johnson & Johnson’s, ummm, anyway, I digress), books, and/or movies where all characters race around to keep, like, one main character alive? Does this person secretly have the cure for cancer? Other people drop like flies around them. or because of them, or to save them, but as long as they stay alive (more or less), it’s all good.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/03/18/this-is-not-a-toy/

4. Money can’t buy happiness, sure, but it can buy food, shelter, security, I’d be way more comfortable crying in a nice house with a pool and not worrying about money all the time. Just sayin’.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/03/18/this-is-not-a-toy/

5. No wonder young girls are so confused about body image. Women in music videos wearing clothes that could double as napkins gyrating against, well, anything. Men don’t feel the need to dress or act that way. Imagine the time we’d have for equal rights if we had never been told what shape to be, what to wear…who to be.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/03/18/this-is-not-a-toy/

6. If you find politicians horrifying, pretend they’re children (not a big stretch), stop giving them so much attention.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/03/18/this-is-not-a-toy/

7. The news keeps taking about how bad the economy is, not news to me, my economy has always been bad.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/03/18/this-is-not-a-toy/

8. People who complain that you shouldn’t eat non-traditional foods for breakfast clearly haven’t figured out doughnuts are cake which is just like pancakes and you eat those for breakfast, right?

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/03/18/this-is-not-a-toy/

9. People who say they don’t do mornings are doing morning as they say it.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/03/18/this-is-not-a-toy/

10. There’s nothing better we can do in this world, no greater kindness than making people feel safe, with food, shelter, comfort, love, and compassion, not fear, hunger, prejudice, poverty, and hatred.https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/03/18/this-is-not-a-toy/

My last post https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/03/09/take-on-me/ had all that talk of adulting, this week I put adulting on hold, went to a March Break matinée (yes, alone and isn’t it a weird reflection on society that if I were a man, I would be seen as creepy doing so; a few rotten apples do spoil so much, still got some looks I was there without a child). I thoroughly enjoyed The Peanuts Movie for $3; $1 went to Kids Help Phone and I got coupons (free popcorn and movies) – charity, coupons, childhood, and reclining seats – you can’t see me right now, but I’m The Breakfast Club fist-pumping in the air.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/03/18/this-is-not-a-toy/

My point? Labels are just labels (lawsuits aside), common sense is the best label. Hope your weekend (and the First Day of Spring/Spring Equinox) is a warm hug.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/03/18/this-is-not-a-toy/

Posted in Blogs, Books, Canada, Doctor Who, Family, Fibromyalgia, Food, Jane Austen, Movies, Music, Star Wars, Televison, Uncategorized, Zombies

Stand By Me

Posted in Cats, Chocolate, Christmas, Family, Movies, Star Wars, Uncategorized

These Aren’t The Gifts You’re Looking For

1christmas191Twas the week before Christmas
(almost two till my birthday)…

When all through the blogosphere…
not a blogger was stirring…
ok, some are stirring, but mostly cocktails…

Yet posts were still flying out with hopes that readers might give them a shout!

Christmas isn’t the most wonderful time of the year for bloggers, readers and many bloggers are off prepping for the big day, partying, waiting in line for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and of course, searching for perfect gifts.

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Here are some, er, helpful last-minute gift ideas for those hard to buy for folks:

1. O Christmas tree! As a cautionary note, unlike in the movies, apparently it’s ‘frowned upon’, some might even say illegal, to just randomly cut trees down. Who knew?

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2. Draw happy faces on all their socks/nylons so they’ll feel happy as they start each day. Or sneak into their house or room and draw a happy face on their wall, or mirror in red lipstick or paint. Wait, is that creepy? Nah, it’ll be a fun surprise.

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3. Fix something for them: TV, car, fridge, cellphone, alarm system, computer, appliances, sewing machine, etc. Even if none were broken (but might be after), it’s the thought that counts.

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4. Donate to a cause in their name or better yet, start a foundation in their name, I’m sure it won’t affect their taxes…much.

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5. Sing them a song, but only if your voice doesn’t resemble fingernails on a chalkboard, mastodons dying in a tar pit, Bridget Jones singing, or my Mom singing (love you, please don’t sing).

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6. Indie books. Mass-produced can be good, but a steady diet can leave you feeling flat. Best thing about indie, less cookie cutter, same goes for everything. Like indie author/blogger, A.H. Browne who kindly beamed aliens into my email. As they scurried around my brain, I 1christmas177was laughingly sucked into space to cavort (hey, I can cavort with the best of them) through the Saloon at the Edge of Everywhere. That sounds familiar, did I spend time there in my youth, next to CBGB, right? Book One of The Otherwhere Chronicles made me reluctant to return to Earth, like when you’re at a party, it’s past time to go home, but you think, just a few minutes more. If you’re feeling brave and in need of some fun, visit Arthur at http://pouringmyartout.com/ – don’t say I didn’t warn you! Any indie authors reading this, please add links in the comment box below where your work can be found (heck, it’s Christmas, anyone add links).

And here’s more indie talent (and keep checking the comments for indie author links):
https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/10/03/sweet-dreams-are-made-of-this/
https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/10/09/you-may-say-im-a-dreamer/

7. Taco ties, socks, and hats. Also available in: lasagna, kung pao, pizza, chocolate, wine, beer, hamburger, and curry flavours. Hungry? Bored? Clothes never tasted so good!

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8. Make a sculpture, coat, hat, scarf, or quilt out of your hair and nail clippings – natural, organic, and very, very personal.

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9. Lint kittens and puppies. Easy to keep – no walks, no food, soft and cuddly, and simple to house train. Do not expose to water.

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10. Honesty – they may not appreciate it at first, but it might be the best gift ever, someday.

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So, these aren’t the gifts you’re looking for (except the indie books), in the end, the best gift of all is still…you!

Happy Holidays to you and yours!

All the best in 2016!

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Posted in Blogs, Books, Canada, Food, Movies, Music, Star Wars, Televison, Uncategorized

Go Home Star Wars You’re Drunk

1starwars43Regrets
I’ve had a few,
then again
too few
to mention.

So what if
my life is riddled
with plot holes
and logical gaps?

I have flaws and quirks (I say adorable, some may beg to differ).
I’m thoughtful and thoughtless.
Brilliant and oh so dumb, sometimes astonishingly, at the same time.
I’m a gloriously human jumble.

So why do we expect our entertainment to be perfect when we aren’t? As humans, we get caught up in things, even now, computers are galactically buzzing about the new Star Wars, loving it, trashing it, or both, and it hasn’t even hit theaters yet. I admit, my unease intensifies as The Force Awakens.

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There were times, I’m sure you knew, when I bit off more than I could chew-ie and I didn’t want to become blaster fodder. And Disney buying Star Wars made my complicated relationship go full Death Star explosion (scared of it I am). But Star Wars On Trial looked interesting, so I let the tractor beam pull me in (that’s no moon, that’s a blog post!).

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I consider myself an intelligent viewer (is that an oxymoron?), so I selected the 8th charge against the accused iconic franchise, The Plot Holes and Logical Gaps in Star Wars Make It Ill-Suited for An Intelligent Viewer.

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I agree, sometimes watching these movies, I just want to say, go home Star Wars you’re drunk, but I believe those who consume the story are culpable, not the storyteller.

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Upon first review of the charges, perhaps it does seem like only morons would enjoy movies like Star Wars I’m paraphrasing, the witnesses for prosecution, Nick Mamatas and defense, Don DeBrandt were actually quite witty and eloquent. Star Wars certainly did it all and not in a shy way, oh no, let the record show George Lucas took the blows, and did it his way.

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I’ll state my case, of which I’m sorta certain, the details of the story aren’t nearly as important as the story itself. Why? Because we are the story.

  • We are Yoda, who trained Luke (more or less), but once said Anakin was too old to train, back in the days of surplus Jedi.

  • We are Obi-Wan Kenobi, I mean, Ben Kenobi hiding Luke Skywalker in plain sight, on a barren planet where most everything wants to kill him – guess we know who the favoured child was.

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  • We are Darth Vader (really, you didn’t recognize your own kids?), Han Solo, Amidala, Picard, The Avengers, The Doctor, Sherlock, Buffy, Leia, Luke (ewww, dude, you kissed your sister), The Lorax, Bugs Bunny, Scarlett O’Hara, Rick Grimes (You think it’s a plot hole, but it ain’t!), Rocky, Capt. Jack, Batman, Frodo, C-3PO, Scully, Mulder, Scrooge, Kirk, James Bond, Edward Scissorhands, Simpsons, Reddington (The Blacklist is a logical gap, who cares, watching James Spader read menus would be entertaining),

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  • Chewie, Daryl Dixon, Darcy, Katniss, Joker, Boo Radley (having a moment), The Griffins, Keyser Söze, Willy Wonka, Don Draper, Bridget Jones, Charlie Brown, Harry Potter, Walter White, Spock, R2-D2 (the real hero of SW) and more…

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No spoilers, I enjoyed all the sci-fi and fantasy authors, including, but not limited to David Brin and Matthew Woodring Stover who diligently prosecuted and defended the idolized, intriguing, yet infuriating series while the Droid Judge (This isn’t the Droid Judge you’re looking for) attempted to keep order.

Star Wars, innocent, guilty, or just in the wrong place at the right time, you decide, vote at http://www.smartpopbooks.com/star-wars-verdict/ or www.BenBellaBooks.com

And enter to win a free copy of Star Wars on Trial from BenBella Books (Canada or U.S only). In the comment box below, tell me your most hated or loved plot hole or logical gap (any book, movie, TV show, or life). Notification via droid (or me) November 15, 2015 – all contact will be confidential.

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I would say life isn’t logical. How could it be when we live it on a baffling blue ball twirling in space like a tattered ballerina in a vintage music box?

Stories are told by humans and therefore, delightfully flawed.

Think of it like extra cheese on lasagna, yes, it’s irrelevant, but does that mean it shouldn’t have happened? Life is messy. Take a bite.

 And Star Wars has Muppets…isn’t that enough?

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 Your true destiny? To always…do it your way.

May The Force Be With You1starwars76

Posted in Blogs, Books, Cats, Chocolate, Doctor Who, Food, Movies, Televison, Uncategorized

Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)

1age44Dear readers, I admit to being in a bit of a pickle.
In youth, life seemed limitless, infinite.
Writing was the same, I just wrote, not a lot of stopping to think.
Such is the power and joy of youth.

And as we age limitations don’t just come from the outside, but from your own body:

  • Sagging (oh no, those should still be much higher).

  • Weird spots randomly attach themselves to your skin (“Out, Damned Spot!” doesn’t work, believe me, I’ve tried).

  • Eating cake may seem more exciting and less work than other, er, strenuous activities…

  • But if you’re not aging, you’ve discovered the Fountain of Youth (good for you, care to share?), or you’re dead and you just don’t know it yet.

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Sigh, so many things I wish I’d done or not done.
Sweet dreams lost, given up, given away, or stolen…
Sweet dreams fulfilled, waiting in the wings, and yet to come…

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There’s also a certain grace, a wisdom, a knowing that comes with age, even for books. Remember how those new and shiny ebooks were going to destroy the book industry? Make books into relics only viewed in museums? Those dire predictions may have been premature. The texture and weight of a book in your hands tells you so much about the content; ebooks all feel the same.

Deep in our DNA, we’re storytellers, not just those who write, but those who read. We don’t just want to experience the stories, we want to share the stories. It’s about connection.

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Many of those stories are by independent authors, not backed by a marketing budget larger than most of us will earn in a lifetime. Does that make them somehow less? Personally, I never cease to be amazed at the talent, the passion, the wonder never appreciated, just because it isn’t a bestseller.

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1teagan1I’ve reviewed books on and off for 30 years, yet ironically, I’m not always a fan of book reviews. I don’t enjoy a book report disguised as a review (we got it, you read the book, now, why should I?) and being told I should like or dislike a book. That’s silly, no one can tell you if you’ll like or dislike something, just why they liked or disliked it.

I love a story that transports me, takes me with the characters on their journey. I want to be there, a part of the story, which happened when I called upon Atonement, Tennessee…and never wanted to leave.

Teagan Riordain Geneviene kindly and brilliantly invites us to visit a small Southern town where things are not as they seem, but instead, is full of mystery, intrigue, murder, dashes of magic, romance…even a cat naturally more attuned and intelligent than her human counterparts (guess that goes without saying).

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I admit being a tad miffed Atonement, Tennessee didn’t come with a warning label, something like: Don’t start reading if you have anything else you need to do for the next couple of days. Of course, obsessively reading this book also helped me cast the movie and/or TV series, let’s see, how about Ian Somerhalder, Richard Armitage, and David Tennant? Look how cute and cuddly they are…oh, and there’s cats too!

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This is fantasy at its finest, but still left me wanting more…more…more…

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And thanks to technology, we can have more on Teagan’s wonderful blog, including her online serial, and even hints of a sequel, Atonement in Bloom (waiting with bated breath): https://teagansbooks.wordpress.com/
https://www.facebook.com/TeagansBooks
https://www.pinterest.com/teagangeneviene/
https://twitter.com/teagangeneviene

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 Maybe I could 100% honest review your books too, just contact me, see, over there to your right – ‘Sending Me Stuff’.

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Age can sure make you restless, even more so than in the bloom of youth, for we have the knowledge of what has been, what never was, and what could be. I guess what I’m trying to say is, no matter what your age, and the only real limits are those of your courage and your convictions.

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Posted in Books, Canada, Cats, Chocolate, Food, Internet, Jane Austen, Movies, Political, Televison, Uncategorized

Support Bacteria – It’s the Only Culture Some People Have

1funny778The occasional broken heart (some courtesy of good-for-nothing teen heart-throbs leering suggestively from glossy magazine covers), the enforced cleaning of my room, scrapped knees and elbows, the tedium of school, bullying, losses…still, I consider myself lucky to have grown up in a time where we knew little.

Sure, pesky facts sometimes showed up, but we were quick to scare them away and defiantly let our ‘ignorance is bliss’ flag fly!

Of course, I knew horrible things had happened and were happening, but for inexplicable reasons (I blame chocolate and kittens), I seemed to believe things would get better.

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I don’t know, maybe it was growing up in a small town, but even with all my extensive sci-fi reading and viewing I could never have imagined this strange new world I would someday live in where Donald Trump could be President of the United States; someone would list their dog as a job reference; Kardashians are deities; people fawn and argue on social media over food while many don’t have any food at all; we would still believe governments and corporations who regularly and flagrantly lie to and cheat us…where fiction is fact and fantasy masquerades as reality.

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The news, entertainment, internet, politics, business, sports, relationships – it’s like we’re watching The Tudors or The Borgias and the only thing that has changed are the outfits…and the quality of the acting. Lies, intrigues, shifting alliances, hypocrisy, machinations, double standards (like when someone does whatever they want, but when someone else does the same thing or less, they’re outraged, shocked, appalled – insert Fox Newsworthy propaganda rhetoric here).

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Tired of the daily circus, I eagerly plopped down on my couch, green tea in hand, sore feet on the exercise ball (hey, it has to be good for something) to distract myself from the distractions and marvel at Colin Firth’s magnificence in Magic in the Moonlight.

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But alas, I found the movie full of philosophical questions about the meaning of life. Sigh. Is nothing sacred? While enjoying the witty banter, I also had to think about whether this is all there is. This day-to-day, this cycle of life, the collective cultures, religions, the systems and wealth of knowledge obtained from human history and common experiences…Or is there more? A higher power, a divine plan, magic, a metaphysical world beyond the rational. Are there plans or is it all spontaneous and just happening as it’s happening? Perhaps I should have just revisited the pastoral peace of Pride and Prejudice, but then, I’d probably wonder again whether I would really like Mr. Darcy if I met him, or think he was a rich, pompous jerk.

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My brain was awash with questions…and green tea. Do we need illusions or even delusions to survive and then more and more as stress levels build?
Is that why the world is looking more like the final days of an empire?
It might also explain why pop culture has become an avant-garde-Spanx-clad-Salvador-Dali-painting-on-Viagra.

Oh well, off to Outwit, Outlast and Outplay another day.

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Posted in Books, Chocolate, Family, Movies, Music, Televison, Uncategorized

In My Life I Loved Them All

1funny629Of
lovers
and
friends
I still
can
recall.
Some
are
dead
and
some are living…
In my life I loved them all.
~The BeaTles

Why do we love when it hurts so much to lose those we love?
How would you answer this question, dear readers?
My answer is as simple and as complex as love itself.
I don’t know for sure, but I think because it feels so amazing to love and be loved, also, we need each other and love connects in a way that nothing else can.

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Love and loss haunt me these days.
I decided reading would offer it’s usual distraction.
As I read Love, Rosie aka Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern (Hachette Books), I felt like I was watching a long Friends episode.
Beyond wanting to swat the characters for being such annoying goofs, I was left with a nagging feeling about love and communication and their places in the modern world.

Lily Collins in Love, Rosie
This book and movie adaptation wouldn’t have happened if the two main characters even once had a simple, honest conversation. There, end of book and they lived more or less happily ever after.
But that’s the thing, isn’t it? We can communicate each moment of every day in multiple ways, yet our communication skills seem to be deteriorating. Does non-stop communication help if we’re not telling each other what we really need to know?
Ahern also wrote P.S. I Love You, a funny and poignant book, with the beautiful lesson of going on when you’re ready to go on, how you’re ready to go on, after any kind of loss, but I still liked the movie better – I blame Harry Connick Jr.

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I’m sorry, baby, I didn’t mean it. There’s also: Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Gerard Butler, and James Marsters. Oops, I’m sorry book, probably should have read you before I saw the movie. The characters didn’t give me what I wanted, I didn’t feel a sincerity or connection, or maybe I was expecting too much.

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Love comes into our lives in many ways, family, friends, lovers, partners; to fill, enrich, challenge, sustain, nurture, embrace, excite, thrill, comfort, cherish, and support us.
It also leaves in many ways.
How can love continue to breathe when it’s viciously torn away, crushed, betrayed, taken for granted, withdrawn, or ignored?
Because it once was and in some way, somewhere, will always be.
I lost someone I love very much yesterday.
I really can’t imagine a world without…but I must.
Gone from this world, but forever in my heart.

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Which weirdly leads me to Week 4 of my Changes/Happiness Project. I wanted to fall in love again with life, and despite the loss life has repeatedly pummeled me with, I want to keep loving. Here are the first 3 weeks of challenges, if you wish to follow along, or just read about it.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/06/03/dont-worry-be-happy/
https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/06/09/to-blog-or-not-to-blog/
https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/06/15/rock-me-amadeus/

Week 4 (has it really been that long?):

1. Decide on 5 things I’d love to do today and just do them (within the limits of time, budget, circumstances, etc.)

2. New bedtime routine: think of 5 things that went well or I was grateful for today and 5 things to hope for, in days ahead.

3. Write down 10 things I want to change, but think I can’t…try to change them.

4. Avoid the cake stalking me. You give cake a bad name. It’s the power of cake. You’d think that people would have had enough of silly cake songs… Don’t know how much longer I can hold out.

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5. Reduce stimuli (mental and physical).

6. Remove a 100 calories per day (chocolate, I still love you, but there’s going to be a shortage of you soon and we have to get used to being apart…ok, that’s long enough.)

7. Construction begins on our street. Allow some time each day to admire the workers…work.

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So why do we love when it hurts so much to lose people?
You don’t turn down the greatest gift in the world just because you can’t keep it forever.

Posted in Blogs, Books, Chocolate, Family, Movies, Televison, Uncategorized

How To Get Your Book Published

1funny608As a writer I’ve read literally (that might not be the correct use of that word) thousands of articles on ‘how to get your book published’.

Then I noticed something strange about all of those articles, something they all had in common – they’d all been written by published authors.

What? This is a complete travesty! There are so many more of us, unpublished writers, looking for work and those authors are hogging the spotlight. They get books published, then they get articles published about how to get published. What a scam!

I’ve read enough self-help books to know what had to be done, those books (ironically, also written by published authors) clearly tell us that if you want something bad enough, you just have to imagine it, wish for it, and you’ll get it. Or was that a book about fairy tales?

Anyway…here’s my version of imagining it, wishing for it, my 12 easy steps to get your book published, I mean, how hard could it be, there are whole buildings full of books.

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How To Get Your Book Published:

1. Write a book.

2. Books or manuscripts (as they say in the biz) are generally typed on typing thingies. Some famous writers in history seemed to prefer typewriters, who knows, maybe they didn’t know about computers back then, I don’t have all the answers. I suggest going for a more personalized approach – handwriting your book. Publishers will appreciate your dedication and they’ll understand you really want this book deal.

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3. Go on a book tour. Don’t wait for your book to be published, the public is hungry for your words, bring them to the masses. Go to a book store and start telling customers all about your book. Sign books they’re holding or books on the store shelves – someday when you’re famous they’ll thank you for it.

4. Get an agent. As exciting as it might be, not a secret or special agent.

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5. You need a literary-sounding name. If your name isn’t already literary-sounding, change it to something like: J.K. Rowling, Dan Brown, Dr. Seuss, Jane Austen, Stephen King, Stephenie Meyer, George R.R. Martin, Shakespeare, E.L. James, Suzanne Collins, Agatha Christie – something really authory.

6. Writing for children is different from writing for adults. For example, don’t use the name Stephen King or anything he writes about…ever.

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7. Have family and friends write glowing book blurbs and reviews. If possible, have them use a well-known authory name, see #5 for examples.

8. People love pictures. You should totally get some of those.

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9. Have characters in your book. Characters is just a fancy literary term for people you write about, either made-up people or those you know (I doubt anyone will sue you).

10. People like when characters do stuff in books. Have your characters stay busy. I don’t want to tell you what to write, but supernatural, scary, science, and sex (or a combination thereof) fly off the shelves. Have fictitious people who don’t even slightly resemble your siblings, parents, children, boss, ex, celebrities, anyone, living or dead or undead, doing fictitious (nudge nudge, wink wink) stuff.

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11. Have your publisher help you promote your book. Sorry, did I skip that part? Get a publisher, preferably one who showers you with money, then get them to help promote your book (see #1).

12. Be prepared. Get ready, not only for fame and fortune, but to discuss and possibly explain your book, at length, on or in: TV, radio, podcasts, blogs, forums, bathroom stalls, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Skype, planes, trains, automobiles, restaurants, conventions, parties, family gatherings, fan sites, stalker fan sites, book signings (see #3 and don’t forget to bring a pen) – yes, everywhere and mostly to people who haven’t actually read your book.

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Now you’ve done all the hard work. Take some ‘me time’, relax in a bubble bath, have some tea or wine.

Let those royalties roll in and remember, show some love to those who helped you out. You’re welcome.

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Posted in Autism, Blogs, Books, Family, Music, Uncategorized

O-o-h Child Things Are Gonna Get Easier…

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In the dusty sanctuaries of erudition (cooler word than knowledge, which is sooo five centuries ago)… black and white, truth and lies live comfortably, side by side, lined up…we, elbow to elbow, heads bent, allow worlds to cascade around us. ‘Take us home,’ they whisper seductively, promising to reveal all their secrets.
Within the walls of a bookstore or library it’s clear what’s fiction and what’s non-fiction.
In the real world, not so much.

1guardians5Some of you, dear readers might be aware it’s Autism Awareness Month. You may have Autism; know those who live with it; love those who live with it who you can’t live without; or know those you don’t even know are on the Autism Spectrum. Still with me? Good. Reading Me Being Me Is Exactly As Insane As You Being You by Todd Hasak-Lowy (Simon Pulse)  – we’ll get to the title in a minute – had me thinking of Autism’s infinite variety, as well as the still surprising amount of intolerance in the world.

12 things I thought about while reading this novel:

1.  It’s all lists. I like lists.pablo47

2. The title is too long…oops, I’m one to talk.

3. The main character, a teen named Darren seems to be on the Autism Spectrum.

4. Part way through the book, I realized I had read other works by this author and felt a ‘doh’ moment. It passed.

1guardians85. The writing was accessible, appealing, and made me want to read more, yet around page 400 I found it was dragging and even I was growing tired of lists (is that even possible?).

6. Made me remember high school…Actually, I might be thinking of Glee, I don’t remember my high school having that much singing (luckily, this book doesn’t either).1guardians12
7. Parents should care about themselves by caring for their children.

8. I wanted to buy Darren some ice cream and tell him, ‘O-o-h child things are gonna get easier. O-o-h child things’ll get brighter.’ I have this Five Stairsteps song in my head, I blame Guardians of the Galaxy.

1guardians119. You can’t escape the world, it follows you everywhere.

10. Different can be bad or good, so much depends on intention and perception.

11. It might be comforting to tell someone things will get easier, brighter, or better, but it’s not always true. One of the best things to say is, ‘things are ok right now’. If that’s not true either, then, yes, by all means, say things are going to get easier, brighter, or better.1guardians1312. I love books. I love free books in a different way. Refer to #10 and in this case, different is good.

Posted in Books, Political, Uncategorized

Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial?

1funny73

The world is full of sure people.
I don’t mean confident people.
I mean sure peoplesure they’re right and those that don’t agree with them are wrong.

They know what is best. They know what is ‘the best’.
They know where you should live, what you should wear, drive, read, watch, worship, love, hate, etc.
I was more like that until someone made me unsure. In retrospect, they probably did me a favour, but it didn’t have to be so horrible. Ironically, they haven’t changed.
I knew what was right and wrong; I really knew what was wrong.
I didn’t know that what I didn’t know was more important than what I knew. I’m pretty sure about that.

Sure people don’t need to listen to other people, they’re already sure they’re right.
They’ve made up their minds. Often, not even facts will alter that.

I’m a voracious reader. I can tell you why I like or dislike a book, but I don’t know if you’ll like it.
Same goes for TV, movies, restaurants, clothes, technology.
I can recommend.
I can advocate.
I can oppose.
But only you can decide.

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Image/Random House

I was thinking of Sure People when reading a surprisingly funny and fascinating book, Would You Baptize An Extraterrestrial? (And Other Strange Questions from the Inbox at the Vatican Observatory) by two witty Jesuit astronomers, primarily involved in research, who try to answer all the wild and wacky questions posed to the Vatican, but in a conversational, refreshing, and unexpectedly, amusing style. Pope Francis said last year he would baptize a Martian…hmm, are they trying to prepare us for a coming invasion? 1bap5This book tries to show that religion and science don’t have to be at odds. People can believe in both. Do you think that’s true, dear readers? I certainly think we have more important things to worry about. We too often go for ‘or’ when we should use ‘and’. Economy and the environment, not or. Security and civil liberties, not or.

Which brought me to trust, can we trust when we’re not sure?
We can observe, listen, use our instincts and critical thinking, look for facts, question, see the world as it is…I prefer reality, if I want fantasy, I’ll watch TV or a movie, read a book or listen to governments.1bap1Which brings me back to, the Sures.  The more I learn, the more I hear, see, and observe, the more I wonder.

I’m only sure of so many things in this world: Love. Compassion. Hope. And cookies, and who knows, maybe those aren’t even what they seem.xf11

Posted in Movies, Televison, Uncategorized

Charming Savage Events

1antihero4

When did we start cheering for the Black Hats instead of the White Hats?

Classic movies, TV and books were easier. There were good guys and bad guys. You knew your protagonist, even the flawed ones were always good and your antagonists were always bad.

Then the lines not only blurred, they splintered apart.
We started cheering for a serial killer because he kills bad guys the law can’t put away.
We felt empathy for a teacher with cancer who became a drug lord.
We couldn’t wait to visit a family of mobsters.

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We used to know who the bad guys were and hated them, now we’re worried if they’ll be ok.

We seem charmed by the savage events we witness; repulsed yet mesmerized by the violence, greed, self-absorption on-screen, in politics, the news, and in books.

Maybe we pay more attention to product placement, ads, and merchandise with the glamorized ugly.

Have years of governments and corporations flaunting their corruption, immorality, greed, and dissolution made this all seem normal, even appealing?

Or are we simply being more honest, realizing that good people sometimes do bad things and bad people sometimes do good things?
Noble people can be ignoble and vice versa.

Flawed heroes,
or villains who are heroes in their head,
bad guys who we love,
are all gaining speed:
Tony Soprano, The Fonz, JR, Philip Marlowe, Jason Bourne,
Dirty Harry, Snape, Jack Bauer, House, V, The Lannisters, Hellboy,
Raymond ‘Red’ Reddington, Loki, Jax
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Stewie, Batman, Shrek, Blackadder, Daryl Dixon, Kirk, Raylan, Hawkeye Pierce, Gallaghers, Klaus, Scarlett O’Hara, Don Draper, Nancy Botwin, Tommy Gavin,

1antihero7
The Winchester boys, Kratos, Sherlock, Dexter, Walter White, Emily Thorne, Mal, Wolverine, Aiden Pearce, Captain Jack Sparrow, Holden Caulfield, Brody, Archie, Francis Underwood, Bane, Eric, Bill and well, most of True Blood characters…
and too many more to name.1antihero10

Strangely, while our governments and the news try to convince us that one group after another are evil and scary, and we agree, in theory, but applaud evil and scary, worshiping at the cult of ambiguous moral codes and hazy regard for the law.

They’re selling us Black Hats while we watch The Blacklist.

We’re told about atrocities, torture, and murder, to make us scared enough to toss away our personal liberties, while we wait to see who gets tortured and murdered on Game of Thrones. GOT4

Escapism? Entertainment? Or evolution?

Fleeing from reality or seeing its fuzzy reflection?

Dastardly is the new valiant.

Posted in Books, Movies, Uncategorized

Maybe Anna Karenina should have taken a bus

1anna1Some books should be reread at various stages of your life, not only to view the book differently, but to view the world differently.

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy is one of those books.

As a teen I thought this book wildly romantic. A tragic tale filled with noble nobles; and I didn’t fully understand why the peasants were so upset.

In my 20s I thought Anna Karenina was a narcissistic neurotic birdbrain; the nobles pompous gits; and the peasants noble.

Now, in my 40s I decided to read this again, so I borrowed the recent Oxford University Press version, an inspiring and edifying translation with notes and a wonderful introduction by Rosamund Bartlett from Netgalley.com for the low price of an honest review. As the pages flew by I realized how differently I now see the novel as well as the complicated navigation of life’s path. The message that finding happiness without causing damage or destruction is so clear, though easier said than done, and for Anna Karenina, apparently impossible. Trapped in a loveless marriage, surrounded by sociopolitical upheaval, and bound by the brutal intolerance and hypocrisy of society, she made poor choices.

No idea how I will see this years from now.

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Rosamund Bartlett’s patient guidance through the troubled waters of Tolstoy’s complicated soul offers generations a chance to experience the passion and progress, still relevant today. Translations of Tolstoy can be thorny, his remarkable ability to link realist and modern writing to emphasize differing attitudes and lifestyles can be difficult to communicate without altering or losing his viewpoint.

1anna4There have also been many visions of this classic presented on film. The latest adaptation by director Joe Wright, screenplay by Tom Stoppard starring Keira Knightley, Jude Law, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson was a sumptuous  delight for the senses, yet in the 1927 silent film, Love starring Greta Garbo and John Gilbert  had a consummate romance and depth of despair that spoke volumes.

All in all, maybe Anna Karenina should have taken a bus.

Posted in Books, Uncategorized

Essentialism

1ess4I started reading Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown (Crown Business) wondering, is this going to be another self-help book to allegedly fix my life? Quickly I realized this was different.
Mr. McKeown’s version of Essentialism helped accelerate a process I’ve been working through for too long.

I’d heard less is more many times, but it’s nonsensical, less isn’t more, less is less.
Then I read the words, less but better. Less but better makes sense.
Less stuff, people, projects…but better quality. Essential.

The modern world is difficult to filter.
We’re surrounded by noise, figuratively and literally, 24/7.
TV shows, movies, special events, news, gossip, parties, vacations, causes, sports, books, apps, games, videos, memes, bands, singers, dancers, reality show celebrities, etc. – an endless flow of activity to entertain and distract us.

McKeown uses the example of your closet as a simple, but insightful lesson in essentialism.1ess3
Look through your clothes. Ask yourself, do I love this? Not, will I wear it or does it fit, but do I love it?
Do the same with TV shows. Love them or just filling or killing time? Or watching because of social pressure?
How about projects? Hobbies? Volunteering? Friends? Family? Work? Life?
Are you in a place in your life where everything seems important and has to be done?
Now filter out what is essential.
Now breathe.

1ess1We have so many choices today, yet they often amount to chaos. We’re suffering from choice and decision fatigue.
We’re children whose corporate parents keep us obedient by learned helplessness.
Computers find us a hotel room or flight.
Experts tell us what to buy, what to like, where to go, what to do.
Soon cars will drive themselves.1love6

Too many decisions mean the quality of those decisions deteriorate. We’re being fed a fast-food model of life, supersize it…quantity not quality.

The word priority didn’t become plural until the 1900s…how can you have more than one priority at a time? Focus on one thing, then another, then another.

Do you think when people are dying their biggest regret is:
I wish I could have worked more,
played more Candy Crush,
downloaded another app,
streamed another movie,
played another video game,
checked my email more often?
My guess is, I wish I had spent more time with people I loved
or even liked, and I wish I had been true to me, done what I wanted to do.
Why are we acquiring and keeping so many nonessentials – clothes, shoes, books, tools, toys, games…even people?
Making trade-offs with our time, energy, dreams, integrity, our lives.

1me13We’re hyper-connected, it doesn’t mean we’re always enjoying it.
Isn’t it time to weed out the trivial from the vital?
We believe busy equals important.
Wouldn’t it be better to return to less busy and more meaning?

So I’ve challenged myself to Explore, Eliminate and Execute…To have a disciplined pursuit of less but better.

I love the thought of reducing the noise to hear only what is music.

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P.S. I got this digital book at http://www.bloggingforbooks.org

Posted in Holidays, Movies, Music, Televison, Uncategorized, Zombies

Happy 4th of July

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/07/04/happy-4th-of-july/

I don’t live in America.

I have visited America many, many times.

I’m Canadian, so we’re kind of neighbours. Hey neighbour (yes, here in Canada we have ‘u’ in weird places…don’t ask unless you really want to know).

Here are just a few random things I love about America:
  The Walking Dead,
Captain America, X-Files, Heroes, Family Guy, Star Wars…

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/07/04/happy-4th-of-july/

Deadwood, Community, Revolution, 3rd Rock From The Sun, escalators, The Addams Family, Mad Men, The Munsters,
https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/07/04/happy-4th-of-july/Spiderman, Batman, part of Superman (get your minds out of the gutter), X-Men, Star Trek, Six Million Dollar Man, Alice Cooper, Supernatural, Soap, Green Day, The Ramones, Hell On Wheels, The Misfits, The Carol Burnett Show, The Bob Newhart Show, Elvis, ER, Get Smart, Firefly, The Avengers (not the British one), Sonic Youth, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Violent Femmes, Animaniacs, The Brady Bunch, Nirvana, American Gothic, Smallville, Angel, cash registers, KISS, Battlestar Galactica, Boston Legal

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Breaking Bad, Maude, Columbo, Scooby-Doo, Quincy, House, sunglasses, https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/07/04/happy-4th-of-july/Murder She Wrote, R.E.M, V, potato chips, Under The Dome, Metallica, Pushing Daisies, 8-track tapes, Guns’n’Roses, Love Boat, The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show, Family Ties,  Six Feet Under, Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, MacGyver, Aerosmith, The Beverly Hillbillies, Twin Peaks, Parks & Recreation, Iggy Pop & The Stooges, Law & Order (you may have gotten carried away there, let it go), Jimi Hendrix, the transistor, Bruce Springsteen, clothes hangers, ARPANET, Jeopardy!, crayons (most of the colours, some are getting freaky)….

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Magnum P.I., SNL, Heart, the Cyclotron Atom-Smasher, Hogan’s Heroes, 30 Rock, cotton candy, airplanes, airbags, The Simpsons, Sons of Anarchy, GPS, New York Dolls, Night Court, Faith No More, Wonder Woman, Farscape, Jeff Goldblum, The Waltons, The Big Bang Theory, Hawaii Five-O, John Malkovich,The Lone Ranger, Bill Murray….https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/07/04/happy-4th-of-july/

Monk, Rockford Files, Yogi Bear, Devo, Johnny Depp, The Doors, Late Night With John Oliver, Seinfeld, Vikings, Pinky and the Brain, Cosmos, The Partridge Family, Police Squad!, All in the Family, Psych, The Twilight Zone, Happy Days, electric guitar, Gang Green, The Colbert Report…

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/07/04/happy-4th-of-july/

The Muppets, Steve Martin, Sesame Street, John Cusack, Frasier, Terra Nova, The Daily Show, 21 Jump Street, Roswell, Cheers, Spongebob Squarepants, flashlights, skyscrapers, Mork & Mindy, George Clooney,

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/07/04/happy-4th-of-july/

Falling Skies, Dexter, Garfield, I Dream of Jeannie, Bonanza, George Carlin, Homeland, M*A*S*H,  Mystery Science Theater 3000, I Love Lucy, The Flintsones, Patti Smith, Land of the Lost, Veep, The Wizard of Oz, Mallethead, Charlie Brown, American Dad!, South Park, Peanuts, Game of Thrones, Beastie Boys, nylon, Lie To Me, Talking Heads…and way way too many great movies, writers, artists, entertainers, athletes, scientists, and others making things better or at least interesting to name…
Ok, you had some international help with some of these, including Canada, but you’re doin’ stuff and I think that’s great…
I could go on and on, but you get the point. Feel free to tell me if I forgot anything, I got tired.

Parts of America are also stunningly beautiful…and many of the people are amazing.

You’ve also done some very, very naughty things, America, which we won’t dwell on today because you’re celebrating Independence Day, and perhaps watching Independence Day between BBQing, fireworks, being patriotic, watching Dead White and Blue the latest AMC The Walking Dead marathon, spending time with family and friends, and drinking (and hopefully not driving).

Like any neighbour there are things we like and don’t like about each other, but mostly we get along quite well.

Happy Independence Day,

America!!!

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/07/04/happy-4th-of-july/

Posted in Books, Movies, Political, Uncategorized

Words Will Break Cement

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Truth is, everyone needs to be more tolerant. Everyone.

Aren’t most of the world’s problems because of intolerance?

Would we have to fight for rights and freedoms if everyone was more tolerant?

Why does it bother anyone who you love?

The colour of your skin?

The shape of your body?

Whom you choose to worship?

That someone has special needs?

What you choose to listen to or watch?

Why does choice intimidate some many people?

Just their need to control?

Whatever. Relax.

1pussy1When I first heard the name Pussy Riot I thought they were a punk band.1pussy5

So I read Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot by Masha Gessen (Riverhead Books/Penguin) in the hope of understanding the situation. Well-written and painstakingly detailed, it made for fascinating read.

I don’t always get performance art, I’m way too plebeian for that. However, I understand the need for artistic expression.

The women from Pussy Riot are part of one of the Russian art collectives who call themselves Voina. They stage performance art, often as a form of protest.

Their performance in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow went viral. Was it tasteless and a slap in the face of religion? Absolutely. Although I rather think that was their purpose.

Russia gives them ample material to protest.
LGBT rights regressing rapidly.
A wealth gap like the space between planets.
Barely existent women’s rights.
Maybe Georgia and Ukraine could give us some insight into how the Russian government feels about, you know, rights.

1pussy4Whether or not you agree with civil disobedience or the way this group or others protest, it gets attention. I disagree they should be jailed, separated from their family and friends, brutalized, beaten, persecuted, and maligned just because they don’t agree with the people in power. Also, it really just, well, proves their point.

Every country has its problems. Democracy seems to be creeping into twilight around the world, soon to join the dinosaurs as fossil fuel. When we don’t stand up for something, we really do seem to fall for anything.

Sadly Russia is not unique in intolerance, grinding of rights and freedoms, and overenthusiastic authoritarianism. Putin is just really, really open about it.1pussy6

It’s easy to pick on Russia, they have those cool accents that make everything sound sinister and we’re kind of programmed by James Bond flicks.

Tolerance would do us all well.

As long as you’re not hurting anyone…then who are you hurting?

 

Posted in Books, Movies, Televison, Uncategorized

Well-Read Women

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“I’ll think about it tomorrow, after all, tomorrow is another day.”1read3
Margaret Mitchell may have written the words of Gone With The Wind, but it’s Scarlett O’Hara we think of when we read or hear them.

Elizabeth Bennet      Anne Shirley      Daisy Buchanan
   Auntie Mame      Catherine Earnshaw      Nancy Drew
Holly Golightly      Dorothy Gale      Jo March      Cosette
Jane Eyre       Juliet Capulet      Nora Charles       Charlotte
Blanche Dubois     Pecola      Alice      Daisy Miller      Lily Bart
Becky Sharp      Mary Lennox       Emma Woodhouse

We’ve had tea and coffee with these women.

Ate ice cream and chocolate with these women.

Even taken baths with these women.

Stretched out under a tree with these women.

Flew with these women.

Drank with these women.

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Dreamed of being these women.

Tried to make sure not to be some of these women.

Loved them. Hated them. Pitied them.

We’ve cried with them, laughed with them.

Shouted yahoo! for these women.

Watched them live, love, sometimes die.

Felt their sorrow.

Rejoiced in their triumphs.

We’ve learned from their failures, cheered them on.

They’ve seen us at our best and our worst.

They’ve met our loved ones, including cats and dogs.

IM000475.JPGThey live in our homes.IM000476.JPG

Fiction’s loved and hated heroines hold a place in our hearts and remind us of who we were, who we are and who we want to be.1read2

Take a few minutes to relax and remind yourself of the joys of a good read with this delectably illustrated book, Well-Read Women: Portraits of Fiction’s Most Beloved Heroines by Samantha Hahn (Chronicle Books).

Contains smile-inducing illustrations of fictional heroines (although I would have liked Bridget Jones included, but maybe in the next book) by the talented Samantha Hahn, accompanied by some of your favourite quotes from these ladies and their authors.IM000469.JPG

“It struck me as pretty ridiculous to be called Mr. Darcy and to stand on your own looking snooty at a party. It’s like being called Heathcliff and insisting on spending the entire evening in the garden, shouting “Cathy” and banging your head against a tree.” ~Bridget Jones
Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding

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Posted in Books, Uncategorized

Overwhelmed

I don’t have time.

There just isn’t enough time in the day.

Sorry, I ran out of time.

Time got away from me.

If you frequently hear or say these and other phrases, this book may be for you.

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“Time is a drug. Too much of it kills you.” ~Terry Pratchett

1. Every day we hear about how people are exhausted, scattered, distracted, besieged, stressed, under pressure, anxious, just generally overwhelmed. Even school-aged children are overwhelmed.

2. Yet according to most experts including renowned time researcher and sociologist, John Robinson (known as Father Time) not having enough time is an illusion or self-imposed. Most people have more leisure time than ever before. “Time is a smokescreen. A convenient excuse” ~John Robinson. Saying you don’t have time is really saying you don’t want to do something, you just don’t want to say that.sheldon7

3. Not that many aren’t working very hard for too little. This book is quite critical of the government and business and their backward, regressive approaches to methods of work that work.

4. Your stress can affect others. They believe stress, even from parents is actually changing children neurologically and hormonally, perhaps even their DNA.

5. The part of your brain called the Amygdala has a primary role in the processing of memory, decision-making, and emotional reactions. Your Prefrontal Cortex is the Big Cheese for your brain and essentially your Amygdala’s nanny. It regulates your Amygdala, tells it to slow down and take a time-out if needed. Yet your Prefrontal Cortex can shrink if chronically stressed then it’s too weak and shrunken to calm your Amygdala. So your Amygdala goes wild, it starts making poor choices.

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6. Our time expectations are out of whack. We like being pretend busy. It makes us feel important. Take time to live authentically, it takes some courage, but you might like it.

7. You hear things like, an average high school student now has the same level of stress of a psychiatric patient in the 1950s. Is it real and if so, what’s causing it? Then you start thinking, wait, then what level of stress does a psychiatric patient have now?

8. The author, award-winning staff reporter from the Washington Post, Brigid Schulte, an admitted head-on-fire time loser, interviews sociologists and scientists world-wide for this book to demonstrate how grim and prevalent this alleged time-crunch really is. Her findings are dramatic and alarming. It’s not a shock to researchers that chronic stress is raising the risk and incidence of heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, obesity, Alzheimer’s, cancer, dementia, mental health issues as well as other health issues.simpsons9

9. We have time, we just don’t always use it properly. After all, according to Albert Einstein, “time is an illusion”, then again, what did he know?

10. Find uninterrupted time. Every tweet, text, email, conversation, phone call, etc. steals away uninterrupted time, not only leisure time, but work time as well. It takes us a lot more time to return to focus than we realize. Be wary when you’re sold many items that are going to improve your life. Companies don’t want to improve your life, they want to complicate it because complicated means money to them.

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“The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.” ~Lewis Carroll

11. Other countries including Denmark have more progressive workplaces, social structures and make far better use of their time than North Americans.

12. If there were affordable, safe, secure, and adequate housing people would have less stress, there would be less crime and therefore fewer victims of crime, more motivation, productivity, and more happy time.

13. Safe, regulated, and affordable childcare would ease our stress levels and help with time constraints.

14. We need to face facts. We like to think we’re good at multitasking, but we’re not. It’s a myth sold to us. Something suffers when people multitask and it’s stressful for your brain.

15. You probably didn’t have time to read this whole post and you won’t have time to read the book.

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Posted in Books, Uncategorized

MOTHER NATURE IS TRYING TO KILL YOU

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We humans seem to have a love/hate relationship with Mother Nature. It’s like we’re either breaking up or making up and both seem equally violentnature5 and nasty.

1. We love nature, but only if it’s pretty or convenient.

2. There are many things in nature that want to kill us or eat us. That includes other humans.

3. You’re born with 300 bones, but by the time you’re an adult you have 206, and we’re so fragile, even a swan can break those bones.nature123. A lot of things in nature want to use us as unwilling hosts, sort of like Alien, but with less Sigourney Weaver.

4. Whether or not you believe in climate change, it sure seems like our climate is changing and not in a fun cartoony way.

nature115. There are things, most we can’t even see, that want to infect or poison us. Badly done naughty toxins, parasites, bacteria, viruses, etc., badly done.

6. Humans have tried to adapt to nature, but we discovered money and power and got really distracted.nature6

7. There are eels that can give off a charge of over 600 volts. And they probably cost less than hydro.

8. No other creature in nature sleeps on it’s back, except humans.

9. The Amazon rainforest produces over half the world’s oxygen supply – we should keep cutting that down.

10. Nature has given us the means to heal as well. If we don’t destroy what can help us first.

The good news for Mother Nature. She won’t have to put up with us for much longer. We’re doing more to ourselves than she ever could. Sadly, we’re trying to take her down with us.

The book Mother Nature Is Trying To Kill You is scary, but interesting and even amusing at times as Dan Riskin Ph.D. (Discovery Canada and Daily Planet) guides us through the 7 deadly sins of Mother Nature’s eccentricities. Some new ideas, some recycled, but all thought-provoking.

Posted in Books, Cooking, Food, Televison, Uncategorized

Jeeves and Wooster

jeeves&w1Understandable this clunky British 1930s era comedy isn’t for everyone…but isn’t that a shame? You really don’t know what you’re missing, then again, if you don’t know, you’re probably not missing it and are ok with that.
Jeeves and Wooster is a lenient, laconic, laughable dance. Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry onscreen are pure magic. Their chemistry is flawless.

Jeeves and Wooster are like:
Pasta and sauce. jeeves&w5
Cake and ice cream.
Oil and vinegar.
Tomato soup and grilled cheese.
Hot chocolate and whipped cream.
Chips and salsa.
Cabbage and tomato.
Peanut butter and banana. jeeves&w3
Peanut Butter and jam.  
Peanut butter and bacon.
They’re peanut butter and chocolate.
Oops, I’ve gone off on a peanut butter tangent. But you get the point. Things that could be great separately, but are superb together.
Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry are fantastic on their own, but together, they’re a magnificent treat that’s timeless.

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Hugh Laurie plays Bertie Wooster, an upper class British twit who gets himself in one scrape after another. He’s not a bad guy, he’s just kind of oblivious. Stephen Fry plays his long-suffering pragmatic, perfect, and always prepared valet who keeps Wooster’s escapades in check, or at least, he tries. The P.G. Wodehouse books these were adapted from are worth a read as well.

Gentle, carefree merriment.

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Posted in Books, Family, Movies, Uncategorized

THE BOOK THIEF

bookt1To be honest, I picked The Book Thief by Markus Zusak because as a book addict I found the title intriguing.

Not the light read I had hoped for that day, with the exception of a few oddly funny moments provided by the Narrator, Death. I can see why it’s been on The New York Times Best Seller list for close to 300 weeks.

I’m guardedly optimistic that the film adaptation, with the talents of Brian Perceival (Downton Abbey, North and South, The Ruby in the Smoke, The Old Curiosity Shop, Shakespeare Retold), Michael Petroni (Till Human Voices Wake Us), Geoffrey Rush (The King’s Speech, Pirates of the Caribbean, Shine, Munich, Shakespeare in Love), Emily Watson (War Horse, Gosford Park), will do this book credit.

Germany, World War II. Liesel, a young Jewish girl whose blonde hair helps her ‘pass’ calls herself, The Book Thief. Splayed among the everyday life with her foster parents are tormenting nightmares of her mother and dead brother, unexpected kindness by some, evil of others, and the looming authority of an excessively engaged Narrator.bookt2

Finishing the book, I sat for several minutes, waiting. I didn’t know for what. Only that I felt I shouldn’t just move on, not to another book or chore or activity. I needed to be in that place.

Then the pure horror and joy assailed me. It has all happened many times before and it will happen again. Humans going after humans, various reasons in various ways. People helping and standing up for others, even when it’s dangerous to do so. We are a drumming paradox stroking and punching through time, an echo of who we should be and are.

I have to agree with Death, “I am haunted by humans”. bookt5

Posted in Books, Movies, Televison, Uncategorized

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE

cf9Pride and Prejudice

by Jane Austen

What can I say about this masterpiece that hasn’t been said thousands of times and ways?
And if we’re going to involve the movies or TV series made of this novel that’s wow, just wow.
P & P is warm fudge topping over heavenly hash ice cream.
It is a kitten’s purr.
Silk on your skin.
A musical piece that caresses your soul.
It is all that the blarry, scratchy, low-manners modern world isn’t.
It is perfection that one can visit and relax. It is tea.
Tea with fresh crumpets.
Tea with fresh crumpets and jam.

Posted in Books, Movies, Music, Televison, Uncategorized

THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS

nbchrist2I went to see this movie on opening day 1993 and a few more times in the following weeks. I had no children with me. I also bought the VHS tape when it came out, the soundtrack, and later the DVD. I may or may not have some small toys from the movie and a few TNBC T-shirts over the years, one possibly bought as recently as today.

To say I love this movie is too serene.

Like most Tim Burton films TNBC is funny, dark, deep, and stabbed full of obvious messages.

The main character is a skeleton named Jack Skellington.nbchrist1
He’s the Big Mouldy Cheese of Halloween Town, he’s the Pumpkin King, he has it all, fame, fortune, adulation. But he’s bored with his job. He wants more.
He discovers Christmas Town and sees it’s marketing potential. He figures this must be what he was destined to do.
So he rebrands himself and retrofits Halloween Town to do this new gimmick, Christmas.
Things go terribly, dreadfully,  horribly wrong, of course.
The day or should I say eve is saved, mostly with the help of Sally who has loved Jack just as he was.nbchrist8
The Christmas brand is salvaged, as is that of Halloween.
Short story extended, Jack realizes he had everything he needed to make him miserably happy in Halloween Town all along. Cue a gruesomely romantic scene.
Crushed into all that? Lots of cool songs by Danny Elfman (sigh, I still love Oingo Boingo), mayhem, fun, drama, lots of funny lines…one of the best films every made.

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“Jack, please, I’m only an elected official here,
I can’t make decisions by myself!”
~Mayor of Halloween Town

It’s a marketing dream in one nightmare.

The making of this film is almost as interesting as the film itself. Astonishing. nbchrist6Many have poached from, peeled back, and tried to copy the mastery of this movie in the 20 years since it’s release, but this masterpiece is incomparable.

Makes sense that it’s really just a remake of another perfect classic, Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Can’t see it? Think about it.

TNBC combines Christmas and Halloween so naturally, I’m in.

Posted in Books, Uncategorized

Malala

malala1We take so much for granted.

Here in the West too many of young girls pay more attention to their:  hair, make-up, clothes, shoes, boys, shopping, how many pictures of themselves posing in front of a mirror in sexy outfits making duck lips they can post online, and other such frivolities than education.

They don’t know or understand that girls from other countries are dying for the education too many Western girls ignore in favor of more trivial pursuits. They don’t get that girls around the world want to be educated, free, not sold into slavery of one kind or another.

This book, I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai makes your heart-break and sing all at once.

Her story is well-known. A young Pakistani girl whose amazing father instilled the love of learning into his beautiful daughter. He could have seen her as a bartering chip toward a good arranged marriage; instead, he cultivated her mind and knew she could be anything she wished. He gave her choice. The first hero of the story. Malala spoke up for Pakistani girls to have an education.

Knowledge is the key to happiness. She knew this and wanted to help others.malala3However, in speaking out she attracted the attention of the Taliban who believe the same things she does, knowledge is power. So they tried to silence her, with a bullet. Malala and two other girls were shot on their school bus.  All survived.

History repeated itself, in trying to silence her voice they made it louder. And stronger. And heard by so many more.

Malala has since toured the world with her message of hope and learning. She’s only 16, but she’s co-authored a book, continued her activism, won awards, and has the ear of world leaders. She has triumphed in the face of adversity and has fought back to spread her message of hope and education far and wide.

I hope Moms and Dads will read this book with their daughters and sons. Instead of yet another trip to the mall, new cell phone, tickets to see Justin Bieber, or more clothes, read it with your children and talk about what it means and what they can be. I get saying Malala is a role model, not Miley Cyrus.

malala6Having a uterus shouldn’t decide what a woman will be. We need more people to help this world, repair the problems, to make it better, not just more people. Everyone should have choices.

Enjoy this book. It is a beacon of light in an often foggy world.

Posted in Books, Uncategorized

Zombies Vs Unicorns

Zombies vs Unicorns

1D1by Holly Black 

(Margaret K. McElderry Books)

I’m going to plunge into the fray on this one.

Zombies are cooler and all symbolic of our decaying society and consumer culture thingy.

Unicorns definitely have the whole magical and purity thing down.zombies2

There I stated my opinion, what’s yours?zombies1

Posted in Movies, Televison, Uncategorized

YOU’VE GOT MAIL

ImageYou’ve Got Mail is allegedly a romantic comedy, but to accept that you have to ignore the obvious point that both main characters are in serious relationships when they meet first in a chat room online then later in person.  Granted, both break up with their respective partners before they enter a physical relationship, so I guess it’s not actually infidelity.  Still, what could have been a delightful love story seems a little emotionally bankrupt because their partners are unaware of the other people involved in their relationships.

Then there’s the title which is total product placement for AOL, sigh.  Great cast including: Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Parker Posey (amazing in well, everything), Jean Stapleton (All in The Family), Greg Kinnear, Steve Zahn (Ever see Happy, Texas? You should), Dave Chappelle, Dabney Coleman, Sara Ramirez  (unknown then, now Dr. Torres on Grey’s Anatomy), Jane Adams, John Randolph, and Michael Badalucco (The Practice).  I’m conflicted because I really do like the movie itself. Image

Quite entertaining updated version of the 1940 Jimmy Stewart, Margaret Sullivan classic, The Shop Around The Corner, both based on the play Parfumerie (Miklos Laszlo).

The adorableness of Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan do make it work.

It never hurts to have your script by Nora and Delia Ephron, mistresses of witty repartee.

And it’s about books. What could ever be bad about books?Image