Day: May 3, 2017

Review: Romeo and Juliet

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Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Review
As I looked over my previously read books and searched for one that was missing a review, Romeo and Juliet stood out to me. But then I thought about it… who doesn’t know about this play? Who hasn’t read it in school sometime in the past? Who hasn’t watched a movie version or seen some sort of take on the classic tortured romance story? And why on earth would anyone care to read another review, let alone my review, on it? Exactly. So… don’t look for much here as I’m sure most everyone has read it already. And I’m not that funny to even make reading my opinions worth it. That said… a few shared thoughts about what I’ve learned from this play:

1. Parents exist to torture their children. It’s a simple fact. If your child wants X, it is your responsibility to keep X away from him/her.

2. Love will always end in disaster. Don’t attempt it without proper back-up.

3. Even though someone looks dead, they probably aren’t. Kill them again just to be sure.

4. Your bros or girls don’t always have your back.

5. Magic powders are the cure for everything. Always trust what you don’t understand. And just inhale it like the world is about to end.

In all sincerity, I do like the play a lot. I’ve enjoyed countless interpretations. I think parts of it are brilliant and parts of it are pure illogical nonsense. Every TV show and movie has their own re-appropriation to tell. Not everything can be perfect when it comes to love. But this play certainly teaches a lot of lessons and provides a lot of bumps. And this reader still goes along for the ride…

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews

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Review: Two for the Dough

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Two for the DoughMy rating: 3 of 5 stars to book #2 in the Stephanie Plum mystery series, Two for the Dough, by Janet Evanovich. Since I’m going back to complete reviews on all the books I’ve read, and there are over 20 in this series, it would be too boring to do a normal review… so I’ll keep it short. A few fun things about this one:

1. We’re still getting to know how crazy Stephanie Plum is compared to everyone else. She’s neurotic in a fun way — sort of like I am.

2. This one is all about her libido with Joe Morelli. What’s more important… getting lucky or catching the criminal? She can’t decide but Evanovich presents many funny romantic situations in this edition.

3. Stephanie’s cousin is hilarious. He’s a creep. And I would not want to meet him in reality. But he provides necessary humor.

4. Not knowing how to properly catch a criminal can really get her in hot water. The situations she finds herself in are just laugh out loud. I don’t know how the writer keeps on coming up with them.

5. We’re learning a bit more about the dangers of Ranger. And I like it! He’s someone you just never know what to expect… it could be good or it could be the good kind of bad.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews

Review: A is for Alibi

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A is for AlibiMy rating: 4 of 5 stars to A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton, the first book in the Kinsey Millhone private investigator cozy mystery series. It’s the book that started it all for me…

The opening lines of the book grab you when the narrator tells you that she killed a man. You want to know more about this situation. Then you get to know a little bit about Kinsey. Twice-divorced. 32. New to PI work. You already start to root for her as much as you ask questions about her former life.

In this one, it’s all about divorce and a cheating ex-husband. Nikki, not very likable, is released from prison and goes straight to Kinsey for help. She served time for killing her husband, but she claims she didn’t do it. Years later, she wants answers so she can move on with her life. And she gets them. Kinsey finds a second body and actually has to protect herself. Right out of the gate, you know this series won’t be a traditional cozy. But at the same time, it’s a very formulaic story. And that’s OK… I like those, too.

Kinsey is mostly a good character. Her attitude is sometimes a little annoying. She is still learning her job to some degree… not quite as good as VI Warshawski, but not as silly as Stephanie Plum. Lots to like about her too… except no real family to speak of. She eventually has Henry, but not enough for me.

The setting is Santa Teresa, California… a beautiful place among the vineyards and not too far from the ocean. Makes a good backdrop and some pretty scenes.

For an intro book, it’s strong. It was started back in the 1980s… so if you’re looking for something more current, this series isn’t for you.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews

Review: Strega Nona

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Strega NonaMy rating: 4 of 5 stars

Review
Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola is the first book in a classic children’s literature series from the 1970s and 1980s. It was eventually made into a cartoon and several other children’s merchandise, all fun and educational toys as kids grew up. I enjoyed the premise of the books but only read the first one, and maybe the second or third (can’t remember). Caldecott award winner!

Strega Nona means “Grandma Witch,” and she helps the townspeople with all their problems through her magical pasta pot. One day, she has to go away and leaves Big Anthony in charge. And even though he was told not to use the pot, he doesn’t listen and causes all sorts of wacky situations.

These books were meant as little lessons for children. It all comes down to teaching the 4 to 8 range why it’s important to listen, what harm can happen if you don’t and how to always be honest and truthful. Valuable stuff… and when it’s in a picture book format, it’s quite strong.

Of all the picture books, these weren’t my super-high favorite ones, but they were still very good. I liked the idea of a witch teaching children, but at the same time… if you want this to be a listen, did she have to be a witch? Couldn’t she just have been a grandma with some magical powers? I suppose it’s a good way to show that not all “witches” can be bad. But I bet kids learned to eat a lot of pasta from them!!!

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews

365 Challenge: Day 52 – Wasteful

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Wasteful: using or expending something of value carelessly, extravagantly, or to no purpose

At different points in our lives, we all say aloud (or hear someone else tell us) “that was wasteful,” referring to something just done that we carelessly minimized when others so desperately needed it. Often we should have known better, but we do it anyway without thinking about the consequences because it’s become habitual. That said, as much as it is habitual for many of us, there are several people who work hard not to be wasteful and teach this to children at a young age.

To kick this one off… a few places I recognize I am wasteful — not all the time, but enough that I should call myself out.

  • Water
    • I run the water the entire time I’m washing dishes, rather than try to use only the amount needed and re-use where appropriate until the final rinse.
    • I leave the water running when I brush my teeth when I should leave it off  until the last second.
    • My showers are entirely too long and often run for a minute or two for the water to get hotter before I get inside. I should deal with the cold, stand to the side and wash my hair.

 You don’t care about my bathroom habits?

  •  Energy
    • I tend to leave lights on when I don’t really need them. Sometimes it’s for the dog, but a little goes a long way.
    • My building keeps the heat on from October thru May, and because I get so hot, I open the windows which likely makes the heat work a bit harder since I’m on the top floor. Can’t really change this…
  • Time / Money
    • I spend way too much time watching TV or on the computer when I should be out with people, in nature and learning.
    • Time is money, and therefore I’m wasting earning potential and income.
    • I can be frivolous when spending and should save more or donate more.
  • Food
    • I sometimes eat too much. And we all know how to fix that. (Shh… don’t say it aloud or it may come true)
    • I make too much food when I cook and am not good about eating leftovers.
    • I buy stuff, it expires, and I end up throwing it out. I need to be more pragmatic and plan meals in a better way.

And if they can do it, so can I!

Not so bad admitting faults, is it? I’m sure that only touches the surface of the areas where I’m being wasteful. And quite honestly, some of those are easy fixes that I should be more consistent about in the future.

Sometimes I get caught up realizing how unfortunate it is that I haven’t fixed this sooner, especially knowing the limits of these resources across the world. And while these posts are not meant to make anyone feel guilty or to preach, sometimes a gentle reminder helps implement positive changes. And that’s all I’m intending here… for any reader including myself.

This is me talking to myself right now!

Life is complicated. We should all figure out how to be part of the continuous cycle of improvement. And when we don’t work in jobs or volunteer in roles where we have direct impact on re-cycling, re-use or proper waste disposal, perhaps we should take 5 minutes a day to focus on it as a human being who cares about the world around us.

It begins with learning this as a child, so it feels almost inherent. Good habits will occur and help propagate even better ones with each year and generation. But there’s no time to start like the present if this hasn’t been built into you already. And with that, I’m off to see how to tone down my wasteful usage of time — it took 30 minutes for this post and I’m supposed to be down to 20 minutes a day at this point. Ugh… I hate missing the target.

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay. I am 40 and live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.