Monthly Archives: September 2014

The Critics Were Wrong-Queen Of The Damned (2002)

In 2002, the late singer Aaliyah was expanding her career to become an actor as well as a singer.

Tragically, she was only able to start her movie career before she died in a plane crash.

One of the movies she starred in was Queen Of The Damned, based on the Anne Rice novel.

Lestat De Lioncourt (Stuart Townsend) has been a vampire for several centuries. Woken up by modern rock music, he becomes the front man for a rock and roll band. Jesse Reeves (Marguerite Moreau) has become fascinated by Lestat and begins to study his past, despite the danger.  Lestat’s music reaches the ears of the first vampire, Akasha (Aaliyah) and wakes her up from her centuries long sleep.

To be fair, I have never read any of Anne Rice’s novels, so I am just going by the movie.

It was sort of campy with a little danger factor thrown in. But it was a fun movie, the type that a moviegoer could loose themselves in for a few hours.

Were the critics wrong? Yes and no.

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Filed under Movie Review, Movies, The Critics Were Wrong

Schmuck!

Martin Lidegaard, the Danish Foriegn minister, has threatened Israel with sanctions if she fails to capitulate to Hamas.

In the words of my ancestors, Schmuck!

Would he capitulate to a neighbor who routinely assaulted him, both verbally and physically? Who called for the death of him and his family and proclaimed that his home was theirs?

Before Mr. Lidegaard or anyone who thinks like him opens their mouth about this subject, they should think. If had a neighbor that assaulted me routinely, both verbally and physically and called for the death of me and my family, there is no way I would sit back and do nothing. I would do everything in my power to protect my home and my family.

Is it me or is it just a no brainer?

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Such Good Girls Book Review

1.5 million Jewish children were murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators during the Holocaust. Only 10% of the European Jewish children who were alive before World War II survived.

The adults who helped the children survive had to resort to desperate measures.

R.D. Rosen’s new non fiction book, Such Good Girls is about several of these children who shed their Jewish identities during the war and became Christian. After the war, they found themselves conflicted between their Jewish pasts and their Christian present. In 1991, these child survivors were brought together in New York and began to examine their pasts and understand the measures the adults took at the time to ensure the children’s survival.

I enjoyed this book. Every time I think I know everything about the Holocaust, I learn something new. What I saw in this book was the love of parents who saw the coming storm and did what they could to ensure that their children would survive. Even if that survival meant changing everything about their child and possibly giving their child up to others to raise. I can only imagine the emotional trauma of a child who has been told all of their life they are they are one thing and then they are told they are something else.

I recommend this book.

 

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Message

Back in May, when the media was making a huge deal about the Kanye West/Kim Kardashian wedding, I said that I would never write about that family in this blog again.

I am slightly taking that statement back.

Kim’s little sister 18 year old Kendall Jenner, whether we care or not, has become a model. Some within the modeling industry have called this girl fat.

I have two questions.

  • First, what message does this send to young girls who are healthy? It’s hard enough to be a young girl these days with all of these conflicting messages, then you are told by some Madison Ave or Hollywood exec that you have to be a size 2 to be happy and accomplished.
  • Secondly, what message does it send to people who are actually overweight to the point where they are suffering from Diabetes, Heart disease, etc? What kind of message are these people receiving when a news story like this appears?

In case these modeling executives have had their heads in the sand recently, the #1 song in the country is Megan Trainor’s All About The Base, a song that appreciates and encourages women to be happy with who they are, regardless of the size they wear.

 

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Filed under Misc

Please Donate To A Worthy Cause

Breast Cancer has become all too common in the United States. It is the leading killer of women, after lung cancer.

Next month is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. All over the country, different organizations will be holding different events to bring awareness of the disease to the public and provide support to those who have or had breast cancer.

A very dear friend of mine will be participating in one of these events. Even if you live halfway across the world, you can still donate. Every dollar goes to the American Cancer Society and it’s goal of ensuring that we do not have to continue to bury our daughters, mothers, nieces or grandmothers due to breast cancer.

Please donate to this worthy and important cause.

Thank You.

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Filed under Life

Television Anniversary

Today marks two different, but equal birthdays in television.

20 years ago tonight, a sitcom on NBC about six twenty somethings aired it’s pilot. It was called Friends. The biggest star of the show was Courtney Cox, known for the being the girl who danced with Bruce Springsteen in his 1984 music video, Dancing In The Dark.

The other anniversary is Lost. 10 years ago tonight, an action drama made it’s debut. A plane crashed on a mysterious, unknown island somewhere in the South Pacific. Among the survivors was a doctor, a paraplegic, a pair of spoiled step siblings, a former Iraqi soldier and a convict. It was must see TV for years, despite the complicated plot twists and layers of questions.

Friends is 20 and Lost is 10. I feel old.

 

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HeForShe

Emma Watson gave an impassioned speech about Women’s Rights at the UN very recently. She spoke of an organization called HeForShe. HeForShe is not the typical feminist organization. It calls on men and women to take up the cause of feminism together.

Now that I am thinking about it, this is the absolutely correct next step in the feminist movement. We have achieved so much in only a few generations. However, we are not yet completely equal.

As Ms. Watson pointed out, a woman, even if she has the same or better education or professional background than her male colleague, she is still going to be paid less. In certain countries girls are still married off to men much older than them before they hit puberty. Women are still being judged by their outer appearance and sexualized far too early in life.

We need men to fight along with us. We need their support and their voices.

It’s not just a woman’s cause anymore, it’s a cause that belongs to men and women.

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Filed under Feminism

Marketing Yourself As An Author

There are a lot of new books out there and many methods, both traditional and non traditional to market the books and get them into the hands of the reading public.

I was the Brooklyn Book Fair earlier today. To temporarily digress and explain, the Brooklyn Book Fair is held every fall in Downtown Brooklyn.  The tables contain publishing houses, literary guilds, magazines relating to books and publishing, etc. It’s bookworm heaven. Regardless of whether or not you live in New York City or your visiting, this is a nice way to spend a Sunday.

I was talking with a friend and this lady comes up to us, asking about our reading habits. We told her what we generally read. She explains that she is handing out free copies of a book called Blood Diva by VM Gautier. She offers us copies to read for free. The only stipulation is that if we do not like the book, we give it to someone else who might enjoy it.

My book is nowhere near ready to be published, but when it is, that might be an interesting way to market it.

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Mr. Darcy Takes A Wife Book Review

It is universally acknowledged that Jane Austen never married during her lifetime and ended her stories with the traditional happily ever after. It is therefore, in the eye and the imagination of the reader to create the post cannon life of her characters, in and out of the bedroom.

Inspired by the 1995 Pride and Prejudice, Linda Berdoll continues on with the story of Pride and Prejudice. Over the course of approximately 10 years and three books, starting with Mr. Darcy Takes A Wife , Ms. Berdoll imagines what the married life of Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy would look like.

The responses to her books have been mixed. I know some of my fellow Janeites did not like her books. But for me, I enjoyed them. The writer in me has sometimes asked about the lives of the characters after the wedding vows are complete. Ms. Berdoll answers that question in a way that, for the most part, is true to the characters as we know them. I will be blunt that it is at the end of the day, a fanfiction. A published fanfiction, but a fanfiction nevertheless.

Would I recommend it and did I enjoy it? I would recommend it and I did enjoy it, but that does not mean that this book and the two sequels that follow are everyone’s cup of tea.

 

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Filed under Book Review, Books, Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Unworthy Book Review

On the surface, many of us may seem to have it all. A thriving career, loving family, healthy children, supportive spouse or romantic partner, etc.  But underneath all of that, many of us have a secret darkness. This darkness call us names. Tell us that we are stupid, ugly, unworthy, unloved, etc. It keeps us from living our lives to the fullest and fulfilling our dreams.

Anneli Rufus’s non fiction book, Unworthy: How to Stop Hating Yourself is not the average self help book on low self esteem. Unlike many self help books on the subject that from from psychiatrists and doctors that come off as snooty and know it all, this book comes from one of us. Ms. Rufus writes in great detail the reasons for her lack of self esteem. She interviews a variety of people and borrows snippets of press interviews from some well known celebrities who suffered in secret from internal self hatred.

I enjoyed this book. Ms. Rufus writes from a place of understanding. She is one of us, looking in the mirror and see what is wrong with her instead of what is right with her. What I enjoyed about the book was the honest telling of her own fight with low self esteem. She encourages her readers to fight the negative thoughts and anxiety that are so pervasive and persuasive in our lives.

This fight is not easy, but it is worth it.

I recommend this book.

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Filed under Book Review, Books