Author Archives: Writergurlny

About Writergurlny

I am Brooklyn, NY born and raised writer who needs writing to find sanity in an insane world. To quote Charlotte Bronte: “I'm just going to write because I cannot help it.”

Running on Empty Book Review

At a certain point in our lives, we come to the realization that our parents are not perfect. If we are lucky, they are loving, supportive, and provide the foundation that allows us to become happy, healthy, and productive adults. But that does not mean that our emotional needs as children were met.

Running on Empty, written by Drs. Jonice Webb and Christine Musello was published back in 2012. This self book explores how the specter of childhood emotions that have not been dealt with can grow into a shadow that can hold us back as adults. Using a number of examples, worksheets and practical advice, the authors are guiding readers to move beyond the unseen scars of their past.

I really loved this book. The authors are able to explain how CEN (Childhood Emotional Neglect) does not end when we are no longer children. They also empower their readers to examine and understand their childhood emotions and ultimately, overcome what is holding them back.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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Filed under Book Review, Books, Mental Health

What Took the GSA and Emily Murphy so Long?

Until recently, most Americans had not heard of the GSA (General Services Administration). Their job, in a nutshell, is to assist and provide for the basic functions of federal agencies. This includes opening the doors to an incoming Presidential administration and supplying access to the materials and funds they need to do their jobs.

The administrator of the GSA is Emily Murphy. For weeks, she has been avoiding the obvious result of the election. Yesterday, she finally informed President-elect Joe Biden that the current administration is ready to start the transition process.

What took the GSA and Emily Murphy so long? Are they so afraid of you know who (like so many in our government these days), that they put their careers ahead of the needs of the country? Or, have they finally seen the light and understood that to be on the right side of history, they can no longer hide from the truth?

Either way, there will be a shadow cast upon the GSA for years to come. I don’t envy those who will one day have Murphy’s job.

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Filed under National News, Politics

Karma is a Delightful Bitch: Don Jr. Has Covid-19

Back in September, I wrote a Flashback Friday post about the 2005 History Channel documentary, The Plague.

There is a specific segment that sticks out in my mind, given our present status. While the poor and working classes in the cities got sick and died by the thousands, the upper classes escaped to their country estates. They though they would be able to ride out the storm and stay alive. How wrong they were.

Among the millions of Americans who have been infected by Covid-19, there is one more name to add to the list. The oldest son of you know who.

Karma is a delightful bitch.

I wouldn’t wish this virus on anyone. But knowing that he has is a reminder that no one is safe. We need a national plan than is cohesive and followed across the nation. That is why we need Joe Biden in office. We will never return to some version of normal if he is not able to do the job we elected him to do.

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Filed under Flashback Friday, National News, Politics, Television

Ask Dr. Ruth Movie Review

Though sex and sexuality is part and parcel of human nature, it is often viewed as something dangerous and wrong.

For decades, Dr. Ruth Westheimer (aka Dr. Ruth), has been America’s sex therapist. The 2019 Hulu documentary movie, Ask Dr. Ruth, tells her story. Born in 1928 to an Orthodox Jewish family in Germany, everything was normal for the first ten years of her life. When it became clear that being a Jew in Germany was dangerous, Ruth (then known by her first name, Karola) was sent to Switzerland on the Kindertransport.

At the age of 17, she emigrated to what was then British controlled Palestine (pre-Independence Israel) and joined the Haganah. Years later, she again emigrated to the United States. Living in New York City, she married, raised her two children and became the woman we know her to be today.

The thing I love about her is that at nearly 100 years old, she has the energy of a woman half her age. She represents hope, life, change, and that a woman can never be limited to what she can do because she is “female”. Her presence first on the radio and then on television, helped to open the door to long overdue conversations about sex and sexuality.

I absolutely recommend it.

Ask Dr. Ruth is available for streaming on Hulu.

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Filed under Feminism, History, Hulu, Movie Review, Movies, New York City

Animanics Review

There are some television programs from our childhood that are impossible to not watch as adults.

The 2020 reboot of 1990’s television series Animaniacs (1993-1998) premiered yesterday on Hulu. Following the same format and using the same characters, it is simply a modern reboot of the classic animated series.

I’ve only see three episodes. It is as funny as I remember it to be. The cultural and political jabs are on point as they ever were. It is a perfect way to end a long and hard week.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

Animaniacs is available for streaming on Hulu.

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Filed under Television, Hulu

World on Fire Character Review: Lois Bennett

*For the foreseeable future, some Character Review posts may not be published every Thursday as they have in the past.

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series World on Fire. Read at your own risk if you have not watched the show.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

Love and loss often compels us to act in ways that we would otherwise act. On World on Fire, Lois Bennett (Julia Brown) is initially introduced to the audience as an idealistic young woman living in England at the start of World War II. Though she has a day job, her true passion is singing. At night, she performs at night clubs with her friend, Connie Wright (Yrsa Daley-Ward). She is also happily in love with Harry Chase (Jonah Hauer-King), in spite of his upper class mother Robina’s (Lesley Manville) misgivings.

But life is not all sunshine and roses. Lois lives with her hot-headed brother Tom (Ewan Mitchell) and their widowed father Douglas (Sean Bean). Douglas is a veteran of World War I. Still dealing with PTSD decades after returning home, he is against Britain getting involved in another war.

After she and Harry break up, Lois joins the ENSA and the war effort. When she finds out that he has returned to England with a young boy who is his brother-in-law, she is furious. When they meet, one thing leads to another and they sleep together.

Upon finding out that she is pregnant, Lois decides to keep the baby. But, she does not tell Harry and rejects financial help from Robina. At a local army base, Lois meets Vernon Hunter (Arthur Darvill). She initially rejects him but eventually agrees to marry him.

Starts at 3:43

To sum it up: There are two ways to deal with loss, especially loss that is associated with romantic love. We can wallow in self-pity. Or, we can find a way to move on from that loss, even if it is difficult. What I like about Lois is that she does not let the breakup with Harry stop her from living. That strength I find to be inspiring and powerful.

Which is why she is a memorable character.

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Filed under Character Review, Feminism, History, Television

Flashback Friday: The Simple Life (2003-2007)

The fish out of water narrative has compelled humanity for generations.

The Simple Life aired between 2003 and 2007. Then Hollywood socialites Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie leave their 1% world behind to see what life is like outside of their bubble. This reality show followed them as temporarily lived with other families and worked low paying jobs.

This show is nothing more than the reality television drama at its worst. Now granted, this program aired when the genre was in its infancy. As it was then, this is television trash and will always be television trash. It also set the stage for other “reality” television shows that took viewers into the lives of the rich and famous.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely not.

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Filed under Flashback Friday, Television, TV Review

Closing NYC Public Schools Due to Covid-19: Damned if You do, Damned if You Don’t

There are some situations which come down to one phrase: damned if you do, damned if you don’t. One of these is Covid-19.

In New York City, the threshold for closing schools due to a rise in Covid-19 cases is 3%. That threshold was met this week. As of today, all public school students and teachers will switch to remote learning until the Monday after Thanksgiving. The response from students, parents, and educators was swift and furious.

I can’t disagree with their anger. Though the city has been watching the numbers with concern this week, the Covid figures coming from inside the schools system have been lower than the city overall. The announcement seemed to come out of nowhere, creating chaos and confusion. The anger also comes from the fact that some businesses are still open (at least for the time being).

This is a problem in which there are no easy answers and many opinions. There will always be someone who is unhappy with whatever path officials choose to take. What we all have to realize is that for now, this is our normal. It sucks to say the least, but until we are all vaccinated, we must the cards we are dealt.

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Filed under National News, New York City

Throwback Thursday: The Legend of Zorro (2005)

In our capitalist, materialist based society, it is easy to forget those who are not as fortunate as we are. Sometimes, it falls upon a fictional hero to remind us of this fact.

Zorro has been a popular character for over a century. His story and his Robin Hood view of the world has inspired more than a few adaptations over the years.

Back in 1998, The Mask of Zorro was a box office hit. Six years later, the film’s sequel, The Legend of Zorro hit theaters. The narrative starts ten years after the previous film ended. Don Alejandro De La Vega (i.e. Zorro) (Antonio Banderas) and his wife Elena (Catherine Zeta-Jones) are happily married with a young son.

But work and his alter ego is starting to pull Alejandro away from home. Feeling dissatisfied with the status of her marriage, Elena leaves her husband. She finds companionship in the arms of Count Armand (Rufus Sewell). Alejandro is more than jealous of his wife’s new partner. He begins to suspect that Armand is part of a scheme to prevent California from becoming a part of the United States.

Compared to its predecessor, the reviews for this film are not good. In this case, I disagree with the reviewers. The Legend of Zorro is not the most intellectual film, but that’s ok. It is one of those movies that is just fun to watch and the perfect vehicle to step away from reality for a couple of hours.

I loved that Elena’s role in this film is expanded. More than just the pretty love interest, she is as badass as her husband. I also loved the casting of Rufus Sewell. He is one of those actors who has perfected the art of playing a villain.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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Filed under Feminism, Movie Review, Movies, Throwback Thursday

I’m Willing to Give Modern Persuasion a Chance

Oscar Wilde once said the following:

“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness.”

For two centuries, writers have tried to capture the magic in Jane Austen‘s novels. She is one of those authors whose writing seems easy to replicate. But, upon further inspection, the discovery often is that it is much more difficult than it seems to be.

Yesterday, the trailer for Modern Persuasion was released. It is basically the modern rom-com version of Persuasion. Playing the 21st century Anne Elliott and Captain Frederick Wentworth are Alicia Witt and Shane McRae.

I’m willing to give this movie a shot. However, two things immediately come to mind. The first is that the title feels incredibly lazy. It’s as if it was the working title for the first draft of the screenplay that the writers didn’t bother changing. It is possible to create a modern Jane Austen adaptation and be creative with the title.

The second is that based strictly on the trailer, it feels like the standard romantic comedy. Granted, the trailer is not the move in its entirety. But, the only initial connection so far that the film is based on an Austen novel is the mention of the Laconia (scroll down to the bottom of the page in the link for the reference).

Only time will tell if the film is a success or a failure. Either way, it will be a point of contention for the Janeite community for years to come.

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Filed under Books, Jane Austen, Movies, Persuasion