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Snapshots - #31: The Dark Tower, Wonder Woman

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The movies… The Dark Tower (♦♦♦♦): Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor), an 11-year-old boy from New York City, has had dreams of impending world doom for a year. He always dreams more or less the same things: a Man in Black who wants to destroy a dark tower that stands at the center of the universe—holding it together and keeping it safe from dark, mysterious forces that lie on the outside. There is also a "tall, dark, and handsome" gunslinger who is supposed to protect the tower.

What Jake doesn't know is that the mind of a very special child can bring down the tower, and that the Man in Black crosses children, through portals across worlds, to sacrifice their minds, hoping that they fall the tower. The children's mind-beams rattle the tower from time to time, and echo on earth causing earthquakes. The Man in Black, whose name is Walter (Matthew McConaughey), is a sorcerer who has killed all gunslingers in Mid-World. Only Roland of Eld (Idris Elba), whose guns are forged of the…

Snapshots - #30: Megan Leavey, The Beguiled, and Lady Macbeth

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The movies…
Megan Leavey (♦♦♦♦): Young marine corporal Megan Leavey (Kate Mara) is assigned, as a result of a disciplinary action, the task of cleaning the corps' kennels for one week. She instantly takes a liking for the dogs, passing all her exams with flying colors to be given the opportunity of being a dog handler. When Rex, an aggressive German shepherd, bites and breaks his handler's hand, he is reassigned to Leavey. Soon they are both training to sniff out IED explosives, while they work on bonding, and are deployed to Iraq. Over the course of 100 missions, as a team they save countless lives, but both get injured in the line of duty. Leavey is evacuated and granted leave; Rex stays behind. After many attempts to reunite and Leavey's efforts to keep him, the army retires him and she adopts him. Together they live until the end of his days. I'm a big sucker for animal stories, even more so if they are well acted, thus it's no coincidence that I liked Megan Leave…

Snapshots - #29: House of Cards Trilogy, Baby Driver, and Churchill

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TV shows...

House of Cards (1990), (♦♦♦♦): Francis Urquhart (Ian Richardson) is the Chief Whip of Britain’s Conservative Party. He is a disciplinarian; he keeps the troops in check. Mr. Urquhart is also apparently a man without further political ambitions. But what better test for a politician's ambition than a general election in which a charismatic man, "with no background and no bottom" has been elected? Henry Collingridge (David Lyon), a relatively young man whose only political desire is to be well liked, is elected for the Conservative Party as the Prime Minister, with less majority than predicted by the polls. He is the pebble in Urquhart's shoe, the first of many, for the Chief Whip will use political mischief, and every dirty secret in his files to clear his path to higher office, including manipulating Mattie Storin (Susannah Harker), a young journalist with dreams of becoming a heavyweight political analyst. I had watched at least the first 15 minutes of the …

Snapshots - #28: Black Sails, Mildred Pierce, and more…

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TV shows...
Black Sails (Season 4), (♦♦♦½): After Charles Vane was executed at the end of Season 3, the slave community of New Providence Island has allied with the maroons and the pirates in a powerful onslaught of assaults against Governor Woodes Rogers' interests. Billy Bones has led the insurrection on the island on behalf of Long John Silver. War against the British Empire is inevitable now. The Governor and his Lieutenant General, Captain Berringer, have unleashed terror against those they perceive as enemies of the British. The pirate faction has gained momentum, but Governor Rogers cannot give up the fight, for in marrying Eleanor Guthrie he has upset his ex-wife whose family has petitioned Rogers' creditors to accelerate the timetable of repayment for the enormous debt he incurred in attempting to reform Nassau.

The pirates take hold of Nassau, and in desperation, Governor Rogers makes an alliance with a powerful enemy, one that will stop at nothing to see the pirate par…

Snapshots - #27: Rome, Polar Bear Town, and more…

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TV shows...
Rome (Season 2), (♦♦♦♦): Julius Caesar is dead. In his will, he named Octavian his son and sole heir. Mark Antony assumes control of Rome as Consul and reaches an amnesty with Caesar’s assassins, but still harbors resentment towards them and awaits the opportunity to exact revenge. Senators Marcus Brutus and Cassius leave Rome until the ebullient mood after the regicide subside, but knowing that Octavian has claimed his inheritance and raised legions to fight Caesar's enemies, they do the same. The result is civil war. Mark Antony doesn't recognize Octavian's claim either, but together with Marcus Lepidus, the three of them form a triumvirate to rule the empire. They defeat Brutus and Cassius and split the responsibility of ruling, with Mark Antony assuming control of Alexandria and Egypt, which happen to be the most fertile region of the empire. As Mark Antony withholds the shipments of grain so vital for the sustenance of the Roman people, a new civil war ensues…

My New Addiction: Paperless Post

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Those people who know me well, know that I am attracted to office products like a moth to a flame; I buy them in every shape and form: colorful gel pens, post-its, and pretty stationary. I also like to send e-cards to those close to me, which is why when I heard of the Paperless Post site--it offers event announcement services in printed and digital form--, and was issued an invitation to write about my experience, I jumped at the opportunity.

After an easy signing up and spending a few minutes on the site, I noticed the handy menu where one can be directed to all the announcement categories they have available (i.e., wedding invitations, get togethers, milestone celebrations, and overall event announcements that can be business or casual, as well as 'thank you', and 'just because' notes). One can choose any available background-- I was attracted to classy ones, such as those with flowers, nature motifs, and golden lace, reason why I went bananas for the designs of Kate…

Snapshots - #26: Rome, JLo, and The Lost City of Z

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TV shows...
Rome (Season 1), (♦♦♦♦): Julius Gaius Caesar is co-Consul of Rome, together with his good friend Gnaeus Pompey, but conquering Gaul has kept him busy and away for the last eight years. Pompey has presided over the Senate in Caesar’s absence. But winds of Caesar coming back, throwing trinkets to the masses to win favors, are circling in Rome. The Senate wants to rule on Caesar’s disarmament, but in a bold move, Caesar appoints Mark Antony as a Tribune, with powers to exercise veto in the Senate. When the vote on Caesar’s disarmament is to be carried out, Mark Antony is prevented, by the eruption of hostilities, from vetoing the ruling, thus Caesar becomes outlaw and in defiance of the Republic. Caesar comes back fully armed and most of the Senate flee Rome to gather enough legionaries to expel Caesar, but as that doesn’t happen, Brutus, Cicero and other Senators come back and lend legitimacy to Caesar’s cause, who becomes Imperator of the Roman Empire for life, with absolute …