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Showing posts from 2017

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 …

Snapshots - #25: Big Little Lies, The Wall, and Wakefield

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TV shows... Big Little Lies (♦♦♦♦): Jane Chapman, mom to six-year-old Ziggy, is a newcomer to a posh community in Monterrey better known for the quality of its public elementary school. Instantly she becomes friends with Madeleine McKenzie, mom to Chloe and Abigail, which comes very handy when, on Orientation Day, Ziggy is singled out by classmate Amabella for attempting to choke her. Everything goes downhill for Jane and Ziggy from there. Suspicions fly, fingers point, and even mothers and fathers will have something to say about what is going on inside the first-grade classroom and the dynamics between their children. Big Little Lies is a limited HBO series based on Liane Moriarty’s novel. Despite my blurb being mostly about children’s dynamics in first grade, Big Little Lies is about much more. It is about the dynamics between parents and children, between spouses (abuse, cheating, lack of lust, etc.), between divorced adults who go on to have other families, scandal, and even murder…

Snapshots - #24: Game of Thrones (Season 7), and more…

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TV shows...
Game of Thrones (Season 7), (♦♦♦♦♦): Winter has finally arrived in Westeros, and so has Daenerys Targaryen, accompanied by her three dragons, her army of the Unsullied, the Dothraki hordes, and a fleet of ships led by Yara Greyjoy. By her side are her close advisors Missandei, Grey Worm (Commander of the Unsullied), Lord Varys, and her Hand, Tyrion Lannister. Winter has, figuratively, also arrived for House Frey. Meanwhile, the Houses of the North have allied themselves again under the banner of the Wolf, and Jon Snow has been declared King in the North. Finding out that there is a mountain of obsidian (dragonglass, which kills White Walkers) beneath Dragonstone, Daenerys’ ancestral home, Jon Snow decides, with some opposition from his followers, to make a trip to Dragonstone to sway Daenerys to join the North in its fight against the army of White Walkers advancing towards The Wall, and to let him mine dragonglass necessary to make weapons.

Furthermore, Daenerys has made sev…

The Library of Light and Shadow by M.J. Rose (♦♦♦)

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Daughters of La Lune
Delphine Duplessi is a descendant of renowned French courtesan La Lune. As a “daughter of La Lune”, she has inherited psychic gifts, but also a curse. Her gift is that she is able of drawing “shadow portraits”, which depict people’s secrets. Unfortunately, Delphine’s gift comes at a high price, for her personal and love life have suffered in consequence. Because she drew the shadow portrait of the man she loved and saw herself committing an unspeakable crime, she has left that man and moved from Paris to New York, where she has lived for the past five years. She has made a living in New York drawing shadow portraits for the rich at society parties, but when one of those portraits triggers a tragedy in high circles, Delphine comes to re-evaluate her psychic powers and how she earns a living. I requested a galley of The Library of Light and Shadow by M.J. Rose because I read The Book of Lost Fragrances by the same author and really liked it. This novel has two paralle…

Snapshots - #23: The Night Of, Silicon Valley, and more…

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TV shows...
The Night Of (♦♦♦♦♦): Young Pakistani Nasir Khan steals his father’s cab in Queens, NY, and drives to a party in New York City. He stops for a while in the street to get his bearings for he is lost, but his cab has the light on and a young woman boards the cab, a pretty woman who claims she doesn’t want to go home or be alone that night. At her home, drugs are consumed, there is dangerous foreplay, and finally they have sex.
Hours later, Nasir wakes up in the kitchen and realizing it’s late he goes to the bedroom to collect his things and say goodbye before heading home, but realizes with horror that the woman he has spent the night with has been ruthlessly stabbed to death. Was it him? Why can’t he remember crucial hours from that night? As he is charged and tried for homicide, several unsavory characters will come to the fore, some with violent histories and with motive to have committed the crime. But… what makes the detective so sure he got the right man?
The Night Of, an…