Thursday, April 27, 2017

MCM: Reading Through The Alphabet #3- C

Chinatown Beat (A Detective Jack Yu Investigation #1)

 3.01  ·   Rating Details ·  653 Ratings  ·  88 Reviews
Detective Jack Yu is assigned to the Chinatown precinct as the only officer of Chinese descent. He investigates a series of attacks on children and a missing mistress, shifting between the world of street thugs and gangs and the Chinatown of the rich and powerful.

Detective Jack Yu grew up in Chinatown. Some of his friends are criminals now; some are dead. Jack has just been transferred to his old neighborhood, where 99 percent of the cops are white. Unlike the others, confused by the residents who speak another language even when they’re speaking English, Jack knows what’s going on.

He is confronted with a serial rapist who preys on young Chinese girls. Then Uncle Four, an elderly and respected leader of the charitable Hip Ching Society and member of the Hong Kong-based Red Circle Triad, is gunned down. Jack learns that benevolent Uncle Four had a gorgeous young mistress imported from Hong Kong. And she is missing.

To solve these crimes, Jack turns to an elderly fortune teller, an old friend of his, in addition to employing modern police methods. This debut mystery powerfully conveys the sights, sounds, and smells of Chinatown, as well as the attitudes of its inhabitants.

Before I started this book I had never read anything by this author, but his name started with a "C" and it was a mystery/detective story which is a genre I like.

It took a lot of getting used to because it is written from a NYC Chinese point of view which made it seem like an alien world to me. After I just let it flow into my mind though it was evocative and kinda scary.

Both the prejudice Jack Yu encounters in daily life from all sides and the attitudes the people of the area are different and is quite sad. Prejudice is alive and well.

I have decided to continue with the series as once I let myself flow into the book it did carry me to a very different and interesting life.

Monday, April 24, 2017

ESG: A typical thing

For this swap you will take 5 pictures of different things you feel are typical from your country/state/city.
This is a wheelchair ramp, this style is typical of the ramps people have that require them. In the area where I live maybe one house in 10 has one. That is because a lot of older folks come here from Toronto.
These are cedar trees and they are our most common evergreen. They are valued for their scent and that it takes a lot to kill one.
Right now everywhere you look the trees are putting out new leaves. This is typical of spring around here.
The garbage can I suspect you recognize but that blue thing on top maybe not. The blue bins as they are nicknamed are the bins we use for our recycling. Most every home has at least one, some have as many as three, depending on if they sort the different materials we recycle or not.
While one of these in someones back yard is unusual, these bottles are quite popular in smaller offices and homes. It is a typical water bottle for a water cooler.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Humorous Day

Humorous Day is being observed today! It has always been observed annually on April 19th.

Humorous Day is a day to find the humor in any situation that happens to be thrown our way. A day to remind us to see the bright side and to realize that most things are really not as important as they at first may seem.

I remember something I saw  or read a long time ago about a girl that could find the silver lining in anything. I do not know what it was called but I liked her optimism. It wasn't the glass half full kind but rather an extreme version of it.

I am trying to think of an example but I am not as optimistic as I once was, still it made me laugh. This is the kind of thing Humorous day helps us remember: Your cat dies and while you are sad you remind yourself that now you can give another, needy cat a new forever home where it will be loved and cared for. 

Always look for the happiness in everything, the positive action stemming from a negative event.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Oracle Says: Believe

Believe in the magic of possibilities and unexpected gifts!

The magic of possibilities: A possibility can be good or bad of course but as with most things there is a 50% chance it will be one or the other.

There is a common wisdom that says that what you believe is what will come to pass, so if you believe that the choice is the right one chances are it will be, for you. The operative words here are "for you".

Another person may make a different choice, one opposite to yours or kitty corner to it, which is right for them. That is what possibility is, probable but really different for different people.

The difficulty a lot of people seem to have is that their belief system is the only right one. I am not just talking about religion here but in all things. "My opinion is the only one that counts and you must believe as I do"

So wrong but it is perhaps the one statement I hear in sub-text all the time from nearly everyone. You believe what you believe and I believe what I believe and both possibilities are the correct one. This is my opinion and you are entitled to choose a different one but don't condemn me based on it. After all we are both right.

The magic of unexpected gifts: Ever notice that when you really need something and you focus on it, it comes true. It requires you to voice your need for there a few mind-readers in the world. Even a casual mention to someone can always finds its way to the right ears and lead the listener to who ever listened to the listener to provide what you need.

The unexpected gift can be anything from a letter from the past to a new car at a reasonable price just as your current one bites the dust. I believe that anything can happen and if you need it badly enough it will.

Monday, April 17, 2017

101 Things Progress- March 2017

Link to my full list: Day Zero List

My start date: January 20 2017

My end date: October 18, 2019

  • Total number of goals completed: 7
  • Number of goals completed this month: 7

  • Total number of goals in progress:
  1. Read 26 books I've never read whose authors last name starts with a different letter of the alphabet 2/26 Letter C
  2. Read 150 books in 2017 using PopSugar and other Reading Challenges plus GoodReads to track it 40/150 IP
  3. Watch 26 movies I've never seen starting with each letter of the alphabet 6/26 The list of movies I've watched are on this page: Movies A to Z
  4. See 10 classic movies I've never seen 6/10 These are marked on the Movie list
  5. Watch a movie from every year I've been alive 27/56 Refer to Movie List 
  6. Listen to a new artist every month 2/12
  7. Complete a 'Walk To Mordor' challenge ( It’s 1779 miles (2863 km) from the Shire to Mordor following Frodo and Sam’s journey.) 3.5 km/2863 KM 
  8. Watch 200 Movies 27/200
  9. Design Altered Fashion Doll- Winter and create it
  10. Create a budget and stick to it
  • Number of goals in progress worked on this month: 4

  • List and description of goals I've completed this month:
  1. Read 26 books I've never read whose authors last name starts with a different letter of the alphabet 2/26 Letter B completed
  2. Don't eat sugar for a week (5th-11th) Giving up sugar for Lent
  • List and description of goals I've made progress on this month but haven't finished yet: 
Altered Fashion doll - In progress but incomplete because about half way through the month I decided to go with old man winter instead of a winter goddess so I have to redo the design

  • List and description of goals I've abandoned/failed this month: Failed the no-Spend part of the month but not until the last week of February. Made it through 3 weeks though!

  • List of goals I hope to work on/complete next:
Add another 15 books by the end of April to my current total of 40
Add two more letters to the Movies A-Z
Add at least one more classic movie
Listen to a new music artist
Add another 5 km to my Walk to Mordor
Take a photo of the same place every month for year Choosing the place and taking my first photo
Take a photo for every letter of the alphabet. Hope to complete this in one month

  • Your favorite goal worked on this month: March was not a good month for me and spent lost.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

ESG: Reading Challenge #9: The Pocket Wife

This time the task is: listen to an audiobook

The Pocket Wife

An amazing talent makes her debut with this stylish psychological thriller—with the compelling intrigue of The Silent Wife and Turn of Mind and the white-knuckle pacing of Before I Go to Sleep—in which a woman suffering from bipolar disorder cannot remember if she murdered her friend during a breakdown.

I like audio books that are like Radio plays and this one while not as well done as it could have been had enough variation in the accents and voices the reader used to differentiate the characters. The story itself kept me listening, I finished the whole thing in one day about 10 hours of Audio.

I highly recommend this to anyone who loves a mystery with a bit of crazy in it!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Whats in my purse?

The contents of my purse is not as much as some women I know though it won't fit in my pocket. :)

The red book is my notebook and my wallet
Wipes, kleenex, glasses, my paperwork from ODSP
A hat just in case, bag of halls.

Thats it!
I am currently using this library bag as a purse as it is big enough to work as a shopping bag as well

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Dythymia and Fibromyalgia

What I really want to do is write a nasty letter to someone to try and explain the impact these two things have on me and my life. However I prefer not to start a war in a public forum because I am absolutely certain the person in question would not respond well. And I need that public forum at the moment

This however is my personal journal so I feel quite comfortable airing my grievances here. In attempt to feel less lonely I joined a snail mail group. You have seen it mentioned many times over the last few months but as happened before I find that there are always a few people who take things far too seriously.

Last Monday I decided to take my cart and go grocery shopping , I walked the cart to the store and I walked it back full of groceries something I would not have usually done but it was a lovely day. By the time I got back home I was worn out. As it happened I had used up not only Monday's Spoons but the ones for the rest of the week too. Add to this the fact that the weather was grey and cold which always increases both my depression and my pain and you can imagine the week I have had

It was not until today that I had any energy to do anything except read and sleep. Yet I can not really tell people that I slept all week because they truly do not understand that that is not an excuse but a authentic symptom of my own particular combination of illnesses. Someone who has never experienced chronic pain and chronic low energy levels as well as a depression that never goes away can not even begin to understand what life is like for me.

I could write the nasty letter but it would only make my experience that much worse and at this point I'm about done with all swaps that require me to send snail mail not just the electronic kind. As happened the last time I got involved there were people who treat it more like a job than a hobby. These people take all the joy out of it for me.

I have decided that after this month I will no longer participate in anything except electronic swaps, its just too frustrating for me.

Monday, April 3, 2017

My favourite picture of the month!

Though you can't see them very well this is a flock of wild turkeys. Altogether there were over a hundred of them in this field. I wanted to get closer but wasn't able because we were on a highway.

The Courtyard entrance by Colossal Books
This is the entrance to the courtyard from something that made me happy this month. It looks just like the pictures of Old England type streets doesn't it?

Favourite profile deco of the month
Loved this from one of my partners of Wacky Holidays in March! It's for PI day

Weed out Hate: Sow the Seeds of Greatness Day

About Marc Daniels and the Weed Out Hate Initiative

In 1946, my grandfather, Ross Daniels, invented the Ross Root Feeder®, an irrigation tool that to this day nurtures the deepest roots of trees and shrubs and connects millions of home owners to nature. My goal is to carry the torch and take my grandfather’s vision to the next level—to better connect future generations of gardeners, and kindergartners, with nature for the higher purpose of improving the fabric of society.
In a similar manner that root feeding unlocks stagnant soil for facilitating absorption of nutrients and water through the tree's root structure for optimal fruit harvest, Weed Out Hate root feeds our children for yielding fruits of the connections to nature, friends, family, and society. Weed Out Hate removes the obstacles that prevent us from feeling and drawing upon the strong roots that we already have. It's a great treatment for enriching and stimulating our education roots. It empowers even the smallest child to condition his future self as well as the future garden by learning to remove acculturated prejudice in a similar manner that one extracts weeds in the garden-roots and all.

Click the title to find out more about this initiative. Weeding out hate at root level sounds like a great idea but how do you do it?

Marc Daniels began this movement by handing out sunflower seeds to children in front of a church. The idea seems to be that by joining gardening and love together we start the movement towards less hate in the world. By literally getting back to our roots.

But how would I do this? Well I would start with my grandchildren and their friends. I would invite them to a planting party. There would be ground that could be planted and seeds to plant there. Also food and drink. I would have planting races and other garden type activities to drive home the love each other part of the party.

I think by involving children of all races and colours in to getting their hands dirty, we show that we are all created equal, plus getting dirty is fun. That in a few weeks you will have flowers or other plants to show for it only makes it more fun.

Make gardening a regular thing!

Can you think of other ways to make this work? I would love to hear from you!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Reading Challenge: A book by an author who's last name begins with B

David Baldacci's The Finisher

From the book: Vega Jane was always told no one could leave the town of Wormwood. She was told there was nothing outside but a forest filled with danger and death. And she always believed it — until the night she saw Quentin Herms run away. Vega knows Quentin didn't just leave — he was chased. And he left behind a trail of clues that point to a dark conspiracy at the heart of Wormwood. To follow the clues will attract the attention of influential people willing to kill to keep their secrets. If Vega wants to stay safe, she just needs to keep her head down and her mouth shut. There's only one problem — Vega Jane never walks away from a fight. Master storyteller David Baldacci introduces an unforgettable heroine who must think fast, hit hard, and defy all odds to uncover the truth.

With that I was interested!

So I chose David Baldacci who I thought wrote mainly detective stories, I like a good mystery but other than the Memory Man had read none of his books. 

I came across a book called "The Finisher" on his Goodreads page and decided to give it a read. I'm glad I did! I finished it in two days but only cause I had to sleep, I did not want to put it down.

I'm a sucker for a girl hero so that was the first plus for me. There is a feeling of otherworldlyness right from the beginning of the book. Which is a second plus, I love stories that seem to occur on other planets.

 It is a love story, a science fiction story and a fantasy story,  (read there is magic here), all of which makes it a great book in my opinion.

It is a great amalgamation I think and highly recommend it! 

Something that made me happy this month

This is my BFF, he is also my forever love. He and I have decided to take advantage of his new work schedule by travelling and exploring a little more! This year I think we will probably stick to the GTA as his mother has moved in with him and he doesn't want to be too far away in case she needs help.

This quaint little English village is not in England but rather in a nearby city called Pickering/Ajax. We came here because there is an occult/ new age shop here and I wanted to get a new tarot deck.

He pointed out this faerie deck and after reading the back I just had to have it! The cards are beautiful and feel comfortable in my hands. I haven't done a reading with them yet but will soon.

I loved that little bench! and wanted to visit the ice cream store that it denotes but it was not in the cards for that day. I think the best part is that the little alley in the middle opens up to a full fledged courtyard. You can see some of it behind Rob.

I definitely want to go back to Odyssey Books for another tarot deck and they had a quartz pendulum I would love to get. Plus of course I want to try out the ice cream shop and the pub.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Poetry and the Creative Mind

"Each year during National Poetry Month in April, the Academy of American Poets presents a gala celebration of poetry’s important place in our culture, and its impact on the lives of readers and artists working in other disciplines. The event—Poetry & the Creative Mind— features leading and legendary actors, dancers, artists, musicians, and public figures on one stage sharing their favorite poems. This year’s event will feature Meryl Streep, Uzo Aduba, Elizabeth Alexander, Wayne Brady, Maurice Hines, Madhur Jaffrey, Sebastian Junger, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Amanda Palmer, Meg Ryan, National Student Poet Joey Reisberg, and more." 

For myself Poetry has been a lifeline throughout my life, in fact allowing me to release the poisons that were making my soul sick simply by putting it down on paper. Once it is on paper it doesn't look nearly as bad as I thought it was and I was able to move past whatever was causing me trouble at that time.

For more information about Poetry Month go to the National Poetry Month Home and for ideas on how to celebrate Poetry Month take a look at this page: 30 ways to celebrate national poetry month.

I plan on doing a few of them myself. Over the years I have tried to celebrate this month by writing a poem a day for 30 days but have never quite managed it though I have written a couple of hundred poems. I have been debating rather I should try again this year or if I should just share poems I have already written or rather I should forget about participating completely

In 2011 I joined the 101 Things in 1001 Days Challenge for the first time. It was the reason I began this blog in the first place. One of my goals at that time was to write 52 poems in a year each one in a different style. The first style I tried  was an Abcedarian

Now how does poetry reflect the creative mind? Well the first thought I have is the rapper who has to make up poetry on the fly to beat his opponent, back when rapping was a way to settle gang issues. That takes a very creative mind.

Another example of how poetry helps the creative mind is by creating very dense word images to describe something. Which can then be made into an actual image just from the description.

All I know is that for me poetry came before crafting and crafting came before art.