Monday, September 24, 2018

BlackKKlansman Review, Birthday Reflections, MIXTAPE, Weird Stories & More!!




Thoughts? Comments? You can contact me by calling or texting 1-201-429-0274. If you leave a voicemail please be aware, you only have 3 minutes.

Email me at improveandhavefun@gmail.com 


There are affiliate links in these articles.

4 new weird stories for this episode:


VIDEO VERSION FOR THE FIRST TWO STORIES






  1. Austrian Man tries to board train with horse. https://bit.ly/2nZmWlw 

  1. Drone footage captures tribe which has never had contact with outside world.  https://bit.ly/2BK7vXQ 

  1. AI painting for sale. https://bit.ly/2BqMrWe 

  1. A baby with a brain tumor underwent a miraculous recovery after a kiss from Pope Francis. https://yhoo.it/2vWfsUB  


Avengers Forever-Comic Book Review


Video Review



There is an affiliate link in this article.

Avengers Forever graphic novel review.   There are spoilers.

-Big action comic book.
This is the equivalent of an event film spanning multiple timelines characters old and new, big action sequences.

-Loved the time travel aspects.
Traveling into the future, the old west, the 1950s investigating Immortus’ machinations to undo history and create new timelines.    When time-travel is involved in a TV show or a movie, I’m in.

-Kang Vs. Immortus.
Or should I say young Kang vs. older Kang.  I liked this.   The younger Kang disliked his future self.    Meanwhile, Immortus feels he knows best for himself and the future existence of humanity.   Kang fights his future self and wants to prevent becoming Immortus.    This book is essentially their story.

-I didn't care for all the explanation and minutiae when I initially read this. Now going back for this review the comic shines here.    The details regarding how Immortus has been involved throughout the Avengers history was fascinating.    He had his hands in Scarlet Witch and Vision's relationship, the Fantastic Four's dealings with the android Human Torch, the Kree-Shi'Ar War to name a few events.

- The time plucked Avengers.
Many of the characters had their own story coming into this team.   Captain America with his issues regarding his faith in the U.S. government. Songbird being a former foe of the Avengers but a member of the group in the future.   Yellowjacket's company amongst Wasp and Giant Man(an older, saner version of the same man-Hank Pym), and Captain Marvel & Songbird's romantic ties.   Yellowjacket and his interactions with the others were the most interesting.   His polarizing nature and flip-flopping between good and evil was a highlight.

-Running into other characters from other eras.
An older black panther, a pregnant Moondragon, Rick Jones with a beard and missing a hand.   Kid Colt(which I enjoyed as a marvel comics deep cut character first introduced into comic lore in the 40s), and more!

-The Avenger armies.
In multiple panels, the Avengers were fighting off hordes of enemies.   The character designs of these futuristic Avenger armies where a combination of knights in armor with flairs of Iron Man's armor or Thor's costume.   Cool stuff.

-The Skrulls seem to have been impersonating major historical figures for years, but the Space Phantoms were doing the same!     
The phantoms are random species from other planets held prisoner in Limbo(Immortus' base of operations) and forced into servitude.

- Rick Jones was the main character but...
It sure didn’t feel like it.    As I mentioned above, this was Kang/Immortus' book.   I loved Kang's backstory, which is the equivalent of the man who has everything and is looking for adventure.   Not in a noble way.   This man conquers planets, kills and enslaves its people.   Also, Rick Jones being unable to walk then he can.   I didn't fully understand his Destiny Force power.

This was a great book.    Recommended and a decent read.    I discovered this story through listening to the Geek History Lesson podcast.    Check them out.   They said that this was one of the best Avengers stories ever.   

Links
Geek History Lesson: The Avengers Top 5 Stories https://bit.ly/2DrM4f6 
Avenger Forever, check it out here https://amzn.to/2xyTpEv 


43rd Birthday Reflections

Thank the good lord above I'm able to see my 43rd birthday.    Similar to year-end observations on my life, I feel a birthday serves as much.   What lessons have I learned or reinforced since this same time last year?   Let's get into it!

-Therapy is great!
During an argument with my Mom early this year, she said I should seek out therapy.    Why?    She said I have issues with her, since my parent's divorce.    I took her up on her advice.   It was one of the best decisions I’d ever made.    Being able to talk to someone, a neutral person and tell all has been a godsend.   The therapist makes great suggestions on how I should approach situations.   The best moments I’ve had with my therapist have happened while I'm talking and realizing self-reflection taking place.   I recommend therapy for everyone.

-Journaling and book reading has been a game changer!
I keep saying it but reading(listening to audiobooks as well)has helped me with being better equipped to deal with the world.   Journaling has helped with working through my own issues.   I feel it's even improved my writing.    Journaling I’ve done on and off for years but in reading Anne Lamott’s ‘Bird by Bird’; it showed me a different angle for jotting things down.   Mentally, it gave me permission to write about my day’s events, how I’m feeling, what’s on my mind.   

-Compounding small actions truly does lead to completed projects.
I believe the habits you have during your work week are so important.   I have and I am continually working on strengthening my habits.    I may spend more time procrastinating in a day than working on content for the blog and podcast. But working a little bit 5 days a week on a drawing, an article, a video leads to completed projects.    This is how I get a lot done.
   
-If friends aren't going to a party I might not go.
Is this a sign of me getting older?   There are great parties happening on my days off(from work).   More often than not I choose not to go.   Mainly because my party friends won't be there.    When I was younger I’d get up and go to any party that would peak my interest, but now I don’t mind staying in and waiting till the weekend when my friends may or may not join.    Am I losing my sense of adventure?   5 days a week I’m running into NYC for work.    I'm not always motivated to run into NYC on my days off.    That's already part of my work schedule.   This normally happens during the winter time, but it happened a number of times during the summer.

-Seeing sex workers is fun but can be expensive.
I’m coming to an annual anniversary of seeing sex workers and the experience as a whole has been positive.    But man can it be expensive.    Seeing a sex worker each time can be anywhere from $200+ .   If I do this weekly is it still cheaper than having an actual girlfriend?   I’m starting to wonder.

-Porn watching and masturbating to porn all those years has messed up my ability to get an erection.
Listening to a recent episode of Pornfree radio there was a discussion regarding a term I hadn’t heard before called PIED(Porn Induced Erectile Dysfunction).    Where the habitual watching(and masturbating)to porn diminishes one's ability to get excited for real people in real sexual situations.    This has happened to me.    I blamed it on age initially.    But it’s been happening to me for the last few years.    Truly must leave the porn alone or really minimize watching it.

-I'm noticing that I can have my fill of things.    Even partying, or seeing sex workers.
Two of my favorite activities is going to parties and seeing sex workers.    I have my times when I'd had my fill of both.   Similar to eating a favorite snack for 6 days straight, then you're in need of a break.   This has happened to me.    This isn't a bad thing.   It's nice to take a break from anything.   I like missing people, things, activities.    It gives me excitement to revisit those situations when the need arises.

-Winter time is the time I enjoy traveling and playing video games even more so.   
Spring, summer, fall I like being in the northeast.   Outside events, parties, yoga outside, walking, movies in the park, swimming in outdoor pools.   With this outlook, I think it’s going to be a great winter.   I like nesting during the winter and to me, that means staying inside and working on various projects.

-Turning off my mind when my thoughts and emotions are all over the place, is a great tool.
I learned this technique through listening to several audiobooks recently.    'Power of Now' by Eckhart Tolle drives this point home best.   With this technique, my jealousy, my ego, negative self-talk; the volume of all those emotions have been turned down.   Those emotions can have their benefits, but I tend to criticize myself more often than not.

-Allowing people to be free, to find themselves make their mistakes and learn from them, is better than trying to control them.
Letting friends, families, co-workers be.    So many times I try to egoistically control others.    I learned this from Marianne Williamson’s 'Return to Love' book.   She says allowing people to be free helps them to find their own answers.   I’m also ok with people asking me for advice.    This goes hand in hand with something I learned from Simon Sinek 'be the first to listen and the last to speak.'

-I’m happy when helping others.
I notice this most at work.    When I’m being helpful to guests, co-workers, managers it makes me feel good.    I always remember to take care of my needs first.   I like helping others but I'm not a doormat either.   Helping others makes me feel great and the other person as well.   This is a win-win.
    
-Truly settling in and allowing myself to express my emotions and not dwell in that negative place.   A work in progress.
I don’t always give myself space to feel/get the anger out.    I quietly go through it then it settles.   I must practice letting it out, and that’s walking away, going someplace to yell or kick a box or get that energy out some way.   

-Investing in stocks, saving 2% of my paycheck every week. 
There was a temporary co-worker who introduced me to how easy this process can be.    He’s been investing for the last 7 years and his stock portfolio looked impressive to me who doesn’t have anything in terms of savings or investments.    I started trading with TD Ameritrade and it’s been easy and slowly building so far.    His key advice was to invest in the products I normally use.    I started saving as little as $20 a week as well.    This is 2% of my paycheck.   Working for 27 years and I don’t have much to show for it.    Let’s build something for the next twenty years and live decently later.

-Everyone should have an eBay store.
We all have stuff to get rid of.    My eBay store went from a potential way to work from home full time to simply getting rid of my stuff I’m not using and having extra cash on the side.   We all have hundreds to thousands of dollars worth of stuff we no longer use in your closet, attic, garage.    Sell that stuff and get some extra cash in your pocket.    I did and it’s really pulled me out of tight financial situations in the past.

-Feeling less anxious and more comfortable with my dancing
I’m starting to come into a groove with my dancing.    A comfort level where I don’t always have to follow other people.   A realization that I am enough as I am.    That's not saying that I'm not open to learning new moves, but it’s allowing oneself to finally be the star of your life movie.   Accepting yourself as you are.    This is liberating!

During your last birthday did you have any realizations about yourself you hadn’t noticed before?   Please let me know.

Links
Pornfree Radio Episode https://bit.ly/2DrM4f6 



Mixtape Magic September 2018

Here's a video preview :)




This is the actual full mix!!



  1. ‘My Boy’ - Wale
  2. ‘Xtacy’ - Kanye West
  3. ‘I Love It’ - Kanye West
  4. ‘Lover’s Rock’ - Estelle
  5. ‘Pretty Girl’ - Stefflon Don
  6. ‘Kosher’ - Stylez
  7. ‘Bottles & Crate’ - Mr. Chumps
  8. ‘Trending’ - Squash
  9. ‘Puff Smoke’ - Shane-O
  10. ‘Let My Gun’ - Popcaan
  11. ‘Londontown’ - Mr. Eazi
  12. ‘079Me’ - B Young
  13. ‘Amaka’ - 2Baba
  14. ‘Jeune Femme’ - Links First
  15. ’Splinters’ - Shal Marshall
  16. ‘Dynamite’ - Brave
  17. ‘Split in the Middle’ - Freezy
  18. ‘Best Hugs’ - Dram
  19. ‘Drunk & I Miss You’ Kiddo
  20. ‘Way Down’ - M0
  21. ‘Flying Octopus’ Rezz



BlackKlansman Movie Review

VIDEO REVIEW (BLOCKED BY FACEBOOK AND YOUTUBE)



Black klansmen review.   There are spoilers.

-John David Washington sounds just like his dad Denzel.   He looked cool and clean cut throughout the movie.

-The movie had a lot of comedy which made it difficult for me to take the more dramatic parts seriously.

- This movie taught me that the FBI/police infiltrated the KKK.   I thought that was reserved for the Black Panthers or other radical minority groups at the time.

- At some point, some group has been ostracized by another group.   White-black, black-white, Russians-Germans, Germans-Russians, Jew-Catholic, Catholic-Jew.   This is not exclusive to race or religion.   This film reminded me of this.

- I thought of Spike Lee's Malcolm X while watching BlackkKlansman.    The connection I made with these two films; the central leader of the main organizations portrayed aren't infallible.   In this film, it was David Duke being genial one moment then saying goofy, hurtful, racial, insensitive things the next.   In Malcolm  X, it was Elijah Muhammad’s infidelities.    Varying imperfections but you get my meaning.

-Spike Lee signature shots, in the first half during Corey Hawkins character's speech(faces in the crowd shot)and in the final act with JDW and Laura Harrier(the floating shot).

-Solid performances throughout.   Corey Hawkins (from Straight Outta Compton)was a nice addition/cameo.   Laura Harrier(from Spider Man: Homecoming), was she too young to be the love interest for JDW?      With her previous performance in the Marvel film, this is what came to my mind anytime they were on screen together.   The police supervisor with the glasses(Ken Garito)and the evil cop(Frederick Weller)were over the top.   Other standouts; Jasper Paakkonen (from Vikings) as Felix was great.   Topher Grace as David Duke was smug.   Repeat casting from Spike Lee's filmography included Isiah Whitlock Jr. (Sheeeee-itttt!)and Nicholas Turturro.   My favorite character was Ivanhoe(played by Paul Walter Hauser).   The way he laughs and looks.   A caricature of a goon without much brains.   When he was on screen I would laugh.

-How did Stallworth know who the bomber was?   I was lost here.

-The end of the movie with modern day footage of the KKK marching and rally tragedy in Charlottesville.    My prayers go out to the victims' families and all that were affected.   My thoughts; I don't think having pride in your race is bad.   But if your hurting other people, using racing slurs, putting down other groups, that's bad.

-I dozed off for a bit while watching this.   

-Below is a link to NPR article which interviews the real Ron Stallworth.   This is not a Trump friendly story.

Links
Ron Stallworth NPR interview https://n.pr/2y0lx5R 
Ron Stallworth's book which the movie was based on https://amzn.to/2xyRv6v 

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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

2nd Labor Day Weekend party at Hudson Terrace in NYC


This was the 2nd Labor Day Party at Hudson Terrace Great tunes, great times, great people.    This was shot using my iPhone SE and an Osmo Mobile 2.

Related Post:


This was the first Labor Day party I went to this weekend.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Labor Day Weekend 2018-Dancehall Party-Vibes Friday in Brooklyn, NYC

This is one of two Labor Day (2018) parties I attended with friends.    This is the Vibes Friday party which takes place every Friday at the Five Spot in Brooklyn.    DJ Fyahrama is the best female Dancehall DJ, I’ve heard to date.

Find more of my party videos under the ‘Dance’ tab.


RELATED POST


Here was my last party video here.



Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Time Lapse Artwork. Wrestling Announcer. One Fall.




New Artwork! This was inspired by MLW Wrestling(which you can watch here). Which you can watch on YouTube. When the match announcer says 'One Fall!', everyone in the audience repeats 😁 ...I have this for sale in my TeePublic store as a shirt, hoodie, mug, you name it! Check it out here https://bit.ly/2O9UmJF


Thursday, September 6, 2018

Crazy Rich Asians REVIEW, Biggest Takeaways from Robert Cialdini's book INFLUENCE





AUDIO VERSION


YOUTUBE VERSION




Thoughts? Comments? You can contact me by calling or texting 1-201-429-0274. If you leave a voicemail please be aware, you only have 3 minutes.

Email me at improveandhavefun@gmail.com  

Join the conversation below, by commenting.

There are affiliate links in the show notes.

BIGGEST TAKEAWAYS-Robert Cialdini's 'Influence'



This book was tough to get through.   It felt like I was back in school and I was doing homework.    I did glean some useful information from here.    This material I feel is especially useful if you're in sales, a public figure working on attracting others to you(what I'm doing with this podcast), or being an everyday consumer and knowing when someone is trying to 'sell' you on something.   

These are some of my biggest takeaways from Robert Cialdini's 'Influence':

-'One favorite and profitable tactic of certain compliance professionals is to give something before asking for a return favor.' Page 49.   A great sales tactic!

-'Even though they had committed themselves under anonymous circumstances, the act of writing down their first judgments caused them to resist the influence of contradictory new data and to remain consistent with their preliminary choices.' Page 72.    This goes hand in hand with first impressions.

-'The general idea is to pave the way for a full-line distribution by starting with a small order...Look at it this way-when a person has signed an order for your merchandise even though the profit is so small it hardly compensates for the time and effort of making the call, he is no longer a prospect-he is a customer.'   Page 64.  

-'Oh, those 'harmless' concessions.   We've already seen how apparently trifling commitments can lead to further consistent behavior.   As a commitment device, a written declaration has some great advantages.'   Page 67.    I feel this also applies if you sign up online for an email list, a subscription as examples.    Signing up makes it real as opposed to committing superfluously.

-'No matter which variety of low-balling is used, the sequence is the same: An advantage is offered that includes favorable purchase decision.    Then sometime after the decision has been made, but before the bargain is sealed, the original purchase advantage is deftly removed.'   Page 85.    Sign up now at this discounted price for Verizon FIOS, it includes a year of Netflix.    But after a year you pay the full monthly, regular price.

-'What if physical appearance is not much at issue?    After all, most people possess average looks.    Are there other factors that can be used to produce liking?   As both researchers and compliance professionals know, there are several, and one of the most influential is similarity.   We like people who are similar to us.'   Page 148.    This is fascinating, it's from a chapter which also discusses how we are quicker to gravitate to someone selling to us, particularly if they are physically attractive.    But this gives credence to the fact that you don't have to have looks to make something happen.

-'A potentially effective strategy for reducing the unwanted influence of liking on compliance decisions requires a special sensitivity to the experience of undue liking for a requester.   Upon recognizing that we like a requester inordinately well under the circumstances, we should step back from the social interaction, mentally separate the requester from his or her offer, and make any compliance decision based solely on the merits of the offer.'   Page 172.    A great tip for everyday consumers.

-'According to the scarcity principle, people assign more value to opportunities when they are less available.     The use of this principle for profit can be seen in such compliance techniques as the 'limited number' and 'deadline' tactics, wherein practitioners try to convince us that access to what they are offering is restricted by amount of time.'   Page 225.

-'Although we all wish to make the most thoughtful, fully considered decision possible in any situation, the changing form and accelerating pace of modern life frequently deprive us of the proper conditions for such a careful analysis of all the relevant pros and cons.    More and more, we are forced to resort to another decision-making approach-a shortcut approach in which the decision to comply(or agree or believe or buy)is made on the basis of a single, usually reliable piece of information.'   Page 234.   I would say this being the case, especially in our present-day, short-attention-span society.

If you enjoyed this material, please support the author and myself by buying this book through the provided Amazon link.   Thank you!

LINKS

Robert Cialdini's Influence https://amzn.to/2Q9pbiX

Going Where the Wind Blows

After a day's work, I enjoy coming home, eating dinner and watching YouTube, Netflix or Amazon Prime on my iPad.   I'm always looking for something to watch.   I finally committed to watching Orange is the New Black.   From the beginning.   I barreled through five episodes(of the first season)in the two days.   The show was funny, smart and very entertaining with some drama.

Once I started to notice that a few of the storylines run together and that several episodes were self-contained(like the chicken episode), I decided to go straight to the three final chapters of the season, and it didn't seem like I missed much.    But where I really started resonating with the show was in one of Piper's characteristics(she is the main character).    She seems to go where the wind blows. People she cares about end up suffering because of this.   This spoke to me because I've done this often.

On this very podcast, I've stated numerous times that 'I've discovered this new technique, approach, skill and I want my world to revolve around it because it will give me some edge or I had a dream about my mother and I should go and move back in with her.'    I tell anyone who will listen to me about this new thing.   I'll try it for a bit, then drop it and go back to my regular patterns.   Some of these new ideas have stuck.    Most haven't

Examples being; gaining inspiration from the Scavenger Life podcast and listing an item every day on eBay.   I'd begin that for a week then go back to listing 3-4 things a week.    Another instance was watching YouTuber Casey Nesitat.   I thought I want to start vlogging because it seemed like fun.   Maybe I can get millions of YouTube views, make some money I thought!   I purchased a ton of video equipment.   Quickly I realized my bookbag is heavy enough and  I don't want to travel with all this gear.   

There are pros and cons to trying new things.   The ONE Thing book says you should put your time and energy into what you enjoy and already have some proficiency in.    On the flipside on a recent day off I listened to a combination of MWF podcast (episode 472), Marie Forleo's podcast interview of Jaclyn Johnson, and Tim Ferriss interview of Drew Houston.   The alphabet soup message I got from listening to these podcasts is to try many things and fail because you don't know what you are good at and can potentially love until you discover it.    

Also, straight quitting on something is a waste of time.   Because if you failing, you're learning.   Apply what you've learned on the second go round and continue growing/failing/learning from there.   But if you quit, you have truly wasted your time if the lesson learned from the failure isn't used.   So is trying different things a waste of time?    Does this take away from working on your main goal?    

When I pay attention to my patterns, I don't regularly do much of the stuff I discovered in a book, podcast, a video.   But now I'm starting to notice my time spent other than on my creative endeavors and it makes me feel guilty.    I spend 3-4 hours at night watching TV.    At work when I'm not 'working' I'm on the internet looking at entertainment news.    

I believe there is a time to procrastinate.    If I spent all my time documenting and creating, I'd get sick of it.    Even if I do so for little bits at a time, I dance, draw, write a little bit every day or every other day.    Weekly I work on the podcast.   Small actions done consistently make big things happen.

Piper Chapman is free-spirited and determined, and I like that.   Thanks to this fictional character for showing me my own indecision and going where the wind blows.    9 times out of 10 I believe many answers to my own questions exist within me.   I just need a reflection of myself in others, in a movie, in a book, in a podcast, to find it.

LINKS

What is 'Orange is the New Black? https://bit.ly/1QNWvqg

The ONE Thing book https://amzn.to/2wOZigd

You are Born with Love

I was listening to the audiobook version of Marianne Williamson's 'Return to Love' for the 3rd time.   Presently I'm highlighting sections of interest in the ebook on the Kindle app.    Using this new method will help create more content for the podcast.   Reading and now listening(more often)I'm completing more books.   My brain is getting bigger!!  

In the early part of the book, Mrs. Williamson talks about how we are born with love, how it is our nature.   Fear is something we learn. 
This is the quote here from page 4: 'Love is what we were born with.   Fear is what we have learned here.   The spiritual journey is the relinquishment-or unlearning-of fear and the acceptance of love back into our hearts.   Love is the essential existential fact.   It is our ultimate reality and our purpose on earth.   To be consciously aware of it, to experience love in ourselves and others is the meaning of life.'

These next quotes come from 'Way of the Peaceful Warrior' by Dan Millman.   I will link the connection I've made to the previous quote right after.   This is on page 159.   'As a child, all this would appear before your eyes and ears and touch as if for the first time.   But now you've learned names and categories for everything:  'That's good that's bad, that's a table, that's a chair, that's a car, a house, a flower dog, cat, chicken, man, woman, sunset, ocean, star.'   You've become bored with things because they only exist as names to you.   the dry concepts of the mind obscure your direct perception."

"You now see everything through a veil of associations about things, projected over a direct, simple awareness.   You've 'seen it all before': it's like watching a movie for the twentieth time.   You see only memories of things, so you become bored, trapped in mind.   This is why you have to 'lose your mind' before you can come to your senses."

The mind is a powerful, multipurpose device.   According to these recent books I've read(including Eckhart Tolle's 'Power of Now'), it can be problematic when it starts going in all directions.    Unrelated thoughts to the task at hand, hang-ups from the past.   Worrying about the future.   
Jealousy, lack of focus, ego, envy.   This is my mind's wheelhouse when it starts running around the neighborhood like a dog off its leash.   Let's say a co-worker, I feel does not appreciate a small gesture of kindness which I've imparted.    My ego is hurt.   I start to think, 'next time I will let them earn my generosity, my love.'   This egoic sentiment is learned.   I wasn't born with this.   I, like so many of us, was born with passion, curiosity, no fear.   

There is a method to combat this(which I learned from the books mentioned above).   Basically to turn off your mind.   The times I notice when my mind is turned off; when I'm watching TV, listening to podcasts or when I'm drawing.   Now when my mind and emotions are all over the place, I gently tell myself 'Attention!   Be here now.   How's your breathing?    How's your body feeling, what's your posture like?'   It's not easy, it's tough.
In the past, I would knock myself for turning my brain off and going on auto-pilot.   I would talk down to myself, badly.    Listening particularly to Mrs. Williamson's book, it's reminded me how toxic this is.    When is it a good time to flip the switch and turn on my mind?    Solving issues, problems. Focusing.    At work, I've been making fundamental mistakes.    Like being late to work, or not crossing all the 'T's' or dotting the 'I's.'    I used my mind and came up with solutions. I started waking up 10-15 minutes earlier to prevent being late; I also started keeping a log of all my work, as a reference point to follow up on what I'd already done.

I'm happiest when I'm coming from a place of fearless love and generosity to my family, friends, co-workers.    I want to re-discover my childlike curiosity.    

Honestly, when my ego shows up, or out of fear I put up my defenses, I'm a lesser version of myself.   When I put someone down mentally or judge them, I'm putting myself down because how I see another human being, in essence, is how I look at myself.   This is a benefit of the negative emotions.    It shows me my capacity, where I need to show more love, forgiveness, patience, compassion or allow things to be.

I realize I've written these articles on all these beautiful lessons I learn through books, podcasts, and videos.   I want to try to incorporate many of these lessons.   Most don't stick unfortunately as I fall back into my patterns and behaviors.    But that doesn't control me.   I do.   I'm not perfect; I want to be better.   This lesson regarding the mind is one of the most impactful I've learned.   I want it to stay with me.

LINKS

Marianne Williamson's 'Return To Love' https://amzn.to/2oLRTd2 
Dan Millman's 'Way of the Peaceful Warrior' https://amzn.to/2wONaLz 
Eckhart Tolle's 'Power of Now' https://amzn.to/2NRMQCV 

Crazy Rich Asians REVIEW-SPOILERS




I saw this movie over Labor Day weekend.    To date, it has been the number one movie in the box office 3 weeks in a row.    On a budget of $30 million dollars, it has grossed over $110 domestically.    A sequel was already announced a few days after the film's release.    Several movie critics I trustingly follow praised this film.   The Rottentomatoes score is 93%.   I was curious and wanted to check this out.

This movie was only ok for me until it got to Colin and Araminta's wedding.    Up until this point, the movie was ho-hum, I felt the comedy was forced.    I wasn't really invested in the main characters.     But I now realize during that first half, seeds were being planted which would pay off by the film's end.

The movie takes place for the most part in Singapore.   What is shown of this country in this film is gorgeous.    The colors pop and are vibrant.   I started thinking, 'man I gotta go visit this country!'

As I mentioned above the movie really picks up for me after the wedding.   Nick's family acceptance angle with Rachel was great.   The romance kicked into the next gear with Nick and Rachel during the wedding scene.   This is first time(and not the last)where I got emotional.   When everyone was tearing up and Nick was mouthing 'I love you' to Rachel.   Colin is crying while Araminta is walking down the aisle.    Eleanor played by Michelle Yeoh watching all of this happen.   You know when you see her, she is not crazy about what's going down between her son and his girlfriend.    Good stuff.

The strongest performances in the movie were by Michelle Yeoh who plays Nick's mother.    She may come across wooden and emotionless but subtle things in the face or how she turns her head, or what she says delivers the point across nicely.   Showing how doing little can say so much.    Another great performance and familiar face was the beautiful Gemma Chan.   I remember her from the TV show Humans, where she plays a humanoid who has emotions.   I enjoyed her in that and binged two seasons of it on Amazon Prime.    

Ms. Chan's(who played Astrid)story, with her husband, the infidelity and accepting oneself as they are and not making excuses because of it I also thought was great.    I resonated with this especially when it comes to Nice Guy Syndrome.    You can found my articles on that and the related book here.

I started caring more about Rachel's character near the end section of the movie.   I thought the scenes with her mother and Eleanor at the mahjong game where fantastic.

This movie was labeled as a rom-com but I found it more drama/romance than comedy.   The comedy was fun but as I mentioned forced at times with Awkwafina and Ken Jeong(from the Hangover series).    I smiled and chuckled a bit but that's about it. 

A beautiful looking movie, nice romance.   I hope the sequel is even better.   

LINKS

What is Crazy Rich Asians? https://bit.ly/2JYWlhw 
Crazy Rich Asians book https://amzn.to/2wPyoVr 
My Biggest Takeaways 'No More Mr. Nice Guy' https://bit.ly/2oJynxT 


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