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The Japanese Wife

Starring: Rahul Bose (The Last Poem, The Whisperers), Chigusa Takaku (Summer Wars, Zettai Reido), Raima Sen (Mehmaan, Hason Raja).The Japanese Wife Poster

Blurb:  A shy schoolteacher struggles to reconcile his marriage to the Japanese wife he never met with his relationship to a widow who helps him realize his fleeting dreams of fatherhood and domestic bliss. Snehamoy Chatterjee was a student at Serampore College when he saw an ad for a pen-pal in a magazine. Unable to relate to his extroverted classmates, he sent a letter and soon got a response from Miyage, a friendly Japanese girl hungering for human contact. Unable to communicate in their native tongues, the two exchange letters in English, forging an intimate bond on the written page. (Rotten Tomato).

Review:  I don’t even know how to begin explaining how I feel about this movie. It’s taken my emotions on such a rollercoaster ride, it’s two days later and I’m still wanting to cry every time I think about this movie.

What drew me to it was the poster and since I’m a sucker for an interracial/multicultural movie/book.  I wondered for a million and one times how I hadn’t heard of it before.

Watching this movie, I was glad I did. Even with the ending the way it happened–I knew the ending wouldn’t be happy–so if you’re looking for a romantic loving end, that’s not the case with this one. You should watch it with a box of Kleenex because you’re going to need it.

I battled with my emotions the entire time–rooting for Snehamoy and Miyage. After years of watching movies like Water I knew there was no way to come out of this tale not completely wrecked, emotionally.

Though not entirely in English, this movie tears at the soul. The great writing in it was evident from the very beginning. The sweet letters Snehamoy and Miyage shared between each other were so innocent and vivid I couldn’t help smiling.  Their love blossomed and flowered into a desire that has nothing condescending about it.

I enjoyed this tale–even though it made me ugly cry. They need to make more of these interracial/multicultural movies–but maybe add a happy ending, please?

Hugs,

Kato

 

 

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Music Monday

Today, is Monday, which means another Music Monday. I thought I’d do something a little bit different.

For as long as I can remember, music has always been a source of strength for me. As aImage result for and now for something completely different child growing up in Jamaica the only music we had access to was reggae, Michael Jackson, and the old school stuff–Tina Turner, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, Karyn White, Babyface, Toni Braxton–that sort of thing.  Those are some amazing artists, nothing to sneeze at. But I never knew there were other kinds of music. When I moved to Canada, I was immersed in all of that beauty and my mind took flight. I was introduced to Our Lady Peace, NIN, Korn, Backstreet Boys, Garth Brooks, Darius Rucker and the list went on and on.

Years later I was introduced to Korean and Japanese music and that further opened another whirlwind of awesomeness in my life. I opened my mind and my heart to every genre, ever singer, ever bit of tune that could possibly make me feel something or numb an ache.

But ever since I can remember, music has always been my refuge from everything happening in my life. Every happy moment, ever sad moment and every excruciating time that sadness cannot begin to define.  Have a broken heart? Music. Home sick? Music. Feeling overwhelmed? Music. I used music as the thing to save me from the monsters under my bed and it worked.

For a while, I lost myself. I stopped listening to music that truly mattered because over the years the industry becomes convoluted with the gibberish rappers, the bitches and hoes anthems and the breaking dishes tunes. In between those times, singers like Theo Tams, Steve Grand, Dan Talevski, Alessia Cara fall between the cracks because everyone is going after the latest fad rather than tunes that truly make your heart sing or motivate you to be more than you are.Image result for Regina belle

A couple of months ago I started working on a novel, tentatively titled Finding Alaska and the tank was running seriously low to bottoming out. I had just finishing major revisions on Beast and Barbie and writing and edits on Pitbull, Fear the Reaper and Wishing – all of these in rapid succession. I was freaking out about a couple of novels I had on my computer that I know zero clue what to do with and life was, in generally, a pain in the ass.

I tried finding inspiration in the usual places. But nothing was working. I leaned on my friends but I still had this darkness curling inside my chest, pushing into my head and I couldn’t seem to get much done. Finding Alaska had stalled and I was scared it would become another unfinished draft in the graveyard of stories on my external hard-drive. I logged into YouTube and began randomly playing music. I started with Girlfriend by Pebbles–turned on auto play and my recovery began, unwittingly.

One By one, the songs of my childhood began. The tunes flowed from Pebbles, to Regina Belle’s Baby Come to Me and it went on to Toni Braxton’s Seven Whole Days and Karyn White featuring Babyface’s Love Saw It.

With the fear of sounding like my parents or every other boomer out there–music is no longer what it used to be. There is a feeling I rarely get from new songs. Rare as in I get it from Fake Love by BTS and Stay by Theo Tams. It’s that tingle that pulse from your heart which then splinter upward to the very end of the strands of your hair and downward to the tips of your toes. It’s the song that make you close your eyes and take even the briefest of moments to pull your heart in line with every good thing in the air.

It’s almost like magic.

I get that from Heather Hedley’s In My Mind, Deborah Cox’s How Did You Get Here, En Vogue’s Don’t Let Go. These songs break your soul then put all the little pieces back together again.

I crave that in the music I buy, the music I listen to on repeat. So, for the next little while, go out there–find new singers, find new songs that gives you that magical feeling. Because, I can tell you one thing, no matter what the genre, there is a song out there that can help you deal with all the things.

Dan Talevski – new single “THE WIRE” now wherever you buy your tunes or click here to stream on spotify.

Theo Tams – new single “STRANGERS” stream now on Spotify!

Hugs,

Kato

 

Pitbull is here!

PITBULLWhen I started in Susan Stoker’s world, I decided to do a series of five stories. BEAST, BARBIE, PITBULL, MOUTH and Zero! Due to Amazon shutting down the Kindle Worlds, we’ve had to scramble to not lose the stories. So, after June 19th, Barbie and Beast will be rereleased with new faces under ACES PRESS. But we’re here to talk about the 3rd book in the series, PITBULL!

We’re still following Beastmode’s CIRO and now we focus on their explosive, juggernaut, Daniel “Pitbull” Hunt. You will also get to love some of Susan’s characters as well, Mozart and Tex for this story! Pitbull now has to save his sister, from the darkness that could consume her – the issue is, he and his sister hasn’t spoken in over ten years! How much of a disaster could them getting back together be?

So, here’s the blurb: Weeks after hell broke loose in Rotterdam, Daniel “Pitbull” Hunt finally gets a chance to take a vacation. With Tex and Mozart in tow, he jets off to adventures in Canada. When he receives a phone call that plunges him back into his past, he is beyond livid.Pitbull (Special Forces: Operation Alpha) (GSG 9 - CIRO Book 3) by [Chailyn, Kendra Mei]

Anke Fisher’s best friend is missing. To make matters worse, the cops around her area are no help. Frustrated and with nowhere else to turn, she puts in a call to Daniel Hunt. But the sexy, stud of a man wants nothing to do with her or her problems.

With bullets flying, Anke begins seeping beneath his skin. But Pitbull knows, no matter what happens, he cannot fall for Anke for about to be drawn into a past he’s been running from. Those who pull him in will learn, when Pitbull gets angry, things go boom!

 

EXCERPT!

“Hey, Pitbull!”

Anke turned from the phone conversation she’d been having with Ruby in time to see three men coming up the stairs. The agent they’ve been calling Zero jogged over to hug each of them. All three of them were gorgeous. One walked with a noticeable limp. There had t be a story there.

The man with the sandy blond hair who looked like Thor reincarnate must be Daniel Hunt. He resembled the pictures from Claudia’s wall. And, as she stared at him long enough, she could see the resemblance. How in the hell had Claudia not mentioned a brother—especially a brother who looked like he should be wearing a cape and leaping tall buildings in a single bound?

Daniel Hunt was gorgeous. Though she knew she wasn’t there to find a man, her reasoning didn’t help the way her pulse reacted. She wouldn’t be a red blooded woman if she didn’t notice his beauty. His massive frame was overwhelming yet sexy. His jeans clung to his muscular thighs as if they were made for him and the leather jacket that draped across his wide shoulders was open to expose a grey graphic t-shirt underneath. He had a silver chain around his large neck with dogtags resting in the center of his massive chest.

She chewed on her bottom lip.

When he lifted his eyes to her, it was as though a strong, warm breeze surged through the room, blowing her a step back. The storm raging in his gaze stunned her. Still, she tried calming her racing heart.

“Anke? You there?”

“Rubes? Gonna have to call you back. I think I’m about to be in big trouble.”

“What do you mean? Are you okay?”

“Physically—yes. But I’ll call you back when I get a chance.”

She hung up and dropped her phone into her bag then rose as the men made their way toward her. Once they were before her, Daniel Hunt towered above her, dropped his bag on the floor by her feet and leveled his gaze on her.

“Pitbull…” Zero’s voice held a warning.

“It’s fine, Zero.” Daniel didn’t take his eyes from her. “Could you take my bag into Beast’s office? I’ll be in to talk with you guys in a sec.”

“I’ll start on my thing.” The man with the limp drawled.

From his accent, Anke could tell he was American. The third man remained silent. He watched her with contemplative eyes, almost reading through to her soul. When she met his gaze, he gave her a curt nod, then turned off down a long corridor with Zero and the man with the abnormality to his steps.

Without a word, Daniel stepped around her. She turned to see him opening a door and moving aside. He took up most of the entry way. When she didn’t move he tilted his head.

“Ms. Fischer. You’ve interrupted my vacation. You now have my attention. The least you can do is move your ass.”

She frowned, lifted her chin and squeezed by his large frame into the office. The connection with him was brief, but she wanted to faint with bliss. His cologne wasn’t overpowering, yet it was enough to leave her in a puddle of herself.

Find PITBULL and other new releases from Susan Stoker’s World on Amazon and free in Kindle Unlimited!

 

 

Pitbull and Fear the Reaper

Okay, usually on Tuesday I talk about my trip to Europe. And since those posts are over, I will use Tuesdays from time to time, to talk about my books! I know, I haven’t really talked about the good stuff with them in a while. But! That’s about to change!

Today, June 26th, 2018, I will have not one, but TWO books releasing! One is book 3 in my Ciro series in Susan Stoker’s Special Forces Alpha world titled PITBULL and the other is set in Elle James’ Brotherhood Protector world titled FEAR THE REAPER! Both covers were done by the spectacular Emmy over at Studio ENP.

I am really excited about them finally being released because after Amazon shut down the Kindle worlds I never thought they’d see the light of day.

This first post for today, will be about FEAR THE REAPER. This story is about an American ex-SEAL who Fear the Reaper: Brotherhood Protectors World by [Chailyn, Kendra Mei]retires from service and disappears off the grid, and a investivative journalist who seemed to be in some serious trouble. You’ll get to love on some of Elle’s guys like Kujo, Swede, Montana, Molly and Six (of course because no story is quite complete without a dog). And mentions of her guy Viper.

The good news too, is that Fear the Reaper will also be in Kindle Unlimited so if you subscribe to it, you can read about Reaper and his Star for free!

Here is the official blurb: Nova “Star” Shuman has spent her entire career making enemies. As an investigative journalist, she has repeatedly stuck her nose where she shouldn’t to bring down some powerful people. When the usual death treats begin evolving into something sinister, she knows she needs more help than the cops can, or is willing, to give her.

Maverick “Reaper” Forge left the SEALs abruptly then promptly falls off the grid. He wants nothing to do with people, even Montana and his band of do-gooders. That is until Swede tracks him down with a job, Reaper knows he should refuse but doesn’t.
But what he takes as a regular babysitting job soon explodes into something far more dangerous. Not only is Reaper fighting to keep Nova alive, but he’s fighting his body and the way it reacts to the feisty journalist.

What will be left of that attraction, when the smoke clears?

EXCERPT!

“Where are you going to start?” Swede asked. “I know you’ll have your work cut out for you.”

“Her place.” Reaper’s voice was soft, contemplative like everything else he’d said or done since we’d met. In that moment I realized, everything about him was deliberate, calculated, controlled.

“Why there?” Swede asked.

“If they’ve been following her as long as she believes they are, there is something there.”

“You’re saying they were in her place?”

“I hope not. There’s nothing like having strangers roaming through your private space, touching your things without your permission. It’s violating.”

“Yeah—there’s almost no going back after that.”

“Amen, brother.” Reaper’s voice was a rumble.

The way he spoke then showed me a different side of him—a caring side. It was one he probably would never show me.

I remained still, pretending, hoping he would say something else. In my adult life, people rarely say nice things about me. Even when they gave me awards for my work, the compliment were backwards, an insult wrapped in sweetness. Strange, they thought me good enough or the ward but too dumb to know what they were doing. After a while, I stopped showing up to accept them.

I needed to show them I didn’t need or want their approval.

Shit—that only added to the list of people who wanted me dead.

I did fall asleep then, but it didn’t last long. The flight back seemed shorter and soon we were on the ground. Hank was there with an extra SUV. He hugged me tightly then cradled my face.

“They’ve been good to you, right?” Hank “Montana” Patterson asked with a smile.

“So far.” I replied.

I accepted one more squeeze then stepped back.

“I brought you a ride.” Montana extended keys to Reaper. “Did Swede talk to you about your fee?”

“Yes. But, Ms. Shuman and I have an agreement.” Reaper turned to glance at me. “My fee is covered.”

“Um…” Montana glanced from Reaper to me but he didn’t push it. “Are you carrying?”

Reaper nodded. “Always.”

“Good,” Montana said. “Check in and holler if you need any help. We always have a guy floating around. There will be backup if you need it.”

“I appreciate that,” Reaper said.

“In the mean time, I should get going.” Swede told me. “Duty calls.”

To say goodbye, I walked Swede to his truck while Reaper spoke with Montana. My nerves were pulsing through me, causing my stomach to cramp. Still, I kept that to myself.

“Don’t worry, Star. Reaper is good at what he does.” Swede reassured me. “Remember what I said…”

“He doesn’t mean to be an asshole. Got it.”

Swede laughed and kissed my forehead. “Sure, paraphrasing, I see.”

Check out Fear the Reaper and more Brotherhood Protectors now an Amazon and free in Kindle Unlimited!

Music Monday – F(x)

Name: F(x)Image result for f(x)

Language: Korean

Members: Luna, Amber, Victoria, and Krystal

Note: F(x) doesn’t really get much love from their entertainment company. But they are one of the best female girl groups in Asia. They also have one androgynous member, Amber, who is just DOPE AF! Listen to any of Amber’s solo offering and she will blow your mind! I love that Amber is still an integral part of the group when they do put anything out and the way the management make every style with her in mind. The group is still sexy and talented and amazing.

Song of note: Love is 4 Walls, Red Light (Amber with red hair is to DIE for), Rum Pum Pum Pum.

Featured song: Love is 4 Walls

 

 

Hugs,

Kato

Love, Simon – A movie Review

You get to exhale now, Simon. You get to be more you than you’ve been in a very long time.”

Starring: Nick Robinson (Jurassic World, Everything Everything), Katherine Longford (13 Reasons Why, The Misguided), Keiynan Lonsdale (The Flash, Dance Academy), Alexandra Shipp (Aliyah: The Princess of R*B, Straight Outta Compton), Josh DuhamelImage result for love, simon (When in Rome, Life as We Know It, Transformers), Jennifer Garner (Alias, 13 Going on 30, Elektra), Jorge Lendeborg Jr. (The Land, Spider-Man: Home-coming 2).

Blurb: Everyone deserves a great love story, but for 17-year-old Simon Spier, it’s a little more complicated. He hasn’t told his family or friends that he’s gay, and he doesn’t know the identity of the anonymous classmate that he’s fallen for online. Resolving both issues proves hilarious, terrifying and life-changing (IMDB).

Review: *exhales* I was prepared for this movie to be dark, and angsty and depressing all at the same time. After all, I’ve been watching LGBT movies for a while, going as far back as the documentary Paris is Burning. There is always something so eye-opening and educational about watching the struggles of others to make me humble and open my arms to others. But I love the fictional movies the best. I crave a happy ending as much as the next girl but sometimes those are lacking when it comes to LGBT movies. What I find is there is a trend of people getting disowned, fired – and it always led to one thing, suicide or the LGBT person dead one way or another. Or, the we love each other but we can’t be together–ever ending.

UGH.

So, I braced myself and went for it. Love, Simon is such a breath of fresh air! It had your angst but it blended perfectly with happiness and the right amount to teach someone a lesson. At a time in our history when the LGBT (+) population is going through so much, and when they are realizing who they are at a younger age, this movie serves to explain they are not alone and that there are people who there who will support them. This movie cemented for me why I am such a proud ally and will always be one.

There are moments when I laughed so hard I cried and other moments I cried because of the emotions on the screen. The chemistry between the actors, the freeness in which they co-exist on the screen is fantastic.

I am so happy I saw this movie. It is especially fantastic because of Pride month.  Love, Simon teaches what I’ve always been saying. “Everyone deserves a great love story” regardless of sexuality or skin colour. I’m so happy this book was made into a movie–so so glad. You should totally see it.

On a side note:

The lesson, you are never alone. No matter how dark and how scary the world gets surrounding your sexuality, you are never alone. I am an ally – so I can lend a helping ear. I can help you find someone in your area to talk to if you can’t talk to someone online. There are so many places you can go for help with what you’re going through and there is always plenty of love to be had.

I know we say this a lot and it often times doesn’t feel like it, but things will get better.

Love,

Kato

Europe Pt 7 : The Norwegian Epic

Coming to the end of these travel posts for Europe and I cannot end without talking about the actual cruise – the ship. We were booked on the Norwegian cruise ship EPIC and I was supImage result for Norwegian epicer excited about boarding. Not only was this my first cruise, but a few weeks prior a group of author friends went to Book Splash on board the same vessel! So I was more than excited since I missed that convention.

We met it in Barcelona, Spain and as our taxi pulled onto this beautiful bridge, to the right of us was this massive, floating city with blue nacelles and yellow sliding tubes along the top. I was becoming very excited. Guys who worked for the ship met us at the car with large silver carts to take our suitcases, tagged them and brought them to the ship for us. They would later deliver them to our doors which was very convenient. We didn’t have to worry about dragging them through the lines with us.

What I found very convenient was that the lines moved very fast. They told us what we needed to present (boarding pass, passport etc) and we got those ready. Our purses were checked, they signed us in and gave us numbers as to what order we would board. All that took little to no time at all which was amazing for me.

When we boarded, our rooms weren’t ready. So, we wandered the ship, trying to find out way.

There was plenty to see, from the casino, different restaurant, posters for shows, bars, an art gallery – it was amazing.

When our room was finally ready, we made our way to it. Our suitcases hadn’t arrived yet so I spent most of my time on the balcony taking pictures of the port and watching other ships around us.  Then we had to go muster – apparently, legally, before a ship can go anywhere, they have to do this. It’s when they set off the emergency alarm and you have to report to your station. Once you do that, they scan your keycard (this is a card you use for everything) and you wait. Then they show you how to get off the ship in an orderly fashion in case of an emergency, how to use the life vests, where are the escape pods, who to follow, what to listen for – that kind of thing. When it’s all done, we get to finally start cruising.

Now, let’s get into the real point of this post.

The Staff:  I didn’t have one bad experience with a staff member. They were fantastic – kind, helpful, funny. If they didn’t know the answer to a question, they ask you to wait while they found out for you. If they couldn’t find the answer, they directed me to client services. Which was a breath of fresh air. Our room steward was from India and he was the most amazing person ever. He would clean our rooms and when we came back, there would be a folded animal on our beds. It always made me smile. Our room was kept pristine but these guys and I was so happy. Sometimes I felt bad crawling into bed after an outing because it was so nicely done.

Our ice bucket was always full. I drank the melted water or when we came back from Sorrento with Limonchello, the ice came in handy.

The meal staff were amazing too. One chef was always singing a tune which was so good to hear. He always had a smile and a kind hello no matter if you see him at his station, or wandering around checking on the people or in the halls. The restaurant staff were nicely dress, clean, polite – it was really nice.

Ship services: My mother was stunned at the number of paid services on this ship. Basically you get the basics with your package – your room, certain foods, juices, alcohol. Now, the alcohol I understand. The juices you had to pay for were the good stuff. Then there are these machines at the top floor restaurant with juices that weren’t sweetened. The colouring was weird and those are the free ones. I drank water mostly when I was on board.  This was my mother’s first time on a Norwegian but she’s cruised with other ships before and never had this issue.

We went bowling and was told we had to pay for that AFTER we bowled. We wanted to go to the Japanese restaurant on board, yup, that was extra. We wanted to see Epicurean, their version of Cirque Du Soleil, extra. The Spa was extra – everything that was considered high class was extra.

It turned out to be more expensive than we originally planned – WAY more expensive. Which I think wasn’t cool at all. Yes, I agree, certain things should be extra but some of the things they were charging for was ridiculous. So for that reason, I would never take a Norwegian again.

Shows: Though we didn’t end up seeing the Epicurean show – we did see Pricilla Queen of the Desert on stage, as well as the Beatles Tribute and Burn the Floor. I am a sucker for a Latin dance show where they mix tango, with the waltz and contemporary – it was spectacular! The Beatles tribute band was amazing as well. I was expecting a bunch of men who barely looked or sounded anything like the Beatles but I was super happy with the show.

As a HUGE fan of the movie, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, I went into this with my nose up and highly skeptical. I was terrified because my very Christian mother was with me. But, we watched the show and it was amazing. I don’t mind a little nudity or cursing for art sakes but my mom was a little taken aback by it. Other than that she enjoyed the music and the comedy. I am always amazed whenever I see this show in whatever format.

The ship overall was very clean and very lively. The restaurants were nice except for one that is located in the middle of the ship called TASTE. A certain part of it is under an opening and above that is the casino. Since people are allowed to smoke in the casino the smell of cigarettes drift down into the restaurant.  I was not im

Above Taste – the tables below

pressed by that and didn’t want to go back. The second time went much better as we were seated in another section.

 

All in all, I’m not sure I’d cruise Norwegian again. I mean the staff was fab, and the shows amazing but the food wasn’t all that and the cost is too much. I wasn’t impressed with that at all.

But, I did have fun. For my first time on board a cruise ship it was memorable. If you are thinking of cruising do all the research first. See what their paid services entails and what comes with your ticket.

If you don’t, you’re going to come back in debt and at that point you’re going to have to weight the cost versus the experience. I know these things are expensive but for this one there were too many surprise costs. My mom was horrified and she’s a cruiser–she’s been on at least a cruise a year for the past five or so years. So imagine the shock when we finished bowling and was told we now had to pay. It was interesting and maddening all at the same time.

Poster for BURN THE FLOOR

 

 

Hugs,

Kato

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Music Monday – Superfruit

Name: Superfruit or Sup3rfruitImage result for superfruit

Members: Mitch Grassi & Scott Hoying

Language: English

Associated Acts: Pentatonix & Amber

Note: Mitch and Scott are members of the super acapella group Pentatonix. Superfruit was started as a youtube channel that blossomed into a highly successful group. They have done duet with the amazing K-pop singer Amber.

Songs of note: Sexy Ladies, Guy, Teenager Heartthrob, One Goodbye from Lonely.

Featured song: Guy

 

Hugs,

Kato

Entanglement – A Review

“You let someone see you at your worst, and you watch if they stick around.”

NOTE: This might contain spoiler.

Starring: Thomas Middleditch (Silicon Valley, Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie), Jess Weixler (Peter and Vandy, Lumpy), Diana Bang (The Interview, The Edge of the Garden)Image result for entanglement movie

Blurb: While searching for the meaning of his existence, Ben Layten uncovers a family secret that leads him to a woman named Hanna. When Ben and Hanna fall in love, Ben’s life becomes increasingly and strangely complicated. He soon starts to realize that everything is amazingly and incredibly connected — and that the world might just be more inexplicable than he ever imagined (IMDB).

Review: Entanglement is about a man feeling despondent with life–I mean, we all get those days when we just feel over it all. But, the majority of us snap out of it and adult on. Ben (played by Thomas Middleditch) goes on an attempted suicide spree that leaves him even more depressed. That is until he finds out a secret his parents had been hanging onto for his entire life. Now, believes this secret is the reason why his life is the way it is–that because to their lie by omission, he could have had a very different life. With that thought in mind, he sets out to finding the person missing in his life and see if he could find some meaning to life.

The first time you meet Ben, you know he’s losing it. And his best friend Tabby (played by the adorable Diana Bang) is desperately trying to be understanding. She keeps trying to save him, even helping with some of his crazy attempt at finding meaning. But as you go further into the film, you realize there is a reason Ben is so jacked up. His mother and father were a couple plums short of a fruitcake. They aren’t very supportive and you being to realize Ben’s displacement stems from their attitude toward his life and his depression.

With life splintering, things only get worse and Tabby is beginning to think she cannot help Ben.

Entanglement is a tribute to all who suffers from a mental health issue. I could completely relate to Ben. Sometimes you just feel as if the world is a crazy, chaotic place and you don’t fit in anywhere. And sometimes you think your life could have been different if a certain thing had played out differently, if you’d zigged when you probably should have zagged. This movie is a silent classic and it opens the eyes to what happens when someone’s life is splintering.

Mental health issue is real people–it is so real, I cannot even begin to tell how real.

Hugs,

Kato

 

Europe pt 6 – Palma de Mallorca

The day before Palma, the ship stopped in Cannes. Wouldn’t you know it? I was sick that day. I caught a cold somewhere and I couldn’t breathe. I knew my group loved walking so I decided since I couldn’t breathe properly, overexertion was not the best thing.  I stayed on board, relaxing, floating on the pool, chilling in the hot tub with an ice-cream cone. It was a restful day.

Onward to Palma de Mallorca!

The port of Palma – Photo by Kato

We didn’t have much planned for Palma. I don’t think any of us was really familiar with it. I’d done a little digging years ago for a book I had wanted to write but nothing really came of it. We took a shuttle bus from the ship to the city center–or at least what they were calling the city center.  As we approached our destination, there were small boats in the water–a lot of them. Someone said there was a boat show happening but I wasn’t sure how accurate that was. I think Palma de Mallorca is one of those places where everyone owns a boat. A bit before there wee fishermen selling fresh fish off their boats. It seemed to be, they go out early in the morning, then carry their haul back to sell. The destination for the shuttle bus was wonderful. It was by the ocean and we could see the ships in the distance. On the side of the road were street vendors trying to sell us things. .

Though we had no plans, we walked in the direction the bus faced, the water to our right and a busy street to our left. We crossed a busy intersection walking toward where a castle stood beside what looked to be a building from the Ottoman empire. I found out later it was called Cathedral La Seu. It was beautiful.

In front was a water way, and on the land side was a bunch of vendors selling awesome things. My mom bought a little bracelet for her grand niece with the little girls name designed into it. We stood there and watched the man make it for us. Around him was

Beer in Palma – Photo by Kato

music, and sunshine and food and beer. Apparently, we’d stumbled into a craft beer show! This fit perfectly with my “beer in every port” goal. I wasn’t sure what this beer was called – actually, I can’t remember–but it was light and refreshing.  The it was a time to showcase the region’s best craft beers.

There was also food, a lot of food. I had empanadas and cakes because, well, it’s called empanadas people!

We passed food and beer and continued just wandering aimlessly. We went through these beautiful gates along the side of the castle, up some steps then passed through where vendors were selling candles and bath salts and the entire area had this amazing aroma! I believe it was the slight heat with all the candles and scents around us. Still, we continued along under some trees into what looked to be the castle’s garden, with fountains in the center and benches under hibiscus trees. I said trees because I’d never seen hibiscus grow so tall before but the flowers confirmed they were in fact hibiscus trees.

There was art everywhere. If you look behind the sculpture you can see the old walls of the castle. There were also architecture from the olden days everywhere, pristinely kept and still standing. This area was peaceful, cool beneath the trees while the world ran wild and chaotic with traffic just steps away from this.

One of our travelers couldn’t walk much so she remained on one of the benches in the park while the rest of us wandered down to the street and the shopping on the other side of the walls.

I really wanted to take pictures of all of this but there was people everywhere. I couldn’t get a clear shot of anything. Apparently, here is where the tourist shop-till-the-drop. There are stores everywhere. Every store sells different things. Hats, scarves, clothing, food including tapas, liquor, mugs, bags–whatever you want, you’ll find there. We wandered along, picking up little trinkets here and there.

I wanted to stop for paella but we couldn’t.t We only had about seven hours in Palma de Mallorca so before we knew it we had to start heading back.

We went back for the lady we’d left under the trees and we sat there with her for a moment, taking in everything around. We found a cove into the back of the castle where

Me chilling at the castle – Photo by Kato

there was what looked to be a swimming hole. I found a dove there sunning herself and couldn’t believe how romantic the entire thing had been.

Though I didn’t want to leave, we eventually made our way back toward the shuttle buses. We stopped to speak to a few people then wandered leisurely toward the area with the sea on one side. The vendors were still there so we bought some magnets with Palma de Mallorca on them then caught a shuttle bus back to the ship.

It wasn’t a long day in this port, but I enjoyed every second. From the sunshine, to the beautiful architecture. Everything instilled in me a peace I had never had before. The happiness seeing all this, though limited, sent through me proved that I would love to travel more–maybe not on a cruise because I would like to spend more time in the places I go to in order to experience the food, people and places. I want to eat all the things. Drink all the beers and speak all the languages.

Ambition? Maybe!

Palma de Mallorca – thank you for that sense joy and peace.

Hugs,

Kato