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[Foodie Friday] Talapia

Serves: 1Image may contain: food

Ingredients:

  1. 1 Tilapia filet
  2. Ground pepper
  3. Salt
  4. Paprika
  5. butter or margarine

Cooking:

  1. Season tilapia with a pinch of ground pepper, salt and paprika (be light handed with this fish. It is a very delicate meat and over seasoning could ruin the taste)
  2. In a NON STICK skillet, on low to medium heat, add butter and allow to melt.
  3. Add fillet and allow to cook for 3 to 5 minutes before turning. Allow to cook on the other side 3-5 minutes again or until meat is cooked all the way through. Suggest using a large spatula to turn the meat so it doesn’t break apart.
  4. Once cooking is complete, remove from heat.

Macaroni Salad:  The one in this picture was premade but you can make your very own.  This one made up of arugula, onions, macaroni (type is up to you), balsamic vinaigrette, feta cheese crumble.

Alternate

  1. In the salad, you can substitute arugula with spinach
  2. You can use cheddar instead of feta cheese

Enjoy!

hugs,

Kato

 

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The Crazies – A Review

Starring: Radha Mitchell (London Has Fallen, Pitch Black), Timothy Olyphant (Santa Crazies ver2.jpgClarita Diet, Hitman, Justified), Danielle Panabaker (Read it and Weep, The Flash).

Blurb: About the inhabitants of a small Iowa town suddenly plagued by insanity and then death after a mysterious toxin contaminates their water supply (IMDB)

I was entirely unprepared for how good this movie was. I know, when you click on a little known movie these days you have no clue what you will get. I mean, you often time take your chances. The Crazies hit me with such greatness, I had to smile when it was over. I have to admit the title didn’t give me much hope. But from the very moment the movie began, I was left sitting on the edge of my seat. I couldn’t wait for the next thing. Sure, the formula is typical but I was very happy with the way this played out.

The acting was amazing. Timothy Olyphant was in his element as the sheriff. I’ve always liked him as an actor. Radha Mitchel, I’ve seen in a couple of other things, but I couldn’t put my finger on the character she played. But in this movie she shines which was nice to see. Overall, everyone held their own, working with what I believe to be some awesome writing. I never once felt like they were copying or trying to be something they weren’t.

The Crazies is a movie that works.

The ending gave way to a part 2 and I sincerely hope they follow through.

Hugs,

Kato

Music Monday – G Dragon aka GD

Birth Name: Kwon Ji-YongImage result for kwon ji yong

Name: G Dragon aka GD – Also a member of BIG BANG

Language: Korean

Military Status: Active – Currently enlisted

Note: G Dragon is so dope, he’s worked with Missy Elliot. Every year on his birthday, he donates millions to a charity. He believes in taking care of the world and doing good. He is currently a few weeks into his mandatory military training but this Oppa is mightier than he looks. His concerts are super sick! I’ve had the pleasure of seeing him twice, once with his band Big Bang and once solo on his Kwon-Ji Yong tour.

Favorite songs: Untitled 2014, One of a Kind.

 

Good luck on enlistment Oppa! See you soon!

Hugs,

Kato

Allergies – Here we go again

A while back, I wrote a post about people and their allergies. And it seems once again, it’s come around.  A little boy in England is now fighting for his life, because he ate pizza that contained dairy after his father, apparently, asked that there be no dairy in the child’s food because of his allergy to dairy. You can read it here.

Photo by Radu – Unsplash

 

The other day I was on a crowded streetcar heading to work. This streetcar was super full, so full, that I had some woman flush against my back. I smelled peanuts and I was thinking, perhaps someone had forgotten to brush after breakfast. But when I turned my head, a woman was seated at one of the window seats, eating a peanut butter sandwich.

Of all the things she should be eating in a crowded bus, she chose peanut butter?

A while back,  I listened to a comedian talk about how people should keep their kids at home if a sandwich could kill them. This is the kind of close-minded bullshit that is causing so many people, especially children to die. I’ve also heard people in the streets talking about people living in a bubbly if they’re allergic to things.

We need to stop thinking like this.

People are dying.

Some allergies aren’t bad. For some, if you eat something your body is sensitive to, all you get is a headache, or a rash or something small. For others, hospitalization, having stomach pumped, death.

The point of this post – just because you don’t have an allergy doesn’t mean you don’t have to respect others. It is time we start showing some respect for human life and do what we can to preserve lives. We have to start taking these things seriously. Yeah, you can eat peanut butter but could we please be descent human beings at least once in our lives and not consume this mess in public?

Your life may go on but you’re taking someone’s loved one away and you feel zero guilt about that? What is it going to take for us to take other people’s lives into consideration before we do things we all take for granted?

Do the right thing.

Kato

[Foodie Friday] Jamaican Oxtail with Rice

Country: Jamaican

Image may contain: food

Photo by A.M Cosgrove

Heat: Spicy (but can be adjusted)
Mode of preparation: Slow Cooker

 

Serves: 6-8

Ingredients for Oxtail

  1. 4 lbs of Oxtail
  2. Ground pepper
  3. Salt
  4. Lima Beans
  5. Onion (diced)
  6. Tomato (diced)
  7. Soy sauce
  8. Browning
  9. Lime Juice
  10. Ginger (crushed)
  11. 1/4 cup flour
  12. 4 cloves of garlic (Crushed)

Cooking

  1. Mix lemon juice with water and wash oxtail in it.
  2. Drain oxtail of water
  3. Season oxtail with salt, pepper, garlic, ginger – Try doing this over night to give the spices time to soak into the meat.
  4. Put oxtail in slow cooker add soy sauce and cover. Set the slow cooker for five hours. You want the meat to cook so well, that the mean basically falls off the bone when you eat it.
  5. Around the two hour mark, mix browning with a little water (I usually add some bbq sauce to this mixture) – add it to the meat along with onion, tomato.
  6. Mixed and let cook for the two hours.
  7. Mix flower in COLD water and add to meet.
  8. Add Lima beans
  9. Let meat cook for the rest of the time.

Alternative

  1. Instead of flour, you can use corn starch or grate one or two large potatoes into the meat and mix. This will thicken your gravy.
  2. If you wish to have your oxtail to be on the spicier side, add scotch bonnet peppers or cayenne or chili flakes for ultimate spice.
  3. Salt – sea salt can be used. I didn’t put an amount on the salt because you would have to salt it to your taste.

Eats best on a bed of plain white rice.

Enjoy!

Hugs,

Kato

Pandorum

Starring: Ben Foster (The Mechanic, Hell or High Water), Dennis Quaid (Field of Dreams,Image result for pandorum The Parent Trap), Antje Truae (Man of Steel, Seventh Son), Norma Reedus (The Walking Dead, The Boondocks Saints), Cam Gigandet (Never Back Down, Burlesque), Cung Le (Mixed Martial Arts fighter, Hawaii Five-O).

Blurb: A pair of crew members aboard a spaceship wake up with no knowledge of their mission or their identities (IMDB).

Review: I am super stunned by this movie. I didn’t think I would enjoy it but I adore Dennis Quaid and Ben Foster is pretty dope. I clicked on it because of those two and Cung Le. The movie is another one of those “we’ve screwed earth so now we have to find a new planet” deals. I’ve watched so many of those in the last little while. This one has an added twist of the memory gap and creepies that go BANG in the vents.

It had me on the edge of my seat from the second it started. I really enjoyed the graphics and the fight scenes. It is a lot more than I thought it would be and for that I am super happy.

Cung Le held his own. Sure, being an MMA fighter helped with the action and yes, his acting is a little stiff but I’m assuming that’s because English isn’t his first language. But, he wasn’t as bad as Lil Miz as The Marine – don’t get me started on that mess.

Ben Foster and Dennis Quaid did and amazing job and Cam Gigandet was pretty good as well. I haven’t really seen him in anything since Burlesque so it was nice to see him again, older and in a different type of role.

The movie itself should be considered a thriller because as much as they are trying to find a new planet for human life, there are secrets, betrayals, parts that grab your mind and twist it. I love a great premise and though this is an old troupe being redone, they managed to make it their own and build their very own mythology that is believable and vivid.

All around, I truly enjoyed this movie and now I’m hoping they make a second part to this.

PANDORUM now streaming on Netflix.

Hugs,

Kato

Music Monday – Oh Hyuk

Name: Oh Hyuk  (he is also a member of the band Hyukoh)Image result

Language: Korean

Association: Hyukoh, Epik High, HIGHGRND, Tablo

Note: Hyuk may not be your typical Korean singer. He doesn’t look like the boys of BTS or VIXX but he has a voice that will make you melt. I call his music intellectual R n B. He is the kind of creative soul that I crave while writing. Tablo (Rapper from Epik High) thought so too because Hyuk is now signed to Tablo’s branch o JYP called HIGHGRND.

Favorite songs: Parachute (yes I am aware this song is a Code Kunst tune but Kyuk is the singer on the track). It features Dok2 (Who is also dope), Primary.

 

Hugs,

Kato

Broken Record Presents – Racism in the Romance Writing World!

Disclaimer: This post will have some stuff that aren’t quite politically correct but maybe this is what needs to be said so people get it.

People with protest signs in Oxford Street, London

Photo by Henry Be – unsplash.com

Legend: For the purposes of this blog here are some definitions you should know.

POC: Persons of colour – In my opinion this doesn’t mean only black folks. POC to mean means anyone who isn’t white.

AOC: Author of Colour, again, this includes anyone that’s not white.

Okay, here we go.

It seems I’m writing more and more about the lack of diversity in the world and it’s bleeding into something I love and holds dear.

When I was eight years old, in Jamaica, I picked up my first romance novel. Back then, I didn’t really care about the story. I was eight. I just needed to feed my craving for something to read. I mean, back then (and now) I would have read anything. I was very poor and where I lived didn’t have a library. Once every three weeks or so (Depending on if they could find a driver) a library bus would come to the square. We were only allowed 3 books and I read fast–so those three books would last me maybe, a week.

Anyway, from eight years old until about nineteen, I never saw a romance novel with a POC on the cover… Around that time, my niece was growing up and walking in my footsteps. She was reading everything and I wanted to see books with women who looked like her on the covers. I began working on a series called The Destiny Series. This included my Destiny’s Cowboy and Destiny’s Rhapsody stories. At eighteen, the first story was accepted and released by Amira Press. Both these books were interracial. I saw it as something I enjoy doing, putting cultures together and see what falls out. I love learning about the culture and the language and the mannerisms.

Now, some twenty something years later, I find myself in a struggle with the powers that be within the publishing world. We’ve somehow taken a step back into the dark ages and I cannot understand how we’ve gotten it so wrong. From Riptide Publishing telling an author straight up that “black folks on covers don’t sell” to Harlequin being blatantly racist – I’m am extremely disappointed.

Image result for arabesque romance Angela WintersA few years ago, BET owned a publishing arm, a romance line called Arabesque. During those early days, Arabesque was everything! Finally, here were covers that showed POC in love and going through the same thing White characters did. Here were books with people who looked like me on the covers. You can google “Arabesque Romance” and you will be stunned to find all these amazing AOC and POC and beauty.

I read voraciously! I picked up as many as I could. I scoured thrift stores, Chapters, online–everywhere I could to find . Then one day, Harlequin bought Arabesque and my world basically ended. I knew what was coming and it hurt–it physically hurt. Slowly, Arabesque authors began disappearing until the only notable one left was Brenda Jackson.

Little by little, Black faces disappeared from the covers, Arabesque was changed to Kimani and after a while, the line was shut down permanently.

Black voices died.

A few days ago, Courtney Milan (which surprised me because Courtney, apparently, writes historical romances and that’s a sub genre that isn’t very diverse) aired some things about Harlequin that didn’t surprise me, but disappointed me greatly. You can find Courtney by clicking here and on twitter.

Harlequin was the goal. It has been the goal ever since I was sixteen and an English teacher asked me if I’d ever considered writing for a living. Harlequin was the holy grail of where myself as a romance author wanted to reach. It was my Dark Tower as it were (A lil Stephen King reference there). It was my pinnacle, the goal to end all goals and I was slowly working toward it. But these latest revelations has me broken in ways I never thought was even possible.

They aren’t surprising – like I said before.

Why was I not surprised? Well, I’ve checked into joining the RWA – the Toronto Branch…I’ve gone through the websites and asked questions. If you do get a chance to check out the RWA or the TRWA or the RITA pages – you will notice a lack of POC/AOC. It’s gotten to the point now where the RWA isn’t even hiding their lack of diversity. Every single face I’ve seen on these sites are white. Except the odd time when they post Brenda Jackson or Beverly. To me, this means everyone there keeps screaming DIVERSITY at the top of their lungs but no one has done anything to put their money where their mouth is. And don’t get me started on the RITA and how those authors are treated.

We’re being told that black folks on covers never sells well. We’re being told that anyone Image result for arabesque romance bette fordother than white aren’t worthy.

When I started putting my stories out there, no one told me I was coming in with two strikes against me.

I’m a woman – Strike one.

I’m black – Strike two.

No one told me that I’m going to have to do three times the amount of work as my white counterparts. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind the work. Hell, I fill every second of my day with doing something. I’m one of those people who can’t sit still without doing something for very long. So, I don’t mind rolling up my sleeves and putting my shoulders to the grind. But when I spend time researching and writing, then rewriting, then rechecking and putting something out, and it’s buried because search engines are burying your work because of the colour of the characters’ skin or your publisher aren’t pushing you like they push others, it makes me wonder why even bother?

Why is race still such a huge factor in all of this? What do we, as POC/AOC have to do for those who aren’t to take us seriously? My father always told me if I didn’t like the way the industry is, without culture, to change it, to write what I love and add a little colour into the world. But, there is only so much I can do. There is only so much patience I have left before I toss my hands up. I mean, even Amazon, there are zero Kindle Worlds open that has any culture involved. Why? Well, either there are no AOC with that much sales to be considered to run a world, or people just don’t care.

I keep saying that we have to do better–that we must do better because we can. But there are so little motive for Amazon, or Harlequin, or the RWA to do better, it’s sickening.

So, let’s break it down one more time – though I doubt it will do any good:

  1. POC/AOC are not asking for special treatment. That’s not what this is about. This is about being given the same exposure and opportunities that white authors get. We would like to be given the chance to show POC that yes, love is possible and yes they are worth it. Sure, these books are fiction but that is not the point.
  2. POC/AOC aren’t saying non-POC/AOC can’t write POC. What we’re saying is that we’ve seen from the Amy Lane incident and others that well, y’all mess it up because non-POC/AOC (usually) fall into the same damn stereotypes like everyone else. No one can really tell our stories like we can – and to say no, we’re not going to hire POC/AOC to write for us but we’re going to hire them to ensure that their white counterparts get the POC correct in their books is bullshit. Yes, I’m calling bullshit on that mentality.
  3. You may ask why am I so angry? – I’m angry because POC/AOC have been pushing for years and we’re still on the floor. We’ve made ZERO progress. The world of Image result for arabesque romance bette fordromance publishing is a glaring white that seems destined to remain that way.

Right now, the only POC/AOC that’s been given a showcase are ones who have been around for ages – they are the ones people would riot if the publishers dropped. New authors like myself has no shelf space, we get no chances to show what we’re capable of. So we struggle against the white light and gets pushed further and further along the shelf until we topple off the edge.

There doesn’t seem to be room for new authors coming in. And soon or later, POC/AOC will have no visibility and be regulated to complete invisibility. I sick of being told no you can’t be who you are. I’m sick of feeling as if the colour of my skin makes me undeserving of love or a happily ever. I’m tired of walking into a major bookstore and is bombarded by a sea of white that is blinding me. For once, I’d like to see a Chinese/Japanese/Indian (that’s not a native American dressed in the stereotypical fashion sense but an Indian from INDIA)/Hispanic  etc.

The strange thing, AOC (some) are not helping either. I keep seeing these “The Thug’s Side Chick” esque stories popping up on Amazon now and they make me gag – and not in the RuPaul’s you are gorgeous gag. It’s disgust at this crap. Here we are fighting for equality to be taken serious and for others to drop the stereotyping and here these fools come with this mess.

*Sigh*

We’re all here. As a POC/AOC – I’m trying one more time – Give us a break, huh? What do we have to do to be taken seriously? What do we have to do to get the same chances as a non-POC/AOC? What do we have to do to show that POC has the same blood running through our veins as non-POC/AOC?

Why, in 2018 we’re STILL fighting to get equal billing? Why is our struggle so much more complicated? Why do we still need to prove ourselves repeatedly and even then still get dragged through the trenches like we’re worthless? I don’t get it. I need someone to explain it to me.

Sheesh.

Please use the following hastags to help the movement. #Equalityontheshelf #Diversitynow

Hugs,

Kato

Battle Drone

Starring: Louis Mandylor (My Big Fat Greek Wedding, AWOL-72), Dan Southworth Image result for battle drone movie(Power Rangers Time Force, Kickin’ It), Jason Earles (Hannah Montana, Kickin’ It), Dominique Swain.

Blurb: A team of mercenaries that is working with the CIA accepts an off-the-books mission in Chernobyl, where deadly human-controlled droids prepare an ambush (IMDB)

Review: This movie is The Expendables meet Terminator. I am not a huge Terminator fan (Shocker there) and I am only a fan of the first two Expendables movie but I clicked on this because it has Dan Southworth in it. I grew up watching him in Power Rangers Time Force as Eric Meyers, the Quantum Ranger. It’s been years and every time I see his face I giggle, get giddy and flail. I’ve been dying to see him in something again and I was so happy to find this movie.

Anyway, the team is made up of actors who I thought had been lost to the Hollywood grind. I mean, I can’t remember seeing Louis Mandylor in anything since My Big Fat Greek Wedding and yes I am aware there is a part 2 but there is now way I’m watching that.  For those of you who is asking “Why does Jason Earles sound familiar?” That’s because if you’re of a certain age you might think he’s related to Jeremy Renner (he’s not by the way) but the rest of us knows him as Jackson from Hannah Montana, and he’s 40 years old – I’ll give you a second to let that sink in.

We good? Let’s continue.

Battle Drone is about a rag-tag team of lovable mercenaries. They carry out missions and recover people and or things for the highest bidder but they got heart. I was super happy to see the team had a woman on it.

What worked for me – the graphics, the drones, the technology. I love that in a movie. It was showcase wonderfully. The acting was okay – not Oscar material but I didn’t hate it. Dan Southworth played Shiro very well. Mandylor plays the leader of this rag tag bunch of lovable bad-asses very well. The storyline had a few holes that needed to be plugged. This isn’t me being picky, it’s me being “omg how’d they miss that?” But it wasn’t terrible overall. The actions sequences were good and the humor peppered throughout the film gave it a welcomed break from the seriousness of everything else.  The banter among the guys (And gal) had me cracking up.

What didn’t work – I could have done without the thigh holsters and this is coming from the chicka who almost fainted when I saw The Rock wearing his in Fast and the Furious. There were just too many of them. I needed the movie to be a little more fleshed out but I supposed budget etc that would happen.

All in all it’s a pretty good movie. I enjoyed it.

Hugs,

Kato

Music Monday – Dan Talevski

Name: Dan TalevskiRelated image

Language – English (Canadian)

Claim to fame: YouTube

Favorite songs: Paper (featuring Alessia Cara), Birthday Suit, Guilty as Sin, My Religion (Bah! Picking 2 is impossible. His HIGH TIMES album alone gets me moving and feeling)

Note: I’ve had the pleasure of seeing him live a while back and he’s really good live. He is also a pretty sweet guy. His music has pushed me through many and I do mean MANY writer’s block on most of my love scenes. Guilty as Sin is a song that is very sexy but not vulgar–it’s just perfect.