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Music Monday – Shinhwa

Band name: Shinhwa (meaning Myth or Legend)     Image result for shinhwa

Language: Korean

Fandom Name: Changjo

Band colour: Orange

Members: Eric Mun, Lee Min-Woo, Kim Dong-Wan, Shin Hye-Sung, Jun Jin and Andy Lee

Debut date: March 1998 (Which makes them one of the LONGEST running and most successful Kpop bands out there)

Military enlistment – complete for all members

My favorite members: Jun Jun and Min-Woo

Status: Active

Favorite songs: Sniper, TOUCH (there are tons of amazing hits but limiting myself to 2)

Note: This band is my first Korean Pop obsession and will always be. The members are all in their mid to late thirties (a couple closer to forty).

Showcase song: TOUCH – Click here for Lyrics translation




Life is a strange thing

When I was in high school, I could talk to just about anyone. I spent those years in what I thought were friendships with everyone, from the jocks to the nerds. I walked my own path and didn’t care who approve or didn’t. It was also the same time I went through my goth phase so perhaps my judgment wasn’t the best then.

My father always told me to pick my friends carefully because after high school none of those people would stick around. I always thought he was being weird and didn’t want me to have any friends. Now, all these years later, those people are long gone and are replaced by a semblance of sanity I am becoming accustomed to.

So far, my father was only partially right. I am still very good friends with one person I went to high school with…another pops in and out when it suits him, I suppose.

Over the years, my patience for certain things decreased. I am with the attitude that if it takes too much energy to be your friend or being around you exhaust me in a bad way, then the friendship isn’t working. So far, that mentality has served me well, for it saved me from heartaches–for the most part.

But recently, I’ve been wondering what the point of all this is. Sure, humans aren’t islands. We weren’t built to travel this road on our own. We cannot remain alone for an eternity. Yet, the people we seek, most often than not, becomes thorns that are stuck through our hearts. Especially with the rising popularity of technology, mostly the advent of

Black and white shot of person walking towards sea water on shore with clouds in sky
Photo by Benedicto de Jesus on Unsplash  

social media and photographs. I look back at pictures and think of the wasted time that was spent being there for that person, trying to cultivate a mutual understanding and build a relationship that one day might be worth something. Sure, we shouldn’t think doing good for someone else is a waste–in actuality, it never is. Being good puts out good karma, if you will, and should, in theory, bring some good karma our way. That’s if you believe in that kind of thing–I suppose. But, I am human and often look back and sigh at the lost of supposed friendship over a lack of communication or even too much communication that had been just talk and nothing of sense.

The point of this blog is to try figuring out what it’s all about. I realize lately that very few of my friends are into anything I am. My thought this entire time was that friends should have things in common. More and more, of late, that sentiment rings true every time You see, from time to time, I have emotions about something strong enough to make me want to share. Then I’ll pick up my phone or jump on my computer and find myself paused to figure out who to tell. Usually, I merely turn my excitement into a muted facsimile of the happiness I’d experienced mere moments prior. My happiness dulled into a status update on a service that half the time doesn’t even show in your ‘friend’s’ news feeds. It then turns my happiness into a never seen cloud of ones and zeros that simply get lost into the void of the interwebs.

What do I mean?

I am a huge fan of Korean pop. At this stage in the game, I am going out on a limb here to say I know more about K-pop than I do of the latest reggae hits. From time to time something big happens in that genre, in that world–a member of one of my favorite group dying, a band I dig disbanding, a member (or two) of another band I love reporting in for mandatory military duties, a new song, a new video, a new movie or drama within the Korean pop culture–the happiness I feel about getting new music is unlike anything I could ever imagine.

Image result for hallyu

Photo from the Asian

But this all disappears the moment I stop and think. The issue is, none of my friends get as excited about a new NCT-U hit like I do. When I figured out the meaning behind Leo & Ravi’s (the first sub unit project for 2 members of Korean super band VIXX) video for Beautiful Liar, I was stuck with that truth simmering to a dying spark inside my chest.

For the most part the people around me lack and understand of why I get so happy and none care to ask. It isn’t their fault–they just aren’t wired that way. Another language to most of them is just too frustrating. Being a hallyu takes time and energy. It is the happy place I flee to when my Muse isn’t doing enough or doing too much. One has to find the music or drama or movie – then watch with subtitles or cultivate online friends of people who speak the language and or does translations for this pieces of media. And there are many other things to learn. So over the years while I add to what a Kpop idol would call me–at this point its about Changjo+Army+VIP+SHAWOL+Starlight+Baby+Cloud+B2UTY+High School+EXOstan (or EXO-L depending on who you ask) – and the list keeps growing – I’ve tried to keep this as demure as possible. That part of this post  only a hallyu will understand and that’s cool – we speak our own language, I guess.

My muse is constantly throwing ideas at me for stories. Most often than not, I write it down. And again, most often than not, I have no idea how to flesh most of them out. Again, friends do their own thing and are caught up with that so no one is usually there for me to bounce ideas off. This makes the writing industry twice as hard for basically, I do this on my own. I skim through the dark puddles of my muse’s tantrums and I try to hold on to what is left in the rubble. I scrape together my thoughts mixing and matching until something comes out that makes sense. Then I fight to get things in order, holding the words together with the crazy glue of repeated rounds of edits and a seriously perfect cover artist.

Then, hopefully, by the end of it all, I managed to pull myself above the submerging force of my self-doubt.

And even if that post didn’t get lost in the deluge of it all, it is left standing, alone, with no likes or reaction emoticon. There again, you’re left feeling that it wold be better to not speak at all.

The bottom line is, it really does suck when no one around you enjoys anything you do. It leaves you crumbling under a kind of loneliness very few understands. After a while, I find myself hiding within my own head, and craving the darkness that not having people around brings. After a while, the silence becomes a part of life and soon there is no fear of it.

But sometimes, a certain smell, a sound, a certain song will cause something inside to

Black and white shot of female diver swimming towards surface in flippers with light
Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

rupture, and once more, I am, trying desperately to lift my head about the water of my discontent.

So what happens next?

Next I keep my world to myself. I see happiness and waits impatiently for the other shoe to drop. I hide my achievements, coming up for air when I am forced to by my body breaking down. I crash, go dark for a day then reappear again like a lack luster phoenix losing its flames. I pushed through what is at the edge of my world and when the time comes repeat the breaking cycle again and again.

So now?

I yearn for a change and something different. I push to write stories that I can get lost in. I busy myself with the fight for my lost peace of mind and try to keep from explaining to people that the struggle is indeed real. For keeping it silent keeps the tears from falling. I am one of those strange people who detest feeling helpless and being lost in this chasm of uncertainty and unforgiving continuum is the prime definition off helplessness.

The answer in this case is simple. It is a simple three word sentence.

A neon on a hedge reads “breathe”

Photo by Tim Goedhart on Unsplash

I. Don’t. Know.

The most I can say is that I should probably keep on breathing. That I should hide away from the world when the weight of my ignorance becomes too much.  I suppose, my writing will always be the force that keeps me afloat though, sometimes I get to that dark place where I don’t want to do it anymore. There should be more to life than being born. Working. Then dying. There has to be more to life than a morbid outlook of what the next day, month, year will bring. There must be more to life than breaking under the realization of how truly insignificant we all are.

The issue now becomes how do we figure out what that ‘more’ is? How do we figure out if we want ‘more’ or if we even deserve it? If we’re lucky enough (or unlucky enough) to find that answer, will it be what we wanted to hear or will it bring more hurt than good in our lives?



The Rift: Dark Side of the Moon

Blurb:  A sleeper CIA agent in Belgrade who is one of many agents dispatched to secure the remains of a crash landed satellite somewhere in Eastern Serbia. When the team finally reaches the crash site, they discover the satellite has vanished and eventually find themselves battling evil forces to unlock the terrifying truth behind their ill-fated The Rift: Dark Side of the Moonmission. (Rotten Tomato)

Starring: Ken Foree (Water for Elephants, True Blood), Katrina Cas (Wolf of Wallstreet, Death in Paradise), Monte Markam (Great Ships, Hot Pursuit), Dragan Micanovic (Bad Company, Layer Cake).

Review: Seriously, I need to stop clicking on movies on Netflix based on the poster and title. I really need to start reading the dang blurbs, then Googling for reviews on the them. Again, this movie is a hot mess. Let me save you the time and wanting to throw your computer/television out the nearest window in frustration. The movie starts out with a woman in a hospital, in a gown. We later find out that this woman is Liz Waid who is apparently a CIA sleeper agent in Belgrade. For a moment, let’s suspend our disbelieve that the CIA would hire agents who speaks with such a heavy accent and who can’t seem to turn it off. She is sent back into the field to help an agent name John Smith (I kid you not – his name is John Smith and as he explains “That’s my real name” – we’re also gonna suspend our disbelieve that a CIA agent would ACTUALLY use his real name in the field.). The two of them were supposed to take a professor to a satellite that had crash landed in the eastern part of Serbia (I think) so they could get it before the enemy does. Again, we’re going to suspend our disbelieve that the scientist who sent this thing into space were complete idiots and forgot to make it so that it burns up on re-entry.

The two of them are supposed to meet up, grumpy CIA agent John is supposed to brief her then meet a man who is delivering a professor and a care package from the Belgrade government.

So, they meet, the delivery boy says orders changed I’m going with you. Long story short, a lot of people got possessed by a thing who can’t decide if it’s evil or good, most people died, even a little boy who for some reason is mute and blind (We don’t know why and we have no clue where this kid came from), and then at the last minute she goes unconscious and is saved my American special forces.

We knew from the start that any time in a movie, a satellite or the sort crash lands back onto the planet, it always brings back something evil. We get it. That crap happens.

The acting was horrible. The actors had no emotions, the CIA agent, Liz’s accent was horrible, John Smith was a disgrace – I don’t even know how this movie even managed to make it pass the cutting room.

Yes, I watched the whole thing. I should have stopped after we met John Smith, but I was bored. I wouldn’t have been ornery about the whole mess, except that The Rift asked me to suspend my disbelieve on too many things. That a astronaut had survived that crash, enough to be walking around, is mind numbing and that Liz was dumb enough to believe that person was alive, or that it was a person to begin with–The hordes of secondary characters made no sense, whatsoever and the way they were introduced made my brain hurt.

I don’t understand why it was called The Rift and it had nothing to do with the moon so that title is just misleading at best. And there were no truth behind the mission because honestly, I didn’t learn anything. The next thing I know the movie had some astronaut walking around outside in the streets, people aren’t dying, natural disasters started plaguing the planet and then Liz is in a hospital with her son who is suddenly cured from whatever it was that had been ailing him – confused about the son? Yeah, so am I.

At first I thought it was the kid from the mission – but the kid from the mission looked Asian. The one in the end wasn’t and he was younger than the one from the mission. So they’re just going to hope we forgot the fact that the mission kid was at least 14 years old and the one in the hospital was at least 10 years old.

I think I need to take an indie movie break. This is once again a lesson in – just because you can make a movie, doesn’t mean you should.




The Ritual – A Review

Blurb: Reuniting after the tragic death of their friend, four college pals set out to hike through the Scandinavian wilderness. A wrong turn leads them into the mysterious forests of Norse legend, where an ancient evil exists and stalks them at every turn (IMDB).Image result

Starring: Rafe Spall (Hot Fuzz, Roadies, The BFG), Arsher Ali (Dr, Who, Line of Duty, Wallander), Robert James-Collier (Downton Abbey, Coronation Street, Casualty), Sam Troughton (Alien Vs. Predator, Holby City, Silent Witness), Paul Reid (Vikings, Rebellion, Boy Eats Girl).

Review: First of all, this movie is a Netflix original and after the last few I’ve watched, I was expecting something stellar. When I first saw the ads for it, I tried to avoid it. I mean, scary thing movies aren’t really my thing. From time to time I delve into them and when I do, I expect something that will give me nightmares for days. But, after watching this movie, I have more questions than answers. I’m more confused than freaked out and that bothers me.

First of all, The Ritual has an M. Night Shyamalan feel to it. A really, off kilter kind of creep factor like The Village. And I wasn’t a huge fan of The Village because I thought that movie could have used a lot of –well, everything.

For a bunch of actors who have such amazing resumes the performances in this movie was a little stilted. There were times when I was thinking “YES! There it is!” Then right afterward they fall back into the whole B movie, stiff, no chemistry disaster that they believe is acting.

I love a psychological flick – the kind that grabs your mind and twist it in ways you never saw coming. And I believe that was what The Ritual was going for but failed miserably.

Let’s break it down a little.

The Ritual started out good enough. Five friends, sitting around, drinking, talking, insulting each other. Apparently, men do that. Then things go wrong when one of the friend is murdered.

They set off on this trip to Scandinavia–I’ll let that sink in for a second–I mean, when someone tells me they want to go on vacation, I’ve never had someone suggest Scandinavia. But, I supposed since its in memory of their friend, that’s okay.

But then things got a little weird.

In real life, friends argue but at some points in this movie, I wonder why these guys are even friends. They didn’t even like each other.

In the end, I’m not really sure if they were trying to be abstract and use the monster as the guilt the guys felt after their friend was killed, or if it was the friend coming back to haunt them, or if it was just a monster that has magical powers.

Then there is the whole thing where the monster calming down when people bow to him and offer up sacrifices. Was this their way of showing us that religion is nonsensical and make us do stupid things? Was it showing us that if we give in to our demons they are helpless?

I have no damn clue. Usually, I don’t look for meaning in movies, but I right now am clamoring for something, anything that would justify the colossal waste of time this movie is.

I have no idea what else to say. Maybe I need to watch it a second time to get it. Maybe I missed something….




The Masculine Joke

Let me preface what I’m about to rant about by saying this – As a woman who walks on the heterosexual side of my sexuality, I prize a masculine man like crazy.  There is just something about a tall, wonderfully put together drink of yumminess that drives me crazy. But, since I’ve become active in seeking my life-mate, the word Masculinity has taken on a whole new meaning for me.

blackboard, chalk, chalkboard

Photo by

When I first began writing romance, I had a certain definition of Masculine in my head–Cowboy/Rancher, Law enforcement (cop, military–but only certain cops…like NYPD and SWAT. And military branches like SEALS, MARINES and Green Beret). Then the word Masculine was replaced with the word “Alpha” and after a while “alpha” lost its very definition. I mean, I took “alpha” (in romance writing) to mean a strong man, a man who will fight to the ends of the earth for his woman, a man who doesn’t back down, who knows right from wrong and will snap your neck like a twig if you cross that line.


Then I blinked and the ‘alpha’ men that are cropping up are just assholes. I read male characters who were, for the lack of a better word, are verbally and emotionally abusive to the female characters. Somewhere, we’ve mutated the word “masculine” into “alpha” and “alpha” into “asshole.”

I was on the streetcar a few days ago and a group of teenage boys boarded. My iPod headphones have been busted for a while and I am procrastinating on replacing them because paying $35 dollars for a pair of headphones hurts my soul. So, I’ve had to suffer threw too-loud-for-public phone conversations, crazy men tapping me on the shoulder saying “hey baby” and some guy who is old enough to be my grandfather wanting to know if he can take me out for dinner.

Anyway, back to the teenagers. There were a few seats available – I may or may not have been late for work on this day. They all rush to sit in the single seats and I found myself wondering why. Two guys were left standing once all the singles were taking and the others were left laughing and pointing at them. This further confused me. So, I kept watching.

The two left out guys sat beside each other, both screaming “no homo” at the top of their lungs.

Their friends thought this was hilarious.

I was horrified.

I remembered a conversation I once had with my niece. She had to explain the whole “no homo” phenomenon to me on one other occasion.

In that moment, on the streetcar, I realized just how old I had gotten. Not only was I horrified, I was already cooking up punishment for these children as if they were my own. It was in that moment I realized, masculinity had become one giant joke.

Somewhere along the way, we have fallen into what a man should be. Somewhere along the way, we’ve taught our children that a man cannot be one if they aren’t straight. We’ve taught our children that a man cannot hug another man or their thighs cannot touch while sitting down without having to declare to the world “no homo” and if he didn’t do that then these boys are somehow gay.

A few years ago, the ‘man hug’ started making its round and I sincerely hoped it wouldn’t have caught on. You know the one, they have to clasp hands between their bodies, shoulder to shoulder, hips out for just the appropriate length of time. Apparently, if they were to give each other real hugs and have it last more than four seconds, they would catch homosexuality.

Someone is going to have to explain that one to me because I don’t get that bit of it either.

Our boys and men are so busy being “masculine” that I think they’re missing out on so

adult, anger, angry

Photo by Pixaby – Pexels

much. When girls are having issues they run to their closest girl friends. They chat, most often if its a sad thing, both cry, eat tons of junk food that is horrible for their thighs and hug. Personally, the hugs are the best part of it. No one is clasping hands and sticking their butts out because we know if our hips touch we aren’t suddenly lesbians.


Men on the other hand, has bought into the masculine joke that they must dress with their pants past their ass, hug with an appropriate buffer zone between junks and for an appropriate length of time, not touch thighs and if, heaven forbid, their thighs touch, they must inject themselves with the antidote of “no homo” in mere seconds or the result could be disastrous.

I mean seriously, do you see gay men running around yelling “no hetero”? And who came up with this? Why is the whole ‘no homo” BS a thing?

When did we start believing that was appropriate and would be acceptable? Masculinity isn’t about looks, to me at least, anymore.

Masculinity, in my book isn’t gay or straight. It is a man who knows right from wrong. It’s a man who knows he has the right to do or say something but weighs whether or not if he should do or say it. Masculinity is a man who Masculinity is a man who cherishes life, holds love and happiness as priority and who takes care of his responsibilities as a contributing member of society and he does it without complaint and or angst. Masculinity is a man who tries his best, even when the world is against him. It’s not about whether he speaks a certain way, or wears his hair a certain way, or the colours he wears.

Masculinity, to me, is a feeling.

Yelling ‘no homo’ doesn’t make you a man. What makes you a man is sitting down beside someone and being respectful. If you don’t feel comfortable, then remain standing or sit somewhere else – a man can make that decision without raising a stink and offending a good portion of the population. Teach your little boys to value the people around them.

Instead of taking your boys hunting, teaching them how to kill, how about first you treat them how to behave in public? How about you sit them down and explain to them that showing emotions doesn’t make them gay? How about you teach them that it is okay to hug a friend–hugs are good. How about you teach them first, how to value those around them and that homosexuality isn’t a disease you can catch?

Once you’ve taught them all of that, things that will have them walk tall with pride and not look like a complete douche in public, then you teach them the hunting and all that other useless stuff. Because living in Toronto, I guarantee that he will never have to actually shoot his meal.

And in the kind of world we’re living in with all the gun violence – is learning how to use a gun really a top priority?



Shortbus – The Review

Warning: This movie is rated heavy NC-17. What does that mean? It means it is not for anyone under 18 years old. There are penis and vaginas everywhere and I do mean EVERYWHERE! Viewers’ discretion is advised.

Blurb: A group of New Yorkers caught up in their romantic-sexual milieu converge at an underground salon infamous for its blend of art, music, politics, and carnality (IMDB).Shortbus (2006)

Starring: Sook Yin Lee (Much Music VJ, Hedwig and the Angry Itch), Paul Dawson (The Big Kahuna, Strangers with Candy), PJ DeBoy (Queer as Folk, Nick and Jane), Lindsay Beamish (Wyatt Earp, Code Blue, Six Feet Under), Raphael Barker (The Stranger in Us, Blackout).

Review: *Sigh* When this movie was first released, I was excited. I’d adored Sook Yin Lee as a Much Music VJ–and for those who have no idea what I’m talking about…Much Music is the MTV of Canada. Back in the day, they actually played music not stupid realty shore bull and movies. Sook was one of their top hosts. After she left Much I was happy to see her doing other things again. I mean, not all the VJ’s who leave Much Music does anything with the popularity they gained from the station.

And, Sook is Canadian, most of the names in the credit are Canadian and I support Canadian talent to the max!

Then I read the blurb and realized this could be bad.

Basically, the Shortbus is about a sex therapist, Sofia (played by Sook Yin Lee), who has never had an orgasm even though she’s in a loving relationship with her husband Rob (played by Raphael Barker). Then she meets a gay couple The two Jaimes (one is James and the other Jaime but James’ nick name is Jaime–it’s weird) who have been together a while but is going through a moral dilemma about whether they should allow a third person into their relationship. These two invites her to a party house–basically it’s an orgy house where everyone have sex with everyone else.

Image result for sook yin lee

Sook Yin Lee

Let’s start with the title, Shortbus. I couldn’t for the life of me understand why the movie was called that and not something like My Sexual Dysfunction. So I had to google the term. Turns out, it’s from the saying to “ride the shortbus” which, according to google means, to participate in a special education program, such as for those with learning disabilities. After research, I got it.

Okay, first hurdle over.

They really tried making this  movie deep and insightful. I mean they really, really tried. The flickering lights every time Sofia tries to have an orgasm? Yeah, that bit was a little too much. Still, I got what they were trying to do–her orgasm would be her moving from the darkness to the light–I get it.

But in the end, Shortbus was just one big erectile dysfunction. Apparently, the movie had real sex–I mean you can’t fake these scenes, trust me, I’ve watched. Most time it was uncomfortable but not the it make me stand woke and nod and go “Preach!” No, it was the walking in on your parents having sex discomfort. It was muddled, too much happening at the same time, too many stories that needed resolving in such short amount of time. They could have made two movies with all the information this one contained but I’m afraid not even that could save it.

Shortbus in my opinion was a really bad porno in main stream movie clothing.

The acting, for the most part, was good. It was nice to see PJ DeBoy in something since the last time I really saw him in anything was Queer as Folk. But not even he couldn’t save this flop. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good movie on the carnality like the next gal. But this movie was just one orgy after the next with a little–I mean VERY LITTLE–story tossed in. And I get it, some women require a sexual awakening, but do we really need another movie about a sexually repressed woman with daddy issues?


Ugh – Hey, this mess you have to watch to believe.



Again – Hollywood and Race

Just a warning, I’m about to be so real, it’s going to hurt me. I’m going to be politically incorrect too *Gasp*

So, we really gonna do this again, are we?Image result for black panther poster

Let’s do this thing.

Usually, I try not to focus on the race of the people in a movie. I judge them based on their acting skills and if they were a right fit for the role they were casted in. A few times, among friends, I’ve had to recast a movie because the people who did messed up–bad. But, it has always been in my mind. There are so many different races in the world–too many for Hollywood to keep using the same faces over and over even when they weren’t in the script. I’m looking at you Disney and the new Aladdin.

For the moment, let’s focus on Black faces.

Hollywood is in a trend where they seem to have run dry of ideas. And rehashing old ones have dried up as well. Now, they’ve turned to making superhero flicks ones I can barely stand. I saw Thor one–I was good for movies about Thor after that. I saw Captain America – the first one and was done. I saw Wonder Woman not because I believe in the race distribution in the flick but because as a woman, I was super happy to see a strong female lead–that’s until you hear how much they paid Gal Gadot in comparison to her male counterparts.

But, every movie (almost every movie) has an all white lead cast. People ask #whyoscarsowhite? Oscar has been so white because there aren’t any roles, any quality roles for people of other races. Take a look for yourself–I am not making this up. Movies with strong black roles are movies where black actors are thugs, slaves, stupid, victims (Fruitvale Station comes to mind). We are never the characters who save the day, who gets the girl in the end, who winds up not dead. I mean forever it seems, the black person dies first.

Then Will Smith did a superhero movie and I thought “YASSS KING WERQ!” Then I saw the movie and I wanted to bury my head into the sand. A drunkard, who cares about nothing and who almost had sex with his sister–or was he married to her? I’m talking about Hitchcock. I was so royally pissed off at that movie–at the fact I’d paid my hardworking dollars to see that garbage.

So, why this post. Apparently, there are people out there who are angry with Black Panther because of all it’s blackness. They are upset that out of the entire movie, only about two main cast are white. They are trying to throw shade on the black community, and start crap. They are reporting that black folks are beating them up because they want to go see the movie. Let’s make a few things clear.

  1. Ain’t a black person alive is going to lay a hand on a white person going to see Black Panther. Wanna know why? We want to see the looks on your faces when you finally see how fantastic it is. That a young black man can be given millions–let me repeat that–MILLIONS of dollars to make something and it comes out brilliantly.  We want to see the look on your faces when you realize that all these years of “a movie led by a black cast can’t make money” is just a load of bullshit. We want to see the look on your faces when you SERIOUSLY have to rethink the whole “a black Image result for black panther posterman can’t be Bond” argument. We want to see the look on your faces, when you see that black folks can be classy, and can be strong, and can be loyal and can be loving… We just want to see the look on your face when you realize that black folks can congregate and no one gets hurt, that we can show up, turn out, go home and do it peacefully. So, let me repeat, ain’t a black person alive is going to lay a hand on white person for going to see this movie.
  2. Black movies up to this point have proven that we turn up and turn out for them when they are right. Tyler Perry is proof that we know a good thing. This was back when he wasn’t a machine. When given the chance, we come through. We understand a good thing when we see it and we understand the struggles and the importance of it all.
  3. We are not going to turn it down. In fact, let them announce a Black Panther 2 and see what happens. You think we’re loud now? We’ve been wanting this for YEARS. We’ve sit through roles that were supposed to be black given a white actor (I’m looking at you people who made all the Egyptians white except the slaves in all those dang Moses movies). For years we’ve been pleading give us a chance? Please! We’ll be good. We’ll do good. And all of it fell on deaf ears. So, no, we won’t stop showing up at theatres wrapped in African clothing. No, we won’t stop dancing out the doors as we leave the theatre. No, we won’t stop talking about it, because THIS IS A BIG DEAL.
  4. You calling us racist – Oh chilllllle. I’m going to try writing this and not go all the way off. Let me point something out to you. The one time, there is a major movie that isn’t casted with all of your people, that we’re excited about it because our sons and daughters can watch it and think anything is possible for themselves, we’re the racists? Can I say how dumb that makes you? You’re are now experiencing the emotion that black folks (And other visible minorities have been feeling for decades) and suddenly life isn’t fair anymore. Screw your noise. If for over sixty years black folks have been pleading for their turn and have been ignored, this one time, you can sit the hell down, and let us shine. We’re not asking your permission anymore.
  5. Black women aren’t all ‘bitches and hoes’ as some stereotypes would have you believe. We can be fierce, loyal to people who deserve it and loving. You mess with our kin and we will cut you and fell zero shame about it. You’re seeing now that when black woman are empowered they can do amazing things. I bet that scares you–you’re right. You should be scared.
  6. Black Panther is due for some Oscars. Best believe people will light crap on fire and feel ZERO shame about it, otherwise. Because try as the haters may, this movie is the best thing to happen to theatres in YEARS.
  7. For those who believe this is our one victory? You can keep that kind of crap to yourself. I want more of these movies. But this time, let’s mix it up. Let’s have an ALL minority cast. I’m talking Blacks, Mexicans (I have to be specific with this one), Japanese, Chinese, Koreans, Maori, Samoans – All of them. Let’s bring all the people who have been fighting to be seen, to be heard, to be on top for DECADES – and let’s show the world what we can do when we put our minds to it.
  8. You just mad because now, every time you put in BLACK PANTHER in a search engine, this movie is going to come up, and remind you what happens when you try to make a whole culture invisible.

Those are just a few things. Right now, I chose to ignore the noise and focus on the major step forward Black Panther is. For years, movies about Africa have been sad, slavery, blood diamonds, hell. Finally, we see a representation of the different lights and colours of that side of the world. Sure, Wakanda isn’t a real place, we get that. But this is a wonderful testament, that Africa isn’t all blood and gore and places to be pillaged for flesh and diamonds.

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How invisible do we look now?



Spectral – The review

Blurb: A sci-fi/thriller story centered on a special-ops team that is dispatched to fight supernatural beings Spectral (2016)(IMDB)

Stars: James Badge Dale (The Departed, World War Z), Emily Mortimer (The Newsroom, Cars 2), Bruce Greenwood (The Resident, Gerald’s Game, Star Trek), Max Martini (Pacific Rim (1&2), Revenge, Fifty Shades of Grey).

Review: Spectral is what happens when a studio gives the creators room to create. It’s a Netflix Original and going in, I didn’t expect much from it. The truth was, I only clicked on it because it said “Special forces unit.” So my motives for giving this one a try was a little bit selfish. You see, I was in the process of writing a series of novellas with a special forces team–a branch of Germany’s GSG 9, border patrol special police force. I wanted motivation, a movie with comrade among the guys in the team, the banter, their jokes–I needed all that to be playing in the background while I created.

I’ve watched this movie about four times since then. I enjoy it so much. I’ve written four of the 5 stories necessary for this series of novella and each time the stories get to that big mission at the end, I have this playing. That’s bad because I always have to stop and pay attention to the movie because I enjoy it so much. Though this flick is a ‘low budget’  – you can’t tell. The graphics are crisps and clear, the sound amazing.

The script is pretty good for a movie that didn’t come out of some big studio. The concept was brilliant–genius, really. It’s about a fictional country that the USA is trying to help stomp out insurgents. It’s a little futuristic-ie but not really. A company has helped them come up with bad-ass gear to give them a leg up but something has gone wrong. These floating things are taking people out with just a touch–freeze to them instantly. Of course the CIA (played by Emily Mortimer) instantly believes it’s the enemy in cloaking, the techs thinks its a glitch and the local believes its the ghosts of war. I don’t wanna give too much way because you have to watch this but, trust me, it’s worth it.

There was one major slip up that I caught–the case of the random guy from Utah team, but other than that this movie should have done better and been bigger than it is. The acting was amazing. Honestly, I never really noticed James Dale before this. I had to go back and look up the things he’s been in. Surprisingly, he’s been in a few things I’ve loved. Max Martini is in his usual role of the leader of some kind of Military squad but why change a winning formula?

Spectral is a gem.  I really hope they make a second one. Then again, sequels generally suck *Sigh*

I enjoyed it thoroughly. I love different story lines. I love when writers really put thought into what they put forth. Don’t expect any romance in this flick–there is none. There’s war, supernatural freakiness and a lesson of what happens when you create the devil and it breaks loose.




Can’t Take it Back

Following a group of students who leaves hateful comments on the page of a fellow pupil Following a group of students who leaves hateful comments on the page of a fellow pupil who recently committed suicide. who recently committed suicide. (IMDB).Image result for can't take it back movie

Review: Where do I even begin with this movie?

The premise was amazing. The thought of bullies getting their cumuppances even from the person after they’ve hit the grave was fantastic. But the actual movie was a YUUUUUGE disappointment.  There are so many things wrong with this movie, so many missed opportunities to really make the viewer really jump out of their seats.

Let me explain.

The acting was subpar at best. But look past that. This is another movie with a bunch of young folks acting like idiots and making a girl’s life hell. All the bullying leads to suicide and even after the grave, the bullies wouldn’t stop.

The dead girl begins taking her revenge on these fools and I have to admit, I wasn’t scared or shocked at anything in it. For a so called thriller, I really didn’t feel it. I watched to the end to see if anything would change, maybe it would get better but the dialogue was stilted, the actors had zero chemistry, there was no guessing who the evil thing was–I am not really good with scary movies/thrillers. I tend to spend most of the time–during the good ones–peeking through my fingers. This one, I fell asleep twice and had to restart the movie each time.

That only made me feel as if I was torturing myself.

Then as I write this review, I realize that one of the characters was played by Logan Paul. You remember Logan Paul, the idiot who went into the suicide forest, filmed a dead body, edited said film, posted it on his youtube channel then  claimed he didn’t mean it.  Realizing this just made me hate the movie even more.

Watch. Don’t watch. Your call.




Happy Birthday to A Beat of My Heart

A few years ago, I won’t say how many because that would age myself, I was at my parents’ place and the phone rang. It was my brother calling to inform my parents that our lives were about to change. I was fifteen years old, but even I could see my father’s eyes tear up. I wasn’t sure what was happening, but my mother went running up the stairs muttering something to herself.

I was in the middle of watching sports recap on television. But, I stopped, to stare at my father wondering what was going on.Image result for happy birthday

Eventually, he explained to me that my niece had been born. Honestly, I didn’t see what the big deal was. People had babies every day. Yes they’re cute and poops a lot but it was just a baby.

A couple of nights later, my mother insisted that I wear a warm jacket and we packed ourselves into my mom’s car. My father hates driving at nights so the moment it gets dark and we have to get anywhere as a family, my mother automatically knows she will be the driver. Off we went to see my brother.

That night, my life changed in ways I could never have imagined. For when they placed this little bundle in my arms for the first time, I knew I would love her for the rest of my life. When my mother held her, the little one was asleep. The same when my father had her. Once she was in my arms, she woke up and looked up into my face as if wondering, “who is this woman looking down at me with tears?”

But those were never tears of sadness or pain. They were the first tears of joy I’ve shed for that little bundle. Over the years more tears had been shed and all of them were of happiness. Either it was because she’d written me such a beautiful note on my birthday or at Christmas time, or a random text first thing in the morning telling me that I was awesome, or a random text that comes through from her at a point in my day when it’s gotten really bad.

Over the years, this bundle has grown into a young woman I am earth-shatteringly proud of. She’s blossomed into a fantastic person who has somehow become my guardian angel. She’s given me strength when I feel as if I can’t stand. She’s boosted me when I need a little umph and has given me the kick in my pants I need to get some stuff done.

Over the years we’ve develop some amazing traditions – Stone Cottage at Christmas for hot chocolate, China Town in the rain, Auntie/Niecie dates and the list goes on. We’ve made wonderful memories together, like meeting our favorite celebrities together (Me, Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek’s Uhuru and you, Trina Nishimura the voice of Mikasa from Attack on Titan). Candied apple and iTunes cards on the REALLY bad days…. I would never trade those moments with you for anything in the world.

Somehow, I wandered into this family and lucked out with a young woman who’s protected me, cared for me, loved me and saved me more times than I care to admit.

Today, that little bundle of overfilling joy is all grown up. Today, I wish to celebrate my niece, my Wonder Woman.

My wishes for you are always positive and for the best. My wish for you, especially today, is that you never doubt how desperately I love you. That you will always remember the strength you have shown me and the courage you’ve inspired in me. That you always hold your head high and remember, that no matter where you are, I am with you – (except the bathroom, because that would be grose and….also kinda creepy).

I wish for you all the joys in the world.

Happy Birthday to you, a very special beat of my heart – Sophia.

Love Always,

The Aunty