Category Archives: Uncategorized

Get Snapchat and learn something?

Snapchat was never something I was interested in downloading. I always figured it was just for millennials and a way to share irrelevant and/or inappropriate photos and videos. But the other day, I learned something new.

One of my favorite Islamic Facebook pages posted about a “Snap Story” that was (briefly) available on Snapchat about the West Bank, Palestine.  I immediately downloaded the Snapchat app and watched as young people shared a glimpse into their daily lives.

Today, there is a Snap Story about Mecca, filled with scenes of Muslims fulfilling Umrah during Ramanda and specifically during Laylat al-Qadr (Night of Power), which is the night that the first verses of the Quran were revealed to the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Snapchat, like anything, can be used for good and for bad, and I learned that it can give us insights to the lives lived on the other side of the world. They are human, just like us, and we are all better off if we can create connections with them.

Check out the West Bank Snap Story on YouTube: West Bank Snapchat


Invictus (It’s not really all about rugby)

This week my fiance and I decided to watch Invictus. The main reason for our selection was that it was just about to start on HBO [or one of those many HBOs], and we wanted to catch a movie from the beginning.

I'm not crazy about the marketing for this film. But by luck I caught it on cable.

When Invictus came out in 2009, I really had little interest in seeing it — ever.  The commercials made me think it was about rugby, and that Morgan Freeman’s Nelson Mandela was a supporting role to Matt Damon’s starring one, as captain Francois Pienaar.

Boy, was I wrong!

Even the summary on IMDB is a tad misleading:

Nelson Mandela, in his first term as the South African President, initiates a unique venture to unite the apartheid-torn land: enlist the national rugby team on a mission to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

Invictus is really the story of how Nelson Mandela transformed South Africa and Continue reading Invictus (It’s not really all about rugby)

Aguaviva – What a meal!

My fiance and I were recently in San Juan, Puerto Rico for a few days. My fiance really wanted some fresh seafood, and the hotel concierge recommended Aguaviva, located on Fortaleza Street in Old San Juan.

Our server was Andrea, who was fantastic. She was knowledgeable about the dishes, not timid to give her own recommendations, and had a great sense of humor and was just very real. It always elevates a delicious meal to another level when you have a wonderful server.

We loved our meal – everything was delectable!  Check it out after the jump:

Continue reading Aguaviva – What a meal!

2008 Redux – Dirty Sexy Politics

Dirty Sexy Politics by Meghan McCain

I just sailed through Dirty Sexy Politics, the campaign trail memoir by John McCain’s daughter, Meghan McCain. This quick read provides Meghan’s perspective on being a scrutinized “daughter of” a presidential candidate.  She shares her trials and tribulations fitting in (or not) to her dad’s campaign, as well as the Republican Party overall.

Regardless of your own political leanings, this is an insightful look into what happens on a major political campaign. Meghan gives her honest and emotional perspective of her dad’s loss, the impact of the Palins to the campaign, and the future of the GOP. Continue reading 2008 Redux – Dirty Sexy Politics

Shakira’s Waka Waka Success

Shakira made news yesterday that her song for the 2010 FIFA World Cup song — Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) — is the best-selling World Cup song ever! Not only that, but the official Waka Waka video received the 4th most YouTube views in history.  When you count the non-official videos, the total is a staggering 350 million views!  Nice job Shaki!

Check it out, then make sure you click for “more” because I have more to say on this subject:

Continue reading Shakira’s Waka Waka Success

HBO’s Temple Grandin

Claire Danes as Temple Grandin in HBO’s biopic

I was inspired by Claire and Temple at the Emmys. As fortune had it, last night Temple Grandin was on HBO and it caught my boyfriend’s eye while flipping channels.  We watched it start to finish and finally turned off the TV around 1am.  (This in itself proves the movie is worth watching, as on a work night I rarely can keep my eyes open later than 11:30pm!) Continue reading HBO’s Temple Grandin

Emmys 2010

So who watched the Emmys last night?

I rarely watch awards shows these days, but tuned in last night about halfway through.

Emmy-winner Claire Danes

I thought Claire Danes received a well-deserved award for her portrayal of Temple Grandin. She really transformed herself in that role. And it was touching that Temple was there to see it for herself. So often these biopics are posthumous and the subject doesn’t get to experience the thrill of being honored and in the public eye. Side note, I don’t think Claire has ever looked more beautiful. Perfect dress, hair and makeup.

Continue reading Emmys 2010

Watch it Again: Talented Mr. Ripley

This week, The Talented Mr. Ripley showed up in the red envelope in my mailbox. My boyfriend had never seen it, and it had been so long since I had, that I had forgotten a lot of the story. It was well worth watching again 11 years later.

Paltrow, Law & Damon

The 1999 film, starring Matt Damon, Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow and directed by Anthony Minghella, was nominated for a handful of Oscars, and I would have liked it to win some. Aside from the all-star cast, the cinematography, costumes and score were also beautiful.

If you are also rusty in remembering the story, I think that the promotional taglines may assist in reviving your memory:

  • How far would you go to become someone else?
  • Everybody should have one talent… what’s yours?

Hanging with HUNG

My guilty TV pleasure these days is the HBO comedy series Hung. It’s one of the few television shows my boyfriend enjoys, so I look forward to Sunday night when we can settle down together on the sofa to close out the weekend.

Thomas Jane plays Ray

If you’re unfamiliar, Hung is about Ray, a high school baseball coach who was divorced by his high school sweetheart. Their socially awkward son and daughter (fraternal twins) and don’t seem to have gotten the “cool gene” from their jock dad and cheerleader mom. The series kicks off when Ray’s suburban Detroit home burns down and he doesn’t have the money to rebuild it.

So, down-on-his-luck Ray meets Tanya at a self-help group and after a random night together, they discover their new calling: Tanya becomes Ray’s pimp. Their mission is to make big bucks with their new company Happiness Consultants – putting smiles on lonely women throughout the Detroit area. Continue reading Hanging with HUNG