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Sacred Fire

An unstoppable drive
That is old as time
Runs through my veins
it can’t be explained
It’s alive and quickly spreading.
Click on the title to read the full poem.

The Audacity of Hope (Barak Obama)

The book starts with an account of his experiences during the campaign as a senator and walks the reader all the way through the end of his presidency. What stands out the most about his style is the way in which he can turn any narrative around while putting a positive spin by answering a “Why” question with an inspirational “What”.His self reflective nature, self aware and sincere warmth tells a story of struggle and perseverance, compromise and great love towards his career and towards his wife. He is a very passionate person, an idealist willing to march into the burning building to defend what he believes in. Click on the title to read the full review.

Inside The Castle

As she entered the great hall
A grumpy creature was waiting
What’s wrong? She inquired
The world is unfair it shrieked
Shocked and saddened
She sang a lulling song.
Click on the title to read the full poem.

The Invention of Lying (2009)

Imagine a world where everyone tells the truth all the time. It sounds fantastic doesn’t it? Well… not quite… Keep in mind that this means that there are no filters, no flattery, no fiction and no soft landings. Are you Ok with your date letting you know that she will be ‘taking care of herself’ while getting ready as you wait downstairs? Let me tell you, this guy does not know what hit him and it is funny to hear out loud what may go inside a guy’s head while on a date. Get ready to watch your favorite film, “the invention of forks” and “The black plague” both historical films narrated by a single person. Yeah, acting is also out of the picture if lying is not possible. Click on the title to read the full review

From the Bottom of my Heart

After the hurricane is over
And the whirlwind slows down
Light shines a new focus
Peace begins to reign
And only the good times remain.
Click on the title to read the full poem.

Big Fish (2003)

This is another one of Tim Burton’s masterpieces. I really appreciate his eye for detail and the way he invites viewers to immerse themselves into his vision. The cinematography in this movie has magical qualities. I found myself thinking about metaphorical imagery used by Tim Burton to depict how our recollection of personal experiences seem to morph as we revisit relationships and situations during different life stages. Heightened or diminished senses can play tricks on us, leading us to think that the world has changed around us, when in fact, it us and our perception of things that has changed. Suddenly, someone who was seen as a warm and caring character can become a cold hearted ogre when the bond is broken or the contact diminished. Click on the title to read the full review.

Workin’ Moms (2017-2020)

This is a Canadian television sitcom that follows a group of friends as they deal with the challenges of being working mothers. The story revolves around Kate and Anne (two best friends since college) who share a very strong bond, no bullshit between these two. They don’t hold anything back and this is shown from the first episode as they stare at each other’s bare chest and engage on a debate about the ‘sogginess level’ of their boobs after motherhood. 😀 The primary driver behind the humor is the indifference shown by society and partners, who have no idea of how hard it is to make it all work. Click on the title to read the full review.

Just Because

I love you because you rolled the red carpet
And welcomed me with open arms
Knowing you weren’t perfect
You let me see you inside and out.
Click on the title to read the full poem.

Walking Among Titans

Excitement, anticipation
Worry and fascination
Permeated the moon cycles
Leading to our first encounter.
Click on the title to read the full poem.

Malcolm in the Middle (2000-2005)

The plot revolves around Malcolm, a child genius (with an IQ of 180) who faces very unusual challenges while trying to blend into a public school environment. It is precisely the clever build up to the dumb outcomes that makes this show amazingly funny, not to mention the dysfunctional dynamics that exist between all the characters. I laughed so hard with this one that I cried several times. Click on the title to read the full review.

Perfect Storm

It was hotter than ever
Or so I thought
Colors came alive
And the air smelled sweeter
So, I stayed for a while.
Click on the title to read the full poem.

Junkie

Hooked on the thrills of this and that
Hooked on the promise of
Better, bigger, sweeter
I succumbed to the riddles.
Click on the title to read the full poem.

The Struts

What can I say? Wow, what an amazing blend of talent and passion for life. This is a relatively young band that I think will make their mark in the music industry. #Rock, #Garage. Click on the title to read the full review and see my top picks.

Focus (2015)

The story follows Nicky (Will Smith) a veteran thief who meets a grifter, Jess (Margot Robbie). This is a very clever fun comedy packed with action and unexpected twists. They meet in a hotel bar while she is playing a damsel in distress asking to be rescued from a date that has gone sour. After he obliges they end up talking for hours and she invites him to her room. The whole room situation gets heated but not in the way that you’d expect. Bottom line is that she is a minor league player looking for a mentor and he plays the role very well. Click on the title to read the full review.

1001 Ways to Mess Up a Sandwich

Placing the pickle outside
Smearing too much spice throughout
Mushing the eggplant with a car
Toasting buns with a cigar.
Click on the title to read the full poem.

The Queen’s Gambit (2020)

This TV miniseries tells the story of Elizabeth Harmon, a girl with an unusual gift that that catapults her into stardom while at the same starving her from real human connection. I liked the way in which gifted people and their social network are portrayed. It ultimately tells the story of the hidden wealth that lies within deep connections. While gifted people struggle with their own demons and think that they are unworthy of connection, people around them tend to see their gift as something desirable and even enviable without realizing that giftedness can be very isolating. Some people try to exploit the gift for their benefit and others turn green with envy for something that they can never have, barely understanding that having a peculiar mind also means seeing the world through a different lens, and thus living a very lonely existence. Click on the title to read the full review.

The Father (2020)

Astonishing and heart breaking performances from Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman. A modern-day masterpiece depicting the fleeting beauty of every minute we fail to appreciate as we don’t fully grasp what we have until is gone. A journey of compassion from both sides of the experience. The story reveals the struggle of a caring daughter as she deals with her father’s dementia. Hopkins takes the audience through the scary journey of how forgetting things can lead to paranoia, as the mind weaves stories from little details of the surroundings in order to make up for the memory gaps. The fear of letting go of the familiar leads this man to fight every attempt to receive help. It really made me think about life and how we take our ability to be present for granted. We spend most of our lives living in fantasy of fears that probably will never materialize, fantasy of things that we want but can’t have. Yet, we spend so little time enjoying the present, without realizing that one day the present may blend with terrifying hallucinations and memories of situations that never happened. Click on the title to read the full review.

Synchronic (2019)

This is a sci-fi thriller with a very eerie feeling. The plot is a mind-bending exploration of the limits of human perception. What if time as we know it is a lie? A new designer drug is taking over the lives of people by altering the way in which the brain perceives time. The first scene starts with a couple trying a novel new drug that transforms their environment into their worst nightmare. The next scene jumps to first responders Steve and Dennis finding another couple with multiple stab wounds from what seems to be an ancient historical artifact. Click on the title to read the full review.

Out of Control

Think about your weight
Think about what you did
Think about what you lack
Think of what’s important to me.
Click on the tile to read the full poem.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

What if you could erase from your memory an intense love affair or an entire relationship? Would you do it? Would you want to forget? Most people have met that one person who completely changed the way they thought about relationships and love itself. A relationship so full of color that every memory is equally filled with both joy and dreadful pain. The one who made them want to throw caution to the wind and do crazy things. The love that moved so fast and so intensely, it was impossible not to take a leap of faith by jumping right in. This movie invites the audience to wonder what would happen if we erased that memory. Would we ever learn anything from the past or would we repeat the same mistakes? Does ‘the one’ really exist? And if so, how do we know when we found it?. Click on the title to read the full review.

How to Stop Aging (Can Humans Become Immortal?) w/Dr. David Sinclair EP 1004 61-min

Dr. David Sinclair, a Harvard geneticist and author of the book “Lifespan,” has been researching some of life’s biggest questions. In this episode he reveals that we have the technology to live happy and healthy lives to 200 years old. He joins Lewis to discuss whether science will eventually enable humans to live forever, how we might be able to bring people back from the dead, and why it’s a “certainty” that aliens exist. If you liked David’s first interview on the School of Greatness, then you’ll love this deeper conversation. Click on the title to read the full review and listen to this episode.

The Purge (2013)

The purge is a psychological thriller that offers a wonderful depiction of a twisted dystopia where all crime is made legal for 12 hours every year. This movie indirectly digs into sociological constructs of crime and the fabrication of news and reality by the media. For instance, in our modern society murder may or may not be legal depending on the circumstances. Murder during a war or as self defense during a dispute is seen as legal, while premeditated or violent murders are seen as wrong. It is an open invitation to wonder how much of what we accept as normal is really close to barbaric. Click on the title to read the full review.

Intimacy: Trusting Oneself and the Other. Insights for a new way of living (Osho)

This book is an invitation to dig deeper into the self and find out who you really are in order to create synchronicity between thought and action, inviting others to truly connect with us. When we wear masks we create dysfunction in our internal mechanism, so that when we want to smile it becomes forced, and when we truly want to love, we have forgotten how or what it means. When we fail to embrace the less perfect side of ourselves that has been forgotten and shamed, the stronger that side becomes and takes control of our actions forming a life of its own. Click on the title to read the full review.

The Other Side

Take my hand and step Into the fire with me Hush your fears Trust yourself You are a Phoenix Yearning to be set free

Kick Ass (2010)

Before I proceed, I must warn you that this review contains some spoilers. I absolutely loved this movie because it was unexpectedly funny, dynamic and surprisingly good. The story centers around Dave, a regular dorky comic book geek turned superhero. Dave is a high school student whose only super power is being invisible to girls. Part of his charm is that he is such a relatable character. While the plot seem to be about Dave and his journey into trying to become a superhero, the movie is really about ‘Hit Girl.’ Who happens to be one of the strongest female superhero character I have seen in a long time. This movie does a great job showing some serious girl power. Click on the title to read the full review.

Skipping Around the Galaxy

A playground of infinite probability Bends into existence By a single thought Embracing this force We transform the world Into a beautiful place to stroll

Jojo Rabbit (2019)

This movie is a wonderful political satire based on the 2008 book Caging Skies (Christine Leunens). It tells the story of Jojo, a 10 year old boy struggling to conform to the demands of toxic masculinity in Nazi Germany during WWII. This same toxicity serves as a solid foundation for the humor and the love story embedded between the ridiculousness and painful moments of the plot. Overall it was very difficult to pin this movie into one genera, is sort of a love story, embedded on a lot of sad pieces and a satirical depiction of the war itself. It was truly a remarkable experience. Click on the title to read the full review.

Our Secret

You were sitting by the window
Los in deep thought when I arrived
I kissed your forehead
And gently held your hand.
Click on the title to read the full poem.

A Thousand Words

I kept on reaching
But your weren’t there
So, I learned to justify
Your bank stares.
Click on the title to read the full poem.

Fact Fullness (Hans Rosling)

When asked simple questions about global trends- what percentage of the world’s population lives in poverty; why the world population is increasing; how many girls finish school- we systematically get the answers wrong” (Rosling). As an economist, I found this book to be quite refreshing and optimistic about our present and the future. The author employs some elements of behavioral economics to explain human bias towards negative thinking. Rosling provides some rules of thumb to retrain our brains to think differently and challenge the unconscious bias that leads to poor decision making. He goes as far as to say that the most educated people are the ones who hold the most incorrect assumptions about the world. Definitely a must read for managers and executives making decisions on behalf of large corporations as wrong perceptions can lead to a loss in market opportunities. Click on the title to read the full review.

The Best Preserve

The thought of visiting often
Makes my heart swell with joy
A feeling of bliss that
I can’t explain with words.
Click on the title to read the full poem.

How Food Heals or Harms Your Body, Aging and Mental Health w/Dr. Mark Hyma‪n‬ EP 1075 • 1 hr 52 min

Published February 22, 2021 “Meaning and purpose are predictive of longevity.” Today’s guest is Dr. Mark Hyman, who has been on the podcast a few times and every episode has been extremely powerful. Mark is a practicing family physician and an internationally recognized leader, speaker, educator, and advocate in the field of Functional Medicine. In… Continue Reading →

Russian Doll- (2019)

The plot centers around Nadia, who seems like a typical New Yorker, working as a software developer, and living a life of excess. It’s her 36th birthday, and while it would be normal for her to feel happy that her friends are throwing her a party, she seems quite disengaged. Something is not right from the beginning. Nadia starts off the night by bailing from her own party to spend the night with a stranger, only to end up dying… again and again. Click on the title to read the full review.

Blood Red Bow

The devious quest begins with a single promise
A promise wrapped in a blood red bow
The promise of eternal sunshine
An understanding so deep that you are whisked to your feet
Forgetting the hazy reality of life itself and its unpredictable motions
Further believing that you are one singular planet in a vast…. Click on the title to read the full poem.

The Art of Happiness (His Holiness The Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler)

This book makes an important distinction between happiness and joy indicating that the latter creates a more positive state of mind than the former. This is the example used by his holiness: “The feeling of happiness is similar to a high, that can be felt during an event or when achieving a specific goal that we are pursuing, and therefore, happiness can feel like it is constantly eluding us. Thus the search for happiness can lead to long periods of resentment, frustration and low self esteem.” Click on the title to read the full review.

Shakira

Believe or not before she became an international sensation, Shakira’s song lyrics were very politically incorrect. There is a very deep thinker and a skilled business woman behind her sexy light public persona. In this post, I want to shed some light on her earlier songs and the evolution of her entire body of work. Her upbringing combined with the passionate nature of the Latin culture made for a very diverse and broadly creative output. Shakira has used her songs to make controversial statements regarding corruption in Medellin, and at times, describe in great detail the emotional turmoil of relationships that were never meant to be. Click on the title to read the full review and see my top picks.

Joker (2019)

This movie introduces a political dimension to the character of the Joker. In a way, he represents the underdog, those who have been forgotten by society and politicians. The feeling of disenfranchisement is the binding element between the audience and the character. Poverty hits Arthur and his family in many ways and it seems to be partly responsible for his descend into madness. Resentment begins to built up and it drives him mad. So he resorts to living in a world of fantasy, where he can escape the unbearable pain that he is experiencing. The script describes a step by step journey from mild disability into severe mental illness when someone lacks support. Click on the title to read the full review.

Bulshit Jobs: a theory (D. Graeber)

“Your job is more like a boss’ unzipped fly that everyone can see but also knows better than to mention.” This is a good read for those looking to demystify the emotional realities of the post industrial labor market while doing so with some humor. Graeber compares wage labor to slavery and an alternative form of sadomasochism that has been widely accepted in our societies. If you feel like you don’t know what the heck you are supposed to do in your job and live with constant fear that they will realize that there is no reason for it to exist, you are not alone. Click on the title to read the full review.

The Police

This band is loaded with shy playfulness and layers of metaphors. Over time I also noticed that each album represented a different growth stage for Sting. He walks us from his lonely, insecure and jealous streak, all the way to his solo song “If you love somebody set them free.” I really appreciate how he can paint a detailed picture with the lyrics. Click on the title to read the full review.

Big Mouth (2017-2020)

This show looks like a teenager sex ed animated comedy. However, the writing is peppered with layers of complexity. It has quickly grown to be one of my favorite shows on Netflix. While I agree with my friend’s assessment that the show is “Sex Positive,” I also think that is a lot more than that, sort of overall emotion positive. Somehow, the writers managed to sneak in the topic of mental illnesses and even politics into the story while making us laugh and reflect about our own hang ups. Click on the title to read the full review.

The Producers (1967- Original)

This film was Mel Brook’s first movie, which was ironically sort of a flop when released, forgotten and later rediscovered by accident. It is hard to imagine that someone with Jewish ancestry would make fun of Nazi Germany only 20 years after the end of WWII, but Mel took the risk and did it anyway. This is a satirical black comedy that centers around a slick producer who sets off to commit fraud by raising money for a broadway play that is meant to fail. There are some things that I love about this version and overall, I think it is funnier than the musical. I have laughed until running out of air with this one. Click on the title to read the full review.

Parasite (2019)

What is true wealth? Money, assets or connections? This is a very dark and complex drama that touches upon life perception from poverty and wealth extremes. A story about class told like never before. Although it would seem like the poor people act as parasites of the rich, it is unclear who the parasite is in this movie. Click on the title to read the full review

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