You were sitting by the window Lost in deep thought when I arrivedI kissed your forehead And gently held you hand*** As my lips caressed your skin Your essence spoke to meYour eyes locked with mine Welcomed me homeOpening the door to a secret dimension Conceived from shared experiences ***Hidden in plain sight The key... Continue Reading →

I kept on reaching But you weren’t there So, I learned to justify Your blank stares *** I begged and pleaded But you weren’t willing So my tears Just kept on spilling *** A thousand words I made up, In your absence, To fill in the gap *** It took me years To finally see... Continue Reading →

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, ever-expansive... Continue Reading →

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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