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Moment of Truth April 30, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Fiction, People, Writing & Writers.
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If you’re in the mood for a legal thriller full of unexpected twists and turns, pick up Moment of Truth by Lisa Scottoline.

Don’t be surprised if you can’t put it back down.

Despite pot holes in the plot (and a few sheer impossibilities to steer around), this story gives readers an insider’s view at how police officers and district attorneys put cases together ~ piece by piece.

We also see how legal theories fall apart and collapse like a house of cards when constructed on an unstable foundation.

Nothing is certain until that final moment of truth . . . when the last piece of puzzle snaps into place.

I never noticed the puppeteer pulling strings.

From the book jacket:

Attorney Jack Newlin comes home one evening to find his wife, Honor, dead on the floor of their elegant dining room.  Convinced that he knows who killed her ~ and determined to hide the truth ~ Jack decides to make it look as though he did it.  Staging the crime scene so that the evidence incriminates him, he then calls the police.  And to hammer the final nail in his own coffin, he hires the most inexperienced lawyer he can find, a reluctant rookie by the name of Mary DiNunzio, employed at the hot Philadelphia firm of Rosato & Associates.

Though inexperienced, Mary doubts Jack’s confession and begins to investigate the crime.  She find that instead of having a guilty client who is falsely proclaiming his innocence, she as an innocent client who is falsely proclaiming his guilt.

With help from the most unexpected sources, she sets out to prove what really happened ~ because, as any lawyer knows, a case is never as simple as it seems.

From the author’s bio on Amazon:

Lisa Scottoline is the New York Times bestselling author of seventeen novels including her most recent, THINK TWICE, and also writes a weekly column, called Chick Wit, for The Philadelphia Inquirer. Lisa has won many honors and awards, notably the Edgar Award, given for excellence in crime fiction, and the Fun Fearless Female Award from Cosmopolitan Magazine. She also teaches a course she created, called Justice and Fiction at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and regularly does speaking engagements.

There are twenty-five million copies of her books in print, and she is published in over thirty other countries.Lisa graduated magna cum laude in three years from the University of Pennsylvania, with a B.A. degree in English, and her concentration was Contemporary American Fiction, taught by Philip Roth and others. She graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She remains a lifelong resident of the Philadelphia area, where she lives with her array of disobedient pets.

I would love to meet Lisa for lunch in Philly some day, perhaps at Dickens Inn (now Cavanaugh’s in Headhouse Square) . . . just after sitting in on her Justice and Fiction class at the law school.

Aah . . . that’s better!

The Impossible April 29, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Magick & Mystery, Nature, People.
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The 2004 Tsunami that rolled ashore on December 26th came out of the blue.

Families on holiday frolicked on beaches and played in pools, never suspecting the tidal tension heading their way in waves as the result of a massive earthquake.

When the waves came, they changed the landscape of those lives forever.

In The Impossible, we share the terrifying ordeal through the eyes of a family of five.

Living is life changing.  Happiness lost. And found.

Watching the movie reminded me to notice all the good in my life.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times, gave the film a perfect four star rating, praising the performances of Watts and McGregor, as well as the direction of Bayona, proclaiming it “one of the best films of the year.”

Have you seen it?

The Sea of Endless Possibility April 28, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Life Balance, Meditation, Mindfulness.
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Rushing downhill, time rolls on, with change as a steadfast companion.  No matter how hard we tug, they refuse to stop and allow us to catch our breath.

Life becomes a precarious balancing act with no net to catch us when we fall.

Ringling Museum 007b

But we hold the remote.

When life becomes too topsy and we become too turvy, we can press “pause.”


In the silence of not-doing, we step out of the field of time and into the sea of endless possibility.

And our fear of falling and failing fades away.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Terza Rima April 27, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Life Balance, Poetry, Word Play.
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Have you ever written a Terza Rima?

A poem of three-line stanzas in which the end-word of the second line in the first tercet establishes the rhyme for the first and third lines in the following tercet and so on?

No?  Me neither . . . until now.

Domenico di Michelino, La Divina Commedia di D...

Domenico di Michelino, La Divina Commedia di Dante (Dante and the Divine Comedy). 1465 fresco, in the dome of the church of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence (Florence’s cathedral). Dante Alighieri is shown holding a copy of his epic poem The Divine Comedy. He is pointing to a procession of sin. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From Amazon:

The first known use of terza rima is in Dante’s Divina Commedia. In creating the form, Dante may have been influenced by the sirventes, a lyric form used by the Provençal troubadours. The three-line pattern may have been intended to suggest the Holy Trinity.

Inspired by Dante, other Italian poets, including Petrarch and Boccaccio, began using the form.

* * * * *

Here’s my first (and likely my last) Terza Rima:

Ringling Museum 006bFull Circle

Is reality a given?
How, now, did we arrive here?
To what heights have we striven?

Does clarity conquer fear?
Or leave us quaking in our boots
As we wander far and near?

Letting go and pulling up roots
To explore adventures ahead
We pursue our pursuits

Until we’re buried and dead
Pausing only to fall in love
To fall in love, heels over head

Distracted by heavens, above

Aah . . . that’s better!

So . . . you want to give it a go?

The poem can have as many stanzas as you’d like.  The rhyme scheme (aba, bcb, cdc, ded, etc.) continues through the final stanza.

And if you’ve written a Terza Rima . . . share a link below.

Culture April 26, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Blogging, Humor.
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Some cultures shun cameras, feeling that photos steal more than the show ~ they steal the soul.



Ringling Museum 018c

They suck the life right out of you.


In those cultures, you’ll never hear, “Smile and say C~H~E~E~S~E!”


No matter how perfect the Kodak Moment.


Aah . . . that’s better!

The Power of Words April 25, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Meditation, Mindfulness, Word Play.
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IMGP2584bA meditation master was asked to heal a sick child by saying a few prayers.

A skeptic scoffed at the  idea that words could have such power.

The master replied, “What do you know?  You’re an ignorant fool.”

Enraged, the skeptic shook with anger, “How dare you call me an ignorant fool!”

The master nodded and smiled, “If so few words have the power to anger you, why should they not have the power to heal as well?”

Aah . . . that’s better! 

Paraphrased from The Zen of Eating, p. 113

Related post:  Hidden Messages in Water

The Not-So-Great Gatsby April 24, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Word Play, Writing & Writers.
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High School English mandated that “all” students read The Great Gatsby.

I didn’t care for it.

Fitzgerald’s characters left me cold.

Each of them seemed devoid of redeeming virtue.

This week, I read The Great Gatsby a second time because I wondered if I’d “missed the point” in high school.

I still didn’t care for it.

Fitzgerald’s characters didn’t make me care for them or their story.

Maybe I’m still “missing the point.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Did you read it?  What did you think?

The Zen of Eating April 23, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Health & Wellness, Mindfulness.
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Want to lose weight?  Without feeling deprived and frustrated?

Practice The Zen of Eating.

Be mindful of the tastes and textures of the food you prepare.

Focus on the nourishment it provides.

Be thankful for the abundance and variety of food in your life.

Say a blessing for your blessings.

Express loving kindness for all who contributed to growing and harvesting the food on your plate:

May you be happy
May you be healthy
May you be peaceful
May you be safe

Explore your pantry.

Note the origin of ingredients from differing cultures and traditions around the globe:  Curry from India.  Olive Oil from Greece.  Pasta from Italy.  Cheddar from Cheddar.  Maple Syrup from Vermont or Canada.

Savor the sensation of . . . enough.

Aah . . . that’s better!

From Amazon:

When it comes to weight loss, the emphasis today is shifting away from fad diets and compulsive workouts toward sane, sensible techniques that incorporate both the mind and the body. This is the first book to apply the 2,500-year-old principles of Zen Buddhism to the modern struggle with the vicious cycle of dieting, losing, and regaining weight.

From a Buddhist perspective, overeating is a disorder of desire. This book will teach readers how to find freedom from eating problems and the tyranny of desire that triggers them. Filled with concrete, practical exercises and the wisdom of the ages, The Zen of Eating provides, at last, an alternative to ineffective diet programs, products, and pills.

Quote to Ponder:  These words are simple.  Mastering them is hard. ~ Tao Te Ching

Related:  Zen Habits ~ A Survival Guide

Carrie Fisher At The Sarasota Opera House April 22, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Health & Wellness, Humor, Joke.
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On Saturday, BFF and I attended An Afternoon with Carrie Fisher at the Sarasota Opera House.

Some of you will remember Carrie from her iconic role as Princess Leia in the original Star Wars Trilogy.  If so, you may be happy to hear that she plans to play Princess Leia again in Star Wars VII, to be released by Disney in 2015.

Others may have read her books, including Postcards From the Edge, Wishful Drinking, The Best Awful, and Delusions of Grandma.

Although Saturday’s interview touched upon her writing and acting, its central focus was Bi Polar Disorder and her role as a mental health advocate.

Since the age of fourteen, Carrie has undergone therapy for mood swings.  For most of her life, she has struggled to find a balance between bouts of mania and depression.  She has experimented with drugs, both over the counter and under the counter.

And, through it all, she has maintained a sense of humor about life.

When describing her short-term memory loss, a significant side effect of EST (Electro-Shock Therapy), she quipped ~ “Of course, it might not be the EST.  I might be losing my memory because I’m getting older.  Or because of the drugs.  Or a combination of all three . . . E~S~T, L~S~D, and A~G~E.”

Pluto-HappyShe laughed about her dog and his perpetually wagging tongue that never fully retracts back into his mouth.

“It’s always hanging out like a perpetual pink waterfall.”

And about her mother’s Walk Through Closet ~ “It was like a car wash.”

“My mother would enter at one end as my mother . . . and emerge from the other end as Debbie Reynolds.”

She joked about her gold bikini, death as a “side effect” of prescription drugs (“how is death a SIDE effect?  wouldn’t it be more of an END result?”), the impact of her mental illness on others (“my daughter’s gained important life skills . . . she takes bizarre behavior in stride”), her marriages (“my second marriage might have ended because of my bi polar disorder, but it could also have been because he was gay”), her mother’s reaction to her diagnosis (“oh, that’s just the Jewish in you”), and Hollywood’s acceptance of mental illness as  eccentricity (“but Elizabeth Taylor did lock her medicine cabinet whenever I visited”).

Any regrets in life?  “No . . . but next time, I’m coming back as a blonde.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Mind Your Manners April 21, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Blogging, Humor, Joke, People.
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If you’re on Facebook, please follow these 5 simple relationship etiquette rules to ensure that . . . cyber space remains a friendly place:

Scruffy-Cat1.  Don’t change your relationship status from “married, with children” to “single” without telling your spouse first.

2.  Don’t tag other people with embarrassing photographs.  It’s not fair, and it’s not funny.

Well, okay, it’s funny, but it’s not fair.

3.  Don’t share Too Much Information when posting messages on Facebook, especially on other people’s walls.

When in doubt, leave the smut out.

4.  Point:  Friends don’t steal friends from friends.  Counterpoint: Share, share, that’s fair.

5.  Don’t create hate groups in retaliation for some perceived snub ~ it’s a recipe for disaster.

And, now, for your viewing pleasure . . . Facebook Manners and You (Official Honoree 2010 Webby Awards):

Aah . . . that’s better!

For more on Manners . . . Sidey’s Weekend Theme ~ Manners