The Great Gatsby -impressions and maybe spoilers-

Today’s post will be rather short and sweet. And will also lack pictures.

I believe it was last year or 2 years ago that we watched The Great Gatsby movie. It was some time after its release, but the hype was still there among its fans. After watching it, I decided to read the book as well – since they say the book is better than the movie.

I liked the movie quite a bit. I liked it because of the fashions and the opulence of the yesteryears. I also like how in the past people cared more about their image and reputation.

The book however – the book! Don’t get the wrong idea: I disliked the book! The author needed more lessons on how to write! Thankfully it is an easy read, but if you suffer from OCD, you’ll most likely feel the way I did towards the book.

If you ask me, all the copies of this short novel can be burned on a big fire.

I can understand how many people feel they can relate to the main character especially since the events are narrated in a first person manner, helping the reader “get lost in the book.” BUT… not me.

I got irritated because the time in this book has no laws – or works by different laws, like I mentioned in my previous book review. The author uses some phrases that make me think several weeks have passed, only to later reveal that only some 2 or 3 days passed. WHY? HOW?

When writing, you can’t do this. This method is much more fitting in a movie where the passing of time can be represented in more ways or is not always relevant.

There’s an accident happening towards the end of the story. The way the events around it are described in the book  … makes one think the novel was written or taking place at the end of the 20th century not at its beginning. The movie represented the scenes in a much better way.

RATINGS: no stars for the book [can I give -10 stars though?] and 1.5 stars for the movie, maybe even 2 stars because of Leonardo DiCaprio. He seems to be making all the movies a bit better. If you want to read it, better pick any other book. Even the first Twilight book is better than this one.


This post was a mostly a rant because I simply can’t understand why others praised this novel so much. I don’t get it. If you read it and liked it, please tell me why: I want to see your point of view, I really do.


©2013 – present. The Owner Travels To. All rights reserved.

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How To Read The Tarot

I know you were expecting a presentation of one of the cards or one of the symbols. That’s brewing for next week [hopefully].

This week, I will help you “learn how to read the tarot” cards. The process is rather long, but it can help you see other aspects of a situation, or new ways of doing the same thing.

DISCLAIMER: The links provided are the ones I use the most in my journey to ‘learn’ how read my deck. Other websites do exist, and other forums are even open and active. I just got used to this one and the site itself is 21 years old – this should count for something.

I will have to tell you from the start that not everyone can do it, and most definitely not with all the decks. Or perhaps they just didn’t discover the right one yet?

[boring backstory]Many years back I had an oracle deck, and the meanings of each card was pretty straight-forward: whatever you saw on the card was the meaning. I didn’t need to elaborate novels around the spread. When I first decided to have a look into the tarot, I felt lost and I didn’t understand anything, and there were many hidden messages to be discovered. I thought I could never do it.

I still wanted to own at least one deck – and I hoped for a pretty one – and then, earlier this year it happened, if you remember my online shopping haul post.

Luckily I got this deck now older, when I understand more things, when I have generally more experience. This helped me a lot with learning how to read this deck. I first went on the official website, and then I found this forum where they were discussing each card. However, if you have more decks, or if you feel like the interpretation given by others doesn’t click with you, there’s another method!

ONE OF THE STEPS

Take each card and analyze it: see what message it has for you, based on the image. It’s perfectly fine to create keywords you associate with each card. Do try to write the meanings in an easy to flip through notebook. Though, depending on how much you write, a ‘regular’ size agenda or notebook should do.

Pic used in the same shopping haul post.

ANOTHER STEP

Do simple readings with just 1 card or maximum 3 cards. These readings can be for yourself – daily or weekly- or for other people. Do try to remember the “standard” meaning of the card, and see how does it apply to the situation.

At the beginning of October I started to pull out a card in the morning, and I’d only look at it in the evening. I want to ‘test’ the accuracy of the reading by how well did the message apply in my life that day. Yesterday’s card was “the Hermit” and it applied really well – I basically was the Hermit yesterday.

ADDITIONAL STEP

Buy a tarot reading guide, or find one online. I started, but not finished this “21 ways of reading a tarot card.” Apparently this is a book by Mary K Greer [and I honestly have no idea who she is]. Her method seems very good for those cards that you have a more difficult time understanding.

I believe her method also includes a notebook, so do make sure you have one handy. Since the guide takes you through 21 stages, I can’t possibly imagine anyone going through the process 22 times [just for the Major Arcana] and even less for the whole deck. Luckily, you can apply the method to an oracle deck as well.


©2013 – present. The Owner Travels To. All rights reserved.

Visiting the National Village Museum -part1-

We finally managed to visit this museum and document our visit through pictures. I didn’t walk so much in ages! My feet are killing me – I’m writing this right after the visit, at a café where we stopped to get some rest. If I don’t get distracted, I’ll post the second part of the blog, next week. Why a second part? Please read on to find out!

We reached the museum by foot from the subway station – it’s some 2 -3 bus stops away? At the entrance there were at least 4 tourist buses, and this meant the place was rather packed with people. The admission fee is 15 lei for adults, 4 lei for students, 200 or 300 lei if you want a guide [fee depends on the language you need the guide to speak], and there were a few other rates but I can’t remember who or what were those for.

As far as I can tell, this is the main entrance. There is also a gift shop on the right, right across from the ticket booth. I really liked some of the stuff there, though I must say some seemed a bit overpriced. Not that I’m familiar with prices for this kind of products.

Sadly many houses were closed, so we couldn’t see them on the inside. Well, A. [my partner] couldn’t enter the houses anyways, though she tried – because of a hay allergy she has. There are also a few rules to follow, such as no smoking anywhere in the museum [though it’s in the open] and no taking pics inside the houses. I would assume it’s because the flash of the camera can ruin the colors of the decors.

Visitors are not allowed inside the house, with very few exceptions. So I entered a couple of houses, but only in the small entrance/hallway of the house, and not inside the proper rooms where the occupants used to live. You can only imagine why: on rainy days bringing in the mud would eventually ruin the floors, while also just stepping inside some of the houses would also cause damage.

I must add that many houses had either a wooden floor either floor made of dried out mud – a building material I noticed in the walls of the houses as well. This was a convenient building material in the 18th century, a place in time most these houses belonged to. I believe this is what kept them so cool and pleasant – there were 27 degrees Celsius [80.6 F?] outside.

If you wanted to go even cheaper, you’d make a half buried house, like the one below. I guess the insulation was better? I do wonder just how cold it was in winter, though? I couldn’t go inside, but I must say the entrance looked creepy and claustrophobic.

There were also many vendors selling handmade things: clothes, home decors, jewelry, dolls, and other stuff. Pretty much what you could find in the gift shop, you could also find at this vendors, and then probably some extra. The prices were equally high, but we bought some cookies – but I only have a picture of one of them.

One of the vendors in front of this buried house was selling traditional alcohol, in special looking bottles. He had several shapes and sizes. While there was nothing wrong with opening the bottle up and drink, many were just for decorative purposes. Clearly, not for houses with pets or kids that can knock them over. The bottle below costs about 10 USD.

Speaking of drinks, there was one vendor selling a very strange summer drink. And what I mean by this s that it was refreshing, but very sweet as well. The drink’s name is “braga” and it is made of cereals – read more about it here and here. I bought a glass, see below. My partner said her mother used to drink it a lot, and liked it a lot as well. My partner doesn’t share the opinion. The drink is good, but like the articles point out, it looks really rustic and must be consumed really fast.

Another vendor was selling copper ware.  I will consider buying some pieces for our future home, after we have it. These copper pieces had a different color on the inside than on the outside, so I’m not sure this is how copper items are. In any case they look beautiful, don’t you think?

Lastly, I shouldn’t forget to mention the last vendor selling beauty products. We received each a sample of a scrub mask. I can’t tell if it was good, but we might visit their shop outside the museum to get a product or two.

Like mentioned before, the museum has many types of houses, a couple of churches, wind and water mills. Most houses had fences, gates, and their original annexes. These annexes include old-fashioned ovens for baking the bread, dog houses, tool sheds, houses for the livestock. Now, on with the pictures of some of the houses.

This yard and house are a unit. This house was not opened to the public, but it had an overall quiet feeling.

I forgot if all these structures above were part of the same household or not.

This was pretty much another household. I would assume its former inhabitants were more rich since the house was build on 2 levels and they also had this carriage. On the left of the “garage” there was an enclosed space – a tool storage unit, I believe.

This house was also pretty big, and the rooms were like a train’s carriages, as you could easily see in the first picture. This was a rare sight though as most the other houses had separate rooms and no way to go from one into the other.

I believe the caption says it all at this point. People were shorter in the past. The doors and gates are short, but the rooms are plenty tall on the inside.

Judging by the time stamp, this extra construction was on the same land as the house.

WOW, What an adventure! Both the visit and writing this – or better said, editing the pictures.

There ‘s a part 2 coming up soon, with the animals we saw at the museum! And in the park surrounding it. I just hope it will be soon enough.  [I hope there aren’t too many mistakes and errors in this entry.]


©2013 – present. The Owner Travels To. All rights reserved.

I read too: reviewing Angels by Marian Keyes

Today is the day I post my reviews, and previously, I only wrote about movies. But I also read … granted, slowly and rarely, but I do it.

The last book I read is called Angels and is written by Marian Keyes.  … And let me tell you from the start that this  title couldn’t me more misleading. Click-bait much? I’m so unhappy with this book, I don’t even know what to start with.

Spoilers ahead? Yeah.. spoilers.

The story is told from Maggie’s point of view, making her the main character. She and her husband Garv live in Ireland, and despite being married for some time now, she’s not as happy as she’s like to be. One evening she discovers by accident that Garv has an affair, and blinded with jealousy she flies to Los Angeles. There, she stays with one of her childhood friends who tries to become a Hollywood script writer.

Somehow things happen, and Maggie ends up sleeping with most of her friend’s friends, regardless of their gender. She even ends up thinking that she meant something for one of them, only to realize later this was not the case.

Towards the end of the story, she even meets her high school sweetheart who left her without saying good-bye. Because years have past, and she had no closure, she couldn’t really forget about him. Once they talk, she realizes just how lucky she was not to marry him, but Garv

.

Her husband also flies to LA to try and win his wife back. And he does … but mostly because Maggie saw she was far better off with him than with her first lover. We can easily say there’s a happy ending for everyone involved, yay. 

What I liked:

The happy ending – I never really cared about how a story ends as long as it was a good read or watch. However lately I like happy endings. Or at least an ending where we know exactly what happens to the characters.

Pretty light read – the book is 20 cm long, 13 cm wide and 3 cm thick, with soft covers – something less than 500 pages. For a decently thick book, this novel makes an OK read for summer or even colder autumn days when you want to stay curled under a blanket with a hot drink and relax.

It touches the subject of abortion, and how a pregnancy can change a person’s life for ever, regardless of keeping the baby, deciding to have an abortion, or having the baby and putting it up for adoption. It doesn’t go too much into details but I think it’s relevant and eye opening enough.

I liked how Maggie remembers all the nice things Garv did for her throughout the years. Perhaps he really loves her – despite the little cheating on attempt. Cheating is bad, there’s no excuse for it, but maybe could be forgiven if the partners really try to rebuilt their relationship..? I don’t know. All I know is that the trust once broken, is really hard to get it back. Those who cheat on their partners don’t really know it, and having it shown in a book can open the eyes of some. (I think.)

What I disliked:

Sigh. The writing is not the best. The author didn’t pay enough attention to details. In this universe, time is a mysterious thing – just like in The Great Gatsby book (I will write about it maybe next time, I’m not sure). The whole story takes place in a little over a month, with the epilogue some 6 months later. At certain moment, they let the reader believe that about a week has passed, only to reveal that it’s been only a couple of days! HOW???

Another writing mistake, was the description of the drive along the long LA avenue. We’re presented a scene seen from above – something that Maggie couldn’t have seen because she was in a car – forgot if she was driving or was being driven.

Speaking of driving, it seems the author doesn’t really know that driving on the left and on the right are quite different. Maggie drives in LA, and though she’s not used to it manages to get to places. What worries me more than the character getting lost is that if the police had stopped her, I think she would have been in quite a lot of problem. I know that at least when a person used to drive on the right, is required to have an international driving license when going to a country where driving happens on the other hand. I doubt Maggie had it.

The fact that Maggie had so many one night stands because she was emotionally confused. The happy ending of the story makes it seem that “it’s OK to sleep around while married if you’re distressed, if you end up with the person that makes you feel happiest.” It is not OK, especially because she thought her husband did it – points to double standards which are not OK.

Misleading title. I thought the book is with supernatural beings. I’m not even sure what the title referred to.. The City Of Angels? Who was even an angel is this story? IF you ask me, none was an angel or innocent – maybe just Maggie’s friend, Emily.

Rating: I give this novel 1.5 stars out of 5. You’re not missing out on anything if you don’t read it. If you do/did read this novel – will you share your impressions?

Taking a short break

Hey dear readers [is there anyone reading this, though?]

I sadly have to inform you that this week there will be no posts. 😦
I have some tasks to work on, and I ran out of time to prepare anything at all for the blog.

I may post something on Sunday, but don’t hold your breath.

Have a great week!

Praying – things we should know –

Everyone makes mistakes, even me with my blog, and the things I post here. You can read about one such mistake here, if you’re curious.

It’s not my place to judge people, but I think that if we want G-D to give us something, we must pray the right way, and to try avoid making some mistakes.

Several years ago I decided I should be more spiritual, to pray more, be kinder, less negative. I took a notebook and wrote in it some guidelines for “how to pray.” Surely I found this guide somewhere on the internet, but for the love of what’s good, I can’t remember.

This entry is an adaptation of that info – simply because I didn’t agree with everything in there, and I also think some other stuff should be added.

Matthew 6:7-8 New International Version (NIV)

And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.

Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Prayer is a highly personal experience

For me this is true, as you could probably tell from this blog entryEveryone whose prayers have been answered wil

not my picture

l probably tell you the same thing. This is not something that can be explained.

What I can say is that the prayer is a tool helping us to attune and communicate with G-D – or whatever other Higher Being or Creator you believe in.

Don’t pray just in time of need

I find this to be wrong, though it can be effective if you pour all your soul into it. I think that if you want to live a more peaceful and fulfilling life, trying to pray on a more regular basis is [or works] better.

You can compare this to a person whose teeth look perfect – surely they visit their dentist quite often, brushes and flosses their teeth twice each day.

Be thankful while praying

Forgetting to thank G-D for everything positive in our lives is something many are guilty of. Including those that pray on a regular basis.

What can you be thankful for? The clothes on your body, the house you live in, the neighborhood you live in [if you like it there and feel safe], the food on your table, your job [especially if the income is acceptable], for having people that care about you in your life, for being able to have pets [if you have them], and so on.

These were just examples and are the things I’m generally thankful for while praying. Every little thing does matter and you should be thankful for, including your health, looks [if you consider yourself pretty, or you particularly like something about yourself like your eyes or hair], talents [like cooking, baking, drawing, fashion style, applying make-up].

Some of these attributes sound vain to be thankful for, but I can guarantee there is at least one person out there that wishes they had what you have – material or not. You can walk, talk, see, read, sing? Be thankful for all of those since there are folks that can’t perform these actions.

What to pray for

You can pray for everything or anything, including for world peace. For better and higher chances of the prayer to be answered, just ask for small things and one thing at a time.

For instance, you lost your job [or were forced to quit?] when praying, thank your Divinity for all the jobs you had in the past and ask Them to help you find another suitable one quickly.

We can even ask for help in becoming mentally stronger, better people [less negative, less critical of others], in finding a new hobby, a new partner, in overcoming problems that seem very complicated, or even forgiveness.

We can pray for forgiveness for ourselves or for others. Maybe you lied to someone and now you feel bad, but still don’t have the courage to confess to them? Ask G-D for forgiveness, but try not to lie anymore in the future. If someone did something hurtful towards you, you probably can’t let go of those negative emotions so easily. Ask the Divine to help you with that, and ask the Divine to forg

not my quote

ive that person’s mistakes.  [I did this and it felt liberating.]

Acknowledge you’re wrong or sinful

This segment goes against Christian teachings of confessing and stuff. We all do things we’re very ashamed of later on [what? it’s just me? hmmm]. Sometimes those actions feel too heavy, and we’re too embarrassed to confess them to a priest [if that’s part of your belief system].

Telling G-D during a prayer about those things can be liberating. Not many people know what you did, but G-D DOES know. The Divinity knows everything about you. Admitting that doing this or that was wrong and asking for forgiveness can help. [It did help me, I felt less tormented].

When and where to pray

You can pray at any time, in any place. It is however better to find a quiet time and place to do so. For instance, you could pray while showering or taking a bath, right before falling asleep, when everyone else is asleep or away.

The most important thing to try and remember is that you should not be disturbed. You should silent your phone too, if you receive too many texts, calls and notifications.  You don’t have to be in a church [or similar type of building] to pray. You don’t even need a picture of your Deity around you.

Faith is crucial

No mater who you pray to or what for, you must be certain 100% that They hear you and that They will answer. It’s not enough to say “Oh, my god’s name is this, and they DO exist… blahblahblah.” No! You must feel with every cell of your body that that Creator exists and that They love you and will send you what you ask for.

When you start communicating with Them, you have to be aware of Their presence in and around you: you wouldn’t be here without Them, and you wouldn’t have everything you own without Them.

May God look over
From His Holy Dwelling and may he strike
all those who hate His People
with a wink of an eye

Behold here is the Lord
rising and standing on a plumb-line
Giving them a cup of poison
but not wine

Pronunciation:

Yash’kef Elohim
mima’on kod’sho veyach
kol sonei amo
keheref ayin

Hineh Hashem
kam venitzav al anach
yash’kem lechos ra’al
aval lo yayin

I have no words to express how much I like this song, and how well it helps me get into a praying state of mind. It also helps me be more aware of G-D and His presence in my life.


©2013 – present the owner travels to. All rights reserved. The song and lyrics belong to Sagiv Cohen.

I saw IT (2017) – movie review and spoilers

Last Friday night we went to the theater to see the remake of the movie IT, an adaptation of the book by the same name written by Steven King. We went to the 7:30 pm viewing and we were surprised by the number of people showing up to also see it: 4, not including the two of us.

Our seats were right next to one of the couples, and the other couple was sitting more towards the middle rows. Our seats were on the very last row – one of the best places to watch a movie at the theater.

At this point, I should warn you that the spoilers and impressions will begin, so if you don’t want to know, you must click away. DISCLAIMER: I have yet to read the book, so my opinions are based simply on the 1990 mini series and the new movie.

We all know what the story is about:   a clown called Pennywise terrorizes the kids in a town in Maine. Because what’s more scary than a clown offering you balloons, right?

This version is of course a little different than the original, and the differences are more or less subtle. For starters, Pennywise has a more pointy hair-do and a deeper shade or red as hair color than the original. The makeup is also changed a bit, and I think the costume’s color too.

His eyes stood out the most though: very vibrant and golden/orange in color. However, Tim Curry – the original IT, gave his approval to the new Pennywise.

We also notice that the action takes place at the end of the eighties and not in the sixties like in the book. This can only mean the we’ll see these kids defeat the monster in a 2016/2017 setting.We also notice some scenes are missing -one of them being that of Pennywise coming out of the shower drain.

These are just some observations, and not a critique to the movie. The actors did a good job, but sadly I couldn’t shake off just how the two actors portrayed Pennywise.  It wasn’t just the appearance, but the whole vibe, demeanor. Tim Curry’s interpretation was just pure evil, he didn’t have time to waste chatting with Georgie. What he wanted was just just scare the living shit out of the kids and viewers.

Bill Skarsgard shows us a sad, lonely clown, eager to make friends in a way. His gray somewhat fitted outfit makes him look more like a puppet than a monster. Maybe this was the whole idea after all. His vibrant eyes were unsettling. A+ for the eyes though.

I also have the feeling that less balloons were used in this remake than in the original.

I found the movie to have more gore scenes than scary scenes. Just one scene really scared me – when IT grabbed Beverly. I actually jumped out of my seat at that point. This should say something, LOL. Another more scary scene was when some of the kids entered the abandoned house and they got separated.

What I liked and disliked at the same time was that I didn’t get as scared as I expected to. Tim Curry did manage to scare me a lot in the mini series. The bullying parts was something triggering for me, and very disturbing – most likely because this is something that happens in real life anyways.

I will give this remake 4 stars out of 5 because I simply expected a bit more. It was somehow flat, emotionless. Maybe if more creepy music was played throughout, it would have managed to scare us more.


©2013 – present the owner travels to. All rights reserved.