“Girl, Stop Apologizing” Review

Just when you think you are exclusive like you got the latest iPhone or you tried a hip restaurant, the biggest thing no longer becomes exclusive. Well, Barnes and Noble had the special edition of “Girl Stop Apologizing” in select stores as well as other retailers received shipments early, where some copies have been sold. So it’s a crazy deal, but Rachel Hollis’ crew decided the book release date will be moved up a week to March 5th. It’s a joy to know the world can obtain a copy of this book early.

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I discovered Hollis after I had lost my grandpa. In a somber state, I read “Rising Strong” by Brene Brown, “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert and then “Girl Wash Your Face” by Rachel Hollis. It made the bright sunshine at my favorite place to read by the pool in the summer feel a little bit more enjoyable like before. That book pushed me slowly out of the state where I was like, “now how do I move on.”

Other than falling asleep after reading a few pages tired at night, this book was a quick read. I read 3/4ths of it within a 5-hour time frame on a Saturday. I loved the three components that it was made up: excuses to let go of, behaviors to adopt, and skills to acquire. Even though I’m not a parent, I enjoy the content she produces. “So I refuse to teach them that you should pursue your dreams but simultaneously be ashamed of them,” Hollis writes in Excuse 8: What will they think?

Even though I’m not a parent, I enjoy the content she produces. “So I refuse to teach my children that you should pursue your dreams but simultaneously be ashamed of them,” Hollis writes in Excuse 8: What will they think? That’s quite a powerful statement. We need to forget the pressures the rest of the world has on us while we want to simply achieve her goals. I feel as though we should not even be afraid to tell our best friends and siblings our dreams.

This is a book that a lot of people are not going to like to hear because it is not only for discipline, but it is about finding a way to make things happen. Yeah, you might be uncomfortable during the process, but it deals with communication and planning. The truth is not one that people will like to hear.

This book made me think of a lot of strong women I know who are working women that are involved in the community. First, it’s easy to ridicule someone with a nanny or who goes on a date night, but it’s very important. I know people argue about Hollis’ once a week date night rule, but it has helped a couple I know whose child underwent cancer treatments. Lisa’s mom suggested that they have a date night once a week to forget about their worries. Between balancing a sick child and clients, Lisa along with her husband Derek made date night work. Also, I babysat for a family when their nanny was not able to watch their kids. When I was at Leila’s house she was in and out checking on her girls where she listened to all that was on my mind. I just knew I was helping her with the daily tasks.

In the end, I feel as though Hollis’ content is about creating support for one another. However, it begins with ourselves. There’s something about reading Hollis’ content where you look around then suddenly your house is cleaner, you have ingested more water, and there’s a project you planned to do that’s completed. With this book, I definitely want to focus on writing more not for clients like I have in the past, but for myself.

Also, one thing I might add is that BuzzFeed mentioned how Hollis had copied other writers. In this book, Rachel quotes many authors including Jen Hatmaker. Rachel does have a whole crew that helps her put together content. I do not stand by cheating at all. However, I have written down ideas to turn around and see someone else with the same idea so stuff like this happens, but she gave credit in “Girl Stop Apologizing.”

Up next in reviews is “Developing Female Leaders” by Kadi Lang Cole.

“I Think You’re Wrong (But I’m Listening)” book review

web-cover.pngAt the beginning of 2018, a friend of mine Beth Ellis (not to be confused with Beth Silvers)  introduced me to the podcast, “Pantsuit Politics.” The hosts Beth Silvers and Sarah Holland Stewart seemed too relatable. Especially since Sarah grew up in Paducah, KY, which is not too far from me. Since then on every Tuesday or Friday, I wake up and get ready for work while listening to Sarah from the Left and Beth from the Right. When I had the chance to be apart of the book launch club, I said yes. So on February 5, “I Think You’re Wrong (But I’m Listening): A Guide to Grace-Filled Political Conversations” will be released.

When in high school, I was shocked to get a copy of “Profiles in Courage” by John F. Kennedy. I was taken back by it. Later, I learned historical encounters where politicians lost their careers by speaking up on other sides of the aisle. As I look back on my experience with that book, I feel as though more political stories need to be told that way.

Well, Pantsuit Politics is the closest thing we have to “Profiles in Courage” from an unbiased and historical standpoint, but only in a podcast form. However, this book is a manual as to how to practice thought-based politics and stories of Sarah and Beth’s experiences.

My reaction to “Profiles in Courage,” definitely falls into the category or lesson of chapter 2 of learning to take off my jersey. That chapter is the introduction of how to see across the other aisle. In that chapter, they go over the history of the welfare system, which was very insightful.

In the beginning, I really wanted to pick up a book on Abigail Adams. Beth mentions how Abigail was for open toward speaking about political discussion. Many times we have been told to shut up about political discussion, but we are still not opposed for arguments.

Both of the women are Christians so I really admired how they used scripture throughout the book. This was really helpful in the chapter “Embrace the Paradox,” which I will explain more at the bottom. The best part that states their political harmony was toward the end.

“We’ve decided to stop calling American ‘divided.’ Buying into this conflict-driven narrative is a choice and it’s a choice we’re not going to make. We don’t feel divided from each other or the people in our lives in any way.”

First, I guess this is a sign that we should love the sweet lady at church the same as before you heard her horrible stance on Trump’s wall. That fact should not divide you from the love she showed you all your life from dance recitals to showing her pictures from prom. However, some time that conversation goes the other way.

Now the first sign I knew I loved these girls is when they talked about gun-safety after the Majorie Stone Douglas shooting. Obviously, these kids will never view Valentine’s Day the same. However, Sarah from the left stated, “don’t think for a moment that these parents who have guns love their babies as less as you.”

When I first read the book, I really love how that mentioned that is often practiced not to discuss politics. To me, this had lead to increased arguments across the board politically. This is a book that is needed right now. Even though we are in disagreement, we need to extend an olive branch.

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At the end of each chapter, these women had steps as to how to enable political discussion. Most of the topics were in regards to healthcare and their experiences as moms.

Yet, the biggest take away from these women is that you can support both parties like be pro-guns and pro-gun safety. This is evident in the chapter “Embrace the Paradox” where we are told to just support the one side or you will cause it to lose. They certainly embrace that your political party does not have to be one-sided and you can disagree with an issue. On “Pantsuit Politics,” the women have vocalized their frustration for the straight ticket voting option.

I would highly recommend pre-ordering the book on Amazon or your preferred retailer so we can put their actions into practice. This might be a great book to send your public officials that don’t listen to the other side. Now until February 5th, just listen to a few episodes. I’m for sure you will admire Joybird Furniture, which is one of the sponsors for the podcast.

***Thanks Thomas Nelson for the advanced digital copy. It brings me joy to review something. In college, I wrote album reviews. So it’s good to write about something in a timely manner. Also, the name of my blog does not reflect that I do book reviews. I just related to Richard Gere in “Runaway Bride” when he said, “Journalism, is literature in a hurry.” Needless to say, that’s where I got my blog’s name.

Stranger Thoughts

I have held back on posting quotes from the recent season of Stranger Things on my social media channels because I know people have had activities this weekend. I wanted to redirect the conversation about Stranger Things to my blog instead of my social media channels. Recently so many websites give spoilers with the headlines that make one question the fate of the show or it mentions even one trivial thing. However, I just want to see everyone’s thoughts in the comments thread on my blog only so we don’t spoil anything for others.

On a side note Target has tons of Stranger Things Merchandise, such as a card game, Monopoly, and Ouija board. Hint: I really want the card game for Christmas. I believe it is popular due to the fact that it just shows everyone’s nerdy side and nostalgia. One of my classmates from high school claimed she would burn down the place if she saw a spoiler. We do not want arson charges so don’t scroll down unless you have seen it. This is the last reminder that if you haven’t seen the show stop reading below this line.

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New Character Vibes- When I took a creative practicum class in college, I had a  teacher explain that when a character leaves it is like an organ transplant. You have to find the similar character with the same traits to keep it going. Well even though 11 is still on the show, she doesn’t really communicate until the end with her guy friends. So I feel as though Max was used to serve as the girl the group. However, I believe that in the next season conflict will arise between the girls even though they are perfect together.

We see more of other family members besides. I thought it was funny with Dustin’s mom and Mews (the Barb of this season), but the best secondary character was without a doubt is Erica. Lucas’ sassy little sister who had the cutest comeback lines. However, Holly Wheeler still hasn’t said a word yet.

Nancy and Steve, you have improved- On “The OC,” I hated Summer Roberts in the beginning, but she became a better person. The same applies to Nancy and Steve. In my eyes, I still slightly cannot forgive her by how she treated Barb. Nancy does a good job showing grief over Barb’s death, which it’s quite evident at the house party.  I actually sympathized with Nancy, but I’m glad she at least had a little flame with Jonathon. I was glad when she offered him to go to the party with the line, “You will be listening to the Talking Heads and reading Vonnegut.” I am glad she worked with Jonathon to help the reporter bring down the lab. That’s what good journalism does.

Steve was actually nice, but I still think of him as the mean guy. Yeah, he did clean the “Nancy the Slut” signs in season 1, but he just still isn’t my favorite.  I was shocked when he befriended Dustin where he eventually gave him advice that made his hair look like Ducky on “Pretty in Pink.” I believe in the next season it might be hard for Steve to show he hangs out with the geeks. There’s no way he would let the school know he’s playing a campaign in the Wheeler’s basement. However, the train tracks scene between Dustin and him was awesome.

Rules to live by- If I have kids I will tell them Hopper’s “We are not stupid rules” which are “blinds pulled, don’t answer the door, and don’t leave without me because we are not stupid.” Please if you have a kid I dare you to do this. My dad really emphasized about how people can see your activity with the blinds up when I was young and specifically when I went off to college so I really related to it. However, think about it is good to explain safety to a little kid.

If I ever teach I will show Jonathon’s freak speech. Yes, it’s okay if you are a little misunderstood because I thought by now people would know about the band Dawes. Jonathon made a good point when he said, “Who would you rather have as your friend Bowie or Kenny Rogers?”  I had to pause for a moment on that question. Even though Kenny Rogers donated money for a center that provides free therapy for kids in my hometown, but I related more to Bowie. Also, I considered going as Bowie with the lightning bolt make up for Halloween, but I chose Eleven. However, that speech showed how Jonathon is wise for guidance beyond introducing his brother to a daring band called, The Clash.

 

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I may have looked like the Ghostbusters Costume scene posing like Eleven.

Similar Bad Boy- However, geez Billy is scum. He is truly like Troy on the Goonies, reckless in his hot rod car. I mean Troy almost killed Brand with the bike just like Billy wanting to hit the boys “just because.” Please tell me, I’m not the only one who thinks he looks like Rob Lowe before “Tommy Boy,” but more specifically he reminds me of another Billy on “St. Elmo’s Fire” and Sodapop Curtis on “The Outsiders.” The hair mixed with the jawline and eyes makes him look like Rob Lowe in the 80s. He seemed to replace Steve’s awful character traits and on the aftershow, The Duffer Brothers mentioned they wrote Billy in because of Steve’s change of character. However, I don’t see this evil guy changing.

Eleven- She has had so much to learn, but she still has a lot more. Her communication is more verbal. She had to learn more than how to sweep the floor of Hopper’s cabin because she learned a lot about her past. Eleven made some dangerous journeys by herself to find shelter, her mother, and lab sister. However, Eleven found the place she belonged. I feel as though Eleven in the pink dress is so distant when we saw her with the Warriors meets Suicide Squad type crew.  I was glad that she was taught her anger, but geez I was glad she ran away from the creeps.  However, I just felt as though when she found her lab sister, it was almost like it escaped to a different series where I did not like the feel. Also, it was hard considering that she did not communicate have one conversation with the boys until episode 8. My fear for next season is that she is still learning to use her powers, will she use them for good or use them for bad?

What about Barb? She’s gone, but not forgotten. She made an appearance in the memorial photos. The status is not only is she dead, but her death made headlines from the controversy of the Hawkins Lab. However, it killed me when the parents believed she was alive and it terrorized Nancy.

What about Bob? Geez, Bob is a goober. I loved The Goonies and Sean Astin was awesome in 50 First Dates, but this one I was like you have strange quirks. Joyce could do way better. At least he wasn’t like Billy’s dad, but he was quirky I mean forgetting the gun at the control center. I had a feeling Sean Astin would just be a character for a brief moment for the purpose of nostalgia. The demodogs totally attacked Bob like walkers on The Walking Dead while Joyce just screamed no.

Dustin is totally Chunk-  I’m referring to a character in The Goonies. When the pollywog came into play I thought darn we have some Harry Potter vibes here because there’s some sort of mythical creature Dustin is just amazed at and tries to find what species it is. Except darn Dustin is almost like a naive Hagrid the whole time until the Demogorgon ate the cat. However, even in the last episode, he believes that a Three Musketeer can solve a lot of problems like Chunk to Sloth with the Baby Ruth. I love they incorporated the ghost trap, but Dustin also had a lot of ETs around the room.

It’s like Lost– Good God with the episode “Dig Dug” it turned into an episode of Lost with medical emergencies, flashbacks, and the repetition of something. “Breathe, sunflower, rainbow, 450, three to the right, four to the left, breathe” is to Stranger Things as “4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42” is to Lost. At the final episode when Will has the monster emerge from him, it totally reminded me of the smoke monster. Also, there were so many parts where I felt like a psychology/ethics lesson. Eleven basically had a similar experience to the Milgram’s study when was given the choice to kill Ray from the lab where it reminded me of many situations in Lost. Sorry, I had to mention this, but you have to remember my family watched Lost together when I was in high school.

Netflix better release Stranger Things on Halloween every year- Considering that Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix had a scarce selection of horror movies we need something to creep us out around Halloween. For now, I would highly recommend the after show, Beyond Stranger Things, especially if you like behind the scenes features such as special effects, costumes, and character development. I’m still watching it, but it is something good to have one while going through emails or paying bills, etc. However, I feel as though Beyond Stranger Things is too long for most people to watch.