The Life of Shinke

Archive for August 2010

Today would be Michael Jackson‘s birthday if he was still with us.

He’d be 52, but he died July 25, 2009.

I can still remember coming home, going on Facebook and seeing all the comments and status messages hoping, praying that he was still with us. I remember the bickering about whether he was dead or not. I remember the sadness when it was revealed that he was gone.

I remember all the award shows changing their plans and doing a Michael Jackson themed show or a tribute of some kind. I remember watching the funeral, I remember the radio stations playing his songs every day for months, I remember seeing his posters, his clothes, his memorabilia everywhere as everyone tried to hold on to a piece of him, a piece of legend.

I remember downloading all his albums the day he died, I remember watching all my favourite videos, I remember arguing the fact that his father, and the media frenzy that surrounded him was what made him so insecure and lonely. I remember saying we did this to him, he was just a little boy.

It’s been a year and some now since he died and I’m still sad he’s gone. I’m sad that I’ll never get to see him in concert and I’m sad there’ll be no more songs but I’m starting to let go. No, I’m not a crazed fan, just a lover of great music and Mike wasn’t just great he was legendary.

So every time I see someone in a MJ jacket or his silhouette painted somewhere I smile because he still lives on in our hearts.

So Happy Birthday Mike! You did great! 🙂

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It’s my birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


If all goes as planned I won’t be at work today and I’ll be truly enjoying myself at home with a good book, answering my busy cell in between. Lol!

Don’t worry as soon as my friends and I get together we’ll celebrate it properly and live it up true 21 style but until then my ebooks will have to keep me company.

I just want to say Happy Birthday to everyone else born on the 26th, it’s a pleasure to share the day with you and I hope everyone’s having a fabulous day.

Lets celebrate! 🙂

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Did you watch it?

I didn’t, but I should have and now all I have to go on are the statuses on my Facebook wall.

That’s never a good sign lol.

Congrats to Mexico‘s Jimena Navarrete!

You are the newest Miss Universe!

Jamaica‘s Yendi Phillips came 2nd.

She was the runner up!

Yendi is awesome, first Miss World then Miss Universe, she’s taking the world by storm.

She’s represented us well.

I’m so proud of her, of us.

But I’ve always wondered which is event is bigger Miss World, Miss Universe or Miss Earth?

Let me know in the comments.

¡Felicitaciones Mexico!

Years ago when I was in high school one of my friends introduced me to my first Julie Garwood novel, Ransom. It wasn’t my typical reading material as I didn’t like medieval books much but I instantly fell in love with the characters of Ransom and went on to read Saving Grace thinking they were both stand alone books. Little did I know that Ransom was a part of a trilogy. So it was quite a surprise while urging my mother to read Ransom herself to find out there were two other books like it, The Secret and Shadow Music.

Title: The Secret

Author: Julie Garwood

Published: 1992

Description: The author of Guardian Angel offers a novel of passion and romance set in the Scottish Highlands. Proud, beautiful Judith Hampton journeys from her English home to meet the father she has never known. But even her escort, the powerful Laird Iain Maitland, cannot prepare Judith for the truth about her father — and the devastating secret that might change her life forever. (Taken from Goodreads)

As soon as I learned there was a book about Iain and Judith I just had to read it. I loved them in Ransom and knew that their story would be just as hilarious as Brodick and Gillian’s and I was not disappointed.

I loved everything about this book and it became an instant favourite. The characters were hilarious and lovable, the romance was wonderful. There was never a dull moment with this book. Even the supporting characters were great. I loved it so much I gave it a 5 out of 5.

Title: Ransom

Author: Julie Garwood

Published: 2003

Description: In the dark days after the death of Richard the Lionhearted, lives and lands would fall into upheaval at the hands of a power-hungry British ruler and his violent minions. One victim of the scourge is innocent Gillian, who is a mere child when the cruel and ambitious Baron Alford slaughters her father and tears her family apart. Alford, determined to recover a jeweled box for the despotic King John, is furious when the precious treasure slips through his fingers — only to be lost for more than a decade.

Now a beautiful young woman, Gillian finds the key to resolving her past in handsome Scottish chieftains Ramsey Sinclair and Brodick Buchanan. With the cunning and courage of the daring Scotsmen, and with the friendship of a new ally, Bridgid KirkConnell, Gillian at last fights the unscrupulous Baron Alford, laying claim to her home, her family, and her father’s reputation. But in the presence of the mighty warriors, Gillian and Bridgid discover that desire can be a weapon of conquest … betrayal can slay trust in a heartbeat … and the greatest risk of all is surrender — to the deep emotions of unexpected love. (Taken from Goodreads)

What can I say? I LOVED this book. Loved it, loved it, loved it! I have so many favourite passages, favourite lines, favourite quotes. It was hilarious from beginning to end and quite an enjoyable read to say the least. Plus in this book you get a two fer because both Brodick Buchanan and Ramsey Sinclair find the love of their lives.

It was a great read that I remember so vividly even though I read it years ago and hence I give it a 5 out of 5.

Title: Shadow Music

Author: Julie Garwood

Published: 2007

Description: Throughout her acclaimed writing career, Julie Garwood has captivated readers with characters who are compelling, daring, and bursting with life. Now one of the most popular novelists of our time proudly returns to her beloved historical romance roots–in a thrilling tale of love, murder, adventure, and mystery set against the haunting landscape of medieval Scotland.

For Princess Gabrielle of St. Biel, Scotland is a land of stunning vistas, wild chieftains, treacherous glens, and steep shadows–skullduggery, betrayal, and now murder. Prized for her exquisite beauty, the daughter of one of England’s most influential barons, Gabrielle is also a perfect bargaining chip for a king who needs peace in the Highlands: King John has arranged Gabrielle’s marriage to a good and gentle laird. But this marriage will never take place.

For Gabrielle, everything changes in one last burst of freedom–when she and her guards come upon a scene of unimaginable cruelty. With one shot from her bow and arrow, Gabrielle takes a life, saves a life, and begins a war.

Within days, the Highlands are aflame with passions as a battle royal flares between enemies old and new. Having come to Scotland to be married, Gabrielle is instead entangled in Highland intrigue. For two sadistic noblemen, underestimating Gabrielle’s bravery and prowess may prove fatal. But thanks to a secret Gabrielle possesses, Colm MacHugh, the most feared man in Scotland, finds a new cause for courage. Under his penetrating gaze, neither Gabrielle’s body nor heart is safe.

A gripping novel that delves into the heart of emotions–unyielding passions of love, hate, revenge, and raw desire–Shadow Music is magnificent gift from Julie Garwood and a crowning achievement in her amazing career. (Taken from Goodreads)

This book unfortunately did not live up to my expectations. I expected the witty banter, the hilarious situations, the ridiculous insecurities of the brides that I had come to know and love from the other two books, but in this book it was all but missing. The romance didn’t really surface until the second half of the book, I wasn’t cracking up while reading it, it just kinda fell flat in the entertainment factor of the book.

That being said I still liked it alot. I loved the characters, the guards, the clan themselves, the country of St.Biel. It was a splendid read and I gave it a 4.5 out of 5.

I loved this series and would recommend it to everyone. If your going to read something medieval you might as well read this. Lol! Just keep in mind the last one isn’t as funny as the first two.

I give this series a 5 out of 5. 🙂

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Title: Memoirs of a Geisha

Author: Arthur Golden

Published: 1997

Description: A literary sensation and runaway bestseller in hardcover, this brilliant debut novel offers, with seamless authenticity and exquisite lyricism, the true confessions of one of Japan‘s most celebrated geisha. (Taken from Goodreads)

I remember when this book was relaunched after the movie came out and all my friends rushed out and got it and I remember not being the least bit interested in reading it. Then I saw it on the 1001 books you must read before you die list and realized I’d have to give it a shot.

It started out slowly for me and continued that way for probably three-quarters of the book. I just wasn’t pulled into the story. I learnt a lot about Japan, geisha and their culture but other than that I couldn’t give two hoots about the story.

My problem was that I already knew she became a successful geisha so no matter what they threw at her I knew she’d come out on top. It really did take the suspense out of the story.

I suppose it got interesting right after she became an apprentice geisha and met the Chairman and Nobu-san. Her love for the Chairman and her affection for Nobu-san made it an interesting read there-after. It was a nice little love triangle.

It wasn’t a terrible read, it was boring for me in the beginning at least since I had nothing to really look forward to, no romantic interest, and no doubt in my mind that she would become a successful geisha in the end. However the obstacles she had to overcome, her personal struggles and the valuable information you learn about Japanese and geisha culture make it a most interesting read overall even if the beginning sucked lol. Now I find myself wanting to watch the movie to see how they portrayed it on film.

So if you’re into Japanese culture, memoirs or even non-fiction books, I’d recommend you give it a try. I gave it three and a half stars out of 5.

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The sun is hot, the days are long and the temperature is rising.

Lazy summer days are spent at the beach with a good book while lazy summer nights are spent in bed with a good show.

For us single gals anyway. 😉

Looking for a new summer show to add to your list?

I’ve got you covered.

Here are my top three favourite summer shows of 2010.

1. Covert Affairs on USA.

It’s a spy drama about a CIA trainee, Annie Walker (Piper Perabo) that gets pulled from training to work as a field operative for the Domestic Protection Division (DPD) to lure her ex-boyfriend out so they can capture him. On her first day she meets August “Auggie” Anderson (Christopher Gorham), a blind military intelligence/special operative that takes her under his wing and helps her navigate the bureaucracy that is the CIA.

It airs on Tuesdays 10/9c.

2. Leverage on TNT

Leverage is about a ex-insurance investigator, Nathan “Nate” Ford (Timothy Hutton) and his band of thieves, Sophie Devereaux (Gina Bellman) a grifter, Alec Hardison (Aldis Hodge) a hacker, Elliot Spencer (Christian Kane) a mercenary, and Parker (Beth Riesgraf) an expert thief using their skills to undo the wrongs dealt to working class people by rich companies. They run scams and cons to try and undo the damage, give compensation and bankrupt companies who think they can treat people like dirt and get away with it.

It airs on Sundays at 9/8c. It’s in its 3rd season so you might want to catch up first.

3. Lie To Me on FOX

Lie to Me is a series based on real-life scientific discoveries of Paul Ekman. The show follows Dr.Cal Lightman (Tim Roth) and his team Dr.Gillian Foster (Kelli Williams), Eli Loker (Brendan Hines), and Ria Torres (Monica Raymund) as they help government officials solve cases with their knowledge of microexpressions and body language.

It airs on Mondays at 9/8c. It’s in it’s 2nd season so you might also want to catch up before starting this one.

Those were just my top three but there are tons more out there to enjoy, like these honourable mentions.

True Blood on HBO

It airs on Sunday nights at 9pm.

Degrassi: The Next Generation on Teen Nick

It’s in it’s 10th season and airs every weeknight at 9ET

Royal Pains on USA

It airs Thursdays at 10/9c and is in its 2nd season.

White Collar on USA

It airs Tuesdays at 9/8c, and is also in its 2nd season.

So what are you watching this summer?

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So yesterday was Emancipation Day here in Jamaica.

Gotta start the best month off with a bang right?

And in a couple days we’ll be celebrating Independence Day.

And this got me thinking as it does almost every 1st of August.

What does Emancipation really mean?

Yes we’ve been freed from our physical bonds but have we freed ourselves from that mental cage?

On August 1, 1838 when we were freed from our bonds, when we were no longer seen as propety but people, humans, legally at least, did anything really change?

They still saw us as the scum of the Earth, and they still treated us like nobodies who should now be thankful, grateful to gain the right we were so cruelly denied for centuries.

We still followed their unspoken rules and still carried their ideals. The garbage they filled our heads with to make us conform and do what they asked without question.

It all still remained.

Fast forward to the present, 178 years later, has anything changed?


We still aren’t comfortable in our own skin, in our own land, with our own worth. We still think they’re better. We still think that we’re second class, that we have to cozy up to them to be someone.

But today I want to challenge you, to assert yourself, to show them that you are black and you’re proud. Be happy being you. Embrace your culture, embrace your nationality, embrace your colour, your race, your people. Be unapologetically you.

Today is your day!

And in the words of the great and legendary Bob Marley “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery; none but ourselves can free our mind”

Enjoy your day! 🙂

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