Book Review: While Justice Sleeps

Woo-hoo, I’ve now read two books in 2022, which ties the total number of books I read in 2018-2021, 😂😂😂. One more, and I’ll have met my goal to read three books in 2022. I may even up my goal to six books. 2022 is wild.

Anyways, I’d wanted to read Stacey Abrams’ While Justice Sleeps since it came out in May 2021 and was grateful when a friend gave it to me as a Secret Santa gift. The novel follows Supreme Court Clerk Avery Keene as she is suddenly thrust into the spotlight after her boss and mentor, SCOTUS Justice Howard Wynn, falls into a coma and appoints her as his legal guardian and power of attorney. Justice Wynn had secrets and he wants Avery to piece them together to unravel one big bad secret he discovered. So, Avery sets forth to uncover the mystery while also dealing with her drug-addicted mother and the DC media circus.

While Justice Sleeps is really good. I am SO glad I read it. It’s not a perfect story but you can absolutely correlate a lot of what Abrams writes about to things that are happening in present-day America. I really liked Avery; one of my pet peeves while reading a book is when the main character is so perfect that they’re unbelievable. Avery is flawed and although she has a few qualities that feel like a duex ex machina, it’s not difficult to overlook them because she’s likable. The supporting characters, while generally being your classic secondary role archetypes, serve their purpose in a non-too-annoying way, contributing to moving the story along on the cues you’d expect.

The mystery itself is a bit complicated, but, scarily, believable. It almost makes you wonder how close someone in government writing a fiction novel is actually mirroring reality vs. entertainment reality vs. actual f*cking reality. The big reveal wasn’t exactly what I was expecting it to be but the “truth” that Avery discovers is just as awful as promised. I was a bit confused about the outcome for two of the characters, but decided, in the end, it didn’t matter to me that much, haha.

One other thing to note: Abrams is also a well-establish romance novelist and although she set up the male protagonist (both of them, really) as super hot, we only get one kissing scene and it’s like a sentence-long. I didn’t know what to expect but…maybe I was hoping for a little bit more? Both romances that the book alludes to are also convenient but dammit, I was there for them!

If you’re a fan of that genre, I absolutely recommend reading While Justice Sleeps. If you’ve already read it, let me know what you thought!

Next up: Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile. I’m hoping to finish it while the movie is still in theaters but haven’t gotten very far into it yet so we’ll see how it goes.

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A Few Movies: Uncharted, Marry Me, The 355

I’ve seen a few movies over the past couple of weeks and figured I’d share a few blurbs on each. I’m not a great reviewer, s0 I’ll do my best to keep my thoughts succinct. Those movies were The 355, Uncharted, and Marry Me.

Uncharted

Jay and I saw Uncharted on opening day because I had high hopes that this movie would be a sillier version of Indiana Jones. I wanted to see it because I love the genre and like Tom Holland. Based on a popular video game, the supporting cast includes Mark Wahlberg, Antonio Banderas, Tati Gabrielle (The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina), and Sophia Taylor Ali. It was…just okay. It’s my understanding that the main character, Nate (Holland), is supposed to be a bit older and more of a Nathan Fillion-type and the character of Sully (Wahlberg) is his mentor. This feels like a missed opportunity for a Fillion-Harrison Ford vehicle, #justsaying. Oooh, or even a Holland/Fillion team-up if they wanted to keep with the younger version of Nate.

Anyways, I had a few issues with Uncharted. It started out really fun but just completely fell apart by the last act. Some of the casting was also awful. Holland, Gabrielle, and Ali are awesome but Marky Mark and Antonio Banderas look bored out of their minds the entire time and barely did not even try. I think Banderas may have been actively sleep-acting through the entire movie. That said, there were some SUPER fun action scenes, but not even ridiculous sky-fighting could save it (I loved them anyway). It’s worth a streaming view for the entertainment, but idk if I’d pay to see it again. I think they should recast Marky Mark for the sequel. It would make a world of difference because honestly, at the end of the day, viewers can generally ignore silly plotholes as long as they’re attached to the relationships between characters, and in Uncharted, there’s no sense of belief in or emotional attachment whatsoever with the Sully/Nate relationship.  Rating: 2.5 out of 5

The 355

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2.22.22!!!

Hello! I’m back for more numbers fun. 2.22.22. 22.02.2022. 22.2.22. However you write it, I was embarrassingly excited for today. I had to check myself and tone down the enthusiasm at work this morning because my new coworkers were clearly not as impressed by the date as I was, hahaha. At my longtime former job, my boss was just as enthusiastic as I was about numbers and dates and we’d geek out about all of them. Fun times.

Anyways, I don’t know if the date affected my attitude, but today was a great day. I had a good morning at the new job and a really fun lunch meetup with my geocaching friends. Today was also National Margarita Day so we made tacos and spicy margaritas, something we rarely do nowadays because the kids aren’t taco fans. Except…they both suddenly decided they liked tacos after we went to Bar Taco for my birthday and kept that preference up tonight, eating everything and not complaining once. A 2.22.22 miracle.

So, cheers to twos, tacos, and margaritas! Here’s some mildly interesting things I found today to share:

    • I talked about Angel Numbers in my 2.2.22 post. If you’re into that, this article talks about different meanings of five 2’s in a row.
    • Moving on from numerology into astronomy, apparently February 22, 2022 marks the United States’ Pluto return. Hopefully, it’s less dramatic than a Saturn return.
    • I loved this year’s Super Bowl halftime show. This Tweet made me laugh and think of my friend Amanda from college. Miss you, Pookie. <3

       

    • I’m trying to read more this year. I’m halfway through Stacey Abrams’ book, “While Justice Sleeps” and have “Death on the Nile” up next. I found this list of mystery books today and was wondering if anyone out there has read any of these yet. If so, could you make a recommendation?
    • I wasn’t originally thrilled for it because I wasn’t a big fan of either of the Suicide Squad movies, but I ended up LOVING the crap outta HBO Max’s Peacemaker. John Cena and the rest of the cast do such a great job. And no, we never skipped the opening credits. Anyways, here’s the 9-minute blooper reel for Season 1. Enjoy!

I hope you all have a great rest of the week! Happy 2-22-22 Twosday!

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The Real Weird Crossover Pt 2

Part 2 of The Broadcast’s annual crossover with Alice and Martha of The Real Weird Sisters podcast is out! In this episode, we dive into a couple of “Am I the Asshole” questions, talk about the TV show “The Sex Lives of College Girls,” and get into some really fun feedback questions, such as imaging Harry Potter Tindr profiles and responding to how our political opinions have changed over the last few years.

Official description:

It’s Part 2 of our 5th annual crossover episode with The Real Weird Sisters, Alice & Martha! This episode is all about AITA and feedback!! We are shark-like and powerful! We are Real Weird Crap! We also talk about The Sex Lives of College Girls, the Harry Potter reunion special, Harry Potter Tindr profiles (and more!), rescue animals, and get put on blast for our past political preferences.

REMINDER: On March 1, we’re going to do an episode specifically talking about The NeverEnding Story, The Labyrinth, Working Girl, and Goonies. Send us some feedback about those movies and any other 80’s movies you think we’d like to chat about. Our email address is TheBroadcasters3@gmail.com and our voicemail is 331-276-2373.

As you know by now, you can listen to the latest episode below or via jayandjack.comiTunesSpreakerSpotifyStitcherGoogle Podcasts, etc. You may have better luck searching for us as “The Broadcast with Amanda, Shandy, and Colleen” since there are a few other shows called The Broadcast.

Happy listening, and thanks for listening!

Listen to “Ep. 6.31 "RWS Pt 2: The Used Bulletin Board"” on Spreaker.

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A Valentine’s Day Serenade

Eeeek, I’m starting my new job today. I’m really nervous. I just hope it works out. I’m in a much better place than I was in back in August when I started my last job, so I’m hoping that’s a sign of good things to come.

Speaking of signs, Jay and I set out for a Valentine’s Day lunch at our favorite sushi place on Monday afternoon. When we got there, we discovered that they’re normally closed on Mondays but were making an exception for V-Day dinner. So, we set out for another preferred restaurant. When we got to restaurant #2, we discovered it was a 90-minute wait if you didn’t have a reservation. At this point, we were feeling a bit dejected, unable to agree on where to go next. We were pretty much resigned to go home when I relented and agreed to go to one of Jay’s first alternative suggestions, which was Five Guys. I wasn’t in the mood for burgers, but it’s the Five Guys that we went to on the day we met, so I thought it would be nice to do it on V-Day.

As we were fininishing our meal (during which I talked about how anxious I was feeling about the new job), these four fellow diners came up to us and asked if they could sing a song for us. We said, “Of course!” and they proceeded to sing this sweet little ditty:

They reminded me so much of my grandpa that I can’t help but wonder if maybe it was his or the Universe’s way of saying hello and not to worry. Third restaurant choice, third job within one year’s time. Ya know. We wouldn’t have encountered them if we hadn’t ended up here by chance.

Or it could have just been another one of life’s meaningless coincidences. I hope I’m right, though. Either way, it put a smile on my face. Thanks, gentlemen.

Posted in Good times, Ramble/Ponder/Rant, Reflecting/emo, Story time, Video | Leave a comment

Podcast Review: The Trojan Horse Affair

Last week, I listened to Serial Productions’ latest podcast, The Trojan Horse Affair. If you’re not familiar with the incident or the podcast, the Trojan Horse Affair, also known as Operation Trojan Horse, occurred in Birmingham, England in 2013/2014 when a mysterious letter showed up detailing an alleged Islamic extremist plot to take over the British school system.  The letter didn’t initially go viral until a chain of events make it gain notoriety and since it’s the Brexit Era, everyone flips out. The school at the center of it was Park View, which over the course of 15 years had been revitalized from a pitiful 4% to a whopping 70+% graduation rate. The “problem?” That school that had been left to die and brought back to life was 98% Muslim with a new Muslim principal who brought in Muslim teachers. When the dust settled, lives were ruined, new laws were enacted, and everything the community worked to gain was lost.

The Trojan Horse Affair podcast doesn’t attempt to prove the letter to be a fake; in fact, it’s universally acknowledged that the letter is a hoax. Podcast hosts Brian Reed and Hamza Syed set out to determine who wrote the letter and why. And while they *spoiler* don’t definitively solve their Whodunit, they make a pretty compelling case piecing together evidence and witness statements about the Who and the Why.

As with any good mystery without a hard conclusion, The Trojan Horse Affair is largely about the journey. For doctor turned journalism student Hamza Syed (a treasure), it’s about setting the record straight while learning to remain objective despite being a person of color and emotionally involved in the story. For veteran journalist Brian Reed (the guy who hosted another fantastic Serial Productions podcast, S-Town), it’s an endeavor in walking the fine line between mentoring newbie Syed while also learning firsthand the racism and Islamophobia that Muslims like Syed deal with on a daily basis. It’s an interesting, compelling dichotomy that you can hear both men figuring out in real-time.

But back to the mystery, which brings forth its own wild journey. Brian and Hamza discover conspiracies on top of conspiracies. They meet with government officials, corrupt town council members, and a weird neighborhood busybody who is clearly an early 2010s Karen prototype without them ever having to say it lolz. And speaking of prototypes, there’s even your classic white lady feminist who doesn’t know when her opinion isn’t f*cking welcome. At one point, the hosts are threatened and have to flee the country and destroy documents. The entire story is somewhat nuts because, at the end of the day, if the person that they conclude was behind writing the letter is in fact who wrote it and their reasoning is correct, then…why is there such a multi-level cover-up going on even though everyone acknowledges the letter was a hoax? (I’m sure you can figure this one out but the number of people involved…yikes.)

The Trojan Horse Affair is 8 episodes, all out now. Each episode is under an hour and you can easily listen to it in a day if you had the time. I definitely recommend checking it out after you’ve caught up on the latest episode of The Broadcast, of course. 😉

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What’s in a Wordle?

I love me my daily Wordle and hope that the NY Times keeps it free forever. This probably won’t happen or we’re about to get bombarded with a million pop-up ads and videos in between every guess, but whatever, I’ll enjoy the ride while we’re on it.

There’s been about 1,329 spin-offs and copycat Wordles and I thought I’d put the more popular alternatives in one place for my and your convenience. Here we go:

  • Wordle2: Similar to OG Wordle, only with 6-letter words and a new puzzle is available every 12 hours instead of every 24.
  • Quordle: Holy crap, Quordle is difficult! There’s a daily version and an unlimited version, so after bombing my first attempt at the daily version, I spent a good two hours on this game on Saturday night. Essentially, it’s four different Wordle games going on at the same time and you have nine tries to guess all four correctly. The word you guess applies to all four at once which adds a new level of strategy. It’s a SUPER fun challenge.
  • Nerdle: Nerdle is probably my favorite out of all of the spin-offs that I’ve done so far. IT’S MATH WORDLE!!!!!! It updates twice a day and you can change it between easy and hard mode to get different puzzles. I’m super into Nerdle, lol. If you’re really into torturing yourself, there’s also Primel, which is Wordle but with prime numbers.
  • Lewdle and Sweardle: Here are your token dirty word, NSFW versions of Wordle. Lewdle sticks with the five-letter format while Sweardle is your classic four-letter words. Surprisingly, I struggle with coming up with five-letter dirty words to use lol. These are fun for playing once or twice for the giggles but they’re not on my daily to-do list.
  • Taylordle and Wordle-BTS: I talked about the Taylor Swift version of Wordle on my 2.2.22 post. Predictably, there’s also one for BTS. I respect that the BTS one is straight to the point with its title.
  • Worldle: This is a very last-minute edition. It’s Wordle meets Where in the World is Carmen San Diego and it’s not easy! Good luck!

There’s a gazillion more copycats out there but those are the ones I thought were the most fun/noteworthy. If I missed any, let me know in the comments! I’m loving this new era of brainteasers being mainstream.

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The Real Weird Crossover: Year 5

It’s that time of year again! Amanda, Shandy, and I were joined by Alice and Martha of The Real Weird Sisters podcast for another two episodes o’ fun. Recording with Martha and Alice is always SO MUCH FUN and we get some really great feedback. We cover a lot of ground during the first part, including TV shows and podcasts that we’re listening to, a quiz about fried foods predicting your age/type of astrological sign, and more.

Official episode description:

It’s our 5th annual crossover episode with The Real Weird Sisters, Alice & Martha! In Part 1, we chat about Australian Survivor, makeup removal, The Trojan Horse Affair podcast, Euphoria, Emily in Paris, Build-a-Bear After Dark, corn dogs, do a quiz, Encanto, same-day birthday statistics, and more. Part 2 will be out next week!

Both episodes are really a lot of fun. I hope you’ll check them out.

On March 1, we’re going to do an episode specifically talking about 80’s movies. The ones we’ve selected are The Neverending Story, The Labyrinth, Working Girl, and Goonies. I’ve only ever seen Goonies so I’m looking forward to finally watching the other three movies. Send us some feedback about those movies and any other 80’s movies you think we’d like to chat about! Our email address is TheBroadcasters3@gmail.com and our voicemail is 331-276-2373.

As you know by now, you can listen to the latest episode below or via jayandjack.comiTunesSpreakerSpotifyStitcherGoogle Podcasts, etc. You may have better luck searching for us as “The Broadcast with Amanda, Shandy, and Colleen” since there are a few other shows called The Broadcast.

Happy listening, and thanks for listening!

Listen to “Ep. 6.30 “The Real Weird Crossover Pt1: Five-Timers Club”” on Spreaker.

Posted in The Broadcast | 1 Comment

38 and 4!

Another birthday week in Casa de Glatfelter is in the books.

My birthday on Tuesday was lowkey but great. Jay, Zach, and Alex let me sleep “in” until 7:45 a.m. while they decorated and made cards. I have to brag on the cards for a minute. Jay told me that Alex wrote all of his letters on his own, only having help with spelling. While Jay was working with Alex, Zach drew and wrote out the entire note on his card without any spelling help. I’m. So. Proud!

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Posted in Alex, Birthday, Family | 1 Comment

Goodbye, 37!

37 was a weird year, a year of change, but I learned a lot and got propelled forward, so I can’t say it was a bad year. It was just an unexpected one.

I guess milestones like a birthday kinda make people reflect on where they were a year ago. When I started writing this post, I was going to point out how completely, unexpectedly different my life is this year as opposed to last year but then I thought about how different February 2021 was from February 2020 (no pandemic yet), and that reminded of me how different February 2020 was from February 2019 (my office moved at the end of 2019). Yet still, I could argue that today in February 2018 was clearly the biggest difference of all because Alex wasn’t born until February 9, 2018! And on my birthday in 2017, we still didn’t know what was going to happen with our attempt to purchase Perfect House, so we were in the townhouse. My entire world turned upside down when life came at me fast in 2016, who/where I was emotionally, mentally, and maturity-wise in February 2016 was completely different than where I was by the time February 2017 rolled around.

I could go on and on but I suppose the exercise of this post is for a generally anxious person to recognize that different doesn’t need to be sad because things have always been different from year-to-year. Life goes on and that isn’t bad. Embrace it and do what you can to either enjoy or survivor 2022’s ride. See you in February 2023, self.

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