Stigmata Review

Stigmata ReviewSynopsis: When a young woman becomes afflicted by stigmata, a priest is sent to investigate her case, which may have severe ramifications for his faith and for the Catholic Church itself.-IMDB

Tagline: The messenger must be silenced.

Release Date: 1999-9-10| MPAA Rating: R | Coolthulhus Earned: 2

Trailer: Stigmata


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Monthly Wrap-Up : February 2016

Okay, I’m going to keep playing with formats until I hit something I actually like. In the interest of site optimization, coverlinks are out for something like this.

This month we’re going to try links to my reviews of each book. If no review is available (I may have it slotted for review in March or April), I’ll link to Goodreads instead.

So, here we go, books that I finished in February 2016.

Outbreak! Plagues that Changed History by Bryn Barnard – (Awesome book.)

Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer (GR link) – (I hated it.)

Brotherhood in Death by J.D. Robb (GR link)  – (It was okay. Can’t believe I’m saying this, but this series needs to end while its still good.)

Saber-Toothed Cats by Susan E. Goodman (GR link) – (Fun kids book that teaches how we figure things out about extinct animals.)

The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine (GR link) – (Its really, realllllly hard to appreciate Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles after reading The Shadow Queen.)

The Immortals by Jordanna Max Brodsky – (Awesome book.)

Nightmare Man by Alan Ryker (GR link) – (Creeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeepy.)

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Illustrated edition) by J.K. Rowling – (Loved it, of course!)

Rushed by Brian Harmon (GR link) – (Well done, vaguely reminiscent of The Stand in the beginning. No desire to read more, though.)

Thirteen Chairs by Dave Shelton (GR link) – (Nice ‘soft’ introduction to horror stories for teens/tweens. )

Ellie’s Best Beach Vacation by Marci and Elle Fair – (Good, but not as good as the first.)

Sky High by Helge Mahrt (GR link) – (Good but ultimately forgettable. )

Blackout by Tim Curran – (I wanted it to be awesome, but…)

Lockwood and Co. The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud (GR link) – (Awesome book.)

The Hatching by Ezekiel Boone (GR link) – (90 percent awesome. Then we hit the ending.)

The Laptev Virus by Christy Esmahan (GR link) – (Not breathtakingly awesome, but a good, solid read nonetheless.)

Animals: A Visual Encyclopedia by Animal Planet -(Prefer their Animal Bites series, but this is lovely in its own right.)

Nyctophobia by Christopher Fowler (GR link) – (Ehm…its okay.)

Ellie Goes Back to School by Marci and Elle Fair – (Good kids book that does what it sets out to do.)

The Thirteenth Child by David Dean (GR link) – (LOVED it! He made vampires scary again!)

One Creepy Street: Annica’s Broom by Lee Jordan – (Good kids book with an admirable aim.)

Women Who Broke the Rules: Coretta Scott King by Kathleen Krull  (GR link) – (Good, informative kids book.)

Anywhere but Here by Jason Morrow (GR link) – (Okay but it needs some tweaking because it can be a confusing read.)

Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter – (Good but not great.)

The Turtle Boy by Kealan Patrick Burke (GR link) – (Great read, but also really predictable.)

The Six by Mark Alpert (GR link) – (Good read, but be wary of it if you’ve lost anyone to a terminal illness.)

A Better World by Marcus Sakey – (Much, much better than the first book in this trilogy.)

Timbi’s Dream by Max Nowaz – (Gaaaaaaah.)

A Review of Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

The book cover and synopsis for Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

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Cutest Animal Pics/Gifs this Week: Oink!

Everyone needs to see these bacon seeds piglets. Are they not adorable?!

Found on
Found on
Found on:
Found on:

For the record, I just like to push buttons by calling them bacon seeds. I don’t, uhm, actually like…bacon. But I do think piggies are cute!

As usual, none of the pictures are mine. Credited where I found them.

EMDR and Me: Adventures in Psychotherapy pt 3

So the last time I’d checked in about this, it hadn’t exactly been a good visit. Bad memories, nightmares, flashbacks, etc. All that good stuff.

Happy to report that this latest one was much better.

It didn’t help, mind you. But it was better.

By the end of the session she’d actually made me sleepy. So I was all “YAY! This actually has a chance!” Then, that night, I drifted off relatively easy. Woke up thinking “Wow…maybe..” Fastforward to the next night, where the spectre of sleep stands over me, fat finger pointing in my direction, taunting me with the fact that I’d actually thought it would work.


Oh, and I was put on Wellbutrin. Then I was taken right back off of Wellbutrin because I was doing a fairly accurate imitation of a possessed person climbing the effin’ walls. Wooo-weee. That was not a good experience.

So now I’m on another drug. One that is apparently ‘the go to when someone is diagnosed with depression and insomnia.” I was warned about how sleepy it made you. I was all “YAY! Woo-hoo! Fantastic!” ………I’ve already had to double my dose.  As I write this (saturday night) I’ve had 2 beers, stuffed myself with greasy food, took two pills, and I’m still wide-freaking-awake.


I’m beginning to think I’m not meant to sleep. Seriously. There’s gotta be something wrong with me that my body can basically laugh off every sleeping med thrown at it within a couple days.

This freaking sucks.

On the plus side, no nightmares.

On the not-plus-side, that would be because when I’m not wide awake, I’m dead-to-the-world asleep which means if I am having dreams, I’m not remembering them, but given what people have said to me, I’m probably not hitting REM enough TO have nightmares.

Why did I think seeing a doctor would help?

Sleep is for the weak! (Maybe one day I’ll actually believe that.)


A Review of Outbreak! Plagues that Changed History by Bryn Barnard

What’s it about?

How 6 major plagues changed the course of history. An introduction to microbes and our battle against them for tweens.

Book cover for Outbreak! Plagues That Changed History

My Review of Outbreak! Plagues that Changed History

This was a fascinating book. I don’t know how many times I stopped reading it just to text my best friend little interesting tidbits from it. She was a biology major in college, so she geeked out as much as I did. I think the author did a great job of showing the impact that diseases have had on our history. I was kind of surprised to read some of the low-marked Goodreads reviews because I felt they were unjustified.

Outbreak is, primarily, for ‘tweens. Its a little too mature for anyone under the age of 11, even though its marketed as being suitable for ages 8-12. Its also a little too simplistic for a lot of people outside the age range to enjoy. Outbreak doesn’t set out to be a full-scale immersion into microbiology. Its meant to be an introduction. It gives the reader a basic, easy to understand rundown of the major plagues, as well as some key discoveries in combating microbes, and the overall effect that the plagues had on our history.

Is it 100 percent accurate? Of course not. Its a simplified version, weighted in favor of the effect microbes had, of a huge chunk of history and the decisions our world leaders made. Again, its an introduction meant to hook the reader and get them more interested in microbiology. I guess you could say its a gateway drug to science. I rate books like this based on age suitability and aims, not what I want them to be.  So I found a lot of the naysaying about this book and the fact that it wasn’t completely accurate or nice to religion to be a bit absurd. But…well, when it comes to people’s ingrained defense of their worship of the latest incarnation of such-and-such deity, I’m neither overly surprised or amused anymore.

Snarkiness aside, this really was a great read. It was the perfect blend of story-telling and science. It was able to hammer home the sheer scale of some of these outbreaks, how horrible some of the diseases were, as well as some of the base causes. The author does get a bit ‘preachy’ at the end but considering what he’s selling is, amazingly enough, common sense to anyone with two braincells to rub together, I’m fine with that. We need a basic overhaul of our healthcare and public works systems to help eradicate diseases, lower death rates, and generally improve the quality of life and reduce drug-resistance of bacteria and viruses.

The only problem I had with this book was the awkward sizing and formatting.  Its a ridiculously big hardback for the fact that its only 48 pages long. They could have made it half the size and twice the width and it would have been a lot easier to read. The huge pages are crammed with tiny text. It would be more ‘friendly’ if the veritable walls of text were cut down enough to not be so intimidating.

Good book. Would definitely recommend it for any science-minded tweens out there!

4 Star Rating

Click here to find Outbreak! Plagues That Changed History now on

Title: Outbreak! Plagues that Changed History | Author: Bryn Barnard (site)| Publisher: Crown (site) | Pub. Date: 2005-11-8 | Pages: 48 | ISBN13: 9780375829864 | Genre: Children’s (Educational) Nonfiction | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 4 out of 5 | Date read: 2016-2-26 | Source: Library

A Materials and Book Review of the Cool Kind Kid package by Barbara Gilmour

What’s it about?

These materials all work together to emphasize the value of good behavior, breaking the cycle of bullying, by attempting to guide children down a path to being better behaved in the pursuit of a redefined ‘coolness’.

The specific synopsis for the main piece of material I was sent (Tanner Wants to be COOL!) is: “Bullying can happen when kids think that being mean, rude, and disrespectful behavior is cool. Many kids even think that bullying is cool. We can help kids learn the social skills tools needed to reject bullying by teaching them that kind, caring, and respectful behavior is cool, and that bullying is the ultimate in uncool. Through this fun picture book series, your children, grandchildren, or students can learn that “Kind is Cool,” and “Cool is Kind.” With fun, educational songs for children included, they are engaged as they follow Tanner as he learns that, “The KIND kid is the COOL kid, not the bully.”

Picture of the covers for You Can Be a Cool Kind Kid, Bullying Prevention Tips and a bookmark.

My Review of the Cool Kind Kid package

Obviously, the aim is admirable. You Can Be a Cool Kind Kid seeks to break the cycle of bullying by teaching kids a new definition for cool. If the kids are young enough (and this series is definitely aimed at young readers, this will be theoretically be the definition that they associate with the word “cool”.

Tanner Wants to be COOL! is the first in the series of 5 books. It has vibrant colors, and simple wording. Everything is kept very basic, easy for even beginning readers to understand. Its set along the format of “What is cool?” “This is cool!” “This not cool!”, etc.  The book also gives you a code to download  two accompanying songs, by Steve Megaw, from  the Cool Kind Kid website. The songs are about what you’d expect for that age range. An upbeat tempo, simple lyrics, etc.

The packet I received also included a bookmark as well as a booklet with bullying prevention tips. The bookmark has a poem about Raising a “Cool Kind Kid” and reinforcing the concepts behind the materials.  The Bullying Prevention Tips booklet was very well done. The left page was always for kids to read, and the right was for parents/educators. It emphasizes the importance of teaching children certain behaviors as well as giving tips on how to do so.

Overall, though I can’t speak for the effectiveness, I can see what Barbara Gilmour, et al, are trying to do with  these materials and given the age range that they’re aiming at, I think they’re doing a good job.

4 Star Rating

Click here to visit the Cool Kind Kid website, where you can download various materials, find out more about preventing bullying, and get tips on working with your child to make them into a Cool Kind Kid.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of these materials free from the author in exchange for an honest review.


Kids’ Corner: Vice-President of Scifi and Scary

And for the latest edition of “What Miss L has said lately”…

We have a deal. She can get one trip to Applebees to have dessert once per month if she does 3 days of extra homework a week. Well, this particular night, I had carefully printed out the beginnings of a short story. She was to copy what I had written and then continue the story.

Now, I was trying to get a laugh out of her, so what I wrote was silly:

Basil Bath had a dog. His name was Herb. He was yellow with red spots. So was Herb.

L begins to copy it, then looks over at me, and says “I’m going to fix this, Mommy.”

“Fix what?”

“Your story. It doesn’t make sense.”

….edited by a 6 year old. *sigh*




A Review of Timbi’s Dream by Max Nowaz

What’s it about?

Timbi’s Dream is an adventure in rhyme. It stirs the imagination in young minds and makes it leap into a different plane as one follows Timbi’s adventures in a sequence of dreams, brought on by the effect of a strange jar of ointment his grandmother had left behind, on her last visit.

-From Goodreads Synopsis

Timbi's Dream

My Review of Timbi’s Dream

The idea with which the book was written was lovely, but unfortunately Timbi’s Dream is just not very well-written or illustrated. It is supposed to be rhyming, and while that is technically true, most of the time it doesn’t flow very naturally. That’s the first problem. The second is that the use of punctuation is very inconsistent, especially with quotation marks. Also, there seems to be an error in the first page of the story itself.

“My ears, are feeling very, very hot” – Timbi’s Dream, Max Nowaz

The illustrations, while I like the colors used, are vaguely creepy and unsettling and generally just add to the unpolished air the book has. It is not a book that I enjoyed reading, nor could it keep my child’s attention.

I think with some refinement Timbi’s Dream could be a cute little kid’s book, but it needs some serious work to get it to that point.

2 Star Rating

Click here to find Timbi’s Dream now on

Title: Timbi’s Dream | Author: Max Nowaz | Publisher: Matador | Pub. Date: 2016-1-26 | Pages: 38 | ISBN13: 9781785895289 | Genre: Children’s Fiction | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 2 out of 5 | Date Read: 2016-2-1 | Source: Received a copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


Talk to Me (2/26): Popcorn!

Popcorn is a must when you watch movies, right? (If you didn’t say yes, stop reading now.)

Popcorn is awesome. This is undeniable. However, people do crazy things with their popcorn. I wouldn’t say my popcorn habits are really weird, but some of my friends definitely think so.

I hate microwaved popcorn. HATE IT. It tastes nasty, it leaves a greasy coating in your mouth, and you always burn a few kernels, without fail. (If you don’t, well, you are the newly appointed God of the Microwave and I bow before you…but I still won’t eat your microwaved popcorn.)

So, when we’re at home, and its time for a movie, I fire up the stove, get out a pan, drizzle in some olive oil, and make popcorn. It takes about 5 minutes, most of which is spent waiting for the pan to heat up high enough to start popping the corn.

It is delicious. Non-greasy, non-burnt, yumminess.

For seasonings, I have 3 defaults.

1.) Sweet. This is a bit of sugar, cinnamon, and just a dash of salt.

2.) Spicy. This is salt, pepper, jalepeno pepper, cayenne, and parmesan cheese.

3.) Sour. This is salt, LEMON pepper, and a dash of regular pepper. Parmesan optional.

So, basic yumminess with no mess, right?

Now, when I’m buying a bag of popcorn for snacking, I have occasionally bought some of that chocolate drizzled stuff. That tends to be yummy. I will also admit to loving me some of that black-bagged white cheddar cheese popcorn. However, neither of those are “Movie watching” popcorn. They are more of the “just to be snacked” kind.

Popcorn from movie theatres… Oh, dear Circe. I love movie theatre popcorn. I don’t even care that its probably a day old. Just give it to me, hand me a shaker of  salt, and get out of my way. I’m going to stuff myself senseless, and drink a gallon of pop while I’m at it.

…….did you know there’s actually stores that sell nothing but ‘gourmet’ popcorn?

So, I’m fairly easy going on popcorn, but what I don’t understand is…

not my photo. found it on flickr under “Free to use or share even commercially” from “randysonofrobert”

Ughhhhhhhh. It just…sticks to your teeth, crunches hard, and isn’t yummy at all.

What’s your favorite kind of popcorn? Are you a caramel-popcorn eating person?

Talk to me!