Wandering with my eyes and heart open, searching for pieces to add to my own personal big picture.

Tag: netflix

Mistakes and Buffer Zones

Mistakes and buffer zones. Greg McKeown has some wise words for us to carry into the new year, but first…

Happy Birthday, 2022!

I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions, but I do feel like it’s a new start. Something about everyone celebrating one more revolution around the sun at the same time is energizing. I mean, the whole world does it on the SAME DAY! You can’t say that about Friday’s or the first day of any month.

How did you spend your New Year’s Eve? We went into town and brought Popeye’s chicken home for dinner along with a big bottle of rum (and yes, I sang “Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum..” on the way out of the store). We snuggled up on the couch with chicken and…mmm…biscuits…and watched “About Time” on Netflix. Party animals!

On any given evening we watch one or two series episodes before bed, but since it was a holiday we decided to watch a movie. But which one? Flipping through titles doesn’t help and the descriptions…well, they just don’t grab me. I wish they would play a couple random movie trailers that you cannot skip before everything else I watch, unrelated ones, not something similar to what I’m watching or the same trailer over and over like they with commercials on other channels.

Last night, we chose “About Time” because the title looked like it was funny and cute, different than what we usually watch, and it turned out to be so beautiful I cried and laughed and cried again the whole way through. I’m tearing up just writing this right now! So, if you haven’t seen it, go watch it. You will NOT regret it. It’s the perfect movie to start the year with.

PS If you’re reading this, Netflix, please find a way to help us see a better assortment of movies to watch. ‘What’s Trending” and “Based on What You’ve Watched” butters no parsnips!

And now, without further ado, some brilliant insight from yours truly. Two more of my favorite quotes from my latest read.

mistakes and buffer zones

“There should be no shame in admitting to a mistake; after all, we really are only admitting that we are now wiser than we once were.” From Essentialism by Greg McKeown

How’s that for an idea? If we drop the ego guard down for a moment, after every mistake we make we can think, “I’m am now wiser than I was. Yay, growth!” Much more useful than, “Well crap, I made a mistake. I must be stupid and I need to hide it better.”

“The only thing we can expect (with any great certainty) is the unexpected. Therefore, we can either wait for the moment and react to it or we can prepare. We can create a buffer.” From Essentialism by Greg McKeown

mistakes and buffer zones

By “prepare” he doesn’t mean have enough money, be smart enough, plan what’s going to happen and be ready. He means prepare yourself, be emotionally ready for anything.

I’m a naturally reactive person. I get very excited, very easily, and my emotions can run away with me. That’s great when things are going as I had hoped, not so much when I’m surprised by something I didn’t want. My space between stimulus and response has been microscopic.

Meditation has helped me increase that space. Like driving, the more space I have between me and other cars, the more time I have to reflect and then respond. This coming year, I hope to increase my buffer space even more and then (wait for it) remember that it is there so that I don’t jump to react at the first sign of a problem, like that guy that slams on the brakes when he sees a yellow light a mile ahead.

Ok, so here we are at the end of my first post of the year 2022. I debated whether I should skip the quote commentary and create a special post just for New Year’s Day. I do have my 2021 reading stats to share with you. I know you’re dying to know! But I decided to stick with the flow and combine things a little.

I’m still working on one more post about Essentialism. I finished reading it yesterday and this morning started reading, “The Path of the Human Being: Zen Teachings on the Bodhisattva Way” by Dennis Genpo Merzel this morning. It sounds like a great way to start the year off, don’t you think?

Go back to my first post, “Essentialism by Greg McKeown” to read more quotes from the book.

Bad TV. Great Book. Surprise!


How many times have you read a book and then found out it would be a movie or tv series? Just about everyone that reads has had that experience and it’s rarely positive, right? We automatically anticipate that the movie will not measure up, even though we secretly hope that it will. How can it? Not only can a book’s several plot lines and depth of characters not easily be condensed into two or three hours, but we each conjure up our own visions of those characters and scenes that just don’t seem to compare when presented to us in visual form from someone else’s imagination.

Long, complicated books are being turned into some pretty decent limited series programs on things like Netflix and Amazon though. I’ve seeen several amazing shows that follow a book or series of books very closely and I’ve loved them. I do wish some of the historical fiction they are creating right now would focus more on the historical aspects and less of the sensationalism of graphic sex and violence, but I digress.

A few years ago, we started watching “Under the Dome” in the evenings and were sucked into the story. It’s an intriguing idea. A whole town cut off from the rest of the world by an invisible dome, like a giant glass jar was dropped over the top of it. What would happen? What would the world outside do? What would the trapped people do? And where in the world did it come from? This was why I kept watching, only to be completely disappointed by the end of the series, prompting the whole family to look around in disappointment when we realized it was over. It was like they only half tried to make a story.

And then I found out that it was based on a book by Stephen King, one of my very favorite authors. I hadn’t read anything new from him since I was in college. Was he really writing books this bad? Or did the tv producers ruin it? I couldn’t imagine a famous author letting someone do that to his story? Crazy part…I was so disappointed in the show that I just forgot all about it.

Fast forward a few years later and I’m at Barnes & Noble looking for fiction and I stumble across “Under the Dome” by Stephen King. It’s a fat book, of course! On the front cover was the review, “Seven words: The best yet from the best ever. – Lee Child.” Not from what I saw on TV! Well, I love him, so I gave him a chance to redeem himself.

While not the best book I’ve read by King, I still enjoyed the story very much. It was classic. Several storylines, several characters going through a bunch of typical things, with clues to the bigger story all along the way, leading to the thing that ties it all together. I loved it. At the end of each hour of reading, I could feel the air getting more and more stale, the slow building urgency of the whole town and every resident’s different reaction to the event. How in the world does he do that?!

Don’t worry. I won’t give away the ending! Let’s just say that it seems to me that the TV show wasn’t even trying to portray the big picture, the “lesson” we are supposed to learn from all this. It was a huge let down. And I’m not sure how anyone could have liked that show at all, unless just going through the motions of life, not trying to figure out the whys and hows is how they live their life and like to watch the same on TV. I know. It’s harsh. But damn. Really? Did anyone that wrote the show read the book? Or did they get the Cliff’s Notes version and go from there?

A classic example of “the book is better” and these days there really is no excuse for that other than laziness, in my oh so humble opinion. If you watched the TV show and want answers to all your questions, read the book. They’re in there. And it’s worth your time!

Bird Box – Book Review!


The first most terrifying book I ever read was Stephen King’s IT. My heart sped the entire time, culminating in the most horrifying “boss fight” I had ever read, before I even knew what a boss fight was. (for those older or non-gaming readers, a boss fight is the big battle at the end of a video game level.) When the mini-series came out (for those younger folks, that’s what we used to have before “Netflix Original Series”), I was so excited to get to see that same level of horror on the screen with actors I loved. Tim Curry, people! You couldn’t ask for a better Pennywise.

I have no idea why, but scary books and movies were my favorite “comfort food” growing up.

And then I saw the movie.

It wasn’t that the movie was bad. It was just that, for some reason this book just couldn’t translate onto the screen for everyone the same way Kujo could. The point of the whole book was that the monster was specific to you. It was what horrified you the most. Your own personal nightmare. To see it on the screen was a letdown. That was someone else’s nightmare. Watching it felt like waking up from a horrible dream and explaining it to your brother. “Then a spider chased me with a balloon and grandma laughed. It was just horrible, this feeling of dread…” He’s laughing his ass off and you realize while you’re speaking that there was nothing inherently scary about the dream. Not that I’ve ever had that happen. I just imagine that’s what it would be like. Really.

The movie was such a letdown from the book that when they made the new movie, I didn’t bother to watch it. We’re talking about a 27-year letdown here. I hold a grudge when it comes to this kind of thing. Seriously.

Bird Box is the same kind of book. It. Is. Terrifying.

While searching for a new show to watch on Netflix recently, we watched the trailer. It looked awesome. You didn’t see any monsters, just the woman, blindfolded and wondering what was out there. My husband and sons are not into scary movies, but I was so intrigued by what kind of a nightmare it would be. Maybe I could watch it during the day while they are at work, I thought.

Then I found the BOOK! Oh. My. Gourd. This will be epic. I threw it onto my pile on my way to the register, even though I had already picked up my quota.

IT made my heart race. Bird Box made me stop breathing. I’m sitting there on the couch with the book up to my spectacled face, holding my breath. Every few pages I’d suddenly remember to breathe, sucking in lungs full of air. I felt like I was there, blindfolded and feeling my way. It was horrible.

And I loved every minute of it! I still haven’t seen the show. I doubt it could be as good as the book. It’s the same kind of thing as IT. To see the monster would ruin it. The only way they could make the tv show would be to have the scenes go black whenever people put their blindfolds on. It would make for a pretty boring visual experience.

Books aren’t visual experiences. They’re all in your head. That’s what makes them amazing!

If you like horror, you will LOVE this book.

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