Archive for April, 2016

“The Martian: A Novel” (Not A True Story)

April 21st, 2016 No comments

Apparently I’ll need to be stuck on Mars with a lot of time on my hands to finish my list of 40 books to read for my 40th birthday. Admittedly, it took much longer to read this book than I anticipated, and it had absolutely nothing to do with the quality of the book either. Life took some unexpectedly crazy turns recently – nothing as serious as being abandoned on Mars, but serious enough that my attention was elsewhere for a while.


Full disclosure: I had seen the movie prior to reading the book. Normally, I would prefer to read a book before watching the film, but in this case, I’m actually glad I consumed the movie before the book. In fact, I downright enjoyed the fact that I had seen the movie first because the book took me on an expanded journey of a familiar story that I had already fallen in love with. Instead of silently yelling at a movie screen, “No, you forgot this part! And that’s not what happened!” I found myself delighted by the new tidbits of story unfolding before me. Sure there were differences in the cinematic version versus the literary version, but those differences were merited given the distinct nature of film and literary media.

Most notably different was the end. Clearly, Hollywood wanted something visually dramatic and poignant to end the blockbuster movie. I’m not sure if it was because I saw the movie and the end was so different, but I found the end of the book to be somewhat anticlimactic. Overall though, the movie did an excellent job of staying true to the story in the book.

The one thing I really liked about this book (and movie) was that it wasn’t just a comedy, or drama, or action story. It’s all of those and much more. It’s a story about the enduring human spirit. I highly recommend that you pick up the book, particularly if you enjoyed the movie.

And in case anyone is still wondering… no, “The Martian” is not based on a true story. Buzzfeed cleared that up fairly succinctly.

Next up… something a bit less ‘meaty’. I’ll be reading something from one of my favourite authors, Mr. Stephen King. Two down, 38 to go.

M. xo

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Categories: Personal Tags:

Life is like a game of Jenga… you never know when it’s all going to come crashing down.

April 5th, 2016 No comments

By Guma89 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Life really is like the game of Jenga: a tower built with pieces that can uplift or break down. The pieces are in constant motion and the tower is in a constant state of change. Sometimes the pieces move in just the right spot to give the tower more strength. Other times those pieces just seem to mess up the whole core of the tower, and the tower becomes weaker and vulnerable to destruction.

Each of the pieces is wedged into the tower, some more solidly than others. They are all unique. No two alike. Every piece comes with its own shape, dings, and dents from the relentless climb up the tower and the unceremonious fall back down. Occasionally, one of those pieces gets restless and needs to move. This causes the tower to teeter and sway. Another piece may become uncomfortable in its current state, shaking the whole foundation of the tower and causing all the other pieces to be in a state of discomfort too.  The stability of the tower might give way to all those pieces awkwardly trying to fit together. When the tower comes tumbling down (because it always does), you have to start building it back up again. This time you decide that some of those pieces aren’t suitable for the long-term stability of the tower, so they will be removed or relegated to less problematic locations outside the perimeter of the tower. They are kept in reserve, looked after, but only placed into the tower when the tower has rebuilt a strong foundation.


When the tower does eventually fall, and you’re standing there with the pieces scattered around you, it’s time to seize the opportunity to build an even stronger base. Once all the pieces have fallen, it’s time to reflect on which pieces were the weakest and most vulnerable in the tower. You can’t throw those pieces away. They have to be integrated back into your tower – over time. Integrated such that the other pieces provide a foundation for the weaker pieces to be propped up, but without risking the stability of the whole tower. Sometimes, you need the tower to come crashing down. The important thing is to pick up those fallen pieces and find a new way to fit them together that doesn’t compromise the strength and integrity of the tower. Every tower has weak spots, it’s how we protect and care for those spots that will ensure its future stability.

M. xo

Categories: Psychology Tags: