• True Crime

    True Crime Wednesday: Cults and Extreme Belief Docuseries

    Even though I’m not always crazy about the interface for Amazon Prime Video, I’ll admit I’ve found plenty of TV shows and movies to keep me content during this quarantine. Since cults are a subject that never cease to amaze me, I binged a docuseries I found there called “Cults and Extreme Belief” a few months ago, but decided to share my thoughts on it in case anyone is looking for something new to watch. Reporter/anchor Elizabeth Vargas hosts the series and conducts interviews with a number of people who spent time in cults and are still processing the emotional and physical scars from doing so. Each episode is about 45 minutes long…

  • Creative Writing,  Lifestyle

    Quarantine Life

    It’s been a strange past month with the shelter-at-home orders here in North Carolina thanks to the spread of COVID-19. We are a fortunate household to have one adult who has been able to transition to working from home completely, and another (me) who works as a contract employee for a magazine, and I’ve also been able to keep generating income through my clients. We are blessed, because we know others who have had to temporarily close their family businesses. I feel for my kids. They miss their friends, their IRL contact, driving back and forth together to school, and randomly stopping by Dunkin’ Donuts for iced coffees and donut holes. We miss…

  • podcasts,  True Crime

    True Crime Wednesday: Why I Liked the “Joe Exotic: Tiger King” podcast over the Netflix Docuseries

    As a fan of many of Wondery’s podcasts, I instantly became hooked when “Over My Dead Body: Joe Exotic” was first released last fall. I appreciate good investigative reporting, and host Robert Moor actually went out to Oklahoma to meet Joe Maldonaldo-Passage (the name he now goes by) and recorded what transpired during much of his time there. I had never heard of Joe Exotic before the podcast, but Moor’s production, voice and storytelling left me eagerly awaiting each new episode (the series was only five or six episodes originally). Sure, there were parts that made me cringe, and I absolutely do not agree with breeding and selling large cats. I felt both…

  • Book Review

    Book Review: Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance

    Synopsis: From a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, a powerful account of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class. Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis – that of white working-class Americans. The decline of this group, a demographic of our country that has been slowly disintegrating over 40 years, has been reported on with growing frequency and alarm but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were…