Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Wordless Wednesdays- Platform 9 3/4


Taken From the Archives 2010
Harry Potter's Platform 9 3/4 













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Friday, 29 June 2012

Book Review: Michael's Reward- Written by Mario Bernheim

Michael's Reward: How to Get God's Attention, When Your World Is Falling ApartMichael's Reward: How to Get God's Attention, When Your World Is Falling Apart by Mario Bernheim
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


The author transports you into the mind of Michael Whiley. Michael Whiley is a very successful man who has a turn of unlucky events happen that make him become homeless, wifeless, childless and broke, but not broken. Through Michael's test he develops a strong power in faith, belief in himself and the mysteries of the universe. This is a great book to read and the author, Mario Bernheim weaves a tale that will have you on the edge of your seat, crying one minute, and laughing the next, but always intrigued by his poetic imagery and powerful storytelling.
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Michael Whiley through his own sheer will power and FAITH  not only  turns his life around, but comes out shining even more victoriously and abundantly than before his crisis. On top of that, he builds the good fortune in his life and is able to be an extraordinary generous philanthropist. Every negative in his life he turns into medicine. Michael is Christian, but this book could be for anyone of any faith.Which is one reason why I am writing this review.

Three fourths the way through the book,Michael turns his seemingly miserable life around. When, he does this I see this as turning something negative into a positive. I interpret this in Buddhist terms, as doing Hindokko Yakku or turning poison into medicine.

This book is an absolute page turner. It's also inspiring, quotable and at times has you questioning your own sense of faith in yourself. It also helps you see your life in the bigger picture. And, helps you assess your long term goals, dreams and visions.

I am very happy I read it and would recommend it to my friends of all faiths, including Buddhist.
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Thursday, 28 June 2012

Dating in London: American cowboy vs. English bloke

Before I came to London I never much fancied American men. I thought they were rough around the edges,unsophisticated, loud, obnoxious, and not well traveled. All these clichés that the whole world thinks and believes about Americans I also thought the same thing too. I know it's a shame that I could think so poorly of my own people. But, some of those clichés and generalizations do hold some truth. I know from experience. Back home, I also dated many sophisticated, well traveled and highly educated men. But, something inside me was turned off by American men. Perhaps, the grass is always greener on the other side and I preferred the flavor of some different more exotic food than what I was used to or what was in front of me.

Living in London has taught me to appreciate American men more. After dating men from about 10 different countries, I can finally assess honestly that American men are the most generous, kind, open, feminist, and straightforward. I dated an American man he always insisted on walking on the outside of the street just in case someone splashed water on my hoop skirt ( hee hee). He was very gentlemanly and always offered to carry my big satchel. On the other hand, when I told them that I had myriad of professions they rooted my multi- talented and diversity instead of making me out as some circus freak that can't focus.They are also very generous to everyone: they tip the waitress and taxi drivers 20%, whether they are rich or not. I think American men appreciate my ambition, assertiveness and straightforwardness. Where with a lot of European men they are threatened by my strength, an American man can handle me and bring out my best. My Italian boyfriend told me one time he thought I was too masculine. I just told him he was too feminine and that he could not handle me.He also couldn't change a light bulb to save his life.  When I asked him to change the light bulb it took him two months, then when he finally did he broke the light bulb and he broke the fuse. Italian men have a bit of a dandy in them and take preening to the extreme. I do start to worry when a man I am dating has over preoccupation with his looks and with fashion more than I do. Anyway, we are talking about American men not Italian men. So let's not get off the subject.

Whateeevah! I also think American men are more spiritual, especially Californian men. Most men in the world American or not, are just not interested in spirituality. They don't get it in the way women are naturally talking about Star Signs and the supernatural. That's just men for you !Some English men though, unless they are Buddhist or are from Glastonbury ( is a new age village known for it's hippies and new age airy fairies don't understand a thing about spirituality; karma, or New Age philosophy, metaphysics. It's not that they are closed off to it, sometimes they are interested in it and ask me lots of questions. But, many thinks it's airy fairy to talk about this stuff. It's just not in the culture so don't even bother. So ladies if you can accept some of what I mentioned about English culture English culture and try and focus on the positive qualities of English men (immigrants: European/ Middle Eastern/ Asian men),you are going to have a really fun adventure and unforgettable time. And stories definitely you can tell your grandchildren and your friends and family back home. I can write a book dedicated to dating around the world, but this is just a glimpse of my vast experiences. These are my personal experiences with men in London that has made me a wiser woman. OK dolls this has been my own unique experiences now be brave date as many men as possible and get back to me (lol!) Maybe, we can write a book together.. Huh? Anyone out there, want to co-write a book with me?

Note Bene: Some of these vignettes are gross generalizations and gross exaggerations, it's all meant in the spirit of humanistic humor and fun. No offense is meant so no offense is taken. If you can't laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at?

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Wordless Wednesdays - Authority


Taken from the Archives 2009
Nottinghill Carnival 
August 2009


All blogs are written by Sabrina Rongstad-Bravo
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Monday, 25 June 2012

Jane Austen- Mansfield Park


Mansfield ParkMansfield Park by Jane Austen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have read all of Jane Austen novels and am in the middle of reading Northanger Abbey, Austen's last novel written and published posthumously.

I love Mansfield Park, I love the character of Fanny Price. She starts out a very humble girl, but has guts to stand up to her wealthy uncle in many ways. First, she opposes his profession as a Slave Trader in the West Indies and then when she refuses to marry the family friend, even though he’s wealthy, she infuriates her uncle. This is what I love about Fanny Price is that she’s completely independent and strong willed has a mind of her own, and refuses to be bought. She wants love like all women and wants to marry for love on top of it. She is in love with her life time cousin, who wants nothing more than to live a quiet life. But, he’s been her loyal friend and has loved her whole life, what more can one woman ask for. Secondly, she refuses to marry the man that she doesn’t love who is a bit of a philanderer. In the end, she ends up marrying and with the man she really loves who has always loved her.


Fanny Price is my hero and my favorite heroine of all the Jane Austen novels.

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Saturday, 14 April 2012

Book Review: Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi


 PERSEPOLIS is a GREAT BOOK ! This book is not only funny, witty with it's raw honesty, but it's a great insight into the Iranian culture. A young girl, MARJANE, flees Iran during the Islamic Revolution and goes to  Austria,she tries very hard to fit, including finding a group of friends that are " anarchists" and becoming her High School's Pot Dealer. She falls in love, gets thrown out of her apartment for theft and lives on the Vienna streets for awhile. She becomes very ill and has to go to the hospital, finally, fed up of her life in Austria and longing for her homeland Iran, she returns home.

Once home, ironically, she encounters the same culture shock she experienced in Vienna, Austria. Feeling very judged by her previous classmates and feel the malaise of not fitting in, she decides to end her life, when she fails at that, she sees it as a sign from the universe that she is supposed to live, and after that she has a rebirth. She re-invents herself and becomes a life affirming Aerobics Instructor, a sophisticated woman who wears make up, drinks and has a boyfriend. She ends up getting married to her beloved, and finally when the Iranian politics get too intense and her freedom as a woman more and more oppressive,  family pleads her to leave Iran for good. She ends up moving back to Paris and becomes a successful graphic designer

Persepolis is a wonderfully, humorous, biographical account of Marjane Satrapi's life. I like the character Persepolis, she's feisty,bold and intelligent. She is also very funny and there are many favorite parts of the book, one is when the Nuns tell her, " Iranians don't have any manners", and she feisty replies, " All nuns used to be prostitutes. Another part, while reading the book Marjane's Mother's favorite, Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex she pees to get the man's perspective, just as De Beauvoir suggested. I found myself laughing out loud to the surprise of many an onlooker on the bus, but I didn't care  this book was just too entertaining.

Marjane is a great heroine, among the great heroines in Literature, Scarlette O'Hara, Jane Eyre and Gwyneth Harlow. Persepolis is a GREAT book, and like all GREAT books they can be read over and over again.




All blogs are written by Sabrina Rongstad-Bravo More Tales and Adventures in Sabrina's London Diaries
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