Guggenheim Experience

This past Saturday I visited the well-known New York museum, The Guggenheim, and had quite an enjoyable experience. It was helpful going with someone with a little background knowledge in art as well as having the free audio tour device that discussed certain pieces throughout the museum. The audio device often pointed out things that I would have otherwise overlooked. That is one reason I love art–one piece can mean something different for each individual, and there are some pieces that are so intricate that the meaning may change each time it is viewed and new things are discovered in it.

There are a few pieces that stood out to me in particular:
* Julie Mehretu: Grey Area Exhibit – On a huge canvas she combines precise architectural lines with abstract forms. The use of different materials creates texture and adds density to her paintings. As the Guggenheim pamphlet states about Mehretu's work, “”The images seem to exist at a horizon where the work could either plunge into dense obscurity or nearly disappear into an ethereal cloud of dust. Yet a remarkable sense of pictorial space always exists in Mehretu's paintings, created not just by their layering but also by the contrasts inherent in them.”” My favorite painting of Mehretu that was displayed actually reminded me of the movie Inception the way the buildings folded into one another.
* Pablo Picasso's Woman with Yellow Hair – At first glance I was not impressed with this piece, but it is with thanks to the museum's audio player for giving some of the background story that made me see it with new eyes. The girl in the painting is Picasso's mistress and it shows the girl in an innocent, vulnerable state of sleep. What is also unique about this painting is the few lines used to create the body of the girl. Every line and brush stroke is fluent and precisely round. The gentleness of the strokes resembles the peacefulness of the girl at rest.
*Vincent van Gogh's Mountains at Saint-Remy – Something about this 1889 painting intrigued me. Perhaps it was the rounded mountains that seem to be melting and the quaint tucked-away house and flower garden with his signature sunflowers located at the base of the mountains that give life to the painting. Or maybe it is oddly van Gogh's struggle with mental illness that makes me look more carefully at his work. Either way, I liked seeing Mountains at Saint Remy in person at The Guggenheim, and it may or may not have led me to do a little biography research.

Of course I did not like every painting I saw at The Guggenheim. In fact, I didn't really care for the entire abstract section at the museum. But overall, I was very pleased with the wide variety of artwork displayed. I definitely recommend it to others who are into art or are at least curious to learn a little about art. I also recommend picking up the audio device as it was very helpful.

Care to Karaoke in NYC?

 

I went to a karaoke barهتin NYCهتfor the first time ever on Valentine’s Day.هتYup, you read correctly, my first time karaoking. While I sometimes sing while driving and I occasionally sing in the shower, anytime I do so I do it alone. I never claimed to have good vocals, so I usually keep my singing voice to myself like a courteous citizen. So when some of my single co-workers wanted to do something after work for Valentine’s Day and suggested a karaoke bar in downtown nyc, I wasn’t too thrilled. I told them that I would not sing under any circumstance…unless I was completely intoxicated beforehand.

We went to Radio Star Karaoke (3 W. 35th St.) which is close to our office. There ended up being six of us in total which was the perfect amount. I didn‰غھt know what to expect so I chuckled when we first walked in because I felt like we were in a disco room with the dim lights and multi-colored strobe lights flashing. There was a main stage with a bongo and one large screen in addition to a wall TV that displayed the song lyrics. We started off with a round of drinks as we chose songs out of the book of karaoke songs.

Surprisingly, one drink was all it took to get the party started, and two co-workers voluntarily began the signing session. A few drinks and two appetizer plates later, all of us girls were on our feet dancing and belting out songs. We sang everything from country to rap. What made it even more fun was that there wasn’t that one awkward person sitting in a corner refusing to participate. It seemed like everyone was really enjoying themselves. Rather than drinking to have fun it was more like we kept drinking because we were already having so much fun and we needed a liquid beverage to slake our thirst from singing our little hearts out. Additionally, I think we were entertaining the bartenders too (or maybe they thought some more booze might make us sound better) because they brought us a round of shots on the house.

All in all, my first karaoking experience in NYC was a blast. I won‰غھt turn my

nose up if someone suggests having a karaoke nyc night ever again.هت It’s like bowling actually–you aren’t excited about the activity until you actually get there and start doing it and realize that it’s a lot of fun. What’s also neat is that if you’re really self-conscious about singing in front of others, especially strangers, there’s the option of renting out a private karaoke room (see above right picture).هت So next time you‰غھre out with a group of friends and want to do something different but still want alcohol involved, I recommend having a karaoke night in NYC.

Best Karaoke In NYC

1. Radio Star Karaoke (3W. 35th St.) The NYC Karaoke Bar we went to which was alot of fun for everyone who went!

2. Karaoke Duet 35 (between 5th Ave & Avenue Of The Americans) – Review by Mary Q:
Highlight of my evening: unassuming quiet Asian guy within the corner whips out “”I’m on a boat”” complete with sufficient profanities to make the FCC beg for mercy. T-Pain would have been proud!

Came to this Karaoke Duet 35 NYC for a Judy C.’s bday having a celebration of about a dozen individuals, give or take. We had been within the big space using the little stage towards the side and there was a lot of space. Charge was about $8.50 per individual per hour, amazing! Song choice was fairly diverse and also the procedure of getting into the songs in is idiot-proof. Liquor kept flowing the entire evening thanks to the bar outside. We even got a bottle of wine at no cost because we had been there for a bday. So come to drink and let your inner T-Pain shine!

3. Karaoke DUET 48 NYC (between 1st Ave & 2nd Ave) – Review by Trisha B:

When your common J-pop and K-pop loving herd of fans requirs a location to belt out the most recent releases, exactly where do they go? I do not know exactly where you go, but my buddies and I usually select Duet 48 my favorite place to karaoke in nyc.

Apart from the squeaky-clean interior of the nyc karaoke bar, ambient lighting, useful staff, sheer variety of rooms, fantastic soundproofing (in the event you do not scream), and incredible ventilation, the Japanese song list that is updated each and every month keeps my group of buddies very occupied whenever we come here. The Korean song list is updated every two months or so, but we’re by no means disappointed. The staff is also usually prepared to assist if your machine breaks down or if your microphone dies–just call them on the in-room telephone!

We do wonder why we’re usually placed within the exact same space, although. It is also usually a great deal of enjoyment to “”dub”” whatever’s playing on the screen amongst song options, haha.

The marathon from Mondays to Thursdays is your most effective bet to obtain probably the most out of one’s cash: it is $3/hr, and $12 flat in the event you invest 4 hours or more. Also, do not forget that you could in most cases bring your personal food. Make sure to make reservations on weekends and throughout the vacation season or you will be pleasantly shocked. If you are under eighteen (?), you will need to leave at 8PM sharp simply because they do not permit any minors within the building once they begin their evening hours.

Happy Karaoke In NYC!

Brooklyn Botanical Gardens

Pine Cone! Acorn! Bee! Weeping Willow! Grass! Squirrel!

I felt like a five-year-old who was still seeing the world with new eyes this past Saturday while visiting the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. As one who has grown up in lush Michigan, living in the city for even a short two months has led me to appreciate the little things like grass, trees and undomesticated animals that are lacking in the concrete jungle of NYC.
The Brooklyn Botanical Gardens were, simply put, pretty and serene. I felt like I was walking into a completely different world, a world far away from the city with its blaring car horns, dirty streets, unpleasant smells, and air pollution.
What I was rather surprised by was the fact that I spent nearly two hours in the gardens, and didn't even feel bored. It wasn't crowded, there was plenty to see, it was a gorgeous day, and it felt nice to walk around. My favorite part of the gardens was actually towards the entrance. Walking down a set of steps that were lined with trees shading the pathway, it felt as if I were entering a secret kingdom. There were also florescent purple flowers in between the trees. It literally made me stop in my tracks because, even though in reality it was a pretty simplistic layout, it was perfectly gorgeous.
I also enjoyed the man-made pond swimming with turtles and white and orange fish. There is a Japanese-style viewing pavilion overlooking the pond, offering a peaceful place to sit and enjoy the sounds of the outdoors.
I could go on and on about all of the different things I saw that I enjoyed, and as a writer it should be my duty to bring those sights back to life through my writing, but it truly is one of those places that you just need to see and experience for yourself. And, you must have an appreciation of nature in order to really enjoy the abundance of different species of trees, plants, flowers, etcetera that the Gardens have to offer.
During my first visit at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, I felt as if I were having a sensory overload– but in a good way. My eyes were furiously darting around trying to take everything in as quickly as possible as if the scenery were about to disappear before my eyes. There was so much to see in fact that I plan on going back again, not only to discover numerous things that I'm sure I missed during my first trip, but to also get away from all of the city hustle for a few hours.
The Brooklyn Botanical Gardens may not be a hot spot for weekend visitors to New York, but after actually living here, it's finding tucked away beauties like this one that continues to make New York an appealing place full of surprises and opportunity.

(Pictures above found on the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens wesbite.)

Film Review: Blue Valentine

Before Blue Valentine went to theaters, a friend of mine sent me the trailer to watch. I wasn’t sure what the plot was–a gritty modern day love story–but I knew people would see it since it stars Ryan Gosling (who plays Dean) and Michelle Williams (who plays Cindy). Despite hearing praise for the film and it getting several nominations, I went to a showing with indifference. I entered the film with no opinions and I left the film speechless due to feeling inundated with thoughts and an abundance of mixed emotions. Now several weeks after having seen the film, I still occasionally think about it so I’ve decided that it’s time for me to finally peel back my thoughts.

Perhaps the reason I can’t shake the film is because it doesn’t have a traditional happy ending andهتbecause it seems so real and relative. I think it really churns up the dirt on a question that has been lingering but hasn’t been tackled to this extent in a film: How can you trust your own feelings when they change? How can you love someoneهتthen grow apart while living with them? In many movies we have seen couples struggling to maintain relationships over a distance. The couple struggles to remain a part of each other’s life when they aren’t able to spend it doing things together. But in Blue Valentine, being in close proximity does nothing to strengthen Dean and Cindy’s connection to one another.

After seeingهتBlue ValentineهتI had a discussion with my movie companion. While I don’t frequently have sit-down discussions afterهتthe movies, my friend and I both felt the need to digest the heavy film. His opinion is that Cindy is to blame for the failed marriage because Dean clearly loves her, loves being a dad to “”their”” daughter (biologically, Dean is not the real father), and wants to stay together.

I, on the other hand, think it was a mutual unintentional destruction of the marriage.هتEven though it is admirable that Dean is such a good father to a daughter that technically isn’t even his and he still has so much love for Cindy, I can understand why Cindy desires more. There is a scene in the movie where Cindy asks Dean if he ever thinks about wanting more (you can see what she’s implying).هتDean and Cindyهتgot married and had a kid at a young age which obviouslyهتre-routed their livesهتfrom their previous career aspirations. But flash forward, and Cindy is busting her butt working long hours as a nurse and trying to rise in her field while Dean is a house painter (and arguably somewhat of a bum) with no self-ambition. You can see thatهتCindy is becoming increasingly turned off by Dean’s content with being nothing other than a family man. Additionally, as the film oscillates from the past to the present, the viewer can see how Dean was attractive and charming in his youth,هتand how his looks have deteriorated over the years.

Is it wrong to want more or something different after you have made a big life decision? Is Cindy being selfish because she should be grateful to have a husband that loves her and wants to be a good father? Should she feel obligated to stay with Dean to keep the family together even though she doesn’t love him anymore?

I don’t think Dean is entirely faultless for the breakup either. He has a temper, and a good example of this is when he shows up drunk to Cindy’s work at the end of the film to start a fight with her. Not only is it in public, it is her place of work. That is not acceptable under any circumstance and could have possibly cost her her job she was working so hard at. Arguably, Cindy may have instigated the incident when she left the hotel without waking up passed-out Dean consequently leading him to have to take a bus back. Needless to say, I don’t think it’s fair to take sides. Either way, the movie presents an ominous reality that love isn’t always forever. It’s saddening to see how much Dean and Cindy were in love when they could hardly keep their hands off each other to how Cindy can hardly even stand to be touched by Dean. Their love seems so tarnished in the present-day shots. It’s quite heartbreaking to watch.

One thing

I wish the film would have touched on more is the implications of aهتyoung pregnancy. When Cindy went to the doctor she said she started having sex in her early-teens and that she had slept with over twenty people. Where were her parents when she was out sleeping around? She lived under their roof. Cindy may not have had a perfect relationship with her family, but she was certainly on speaking terms with them. I found it odd that the parents reaction to Cindy getting pregnant was never shown or even mentioned in addition to them not being present when Dean and Cindy tied the knot.

Blue Valentine tells a beautiful yetهتdepressing story of the blossoming of a relationship juxtaposed withهتits demise. I love the films ability to move forward while integrating flashbacksهتof the past. It is well-done. One aspect in which I judge a film is whether or not I’ll be able to remember it months or years after seeing it, and this is one of those films that I think I will continuously reflect on. I highly recommend it, even to guys.هتIt is definitely not your typical predictable,هتcornyهتlove story.

Happiness Unbound

Life has been really stressful lately with taking on more responsibilities at work as well as living in the city on an already tight budget. So, my work in progress is trying to make the most of my (small amount of) free time by doing things that will make me happy. Below are three key things that I can work towards to live a more balanced and healthy life.
1. Feeling good about myself!
This includes:
a.) working out – sweating and getting adrenaline flowing creates endorphins which make us feel good about ourselves. Plus, we want to keep our bods tight and in shape!
b.) shopping – b/c when we wear a cute outfit we feel good about ourselves
2. Sleep! zzzzzzz

I hate feeling grumpy and lethargic because of sleep deprivation. I need to be alert at work, so if that

requires me to make it into bed before midnight, so be it! I'll appreciate it the next morning.

3. Enjoying the moments in life that may be overlooked or seem “”minuscule”” to some, but may be just the break you need to get through the rest of the day/week. For me this includes:
– Starbucks – I literally get a little excited every time I get a beverage there.
– Slurpees – Luckily, I have a 7-11 right across the street from work. Feeling like a little kid again while slurping a frosty slushie is totally acceptable despite all the sugary calories if it'll make me a little happy, if only for a few minutes.
– Nature – One of my favorite things to do one day over the weekend is to go to the park. After being holed up in an office and apartment building all week, it's refreshing to see actual grass and trees. I love central park and the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens.
– Reading – Get away from the noise of a TV or ipod every once in a while and get lost in a story.
– Movies/TV – I love catching up on my favorite TV shows by watching episodes online. That way, I can watch it on my own time.
– Making no plans – Once in a while it's relaxing to make no plans at all and just do what you want to do whenever you get around to doing it. After abiding by deadlines all week and rushing to make it to appointments on time, it's nice to have at least one day to do everything at my leisure.
Doing the above things definitely does lift my mood, but when I think about it, can 1-3 little enjoyable things make up for the remaining hours in a day that are not so enjoyable? I personally think it would be unrealistic to expect to be happy throughout the majority of the day, even though I do wish there was a little more of a balance. Although it sucks and we often complain about difficult things, it is the difficulties that make certain things seem special to us. It gives us something to look forward to.
So tell me, what makes you happy? What gets you through a hard day?

Book Review: Shop Class as Soulcraft

I recently finished the book Shop Class as Soulcraft by Matthew Crawford. I'll be honest and admit that I originally didn't expect to enjoy this book, mostly because I'm not really a “”let's get our hands dirty”” kind of girl–I can hardly cook, I do laundry about once a month (and average about at least one ruined article of clothing per wash), and I grew up having my dad do any necessary house/car/misc. repairs. But while there were many parts of the book where it was a little hard to relate, I still understand Crawford's main points.

First, here's a little background on Crawford. He has a Ph.D. in political philosophy from the University of Chicago, served as a postdoctoral fellow on its Committee on Social Thought, and is currently a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia. He also happens to be very passionate about motorcycles. In fact, he owns and operates Shockoe Moto, an independent motorcycle repair shop in Richmond, VA. So basically, this guy is the real deal.

In Shop Class as Soulcraft, Crawford describes some of his jobs after getting a higher education. To his disappointment, he found that most of the work he did stuck in a cubicle did not actually require him to challenge himself mentally. To make a long story short, he ended up opening up a motorcycle repair shop, and he enjoyed it much more than simply doing chug and plug autopilot kind of work in which he never got to see physical results. When he was describing the kind of work he previously did and how unsatisfactory it was for him, it really got me thinking about my own level of content with my own job. In describing the intricate and oftentimes frustrating process of learning as you go and figuring things out through trial and error while repairing motorcycles, it made me gain an appreciation for the work of mechanics that makes my life so much easier. It's a shame that blue collered jobs are looked down upon and viewed as “”lesser than”” in today's society, although their work is so important. It made me realize the backwardness of someone having a college education receiving more value than a tradesman who may actually produce more viable work.

Society today is pushing for everyone to have a higher education, and while I think that there are many great institutions out there, I don't think college is for everyone. Also, depending on the field, more knowledge may be acquired while getting actual hands-on experience in the work place than in a classroom. I really respected Crawford's decision to break from the conformity of society to do what he really feels passionate about. I don't think many people today with a Ph.D. would turn away from a white collar job to open up his/her own motorcycle repair shop. From Crawford's experience it made me realize that for some, in order to find true happiness it may require rejecting a life course mapped out by others as obligatory and inevitable. To some it may seem crazy and stupid, but it's your life, and you should do what you need to do in order to be content. As Crawford would say, “”Live well.””

Lastly, Crawford asserts that in order to be a better worker and to challenge yourself, you must learn to accept failure. You can never know too much; there is always something else to be learned. I think that is something we all forget from time to time as we become comfortable in our jobs and fall into a monotonous routine. We should continuously challenge ourselves even if the outcome isn't what we had hoped

it to be, and in doing so, we will become improved individuals who will take that experience and apply it to the next, thus doing what it takes to “”live well.””

So ask yourself, are you content? With your career? With your life? Are you doing what you want to do or are you simply following the path that society has already shown its approval towards?

Coach Purse Design Competition

As a customer of Coach Leatherware for several years, I regularly receive email updates about their latest designs. I usually try to immediately delete the weekly email blasts because the colorful pages full of cute new purses and accessories make it difficult for me to just browse without yearning for everything I see. One recent email I received though titled, “”Online only, blogger-designed bags”” especially caught my attention, so I had no choice but to satisfy my curiosity. After all, I myself am a blogger, so I was naturally a bit intrigued, and secondly, any description containing the words “”online-only”” or “”limited edition”” make me giddy with delight like I've just exclusively been told a secret.

After going to Coach's webpage I gathered that Coach held a competition in which independent designers could submit design ideas. The winning bags are showcased and available to purchase online only. There are four designs for sale: Krystal's Fringe Shoulder Bag, Emily's Satchel, Karla's Clutch, and Kelly's Drawstring Pouch. I'm not going to lie, I'd be real happy to own any

of them. They are each hip, unique, and represent a style of their own. I wasn't able to copy any pictures of the bags into my blog post, so I encourage everyone to check them out by clicking the link above. After all, they'll only be available for a limited time, and it already looks like Kelly's putty colored Drawstring Pouch (that has a design resembling a grenade) is already sold out.

My personal favorite is Emily's Satchel. The description alone is tantalizing:
هت
“”Equal parts food, fashion and fun, Cupcakes and Cashmere delights women around the world with daily doses of style. Emily Schuman, the girl behind the beauty, defines “”sweet”” with this delicious blog. Her Doctor-bag inspired satchel is as pretty and luxurious as both, well, cupcake and cashmere.””
هتهت
If I had $500 to spare, which is what the light pink satchel is going for, then I would absolutely add it to my collection, but until then I'll just have to admire it on the Coach website.

The Cove

I recently watched a documentary, The Cove (which also happened to be the Academy Award winner for the Best Documentary of 2010), about dolphin slaughtering and captivity in Japan. The combination of horrific facts about how many dolphins are killed per year and seeing the actual slaughterings was heartbreaking to watch. What is even more disturbing was the fact that the Japanese government was covering up the mislabeling of the whale meat sold in the markets. Since dolphins are higher up on the food chain, they contain higher levels of mercury poisoning, and the general public had no idea that the food they thought was safe was actually highly poisonous, causing many birth defects and damage to the central nervous system and kidneys.

It baffled me that such dire information could be kept from such a large general public as Japan. At the same time, it made me very grateful to those who exposed the health issue and needlessness of dolphin killing. The activists risked going to jail or even worse, death, by trying to uncover all the facts. Those courageous individuals are the type of people that I look at for inspiration. I admire the fact that they are living their lives trying to make the world a better, more organic place, without succumbing to societal pressure to get a “”real,”” higher paying job. It's often the people who make less who make the largest contributions to society.

The documentary made me ponder ways in which I can be a better person. Animal rights isn't the only issue that needs to be addressed. I did sign the petition on The Cove webpage to help save the lives of hundreds of dolphins, and I also browsed at some of the other issues on the Take Part website. As one of my favorite quotes goes, “”Be the change you wish to see in the world.”” – Gandhi

The Cove was very eye-opening for me, and I'm very glad I watched it. It was on my Netflix queue for a few months, and I kept putting off watching it because I never felt in the mood to watch something I knew was going to be so soberingly serious. I guess I was clinging to the “”ignorance is bliss”” idea. But, I finally sat down and watched the documentary in its entirety, even during the parts when I felt so sad, bitter and angry and wanted to turn it off.
No one can force you to do anything, you have to want to do something on your own, and that is the only way someone can make an impact. I feel that education is most fundamental in evoking people to care and want to make

a difference. Although I surely wasn't happy by the time the film ended, I was happy I was informed about the situation. And what I do with that information is in my hands now…

(The picture on the left is a cove in Taijii, Japan where hundreds of dolphins are lured into and trapped by nets to be slaughtered for their meat.)

Entranced in Wonderland

So last night I finally saw Alice in Wonderland, and it was nothing less than amazing! I literally sat inches away from my television screen in order to absorb everything. Some who I asked before I had the chance to see the movie said it was “”weird,”” but that’s the point, isn’t it? A fantastical dream should be imaginative and bizarre. I absolutely loved the vivid colors and the unique variety of characters. I actually think I enjoyed Tim Burton’s modern version of Alice in Wonderland more than I did the Disney version when I was a young girl.

Another aspect of the film that I enjoyed were Alice’s dresses. Check out this Alice in Wonderland fashion spread in Vogue. It’s actually from December 2003, but it’s still so chic. I’ve never liked the color blue as much as I did throughout the movie and in the Alice fashion spread.

Below is Mia Wasikowska who plays Alice. At first I thought she was kind of homely looking, but she grew on me, and now I think she was a perfect fit for the character. It kind of annoyed me that her name isn’t even on the front of the DVD box considering she is the main character. Only Johnny Depp’s name was listed. While I do think Depp did an excellent job as well, I don’t think his name and only his was deserving to have the cover all for himself. Even Anne Hathaway surprisingly got shafted.

Alice in Wonderland (2010) was a creative and modern twist to a beloved Disney tale, and it is definitely a movie I plan on watching again as well as recommending to others. I also really liked its stress on the message to follow your heart and be daring, even if that means doing something that others may not understand or disapprove.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Book Review: Commencement

I just finished J. Courtney Sullivan's Commencement, and I enjoyed it. I bought it because having recently graduated myself, I thought the book might give me some inspiration and encouragement for my future. The cialis from india book is kind of like a more adult version of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants without the weird, unwashed rotating pants that magically fits four differently sized girls.

The book dives into the lives of four girls -Celie, Sally, Bree, and April- who meet at college and become best friends and shows how their lives are still entwined even as they move to different cities and uphold differing careers. The girls attended a very liberal woman's college, Smith, and a large part of the novel deals with issues of feminism. Each of the girls hold varying views about certain feminist topics, with April being an extremist and Bree, Sally, and Celie falling somewhere in the middle, taking turns leaning towards the left depending on the issue.

Although Commencement didn't really speak words of wisdom to me, I still got wrapped up in

the characters' lives and was engrossed in the novel. Sullivan did an excellent job of going beyond simply introducing the four main characters. She allows her readers to really get a feel for each of the the characters' personalities so that by the end of the novel I felt like I knew how each would react in certain situations. The only part of the novel that I became annoyed about was how Bree let her life go and gave up everything she had worked so hard to achieve when she was going through a difficult time. Everyone handles grief differently, but I was surprised that her friends and family didn't tell her that it would be foolish to throw her dream job away.

Additionally, I like how Sullivan was able to weave in important issues like equality for women, homosexuality, sexual abuse, and sex trafficking without taking focus away from the characters or storyline. I would say Commencement deserves a fist pump for representing the array of women in the world who are strong, independent, driven, and ambitious and aren't afraid to make up their own rules. Although the review by New York Times is a little more critical for not exploring other issues in the novel such as Celie's difficulty with male intimacy and possible alcohol abuse, I didn't think it needed to be dwelt upon. Confidence should be placed in the readers to be able to read into those things and make their own judgments – that's simply a part of the reading process.

My book rating: 4/5 stars