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Ginger Marin, Bionic Lady, Journalist, Actor, Author

With a Little Something to Say

Review of “251 Things to Do In Tofino”

Review by Ginger Marin as posted to Goodreads in July 2016

251 things to do in tofinoOkay, I’m pretty certain I’m ready to pack my bags and head off to a fabulous long-term stay in Tofino, British Columbia, Canada after reading Kait Fennell’s “251 Things to Do in Tofino”.

Her book is a wonderful resource guide of the community and environs, including that of its indigenous peoples. It’s part history, geography and delightful visitors’ guide listing everything from what you can expect at different times of the year, best beaches and hiking trails, restaurants and eateries, places to stay, what to do and where to shop amidst what sounds like a surfer’s and environmentalist’s dream vacation experience.

Ready, set, go! And make sure to take this guide with you.

As Kait explains, Tofino is on the west coast of Vancouver Island, in British Columbia at the southern edge of Clayoquot Sound which has been designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. That should tell you a lot right there. Respect for the environment is high on the list of things you need to know when visiting. As for anything else, well, you just need to read the book if nature, peace and quiet, beautiful vistas, water sports and hiking in an environment that is largely rainforest appeals to you. It all sounds like a treasure of a find if you ask me.

Who knows, you might become lost forever, not so much wandering the woods, but lost to its beauty – that’s how well Ms. Fennel has managed to sway me to Tofino’s charms. I’ve already started using her links to discover some of the fabulous shops that abound in Tofino.

Easy reading and charming graphics also highlight the book.

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Review of “Prescription for Life: Three Simple Strategies to Live Younger Longer”

Prescription for Life by Richard FurmanBook Review by Ginger Marin as posted to Goodreads in 2015.

 

I’ve read many nutrition and diet books and articles over the years and I have to say I was not very impressed with Dr. Richard Furman’s “Prescription for Life” mainly because I was expecting something new. This book, however, reads like a nutrition treatise for the complete novice as it largely advocates a Mediterranean-style diet along with exercise after forcing us to wade through numerous case studies of his patients’ and friends’ health issues, all a result of clogged arteries and high cholesterol.

A vascular surgeon, Dr. Furman’s mantra is to avoid foods with cholesterol at all costs. Maybe that’s the right prescription for some people but maybe not everyone. Some foods like an egg contain valuable nutrients in the yolk which also balance out other nutrients in the white. The good doctor ignores that part of the equation as well as telling us to stop taking vitamins and herbs, even though other doctors have informed us repeatedly that the nutritional value of our produce has declined markedly in the last 50-years. And his advice on the best breakfast of oatmeal with a ton of fruit piled on top would make other doctors’ heads spin – diabetes anyone? That’s a blood sugar spike for sure.

The book is too long and redundant. Dr. Furman also spends 3 chapters on erectile dysfunction and the last part of the book, the actual 21-Day Outline, is roughly 45 pages telling you to go back and read other pages of his book. A disappointing experience.

 

Award of Attorneys Fees: The False Non-Equivalency

William-Shakespeare-Quotes-1024x625.jpgNo one forces any party to get an attorney. It’s for that party’s own convenience.  On the other hand, the party litigating pro se (self represented; also “pro per”) usually does so for lack of funds to pay for an attorney.  The party with an attorney saves his/her own time and effort; the party without any attorney must work full-time as his own attorney.  He is required by the courts to follow every rule and meet a standard of the court’s own making. Right now the courts refuse to award any attorneys fees to a litigant operating as his own attorney with the rationale being that the pro se did not expend any money for a “real” attorney to represent him.

Why should the “wealthier” of the two parties be rewarded for paying for an attorney? Or rather, why should the person representing himself be denied compensation for all the work he had to do in a case?  When a pro se litigant is a defendant in a case, it becomes even more unfair, because he is the one being hauled into court by someone else and being forced to defend himself.

Many people operating pro se work a regular job.  Is one to assume that those people magically get to attend every court appearance for free or that the filing of a document in court may not require them to take time off from work?  Who’s paying?  I would argue that the pro se litigant pays as much as the wealthier one and that pro se litigants should be able to recover “attorneys” fees just like those who pay to have someone else represent them so they can go about their lives carefree.

The legal system is entirely unfair in this regard.  Either all parties are entitled to fees or no parties are entitled.  I prefer that no party get fees.  Often the legal system requires that each party pay his/her own way, however, there are many statutes that allow for the award of attorney fees and costs. In many states if you simply make a motion and lose or oppose a motion and lose or you act or don’t act, you can be subject to sanctions and have to pay the other party’s attorneys’ fees.  The whole process should be done away with. If the wealthier party can afford an attorney, good for him, but the less fortunate should not be penalized which is precisely what’s happening now.

A lawyer can change anywhere from $250 to $1,000 or more an hour. That’s well beyond above your average worker’s salary. That means you might have to pay those exorbitant costs if attorneys’ fees are awarded against you. And since the attorney can just claim that he spent 10 hours working on a motion, for example, you’d have to pay for his 10 hours and more in the way of costs (filing the motion, travel, parking fees, etc.).  He has offered no real proof, for one thing. It’s simply his word. And if he did spend 10 hours preparing a motion, you can bet the pro se litigant was forced to spend ten times as much time on a motion or an opposition to the attorney’s motion because the pro se has far fewer resources to pull from. 

If the wealthier party had to absorb his own costs at all times, maybe then they’d be a little more judicious in how they work the case. A wealthier party up against a less fortunate party will try to take advantage, knowing that the opposition can never prevail in getting his or her own attorney fee awards. They’ll just keep rolling over you.

This is not a justice system. This is a farce.

Article by Ginger Marin. To learn about her acting, visit Ginger Marin’s IMDB page.

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America’s Fake Outrage

Last week, the Syrian government used chemical weapons, sarin gas specifically, that took the lives of 70 of its citizens, children among them, “beautiful babies” as Trump called them.  America was OUTRAGED.

Big agri-chemical companies poison American citizens on a daily basis.  Our bodies are filled with harmful chemicals from pesticides, lead, mercury and on and on that affect our immune systems, endocrine systems, brain, liver, kidneys, etc.  America is NOT outraged.

As many as 29 million Americans, about one in 10, lack health insurance according to a May 2016 article by thefiscaltimes.com, causing many to go without any kind of health care which can lead to debilitating diseases and death.  America is NOT outraged.

The United States still, after all these years, does not have universal health care.  America is NOT outraged.

Before the Affordable Care Act, health insurance companies did not have to cover pre-existing conditions. Many people including “beautiful babies” died slow horrible deaths from their horribly debilitating preexisting conditions.  America was NOT outraged.

The big pharmaceutical companies get away with charging obscene amounts of money for their cache of drugs, some of which are so expensive that health insurance companies won’t pay for them and people cannot afford to buy them which leads many people, including “beautiful babies”, to die slow painful deaths,.  America is NOT outraged.

In January 2014, the number of homeless veterans was cited at 49,933. They get no health care, no food; they’re becoming sick, dying from suicide, illness, hunger, exposure to heat and cold.  America is NOT outraged.

According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, 564,708 people in January 2015 were homeless on a given night in the United States. Of that number, 206,286 were people in families and 358,422 were individuals. About 15 % of the homeless population, 83,170, are considered “chronically homeless” individuals.  They die just like the homeless veterans from the very same reasons, including from violence committed against them.  America is NOT outraged.

Factory farming’s bad practices encourages nonstop use of antibiotics in non-sick animals causing antibiotic resistance in humans which leads to severe illnesses not being treatable. People suffer; people die.  America is NOT outraged.

Los Angeles, as just one example, allows the construction of homes within feet of freeways, deliberately exposing citizens to high levels of known toxic chemicals which wreak havoc on their health, shortening their life spans and yet, America is NOT outraged.

Our governments ignore infrastructure. Bridges collapse and people in cars careen to their deaths; freeway overpasses collapse and people get crushed to death. People are killed just walking on our crumbled, overlapping sidewalks; pipes burst from age, people get sick from toxic emissions, some get cancer; railroad tracks are outdated and trains derail causing death and injury.  America is NOT outraged.

How are we all NOT outraged by the supreme hypocrisy of our governments and by our own obliviousness?

The Amazing Hacksaw Ridge and Andrew Garfield

hacksaw-ridgeHere it is February 2017 and it’s time for the Academy Awards to be broadcast this Sunday.  The awards’ season opened with people jumping up and down over La La Land for who knows what reason. The movie sucks. I guess people forgot what really good musicals are like. It wasn’t that long ago when “Chicago” hit the screen. Now that was a great musical.

In any case, I could not let this season go by without commenting on the Mel Gibson directed film “Hacksaw Ridge” starring Andrew Garfield. It’s spectacular from start to finish. It tells the story of WWII American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa, a true conscientious objector who refused to kill people and became the first man in American history to receive the Medal of Honor without firing a shot. He saved the lives of 75 soldiers single handedly in a feat of determination, strength and undying faith.  This is what a real hero looks like.

Andrew Garfield’s performance demands more than just an Oscar nomination. He deserves the win. He physically and emotionally embodies Doss and when he talks of faith and why he cannot pick up a gun, you believe every word and truly understand the motivation.

Garfield is surrounded by excellent acting from his fellow cast members including Vince Vaughn and Sam Worthington. Exceptional are Hugo Weaving and Rachel Griffiths as Doss’ parents. There is one scene that takes place in the Doss kitchen between Desmond and his parents that is stunning and heartbreaking as the father’s pain is horribly exposed.  It is what turns Desmond into the direction of conscientious objector and becomes the very thing that causes his father to step up and commit to his son’s decision to fight the enemy in his own way, as a medic, working to save the lives of his fellow soldiers.

The film is absolutely gruesome in displaying the horrors of war; body parts blown off, intestines exposed; heads blasted; rats feasting on the remains. Yes, it’s sickening but it’s real. This movie deserves much credit this Oscar season. Garfield’s performance deserves the award for best actor.  Hacksaw Ridge is nominated for best film and Mel Gibson for best director but they’ve got some stiff competition, unfortunately also from the aforementioned La La Land.

Article by Ginger Marin. To learn about her acting, visit Ginger Marin’s IMDB page.

New Book Release From Ginger Marin

“Adventures in Avalon: An Offbeat & Quirky Adult Bedtime Story” by Ginger Marin was published in paperback on June 24, 2016. The book is also available in Kindle Format and it can be read for free via KindleUnlimited. Click the link to go straight to the Amazon sales page.

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Description:  Intrepid reporter Ginger Marin discovers a lost civilization of cartoon people living in Middle America, in a town called Avalon in the County of Ligature-Upon-Avon … one of those quaint little communities that is somewhat lost in American space, neither here nor there but definitely somewhere.

Her dispatches from the front lines will thrill and excite you as she describes all the crazy things cartoon people do when they think no one’s watching. You’ll read the fascinating, slightly raunchy, true tales of the Avalon Defense Department (a.k.a. police department) where rock star police detective General Schnitzkof, a former British officer, and his trusted assistant, rookie cop WingWing, a rotund little dumpling of a “lad”, solve some of the town’s most absurd crimes such as these: “The Case of the Missing Member or How John Sir Gwaine Bobolini Lost One of His Family Jewels and How He Recovered It … Well Sort Of”, “The Case of the Missing Haunted Mobile Home” and last, but certainly not least, “The Cream Puff Caper”, where you’ll meet some of Avalon’s worst offenders like that pervert Mr. Parabolikos and murderous old lady Wiggins.

Ginger Marin is an actor-writer living in Los Angeles. For information about her acting credits, please visit Ginger’s IMDB Page.  Also follow Ginger Marin on Goodreads.

Goodreads Giveaway for “Adventures in Avalon: An Offbeat & Quirky Adult Bedtime Story”

Giveaway runs from July 9th – August 18th

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Adventures In Avalon by Ginger Marin

Adventures In Avalon

by Ginger Marin

Giveaway ends August 18, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/widget/194293

Enter for a chance to win one of 5-paperback copies being given away of the deliciously charming and humorous “Adventures in Avalon: An Offbeat & Quirky Adult Bedtime Story” by Ginger Marin.

2016 Oscars Telecast Sucked

Emmy®-winning live television producer David Hill and Oscar®-nominated producer-director Reginald Hudlin produced the 88th Oscars telecast on Feb. 28, 2016. It was absolutely the worst Academy Awards show in history, from host Chris Rock’s endless “OscarsSoWhite” rants to his hawking Girl Scout Cookies to Vice President Biden showing up to talk about campus rape to the corrupted Best Picture video clips and all the way to the inappropriate orchestral music selections. Hill and Hudlin should be permanently barred from ever producing another show.

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Chris Rock

Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs had said earlier that she hoped Chris Rock would simply acknowledge the “elephant in the room” and then move on. Instead, Rock rode the elephant in, made it do a song and dance, twirl on its trunk, take a huge dump, throw rotten peanuts at the audience and then finally spout hundreds of gallons of regurgitated bile at them. Not only was this entertainment show not entertaining, it was disgraceful and insulting to all the nominees of every category. And unless they’re all masochists, the attendees, whether members of the Academy or not or job hirers or not, had to sit there smiling and applauding, lest they be perceived as racist.

The only political message that was welcome was winner Leonardo DiCaprio’s pro environment stance. Why? Because if we don’t act now to save the planet and all of its valuable resources, none of us will be around to watch another crappy, vile and insulting Oscar telecast hosted by Chris Rock or anyone else.

Article by Ginger Marin. To learn about her acting, visit Ginger Marin’s IMDB page.  Ginger Marin is also on Google+

James Bond Songs: Book Review

The James Bond Songs: Pop Anthems of Late CapitalismThe James Bond Songs: Pop Anthems of Late Capitalism by Adrian Daub
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

As I was reading “The James Bond Songs”, I kept wondering for whom did the authors write this. For die-hard James Bond film fans? No, it’s too stiff and technical for them. For musicians? Perhaps. For film music composers? Definitely. But even then this book is so specific to James Bond songs that they’ve narrowed the niche of readers to those who want to compose James Bond songs themselves.

I found the book tedious, redundant and not the least bit joyful to read as I was hoping. Since it was written by two music professors, I think it essentially belongs in the classroom. For the general public, not so much.

I received my copy in a Goodreads Giveaway and would have loved to have given it a higher rating. Sorry.

View all my reviews
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