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My personal take on Charlene Harris’ Real Murders series

 

So I’ve just finished reading Charlaine Harris’ Real Murders.  Technically reading, anyway.  I don’t do much literal reading nowadays since I don’t have time for such luxury and my myopic eyes seem to be more myopic every time I visit my optometrist (which is an average of 2x a year, by the way). What I actually do is, I listen to audiobooks.  I found it pretty convenient since I am mostly out my house every day, anywisay. And it so just helps me be in the mood to do chores while washing dishes or sweeping the floor, or doing laundry. It helps me get through my most tedious and monotonous housework. When I’m out, I just connect my phone to my earbuds, popped them in my ear, open my audio book app, and I can listen to the current book I am into or connect it to my good ole reliable JBL Bluetooth speaker, up the volume, open my audio book app and press play when I’m at home.

Back to the book Real Murders. What immediately struck me while reading the book now was how inconvenient it was for Aurora to not have a mobile phone.   The book was written in the early 1990s and I just couldn’t help thinking about how useful a cell phone was, if Aurora Teagarden, the main character of the book (and the whole series) owned one. Well, that’s what popped into my mind whenever I “read” the parts where she saw a dead body, or a bloody hatchet or just whenever she needed to call for help. On the whole, Real Murders is a good murder mystery to read.  It also managed to keep me guessing on who amongst the Real Murders Club members was the actual murderer. This book also made references to real murders and true crimes (thus the title, Real Murders) which I previously didn’t have any interest in, and didn’t have any knowledge of; but thanks to this book, I actually learned some things real murders related. So I credit this book for additional knowledge and trivia now stored in my own “knowledge bank” because I rarely read non-fiction or textbooks (sad but true and a weakness of mine)  I find that they are almost always boring. So I just loved it when not only can I enjoy the pleasure of being transported to different worlds and different places, I can also learn some things during those “travels.”

My reason behind reading the Aurora Teagarden’s series is because it’s from Charlaine Harris.  She is one of my favorite authors. I am a Charlaine Harris fan.  I loved her Southern Vampires: Sookie Stackhouse series. I’ve read each one of them, novellas and all. I watched True Blood on HBO but they lost me somewhere between season 4 or 5.  Too many changes from the book and I absolutely prefer the twists and turns of the books most of the time to that of the tv show.And that was the end of my True Blood “affair.”   I found that most often than not,  I can’t appreciate the small or big screen version of books. I would always find that digressing from the original plots are always poor substitutes to the original stories.  Unless of course, the authors are the screenwriters of the stories. I don’t know why. It’s probably because when authors are screenwriters, they manage to bring their own unique stamps and their own way of telling their stories to the big screen that make the viewers who are readers of their books less disconnected.

Okay, back to Real Murders again. 😀  I love that the main character, Aurora Teagarden is a librarian.   My favorite hangout when I was still in school was the library so librarians to me are the cool people in my book world.:) 🙂 🙂 But there was one part of the book though where I find Aurora Teagarden stupid.  It was when she let her six-year-old half-brother go out of the house alone to get his baseball bat which he left outside when it was almost dark.  I mean, what kind of stupid who reads real murders, who has just been involved with a series of murder investigations (even if someone already confessed to said murders), who knows the real danger of murders and crimes–allow a six-year-old child go alone (and even hands a flashlight to him??!!) to find a baseball bat when it’s getting dark??? While I grant that that part of the book right there is the start of the climax of the story, some subtle alterations could have been made so as to not let Aurora act so stupidly especially since she was portrayed as a smart, well-read, murder savvy librarian.  Other than that, the book was enjoyable and entertaining.

I am currently on the first few pages of the second Aurora Teagarden series, A Bone To Pick. I just know that if it’s a Charlaine Harris book, I’ll never get disappointed.

Oh, by the way, I followed Ms. Charlaine Harris’ on Facebook and Twitter and she just had an update on the upcoming new tv series for the Aurora Teagarden in Lifetime network soon.  There was a date given but I forgot when.

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Terrible Smart & Smartbro Mobile Data Connections

It all started when I bought a Globe sim prepaid card. I loaded my tablet with 1-month worth of internet connection. (I loaded it with 1000 pesos worth of load then texted in caps SUPERSURF 999 sent it to 8888. Then you’ll receive a verification text of your 1-month prepaid subscription.) I had a steady internet connection, albeit a slow one. I found out that the area where I lived had a weak Globe connection. I can only get a semi-decent connection of H+ when my device is placed in my living room and barely a E and a one bar signal when in the bedroom.

When my 1-month of promo mobile data connection was up. I decided to switch to a Smart mobile sim card and again I loaded my Smart sim with a 1-month promo subscription like with what I did to my Globe. The signal was fine and everything.  I could even get a 3g and H+ signal in the bedroom. Unfortunately, those signals just didn’t reflect their actual performance and they were extremely erratic. How erratic? It’s like having a 3g signal reflected on the device and a “no internet connection”  reflected on a page you are trying to open. Anyway, half-way through my 1 month subscription, I couldn’t get a mobile data signal. I tried restarting my device, turning my mobile data off and on at intervals and even trying my sim to other devices. Still I got nothing. So I called the Smart toll free number about out it and they promised to get back to me within 24 hours. And even before the 24 hours was up, I got my mobile data signal back. And even with the snail-like and erratic signal, I stuck it out with Smart. It’s not like I can do anything about it since I am still subscribed for  a couple of weeks to Smart. And then less than a week after I got my mobile data back on track, I experienced again the same problem. I called Smart and they gave me a report reference number and promised to get back to me again after 24 hours. I waited for a day. And waited for another day. No mobile data. No feedback from Smart. I called Smart again and got their standard answer of waiting for 24 hours then gave me a new report reference number for my call. I waited for another 24 hours. So it was after three days that I realized my complaint wasn’t getting anywhere.

Then I caught myself thinking.  What if my Smart sim wasn’t working because I used it for internet and not for mobile calls. What if I should  buy their Smartbro. Their Smartbro is being marketed mainly for internet, right?  I should try the Smartbro. And so I did. Stupid me bought a new sim and loaded another 1000 pesos worth of load for my tablet and registered my load for a monthly internet promo again. I know I should have tried loading per day or per week but I honestly thought I could save money with a whole month subscription for 995 pesos compared to a 50-peso daily internet subscription or 300 pesos weekly. So I loaded my Smartbro for 30 days and like with my Smart, have signals as high as 3g but slow to nonexistent internet connections. I tried going to places where Smart boasts high 4g and LTE connections like La Paz here in Iloilo. Nada. Nothing. My mobile data shows connection of 3g(since my tablet is not 4g or LTE compatible), and should have had a decent internet connection. But no, I got zero connection. Thirteen days of unlimited internet connection down the drain.  I was robbed. Me, a regular, a mere nobody was screwed over by the biggest telecommunications in the Philippines. Again. And I know I would be wasting my time calling their helpline since I ‘ve already done that and nothing to show for it. Why would a telecommunication giant  listen to a single unknown and uninfluential customer right? I would be wasting my breath. Had in fact wasted my breath enough already.

So that is why today, I will be switching again to Globe. I may not get a strong signal from where I live but at least it is steady. At least it is honest with its signal. At least it doesn’t say 3g when the connection is close to nonexistent.

You might wonder why I don’t have a broadband connection at home when clearly I can afford one since what I pay for a monthly subscription of mobile data connection costs more or less the same with that of a broadband. I actually had a PLDT broadband connection but it got broken and reported it to PLDT, called and reported like 5x on ther helplines, visited their branch 3x but they didn’t act on it until my contract with them expired. On hindsight I should have known that Smart would screw me over. PLDT and Smart are sister companies so why should I expect the latter would be any better, right?

Postscript:
Do forgive me for my use of LTE, 4g, 3g, H, and E reference. I do not know their actual names or what they stand for. I only know of them to pertain kinds of internet speed based from what is reflected on my device and from what I see in ads. 🙂

My Mad Fat Diary

A young friend of mine recommended this tv series  My Mad Fat Diary and told me I would enjoy watching the show. And I did. He knew me pretty well, this friend of mine. We both loved the show.  I was pretty down, you see, after the Outlander midseason finale.

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My Mad Fat Diary is a British teenage comedy/drama and was probably intended for the teen population and the young adult (like my young friend) and not for a married woman in her late thirties. But I loved the show. I guess I’m just young at heart. Anyway, as someone who is used to watching American movies and tv shows and because English is just my third language, I had trouble understanding the first three minutes because of the British accent. But after that, I was hooked.
And also I just love their soundtracks. I’m going to search and download all the songs from the show.

And as always, I googled this tv series and found out that it was based on a book from Rae Earl’s diary My Fat Mad Teenage Diary. Sharon Rooney is just fantastic as Rae Earl. And Nico Mirallegro, well let’s just say that if I were still fifteen years younger  I’d migrate to the UK just to ask him out 😉

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The second season finale was so good I’m not sure I want to watch a third season where they will split up again and hook up with other people. I don’t think I would want a “TO BE CONTINUED” after that season 2 ending.

And because I loved the show so much I read the book My Fat Mad Teenage Diary. I know the story was based on actual events of the life of Rae Earl but I love the show better. The story was okay, I guess. But the abrupt ending left me hanging. It was like a story cut short before the climax and there was no resolution. I know it was a diary made into a book but I expected something at the end. I didn’t even realize it was the last page. It was like reading a suspense story and just before the good stuff, you discovered the last few pages were missing and nowhere to be found.  I know there is a book #2 out there but you know, I guess I just want some sort of resolution or ending in every book I read even if there’s going to be a sequel to the story.