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review 2019-03-26 02:19
This Kid’s Struggles will Bring A Smile to Your Face
The First World Problems of Jason Van Otterloo - James Bailey

Subject: New worst day of my life


If you have stock in me, sell it now. Or is it buy? Buy low, right? Then buy, buy, buy, because if JVO shares go any lower it can only mean I’m dead. Nothing is going right and everything is going wrong. Very wrong. 


It's been awhile since I read an epistolary novel (maybe Where'd You Go, Bernadette? -- oh, and The Summer Holidays Survival Guide from last year -- duh -- I should stop thinking before I have to rewrite this whole paragraph), but I've always enjoyed them. There's something about the structure, the conceit, the immediacy of it all that really appeals to me, and has since the day I first cracked the cover of Dear Mr. Henshaw 35 years ago or so.


This particular novel is a collection of e-mails from fifteen year-old Jason Van Otterloo (known by some as Otterpop, others just call him Jason) and his friends over the summer of 2003 in Seattle. This is a good setting for the book -- it's before the ubiquity of cell-phones/texting among teens, but at a time they could be emailing several times a day and it not seem strange (like it would in the mid-90s). I don't know if that was Bailey's thought process, but it's what occurred to me. The emails are primarily Jason's -- not just because he's prolific, but that's a lot of it. Incidentally, I only caught one thing that jumped out at me as an anachronism -- which is about the best that I can think of in an indie book set in the past (I don't go looking for them, but they jump out at me. Binge-watching wasn't a thing in 2003. At least not by that name).


Jason's a pretty bookish kid who loves classic movies -- not just AMC (back when that's what the station was about), but there's a theater near his home that shows old movies. His best friend, Drew (the recipient of most of his emails), frequently goes to those with him -- they also play video games together, generally at Drew's. Jason's parents, Janice and Rob, aren't in the running for Parents of the Year, to say the least. I'm not sure at what point Jason lost enough respect for the that he started calling them by their first name, but it could have been when he was pretty young. On the other hand, there's enough venom in it (at least the way it reads to me) that it might be a recent development.


Janice shows the occasional burst of maternal activity or instinct, but it's rare. Rather than a father, Rob seems like the bullying older brother character in most books I read as a kid. But in general, the two of them act like they're stuck in their early 20's -- coming home from work long enough to greet each other and Jason, then they leave (not together) to meet up with friends and get drunk. Occasionally, they'll get into a fight with each other, but nothing too serious. It doesn't appear there's any intentional abuse -- physical or mental. It's primarily neglect that they're guilty of. Over the course of the summer, Rob does say a few things that will likely cause emotional scars when Jason has a few years to think about them, but they're unintentionally mean (one was said when Rob was attempting to be nice and fatherly).


Generally, Jason's e-mails are about whatever antics his parents are up to, arranging to meet Drew or whoever else, Jason's soliciting Drew for advice about a girl he meets (he ignores almost everything Drew says, to the reader's amusement and Drew's frustration), and Jason recruiting Drew or someone to get summer jobs together. There's an ongoing thread about a new neighbor who enjoys sunbathing, and Jason enjoys (hopefully surreptitiously) watching her. Rob enjoys watching her, too, but doesn't bother trying to be surreptitious.


Jason's emails are largely self-centered. Most of the stories told are his, not Drew's. He does seem to care about Drew and is interested when Drew unloads a little. But largely, the relationship seems to be about Drew listening to Jason. Drew gets something out of it, however -- maybe offline -- because he seems emotionally-centered enough (for a fifteen year-old) to not put up with Jason as much as he does, if Jason just didn't contribute anything to the friendship. Just don't ask me what it is. His self-centeredness seems typical for his age, and it doesn't make him a bad kid -- just a selfish one, and a lot of that is because he's never been parented by anyone who has a clue. Although, really, I'm not sure how many kids who have been well-parented who don't act like that.


His parent's (individually and corporately) show a signs of self-improvement -- AA, marriage counseling, and others. Jason is openly skeptical about these efforts -- perhaps because he's seen similar things before. Not only is he skeptical, but he seems to actively subvert these efforts. It seems odd for a kid who spends so much time complaining about his parents to complain about them trying to be better -- but it's honest. He doesn't believe in them, so why get his hopes up that this time will be any different? Sure, from the reader's perspective it's easy to say that these reforms might be longer-lived if he supported them. But from Jason's? Nah.


There is a little character development over the course of the novel -- but not a lot, But it's just a few months, so there shouldn't be a lot, right? What's there seems genuine and true to the character -- which is great. At the end of the day, you'll have enjoyed watching Jason struggle and survive -- learning enough to keep going.


Jason's optimistic and amusing -- which is says a lot about him. The whole book is told with a light touch --it's not overly comic, but you grin as Jason recounts his latest embarrassment with Gina, or Rob's most recent humiliating escapades -- or even as he and Drew talk about their mutual astonishment when another friend has some romantic success. Things are bad, but they're not bleak. They're even kind of fun.


The cover, by the way, is perfect. It not only reflects a plot point, but it encapsulates the feel of the book. In a figurative sense the world pees on Jason the way this dog literally does. Yet, it's kinda cute and amusing while it's happening. Several good things happen to the boy, but overall, the book is about his problems (right?) and his reactions to them.


I don't know what a YA reader would think of this -- I imagine they'd find Jason relatable and likeable, but I'm not sure. But for those of us with enough distance from their YA days, it's something that can be read with an air of "I remember when life was like that." Even if it's set over a decade later than my own teen years, I know people like Jason, I had friends who had a Gina in their life, and I dreamed of a girl like Sian. I'm probably not alone in this. This is a comfort-food kind of read -- it's entertaining and makes you feel good. I get kind of a Thomas Rockwell or 80's version of Todd Strasser feel from this, very much a Lad Lit starter kit kind of thing, now that I think about it -- which is good. Young Adults need something that's not dystopian. There's a sequel coming out in a week or two, and I'm really looking forward to it.

Disclaimer: I received this book from the author in exchange for this post and my honest opinion, which is what I provided.

LetsReadIndie Reading Challenge

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2019/03/25/the-first-world-problems-of-jason-van-otterloo-by-james-bailey-youll-enjoy-this-15-year-old-struggle-through-summer-of-03
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text 2019-02-18 09:08
When to See a Medical Professional for Back Pain

Workout or body job is one of the most typical; nonetheless, this is occasionally an indication of a more serious health issue. The complying with area explores several of the most typical problems that can create back pain.


Lumbar pain

Reduced neck and back pain or discomfort is one of the most usual sorts of back pain. The back spine is the reduced part of the back. The pain around often goes neglected within a couple of days or a week. Usual causes are poor stance, heavy training as well as tension. Many back pain lasts a couple of days and goes away entirely in a few weeks. If you have neck and back pain once more, you need to consult your Lower Back Doctor Specialist to figure out if you require a brand-new examination.



spine doctor nyc


If you really feel pain in the lower back, begin maintaining a journal of your discomfort and activities in which you are included when the pain starts and also call to make a consultation. The journal info will certainly be really valuable for your medical professional as well as will help you in the diagnosis and treatment of your back pain..


Herniated disc

If the herniated disc is in the reduced back, you might feel discomfort radiating from this area to the upper legs and also legs. If the herniated disc is located in the top back or cervical spinal column, the discomfort will emit to your shoulders as well as arms. Therefore, Massage Therapy For Back Pain is optimal.


If you really feel discomfort when leaning or bending, this might be a sign of a herniated disc. The discs of the spinal column lie in between the vertebrae (which are the bone blocks of the back). The disc has a design comparable to a circular tart with a gelatinous dental filling and also a firm exterior. In a healthy and balanced column, each disc remains in place between each vertebra. When a disc is displaced or worn because of an aging procedure, it can irritate a crucial nerve inside or outside the spine. The pain can be recurring and also have different degrees of extent, yet the earlier this kind of discomfort is identified as well as dealt with, the better the results for the client.


Osteoarthritis and lumbar joint discomfort

Osteoarthritis is a fairly common reason for lower neck and back pain and also is brought on by the failure of cartilage (the tissue that covers the joints at the end of the bones).
The symptoms consist of a steady increase suffering as well as numbness (stiffness). Later, the discomfort is intensified by exercise or extended resting.


Degeneration of the back disc

Osteoarthritis of the lumbar joints is commonly puzzled with the deterioration of the back disc, which is the steady degeneration of the disc in between the vertebrae. Spine discs are soft, compressible discs that separate the interlaced bones (vertebrae) that comprise the spinal column. The disks serve as dampers for the column, enabling it to flex, bend as well as turn.


Degenerative conditions of the spinal discs can happen anywhere in the spine, but are extra usual in the discs of the reduced spinal column (lumbar region) and also the neck (cervical region). Lots of people experience no pain, while others with similar injuries have severe pain that restricts their activity. The location of the discomfort depends upon the location of the affected disc; so you need a Back Problems Doctor.



An injury is specified as a significant injury or a significant effect on the body, such as physical violence, a vehicle crash, drops, sporting activities injuries, strokes with sufficient toughness, as well as several other causes. The trauma creates soft cells damage and also commonly cracks of several bones of the body.

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text 2019-02-14 12:36
Top 2 issues associated with TurboTax 2019

TurboTax is application software for preparing the tax returns, in every financial year. It is quite helpful as it lets you understand the tax structures, get free tax advice from the real CPAs’ or the tax attorney, the calculations are done easily, or one can say automatically, it remembers the tax code, and lots many. It is convenient, easy to use, reliable, latest technology impact, and the design of the application is quite innovative. It is highly recommended by the people in the states of USA and Canada. With all the benefits of using the TurboTax application on your system, you will be set back by the drawbacks associated with it.


Sometimes, the users have complained about the problems they stumble upon while handling the app on their system. Some of the common problems of TurboTax are the app isn’t running properly, downloading issue, the application website page isn’t opening in Chrome, and lots many. These issues are easy to solve manually, but more trouble arises when the error codes appear on the screen. 


Here, in this blog, we tried to explain about the two problems that arise with TurboTax application along with the reason for their occurrences.



Some of the 2 problems of TurboTax application are-


  1. TurboTax error code 1305

The error message that shows up along with the error code 1305 ‘Error reading from the file’ while installing the TurboTax application from an ESRI product CD-ROM. Due to which installation of the application will remain incomplete as well as installation roll-back might take place. The reason can be for the dirty or scratchy CD-ROM installed on the system, the problem in the configuration of the CD-ROM, the issue with the Windows Installer reading compressed files from CD, network problem, and lots more. To resolve the mentioned problem, you need to follow the correct online steps by reading the different blogs and articles, or you can seek help from the experts by calling on the TurboTax support number.


  1. TurboTax problems with the state returns 2019

A lot of users have complained about their TurboTax problems with the state returns 2019 like the tax of the federal state shows accepted, but the state return shows started. So, if you are facing the same, then you need to follow the proper guidelines to resolve them. If the tax display started in the application and the IRS has accepted the federal return, then the customers’ needs to return back and re-submit the state return. The problem arises when the state forms are not finalized, and you kept on trying to e-file the state as well as the federal return at the same time. The e-file is only possible after all the forms get finalized and accepted.


By far, you must be quite acquainted with the problems mentioned above and what you need to do to get rid of the problems. If the problems still persist or you need more help on other issues related to TurboTax, then you need to contact TurboTax customer service number to talk to the experts and get instant solution of your problems. To cross-check the numbers, you need to visit Contactforhelp website which is an online directory to get all the verified numbers of the various companies that are functioning in the USA and Canada.

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review 2018-12-11 17:08
Rich People Problems
Rich People Problems: A Novel - Kevin Kwan

Crazy Rich Asians, Book 3

I Picked Up This Book Because: Continue the series

The Characters:

Again the cast of this book is legion, just like the last two. We do spend time with Rachel and Nick, Astrid, Michael and Colin, Charlie Wu, Kitty, Oliver and we don’t talk to her but Colette also.

The Story:

There is never any good way for me to sum up these books. Too much happens. So here’s a random list of impressions I’m left with. I’m so happy for Nick and Rachel. I’m glad Rachel told off her mother in law, the chick is too pushy. I cried at Su Yi’s funeral. It was a beautiful and emotional scene. Michael is the worst and Isabella isn’t far above him on the list. They did not have to treat Charlie and Astrid that way. However, I am glad that the situation they were put in allowed Astrid to find her freedom and lead to a happier life for herself. (view spoiler) I was somewhat shocked by Colette. I don’t remember much of her from China Rich Girlfriend but I know I don’t like her. I think Kitty’s obsession with her is beyond unhealthy and she needs help. Also when a kid can tell you in a full sentence that he is hungry breastfeeding time is over but I’m nobody’s parent so….

Overall I truly enjoyed this book. There were so many revelations. I do hope Mr Kwan writes another installment.

The Random Thoughts:

Favorite Quote ”Is it going to be like Modern Family?”
“No, more like Game of Thones Red Wedding scene.”

The Score Card:


4 Stars

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review 2018-11-04 02:29
Solutions for Cold Feet and Other Little Problems - Carey Sookocheff

A colorful board book perfect for a younger child, the illustrations are simple and clear with each text that it follows. Each scenario presents a problem to be solved with a direct and sometimes creative solution. Discussion provoking with a child who can grasp the ideas and just overall an easy and fun read.
I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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