Watch Transparent for Free on Saturday, January 24, 2015 at Amazon

Amazon original series Transparent - image courtesy of Amazon Studios

One of the most critically acclaimed series of 2014 is Transparent, and to celebrate its Golden Globe wins, Amazon is letting everyone view the series for free on January 24.

Transparent is the story of a Jewish family whose father is transitioning into a woman named Maura. Other characters include his ex-wife, and their three adult children whose lives are somehow more messed up than their parents.


Get Amazon Prime for Only $72 on Saturday, January 24, 2015

one-year Amazon Prime membership for only $72

Normally Amazon Prime in the US costs $99 a year, but for one day only, on Saturday, January 24, 2015, you can get a one-year Amazon Prime membership for only $72!

And what does this $72 get you?

Prime members get two-day FREE shipping or you can choose a slower method of free shipping and get a $1 digital credit. Residents of a few major cities can now select same day delivery, and take advantage of the new Amazon Fresh grocery delivery service.

Prime members have access a huge library of Amazon Instant Video offerings, including HBO series, and Amazon Studio content like critic’s faves Transparent and Mozart in the Jungle.


Marvel Releases Second Avengers: Age of Ultron Trailer

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Last night during  ESPN’s College Football National Championship game on TV, Marvel released the second trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron. If, like me, you weren’t watching the game, Marvel thankfully has released the trailer online to watch.

And it’s good. Really good.

It gets a little more in depth than the first trailer did, and quite a bit darker, too. We get an overall sense of foreboding and doom from the clips shown in this trailer.

We also get more footage of Hulk and Iron Man in his Hulkbuster suit going at it against each other. That looks like it’s going to be an intense scene.


The Zengrrl Top Ten Posts of 2014 – A Look Back

The Top Ten Posts of 2014 at Zengrrl dot com

Looking back at the last year in posts, my Google Analytics showed me my most popular posts of the year were either about my fight with cancer, or were geek stories.

According to the reports, these were the most popular stories on this blog in 2014:

1] The Big C … I Has It
2] The Avengers: Age of Ultron First Look Trailer
3] Not Easy Being Cancer Free … What’s Next
4] The Big C Battle Rages ON
5] A Game Night Party to Review Some Awesome Disney and Star Wars Games

A Review of Season One of the Amazon Original Series Transparent

Amazon original series Transparent - image courtesy of Amazon Studios

The new Amazon original series “Transparent” is a bittersweet dramedy that has some rough edges but is worth watching.

The title of the show serves two purposes in defining the series.

Transparent, as in trans-parent, to describe the lead character Morty, who is transitioning into Maura late in life. He’s actually been dipping his toe into the waters for years, but only recently has decided to go public to his family, and the world at large.

Transparent, as in “easy to perceive or detect,” can also used to describe the way Maura’s new life choice is processed by his kids. To her face, the grown children seem to be fine with it, but we can tell they are having a bit of trouble with being fine with it.

I enjoyed following the story of Maura, played brilliantly by Jeffrey Tambor with grace and integrity. I also liked the way he interacted with his ex-wife, Ali, played by Judith Light. They are the perfect Jewish couple, even after the marriage is over.

It’s the children that annoyed me a bit.


A Review of Season One of the Amazon Original Series Mozart In the Jungle

Mozart In the Jungle - image courtesy of Amazon Studios

A little known fact about me: when I was a teenager I was obsessed with performing music and my dream was to go to New York City and train at Julliard.

Life got in the way and that never happened. But tonight I got a look into what my life might have been like had it happened when I binge watched the new Amazon original series, “Mozart In the Jungle.”

Amazon debuted the first season, all 10 episodes, online on Tuesday, December 23, 2014. Each episode clocks in at around 30 minutes, but are so good you wish they were longer.

“Mozart In the Jungle” is based on the acclaimed memoir, Mozart in the Jungle: Sex, Drugs, and Classical Music by Blair Tindall. The story starts as the New York symphony orchestra is in the middle of a transition from the current long-time maestro, Thomas (Malcolm McDowel), to the new wildly eccentric maestro Rodrigo (Gael Garcia Bernal), hired to breathe new life into the symphony by the chairwoman of the symphony orchestra’s board, Gloria (Bernadette Peters)


A Game Night Party to Review Some Awesome Disney and Star Wars Games

One of the best things about reviewing products for companies is being able to host get-togethers with friends to test products out.

Wonder Forge gamesRecently I had the opportunity to put six games from Wonder Forge to the test. To do so, I held a game night with my friend Carol and her two children, Matt and Abby. We had so much fun putting the games through their paces.

We had the most laughs playing Disney Frozen Surprise Slides! Game, which was like a Frozen-themed version of Candy Land, but with the twist of having removable pieces on the board that can get switched around, altering the course.

We also enjoyed Pictopia-Family Trivia Game: Disney Edition, though some of the questions were easier for the adults. All things Disney were included in the questions from vintage movies and TV to current ones to theme park attractions. Definitely a good gift for a Disney nut.

We tried four other games, and if you’re interested, you can read my complete reviews over at The Disney Blog. But the night reminded me how much fun can be had with traditional board games. We all had a blast eating pizza and trying out each of the games.

Most importantly, we were connecting and talking with each other, instead of sitting in front of a screen. I highly suggest holding a board game night if you don’t already.

Thanks again to Wonder Forge for sending the games to review. As always, my opinions are my own.

Venturing Out for a Night of Yelp at the Museum

Yelp at the Museum

I love living in Orlando because there are always so many interesting things to do. A few days ago, website Yelp hosted a social get-together called “Yelp at the Museum” at the Orlando Science Center, and I was one of the ones chosen to attend from all the Yelpers who RSVP’d.

My blogger friend Diana and her husband Ben let me catch a ride there and back with them, and we reached the OSC just as the event started…and it was already packed.

There were stations throughout the venue where local restaurants offered samples, and I set out to try restaurants I hadn’t yet visited. Ok, so I did make a pit stop at the American Q table, but they had Swine Candy samples (bacon roasted with maple syrup and spices), and you just don’t pass up bacon.