Review of Diary of a Nymphomaniac

By Rosa L. Griffin

In the French movie with subtitles, Diary of a Nymphomaniac (2008), a young woman, Valerie (Belen Fabra),  “discovered” sex with a young single man.  And, with any new experience you enjoy, you want to keep partaking of it.  She thought she would stay with him forever, but he refused to keep up with her demands for sex.  Her second man was married and also refused to keep up with her needs.  So, she was labeled as a sex addict or nymphomaniac.

So, with her next man, she attempted marriage and discovered that he was a cruel drug addict, so the marriage was off.   Feeling that she may as well be what she was being labeled, Valerie turned to prostitution so that she could enjoy sex often.  However, she made the mistake of falling in love with a customer who was not in love with her.  She was definitely looking for love in the wrong place.

The most poignant scene in the brothel was her making love with a paraplegic who only had feelings in his hands.   However, she was treated very badly by another customer—her first anal rape by a scraggly old drunk—and her female madam tried to get her to take a dead female lover’s place.

Valerie had a great rapport with her grandmother to whom she could talk with any time about anything, played by Geraldine Chaplin, who spoke French fluently.

The bottom line is that Valerie was looking for love, not just sex.   She was not a nymphomaniac and did not have sex with anyone and everyone she met with no thought for the consequences—which is a loose definition of nymphomania.     I believe that you should pursue sex on your own terms, instead of settling for the first man or woman to come along.    But, how will you know unless you can experiment safely?

I disagree with IMDb (Internet Movie Database) that Valerie eventually found redemption in the version that I saw.    There was no need for redemption as she was, like men, experimenting with sex.   However, what she found was that she was responsible for her own decisions and could handle that responsibility.

P.S. Give foreign films a chance.   Yes, you have to read the subtitles, but most of them are worth taking the time.

Some interesting resources:   Delightful poem


Review of American Gods, Starz TV show

By Rosa Griffin

War is declared—old gods versus the new gods in April 2017!    What a climax for the finale of the first season of Starz’s American Gods cable television show.   Mr. Wednesday shows who he really is in the finale.  And, he gets Easter (or Ostero), female god of spring to reveal her true power that she held dormant for a long time, taking a back seat to new gods being worshipped.   So many gods, so little time.

Old gods were waning because they were no longer being worshipped.  New gods like technology, food, gambling, drug and sex addiction, etc., were moving into their territory and being worshipped.   Mr. World is a new god who sees no necessity for a war if the old gods join the new gods.   The cast is a delicious mix of diverse veterans as well as actors lesser known to me.

Dealing with the fickleness of the gods had always been violent.  And, if a few thousand humans were killed along the way on many occasions, it was to be expected.  Human survival has never worried the gods.

Old gods

Ian McShane plays Mr. Wednesday, who you know is either a powerful or crazy “man” from the beginning.

Rickie Whittle plays Shadow Moon, Mr. Wednesday’s human sidekick.

Emilie Browning plays Shadow’s wife, Laura, who died and came back mysteriously.

There is a “man” that leads you after death and also dresses dead bodies like a mortician.

Another “man” who dips his pen in “ink”, writes the stories told in a book, and helps the dead body dresser.

Pablo Schreiber, the tall handsome red-headed/bearded leprechaun, Mad Sweeney, is used as a pawn working for Mr. Wednesday and shares in the guilt of Laura’s death.  He explains to Laura that good people suffer sometimes more than bad because of the whim of the gods.

Yetide Batake plays Bilquis the goddess of love who swallows her worshippers whole.

Peter Stomare (one of my favorite actors) as the old Slavic god who kills with a hammer.

Corbin Bernsen as the Vulcan god of guns, based on the Roman god of weaponry and fire.  He snitches to the new gods.

Orlando Jones, Mr. Nancy, convinced me that he could tailor suits for Mr. Wednesday and Shadow Moon, although the spiders hanging around his threads were creepy.

Adult themes only.   All are pawns in Mr. Wednesday’s game of the combat to come.

The histories of the characters are wonderfully and painstakingly developed.   The cinematography and special effects held me spell bound.  The writing is flawless.  I can’t wait until next season.

Television Shows I Like as of 8/18/17

A Place to Call Home


American Gods

Big Bang Theory




Black Sails


Good Behavior

Two Broke Girls

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee

Penny Dreadful

Strange Sex


Being Human


Lost Girl


Michael Moore (any documentary he produces)

Ken Burns (any documentary he produces)

American Horror Story (Season 1)

The Walking Dead (Season 1 & 2)



Sherlock Holmes (all TV versions)

Agatha Christie anything


Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Ms. Fisher’s Murder Mysteries

Dr. Blake Mysteries

Doc Martin

Doctor Who

Father Brown

Foyle’s War

Midsomer Murders

Downton Abbey

Charlie Rose

Tavis Smiley

New Tricks

Living Single

Martin (Lawrence)

The Wayans Brothers

Are You Being Served

As Time Goes By

In Living Color

The Ed Sullivan Show

The Daily Show with John Stewart

Susie Orman financial presentations

True Blood

Twilight Zone

Alfred Hitchcock Hour


Real Sex

Dark Shadows

Star Trek (all sequel versions)

Outer Limits

Tales from the Dark Side


(I must apologize for not blogging in 2016.   It was a rough year for me health-wise.   I plan on being more communicative every two weeks on Friday afternoons.   I may be talking about some of these shows some time in the future.  I’m sure I have left some out.)

Did you know? Free Annual Credit Reports

That you can get a FREE copy of each of your 3 credit reports (Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian) once every year?

Go to        You can even get your credit score for under $10.

However, they suggest that you not create your account on mobile devices.   Also, Equifax recently had a huge hacking incident.   See Katie Lobosco’s CNN article to find out if your account was hacked.






Are you a psychopath?

Are you a psychopath?

When you think of psychopaths, who do you think of?

Ted Bundy, Hannibal Lecter (movie), Dexter (tv show)?

But, according to MSN’s online article, “7 facts about psychopaths you didn’t know before,” psychopaths are people who possess “a lack of empathy and feeling for others, selfishness, lack of guilt, and a superficial charm that manifests exclusively to manipulate others”.

A few TV characters come to mind:   Jim Parsons’ character, Sheldon, on the Big Bang Theory; Martin Clunes’ character on public TV, Martin Ellingham, on Doc Martin; David Mann’s character, Mr. Brown on Meet the Browns; Tony Shaloub’s character, Adrian Monk, on Monk; Benedict Cumberbatch’s character, Sherlock Holmes, on Sherlock; Jamie Doran’s character, Christian Grey, in the movie, 50 Shades of Grey, etc.

“Psychopathy is not a psychiatric diagnosis—not a recognized psychiatric or psychological disorder.”

“Psychopathy is dimensional in nature—spectrum between minor, moderate and severe.”

“Psychopaths and sociopaths are not the same.        The difference lies in having a conscience which a psychopath does not have, but does have the ability to blend in.”

“Psychopaths aren’t always violent.        Most rely on their nature and ability to charm for other things like the business world.”

“…But they are overrepresented in prison.       50 to 80 percent of prisoners meet criteria for antisocial personality disorder.”

“Female and male psychopaths may be very different.       Females may express their psychopathy through behaviors that are often mistaken for other mental illnesses”.

“The Amygdala may play a significant role in psychopathic tendencies.       Associated with emotional reactions, decision-making, and fear…having reduced integrity or function.”’t-know-before/ar-CCeVsV?li-AAa0dzB&OCID-DELLDHP#page=8

Excerpts submitted by Rosa Griffin



Cravings of the Junk Food Kind

Milk, chocolate cake, potato chips, coffee, and Coca-Cola are my cravings. What do these five items have in common?   They are the things that I can’t live without.

When I was pregnant, I couldn’t get enough milk. I drank white milk before work, during work (several small cartons) and after work. My baby came out covered in white film. My son and I use two gallons or more a week to this day. Then, my milk monkey led to harder stuff like yogurt (the pure stuff, not that frozen kind), sour cream, butter milk, cottage cheese, etc.

For the most part, my cravings are empty calories of fat, caffeine, and sugar. In high school, I used my parents’ hard-earned money to buy chocolate cake, potato chips, and cola for lunch daily. No wonder I was constipated so often.

When I find Berman’s chocolate cake, the dark chocolate icing and the yellow cake taunt me to the point of lust. But, when I get it home, sanity returns, and I eat a tiny slice per day until it is gone!

When I was young, Mrs. Ihrie’s was the queen of potato chips, but now, I have to have Utz potato chips every time I am near Lexington Market in downtown Baltimore or other places. The sharp shards of micro-thin hard-fried potato slivers pass dangerously among tongue, gums, and inside walls of my mouth avoiding injury unless I laugh at an inopportune time at “Big Bang Theory”, “Meet the Browns” or “My Name is Earl”.

A good chip is nothing without its complementary beverage, Coca-cola. After all, if the “real thing” can dissolve the acid from my car battery, what more proof do I need?

Now, coffee is a sin all by itself. It has to be a sin to smell so sexual everywhere I go that I have to have it whether at McDonald’s or Dunkin Donuts. I blame my father for introducing me to coffee that was literally whitened by milk!

Every time a certain body part develops a discomfort, I put that craving aside for another day. I get my cranberry juice, antacid, and/or water regimen on until I feel my kidneys, bladder, esophagus, and/or intestines have been revived. Then, I can let in a little more sin.


Background noise of a voice coming over the subway train’s voice/loud speaker. One more noise among the chatters: the co-worker or boss maligners, the cell phone users, etc. You really have to listen beyond the roar of the train on the tracks to the only cheery conductor’s “good morning. Welcome to the A-train. Wake up! Women, put on your make-up and comb your hair. Men, pull up your pants and tie your shoes. Take your husband, your wife, your children, umbrella, chicken boxes, etc., with you! All your belongings!” You can imagine his sexy, male voice emanating from under his feathered fedora and zoot suit as he smiles that flashing smile and swings his watch fob.

Who hasn’t seen someone breaking the subway rules on any given day? Whether it’s spitting, eating chicken and fries, playing loud music with or without headphones, talking and/or cussing out loud, feeding children, doing someone’s hair, etc.

At the end of your ride, as you get half way up the escalator to the outside, you notice some animated object dancing across the moving metal steps. Like a bouncing ball, the wadded brown paper object bounces up and down. Unlike a bouncing ball, there is no particular direction. The crumpled sphere moves more at the whim of lift than gravity.

There are many forces manipulating the paper– by now opened into the brown paper towel. The impact of its bounces forces it open where lift can get into its folds, and it takes off into flight. The right wind could carry it away from the subway grounds. But, between the upward movement of the escalator steps, the rushing air from an arriving train, wind that may be blowing above ground, and passengers who may kick it without even noticing, gravity pulls it down every now and then. The paper bird appears to energetically dance across the moving stair in all directions under the power of some invisible puppeteer.

[This story was written by Rosa L. Griffin, a Baltimore native writer who loves Baltimore, and wouldn’t live anywhere else!]


Closer to the edge than we think

Who are the invisible people?     The people who are unemployed–seems like forever. The people who use drugs or alcohol to the exclusion of anything else in their lives. The people who pass by us on the street who appear to dress pretty well, but have no home.

People who are out on the street begging with their children. The people who show up at Ms. Bea Gaddy’s for food and shelter daily. The people who can’t keep possessions from year to year. They don’t have a history like most people do–in pictures–because mementos have been left behind in their constant moves when they lose their housing.

Inheritances of money and land as well as other opportunities that some people never get and may never get in life were lost because of ignorance (even with education), drugs, lack of education, happenstance, bad luck, etc.

John died from AIDS and Hepatitis. His girl friend, a drug user, went into the hospital before him, but John died.

Shannon lives with a man she hasn’t known long while she is paroled to a house that was supposed to be for five women in transition from drugs, etc. While at this house, Shannon observes that the directress of the house uses drugs along with several of the other occupants.

Another occupant of the house, Joyce, used to have five kids living with her, but all were taken away and split up between 3 different homes because of her and her boyfriend’s drug abuse when they were living in their own rented “slum landlord” house.

Another man, Sam, appears to be on his way to becoming an invisible man. For years, Sam was independent and set in his ways and well-to-do by all accounts. He worked all the time at a great-paying job, but managed to get himself and his mortgage on his home into large arrears.   Recently, I heard that Sam had got involved with drug dealers indirectly by coming to the rescue of a former female lover, Vivian, who in recent years had developed a large drug habit and stole drugs. Vivian, once part of Sam’s household, had moved several times since she used to live with Sam. From what I’ve heard, Sam was made to sell drugs because he got involved with Vivian’s problem.

Sam was a man who was single, owned his own home, car, and had a 401K and other stock options on his job. An invisible person would think Sam was rich and lucky, but another thing that leads to invisibility is that Sam cut all ties with his family years before.

Invisible people who cut ties with family or whose families cut the ties, end up buried as “John Doe’s”. There is no insurance to cover his or her death and burial. There are no mourners to give them the proper send-off–to note that they even existed! After all, even if you never get your 15 minutes of fame, it’s still nice to be acknowledged that you were here!

Hunter is an invisible person. He’s in a coma in a terminal care facility where he’s been for 10 years. His relatives stopped visiting him long ago after his stroke worsened into the coma. They say it’s because of drug abuse. This was a man who worked for a living and had an apartment with a girl friend and a child.

Invisibility can be any color, race, ethnicity, sexual persuasion, social group, or economic standing. Once you fall between the cracks, it’s very hard to come back into the visible world.

The things the invisible people leave behind show that they exist. Before I realized there were homeless people, I used to be indignant at the piles of “rags” I thought were trash. But the “trash” was really shelter and clothing for people. That’s also when I realized why I would spell urine in so many public places.

In the present time, we are all from a paycheck to a billion dollars away from invisibility.

Rosa Griffin


I vaguely remember our family moving from downtown southeast Baltimore, Eden and Baltimore Streets, to further uptown northeast Baltimore to Boone Street, near Greenmount and North Avenues, when I was a little kid.

We kids played, laughed, and cried. We ran to the Goldman’s corner store daily for two-for-a-penny treats. I remember sweltering summer nights when the carousel sound of the ice cream truck sent kids scurrying for change. And, we kids could stay up late because there was no school the next day.

We used to be a neighborhood. We participated in the Afro-American Newspaper Clean Block every year. We kids had to keep those white marble steps and curb gutters clean. Our parents worked at places like Steel & Tin Can Company, Bethlehem Steel, and the Ward’s and Bond’s baking companies.

The riots of the 60’s made the first changes to our neighborhood. Goldman’s store, owned by Jewish merchants who brought in our meats, fresh fruit and vegetables, was burned out.

Some working class neighbors married and moved to what was then considered the suburbs, Baltimore County, like I did in the mid-70’s. To have a home of one’s own with land around it was my dream. Some working class people still live in our old neighborhood with their elderly parents or in the houses their deceased parents left them as a legacy. They waited for a “trickle down” that never came.

Drug-experimenting parties had to have a source for their drugs, so a new custom, “tea time”, started in our old neighborhood where spunky young outside entrepreneurs recruited our sons, brothers, uncles, fathers, and a few daughters to help feed poison to our kin. Drug dealing gradually and insidiously decimated my old neighborhood–the final blow! Neither was Baltimore County safe from the devastation. The cycle continues into the suburbs.

My old neighborhood is a ghost town now with very young grandchildren, parents, and very old grandparents who send the young out to get what they need. Empty lots stand where whole blocks of row-houses used to exist.

The usual gentrification of a neighborhood, when artists or hospital professionals move in, is on its way to happening in many parts of Baltimore City. The urban blight is helped along by legislators who know what is planned for the area they stopped caring about long ago.

Rosa L. Griffin

The World is Still Rich with Opportunity

A few years ago, I came across the quote below made by a reviewer of Richard Carlson’s book, Don’t Worry Make Money, that came out in 1997.         I don’t know the reviewer’s name and never found the review referenced again. But, this was and is an inspiration to me and I have always referred back to it over the years. I have a copy of it on my cubicle at work and on my bathroom wall so I can read it when necessary.

“Do you think that opportunity only knocks once? If you do, Richard Carlson, author of Don’t Worry Make Money, says you’re buying into one of the most perpetuated ‘myths’ in our culture.

Carlson argues that this kind of thing inspires people to do things they really do not want to do. That it is based on a ‘never enough to go around’ mindset that just isn’t true. Thinking that it’s now or never, often encourages bad decision making, for instance, he says. You might take a job you do not want or move to an area that doesn’t really sit well with you.

The world we live in is rich with ever-increasing opportunity, he says. The world is in need of creative people and everyone has their own gifts and talents to offer. You just have to figure out how it’s going to work for you. There are thousands of jobs out there that you can do. There are thousands of business opportunities.

But, Carlson says, first you have to overcome your fear: The fear of not having enough. The fear that you only get one shot and then it’s over.

It’s a big lie. Your life will be filled with great opportunities over and over again.”

On the other hand, you may be a person who has been blessed by some wonderful opportunities. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t more coming your way!

Rosa L. Griffin