Chocolate…There Is No Such Thing As Too Much!
Halloween is the day chocolate lovers earn their stars and stripes. Did the most original outfit get the most chocolate or did it go to the saddest looking trick or treat specialist? 75% of all candy purchased in the United States is chocolate. $4 billion is spent on these chocolate delights each year. Halloween does its part in helping these figures zoom. The five most popular candy bars of the “dressed up” this year were:
- Kit Kat Bars
- Reese’s Pieces
- Hershey Bars
Lucas, age six, has confirmed all these mouth-watering facts. His X-Men outfit was a Halloween chocolate magnet. Does anyone pity the poor teacher that has to teach these sugar crazed, ‘ankle biters’ the next day?
Television…Nashville…Every Time I Fall In Love
ABC’s Nashville has the three S’s of television show success: song, sex, and sympathetic characters. Everyone on the show, including an incredible guest line-up of musicians and song talent, can sing The Book of Mormon. That includes Connie Britton, Hayden Panettiere, Clare Bowen, Eric Close, and Charles Esteen They all have had three love affairs and have swapped girlfriends, boyfriends, husbands, wives, and spit. No one in the show can look across any event, room, backyard, or street without getting memory pangs from seeing someone lost or dumped from their happy and not so happy past.
The Wednesday music spectacle showcases Nashville and the battle of the new trying to replace the old. No one is ready to move over in the show or in real life. Machiavelli, the historical schemer supreme, would be proud of all the backstabbing and infighting. Each week the “did they really do that” crown goes to someone else!
The musical treats each week are exceptional. This week’s tunes featured Sarah Bruxton’s new song Every Time I Fall In Love. Clare Bowen sang it on the show with just a guitarist’s help. She showed how a plain and simple styling can make a song truly memorable. Listen to her version on the Nashville replay site. Simple often wins out!
On The Record is a great feature provided by ABC after each show. It reviews each show’s performances and introduces the writers and musical teams whose creative work shape the songs and performances. Their interviews are a must see for the budding musician and lyricist.
Music…That Girl By Jennifer Nettles
Jennifer Nettles is back from her pregnancy sabbatical with her new song That Girl. She goes solo on this one. The new VeVo video rivals Reba McEntire’s video for Does He Love You.
Both songs and the stories they tell frame a ‘two girl competing for him’ scenario. You will have to preview each video and decide which ending is the more creative and unexpected.
Movies…12 Years A Slave…Will It Win The Academy Award?
Three weeks ago after the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), we commented that 12 Years A Slave won the festival’s best film award. The films that won in Toronto the last five years won our Academy Award, also. Sean Gallagher’s write-up on seangallagherlovesmovies.wordpress.com is a gem. With permission we copied his opening below. Please read the rest of his intuitive write-up on his creative movie site. Sean wrote:
Finally, a film has been made that shows slavery for what it is. Steve McQueen’s 12 YEARS A SLAVE goes beyond being just a movie- it’s a glimpse into the past. Audiences looking for traditional entertainment here won’t find it. For decades, cinema has tackled tough subjects like the Holocaust, while slavery has largely been ignored or prettied up onscreen. Last year, the two big movies made about slavery were LINCOLN and DJANGO UNCHAINED. LINCOLN doesn’t even show slavery and DJANGO uses it as a plot device for Quentin Tarantino’s bloody revenge.
12 YEARS A SLAVE is not DJANGO UNCHAINED. This film shows us slavery from the perspective of a slave, something which should have occurred to more filmmakers by now! Chiwetel Ejiofor is the anchor of the movie. Looking at his eyes, the audience is guided through his unthinkable ordeal with him.
Ejiofor gives an eloquent and soulful performance. Ejiofor’s central performance, matched with McQueen’s measured direction take us back to the Antebellum South. The violence is brutal and ugly, as it should be. Even while showing the monstrous reality of slavery, McQueen takes time to focus on the poetry of nature. McQueen quietly shows us that even in the midst of unspeakable violence, the innate beauty of the world does not diminish.
Art…Jamie Bruno Revisited
We offered Jamie Bruno flowers and bangles to apologize (Sorry Jamie!) for calling her a guy in last week’s column. Thanks Jamie for passing on the offer. Our budget for mistakes is miniscule. Here is what Jamie said about the commissioned pieces of hers we are featuring in this week’s column:
These pieces are private commissions I’ve done over the years. I usually get a lot of portraits but on the flip side, a lot of vehicles as well. I try to capture the technicality of each piece with a photographic precision, mostly because the recipients of the commissions would appreciate the small details of the subjects. They’re a fun alternative to natural subjects, such as faces. They range from 8″x10″ to 54″ x 78.”
Jamie P. Bruno
The Red Sox baseball team has completed the trifecta. They have World Series wins in 2004, 2007, and now in 2013. These wins are the dreams of all nine year old boys and girls. They see these same successes in their own future. That is a good thing!
David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox superstar, broke every World Series record for a hitter. His new records do not leave much room for a dreamer that wants to surpass his feats in the future. Walk proud Red Sox slugger!
Movies II…The Counselor
Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Michael Fassbender, and Brad Pitt are the beautiful people. Throw in Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz’s real life husband, and you have the “more beautiful” people in your new movie.
Director Ridley Scott has given this five-some fine clothes, lavish jewelry, beautiful houses, fast cars, places at the best restaurants, high definition television, and a swimming pool courtyard full of friends and admirers.
In addition to these lives of extravagance, Scott has, also, presented them the twenty million dollar challenge. This ‘big buck’ challenge is a four-barrel cache of drugs that has to go from Mexico to Chicago. In one hand the challenge, in the other hand your boring beautiful life.
It is hard to predict what an after The Counselor movie discussion will include or whether it will change your view of the over indulgent. The movie will, however, persuade you to visit Amsterdam for the next diamond ring you need for that special person in your life. The movie’s diamond purchasing lessons will make you more intelligent in that area. Try not to look at everyone’s rings at the restaurant after the show. It will be hard not to use your movie ‘diamond purchasing‘ acumen.
Shakespeare On Broadway And In The Classroom
Shakespeare has returned to Broadway after a twenty-six year absence. The activity below is a nice modern up-date to his work. See if your students can create additional tales in Shakespeare’s style as he set the opening for his story of Romeo and Juliet.
The Modern Day Shakespeare Writes A New Romeo and Juliet
There is much debate over how and where Shakespeare formulated his ideas.
Arthur Brooke’s Romeus and Juliet is said to be the foundation for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Brooke’s narrative poem was first published in 1562. This was two years before Shakespeare was born. Brooke’s poem was then reprinted 25 years later in 1587. This is eight years before Shakespeare’s play was first performed. Discuss the plays opening and its next 4 lines with your team before continuing with the challenge below.
Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
The start of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet has us wondering what would Shakespeare write for the start of a new play, if he were alive today. Notice how our play’s start below models Shakespeare’s. See if you can write and illustrate two openings of a present day Shakespeare-like play of your own. Please join Shakespeare’s family with your Shakespeare like new name.
Republican and Democrat
A Play By Thomas Palumbo Shakespeare
Two political parties, both alike in nobility,
In temperate Washington, D. C., where we begin our panorama,
From Lincoln’s time to the new deal,
Where constant battle makes progress unseen.
Kobe and LeBron
A Play By Kevin Durant Shakespeare
Two basketball players, both alike in prowess,
In climate controlled Superdome, where we set the battle in motion,
From Larry Bird’s era to Kevin Garnett’s,
Where contested three pointers and dunk shots make athletic hands foul.
Underwood and Rihanna
A Play By Jennifer Lopez Shakespeare
Two divas, both alike in rhythm,
On stage in Madison Square Garden, where we start the show,
From American Idol to Billboard 100,
Where hair pulling and unkindness soil the contest.
Place your two illustrated versions on chart paper with 3 of your classmate’s renditions.
Creative Writing…The Witticism
This activity is not for the meek. It combines critical thinking at the highest level. You might want to skip it if you are a Yankee fan. First the Red Sox, now this! It might be too much to bear in a week.
The Funny World Of Witticisms and Puns
Witticisms and puns are witty remarks, sentences or jokes. They will test your critical thinking, creativity, sense of humor, and writing ability.
I. What is each sentence jesting about in the examples below? Give each sentence a 1-10 humor and creativity rating similar to our joke ratings in past lessons. Place your score next to each line and highlight the key giveaway word that helped you solve the word mystery.
A. Vincent Van Gogh never went anywhere.
B. Wilbur and Orville were not wrong.
C. Longfellow was five foot three inches tall.
D. Dr. Jekyll was hiding.
E. Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?
F. Little Boy Blue was always happy.
G. Jonathan Burger didn’t like meat.
H. Honey, I can’t bear to be without you.
I. The tailor had a fit when he saw the new clothing line.
J. What sprung to mind when you saw your first kangaroo?
II. Fill in the blank with a humorous idea to complete each witticism below.
A. Sinbad was ___________________________________________.
B. ________________________________________ had a good line.
C. Nurses are ______________________________________ people.
D. The cowboy’s throat was ________________________________.
E. Lady Godiva could _________________________________ ride.
F. Bread slicers are _______________________________ operators.
G. Glider pilots never get __________________________________.
H. ____________________________________ are forgiving people.
I. Sousa marched _________________________________________.
J. Give that ____________________________________ a big hand.
III. Can you share and illustrate some witticisms of your own with us?
The Weather…Winter Watch And Snow Warning
The empty lift lines, idle snow machine, and skier-less slopes you see with this write-up will not last long. Naturalists are indicating that the fur coats on most animals are the thickest ever. They have gone on to say that the squirrel and chipmunk stockpiles of storied food are at their highest levels ever.
If you have a rock salt or snowplow business you are going to be very happy shortly. The rest of us will soon be wearing long faces as we dig out of massive snowdrifts. Netflix has just passed HBO in customers. Our recommendation is you might need both for the long winter ahead!
Products…The Entrepreneurial Spirit
Each week we encourage readers to send in business news, book and movie critiques, or a heads up on a new product. These ideas from readers help give the column a divergent flavor. The Woofer sounds like it will make dog walking on that rainy or snowy morning a much more enjoyable task. Matthew Baron shared these insights about his new creation:
We met this month and you told me about your blog network. I am very interested in you checking-out my product, The Woofer. Center City, Philadelphia is where we manufacture a product called, The Woofer. The Woofer is a coat for dogs. It has speakers built in that play music. Not only does it play music, but the dog walker can play podcasts and audio books in many languages. Our Woofer can play music from the common headphone audio jack. Customers are found on Google and other social media websites by their love of music and dogs. Each coat is hand made and built to perform. We know dogs put a great deal of stress on the products bought for them. These sound systems can handle stress. The wires are made with Kevlar and the speakers are waterproof. They are completely safe and inspected by veterinarians. They are designed to let you include your dog in the music you enjoy wherever you go.
Thank you, Tom. Enjoy.
Matthew Baron Awesome LLC President