2/1/12 - 3/1/12 | NESHEAHOLIC

Thursday, February 23, 2012

My Favorite Books Part 1

My criteria for making my favorite books is that when I finish the book, I feel sad. If I feel sad after finishing a book then I know it was giving something to my life that I will miss, now that I'm finished reading it. That pushes a book to the top list. 

Rant by Chuck Palahniuk

This book really blew my mind. I thought it was about one thing in the beginning, then it turned out to be a whole different thing lol. The character of Buster "Rant" Casey is incredible. For the majority of the story, you hear about Rant's life through the voice and flashbacks of people who knew him. The style definitely kept me engaged and the dystopian world that the reader is brought into is so thought provoking. The hubby and I had plenty of conversations spawned by this book. 

32 Candles by Ernessa T. Carter

My boss actually recommended this book to me because she thought I was a good fit to play the main character, Davie Jones, if there was ever a film made. (Dear Ernessa, if you happen to read this, consider me for the film ;-) ) I LOVED this story. The ups and downs of Davie's journey from adolescence  to adulthood kept me glued to the book. I was mad for her, I was sad for her, I was happy for her. I was so emotionally wrapped up in the story it was ridiculous lol. Two thumbs up. 


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is

I'm not going to name specific persons, places,or things, in order to preserve the innocence of those involved lol. 

Today a theater group that I work with put on a free preview presentation of a production opening this weekend. After the preview, which the audience received very well, the audience was offered the option of buying "Pay What You Can" tickets for a full presentation of the show.

As a theater administrator and actor, let me tell you what I believe Pay What You Can is supposed to be. I believe that you are to pay what you can, or what you feel the show is valued at. This is generally between $5 and $20. Now, Pay What You Can is meant to make the arts accessible. It is understood that people are living with different means so people will pay a huge variant based on the income they have to give.

In the instance of what I experienced today, audience members opted to pay $1 per ticket. After enjoying the preview, being engaged in a talk-back, and hurling accolades, they opted to pay $1 to see the full performance.   Sure, there where people who could probably only afford $1. But there were others, who at the opportunity to name their own price, they chose the lowest possible. People who requested change from a $10 bill, so they could pay $2 for two tickets. People who pulled a single dollar bill out of their purse packed with bills.

For some reason the live arts are not seen with the same value as commercial entertainment. This play is very influential when it comes to the history of Black literature and the Black experience, yet the same people who I would bet money would shell out $17 for a Tyler Perry ticket, opted to pay $1 instead of really supporting their local Black actors and creators doing something truly positive on stage... and during Black History Month!

As a worker in the non-profit arts it is always thrown around that a struggle is that people don't have money to pay to support the arts and buy tickets. THIS IS A LIE. The truth is people don't VALUE the live arts the same way they value commercial entertainment. They will easily pay $100 for a concert ticket, but scoff at the idea of paying $25 to go into a theater. I don't feel like money spent on the arts is "disposable income," I feel like it is making an investment into the culture or the world, and the stories of the past, and an influence on the future.

Stage actors work HARD, and so do the directors, and lighting and sound designers. They don't have the glitz and glamour of your favorite TV show, but they work just as hard, and should be valued as such. 

This makes me angry. It makes me sad. It makes me ashamed. Most of all, and probably most important, it makes me really want to do all I can to support the art that I feel has value, and the things I feel have value even outside of the arts.


Monday, February 20, 2012

ABCs of Fall/Winter: O is for Oatmel, P is for Punxsutawney Phil

Time to pick back up on the ABCs of Fall/Winter Series!

O is for Oatmeal - I am an oatmeal fiend. I LOVE oatmeal. I can eat it for breakfast, lunch or a snack. Now, I don't subscribe to the myth that oatmeal "sticks with you" and keeps you full longer. I don't think it does lol. But, I find it to be a great healthy, tasty, eating option. I stick with maple and brown sugar.

Does anyone remember when we were younger, Quaker used to make oatmeal and you got a little pouch that you could squeeze on top? For the strawberries and cream there was a packet of like strawberry sauce, and with the maple and brown sugar there was a packet of like maple sauce. I'm sure they stopped doing that cause the packets were likely chocked full of sugar, but they were goooood lol. Does anyone remember those?

P is for Punxsutawney Phil - This year the good ole groundhog saw his shadow and predicted 6 more weeks of winter, which is usually a drag, but with the way winter has been going here on the East Coast, it almost doesn't matter. We've had 1.5 snow "storms" that accumulated less than an inch, and the rest has been 40-50 degree days. I'm not complaining, but we're definitely seeing some really strange weather patterns for the end of February. Global Warming anyone?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Clipix: Organize Your Online Life

I read a lot of blogs. My google reader can easily get to 300+ unread items if I neglect it for a day. Outside of blogs I also come across interesting,funny, cool things on Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter. Sometimes I'll come across something that I want to keep to read more thoroughly later, or save an image that might be good to use in a future blog post of my own. How do I organize my online life in a way that puts things aside for me to easily return to them later? Enter... Clipix. 

clipix is a free online tool that lets you bookmark and "clip" things to various "clipboards" for your perusal at a later date. You can have public boards to share with others, or have private boards of things like blog topics or shopping wish lists. For example, here is a screenshot of my recipes clipboard: 

Although I haven't tried it yet, I think another awesome way to use Clipix, as you see in the video below, would be setting up a board to compare product prices for something you're trying to buy. It would make things a lot easier than having 15 Google Chrome windows up lol. That way you'd have an easy one glance at where and how much the item is at different places. 

Clipix does have an iPhone app where you can "clip" photos you take from your phone, and you can link it to your Facebook or Twitter for easy sharing. Check out their promo video below: 

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Watching TV while... watching TV

I can't tell you the last time I watched TV, and JUST watched TV. If I'm watching TV I'm likely to have my iPhone or my laptop out, reading blogs, tweeting, or at least "checking in" to what I'm watching. This has it's pros and cons.

As a pro, the Grammy's would not have been the same without being on Twitter while watching it. Being on Twitter while watching an awards show is like one giant viewing party. I love feeling a community vibe and seeing what other people are thinking about what I'm watching while I'm watching it. And in this case, Twitter made the Grammy's much more entertaining for me. Did anyone else feel like they were lacking this year?

On the other hand, if I'm tweeting while I'm watching, then I'm guaranteed to be missing something. I don't catch all the same nuances in a show as I would if my full attention was on it, and it's easy to miss plot points. 

I'm going to try to make a habit of putting more focus into the TV show I'm watching, and save the tweeting for commercials more often, especially with shows that I feel like offer a lot in the way of nuances and imagery: Alcatraz, Mad Men, Shameless. There are other shows however, that just feel better to watch in a "group," award shows and Glee in particular. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Being Healthy is Easy

The tenants of being healthy are really very simple. If you look up ways to avoid or lessen your chances of diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc. you always get the same things:

  • Drink water
  • Eat vegetables and fruits
  • Exercise
  • Get the recommended amount of fiber and other vitamins
  • Limit intake of sugars and red meat
  • Limit the intake of highly processed foods
While that isn't 100% protection against all ailments, that is as close to a healthy holy grail as you can get. 

So if it's really that simple, why isn't everyone healthy?

It takes resolve to eat right and exercise. This is especially true if you don't grow up particularly health conscious and you try to undo twenty years of bad eating and exercise habits. There's a simple set of "rules" to follow, but it takes work to follow them. 

What do you do to keep yourself on the healthy track?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

You're Doing It Wrong: Flannel Sheets and Viggle

If you are sleeping in the winter without flannel sheets on your bed... you're doing it wrong. 

The hubby has wanted flannel sheets for as long as I can remember. I never understood what the hype about them was, they were just sheets right? So this year for Valentine's day I got him a flannel sheet set.... Let me tell you, the warmth and softness of these sheets is AMAZING. It's already hard to get out of bed in the morning, but the added warmth and comfort from these sheets and pillow cases makes it doubly as hard! Flannel sheets are the way to go.

If you have a smart phone, and you watch TV, and you don't have the Viggle app... you're doing it wrong. 

I wrote about Viggle before. I just need to update and add that with very little effort I got enough points for my first reward, a $10 iTunes gift card. All I did was watch TV and "check in" to the shows I watched. "Watch TV, Get Rewards" is their motto, and it couldn't be any more clear. The next thing I'm racking up points for is a $10 Sephora gift card :-)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

This is why you have no blog topics

The other day I came to the realization that when I have time to blog, I have no blog topics, and when life is super busy and hectic, I have PLENTY of topics that come to mind, but no time to write them.

This actually made sense when I thought about it. When I have plenty of time, I'm probably not doing much in life outside my normal routine, so there is nothing new to inspire topics. When I'm super busy that means I'm doing things, going places, and seeing people that I don't normally see, which is more likely to spark a blog idea. To have new blog content it's best to experience new things.

Happy Saturday. Go out and do something blog worthy ;-)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Cute Dog Alert: My Sunny

I could not resist sharing this video of my adorable fur baby, Sunny. The voice you hear giving commands is my hubby.

I kid you not, I am in awe at her cuteness sometimes lol.


P.S. -this is the first YouTube video I've ever uploaded, and I uploaded it right from my iPhone to YouTube. Technology never ceases to amaze me.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Accessibility of "The Obamas"

It may be that I am finally of age to actually pay attention to a president and first lady, or that this president and first lady are younger than those of past, or maybe, just maybe it's because they're Black, but I find President and First Lady Obama to be so accessible, and I appreciate that. While I do think they are both doing a great job in the positions that they serve, I won't say that their accessibility necessarily makes me feel that way, but just that I appreciate it. I appreciate feeling like there is a connection between the First Family and the public.

EXHIBIT A: The Song Heard 'Round The World

I don't think there was a woman in American who didn't swoon a bit at President Obama laying down some Al Green.

EXHIBIT B+C: First Lady Michelle Obama on Ellen

Her ease and candidness when being interview, her dancing along with Ellen, and not to mention an impromptu push-up contest...I love it.

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EXHIBIT D: A Slide-show of President Obama First-bumping all over the place (click the image to get to the slide show)

Charisma and coolness don't make someone an effective leader of the country, but in this case, President Obama's accessibility is the icing on top of what I think is a good president cake.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

YouTube Tuesday: Soul Train flash mob in tribute to Don Cornelius

This week's YouTube Tuesday comes in memory of the late Don Cornelius. To pay tribute, a group of New Yorkers got together and had a MASSIVE Soul Train line.

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