TV Tuesday: Stranger Things

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Ah yes, today is October 31st also known as Halloween. In honor of this joyous holiday of spooks and frights I chose the hit Netflix series Stranger Things. This hit sci-fi show as a homage to the 1980’s film making we follow the life of four kids and their families in a small town in Indiana. However, not is all that it seems when a young girl with special abilities, Eleven, breaks out of an asylum and a young boy, Will Byars, is taken to another world secrets are unearthed. With little to no help from the police it is up to: Mike, Dustin, and Lucas to solve the mystery with the help of Eleven. Along with the Byars family, Mike’s sister Nancy, and reluctant Sheriff Hopper there is nothing that will stop them from solving the truth.

Music Monday: John Carpenter

How John Carpenter's Music Changed the World - 2015's first great album may not even be from a musician. Now out, Lost Themes by John Carpenter has the icy menace of something out of a '80s horror flick. That's deliberate, not to mention fitting, as Carpenter's synth-based compositions for his films became one of the decade's signature sounds.

Many people know John Carpenter as a Master of Horror having directed hit films in the genre like Halloween and The Thing. However, most people do not know that John Carpenter is also a composer. One of the many tunes that he has brought to life is the original theme of Halloween in 1978. He has been known to co-compose some of the music in his films, even winning an award for the music in the movie Vampires. Going as far as to release three studio albums, John Carpenter has managed to prove that he is more than a horror movie director.

Southeastern Connecticut Center for the Blind Talent Show 2017

There is much to be said about the Southeastern Connecticut Center for the Blind when it comes down to their talent show. At the Garde Arts Center on October 7th, there was much to be said about each one of the performers as they got up on stage in the Oasis Room and blasted everyone away with their talent. There was much excitement before the show began with the hustle and bustle for friends and family who came to support their loved ones.

When many people walked into the Oasis room they stopped at a table where they were selling tickets for a basket raffle. Many people stopped and admired all the different baskets that were out on display for them to pick from. While this was going on there was much chatter about the acts that were going to go on. Some of the participants were dressed up for their performance, while others dressed casually.

The lights dimmed and Arthur Mueller, the MC for the evening, gave a warm word of welcome to everyone who came. Followed by Eileen Rose who is the Executive Director of the Southeastern Connecticut Center for the Blind and the Chairperson for the Talent; show spoke about how much the show means to her and the performers who are all visually impaired. When she finished Heidi Ross spoke about the significance of October 15th, White Cane Safety Day.

White Cane Safety Day was first recognized and approved by President Lyndon B. Johnson. The importance of this day is to raise awareness of the symbolism of the white cane for independence for those who are blind and/or visually impaired. It is significant for all people to be aware of why those who cannot see have use a cane so they can live an independent life.

When Heidi finished the fun began when the show started. There was piano playing and jokes being told by performers. There was an artist who played the ukulele and to a medley he wrote himself, while singing a song, while another played the guitar and sang a song he wrote himself. Then there were others who danced and clapped along with the music. There was even a fantastic act with a hula hoop that left many in awe. All of the acts were different with their own significant touch.

The Southeastern Connecticut Center for the Blind never ceases to have a dull talent show. Each talent show is designed to encase different talent that each of them have. Each time I watch this show I am in awe and blown away by each individual act as they do not let anything stop them from doing what they love. The Garde Arts Center, once again, shows their commitment and support to the community with each talent show that comes from The Southeastern Connecticut Center for the Blind.

Garrison Keillor

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Up until October 7th, I was completely unaware of who Garrison Keillor is. Well, after his memorable performance at the Garde Arts Center in New London, Connecticut, I sure won’t forget who he is, nor where he is from which is Minnesota. The popular radio host to a Prairie Home Companion and humorist brought out a crowd to watch him.

While walking into the lobby I noticed the ushers were receiving their final instructions as the doors had already opened to the public. With an audience of about twelve hundred, this show was going to be one that was huge. As many of the patrons walked in they looked at posters for the upcoming Christmas shows like Cherish the Ladies on December 1st and Melissa Etheridge on December 15th. Some people stopped to inquire about the tickets for each of these popular upcoming shows.

While in the lobby many patrons were admiring the works of art created by members of Riverside Park. From October 1st until November 5th sketches and paintings are put on display from the talented artists who are part of Riverside Park. Some patrons were even making inquiries as to how to buy certain pieces.

Once the doors, there was a rush into the theater as there was much excitement to the show. With a stage set with three microphones, two guitars, and one banjo the show was sure to be a hit. When the lights dimmed Steve Sigel walked on stage to welcome the audience and announce future events like Michael McDonald featuring Mark Cohn on October 15th and Girls Night: The Musical on October 27th.

When he finished Garrison Keillor walked on to a thunderous applause before leading the audience in singing “My Country Tis of Thee” and “I Can’t Help Falling In Love with You.” After making jokes about Connecticut, New England, and of course his home state of Minnesota he welcomed on stage his two good friends Robin and Linda Williams. All three of them had been working together since his radio days.  Calling them true southern people they made jokes about what it was like growing up as a “church person” and how they got started in the business.

Garrison Keillor sang along with them and the audience was encourage to sing along to hits like “Under the Boardwalk.” While reminiscing about their days in the studio they remarked on the hit 2006 film A Prairie Home Companion, which starred Garrison Keillor as himself, and featured songs by Robin and Linda Williams as a cutaway.

Soon intermission came, but that did not stop Garrison Keillor from singing along. All the way through intermission he stayed on stage and encourage the audience to sing songs like “America the Beautiful” and “We Shall Over Come.” Then there songs like “John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt” that brought laughter to the audience.

When intermission was over he went back to his comedy act. Remarking on his days as a child in Minnesota when he was in high school trying to impress the girl of dreams to his college days when he was writing poetry to impress other girls in college. There seemed to be nothing that could keep him from causing the audience to laugh, even as he admitted there were people who did not believe his stories that he shared on the radio.

As the show started to close he invited Robin and Linda Williams on stage to sing a final song with him. When they finished they closed out the show with singing that the audience was encouraged to participate in. As the lights came back on they were on stage singing “Happy Trails to You” before taking a final bow to a standing ovation.

As they patrons walked out they were commenting on how they hadn’t laughed like they had in a long time. Many of them walked out humming, whistling, or singing to the tunes that Garrison Keiller and Robin and Linda Williams had encouraged them to sing along to. In the end, it was a magical night at The Garde Arts Center in New London, CT.

 

Photo Friday

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Halloween is my favorite holiday! On Tuesday, we get to celebrate this joyous holiday with candy, costumes, and fright all around .Yet, the pumpkin seems to be a common symbol of Halloween. Well, maybe the Jack-O-Lantern, a carved out pumpkin with a face that is meant to scare away the evil spirits that, according to Celtic lore, return when the veil is the thinnest between the living and the dead. Today, many of the traditions of Ireland have been adopted today for the tradition that is Halloween. Originally called Samhain, October 31st is a day where many participates in the festivities of All Hallows Eve.

 

Theater Thursday: Macbeth

Double, double toil and trouble,
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.- Macbeth Act IV Scene I

One of the many plays that has been received as part of the thrilling, yet tragic shows is William Shakespeares Macbeth, which is one of my favorites. When Macbeth the Thane of Glamis runs into three witches he is told a fortune that he would be king. Laughing it off he goes and tells his wife about it, who likes the idea of him becoming king. Soon, Macbeth kills the king and is crowned himself. However, he is haunted by the images of the late king leading him to betray his closest friends leading him into madness. Tragedy continues to strike Macbeth as the three witches approach him telling him to beware of their warning. Yet, Macbeth does not believe them leading this his own kingdoms demise.

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By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes.- Macbeth Act IV Scene I

Read-It Wednesday: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories

Image result for The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories (Penguin Classics) by Irving, WashingtonWashington Irving created quite the tale when he published his short story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Little did he know that this tale would become a classic told over and over again as Ichabod Crane escaped the infamous Headless Horseman, a frustrated hessian from the Revolutionary War. However, this is not his only masterpiece. Rip Van Winkle and The Spectre Bridegroom also belong to him. Yet it is the tale of Ichabod’s adventure in Sleepy Hollow that many share this time of year when Halloween is near. Washington Irving was a great write who’s works have survived the test of time.

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TV Tuesday: Supernatural

Seasons 1-12 title cards [gifset]Quite possibly one of the longest running TV shows on right now is Supernatural. Starting in 2005 following brothers, Sam and Dean Winchester, as they hunt down the monsters that bring your nightmares to life. However, they have to look past their differences and focus on the evil that threatens the world. As each season goes on something more sinister threatens the world we live in leaving Sam and Dean, along with Castiel, a fallen angel, occasionally demon Crowley, and father figure Bobby. Nothing seems to stop Supernatural from proceeding on with life as each season is a new adventure.

Music Monday: Danny Elfman

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Danny Elfman is a composer, singer, songwriter, and producer who’s career has spanned throughout the years. Several of his music has been featured in Tim Burton movies and the lead singer of the band Oingo Boingo. Some of his songs are considered classic Halloween songs because of there theme. Like “This is Halloween” and “Dead Man’s Party” are popular around this time of year. Danny Elfman is truly one of a kind for his artistic style and take on composing.

Photo Friday

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October is a month where many people dress up and play spooky tricks on each other. Many people partake in the festivities that come with the month many associate with the fantastic season that is Autumn. Yet, October is a month that has been designated to raise awareness for Breast Cancer. Many women in America today have been diagnosed with the disease leading to many of them starting a fight against cancer. There is nothing that will stop the fight to end breast cancer and finding a cure.