John Green: A different kind of publicity tour “Paper Towns” 


Remember the olden days? Those were the days when television, newspapers and magazines were the way to publicize events.  I found out yesterday that social media really has changed the way things are done.  To my pleasant surprise I found out kids still read actual books, admire authors, and have good manners. (At least the girls were terrific; since there were no boys I can’t really comment on the weaker sex.)

The author, John Green, “No Fault in their Stars”, was in Columbus, Ohio, to promote his new book and movie, ” Paper Towns.”   Columbus, was one of the selected cities for this worldwide tour. ( I am not really sure what this book is about since I’m a lot older than 17. It has something to do with teenage love, angst and independence.)  After the tour, I decided I’ll read the book and forget that I’m on medicare.

John Green with his former best selling book

John Green with his former best selling book

An author is treated like a rock star

I wasn’t aware of what I was getting into when I volunteered to usher for “Tour of Paper Towns.” As I approached the Palace, a uniquely restored theater, I noticed that the street was packed with young girls of all shapes and sizes,  holding signs , posters and books!

When I got into the Palace, I discovered that I was ushering for the ” Paper Towns Tour.” The girls were waiting to hear an author, see a movie clip, and meet actors. The signs and posters pertained to the movie.

Our job, as ushers, were to make sure every seat was filled in the theater when they led them in at 250 at a time. The doors opened, and I felt nervous.  What if they were rowdy, mouthe, and confrontational?  No such thing. They filed  into the theater, being led by a young  guy in charge of the event. (He intently marched the groups of girls into the theater.)

The girls politely followed directions and got into their seats. It was a piece of cake! They were all dressed nicely in their 21st century clothes; dresses are out of style with this young crowd.

As soon as many of them took their seats, out came the phones, and the thumbs furiously texting. It sure kept the audience quiet. I think they were texting each other too. (Why talk when you can text?)

Many of the girls told me the primary reason they were there was to hear the author. “He is a great writer, and I like his characters and books,” said one girl. After talking to several others, I found out they were  also there to see the actors and a clip from the movie.  Imagine that, an author is an idol of the female youth of America.

Selfies, cameras, and publicity 

A young woman, who is an internet star, came out wearing a white dress that had a cape attached to it. She told the girls to take out their cameras, take a selfie and #Paper Towns Tour.”  In a few seconds hundreds of girls publicized the book.

During the showing of the clip there were some  screams when they showed the actors during the clip, and when they came out on at stage. The biggest screams were for the author!

Nothing like my generation where they got hysterical and fainted for musical groups. This was a more restrained kind of screaming.

After the movie clip the actors came out and had a very personal, familiar question and answer session with the audience. One of the more famous actors was Cara Delevingne, an English model. The other actors I also didn’t know were: Nat Wolff, Halston Sage and Austin Abrams.

John Green has a website, http:// John Green. com, a Twitter and a Facebook account. He can do the job of a press agent all by himself. Once you get on his sites, you can hear what he’s saying to the kids. (See, I’m giving him unsolicited publicity). I found it interesting that this young author was formerly part of a ministry in Columbus, Ohio, that volunteered at Children’s Hospital , sounds like a good role model!

It seems like the social media has brought actors and their audience into a more personal and intimate relationship. They don’t seem to be as far removed as they used to be, but only if you have a smart phone, and are a member of social media.

 

 




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10 things I learned after joining a Senior Citizens Choir


You're never too old to sing.

You’re never too old to sing.

1. Just because you’re older, you can still have fun. This choir puts on hats, cowboy scarves, Berets, necklaces, and whatever costume fits the songs. The choir director is a bubbling, optimistic person. The piano player finds joy in the music, and rarely makes a mistake.

2. Age is just a number. You can learn a new musical interest when you’re quite old. Look at Mick Jagger: he fills stadiums!

3. You will meet people with all kinds of life stories: retired army heroes, teachers, nurses, musicians, rich and poor people. Some really enjoy retirement, and other’s have a harder time living on a pension.

5. There are all kinds of old age diseases, but the secret is to just ignore them and keep going. It’s all in the attitude. Find joy in something, like singing and it won’t bother you as much.

6. Even if you’re old, you can sing for others and they will appreciate it. Giving to others never goes out of style.

7. Even if people are older, they are still concerned about the performance. How they sound, look, and stand. One choir woman in particular, always dresses beautifully, wears makeup, and cares about her appearance. If you’ve lived a good life, it shows on your face. This lady is 87!

8. You’re never too old to want a solo, duet, or quartet. There are no shortage of volunteers for this.

9. The repertoire is older songs, but I recognized every one of them. Enough said!

10. There is a chance I may someday sing at a current member’s memorial service. Just keep going!

Move Live Tour: Derek and Julianne Hough: A Review


I decided to attend the “Move Live Tour” featuring Julianne and Derek Hough. They are the talented brother and sister act that are from “Dancing With the Stars.” Julianne used to be a dancer on the show,  but stepped up to be a judge last year.

I love watching Derek each season, but it’s something else to watch Julianne dance with him. It’s a treat to watch him masterfully dance with professionals. It reminded me of the Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire movies.

Julianne is as good as he is, and she has a fantastic voice.

Their show sold out the Palace Theater in Columbus, Ohio which holds hundreds of people. The audience was primarily women of all ages, sizes and shapes. During the show the Houghs kept engaging the huge audience, and made it feel like we were a part of the show. They even got the crowd up on their feet to dance.

Derek and Julianne started the show coming out on their huge staircase set, music playing and lights flashing.  The set changed with each number. They had a group of talented dancers accompanying them who were just as limber, energetic, and easy on the eyes. There’s something refreshing about youthful energy.

The show went from traditional to modern dancing. They even did a few dances emulating Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. They also shook their booties in a most entertaining way. The skill and artistry was present throughout the show.  My favorite duet with the Houghs was a dance they did on “Dancing With the Stars”. (If you’re a viewer, it was the dance done with the children imitating their dance moves.  ( They did it without the kids in this show, but it was still terrific.)

Toward the end, Julianne sang some great ballads wearing unique costumes. One of my favorites was a dress that lit up with all kinds of lights and reflected back and forth between audience and the stage.

During parts of the show, Derek came out and shared some pieces of advice. I suspect it was while they moved around the set and changed costumes.

Julianne and Derek Hough

Julianne and Derek Hough

My favorite was when he said, ” if you don’t feel confident with a skill go out and try it. You may not be great, but you will get better. If you wait and wait  you won’t get better.”

The show lived up to its name, and kept moving. If it’s coming to your town, go see it. You won’t  regret it!

Women’s USA Team Wins the World Cup: You’ve come a long way baby! 


When I was growing up in the 1950’s girls didn’t play sports. It was the boys who played baseball, and did the boy stuff. Girls did lady like things like playing with dolls, rolling their hair in curlers, and dreaming of being secretaries, nurses and teachers.

My mother once described life to me by these words. “Daddies work, and mommies stay home with the kids. Sounded good to me. It took quite a while for me to understand that this wasn’t the most satisfying way of life.

I used to feel sorry for my father because he never had a son. Being a third daughter, I felt the responsibility of playing catch with him in the backyard. I also went to several Cleveland Indians baseball games with him.  Even though I knew he loved all his daughters, I felt guilty because I knew I’d been his last chance for a boy.

2015 Gold Cup winners

2015 Gold Cup winners

I am glad I had the chance to raise two daughters who had more dreams than me or their grandmother.  I always told them they could be anything they wanted to be, and they both surpassed my expectations.

Watching the women’s soccer tournaments made me smile

The ladies on this team are cool, confident, women. The way these young women have energy, talent and spirit makes me see how far the females have come since the 1950’s. It is really mind-boggling.

I was totally impressed with the goalie. Wow! That girl wasn’t letting many of those Japanese girls make goals.

How the USA team came right back after the Japanese team scored a second goal was truly exciting.

I am so proud of the USA Soccer Team!

You’ve come a long way baby.

Do you judge people by their weight?


I found out that people thought I was fat.  I did this by accidently losing weight.

I was prescribed a pill that made me lose my appetite. I couldn’t eat or stand the smell of food. I had to force myself to stuff food down my throat.

It was not a good experience. You don’t realize how precious the act of eating is until you can’t easily do it.

People suddently starting complimenting me

Even though I felt awful, I was getting compliments everywhere I went. This is pretty funny considering I’m 65 years old. I didn’t think anyone looked at me anymore.

I have since switched medicines, and regained my appetite. I know it’s probably only a matter of time until I regain some of the weight. I am still trying to keep it off and it’s been 2 months.

I had lost some weight on my own before the pill debacle. I joined an exercise group and am keeping it up. But, I have regained around 5-6 pounds.

I noticed the compliments have stopped. I have to live with the reality that I will probably regain more of the weight.

Judging people by their size

We all do it. Even me. I think it’s so superficial to do this. I think it’s ingrained in our society. If we see someone who is overweight we think they are lazy, or ignorant.

I went to McDonalds and saw so many heavy people sitting there. I guess I was one of them, and didn’t

At my slimmest, but it's not going to last long.

At my slimmest, but it’s not going to last long.

know it. I thought, what’s wrong with them?  Don’t they know lousy hamburgers, sugary drinks and french fries are bad for them?

So, what was I doing there?

I am going to make an effort not to judge people by their size, but as Martin Luther King Jr. said, “by the content of their character.”

The boxing analogy


So true

Cristian Mihai

boxing_2_lgLet me tell you a bit about this sport called boxing. It’s tough and rough, no doubt about it. But the most difficult and painful parts are not the ones you see on TV. No, the fights themselves are just the parts that people get to see. The real fighting, the struggle, take place off-screen. The time spent practicing, hours and hours of physical training, shadow boxing, sparring. That’s the tough part. A few minutes in a ring with another fighter don’t even come close to what happens during a training.

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