Section 2, part 2

(1) BJ in NC (with a REQUEST FOR HELP):  In need of:
Clean, single-family Home for rent in the Asheville, Black Mountain or West Asheville area
Dog friendly
Needed before March 1
If you have something available or know of something, please contact:

(2) Allen D. in NC: Having read the article about LES MISERABLES, I expect I’ll wait to see it on DVD.  The book has been one of my favorites and I’ve read it in English (two or three times) and French (that took forever) so I was hoping the movie would be better than you reported.  I think getting emotionally upset enough to cry is part of the mark of a great book.  I still laugh at my youngest daughter when (at my prompting her to read the book) she got so upset with the book she threw it across the bedroom.  Maybe she will finish reading the book one of these days.

(3) Kathy W. in PA: Legends of the Fall is one of only a few movies that I will watch over and over…. Tristan is such a classically flawed character.. I just love him.

(4) Vickie E. in FL: In the photo with your friends you actually wore a similar sweater as my husband did this holiday and I have wore a  similar sweater as your wife….But as far as your assessment of Les Miserables, I differ with you in part.. and was happy to disagree with the prior critics review. One really trashed Russell Crowe’s singing, and I thought he was really ok in that role.. I fortunately carry tissues and used them this time which I found surprising as I did not need to when seeing it twice on Broadway..I found the movie to be one of the best musicals! I ALSO read the book in 5TH Year French class  With Madame Ormsbee ( how do you spell her name? ) I did not have an appreciation  for it then .but I still can hear her accent or lack of one? Did you have this class as well?

Looking forward to more readings. Best in 2013!

(5) I loved some of the following comments that were posted after the picture of me in last week’s issue (where the photographer caught me with my pants down):

* Thomas F. in NJ: Thanks for the vertical smile and another full moon.

* Eddie D. in NC: Just say no to crack.

* John S. in PA: You went to Catholic school?

* My response: Well, John, you never heard of the Archbishop Solomon Schecter School for Wayward Boys?

* John S. in PA: The ones in the dresses seem to be a little more wayward than the others.

* My response: You’re bringing back memories . . . I recall that to save money, they combined with the Holy Name of Rebecca Schwarzbaum School for Errant Girls.

(6) Ellen C. in PA: I appreciate getting your newsletter.  I especially follow the movies you see because as I stated we tend to enjoy the same ones so you are my movie critic! 

(7) Ed G. in NC: I take it from your last edition of Blaine’s World that your beautiful bride and your good self are devoted watchers of Downtown Abbey.  Donna and I are, as well.  We thought that the Season III opening episode was rich with plot line opportunities (I’m a little worried about Bates; his cellmate seems very dangerous to me and I have predicted that he is a stoolie for the prosecution) and the costumes and settings are as rich as ever.  I’m not sure how I felt about Shirley Maclaine; she seemed a bit over-the-top for my taste, but I suppose that was the point.


Section 12A, NC events

(1) Dr. Nido Quebein is the featured speaker at Lessons in Leadership on Tuesday, Jan. 29 at UNCA. For more information, please click:

(2) PLEASE HOLD THE DATE (& a request): Thursday, Feb. 14 will be SART’s first HEARTS FOR SART fundraiser to be held at “On Broadway,” 49 Broadway Ave, Asheville . . . . it will feature BJ Leiderman, the NPR composer. Details to follow.

The request: We are also collecting merchandise for a silent auction. By donating a gift certificate or merchandise, you’ll be making a tax deductible contribution that will not only help us continue the mission of our theatre, but also gain you valuable exposure at the event. If you can help out, please send an email to and indicate what you might be able to contribute.

(3) Zuzu Welsh shared an event.
The Zoodles Live in Downtown Asheville!!!

January 12 at 9:00pm
(4) Ground Hog Day Afternoon Tea Dance with the Heather Masterton Trio.
Sunday, Feb. 3 at 3 p.m. Experience live music with Heather at the Asheville Ballroom. She sings
the great standards. Come on out and dance swing, foxtrot, rumba and
more. Ballroom deejay Phil Noland will be playing any requests during breaks.
Cost is $10 per person.
(5) The Story of We

If you, a friend or family member have wished to a write memoir, join me for a not-your-every day memoir writing workshop.
This workshop is 3  hours with a 30-minute break for lunch.
We write for 5 to 20 minutes intervals, and share what we write as we choose.
$175. 4 person minimum.
Feb. 3 at the Arboretum.

For more information:
#505-690-2540 |

To  purchase tickets, please click:

(6) Vic A. in NC: Saw the show [SEX AND HOW TO HAVE IT] tonight. Very funny.  It was the 2nd night of previews and was sold out

Are you going?  I think you would enjoy.
Note: The show runs through Feb. 2 at the Magnetic Theatre. For tickets, please click:

Section 12B, PA/NJ events

(2) Mike A. in PA: I am very happy to announce that I will be teaching a 1 hour self defense seminar on Saturday, January 26, 2013 at the Action Martial Arts Magazine Hall of Honors Expo! I will be in Pageant Room C at 12pm, Saturday. The event is at the Tropicana Hotel & Casino. Please register for the expo! I look forward to seeing you there!

(3) Welcome the New Year by Exploring New Books at Bucks

Book Discussion Group invites newcomers to monthly meetings through June; ‘The Yellow Birds’ will be discussed Jan. 10.

Delve into fascinating books in 2013 by dropping in on the Bucks County Community College Book Discussion Group. The free, informal gatherings take place from 7:30 to 9 p.m. on the second Thursday of the month during the academic year on the college’s Newtown campus.

Michael Hennessey, the literature professor who convenes the meetings, says group members come from a variety of backgrounds, but share a love of reading.

“We love to read and consider it a social activity; by that I mean reading is a conversation, first between reader and text,” says Hennessey. “We like to share our thoughts with others to verify how well (or not) we understand the text and its relation to ourselves and the larger world. [The group is] pretty much readers engaging the world through particular lenses or texts that intrigue us.”

The intriguing stories are chosen by the group, Hennessey says. “At the last meeting each semester, participants suggest and ‘sell’ titles they’d like to discuss next semester. We vote on the suggestions. It’s very democratic this way.”

The year starts off with a discussion of The Yellow Birds: A Novel byKevin Powers on Thursday, January 10. Written by a veteran of the war in Iraq, the groundbreaking novel is a harrowing story of two young soldiers trying to stay alive.

Other titles to be discussed are:

  • Feb. 14 Wolf Hall: A Novel by Hilary Mantel. Winner of the 2009 Man Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, this fictionalized biography documents the rapid rise to power of Thomas Cromwell during Henry VIII’s reign in 16th-century England.
  • March 14The Round House by Louise Erdrich. Likely to be dubbed the Native American To Kill a Mockingbird, Erdrich’s moving, complex, and surprisingly uplifting new novel tells of a boy’s coming of age in the wake of a brutal, racist attack on his mother.
  • April 11: Sweet Tooth: A Novel by Ian McEwan. A Cambridge student’s beauty and intelligence make her the ideal recruit for MI5, England’s legendary spy agency, in a 1972 Cold War operation to manipulate the cultural conversation by funding writers whose politics align with those of the government.
  • May 9:  The Orphan Master’s Son: A Novel by Adam Johnson. Touted as one of the best books of the year by major reviewers, Johnson takes the reader inside the propaganda machine of North Korea in this two-part novel.
  • June 13This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz. A collection of nine stories focus on Yunior, a Dominican American who, despite his macho exterior, aches to be loved. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author takes Yunior’s heart and batters it every which way to show how love – romantic, physical, or familial – can affect even the most masculine character.

Founded in 1988, the Bucks County Community College Book Discussion Group meets from 7:30 to 9 p.m. on the second Thursday of the month in room 114 of the Rollins Center, located near the Student Life office. The campus is located at 275 Swamp Road, Newtown, Pa. For snow closing information, call 215-968‑8000 or visit On the radio, the college code for snow closing is 2760. For more information, contact Michael Hennessey at 215-968-8164

(4)  To honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his goal
of “creating a beloved community, The Interfaith Community of Lower Bucks in
partnership with The Bucks County Committee for Interracial Harmony, The
Peace Center and the Bucks County Human Relations Council are sponsoring two
community dialogues on Sunday, January 20, 3:00 p.m. at the Bristol Senior
Center (2501 Bath Road, Ste. 1, Bristol) and the Doylestown Presbyterian
Church (127 East Court Street, Doylestown).

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