BLAINESWORLD #953 (Please send any comments to:

Section 2, part 2

(1) Ruth P. in NC: Is Heather Masterson Laurie Masterson’s sister?  Nice voice

Response: Yes. And I agree with you about her voice!

(2) Facebook’s Last Taboo: The Unhappy Marriage

(3) Natalie K. in PA: Liked it [WILD], but thought it was too jumping around for me — wasn’t sure much of the time what was going on.  Didn’t have much sympathy with character either.

(4) Miles R. in NC: For those that are curious or care… I just saw Into the Woods a little while ago. Overall, it was pleasant to see on the big screen but it lacked the energy that you get from a live performance. The usual songs that bring me to tears, such as, It Takes Two and Children Will Listen were done very well. I loved it but the humor that the show possesses and makes it what it is, was lost unfortunately. Overall, I enjoyed it and it was fun. Well worth the watch.

(5) Could a Personality Test Improve Your Health?

(6) Marty S. in PA: Very fab Joe Cocker performance!  Belushi also great! Thanks BG, for keeping us in touch with cultural icons gone “to join the great majority.”  Hope you and your beautiful bride have a Happy New Year!

(7) James G. in PA: Can You Translate Redneck Slang?
(8) Mike M. in NC:  UNBROKEN ***Well written, directed and acted true story of Louie Zampherini who was a Olympian during WWII whose plane crashed and spent 47 days in a raft on the water only to be captured and held prisoner by the Japanese. What really touched me about this movie is that he committed to God that if he survived he would dedicate his life to God which he did. He went back to Japan to make peace with his captures and show that he held no grudge. The real Zampherini dies last year.
While the film deserved much better reviews then it has gotten, it is not an award winning film which explains why it received no Golden Globes or SAG nominations and will probably not receive any Oscar nominations.
Jack O’Connell was very impressive in his first major film as was Angelina Jolie who made her directing debut.
(9) Bill L. in PA: My son and I saw The Interview today. We saw it On Demand. Over-all, I liked it but I thought it was uneven.  It was funny st times and not at otherr times. Boy no wonder North Korea was pissed.
(10) Ron F. in PA: Can We Guess Your Height?


Section 12A, NC events

(1) Join the magician founders of the public charity The Vanishing Wheelchair, Inc. to share the magic of the season at St. Mary’s Church, 337 Charlotte Street in Asheville on January 17, 2015, at 6:30 p.m. The family-friendly hour-and-a-half magic and music show is free to the public (donations are welcome).

Music and magic will fill St. Mary’s Church The Vanishing Wheelchair, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) public charity founded by Ricky Boone and T.J. Shimeld. It is inspired by the mystifying misdirection of Ricky who uses magic and comedy to make his disability a great ability. The Vanishing Wheelchair, Inc. wishes to raise funds to establish a universally accessible hands-on museum centered around a magic show for children of all abilities to explore the arts and sciences at which people with disabilities can work and learn skills in performing, painting, photography, music, crafts, and wood working. Ricky Boone’s biography, The Four-foot Giant and the Vanishing Wheelchair, is T.J. Shimeld’s sixth book. Proceeds from the book benefit the non-profit charitable organization. Author T.J. Shimeld and Ricky D. Boone will be available to sign books after the shows. A suggested donation of $10 for adult tickets and $5 for children tickets is appreciated. Tickets may be available at the door, but advanced reservations are strongly encouraged since seating is limited. Contact Magic Central, 175 Weaverville Highway, Suite L, Asheville, North Carolina 28804, or call 828-645-2941.For more information visit or contact T.J. Shimeld at, 1129 Allman Ridge Road, Morganton, North Carolina 28655. Call 828-391-6965.
(3) Cappy Tosetti in NC:

A New Year with new adventures on the horizon. What joy!
Off to a great start with something very special with the work I do on positive aging classes with Aerobics for the Brain.

I’m so honored to be working on a special project with Jane Sherman with Memory Loss Collaborative. She’s a dedicated professional here in Asheville in the field of dementia. She asked me to join her in presenting a series of improv classes for caregivers – individuals caring for loved ones with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. We’ll be beginning with a three-part series on Fridays in February
(6th, 13th and 20th) in the afternoon from 1pm – 3pm at Calvary Episcopal Church in Fletcher. $50 for the three sessions.

Dementia: Embracing the Moment
A Workshop for Caregiving
Improv Tools for Living in the Now

This is an opportunity for a bit of time for caregivers to explore and discover new ways of relating and responding to this important role in life. A time to play, laugh, vent, exchange ideas, reflect and recharge.

* Imaginative ways to meet challenging situations.
* Innovative tools for listening and responding.
* Nurturing new possibilities for connecting.
* Honoring your own needs.

Jane is involved with many support groups for dementia. We’re started talking this up and the response is so encouraging and heartwarming…’s so important to nurture one’s own needs when caring for another.

Just wanted to share this information…..perhaps you know of someone who might be interested in more information on this workshop. I’d be delighted to chat with them. Thanks so much.



John & Jen

Lyrics by Tom Greenwald, Music by Andrew Lippa
Book by Andrew Lippa and Tom Greenwald
Produced and directed by Mark Jones and Kelli Mullinix

January 9-25, 2015
Fridays and Saturday nights at 7:30 pm; Sundays at 2:30 pm

A truly original musical honoring brothers and sisters and parents and children, set against the background of a changing America between 1950 and 1990, John & Jen is a gem of a show brimming with intelligence, wit and beautiful melodies.

Note: You won’t want to miss this because it also stars Mark and Kelli. I’ve heard the cast album from the show, and it’s great!

(5) ELEMENO PEA at Haywood Arts Regional Theatre

For tickets:   -or- -or- call the box office at 828-456-6322

Show Date Show Time Venue
Friday, January 16, 2015 7:30 PM The Feichter Studio
Saturday, January 17, 2015 7:30 PM The Feichter Studio
Sunday, January 18, 2015 3:00 PM The Feichter Studio
Ticket Prices: Adults $10, Students $6
Author(s): Molly Smith Metzler
Director(s): Buffy Queen
Show Rating: Mature HOLD OVER DATES Jan. 23, 24,25
Description: It’s just after Labor Day, and Martha’s Vineyard has started emptying out, but you can still smell the suntan lotion (the expensive kind). And the expensive life is just what Simone is living these days, as personal assistant to Michaela Kell, trophy wife of an absurdly rich (and often absent) New York ad man. When Simone’s older sister, a social worker from blue collar Buffalo, comes to visit, lifestyles—and worlds—collide. This keenly observed comedy about class, family and the choices that shape who we are unfolds in real time, fast, furious and funny.

Note: This is another show you won’t want to miss because it stars Strother Stingley, Jennifer Russ and Chelsey Lee Gaddy, among others.

(6) Come see the incomparable Rhoda Weaver in:


Friday, January 17 , 2015 – features famous hit songs from Detroit and more

Doors open-5:30pm

Dinner served-6:00pm


Show Ends-8:15pm


$44 Dinner & Show Adult

$40 Groups (20 or more), Military and Senior Citizen (65 & over) Dinner & Show

$22 Dinner & Show Children 5-17

Children under 5 (free)

$25 Show Only Adult

$20 Show Only Children 5-17

  • All sales are final. There are no refunds or exchanges.
  • Showtimes subject to change.
  • Ticket pricing is inclusive of any sales tax or gratuity.


6 Celebration Place
Asheville, NC 28806

828 252-2637 show line

828 252-7787 office line


Section 12B, PA/NJ events

(1) Here is the Book Group lineup for Spring 2015 at Bucks County Community College:

 We meet in the Rollins Center Room 114 at Bucks County Community College, Newtown, from 7:30 TO 9:00 P.M.  All are welcome to join us on the second Thursday of each month to share your thoughts and questions about any or all of the selections. For snow or bad weather information, call 215-968‑8000. On the radio, the College code for snow closing is 2760. For more information, call 215-968-8164 or send email to:

Jan 8:   The Cost of Lunch , Etc.: Short Stories  by Marge Piercy

From Amazon:

“In this collection of short stories, bestselling author Marge Piercy brings us glimpses into the lives of   everyday women moving through and making sense of their daily internal and external worlds. Keeping to the engaging, accessible language of Piercy’s novels, the collection spans decades of her writing along with a range of locations, ages, and emotional states of her protagonists. From the first-person account of hoarding and a girl’s narrative of sexual and spiritual discovery to the recounting of a past love affair, each story is a tangible, vivid snapshot in a varied and subtly curated gallery of work. Whether grappling with death, familial relationships, friendship, sex, illness, or religion, Piercy’s writing is as passionate, lucid, insightful, and thoughtfully alive as ever.”

Feb 12: Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

From Booklist:

A long journey from home and the struggle to find it again form the heart of the intertwined stories that make up this moving novel. Foster teen Molly is performing community-service work for elderly widow Vivian, and as they go through Vivian’s cluttered attic, they discover that their lives have much in common. When Vivian was a girl, she was taken to a new life on an orphan train. These trains carried children to adoptive families for 75 years, from the mid-nineteenth century to the start of the Great Depression. Novelist Kline (Bird in Hand, 2009) brings Vivian’s hardscrabble existence in ­Depression-era Minnesota to stunning life. Molly’s present-day story in Maine seems to pale in comparison, but as we listen to the two characters talk, we find grace and power in both of these seemingly disparate lives. Although the girls are vulnerable, left to the whims of strangers, they show courage and resourcefulness. Kline illuminates a largely hidden chapter of American history, while portraying the coming-of-age of two resilient young women. –Bridget Thoreson

Mar 12:  Redeployment by Phil Klay

2014 National Book Award for Fiction

Review:  I defy any readers of Phil Klay’s stunning Redeployment to a) put it down and b) limit the number of “wows” they utter while reading it. These twelve stories, are all about the Iraq War or its aftermath; they are so direct, so frank, they will impress readers who have read all they care to about the war as well as those who thought they couldn’t stand to read about it at all. The strength of Klay’s stories lies in his unflinching, un-PC point of view, even for the soldiers he so clearly identifies with and admires. For example, one veteran tells a guy in a bar about a particularly harrowing war experience. When the stranger, moved, declares his respect for our troops, the soldier responds, “I don’t want you to respect what I’ve been through. I want you to be disgusted.” Klay is fearless; he eviscerates platitude and knee-jerk politics every chance he gets. “[A fellow soldier] was the one guy in the squad who thought the country wouldn’t be better off if we just nuked it until the desert turned into a flat plane of grass,” he writes. These stories are at least partly autobiographical, and yet, for all their verisimilitude, they’re also shaped by an undefinable thing called art. Phil Klay is a writer to watch. –Sara NelsonApr 9:  The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics   by Daniel Brown

From Booklist:

*Starred Review* If Jesse Owens is rightfully the most famous American athlete of the 1936 Berlin Olympics, repudiating Adolf Hitler’s notion of white supremacy by winning gold in four events, the gold-medal-winning effort by the eight-man rowing team from the University of Washington remains a remarkable story. It encompasses the convergence of transcendent British boatmaker George Pocock; the quiet yet deadly effective UW men’s varsity coach, Al Ulbrickson; and an unlikely gaggle of young rowers who would shine as freshmen, then grow up together, a rough-and-tumble bunch, writes Brown, not very worldly, but earnest and used to hard work. Brown (Under a Flaming Sky, 2006) takes enough time to profile the principals in this story while using the 1936 games and Hitler’s heavy financial and political investment in them to pull the narrative along. In doing so, he offers a vivid picture of the socioeconomic landscape of 1930s America (brutal), the relentlessly demanding effort required of an Olympic-level rower, the exquisite brainpower and materials that go into making a first-rate boat, and the wiles of a coach who somehow found a way to, first, beat archrival University of California, then conquer a national field of qualifiers, and finally, defeat the best rowing teams in the world. A book that informs as it inspires. –Alan Moores

May 14:  Stone Mattress: Nine Tales  by Margaret Atwood

From Amazon:

Margaret Atwood turns to short fiction for the first time since her 2006 collection, Moral Disorder, with nine tales of acute psychological insight and turbulent relationships bringing to mind her award-winning 1996 novel, Alias Grace. A recently widowed fantasy writer is guided through a stormy winter evening by the voice of her late husband in “Alphinland,” the first of three loosely linked stories about the romantic geometries of a group of writers and artists. In “The Freeze-Dried Bridegroom,” a man who bids on an auctioned storage space has a surprise. In “Lusus Naturae,” a woman born with a genetic abnormality is mistaken for a vampire. In “Torching the Dusties,” an elderly lady with Charles Bonnet syndrome comes to terms with the little people she keeps seeing, while a newly formed populist group gathers to burn down her retirement residence. And in “Stone Mattress,” a long-ago crime is avenged in the Arctic via a 1.9 billion-year-old stromatolite. In these nine tales, Margaret Atwood is at the top of her darkly humorous and seriously playful game.

June 11:  The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan

From Amazon:

From the author of the acclaimed Gould’s Book of Fish, a magisterial novel of love and war that traces the life of one man from World War II to the present.   August, 1943: Australian surgeon Dorrigo Evans is haunted by his affair with his uncle’s young wife two years earlier. His life, in a brutal Japanese POW camp on the Thai-Burma Death Railway, is a daily struggle to save the men under his command. Until he receives a letter that will change him forever.   A savagely beautiful novel about the many forms of good and evil, of truth and transcendence, as one man comes of age, prospers, only to discover all that he has lost.

(2) Edie W. in PA: On April 22nd,  from 7-10 pm,  Reid Mihalko ( founder of Cuddle Party), Monique Darling and I will be co-facilitating a Cuddle Party.  A first in this lifetime collaboration. If you have been to one or more, you will want to come to this one and experience the energy of three who, between us have offered over 1,000 of them. If you have never attended, THIS ONE is not to be missed. It will be held in the Philadelphia area, specific location to be announced.

Love exchange $30 prepaid or $40 at the door
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