BLAINESWORLD #1000 (Please send any comments to:

Section 1, part 2

(1) Arlene D. in PA: Blaine, I really appreciated the article by Micah Solomon regarding “No Problem.” That has been a pet peeve of mine for several years. It seems “No problem” it is the universal response to “Thank You” these days.

(2) Natalie K. in PA: Saw Steve jobs. Liked it.

(3) Kathryn L. in NC: Thanks for tip about calendars!  My assistant just ordered two new calendars for us “more experienced” designers here at Ambiance, and we saved $18 by using your suggestion to “goggle” discounted day-timers.


Axel and I watched Trainwreck last night: I laughed out loud and Axel was dancing at the end.  Thanks for a fun movie recommendation.

(4) How to talk to children about terrorism

(5) Brawn and brains

(6) Walela D. in NC: The future of medicine is food

(7) Ashleigh M. in NC: I made gluten free pineapple upside down cake tonight! And it turned out perfect!!


The Best Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Note from Ashleigh:  I wish I could take credit, but it was a Pinterest find! FYI: I used King Arthur GF flour blend and King Arthur pure vanilla. Organic local yogurt and sour cream. And butter made right around the corner from me.

(8) Choose to be grateful. It will make you happy.

(9) Mike M. in NC: Spotlight ***1/2

The true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese, shaking the entire Catholic Church to its core.
The globes Spotlight department uncovered what turns out to be decades of cover ups by the Catholic church and other city officials and lawyers.
This will be the film to beat at Oscar time and will walk away hands down with the SAG award for best cast ensemble. All performances are brilliant, but are all supporting. There is not any one character that could be considered a lead character. But, when you put the talents of Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schriber, John Slattery (Mad Men), Stanley Tucci and Broadway and Smash star Brian d’Arcy James you have a cast that brings that very true painful story to life with an amazing amount of combined talent.

As of now this will be my favorite for The Academy Oscar’s, Golden Globesand SAG-AFTRA Foundation. Expect Michael Keaton and Mark Ruffalo to both receive nominations for supporting actor in all award. To choose between the two may be an issue for voters since both performances are good and may cancel each other out. Mark Ruffalo has one scene towards the end of the film that could wrap it up if he submits that to the voting members. A Michael Keaton win may very well be a sympathy vote for not winning for Birdman. He gives a good performance, but nothing that would be considered award worthy.

(10) HELP REQUEST DEPT.: Our good friends in NC are in the process of selling their home in Biltmore Park. Before they move into their new home, they need a place to stay in–either to rent or housesit. They also have mellow and mature pets. (Added bonus: They are experts in making a house “show ready” if you are thinking of selling your home. ) … Dates they would need a place: Around December 15 until February or March. … If you have anything that would meet their needs, please contact:; 828.242. 0637. … Thanks for any help you might be able to provide!


Section 12A, NC events


(2) Rodney Smith in NC: Hello to all of my digitally creative types out there.
I wanted to let you know I will be teaching an intermediate level Photoshop CS 6 class for AB Tech’s continuing ed dept.
If you know me, you know this will be a fun class. Classes begin Dec. 1 and will run Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6 – 9 for 3 weeks. (12/1 – 12/17)
So, if you are looking to find new insights on how to process photos, or do other types of design in PS. Please come join me smile emoticon
Registration is $75. Description and registration link below. Hope to see you there.
AB Tech. Asheville Campus, Rhododendron Bldg.
CAS-7476-529CO – This course is for those who have completed the 24 hrs. introduction class or equivalent. Raise your Photoshop skills to the next level. Learn sophisticated techniques for editing and manipulating images; add actions, brushes and fonts; learn professional tips for portrait retouching; combine multiple images into sophisticated montages using layer masks and discover the photographer’s best work flow. The class is suitable for Macintosh and Windows users, and Mac users are encouraged to bring laptops if preferred.




carolina jews for justice

CONTACT: Marilynne Herbert or (828) 551-7005
(Asheville) Carolina Jews for Justice/West, Congregation Beth Israel and
Congregation Beth HaTephila are co-sponsoring a program addressing race and police
practices on Thursday, December 3, 2015, at Congregation Beth Israel, 229 Murdock
Avenue in Asheville. The program will begin at 6:30 P.M. with a screening of the
documentary film, “Ferguson: A Report from Occupied Territory.” The following link
is provided for advance viewing:
occupied-territory/. A panel discussion will follow moderated by Rabbi Justin Goldstein
of Congregation Beth Israel.
Panelists will include Tammy Hooper, Chief of the Asheville Police Department; Van
Duncan, Buncombe County Sheriff; Sheneika Smith, Community Resource Specialist of
Green Opportunities, and Joseph T. Hackett, Student Development Director of Green
Opportunities. A question and answer period will follow. Light refreshments will be
“The program will provide a unique opportunity for the audience to hear from local law
enforcement leaders as well as members of the African American community who will
share some of their own experiences as well as ongoing efforts to improve
understanding,” says Judith Leavitt, Chair of the CJJ/West Steering Committee. “For
those of us who have never experienced this type of discrimination, we expect the
program to enlighten us about our role in making our community a safer and more open
place for all.”
For more information about Carolina Jews for Justice please visit


Section 12B, PA/NJ events


Join Barry Sysler’s family on January 20, 2016 from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Green Parrot in Newtown to support Bucks students and help continue Barry’s legacy. Twenty percent of all food sales will be donated to the Dr. Barry Sysler Memorial Scholarship.
Dr. Barry Sysler
Barry taught in Bucks’ Health and Physical Education Department for 38 years. He was the men’s and women’s tennis coach for 27 seasons, named Coach of the Year 10 times, and inducted into the National Junior College Athletic Association’s Men’s Tennis Coach Hall of Fame in 1999.
Barry was founder and president of Academic Directions, an educational consulting company that assisted families of college bound students to find an affordable and “right-fit.” He often provided pro bono assistance to families who could not afford his services but were in need of guidance, because he felt that every student needed a chance. This scholarship has been created in his memory to further his ideals of helping and education.

(2) ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ Is First Up in December at MCCC’s Kelsey Theatre; Two Other Shows Add to Merriment

West Windsor, N.J. – Three family shows are coming to Mercer County Community College’s (MCCC’s) Kelsey Theatre in December that will add to the festive holiday season. The month kicks off with a Kelsey holiday tradition. “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” embraces the joy of the long-awaited midnight visit by none other than Santa. Family audiences will delight in the Kelsey Players’ musical adaptation of the famous poem by Clement Moore, originally penned as a Christmas present for his children. The show features Kris Kringle, along with his eight tiny reindeer, some remarkably talented sugar plums, and the cutest mouse in New York City. The Moore family and their neighbors will create a magical winter wonderland circa 1822 New York for audiences of all ages to enjoy.

Performance dates and times are Friday, Dec. 4 at 7 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 5 at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 6 at 2 and 4 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults, and $10 for seniors, students and children. Kelsey Theatre is located on the college’s West Windsor Campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road. The theater is an official drop-off site for the Marine’s Toys for Tots annual holiday drive.  Patrons are encouraged to donate a new, unwrapped toy in the drop box located in the Kelsey Theatre lobby.  Donations will be accepted through Monday, Dec. 14.

The “Twas” cast stars Ken Ambs of Newtown, Pa., as Clement Moore; Diane Wargo of Ewing as Eliza Moore; Carter Erickson of Yardley, Pa., as William Moore; Abby Scatena of Robbinsville as Charity Moore; and John Costello of Hamilton Square as Mr. Kringle.

Also featured are Jillian Ambs of Newtown, Pa., Logan Ambs of Newtown, Pa, Mason Ambs of Newtown, Pa., Jayden Anderson of Trenton, Taylor Bell of Hightstown, Alex Bischoff of Hamilton Square, Aimee Clark of Lawrenceville, Hayden Clark of Lawrenceville, Melissa Clark of Lawrenceville, Charlotte Erickson of Yardley, Pa., Bridget Godfrey of Robbinsville, Alexa Hunt of Manahawkin, Freddie Iezzo of Hamilton, Luddy Iezzo of Hamilton, Marla Iezzo of Hamilton, Mateo Iezzo of Hamilton, Makenzie Ivey of Lawrenceville, Peyton Ivey of Lawrenceville, Alexander Johnson of Hamilton, Christian Johnson of Hamilton, Quinzy McCallum of Ewing, Cameron Miller of Morrisville, Pa., Chandler Miller of Morrisville, Pa., Cameron Reardon of Cream Ridge, Leif Simonelli of Hamilton, Rilyn Szabo of Monmouth Junction, Isabel Urban of West Windsor, Tobias Urban of West Windsor, and Zachary Urban of West Windsor.

The production team includes Director Diane Wargo, Musical Director Pat Masterson, Choreographer Chelsea Wargo, Stage Manager Ginny McGowen and Assistant Stage Manager Tara Simonelli. Lighting and sound design is by Bernie McGowen and costumes are by Kate Pinner.

Next up, for two shows only, is “A Very Kelsey Christmas,” a premiere performance presented by Forté Dramatic Productions, on Saturday, Dec. 12 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 13 at 2 p.m. Musical Director Peter de Mets presents an all-star cast of Kelsey performers in the style of a 1950s television variety show. It’s a mix of traditional, Broadway and pop favorites, plus skits and lots of cheer. Tickets are $18 for adults; $16 for seniors, and $14 for children/students.

Capping off the season is the New Jersey Youth Ballet’s original hour-long, narrated adaptation of “The Nutcracker” on Friday, Dec. 18 at 7 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 19 at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 20 at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Dancers in full costume will perform to the famous Tchaikovsky score as they transport audiences to The Land of the Sweets. Tickets are $16 for adults, and $14 for seniors, students and children.

Tickets for all shows may be purchased by calling the Kelsey Box Office at 609-570-3333 or online at  Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible. Free parking is available next to the theater.

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