BLAINESWORLD #1040 (Please send any comments to:

Section 2, part 2

(1) John C. in NC: For those of you who truly know me, you know how much I love dragons. Just saw Pete’s Dragon and loved it but I cried more than once and by the end was a weeping mess. If you have at all nurtured your inner child, you should see it, and remember the magic!

(2) The Complex Math Behind Spiraling Prescription Drug Prices

(4) Little evidence for the usual wisdom about teeth
(5) Hesitant to Make That Big Life Change? Permission Granted
(6) Mike Birbiglia’s 6 Tips for Making It Small in Hollywood. Or Anywhere.
(7) Liz M. in Washington, DC: Quick lil’ PSA to all y’all: if you are financially able to do so, I strongly encourage you to get renter’s insurance (mine is $13/month). At the end of July, my house had a pipe burst and flooded through 3 floors including my room/bathroom. My mattress was ruined + I was unable to live in my house due to the damage. While my room was under repair (a whole month), I stayed at a lovely hotel in my neighborhood. Every cent I spent to stay there was covered by my insurance. I’m so grateful, and it’s so good to be back home. Look into it!
(8) This Type of Brain Training Can Keep You From Getting Dementia


Section 4, Reviews

A. Saw HANDS OF STONE, the real-life account of Roberto Duran–the Panamanian fighter who made his professional debut in 1968 as a 16 year-old and retired in 2002 at the age of 50. Emphasis is on his 1980 fight when he defeated Sugar Ray Leonard to capture the WBC welterweight title and on his November rematch when he famously said words “no mas” (no more). I liked the boxing scenes, as well as the tremendous performance from Edgar Ramirez as Duran. Usher Raymond also scores as Leonard. Rated R.

B. Out on DVD is ME BEFORE YOU. My review from BLAINESWORLD #1028 follows:
Saw ME BEFORE YOU, a sweet drama about a small town Englishwoman and the wealthy, paralyzed Londoner who hires her as his caretaker. Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin have great chemistry in the leading roles, and methinks this is a film that most will enjoy. Rated PG-13.

C. Read FOOD: A LOVE STORY (Three River Press) by Jim Gaffigan.

The author, a comedian, actor and executive producer of TV’s THE JIM GAFFIGAN SHOW, spends his time eating in airports before flying to some city to eat and do stand-up comedy. In addition, he overeats in New York City and also lives there with his five young children and much smarter and thinner wife, Jeannie.

When asked about his qualifications to write this book, he notes:
None, really. So why should you read it? Here’s why: I’m a little fat. Okay, to some I might not be considered that fat, but the point is, I’m not thin. If a thin guy were to write about a love of food and eating, I’d highly recommend that you do not read his book. I’m not talking about someone who is merely in good shape. I’m talking thin. Skinny. I wouldn’t trust them skinnies with food advice. First of all, how do you know they really feel pas­sionately about food? Well, obviously they are not passionate enough to overdo it. That’s not very passionate. Anyway, I’m overweight.

Gaffigan then proceeds to share his observations on a wide range of food-related topics, including bacon, pastrami, corned beef, gravy, fruit, ketchup, breakfast, diners and Hot Pockets.

Many of these were very funny, especially his take on vegetables:
If nobody wants fruit, even fewer people want vegetables. This is because, overall, vegetables taste horrible. Don’t be­lieve me? Why, then, are we surprised when vegetables taste good? “Oh my God, this beet is delicious.” We are surprised because the expectation is that vegetables will taste like, well, vegetables. People eat vegetables, but nobody WANTS to eat vegetables. Think back to the last time you ate a vegetable. Did you WANT to eat the vegetable? Be honest. Maybe it was part of a healthy choice you made: “I’ll eat some carrots.” Congrats on that healthy choice, but don’t confuse a healthy choice with a desire to eat a vegetable. I mean, I don’t want to be fat, but I want vegetables less. Of course, I’m forced to eat vegetables when there are children present.

You might not learn a great deal from reading FOOD, but it will get certainly get you laughing.


The author, a former Secret Service uniformed officer, spent part of his career protecting President Bill Clinton and the First Family in the White House. He also has served in the U.S. Air Force Security Police and most recently, as a Federal Air Marshall.

The book presents a good overview of Byrnes’ career, and I found that part interesting.

However, I was disappointed that much of it covered material that I already knew about; i.e., Bill’s indiscretions. There was very little about Hillary and nothing that gave me any real insight into why she may or may not be a good president.


Section 12A, NC events

(1) Israeli Film Series at Grail Movie House …

israeli film series

(2) Vic A. in NC: Saw this show (OFF THE RAILS) tonight at Magnetic Theater.  Very Funny. Are you going?

Response: Am going to try to get to it, especially because of your recommendation!

For more information, see below:

(3) Open Poetry Reading!

(traditional cookies as well as sugar-free/gluten-free– something for everyone!)

Sunday Sept 18, 2016  3-5pm

@ Lisa’s Embodiment Studio

60 Caledonia Road #B (the carriage house behind the Kenilworth Inn Apts.)

$5 suggested donation

Come enjoy home-baked cookies, tea, and poetry!

If you would like to participate as a reader,

bring 2-3 pages of poetry to share (sign-up upon arrival)

*4 minute limit per reader

or just come as a listener and eater of yummy cookies!

A safe, heart-centered opportunity for creative expression among friends

for more info email


Section 12B, PA/NJ event

(1) Children’s Opera ‘Beloved Prey’ Has Local Premiere at MCCC’s Kelsey Theatre Sept. 24

West Windsor, N.J. – “Beloved Prey,” a children’s opera about an unusual and enduring friendship between a lioness and an antelope, makes its area premiere at Mercer County Community College’s (MCCC’s) Kelsey Theatre on Saturday, Sept. 24 at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Kelsey Theatre is located on the college’s West Windsor campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road.

The opera is based on classic Japanese Noh theater and was composed by MCCC alumnus Kento Iwasaki (’09), a graduate of West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North who now lives and works in New York City.  Presented by The Traveling Opera Company, the one-hour show features Iwasaki and five other musicians, who blend traditional Japanese instrumentation, including the koto, with stylized dance movements and colorful masks and costumes.  The music will be accompanied by silhouettes of the show’s singers projected on a screen behind the main stage.

Iwasaki notes that the opera’s diverse elements combine for a spellbinding performance.  “The story mixes the natural world with a sense of the mythological,” he said.  “I hope that young audiences and their families will enjoy the variety of influences and come away with a memorable experience of live theater.”

Iwasaki’s “portable opera” concept is drawing attention and praise.  It was recently featured on JapanCulture•NYC, New York City’s No. 1 blog for Japanese culture.  Last year, he performed songs from “Beloved Prey” at the Ikebana International’s AKI NO KOKORO: Autumn Portraits in Ikebana & Koto in New York and was interviewed for the program A Tempo, hosted by Rachel Katz of WWFM The Classical Network.

After earning his MCCC degree in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Music, Iwasaki transferred to Temple University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Music Composition. He then completed his master’s in Classical Composition from the Manhattan School of Music.

Tickets are $10 for children, students and seniors, and $12 for adults.  Tickets may be purchased online at or by calling the Kelsey Box Office at 609-570-3333.  Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible, with free parking available next to the theater.

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