The Savory Affair, New England’s premier event planning and design company, launched a new online video series focused on providing easy decorating and entertaining ideas. With the holidays just around the corner, the first video in the Wine & Design series focuses on a timeless holiday tradition, the Pomander Ball. New Savory Affair Event Planner, Alexandra Kreher, explains how in just a few simple steps, you can have a beautiful decoration that delights the eyes and scents the home for the season. The second video gives you four easy ideas for Holiday Place Cards to make your table just a little more special!
There is no denying that a first date can be quite stressful. You generally only have only one opportunity to make a great first impression and lock in that second date. While many women may spend hours primping and picking that perfect outfit, we can’t forget to also prepare adequately for conversation. Here are five tips to avoid any awkward conversation or even worse…awkward moments!
Rule Number One- Never Talk About Your Ex
Really? We know he was great at one point. We also know that he's in the past, so there is no reason in the world to mention your ex on a first date. Talking about him will only emphasize how much you aren’t ready to start a new relationship. Statements like ‘You remind me of my ex’ or ‘That’s what my ex used to do’ are great...turnoffs, that is.
Rule Number Two- Avoid Discussing Finances
You would think this would be obvious, but too often a conversation will take a turn and lead to finances. Avoid the topic at all costs. Since the first date is all about getting to know the other person and figuring out if there are enough commonalities to warrant a second date, questions that are too personal should be excluded. Asking questions about your date's income, number of properties they own or retirement plan are important things to consider as a relationship progresses, but on a first date will only lead to you looking like a gold digger.
Rule Number Three-Don’t criticize his appearance.
There is never a great time to be critical of somebody's appearance, but the first date is definitely not that time. For everyone’s sake, keep any negative observations to yourself. Just put yourself in his place and you’ll realize how unnecessary comments like ‘What happened to your hair?’ or ‘Interesting style’ are.
Rule Number Four - Politically Incorrect
Although you may enjoy a good political conversation, a first date is not the place to do it. Leave the …
At the start of each school year, among other questions, I ask my students, “what is your greatest fear?” The responses usually include things like spiders, heights, clowns… the usual stuff. I offer my greatest fear as flying. However in light of the events of this past Friday in Connecticut, I will confess the thing I truly fear the most, and that is a school shooting.
Friday afternoon, and throughout the weekend, as more and more details emerged concerning the events which took the lives of 26 people, 20 of which were children 7 years old or younger, I went through a range of emotions. I thought of my nephews and my niece, of their innocence, their trust in adults, and their ignorance to how ugly and dangerous this world really is; I thought of those students at Sandy Hook Elementary School and the terror they must have felt, the confusion, and the chaos; I thought of the shooter with disgust and hatred; I thought of my own students and whether or not I would make smart choices in the heat of the moment.
My greatest fear is not for my own safety, it is for the safety of my wife who also teachers in this building and that of my students. My greatest fear is making a poor decision which costs a student or students their lives; my greatest fear is that I miss a warning sign of a student on the brink; my greatest fear is that in my heart I know that this school is unprepared for such an emergency; my greatest fear is that no amount of preparation will stop someone bent on creating destruction with no regard for his personal welfare; my greatest fear is that teachers and students do not take lock down drills seriously and that at any given moment there are unlocked doors all over the building. My greatest fear is the foolish belief people have that ‘this will never happen to me, or to this school’ My greatest fear is of self-absorption and desensitization to the point that people on Social Media were complaining that they couldn’t watch …
Pop Quiz Hotshot: You're in a walker-infested prison, you discover five surviving inmates trapped in the pantry, and the only doctor who can deliver your baby is bleeding out from a hatchet wound. What do you do?
The most recent installment of AMC's The Walking Dead picks up exactly where the premiere left off. You have the freshly severed leg from Herschel sitting in the foreground, with a group of strange men behind steel partition as the backdrop. The Grimes Tribe, along with the strange men all seem equally perplexed.
As it turns out, these five men were inmates at the prison during the outbreak, and became trapped in a confined space during the chaos. Under these circumstances, it is difficult to describe the location of their confinement as lucky... but based on the fact that they had been trapped for over 10 months, I would say that they were very fortunate to be stuck in the prison's kitchen and pantry area. They were well rationed with food and water, the only thing they lacked was a pot to piss in. (Don't worry, they had a system).
However, being confined and isolated, these five men were completely oblivious to the fact that the world around them had been obliterated. Once they were released form the pantry, they quickly realize that the Grimes Crew are not the rescuers they had anticipated, but did ask to borrow a cell phone that they could contact their families (Silly inmates). Rick and Daryll gave them a quick dose of reality, explaining that more than half the world's population has become walkers, and that everyone is infected. Once the prisoners accept the state of their circumstance, they decide that they are much more comfortable within the confines of the prison... but Rick does not trust these criminals, nor is he comfortable with their presence. …
210. That number represents both the number of days between episodes, and the approximate number of "walkers" killed during this week's season 3 premiere of AMC's The Walking Dead. When we last saw the Rick Grimes Tribe, they had been chased off the farm by a horde of walkers, losing Jane and Jimmy in the process. Laurie was left for dead in the chaos, but was rescued by a mysterious kitana wielding woman with two walkers on a leash (wait, what?!). Rick shed his passive leadership style, opting for alpha status with a single dramatic phrase: "This isn't a democracy anymore." Then in the final shot, we saw a glimpse that the group has unknowingly camped a few mere wooded acres from a large gated compound.
Breaching and Clearing
Season 3 wastes no time getting to the zombie kills. In the opening sequence, we see Rick, T-Dog, and Daryl bust into an abandoned house, clearing it of some straggling walkers. The group then moves inside to establish residency... but not for long. Soon, the house is swarmed by more undead from all directions, so the group quickly reacts and flees. The quickness and efficiency of their mobilization (along with the appearance of a VERY pregnant Lori), suggests that they have been nomadic for several months since fleeing Herschel's farm.
While scavenging for food, Rick and Daryl stumble upon their most valuable find to date... A prison complex. The penitentiary, though initially infested by walkers, offers dual chain-linked fence protection, large open (yet protected) spaces, as well as look-out points, in the form of guard towers. The group breaches the fences, and goes on a walker killing spree, clearing the space of the leftover walkers. The group is content to set up camp in the prison yard, but not Rick... he has bigger ideas.
He gathers his tribe's warriors: T-Dog, Daryl, Glenn, Maggie and Herschel to penetrate the …
The view from my second – story bedroom window is a humbling one. It reminds me how precious life is everyday. The view is of a simple cemetery, not quite historical, but dated, none-the-less.
I don’t mind the cemetery at all. Our house is separated from the cemetery by a stockade fence, a steep slope and railroad tracks that sit down below. These tracks are not for an Amtrak, but for an occasional slow-moving train transferring goods. I take comfort in the fact that know no one will ever build over there, and as neighbors to us, they never make a fuss. The geese fly low overhead and it is very peaceful.
The view to me is comforting, almost like an old friend, now. The same stones greet me every morning when I open up my blinds. Sometimes the view can look rather eerie when there is a low fog rolling in, and then sometimes, it can look overwhelmingly beautiful, like just after a snowstorm.
There are times I have been depressed and sat on my bed feeling hopeless about a situation, and then through teary eyes, I’ll glance over at the solemn view, and my mind starts reeling. Someday that will be me, nothing more than a name on a stone. Who will remember me? The things I liked, the friends I knew. The things I’ve done? Will it all have mattered? Did I make a difference? An impression? Then suddenly, my current problem doesn’t seem so important after all. That could be me over there.
Those stones sit there everyday and I see no one. Not one visitor. Maybe on a very, rare occasion, I’ll see a lone person sitting on a stone having lunch like they are sitting with an old friend, or a car will sit there and someone may get out and wander. I mostly see joggers and walkers, and the occasional person walking their dog, only to have it relieve itself on a stone. Now. that’s a memory I wish not to have when I am gone.
The church in the distance rings out the time at 9:00, 12:00 and 6:00, and I think to myself, how odd …
Working in a public place, I hear one phrase over and over again:
"Is this what I pay taxes for?"
I usually don't respond, because whenever anybody starts yelling about how their taxes aren't paying for what they'd like them to pay for, it's a sure sign they're only a few steps away from dementia, ignorance, or both.
It's not that I don't think you should have an interest in where your taxes go, but to use it as an excuse to complain about something you don't like seems fruitless.
I mean, don't we all pay taxes?
The people who make the rules you don't like pay taxes.
The people who benefit from the services you don't agree with pay taxes.
The guy you're yelling at who works behind a desk pays taxes.
What if he were to say to you--
"You know, I don't pay taxes so you can yell at me."
Have we then reached mutually assured destruction?
The fact is, if we really knew what our taxes were going towards, we'd probably be mortified. And if we could wield the money we pay in taxes to get what we want, there would be anarchy.
For example, I would never pay another dime to support any kind of war or religion, and instead, I'd take that money and put it towards doing whatever it takes to get someone to open a Starbucks in my living room.
I jest--but not really.
If you're going to yell about taxes, go yell in the IRS office. Don't yell at a school principal or a town clerk or someone so low on the totem pole they're probably only getting one penny of your taxes in their pay--if that.
Or maybe this is a better way to look at it--Don't take a 'No' from someone who never had the power to give you a 'Yes' in the first place.
Trust me, I work for the government, and I can't do anything. I mean, I can do my job, but I can't enact any sort of change except for smiling at people and telling them I'm sorry they're upset while they pull their hair out and tell me I'm incompetent.
I'm not incompetent, I'm just powerless--there's a …
As I sat in the usual weekend parking-lot that is the Mass Pike, I found myself distracted by the numerous personalized License Plates, otherwise known as Vanity Plates, that I could see in my peripheral. I have seen many of these over the years, but never had I given the concept much thought. Now, equipped with plenty of time, as traffic was not breaking up anytime soon, I was going to embark on this cerebral voyage into the world of the vanity plate.
First, my thought was, what kind of plate would I get? Assuming I had the gumption, resources, and/or need, I would have to have an idea first. I am sure the DMV keeps a list of banned phrases, as to deter lewd plate requests. I would also be restricted by the State's character limitations, as well as availability, duplication is not allowed.
So would I go with something simple, like my initials and birthday?
How About something more descriptive:
Or perhaps even more cryptic:
So, after abandoning the quest for my own plate, I started thinking about other peoples'. I thought about the arrogance that goes with the decision to obtain a vanity plate. I am not talking about people who get obscenely arrogant plates like EAR DOC or DADZGRL on a Benz (though those do exist). I am referring to those who get the cryptic messages on their cars, that force us, the traffic-bound, to find the key. Now I am not only stuck in traffic, but I have homework too? I now feel inclined to decipher this riddle before traffic breaks up and the mystery is lost forever. You lure me in with your shiny plate, with a potentially clever message... but you leave me, alone and confused at the first sign of open road.
What Plate Should I Get?Sitting in traffic for nearly an hour, I found myself stuck directly behind a mid-sized SUV, from out of state, and of course, with personalized tags. However, this plate was more cryptic than any I had previously seen:
'Twas NFL kickoff, when all through the land,
All the fans rejoiced with the new season at hand.
Nylon jerseys were pulled over new shoulder pads,
The end of preseason non-sense made everyone glad.
The locker room spikes went click and then clack,
Awaiting fumbles, completions, interceptions and sacks.
Bill Belichick's in his hoodie, Pete Carroll in a sweater,
Game-planning schemes for the worse or for better.
Then onto the TV, something special appeared,
Bob Costas, Al Michaels, and a comercial for beer.
I jumped on my couch, and popped open a bottle,
It was the pregame show, soon we will be going full throttle.
They had a parade, and then some cheesy old band,
The National Anthem to honor our land.
Then the referrees, dressed in all black and white,
Placed the ball on the tee, for its kickoff tonight!
Now Eli! Now Brady! Now Jones-Drew and Hixon!
On Welker, on Johnson, on Stafford and Weeden!
Into the Redzone, and straight past the goal,
Slash, and dash, and hit the hole!
The stadium filled up, excitement grew loud,
The scoreboard began changing, evoking the crowd.
Touchdowns and field goals, they're going for two,
But the home team was losing, fans started to boo.
As the game clock ran empty, and hope fleeeting away,
All luck seemed to run out for this team today.
Just one final chance on the game's final drive,
We need a Hail Mary miracle to keep our chances alive!
The quarterback dropped back, and to his delight,
His man was open, with the endzone in sight.
The reciever reached out at the spiral in air,
You scored the game-winning touchdown, now spike it with flare!
- Kevin Aherne
Dear Taylor Swift,
I didn't think it was possible, but you've done it. You've really done it.
The "Milking a Break-Up for All It's Worth" Award always seemed like it would be held by Alanis Morissette, but after listening to your latest single "We Are Never Getting Back Together" I think we finally have to hand that title over to you.
Now, if you would, I'd like to suggest that you find something else to write about.
I know what you're thinking--what else IS there to write about?
Tay Tay, I have you covered.
I'm sending you this list--it's a variety of things I'm sure you've experienced that I think you should consider exploring musically. Surely it'll expand your range as a songwriter, but more importantly, it'll stop me from cringing whenever I turn on the radio, worrying that I'll be assaulted with "You Left Me" or "You Left My Heart" or "My Heart, Your Hurt" or whatever other melodic assault you plan on unleashing.
So here are some topics:
1) Your pick-up truck breaking down on the way to the prom.
2) Losing your student council seat to a girl with an overbite.
3) Not getting nominated for an Emmy for your riveting performance on "CSI."
4) Dating someone with the same first name as you. Title it "I Called Your Name (And We Both Came)."
5) Entering a pie eating contest.
6) Bacon. Just bacon.
7) A song where you compare yourself to Nelson Mandela.
8) The five minutes where people felt bad for you after the whole Kanye thing and then started hating you again.
9) All the boys you told People magazine you were dating when you really weren't dating any of them.
10) Having to sell your New Kids on the Block dolls at a yard sale so you can go to space camp. (Trust me, it's painful.)
If you use any of these, please don't feel the need to give me credit.
Just send the money.
Your most indifferent listener,
Kevin Broccoli is a local writer, actor, and director living and working in …