Taylor Swift Over the Years – Review – Guest Blogger

 OUR GUEST BLOGGER: Christina is in 10th Grade at Corner Stone. 

Taylor Swift, one of the most popular artists in the music industry, has come out with another album called 1989 (Taylor Swift’s birth year). The album was released on October 28, 2014.

This new CD showcases Taylor’s full change in genre from country to pop, a change creeping into her album’s song by song since her start in 2004. Her first album in 2006, self titled Taylor Swift, was all country containing the hit songs Tear Drops on My Guitar and Our Song.  Two years later, Taylor released Fearless which barely had any country music. The exception was the song Fifteen and a couple of other unmemorable titles that were not popular.  The pop songs on Fearless were You Belong With MeLove Story and Fearless. Since these songs were more pop than country and chart topping hits, Taylor decided that is the way she should go.

Taylor’s next album released in 2010, Speak Now, was again a mix of country sounding pop songs. Titles like MeanMine, and Sparks Fly were country only, and surprising everyone when she came out with her next album Red.

Red was released only two years ago and is my personal favorite. This album, to me, was almost all pop and had a lot of hit singles. Hit titles were I Knew You Were Trouble22We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, and State of Grace (Miss Christina: OMG don’t forget All Too Well !!!).  This album had a lot of collaborations with other artists, in the song, Everything Has Changed, Ed Sheeran sings with Taylor and it sounds AMAZING!! (Miss Christina: I sing Ed Sheeran’s part when I’m in the car. LOVE IT!)

Although I have not fully listened to 1989, I can tell that it is a pop-focused album, especially when I heard the single Shake It Off.

From her many breakups to her five houses/condos/penthouses (Miss Christina: Including her beach house in Rhode Island), Taylor Swift is doing something right.  As to what genre she is, I think she is is her own mix of pop and country. That has always been Taylor, and probably always will be. Compared to Carrie Underwood and Blake Shelton, their music styles and their image, some say Taylor has changed to pop suddenly. Their reasoning is that Taylor did if for the money, but I think it was her plan and what she thought her fans would like. Whatever she is doing, she is amazing and successful and people love her. (Miss Christina: Jessica Simpson and Katy Perry used country/christian as their stepping stone into pop too! Taylor just did it best. LOVE HER.).

Miss Christina: TAYLOR WAS IN NORTH HAVEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Head Hitting

Hey!

If you came to visit me this week you might have noticed that I was not at work. It was due to “head hitting”. Well, that’s what I called it immediately after I knocked myself out on the corner of a cabinet. It was very, Kim from Real Housewives.

RHOBH Kim Falls

Anyhow, there still is one more Teen Book Board Meeting on Monday, November 24 at 6:30 PM

In the meantime, I am NOT 100%. But I still have a lot of heart, I’m just a slower version of myself.

Concussion

Special Effects Makeup Part II – with Kyle Pasciutti (featured in the Hartford Courant)




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Prosser Teen’s favorite Kyle Pasciutti of Decimated Designs returned! Kyle changed up his workshop by focusing more on classic designs: Horned Demon, Zombie, Skeleton

We were going to do scary clown buy a patron was distraught at the mention of it so we steered clear. Patrons created their own peeling skin and boils made from gelatin.

As always, Kyle was a pleasure. I have added two videos of him explaining his makeup technique with a slideshow of the event. I hope we invite Kyle back for Part III.

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Diversity in Comics and Young Adult Literature – Teen Book Board Edition

These Teen Book Board Members blew me away with their insightful observations. I gave a summary of their points below. The Board Members listened to an NPR segment about Diversity in Comics and shared their thoughts. I also included a hilarious and incredibly inciteful YouTube video about the problem with comic books that Board Member Josh M. contributed.  The video below is about the comic industry using publicity stunts (race) to seem like its being cutting edge but it is really all about sales.

http://www.npr.org/2014/08/01/337185850/diversity-in-comic-books

Keith: I didn’t think the Miles Morales, Ultimate Spiderman, would sell because when a classic is tweaked people don’t enjoy the change so they don’t buy it. But because it was a mixed kid people wanted to buy it even though the other changes weren’t any better.

Justin: Why would they make changes if they have only been targeting the people already reading it, the white readers?

Annabelle: It doesn’t make sense that it was geared towards the white male, not all white males like comic books.

Alexia: It shouldn’t even matter what race is reading it. It should all be equal.

Josh: It doesn’t surprise me because I already knew this, the whole black Spiderman, female Thor. I think it’s a big publicity stunt but only a little move forward socially. It reminds me of Metroid when they realized the character after taking off the space suit was a woman. Suddenly everyone wanted to buy it because of that.

Julien: It’s like Josh said, I already knew. I was thinking how much Miles Morales changed the industry. It changed the comics to TV series; the characters have been changed from white in the comics to non-white on TV.

Miss Christina: How can there be a diverse main character in Children’s/Teen books without tokenizing the character?

Christina: There is Liar by Justine Larbalestier, in the book there is a main character that is black with a storyline that could apply to any race. Boy 21 is also a book with a non-white character.

Josh: Most of these writers are just using their own experiences to write about. Most of these writers are white, so the books have white main characters.

Miss Christina: Why are most writers white?

Christina: This generation, the black generation wasn’t asked do you want to be a writer. There was a study about politicians where each male politician was asked at one point if he wanted to be a politician and none of the female politicians were ever asked. Maybe there is a generation that hasn’t been asked, do you want to be a writer?

The following video has all curse words bleeped (listen with caution):

Book Review – Million Dollar Arm – Guest Post: Justin R.

OUR GUEST BLOGGER: Justin is currently a student at Metropolitan Learning Center and a Prosser Teens Book Board Member.

Book               4/5 STARS

Movie              5/5 STARS

The Million Dollar Arm, by J.B. Bernstein, was a very good book based on a true story. This book really spoke to me. It was deep because in the novel,two Indian kids leave their country and their whole family to pursue a career in professional baseball. It is about growing and being open-minded about different cultures. A sports manager houses the two kids and the manager is a millionaire with a nice car and a nice house. He also finds the boys a trainer. He gets annoyed with them at times, but they are like the family he doesn’t have and he also respects them.

During a tryout, everything goes wrong. Very important scouts from MLB teams are there. They are trying to figure out if they want Dinesh and Rinku on their teams or not. Neither Dinesh nor Rinku get drafted. They plan to go back to their homes in India. J.B. then comes through for them. He schedules a second tryout for the boys, with the few scouts who didn’t go to the failed one. The boys are at their home field at USC and they do very well. They both get drafted to the Pittsburgh Pirates, moving on to having professional careers.

The movie, The Million Dollar Arm, was not very different from the book. The movie was even better in some parts but the story line was the same, since it was based on a true story. Rinku and Dinesh actors were not how I had pictured them. The only part of the movie different from the book, was at the end when Rinku and Dinesh display a part of their culture to J.B. and his soon-to-be girlfriend. Overall, the Million Dollar Arm franchise is very good and I enjoyed every single part of it.

Literary Pizza Tasting – A great success!

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The pizza tasting sponsored by Papa John’s was amazing. This program was in celebration of Teen Read Week 2014, Pizza Month, and the Prosser Teen Services two year anniversary. We had a great mix of adults and teens. I’m proud of the Teen Book Board members, they were amazing representatives of our Teen Services. Most importantly, we had a celebrity sighting, Philip Schenck! He is the Town of Bloomfield’s Town Manager!! It was a wonderful surprise and the man can really wear a suit.

Anyhow, Cedric at Papa John’s in Bloomfield on Park Avenue is one of the nicest and hard working men I have ever met. He spent the entire day before the program perfecting the ingredients and used food coloring to give the cheese really cool coloring. Please stop by his Papa John’s Bloomfield location and support him because his pizzas were really delicious!

The ingredients are as follows:

Pizza Book covers with ingredients

Thursday at the Con

I’ve been going to ComicConn for four years now and Thursdays were an exclusive day for professionals. They used to have massive giveaways of anything you could think of. The booths consisted of comic book publishers, tv shows, books publishers, movie companies, and video game makers. There was once a dumpster the size of a small living room filled with bags of free things. People were jumping inside! It was insane and it was wonderful.

This year, the professionals were in the minority and giveaways came with a purchase of something else. It was LAME. The mood was shot. The excitement was about that of people window shopping at a mall. There wasn’t anything cutting edge (sans the How to Train Your Dragon – Oculus game).

The best part was seeing graphic novel heavy hitters greeting their adoring fans. All thanks to image comics, I ADORE YOU IMAGE! Us civilians were able to meet Brian K. Vaughan of Y the Last Man, Ex Machina, Runaways, Lost , and Saga, Nick Spencer of Morning Glories and Thief of Thieves, and current “It Girl” Robert Kirkman of The Walking Dead. I met Spencer and razzed him a little bit about where the Morning Glories plot is going. He assures me, with Joe Eisma at his side, that the entire story line is plotted out and it is “going as planned”. Mmmhmm. Joe and Nick make a handsome pair.

Nick Spencer and Joe Eisma

The next person I met was Brian K. Vaughan. What a pleasure. He is kind, genuine, grateful of admiration, and he seemed very empathetic. We hugged! I told him how Y the Last Man reignited my passion for reading and helped me decide to become a librarian. He is a great active listener and it meant so much to me. You can see me beaming in the photo and you know what else you can see in the photo? His eyes. You can tell Vaughan takes everything in and turns it into pure genius on the page. Meeting Vaughan is humbling because he is clearly at another level.

I was so star struck that I forgot to ask the big questions:
-Is 355’s name peace?
-Was your wife the inspiration for Alana nursing on the front cover? (Thank you for that cover! It glorifies all the hard work of nursing my baby boy. She looks like a superhero with her baby in one arm feeding him without any shame.)

Brian K. Vaughan and Teen Librarian Ms. Christina

Then I met Hodor. Game of Thrones’ lovable giant, who is probably Groot’s cousin.

The whole process of a Photo Opt at comic conn is awful. First, you pay ahead of time online or at a cash register. It feels so wrong, almost like paying for a friend. When it is time to line up it’s noticeable how other actors don’t have as many people in their line. I fought the urge to join Podrick’s line. I kept saying to myself, he is an adult, he’ll be fine (I couldn’t help wondering how I would feel if it were me). NYCC Staff led my line to a narrow hallway made of black curtains. My barcode is scanned and I was hastily corralled into an ominous curtain hallway. After a few confused (albeit, slightly frightened moments) I was pulled into a small black room of curtains. Sitting inside is my new friend Hodor that purchased I a few minutes with, a camera, and someone behind it shouting, “Look into the camera!” There is a very loud flash sound accompanied by someone shouting, “go, go, go!” I suddenly realization that I didn’t even buy minutes (as dirty as that felt), I bought very expensive seconds. It was paralyzing calculating that I paid $4 a second. The person ahead of me was herded out and then I was verbally shoved towards my paid for celebrity friend. Now mind you, I only ever heard Hodor say, Hodor. Kristian Nairn (Hodor) turned to me and said, Hi, how are you? I almost went cross eyed. Again I had to remind myself I’m MEETING a PERSON. I answered him, saying I was fine but I showed concern that he might be tired from all of the chaos (I was projecting). Oh, no! He reassured me. I’m feeling great. So I turned to the camera smiled and wished him, a good day.

Kristian Nairn / Hodor Game of Thrones and Teen Librarian Miss. Christina

Bob’s Burgers Sneak Peak – NY ComicCon

I went to Comicon and so did George Clooney. REALLY? Because absolutely no one was talking about it. I did see some tears when the Kirkman (Walking Dead) tickets for autographs ran out. There were defintily curse words of disbelief at the sight of Brian K. Vaughn (Y the Last Man, Runaways, Saga, Ex Machina). But not a peep about George.

I went to the panel for Bob’s Burgers and it was incredible. The entire cast had me dying with laughter and they graced us with some hilarious sneak peaks for next season. You’re welcome BTW for capturing and bringing to you this exclusive. I feel like I have some nerd street cred now!

I will be doing more posts about the Con soon.

The Gummy Bears of Hate and Destruction

I am so excited to bring to you the best set of reviews I have ever read in my life. Every time I’m bummed I read reviews for this particular Sugar Free Gummy Bears. I am going to quote below the top rated. I encourage you to read the rest online, they are all incredible in their own right. Get ready to cry with laughter. The other reviews include a dinner date gone wrong and a man with a stadium of people between himself and the toilet. This. Is. Schadenfreude.

Schadenfreude

Haribo Sugar Free Gummy Bears 5LB Bag

42,602 of 43,285 people found the following review helpful

Just don’t. Unless it’s a gift for someone you hate.

By Christine E. Torok on October 3, 2012

Size Name: 5 lb Verified Purchase

Oh man…words cannot express what happened to me after eating these. The Gummi Bear “Cleanse”. If you are someone that can tolerate the sugar substitute, enjoy. If you are like the dozens of people that tried my order, RUN!

First of all, for taste I would rate these a 5. So good. Soft, true-to-taste fruit flavors like the sugar variety…I was a happy camper.

BUT (or should I say BUTT), not long after eating about 20 of these all hell broke loose. I had a gastrointestinal experience like nothing I’ve ever imagined. Cramps, sweating, bloating beyond my worst nightmare. I’ve had food poisoning from some bad shellfish and that was almost like a skip in the park compared to what was going on inside me.

Then came the, uh, flatulence. Heavens to Murgatroyd, the sounds, like trumpets calling the demons back to Hell…the stench, like 1,000 rotten corpses vomited. I couldn’t stand to stay in one room for fear of succumbing to my own odors.

But wait; there’s more. What came out of me felt like someone tried to funnel Niagara Falls through a coffee straw. I swear my sphincters were screaming. It felt like my delicate starfish was a gaping maw projectile vomiting a torrential flood of toxic waste. 100% liquid. Flammable liquid. NAPALM. It was actually a bit humorous (for a nanosecond) as it was just beyond anything I could imagine possible.

AND IT WENT ON FOR HOURS.

I felt violated when it was over, which I think might have been sometime in the early morning of the next day. There was stuff coming out of me that I ate at my wedding in 2005.

I had FIVE POUNDS of these innocent-looking delicious-tasting HELLBEARS so I told a friend about what happened to me, thinking it HAD to be some type of sensitivity I had to the sugar substitute, and in spite of my warnings and graphic descriptions, she decided to take her chances and take them off my hands.

Silly woman. All of the same for her, and a phone call from her while on the toilet (because you kinda end up living in the bathroom for a spell) telling me she really wished she would have listened. I think she was crying.

Her sister was skeptical and suspected that we were exaggerating. She took them to work, since there was still 99% of a 5 pound bag left. She works for a construction company, where there are builders, roofers, house painters, landscapers, etc. Lots of people who generally have limited access to toilets on a given day. I can’t imagine where all of those poor men (and women) pooped that day. I keep envisioning men on roofs, crossing their legs and trying to decide if they can make it down the ladder, or if they should just jump.

If you order these, best of luck to you. And please, don’t post a video review during the aftershocks.

PS: When I ordered these, the warnings and disclaimers and legalese were NOT posted. I’m not a moron. Also, not sure why so many people assume I’m a man. I am a woman. We poop too. Of course, our poop sparkles and smells like a walk in a meadow of wildflowers. Thanks for all the great comments. I’ve been enjoying reading them and so glad that the horror show I experienced from snacking on these has at least made some people smile.