SEASONAL SHOPPING

     For many, the month of October means a number of things for a few folks. It’s the time to get ready for Halloween. It’s also the time to get ready for The Holidays, that period of the year that falls sometime between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve/Day, where too much is taking place within those final six weeks of the calendar season.
     First, there’s Halloween. For a lot of folks, it’s the only time of the year that really matters! It’s the moment to deck out in elaborate costuming, build “haunted houses”, attending parties (mostly for adults), as well as grabbing the goodies associated with this time of the season. After All Hallow’s Eve, there is Thanksgiving-this year falling on November 28th, the latest this day o’ thanks can ever fall upon. One day before, it’s another holiday that usually occurs in December competing with Christmas. (More on this day in just a moment! Read on!)
     In December, that is when things really start to break loose. Because there are less shopping days from Turkey Day to December 25th, retailers have been toting folks to spend, buy, and perhaps squander for this season of seasons where those same retailers make their biggest profits for the calendar year. Winding up everything is New Year’s Eve, for it’s not only the last hurrah of the year, but the last party time for quite a while! Nobody does much in January or February with the exception of Valentine’s Day and perhaps Mardi Gras (two other celebrations in to itself), but those final weeks of ‘13 mean more than ever.
     So what’s this so-called mystery event taking place one day before Thanksgiving? It is Black Wednesday where retailers will offer “sales” in order to get the folks into a buying mood? Maybe! It is Travel Day where folks will be taking off to get somewhere for some big deal family-type gathering? Maybe, too! But the event that will begin at sunset one day before the turkey is on the table is Hanukkah.
     That’s right, folks! The eight day celebration kicks off on November 27th this year, perhaps the earliest time this writer has known for this event to ever occur. Unlike other events where the calendar sets the day, Hanukkah, as with Easter, is a floating holiday where the days fluctuate between a four to six week period around the same time of the year.
     It’s not known if folks that take advantage of this event will be serving Latkies with Turkey and all the trimmings, but thanks to those celebrity chefs appearing on such channels as The Food Network as well as other media outlets, they have been delirious about the new fusion foods that’s been all the rage. Because of this new way to dine, perhaps offing a menu such as what’s been noted wouldn’t be as far fetched as it would first seem to be. After all, if one can mix Spanish dishes with Chinese food, then why not serve some classic potato pancakes with some stuffing and cranberry sauce on the side?
     This kind of cuisine will be folded in as part of the biggest shopping time of the entire year. Since the Labor Day weekend, some retailers have been toting their whole Holiday selling event in more ways than one. K Mart, the once leader of discount department stores (now run by Sears Holdings), sported video ads hinting about their layaway program. There has been a few mixed feelings about how a retail outlet can push Holiday shopping right when the kids have returned back to school, where many households have already spent their sources getting school supplies for their kids, ranging from fancy backpacks to electronic gadgets! (Pencils and note paper doesn’t seem to cut it anymore!) So what’s with this Holiday shopping hint anyway?
     This race to the Holiday season shopping starting line (so to speak) isn’t the first time this same writer has experienced. Not too many years ago while still living within the wilds of southern Illinois, yours truly trekked into a Wall Mart and found the store stocking Christmas decorations on the shelf on Labor Day! But this was back in the day when the giant of all retailers were still keeping its outlets in rural and semi rural communities where such retailers were either too far in between or non existent. (This store in question was located in Murphysburo, Illinois-population 9625!) So perhaps the folks dwelling in this humble community had their first opportunity to stock up on decorations that were only good for one time of the year, and had to be stored away for eleven months of the year!
     Still, there will be a lot of other events that will hitting the schedules between now and when 2014 makes its mark. There are the other real holidays occurring in this period such as Columbus Day (October 14th), Veteran’s Day (November 11th), and for those folks north of the border in Canada, Thanksgiving Day (also October 14th). But those events doesn’t seem to matter too much since Columbus Day has lost its meaning over the years, Veteran’s Day tends to be confused with Memorial Day, and Canadian Thanksgiving is based in Canada, so there goes your proof!
     Stay tuned to this here news service for more updated details on the big spending splurge that will take its heady toll.
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NEWS AND REVIEWS
     The Visceral Company presents LOVECRAFT: NIGHTMARE SUITE, a theater work featuring the stories and prose composed by Howard Phillips (HP) Lovecraft that account the genre of horror and the supernatural, currently performs at the Lex Theatre in Hollywood.
     In this presentation, a selection of six tales are depicted using this patriarch of horror that have brought chills by those who consume it, and to do such wisely. The presentation opens with a selection of prose that notes that a known sense of feeling by man is the sense of the fear of the unknown. From there, the audience is whisked to such anecdotes as The Statement of Randolph, The Cats of Ulthar, The Outsider, The Picture in the House, Cool Air, and Nyarlathotep; each installment told as a narrator expresses the prose while a utilization of puppetry, rear projection shadow figures, as well as gothic costuming and dress bring these tales to its own form of visual element. The characters and scenes enunciated are acted out while each line is unfolded until its own cessation.
     This one act presentation is very dark, macabre, and overall, a treat to experience. A cast of eight players (Andrew Bourgeols, Devereau Chumrau, Maya Eshet, Nicole Fabbri, Daniel Jimenez, Steve Peterson, Eric Sand, and Mark Souza) bring these rather poetic and rather chilling legends to life (death?), each one as frightful as the other, blending a sense of moody emotion whereas this feeling of the fear of the unknown is indeed very real. Dan Spurgeon adapted the works of Mr. Lovecraft for the stage while directing this showcase of the writer’s masterful works.
     As to the stage setting itself, John Burton’s set and puppetry design shows a blend of gothic settlement that is indeed dark and rather eerily, resembling nothing comical. (That gothic comedy belongs to Charles Aadams!) What is depicted is indeed the indisputable article, enhancing the true and utmost intent of the trepidation of the inconspicuous.
     Unlike such other writers of horror ranging from Poe to King, H.P Lovecraft’s works do not receive the respect as it should. This is why this theater presentation exists; not only to elevate this writer’s creations, but to also display what Halloween is all about: the sense of fear, anxiety, and how the supernatural can be curtailed, if not controlled. If one insists to take advantage of the notion of what goes bump in the night, this is the stage show to grasp. Just keep an open sense of feeling, an open focus, and a open soul. After all, fear is just another human emotion.

     LOVECRAFT: NIGHTMARE SUITE, presented by The Visceral Company, and performs at the Lex Theatre, 6760 Lexington Avenue (one block east of Highland Avenue and one block north of Santa Monica Blvd.) Hollywood, until November 3rd. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday matinees at 3:00 PM. For tickets and further information, visit http://www.TheVisceralCompany.com
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     WE GOT LUCKY, Allen C. Gardner dramity about a pair of twentysomething guys that share a common bond friendship while setting off to dream big for their lives, makes its world premier at The Working Stage Theatre.
     Matthew Gilliam and Allen C. Gardner is Aaron and Brad, two young men that met by chance through their means of hitting in bars and hitting at women. Sometimes they get lucky by “:hooking up” with someone, and sometimes they walk away empty handed! Although they work in meaningless jobs, Brad wants to make movies, churning a few feature made with (and possibly for) his friends. As time progresses, they go through a series of minor situations. They get series with a few gals, they break up with them, they hook up again, and they go through many types of jobs. Brad’s ideals for movies also come and go, but through many of these phases in their younger lives, they still have one another. That is, until Brad faces a series moment in his life that throws things for a loop.
     This is a play that celebrates a sincere “bromance” between two straight guys that attempt to embrace their lives to the fullest. Even though the entire play keep its scenes in a living room–the same living room by the way, the major content of this stage work is the dialogue between Aaron and Brad, thus making this play a “talkie”! The dialogue is quirky and rather witty in its own right, and is rather honest for what it is; It’s about a group of Millennium aged folks that face the time tested notion of life: how to live and survive in a post modern era. Much of the action (so to speak) could have been inspired by actual episodes as the playwright, director, and co star Allen C. Gardner is a filmmaker, having a number of independent features behind his belt. So much of what takes place on stage isn’t too far from the truth. It’s a tight one act play with a running time at 100 minutes–the ideal length for an actual feature film!
     Also appearing within the cast of players are Gabe Arrendondo, Kristen Ford, Drew Pasley, Melanie Reif, and Kelly Whittaker.
     It’s not often that a “little” play such as this one can be rather entertaining, especially with the notion that this production carries itself through spoken word rather that dramatic emoting. They may not be any explosions or stage fighting depicted in this piece, but the lack of overacting is not the issue. It’s a simple play that speaks upon a duo of men that are out for one other. And if one can “hook up” on occasion, then all the better!

     WE GOT LUCKY, presented by Open Dialogue Productions, and performs at The Working Stage Theatre, 1516 North Gardner Street (one half block north of Sunset Blvd), West Hollywood, until November 3rd. Showtimes are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights at 8:00 PM. Special Thursday night performance on October 17th at 8:00 PM. For reservations, call (800) 838-3006, or online at http://WeGotLucky.BrownPaperTickets.com.
     “Like” the play via Facebook at http:www.Facebook.com/WeGotLucky
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TIFFI’S FRIENDS SAY…
(As posted on her Facebook “wall”)
No doubt about it – a supermarket trip is in my future – like tomorrow. I’m out of coke zero & chocolate. (Notice how I’m unconcerned about vegetables & other healthy stuff.)
-Vicky

I saw the sun today. I had to sit in the car during a ten minute cloudburst to wait it out, but I saw a bright shiny orb I think was the sun. Sorry I didn’t take a picture.
-Marilyn

Bummed. My little terrier was attacked by a big cat of some kind. He’s still with us, but not doing very well. The vet isn’t sure if he’ll make it or not. He’s such a sweet little dog.
-Linda

Did anyone else cry at the end of NCIS…do you think they elft the door open for Ziva to return?
-Holly

NCIS?! Sigh. Tony and Ziva. Double sigh.
-Lenora
As of October 7th, Tiffi has 1,820 Facebook “friends” and counting!
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2013 Linear Cycle Productions.
All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!  

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