As the ‘net continues to take over the tasks that folks used to do on an individual and somewhat manual basis, obtaining information on topics and subject matter that is deemed worthy enough to grab becomes diluted, depending on what information one is looking for in the first place.

When it comes to getting that news and information, it would depend on the person keeping stock on what one is looking for. If somebody is seeking the latest sports scores, there are dozens of sports related sites to gawk over, from games both in the real and fantasy leagues, to obtaining point spreads from various gaming (and gambling) apps. If somebody is looking for the latest scoop from the entertainment side of things, there are those places to visit and view to know who was parading down the red carpet.

However, when it comes to general news, there is (and was) a place to find such–the newspaper! Although newspapers are still around and made available through its traditional source (i.e. print), their web sites are getting their dose of traffic. Newspapers that still exist on the web, but not necessarily in print anymore, are just as active than ever.

But there is a place that people use and visit that gives them the information they want and need–or at least it appears to become that way! That source of all the news that appears to matter is none other than good ol’ Facebook!

     Pew Research recently released a report that Facebook, the two ton ape of the social media world, is a prime source for those that are wanting to know what’s going up (or down!) According to the findings as reported through Pew Research, some 30% of domestic adults 18 and up use Facebook to get their news. (64% of those 18 and over use Facebook for some reason or another.)

When it comes to the subject matter of news found via Facebook, most of what’s obtained isn’t “hard news”. According to the Pew report, nearly three fourths (73%) of those Facebook uses stated they seek entertainment news and 57% get sports news. 65% use it to get local community news, 55% use the site to get national and government news, 51% use it to find news about crime, and 46% use it for news about health and medicine.

In spite of this information found, 78% note that they generally see news when they are on Facebook for other reasons. Much of this news is posted (and reposted) by others with the notion that you the visitor might be interested in knowing about this, that, and the other thing. This notation of sharing the news is rather common, as half of social network users say they share news stories, images, and/or moving imagery online. 46% have used this sharing to discuss something in the news. A more limited number of social media users are actually participating in reporting news and information, with 14% posting their own photos or accounts of news events to the Facebook network, and 12% of those posting video.

For those that are active Facebook fans (that is, those with 500+ “friends”), one can get the idea of the news people share. If one “liked” a group that holds a purpose or cause, that group can bombard one with information that is related to the group’s general needs. For instance, our friend Tiffi had “liked” a number of nonprofit organizations that serve a purpose that range from the ASPCA to a number of Christian based ministries and organizations. Each one will provide a bit of news that are in relation to the group’s needs and causes. Major media outlets, such as the four traditional TV networks, will provide a link to a story provided by their news divisions.

What makes this news gathering interesting (if not annoying) is the fact that individuals will post items that are geared to the “human interest” side of things, from so-called comical photos and videos (the most common of this type), to stories that can be deemed as cute and charming, but could be just as annoying, depending on what mood one is in when encountering the news in question

It’s no real surprise that social media, be it Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or other places where anyone can be anyone in cyberspace land, is the place to read, report, and repost news–real or otherwise. In spite of this form of journalism, it’s not as cracked up to be. After all, the line that’s been around for years, “It must be true! I read it on the internet” is just as alive and living than ever before. And it’s all available for free too! After all, one gets what they pay for!



    The Eclectic Company Theatre present Marni L. B. Troop’s SO YOU WANT TO BE A VAMPIRE, a very dark tale of a romance between a woman who takes upon a flirtation with a mysterious person that is a “living” creature of the night that dwells upon the blood of others.

Erin Treanor is Brenda, a person living in the megapolis of Los Angeles that holds a deep interest in vampires, so deep that she desires to become this kind of dark soul that lives upon blood. The only friend she has is Georgette (Olivia Gadson) that is concerned over her, in spite of the fact that Brenda knows such of a being, somebody who goes under the name of Fino (Edward Alvarado). Rumor dictates that Fino is actually just a myth spread among cyberspace. While attending a goth club, she meets this man who is just as mysterious as his legend. She falls for Fino, wanting to be with him and be of him. Fino suggests that if she craves to be of his form, she must leave everyone she knows from her mortal days, as well as give him all of her valuables, suggesting that she no longer needs any of these possessions. Will Fino lead Brenda into the sphere of the undead with the promise of an eternal existence, or is there a scam job brewing in the background? Will there be blood consumed, or is Fino and his dark entourage just out to bleed Brenda dry?

This dark tale by playwright Marmi L. B. Troop offers a blend of darkened intrigue with a equal dose of comedy added. Erin Treanor as Brenda perform her role as a woman who lives a somewhat solitary life while nursing a few too many broken hearts. She craves for a dark side for so long, she appears to be “in the dark”. Edward Alvarado as Fino is indeed the leading vampire, hovering a blank expression that shows within his eyes; a notion that is just as blank as his stare. As part of Fino’s small carnival of souls is Joe (Joven Calloway) who serves as Fino’s “bodyguard”. He isn’t muscular nor menacing, but serves as somebody who looks after this vampire. (Vampires really don’t need protection form bodyguards!) Fino’s muse is Alexandra (Thi Nguyen) another being that shows off her darkness who also parades more interest in Brenda as she shows interest in Fino. And there’s Kevin (Andrew Collie) that works behind the scenes with Fino and his motley crew.

Natasha Troop directs this production that is amusing, mysterious, and comical in its own right. The highlight of this program that it offers blood essence to be spattered about, making the first two rows of the theater space a “spatter zone”, meaning that is one sits too close to the stage, one will become awash with this substance. (OK…it’s really stage blood, but why fight it?)

There’s been an old statement that notes that one must really be careful of what they wish for because they might just receive it. So if anyone really holds on to the dream of becoming a vampire, hold on to your mortal life, your sprit, and perhaps your bank account! One might just get bitten if they don’t watch out!

     SO YOU WANT TO BE A VAMPIRE, presented by and performs at The Eclectic Company Theatre, 5312 Laurel Canyon Blvd. (north of Magnolia and south of Chandler), Valley Village, until December 6th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 10:30 PM, after the ECT’s performance of The Roar of the Greasepaint The Smell of the Crowd. (To be reviewed in Vol. 19-No. 44). Special performance on Halloween night October 31st at 8:00 PM. Those appearing in costume may win a prize for best outfit worn!

     For more information and for ticket reservations, call (818) 508-3003 or via online at


The Falcon Theatre of Burbank present the world premier of Ken Levine’s A OR B?, a romantic comedy of sorts that has a woman meet a man for professional and/or romantic purposes set across between a pair of parallel universes.

Jules Willcox is Abby Morgan. She’s up for a job interview with Ben Steele (Jason Dechert) for a position with a media marketing firm. As the two meet, they come across a decision they are not fully aware of as the two morph into two separate solutions. In result one (“A”), Abby doesn’t get the job, but she clicks with Ben as the two become romantically involved with one other. In decision two (“B”), Abby is hired, but Ben finds her as a partner in the business rather than a partner in love. As they progress in each separate macrocosm, Abby and Jason move forward in love, business, romantic interludes, professional ambitions, and a little of each in their two worlds. Whatever fate and destiny calls for, Abby and Ben become partners, either in a boardroom or in a bedroom.

This comedy penned by playwright Ken Levine plays very much as a video sitcom, full of comical conflicts, sexual innuendoes, mistaken situations, and illustrations that’s easier to solve on TV than in real life results with a nice dose of not too friendly for TV language thrown in for good measure! Jason Dechert and Jules Willcox as Ben and Abby play their roles as hip and urban singles living on the fast(er) track in the complex world of business and romance–not necessarily in that order! They are the type of couple that might find one another as charming and competitive; the kind that stays away from a traits that results as too cute and too annoying behavior–unlike the characters found in post modern-era sitcoms! Andrew Barnicle, who recently directed the Falcon Theatre’s production of Shirley Valentine the previous season (see review Vol. 18-No. 6) directs this show that moves in a lively high spirited pace.

As to the stage technical side of things, Bruce Goodrich’s set design and costuming presents a set that shows the various places where Ben and Abby meet, from her apartment to the bar they congregate within. And the costuming places Abby within her “A” or “B” settings based upon the color of her dress. (Red for the former set and red for the latter). Jeremy Pivnick’s creative lighting also separates the “A” and “B” domains with the same color schemes as well. This form of color coordination is the key method that shows what situation is played upon.

A OR B? is two shows in one. Both are humorous, contains plenty of flirtations, and keeps its conclusions to a lighter note. After all, love and business exist as strange bedfellows, even if those bedfellows are taken more serious than projected.

A OR B?, presented by and performs at The Falcon Theatre, 4252 Riverside Drive, Burbank, until November 16th. Showtimes are Wednesday through Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 4:00 PM.

     For reservations and for more information, call (818) 955-8101, or online at



(As posted on her Facebook “wall”)

Life is good when you wake up at 7:15 and realize your husband hasn’t left for the train because he gets the day off! Yay!


Oh wow! My FB friends now total 2500 even. Not 2499, not 2501. 2500. Is that not cool?


Going to make Double Chocolate & Cinnamon cookies–research is tough, but someone’s gotta do it.


Has “Oh just grow up!” ever helped anyone actually grow?


Goodness gracious. It’s 7:20 am and still dark. I’ve had my cereal, read the paper, and read all 52 messages in my email box. Now what? I may take a nap.


As of October 27th, Tiffi has 2,423 Facebook “friends” and counting!




is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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