Thursday, August 28, 2014

The America’s Got Talent BBQ: Games, Good Food And Great Talent!

By: Anne M. Raso

About 50 journos descended upon the legendary NBC Studios Commissary (now named NBC Studio 9C) last night for a fabulous BBQ that included games, prizes (that included AGT merchandise), classic BBQ food and show talent.
Howie Mandel
I had a blast sitting up close with judges Howie Mandel and Heidi Klum as they played the first game of Jengo for the evening. I’d say that Heidi was better than Howie at the game but they both were killer players who managed to get about 20 pieces out before the tower of wooden Jenga pieces collapsed. I got lightly hit by flying pieces a few just a minute or two after Howie eyed my serious expression and said, “Don’t be scared!” I'm still laughing about it! Shortly before starting on the Jenga game when gorgeous Heidi arrived in her leopard print gown and stunning diamond jewelry, Howie did the Bean Bag Toss. Needless to say, he did not win a prize! He decided to sit just above the target and crew members threw bags at him, LOL! People posed with wooden signs with the hashtag for evening (#AGTBBQ) donned in All-American glitzy garb, like blue feather boas and glitter covered Uncle Sam hats. I spotted Mel B for a few minutes but she just talked to a few reporters and did not play any games. Host Nick Cannon was supposed to come visit and as I recall, he is one of the most charming people I have ever interviewed, but he probably wanted to keep away from the press so he did not have to discuss his recently discussed split from Mariah Carey.
Heidi Klum playing Jenga
The great eats never ended. More and more trays were brought out of Glazed Ribs, Homemade Classic German Potato Salad, more types of Roasted Vegetables than I could count, Homemade Coleslaw, Roasted Chicken with Mango and more. Delicious mini French Apple Tarts with raspberries and caramel sauce hidden at the bottom made my night, along with homemade Chocolate Cupcakes and designer cookies made just for the occasion. Johnny Carson and Jay Leno always made fun of the NBC Commissary but I would be the first to tell you that their fare is nothing to laugh at. I bet that they have non-stop NBC talent coming through all day long as well.
Contestants who mixed and mingled with the press included Kelli Glover, Wendy Liebman, Mara Justine (the bespectacled 12-year-old who blew the crowd away at last night’s show), Mike Super, Paul Ieti, Jaycob Curlee, Blue Journey, Sons Of Serendip, Bad Boys Of Ballet, Miguel Dakota, Dan Naturman, Christian Stoinev, Quintavious Jonah Smith, Mat France, Emily West and Smoothini. Smoothini did card tricks for two hours with the visiting press and his fellow AGT members!
It was nice to have such an inside look at the show. Some of the AGT talent stuck took chairs at the commissary right next to members of the press and watched the show on a jumbo screen and cheered for their pals. There was a lot of tweeting going on about what acts were favored by the press, but the whole evening was about showing your enthusiasm for the talent. I hope to get invited back for more great chow and press ops—and might even pose for a photo with the Uncle Sam hat, feather boa and #AGTBBQ sign!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Flying High at Aerial Acrobat Entertainment

By: Finance Foodie

Feeling bored of our usual gym routine of never ending treadmills and free weights, the Mister and I decided to try something a little different for our daily workout. So last Thursday night, we ditched the Big Apple and crossed the river to Jersey City for a beginners trapeze class with Guinevere DiPiazza, owner of Aerial Acrobat Entertainment .

Friday, August 15, 2014

Lois Lowry's The Giver Gives...And Then Some!

By Anne M. Raso

Not being a fan of science fiction, I was skeptical about seeing The Giver but I quickly fell in love with it--it transcends the genre of sci-fi and teaches the lessons of love, tolerance and forgiveness via depicting a future society that's not so pretty. I had never read the book by Lois Lowry even though it is HarperCollins' top-selling "young adult" e-book of all time. There is mega-star power in The Giver including Meryl Streep as the Chief Elder and Jeff Bridges as The Giver, and it is possibly Jeff Bridges who steals the show as the one "elder" who doesn't act like a robot in a black and white world where everyone is alike in every way and issued orders on how to behave. Love isn't a concept in this new world--everyone just goes about their daily business with assigned jobs and roles in society, live in identical housing, eat identical food for dinner and even have assigned children that come from a stark baby laboratory where defective babies are done away with via shots and disposed like garbage down a shoot.
The entire cast

Tips for Making Money Made Simple

Express Yourself and Profit Off the Things You Love! 

Make Money Your Way explores some innovative ways to add valuable dollars to your bankroll. Enjoy money management advice that makes sense. Here’s a truism that will confuse some people: you don’t need brains to make money. There – I’ve said it. But before we get ahead of ourselves, it’s important to understand precisely what is required. As a preface to this expose, I challenge you folks to take a look at some of the biggest success stories in the world: Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Michael Dell and scores of others. Notice that all these people – and the list is extensive – have one thing in common: self-belief. Even if nobody believes in the merits of your idea, your determination to bring a useful or innovative product or service to the market will pay dividends. If nothing else, you will grow immeasurably and learn invaluable lessons in the interim. Take for example those self-starters involved in the casino games world. Sheldon Adelson is the 10th richest man in the world, but he has no formal education since he dropped out of City College in New York. All it takes is an iron-will and plenty of hunger for success. Surround yourself with the right people and you will be able to reach your goals, even if you’re not the Ivy League type!
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