Tyler Hilton StageOne Fairfield

Sunday night Tyler Hilton returned to Stage One in Fairfield CT.  He brought with him Russell Howard as the opening act.  Russell kicked off the show at 7:45 and played for roughly half an hour.  He did that cool thing where he played his guitar and then recorded it to loop back so that he could play along with it and make it sound fuller than with just one guy on stage. Always fun to see.  He also mentioned that he went to the beach and ate a sandwich in Fairfield since he lives in land and it was a nice day here.

At 8:35 Tyler hit the stage, I was thankful for an early set because I was exhausted! Tyler did a 12 song set and 2 song encore.  Before he started One Foot in the Bayou he was saying how he was surprised people cheered that they liked the songs and often times it is “one for you one for me” with songs.  He also tried to play the harmonica and then got mad yelled “Fuck it! No harmonica on this song!” and threw it down.  Later he had given it another chance and it seemed to come through for him.  He threatened to leave his harmonica if it didn’t cooperate and then teased how he was blaming the harmonica but he probably should have been blaming himself.  He also threatened to leave his guitar after it made a big POP noise when he plugged it in.

Before Leave Him he talked about how as far as guys go he is probably what would be a “Nice Guy” as opposed to a “Dick Head” when all the girls he was attracted to wanted a “Dick Head”, he said One Tree Hill kind of let him live out that other personality.  The song Leave Him came from when he was hanging out with a guy and a girl that were dating – he was friends with the guy and liked hanging out with him – but knew that he was a shitty boyfriend and just kept kind of hoping that they would break up and then he could date the girl instead – but it didn’t work out that way.

He also talked a lot about what a great vibe the crowd had and how he kind of forgot we were there and felt like it was just a party.  He said he’s not working hard at all and loves what he does and would be doing it even if he had to live in a shitty apartment – but he is lucky enough that he doesn’t have to.  He also talked a bit about his other hobby, acting, and that he is going to be in a new TV show on CBS this summer with Halle Berry (I believe it is called Extant) where he gets to build and play with robots.  He said he doesn’t get religious often but that the song Hey Jesus kind of reminds him of how lucky he is that he gets to do what he does.

Since mentioning “One Tree Hill” always got him such a huge cheer from the crowd, he ended the encore with “When the Stars Go Blue”.

Tyler is currently trying to raise money to record his new album – check out all the details at Pledge Music http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/tylerhilton

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Book Review: Yes, It’s Hot In Here

yesitshotI will give you 3 guesses as to why I chose this book to review – and the first 2 don’t count.  Yes, it is because Mr. Met is on the cover. Now, I try not to judge a book by its cover but I figured you could’t go wrong with a book of Adventures in the Weird, Woolly World of Sports Mascots!

The book is actually written by a former Mr Met, AJ Mass.  Therefore, a majority of his personal stories revolve around the Mets organization.  He also tried his hand at being the mascot for a few other places as well and he interviews several other mascots as well.  While the mascots may be well known, oftentimes who is inside them is not that known at all (and many times this is done on purpose.)

One chapter is about how the Pirates mascot seems to be cursed, which was interesting.  Many who had wore the costume got in trouble for one thing or another – whether it be while working for the Pirates or after.

I was happy that there is even a chapter on females working as mascots – there are plenty of reasons why it could be easier for men to be mascots but I liked reading about girls who tried out or even changed the rules at schools as far as who could try out to be a mascot.

I think even if I was not a Mets fan and a fan of Mr. Met, I still would have found this book every bit just as interesting as I did.  It certainly is a job that looks easy – but when you read more about it you find out that it is not at all.  I certainly have a new found respect for all of the mascots (which I had a ball taking photos of at the All Star Game this summer!)

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

Yes, It’s Hot in Here explores the entertaining history of the mascot from its jester roots in Renaissance society to the slapstick pantomime of the Clown Prince of Baseball, Max Patkin, all the way up to the mascots of the slam-dunk, rock-and-roll, Jumbotron culture of today. Along the way, author AJ Mass of ESPN.com (a former Mr. Met himself) talks to the pioneers among modern-day mascots like Dave Raymond (Phillie Phanatic), Dan Meers (K. C. Wolf), and Glenn Street (Harvey the Hound) and finds out what it is about being a mascot that simply won’t leave the performer.

Mass examines what motivates high school and college students to compete for the chance to wear a sweaty animal suit and possibly face the ridicule of their peers in the process, as well as women who have proudly served as mascots for teams in both the pro and amateur ranks. In the book’s final chapter, Mass climbs inside a mascot costume one more time to describe what it feels like and, perhaps, rediscover a bit of magic.

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Book Review: Snack Girl to the Rescue

snackgirl

I have found that my major struggle with trying to lose weights is snacks.  If it’s in the house I will eat it, I have no willpower.  I do fine at work with no distractions of food, but once I’m home, all bets are off.  That’s why I wanted to check out Snack Girl to the Rescue! and see if she could rescue me.

Since I mentioned my weakness above – the “Everyday Temptations” chapter was one that I read and then re-read just to make sure that I got everything there was to get.  Of course, reading a book and actually implementing it are two very, very different things but this book certainly gave me a lot to think about and now it is on me to put it in motion.

There are lots of tips to help shift your eating habits and not going at it all in one go.  And for those of you who like to drink your calories, there are some recipes for low calorie alcoholic drinks.  I didn’t think it was possible, but apparently it is!

There are a lot of recipes for other things in he book as well. Breakfast burritos, burgers, TACOS! So you don’t really have to give up on what you are already eating, just tweak it a little bit – maybe so it has less meat and more veggies, and other substitutions.  Even my guilty pleasure – Chicken Salad is in there – and only 187 calories.  (I am sure that the chicken salad I eat once a week, or more, is much more than that per serving!)

After reading this book, things seem a lot more “do able” I don’t have to completely change my eating habits and stop eating my favorite things. I just have to change some of the contents of my favorite things. Mac & Cheese can still be done. Kettle corn. Dips!  And of course, desserts.

If you are looking for a lifestyle change to lose weight and maintain the weight you’ve lost, then certainly consider checking out Snack Girl to the Rescue! it will give you a boost in the right direction.

I received a free e-copy in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

From popular blogger Lisa Cain, aka “Snack Girl,” a common-sense guide to healthier eating and weight loss, including 100 Weight Watchers-friendly recipes. Since 2009, Lisa Cain has been blogging at Snack-Girl.com about how to make healthy changes in your diet and lifestyle. Her mission is to share the secrets and recipes that have helped her stay fit and healthy, without sacrificing fun or flavor. Snack Girl to the Rescue contains Lisa’s best advice on avoiding common weight-loss pitfalls, shopping healthier on a budget, and getting in shape, along with 100 recipes for fun, quick, and affordable meals and snacks. Written in Snack Girl’s signature voice–down to earth, encouraging, and funny–this is the go-to resource for anyone looking to incorporate healthier food choices into their lives, whether they are looking to lose weight, have more energy, or just feel more confident about their family’s nutrition.

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Product Review: Lightload Towels

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

World Renowned Lightload Towels are the only beach towels that fit in your pocket! All our towels are survival tools. Use them for so much including a firestarter, face mas, insulation, diaper and more. The towels are soft against the skin and washable. Great for packing in small places and excellent for shedding weight.

While these towels have all sorts of fun uses, I opted to go for the boring one – using it for a towel when I got out of the shower. (In my defense, my next vacation where I would have loved to pack it isn’t until mid-May and I wanted to be able to offer a giveaway which has to be done before the end of April!)  While the instructions do say that getting the towel a little bit wet would help in puling it apart, I opted to not use any water as I didn’t want a wet towel when I got out of the water. Seemed counter productive to be using something wet when I was trying to dry myself off!

The towel is super light weight which made me wonder if it would really work, but it does! I dried me off just as well, if not better, than other beach towels I usually use.  I wasn’t sure that it would survive the washer / dryer, but it did! It came out even more soft than it already was and wasn’t ripped at all which was what I was expecting because it is so light!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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Book Review: Red Sox vs Yankees

soxThe Boston Red Sox vs New York Yankees rivalry has been going on for over 100 years now.  This book covers all their bases with the rivalry – in fact it has been revised several times as the curse has since been reversed, but the rivalry stands strong.  The book features timelines about the rivalry and how it began, games that were significant towards the rivalry, a look at their ball parks and interviews with players as well as non players about the teams.  The book has a ton of information in it and if you are a baseball fan you’ll want to check it out.  Oh and there are some great photographs as well.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

The rivalry between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox involves not just the teams, but the cities, owners, ballparks, fans, and the media. Its roots reach back to before even Babe Ruth and Harry Frazee, yet it is as contemporary as the next Red Sox–Yankees game. This book tells the story of the rivalry from the first game these epic teams played against each other in 1901 through the 2013 season in what former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani called “the best rivalry in any sport.”

Harvey Frommer is the celebrated author of more than forty-two sports books including the classics Shoeless Joe Jackson and Ragtime Baseballand New York City Baseball. Honored by the New York State legislature, cited in the Congressional Record as a sports historian and journalist, the prolific Frommer is also the author of The New York Yankee Encyclopediaand A Yankee Century. Together with his wife, Myrna Katz Frommer, he authored the critically acclaimed oral histories It Happened in the CatskillsIt Happened in BrooklynIt Happened on BroadwayGrowing Up Jewish in America, and It Happened in Manhattan. Frommer is a professor in the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program at Dartmouth College and a longtime follower of the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry.

Frederic J. Frommer is the author of You Gotta Have Heart: A History of Washington Baseball from 1859 to the 2012 National League East Champions and The Washington Baseball Fan’s Little Book of Wisdom and coauthor of Growing Up Baseball. He covers the federal courthouse in Washington, D.C., for The Associated Press, and his work has appeared in The Washington PostThe Boston Globe, and USA Today, among others.

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The Wanted – Beacon Theater New York, NY

It’s a different kind of feeling when you KNOW the show you are going to is going to be the last time you are going to see a band. Whether it be “for a while” or “forever”. You wish you had a crystal ball so you’d know if it’s going to be forever or not. (Heck, you wish you had a crystal ball so you’d have known you’d be out of work this week and bought VIP for all the close shows even though they were weeknights!) In 2012 I went to what was SK6ers final show before their hiatus, but that was different.  We knew Stephen would be doing solo shows so you’d be seeing at least him again and you’d be hearing the songs live still.  Not to mention, I don’t think there were any shady rumors about why SK6ers were taking hiatus.  There are all sorts of rumors swirling about why The Wanted are breaking up – they’re being forced, etc.

Friday night was my 10th time seeing The Wanted.  And I somehow managed to score a front row center VIP ticket.  I guess if it’s the end – let’s go out with a bang!  I got to meet the guys before the show.  Jay asked why I was so quiet.  I didn’t know.  Then he also informed me he had lost his phone that morning.  How does he do it!?  The M&G seemed to go by a lot faster than it did on Long Island. Maybe because I was so quiet!

We ended up going to eat after the M&G and I got to my seat just as Midnight Red was taking the stage.  I opted to sit for Midnight Red and Cassio Monroe’s set and wasn’t sure what I’d do for The Wanted because they were telling the girls they couldn’t go right up against the stage.  I ended up sitting on my folded seat for half the show and once security didn’t seem to care girls were leaning against the stage I moved up.  There was a light right in front of me that would come right in my face at times.  The heat those things give off! No wonder why everyone on stage is always sweating like crazy.

The show was perfect.  The guys interact so much with the fans up front throughout the show, talking to them and all that. (Or in my friend’s case – taking their flask and drinking from it!) It didn’t feel like the end. Until the end. When they were walking off stage after “Glad You Came” I teared up a bit.  It’s one thing when you see a band and you don’t know when you’ll see them again – but you know they’ll tour again so it will happen.  It’s a totally different thing when you have no idea if they will end up back together after all of this. Having lived through so many other boybands reuniting but my ultimate favorite NSYNC not (at least not for a tour – though trust me I bawled my eyes out to see them at the VMAs)

I’m not sure what else to say about the show.  I was nostalgic being at the venue where Hanson recorded their first concert VHS.  I was excited because I made it to NYC and the venue on my own and met up with friends there. (I can do anything!) It was just so bittersweet. I hope it’s not the end and I hope that they figure out whatever it is they need to do and come back very, very soon.

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Book Review: Black Baseball, Black Business

blackbaseballBlack Baseball, Black Business, Race Enterprise and the Fate of the Segregated Dollar tells the story of desegregating baseball. It takes a look at the history of baseball from the perspective of the Negro Leagues which is not something I’ve read so much about before, but it is certainly an important part of baseball (and America’s) history.  The book also looks a bit at the economy as well as it relates to the times being written about and the Negro Leagues (also not accurate as the teams were made up of both African Americans as well as Latinos.)

The book is an attempt to contextualize the business of black baseball as well as to examine its role as a bellwether for the fate of the segregated dollar from the establishment of the large urban communities fed by the Great Migration to the dawn of the civil rights movement. Baseball as played between the lines is secondary to this work. (pg. 34)  I think that the book does a good job sticking to the scope that it had cut out for itself.  It very easily could have added in many more aspects to the culture in to the book, but it did a good job of keeping topics limited, concise and full of wonderful information.  Truly brilliantly researched and presented and written in a way that will not leave the reader bored as a history book might.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

An extraordinary history of the Negro Leagues and the economic disruptions of desegregating a sport

Roberta Newman and Joel Nathan Rosen have written an authoritative social history of the Negro Leagues. This book examines how the relationship between black baseball and black businesses functioned, particularly in urban areas with significant African American populations—Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Newark, New York, Philadelphia, and more. Inextricably bound together by circumstance, these sports and business alliances faced destruction and upheaval.

Once Jackie Robinson and a select handful of black baseball’s elite gained acceptance in Major League Baseball and financial stability in the mainstream economy, shock waves traveled throughout the black business world. Though the economic impact on Negro League baseball is perhaps obvious due to its demise, the impact on other black-owned businesses and on segregated neighborhoods is often undervalued if not outright ignored in current accounts. There have been many books written on great individual players who played in the Negro Leagues and/or integrated the Major Leagues. But Newman and Rosen move beyond hagiography to analyze what happens when a community has its economic footing undermined while simultaneously being called upon to celebrate a larger social progress. In this regard, Black Baseball, Black Business moves beyond the diamond to explore baseball’s desegregation narrative in a critical and wide-ranging fashion.

Roberta J. Newman, Brooklyn, New York, is master professor in the Department of Liberal Studies at New York University. Her work has appeared in the journals, Cooperstown Symposium: 2009–2010, and NINE: A Journal of Baseball History and Culture. Joel Nathan Rosen, Allentown, Pennsylvania,is associate professor of sociology at Moravian College in Bethlehem. He is coeditor of A Locker Room of Her Own: Celebrity, Sexuality, and Female AthletesFame to Infamy: Race, Sport, and the Fall from Grace; and Reconstructing Fame: Sport, Race, and Evolving Reputations, all published by University Press of Mississippi.

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Scrapbook Post: March

March scrapbook post – Tyrone Wells, P!nk, Honor Society

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Book Review: Taylor Swift The Whole Story

taylorTaylor Swift: The Whole Story is another unauthorized biography of the pop superstar.  The book is updated to include information that is more recent than most other books out there – with stuff from 2013 included. The book features all about Taylor’s youth and how she was supposed to be a stockbroker, not a singer.

I found the book to be a quick, easy read and well written.  It seems to include everything one would want ot know about the star and then some.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

The full story of Taylor Swift’s stratospheric rise to fame; all any dedicated Swifty needs to know about the pop superstar who’s taking over the world.

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The Wanted Word Of Mouth Tour – Huntington, NY

Tuesday night, The Wanted kicked off their US leg of the Word of Mouth tour in Huntington, NY at The Paramount.  Before the show, I got to meet the band because I had purchased a VIP package through their fanclub.  Each package included a lanyard, signed card and a chance to meet the guys and get an individual photo.  The line moved pretty quickly, although it seemed like they gave everyone enough time with the guys.  I gave Jay a present and Siva thought it was just about the greatest thing ever.  I’ll have to see on Friday when I meet them again if he’s put it to good use! (I gave him a Phone Fetcher which I had reviewed here a couple of years ago!)

There were several hours to kill after the VIP had gone through the M&G and before doors were set to open. They let us in early and we were on the barricade in the front row but then thought better of it and went over to the ADA section. With all the pushing coming from a couple of people in the ADA area – we probably would have been better off trying to stay in the front row.  These people were completely oblivious to the concept of “personal space” or that maybe I was sitting for a reason and didn’t need a small child standing right in front of me!

Midnight Red kicked off the show.  I think I liked their set better when they did it at Foxwoods in October.  The set was a bit different and I don’t know, I just wasn’t feeling it.  Maybe because it is so focused on center stage (give or take a random band member coming off to the side) and we were off to the side.  The rest of the crowd seemed to love them though.

Next up was Cassio Monroe who I had never heard of, but they were pretty good. They had one song/rap about trying to get a girl to dump them instead of them dumping her which was pretty funny.

Then it was time for The Wanted! The strobe lights during their set was out of control and I had on sunglasses on and off for most of the show because it was just way too much.  They started the set with Gold Forever which I thought was perfect since this is, unfortunately, a farewell tour.  The whole show was pretty high energy, they did a few songs playing instruments.  They said that they hoped to be back soon. Let’s hope that somehow it works out for them and their “hiatus” isn’t very long.  The setlist was the same as they had been doing for the UK leg of the tour (check it out below) and it consisted of 19 songs which included a medley and no covers!

They had 1 outfit change about halfway through the main set – with Jay coming back out in an outfit that made me feel like he had escaped from a Florida retirement community.  Siva had on what appeared to be some sort of harem sweat pants?  Max’s outfits were probably the best of the night.

As I said, the whole show was high energy and did not disappoint.  I am bummed that my next show tomorrow will be my last :(

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