Monday, March 23, 2009

Teen Celebrities in the News: Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus, Luke Benward

Luke Benward: Actor, Singer, Teenager!
Although he is only 13 years old, actor and singer Lucas Aaron "Luke" Benward is well on his way to becoming a household name.

Disney Hannah Montana Keeping it Real, a DVD Review
When I was offered the opportunity to review Disney Hannah Montana Keeping It Real, a DVD with five episodes from the popular television program Hannah Montana, I must admit, I jumped at the chance. Here was my chance to finally be culturally relevant!

Does Hannah Montana Make You Sick?
Last Tuesday, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the Peanut Corporation of America issued a safety recall of Disney's Hannah Montana Peanut Chocolate Granola Bars due to possible salmonella contamination.

The Jonas Brothers: Clean Fun for Your Teens and Tweens
If your kids are into the Jonas Brothers - a boy band who gained their popularity through the Disney Channel - your kids are in good hands.

What Did Barbara Walters' Interview with the Jonas Brothers Reveal?
Barbara Walters interviewed The Jonas Brothers om February 22, 2009 for "The Barbara Walters Special" on ABC on Oscar Night. What did her interview reveal about America's most popular singing siblings?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

March Movie Reviews

Slumdog Millionaire a Priceless Look at India - a Movie Review
The movie originally intended to go straight to DVD, "Slumdog Millionaire"is finally coming to DVD. "Slumdog Millionaire" is an exhilarating rags to riches story with a conscience.

Happy-Go-Lucky with Sally Hawkins - a Movie Review
Perhaps I am not artsy enough for this film, although I enjoyed some of the movie, overall I found Happy-Go-Lucky to be quite boring.

Marley and Me Releases on DVD and Blu-Ray - Movie Review

Marley & Me, the hit movie for dog-lovers everywhere starring Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston, arrives on Blu-Ray and DVd on March 31, 2009.

Disney Hannah Montana Keeping it Real, a DVD Review
When I was offered the opportunity to review Disney Hannah Montana Keeping It Real, a DVD with five episodes from the popular television program Hannah Montana, I must admit, I jumped at the chance. Here was my chance to be culturally relevant!

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas - Brilliant Holocaust Movie Now on DVD
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is the tragic story of Bruno, an innocent, inquisitive eight-year-old, and the son of a Nazi officer who is promoted to direct the operations at a concentration camp.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

A Big Week for Twilight Fans as Twilight DVD Releases

The week of March 20 was a big week for Twilight fans!

Twilight DVD Released - To the excitement of girls and yes, women everywhere, the Twilight DVD released at midnight on March 20th in stores across the country. With deleted scenes and bonus features, the Twilight movie DVD promises to be a big hit.

Twilight Songbooks Released - Just in time for the Twilight DVD release, the songbooks from Twilight have been released, all featuring the beautiful "Bella's Lullaby," and many featuring photos from the movie.

• Music From the Twilight Motion Picture Soundtrack - Piano/Vocal - 313439 - $16.99

• Music From the Twilight Motion Picture Soundtrack - Easy Piano - 316131 - $14.99

• The Score - Music From the Twilight Motion Picture - 313440 - $14.99

• The Score - Music From the Twilight Motion Picture - Big-Note Piano - 316133 - $10.99

• The Score - Music From the Twilight Motion Picture - Easy Piano Solo - 316130 - $12.99

Twilight Deluxe CD/DVD Released - The Twilight CD released on November 4, 2008, featuring twelve songs from the movie. However, Chop Shop / Atlantic Records just released a deluxe CD/DVD version of the Twilight soundtrack in March with lots of bonus content including 5 bonus songs, and 30 minutes of interviews and music videos.

Twilight: Director's Notebook Released - The Twilight: Director's Notebook written by Catherine Hardwicke was released on March 17th by Little, Brown. This look at making the movie includes inside secrets on everything from casting to wardrobe along with personal notes from Catherine Hardwicke.

New Moon Releases November 20
- Of course, the real excitement happens on November 20, 2009 when the second installment in the Twilight series, New Moon, releases in theaters

More Twilight at:

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Filing for Unemployment in Tennessee

In January of 2009, the Department of Labor reported that more than 84,000 unemployment claims were filed last month in Tennessee which is 115% more claims filed than in 2008. Since so many of my friends and neighbors are having to file an unemployment claim in Tennessee, I thought I would list a couple of resources and related articles on Filing for Unemployment in Tennessee.

How to File an Unemployment Claim in Tennessee
Ten easy steps to filing for unemployment in Tennessee

Longer article with more details about filing for unemployment in Tennessee at: Unemployment Tips for Tennessee
Facing unemployment is NOT a happy prospect, but with the right tools, it need not be as overwhelming as it might otherwise be.

Unemployed - a Poem

Macy's Bellevue Center, Nashville, TN - A Look Back
These are photos from the past seven years from the Bellevue Macys, in Nashville, Tennessee. The store, which was formerly Hechts, Proffitts, Saks/Dillards (for about three months) and Castner Knott's, closed March 15, 2009.

Recent Articles

Writing a Basic Press Release to Get Articles and Blogs Noticed!
A press release is an announcement to your local media about you and your articles. If you have never written a news release before, these simple tips should help you write a good, basic press release.

Does Hannah Montana Make You Sick?
Last Tuesday, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the Peanut Corporation of America issued a safety recall of Disney's Hannah Montana Peanut Chocolate Granola Bars due to possible salmonella contamination.

Ten Ways to Use Extra Soy Sauce Packages
If you are a Chinese food junkie like I am, what do you do with your extra soy sauce packages when you go to Chinese fast-food restaurants, Chinese buffets, or get Chinese take-out food? I save mine to use later!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Macy's Bellevue Center Closes Its Doors



Click here if you would like to see more photos from the past 7 years at Bellevue Hecht's/Macy's.

The Macy's Bellevue Center in Nashville, Tennessee, closed its doors to the public for the final time today. The Bellevue Center mall originally opened in 1990 with two anchors, Dillard's and Castner-Knott's. At one point in the mall's early history, Macy's had planned to come in, and Macy's signs even appeared inside the mall where the store was supposed to go, but those plans fell through.

During the past 18 years, Castner-Knott's, a popular locally-owned-and-operated retail store and chain, was sold to Saks which had acquired local Castner's competitor, Dillard's. Since there was already a Dillard's operating as an anchor store at Bellevue Center (from 1990 to 2007), the Castner's property was sold within a few months to Proffitt's in 1999. Proffitt's lasted a couple of years before it was sold to Hechts.

Hecht's owned the store from 2001 - 2005 when it was announced Federated Department Stores had agreed to acquire May Department Stores in February of 2005 for about $11 billion. For four years after that, the store operated in a strange retail limbo as Hects, although it was owned by Federated, and then as Hechts-Macys in 2008. In September of 2009, the store "officially" became a Macy's Department Store with a grand opening ceremony to announce the occasion.

I have worked at the store part time since it opened, and worked there through it's last official night of March 14, 2009, although it was decided to keep the store open one more day. Last night I said a sad farewell to a mall which had great potential and to a store which I loved during its Caster-Knott's days, and where I remained until its closure.

There is a Yahoo group for former employees of Bellevue Center Hechts/Macy's at BellevueMacys.

Wikipedia gives the store time-line as:
# Macy's (opened as Castner Knott 1990, became Proffitt's 1998, Hecht's 2001, and Macy's 2006; will close 2009)

Poems for Saint Patrick's Day


Here is my shamrock of three poems for Saint Patrick's Day. St. Patrick was an amazing leader of the early Celtic Church, and he used the Irish shamrock to teach the trinity. This is my shamrock for St. Patrick.
Poems for Saint Patrick's Day

Irish Quotes for St. Patrick's Day
A collection of quotes, sayings, poetry and songs about the Irish and by the Irish

If you don't know much about St. Patrick, you should read Who Was Saint Patrick? The History of Saint Patrick & St. Patrick's Day


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Recent Movie Reviews

Disney's High School Musical 3: Senior Year Now on BluRay and DVD - Movie Review
"High School Musical 3" won two Emmy® Awards, a DGA Award, an Imagen Award, a Director's Guild of America Award, and a Billboard Music Award for Soundtrack of the Year. It arrived on Blu-ray and DVD on February 17th, 2009.

Hitch with Will Smith - a Movie Review
In the 2005 romantic-comedy movie Hitch, Will Smith stars as Alex Hitchens, a professional matchmaker (or consultant as Hitch calls himself), who teaches ordinary men how to successfully pursue beautiful women.

Dead like Me: Life After Death DVD Review
Dead Like Me: Life After Death with Ellen Muth is a direct-to-DVD movie that released on February 17, 2009 - not very good.

The Haunting of Molly Hartley - a DVD Review
The Haunting of Molly Hartley, a 2008 horror film starring Haley Bennett and Chace Crawford, just released to DVD - also not highly recommended.

City of Ember with Bill Murray Never Flickers to Life - a Movie Review
There is no good reason City of Ember isn't a more exciting movie with the stellar cast it features: Bill Murray, Tim Robbins, Martin Landeau and others, but City of Ember never flickers to life.

Miracle at St. Anna Now on DVD and Blu-Ray - a Review

Miracle at St. Anna is one of the best movies I have seen in a long time. Released in theaters on September 26, 2008, Miracle at St. Anna just came out on Blu-Ray and DVD on February 10, 2009. Excellent movie!!!

Breakfast at Tiffany's Releases on DVD - Movie Review
Audrey Hepburn returns to the screen on DVD for Paramount Home Entertainment's Centennial Collection in "Breakfast at Tiffany's"

"Funny Face" Releases on DVD - Movie Review
One of Hollywood's all-time favorite leading ladies can now appear in your home as "Funny Face" (1957)just arrived on DVD this week from Paramount Home Entertainment.

"Swing Vote" on DVD January 13 - a Movie Review
Swing Vote (Touchstone Pictures) releases to Blu-ray + DVD in North America on January 13

The Tudors: The Complete Second Season - a Review
Having recently seen The Other Boleyn Girl and the classic A Man for All Seasons a few months ago, I couldn't help but notice that The Tudors seems to be based more upon the movies than the historical records

Mary Poppins 45th Anniversary Edition Movie Review
Mary Poppins was released on Tuesday, January 27th, in a two-disc 45th anniversary edition set.

Blindness Comes to DVD on February 10 - a Review
Blindness (Miramax) with Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo opened in theaters on 3 October 2008 and is coming to DVD on February 10, 2009.

New in Town Not Just "Men in Trees" - Movie Sneak Preview

New in Town, the cute comedy from Lionsgate and Gold Circle Films, is a timely and very appropriate movies for these economic times.

Dark Water Rated D for Dismal - a Movie Review
Dark Water starring Jennifer Connelly is a 2005 American horror film.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Mother's Day: Articles, Poems, Gift Ideas and Other Tips!

Mother's Day is coming up sooner than you think! If you are on a tight budget, you may need to start planning for Mother's Day early this year. Here are some articles, poems and ideas to help and inspire you.

How to Celebrate an Inexpensive Mother's Day
Everyone is thinking about the economy these days. If a tight budget is threatening to put a damper on your Mother's Day, consider these ten ideas for celebrating an inexpensive Mothers Day.

Mother's Day Ideas: Queen for a Day on a Tight Budget

Depending upon your budget in today's economy, you may not be able to give your mother prizes and trips, but here are some ideas for things you can do to make her feel like a queen for a day on Mother's Day.

Mother's Day: When Forgiveness is the Best Gift
Mothers are not perfect, and many children are scarred for life by mental, emotional or even physical abuse at the hands of their mothers. However, I have learned forgiveness is both a choice and a gift.

Mother's Day Acrostic Poem

A poem for Mother's Day in the acrostic form.

Picking the Perfect Mother's Day Gift
Mother's Day is right around the corner. Do you know what you are going to give your mother this year? As someone who has worked in retail for many years, I have had the opportunity to help people the right gift for their mothers. Here are some gift ideas for Mother's Day.

Mothers and Daughters: a Mother's Day Haiku

A very short poem about the relationship between mothers and daughters in the haiku form.


More Mother's Day:


A list of links to various articles and poems I have written and/or published about Mother's Day:


Gospel Artists Share Mother's Day Thoughts

Notable Quotables: Mothers

Missing Miss Mary

What My Mother Taught Me

Real Solutions for Busy Moms: Your Guide to Success and Sanity by Kathy Ireland

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Interview with -- Me!

The Darling Kathryn E Darden - Without Apology

No, I didn't write it. Some nut named Donald Pennington did! Here is an excerpt:


Date of Interview: 03/08/2009
My dear readers; I've got someone here for you today for you to meet who's always fun to read, whether it's her poetry you've found, or it's a thoughtful comment that you've received.

She expresses her thoughts without cloudiness and her spiritual side without an apology.

DP: Hi Kathryn! Thanks for your participation in this project. If things were to be cut short, and only one message got across to my readers about you, what would you want them to know about you?

KD: I'm sort of an eclectic person... OK, eccentric. I have done many things in my career life from teaching high school to publicity, to publishing, to working retail. I like variety!


If you want to read the interview, and learn way too much about me, go to:
The Darling Kathryn E Darden - Without Apology


Here is my response to Donald if you want to read more silliness:
Donald Pennington, Kathryn E. Darden, and Squillock - the Interview

Thursday, March 5, 2009

How to Write a Basic Press Release

Are you one of the many aspiring writers for websites like Associated Content, Bukisa, etc? You have probably already created a profile, posted some articles, and posted links to all your social networks, as well as Digg and Stumble. Is there anything else you can do to promote yourself and your content and get your articles noticed? YES! Send out a press release!

A press release is an announcement to your local media about you and your articles. I have published a web site and print magazine and worked for several other publications. I have also promoted books and events by sending out my own press releases, so I have looked at press releases both as a writer, and as a publisher of information. I have also written a book about promoting self-published books with a chapter dedicated to writing press releases.

If you have never written a press release before, these tips should help you write a good, basic press release.

Before You Write Your Press Release

Before you start writing your press release, identify the who, what, where, when and why. You will want to include those important details!

Formatting Contact Information for Your Press Release

At the very top of your press release, in the upper left or upper right hand corner, include the bold words "Contact" and your name, and "Phone" with your phone number. This is a resource for any media representatives who might want to contact you. If you are sending a release to a web site, include "Email" as well. An example:

Contact:
Your Name
Phone: Your phone number
Email: Your email address

Formatting a Dateline for Your Press Release

The dateline is often left off press release these days, especially if you are sending a blurb out to your local media contacts. If you are sending a national press release, it is good to include your city, state and the date.

If you want to read the rest of this article and get tips on how to write your headline, body, conclusion and other parts of a press release, go to one of these articles:


SOURCE

How to Promote Your Book on a Shoestring Budget

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

St. Patrick's Day

Here are some articles and poems for St. Patrick's Day!

Who Was the Man Known as Saint Patrick?
When he was a teenager, Patrick was captured and sold into slavery by a group of Irish marauders. Patrick recounts in his "Confession," "I was then about sixteen years of age...."

St. Patrick Acrostic (Poem)
A poem about St. Patrick in the acrostic form

Ireland Acrostic
A poem in the acrostic form about Ireland

Saint Patrick the Shepherd - a Poem
A brief poetic tribute to St. Patrick, Patron Saint of Ireland who was a herdsman as a captive in Ireland

Riverdance Taps into Tennessee Performing Arts Center for Last Tour
The farewell tour of Riverdance is stopping at Nashville's Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC) February 24 through March 1. TPAC calls Riverdance one of the most popular shows ever in the history of the Tennessee Performing Arts Center


Monday, March 2, 2009

Winter Snow Hits Nashville - Finally!

March Comes in like a Lion to Nashville, Turns into a Lamb Within 24 Hours
March 02, 2009

It started on a Saturday evening, the last day of February. What had been a light, drizzling rain turned into a light, wet snow towards the end of my shift at a local retail store. Even though we are in the last days of a big liquidation sale, the light dusting kept customers away.
Winter Snow Hits Nashville - Finally!
Perhaps if we sold shovels or groceries, we would have been busier, but this is Nashville! We shut down the town, close schools and get off the streets when we have a few flurries!

As I drove home Saturday night, I watched the snowflakes play in my headlights. The snow was starting to stick to the grass and branches on the side of the road while the streets retained some warmth from the day and stayed clear. All that changed around midnight as the temperature continued to drop and the snow continued to fall. At midnight I went outside and began to take pictures.

I love snow. Something about the powdery white flakes hitting my face makes me feel like I am about six years old again. However, if you want to play in the Nashville snow, you have to suit up and go outside while the flakes are falling, even if it's midnight or later.

There is something magical about being out in the darkness with only the whispering snow for company. Maybe that's because this is Nashville, and we don't get snow that often. In any case, it was a real treat to hear the crunch of snow under my boots, to feel the flakes hitting my face, to catch a few flakes on my tongue and to see the reflections of all those tiny points of light in the flash every time I took a photo. I won't say if I was undignified enough to hurl myself down into a deep patch and flap my arms and legs to make a snow angel, but snow does make me feel like I am six!

To those of you who were fortunate enough to get six inches or a few feet of snow, I must sadly admit we only got an inch or two, and it was all gone within 24 hours. Maybe that's why each rare snowfall here seems so miraculous, like shimmering white manna falling from heaven.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

What's New in Gospel Music!

40th Annual GMA Dove Award Nominations Announced in Nashville
A look at some of the 40th Annual Dove Award Nominees who were announced on February 20, 2009 in Nashville, Tennessee.


What Did Barbara Walters' Interview with the Jonas Brothers Reveal?

Barbara Walters interviewed The Jonas Brothers om February 22, 2009 for "The Barbara Walters Special" on ABC on Oscar Night. What did her interview reveal about America's most popular singing siblings?

The Jonas Brothers: Clean Fun for Your Teens and Tweens
If your kids are into the Jonas Brothers - a boy band who gained their popularity through the Disney Channel - your kids are in good hands.


March Birthdays of Gospel Artists
A list of gospel artists and other Christian personalities with March birthdays.