Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bye, Bye, Bye

Sadly, this blog is going to be abandoned for the next couple of weeks. That's right, no highly entertaining/fascinating posts from yours truly. I know what you are thinking, "How will I ever get by?!"

First, you should know it's nothing personal. I'm getting married. And then I'm going to Jamaica. Yay me!

Second, here are a few things you can ponder while I'm gone.

-Fun 4th
-Cow licks. This is an expression which must have derived from someone, somewhere actually being licked by a cow. How terrifying would that be?! My whole head could fit in a cow's mouth. And they have those flat bone grinding teeth. I really think people need to reevaluate how they use this concept in everyday conversation.
-How adorable this commercial is. My friend Bryan tears up every time he watches it.

-Snare A World Record - We need about 1,500 more people to sign up. That is a lot. But we can do it! You figure out how you can learn to drum or who you can recruit to participate while I'm gone.
-"Flower" by Amos Lee - A sweet little song that is sure to put you in a good mood.


That should be enough to keep you busy for awhile. And if you think of anything I must know while I'm gone, you can always leave me a comment here or send me an email (administration@grassrootsproductionsltd.org) I would love to come back to a full inbox! Have a great couple of weeks!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Bring Your Friends and Get in the Picture


This year, the theme for Fun 4th is Bring Your Friends and Get in the Picture. Seeing as the festival is only about five weeks away, we are really trying to get the word out about every exciting aspect...starting with the theme! Today I went to Tunes At Noon at Center City Park (which you should definitely come check out by the way! It's free!) and spread the word about Fun 4th by having everyone take pictures in my red, white, and blue frame.

I'm going to be out and about with my frame a few more times between now and the Fourth and I would love for you to take a picture with me! Or, if you already have a picture of you and your friends in your favorite downtown Greensboro location, go ahead and email it to me! (administration@grassrootsproductionsltd.org) You guys are all my friends, and I would love to be able to post on here, Facebook, and Twitter pictures of all of you hanging out with me for Fun 4th.

Pictured above are my pals Steve and Chuck (and Dolly) who will be performing at Fun 4th with their band Big Bang Boom. I did a little video blogging so you could get a sneak preview of some of the talented musicians we are going to have! It's a little hard to hear me, but they sound great.


video

So bring your friends and get in the picture! I can't wait to see you there!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Evolution of Dance

I have a friend who likes to add validity to his statements by prefacing them with, "If there is one thing I know, it's..." Sometimes it is legitimate, like "If there is one thing I know, it's Carolina basketball." But most of the time it is ridiculous, like "If there is one thing I know, it's interior design." Or "If there is one thing I know, it's plaid shirts." Keeping that in mind, you can interpret this next sentence however you feel most appropriate. If there is one thing I know, it's how to start a dance party.

With last week's death of Cali Swag District member M-Bone, a whole bunch of videos surfaced of various celebrities doing the group's signature dance move, the Dougie. This got me thinking about my favorite dances/moves and just how many good ones there are! At my previous job, we had a company satellite radio station that would play the same 100 songs on repeat every day. So, I started coming up with a weekly dance move that we would all do when our favorite song came on. I think my best work was definitely the Fan Man, which consists of planting your feet firmly on the ground and then flailing your upper body about as if it were independent from the rest of you. Like those big blow up men outside of sporting events with the fans under them that blow hither and thither uncontrollably. I would encourage all of you to put on your favorite song and try this right now. Or at least imagine walking in on one of your co-workers doing this as mine tended to do frequently.

Now it's just a guess, but I would bet that the Fan Man probably isn't going to catch on any time soon. It's like all great art - not appreciated in it's own time. But there are quite a few greats that will continue to make it into dance routines, dance parties, and dance offs for many years to come. Here's a list of a few of my favorites. Feel free to participate in your desk chair.

The Macarena - What a classic. It's fun, it's got that sexy hip swivel thing, the arm moves take a bit of practice so not just anybody can jump in and do it. And there is the added mystery of the lyrics. Is it a dance, it is the girl's name, if you play it backwards does it say "Paul is dead"?!



The Hand Jive - Probably most famous from the movie Grease, who doesn't wish they had a high school dance competition to go to later? It's fast and wild and it doesn't really matter what you are doing as long as you are throwing some combination of fists and thumbs ups around.



The Harlem Shake - If I had a genie, my first wish would be for Beyonce to be my friend. My second wish would be to have the physical ability to do this dance without looking like an idiot.



YMCA - I am still perplexed as to why anyone would ever write a song about this. But it's still awesome. I can't embed it, so you have to click here to watch it, but I swear on all things sacred it is worth it.

The Dougie - It wouldn't be fair to leave out the dance that started this post. I'm a big fan of hip hop dances that you don't have to be a rap super star to know how to do. Example, here is Barbara Walters doing the Dougie.



And if you are still feeling uninspired, watch this. I promise it won't disappoint.



Hopefully this has brought back some memories for you and made you ready to come dance to all our bands at the Fun Fourth! I'll be there. Doing the Fan Man. You can't miss it.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What Will You Be Watching?

As many of you know from reading this blog, I watch a lot of "guilty pleasure TV." I plan my weekday evenings around it and I have been known to cancel plans with actual human beings in order to see said shows. Now I know that most of you are thinking, "Hey blog girl, get a life!," but I would say that is completely unfair. Look at your life. Look at your choices. I would imagine that you yourself have at least one show that you watch every week no matter how bad it is, no matter how many times you say you will never watch it again, no matter that your kids don't have a ride home from baseball practice. What's that thing about glass houses? Hmm?

So now that the awkward part is out of the way and we can all just admit that we are a little bit addicted to the mind-rotting phenomenon known as prime time television, I can share with you what I learned this week. This time of year is always a little bittersweet. All the shows that we have watched for the past several months are ending, either for the season or forever, probably with a cliffhanger or someone getting shot. That's the bitter part. The sweet part is that stepping up as their replacement is the summer reality TV lineup including, but not limited to, The Bachelorette, Big Brother, and So You Think You Can Dance. As if we needed another excuse to pay absolutely no attention during work, or anything else for that matter, during these next few warm and fabulous months.

But, before we can celebrate all these things, it is also the time of year that the networks reveal what shows are getting the axe. I guess for a lot of people this is kind of a downer. But for me it is just like reading a celeb gossip column. Who sucked so much this year that they are kicked off of TV forever? I mean come on, that is juicy stuff! So the following is just my abridged version of the complete list. To view the whole thing, go here!

ABC
Officially Renewed:
-Cougar Town (Whyyyyyyy?!?!?!)
-Modern Family (Of course! If you don't watch this, we can't be friends.)
-Grey's Anatomy
-Private Practice
-Desperate Housewives (Good grief, will this show ever be over?!)

Officially Canceled:
-Mr. Sunshine (Matthew Perry your career is over...accept it.)
-V
-Brothers and Sisters
-Off the Map
-My Generation

CBS
Officially Renewed:
-Two and a Half Men (No need for my commentary on this one, it speaks for itself.)
-How I Met Your Mother
-NCIS
-Survivor (Yet another show that I feel like has been on since I was in elementary school.)
-Undercover Boss (I have cried at the end of every episode of this show. It's so messed up.)

Officially Canceled:
-Medium
-The Defenders
-Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior
-Mad Love
-Live to Dance

NBC
Officially Renewed:
-30 Rock
-The Biggest Loser
-The Office (Which will surely be on the canceled list next year without Michael Scott.)
-The Sing-Off (Never watch American Idol again, watch this.)
-Chuck

Officially Canceled:
-Undercovers
-Chase
-The Cape
-The Event
-Perfect Couples (Bad choice NBC, bad choice.)

Fox
Officially Renewed:
-Glee (Why?)
-The Simpsons (How?)
-American Idol (What?)
-Bones
-House

Officially Canceled:
-The Good Guys
-Lone Star
-Running Wilde
-Traffic Lights
-Lie To Me
I have never heard of any of these shows...perhaps why they are being canceled?

So now that you may be having a panic attack about what you are going to watch come fall, fear not! Remember the sweet part? All the summer trash TV we have to look forward to! And if you get bored with that, you can always take a breather and come hang out with me at the Fun 4th! I will be happy to discuss with you the outcomes of any and all reality television, plus with all the fun stuff we have planned there is no way you won't have a good time, even if TV isn't involved.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Snare A World Record

Some exciting news! This year at the Fun Fourth we are going to try and set a new world record by having 1,776 drummers perform a five minute snare drum roll. The drum roll will take place at 11 am on Monday, July 4 in Downtown Greensboro.

Obviously, a feat like this is going to require the help of all of you! We are in need of 1,776 participants who can successfully perform an open drum roll for five straight minutes as well as volunteers and snare drums. If you fall into any of these categories, go here and register to be a part of this potentially historical event!

Snare drummers from all drum corps, student drum corps, schools, churches, garage bands, and individual drummers are all encouraged to participate. Also, if you have extra snare drums available to donate to the event, we need your help too! I can't think of a better way to spend the Fourth of July than by breaking a world record with your friends.

You can get more details here:
topics.digtriad.com/drumming
funfourthfestival.org

or email me at administration@grassrootsproductionsltd.org

I hope to see all of you there!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Aislinn's Book Club

It probably won't come as a shock to you that, as a writer/journalist/daughter of an English major, I like to read. But I always seem to have a problem coming up with what book to read next. When I was in college, it was easy. Sign up for a class that sounds interesting, like Contemporary Literature, and by the end of four months I would have read a handful of new and interesting prose recommended to me by a PhD. But now, like everything else in my post-college life, it has become a lot more difficult.

I tend to go straight for what everybody else is reading or what the New York Times says I should be reading. For a person who can pick out a hit off iTunes before anyone has ever heard of it, it is a little frustrating that I do not have the same knack for seeking out great novels. For example, I read all of those Twilight books just because someone told me they were good. Now this may offend some people, but I hated every word of those books. But I kept on reading because I couldn't come up with anything else at the time. Weeks of my life gone just because I am the least knowledgeable book person in the world.

For a while I was rereading some old favorites. All the President's Men (I know, big surprise), To Kill A Mockingbird, and The Lovely Bones are a few that made the cut. But then I started branching out to new material and consequently found a new obsession. Malcolm Gladwell.

Gladwell is a writer for the New Yorker and the book I am reading now is called What the Dog Saw, which is a collection of some of his articles from that publication. I liked his writing in this book so much that I started snooping through the archives on his website and low and behold, Greensboro got a shout out! In the article Small Change, Gladwell commends the students who started the 1960s sit-in movement right here in Greensboro, NC. And if that article doesn't interest you, there are many more to choose from on his website written about basically every topic you can think of. It is definitely worth checking out, as is the book!

The sad thing now, though, is that I am almost done with that book and am in need of something new to read. Especially since Grey's Anatomy and Gossip Girl are about to end for the summer. So I am turning to you for suggestions. It can be your all time favorite, or a classic that you think everyone should read once, or a new book you heard was good. I can almost guarantee that I haven't read any of them. Then maybe by the end of the summer I can have a better literary vocabulary thanks to all of you. Comments here and emails here: administration@grassrootsproductionsltd.org are always appreciated.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

May the Fourth Be With You!

If you have been on Facebook or Twitter at all today you have probably figured out that it is Star Wars Day! May 4th is the day when all Star Wars fans come together and share their favorite quotes, scenes, and memories from the films. And of course greet each other by saying "May the Fourth be with you!"

Now I wasn't alive when the first Star Wars film came out, but from what I understand, it was pretty incredible. My dad saw the first movie in theaters seven times. And this is why. Because in the first scene when the space craft appears on the screen as if it is literally flying right over the audience, it changed his life. He always used to talk about how amazing it was. He had never seen anything like it. You should also know that he sent me a text message today that read, "Do or do not. There is no try," his favorite quote from Master Yoda.

My generation did, however, grow up during the second wave of films. My brother and I had Episode I on VHS (that's the little black rectangle that goes in a VCR in case you forgot) and we watched it every day for an entire summer. Every. Day. Then when I was in high school me and my friend got lightsabers for Christmas and when summer came around we had a battle in my backyard. To close the generational gap, when the final installment of the movies came out, me and my dad lined up outside the movie theater for the midnight showing. When I showed up at school the next day running on three hours of sleep my teachers were shocked that my dad had not only allowed, but encouraged this activity. "Did your father know you were there?" "Yeah he was in the theater before I was!"

So the phenomenon continues. It seems like everyone, whether they are fans or just saw Star Wars once, has some sort of story to tell about the movies. I would say there isn't a person who has been alive at some point in the past thirty years who hasn't come in contact with the Force at least once. But if there is a chance I am wrong, the entire saga comes out on Blu-Ray in September. Then we can all celebrate together next May 4th!

"Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes."
-Yoda, Episode V

Monday, May 2, 2011

Where in the World?

I hate flying. I know the chance of dying in a plane crash is basically zero, but until it is actually zero, I will continue to be completely terrified. I hate that feeling when you are taking off where your stomach lurches around and the similar feeling when you are landing where the air pressure pops you ears. However, I have an adventurous streak. I have a thirst for thrill and a desire for knowledge that can only be fulfilled by going and doing. Anyone who knows me can tell you that I am incapable of accepting the experiences of others as fact. That old saying, "If so and so jumped off a bridge, would you do it too?" only applies to me in the sense that I would probably be so and so jumping off the bridge to see what happened. I have a friend living in Spain right now and one about to leave to live in Germany and honestly I am just jealous of them.

Therefore, despite my great fear of flying and unknown situations and the fact that I get anxious just walking into Target, I have a goal to see for myself every important historical, beautiful, archeologically significant, and fascinating place this world has to offer. I was lucky enough to spend two weeks in Paris and Madrid this past fall and it was incredible. It was so cool to stand under the Eiffel Tower and experience it, not just from a picture in a book. The same is true of getting to see live and in person all the Picasso paintings in the Reina Sofia museum. To realize that these things really do exists in physical form, no matter how far away they might be, is unparalleled.

On my current to-do list are:
-Go on a safari in South Africa
-Spend a week volunteering with pandas in China
-Float in the Jordan River
-Vatican City
-See a concentration camp in Germany
-Take a cross-country road trip and see all the amazing things this country has to offer including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Ohio, Disney World in Florida, and Vegas!

I want to hear from you what your travel wishlist is. Or if you have been somewhere amazing that I should add to mine, I need to know that too. Leave me a comment here or email me (administration@grassrootsproductionsltd.org) I can't wait to read about all of your adventures, either past or future!