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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

How To Plan an NFL Party For Super Bowl 49

I wrote this back in 2012 for a class after having a Super Bowl Party. No one liked the teams that were playing in the 2012 Super Bowl (New York Giants and New England Patriots), so I decided to through an NFL Party where we celebrate the teams we love. Since there's only four more days until the Super Bowl, I figured people would find this guide helpful. Enjoy!

Congratulations! You were asked to plan your first NFL themed party! It might have been because your favorite team has lost the championship to secure them in the Super Bowl (and you want to celebrate your favorite team just because or you want to celebrate football in general—and let’s face it, no one wants to watch possible teams they don’t like…2012 Super Bowl for example) or because you have a loved one who is into football and requests a party based on it. Regardless of the situation this book will help you plan your party from start to finish, easy and painlessly.

Getting Started
Before sending out the invitations, decide if you want to have a party based on a specific team or you want a general party focused on the NFL in general. For example, in 2011 I had a Packers themed party complete with Packers decorated cupcakes and balloons. In 2012 I had a general themed party celebrating the whole NFL—my friends came dressed up in their favorite jerseys; cupcakes were decorated with the favorite teams of the guests and the plates were simply just footballs. For both, we had competitive games planned. Once you have planned how broad or general you want your party to be, you can work on invitations. For this how to, we’ll be planning a generalized NFL theme.
Guest Lists, Shopping Lists and Organization
This section might seem like a no brainer, but organization is the backbone to a party and without organization, well…it wouldn’t be good.
Guest lists:
Putting together a guest list is pretty easy. There are two ways in which you can set up a guest list.
In Microsoft Word:
1.)    Open Word.
2.)    Go to (2010)  or Open (2003).
3.)    You will see an area that reads “New.” Click it.
4.)    You will be given a list of templates you can use.




Getting Ready for the Party
Food
Food is the most important piece to a party. Listed below are great food ideas of perfect finger foods that guests will love. I have proved the best of great food ideas and how to obtain or make them. I will include recipes in the appendix.
1.)    Bratwurst
2.)    Chicken wings
a.       Local supermarkets or restaurants have chicken wings for cheap. Restaurants also provide a low-cost order with the opportunity of different flavors that you might not get with frozen wings from the store.
b.      Handmade is fun and not time consuming at all. Whether breaded or not, spicy or mild, you can control what your personal preferences are.
3.)    Potato skins
a.       Wegmans or local grocery store
b.      Handmade, again fun and not time consuming at all. You can make the consistency and thickness to your liking (e.g. jam packed with potato or not very filled, but lots of bacon and cheese).
4.)    NFL Themed Cupcakes (pictured on the cover)
a.       I would suggest going to the local grocery store for this one—it could be time consuming.
b.      If you have a lot of time, check out the recipe I will provide in the appendix.
5.)    Chips, pretzels, popcorn, etc.
6.)    Fruit and vegetable trays.
Of course you can add as many items as you like, you’re not limited. However, it should be like a tailgate party. At tailgate parties you don’t get very sophisticated food, but finger foods that are easy to pick at and easily to eat on the go.








Decorations
Decorations are the backbone to the aesthetics of a party. Below are some decorating ideas.
·         Place team jerseys on the back of the chairs. This will give the feeling that you’re a part of the team.
·         If allowed, hang posters or pictures of your favorite players. To the right: display of my Packers stock.




Games
Like music, games are essential to a party. They are fun and guests love fun things. Fun things = good; boring things = bad, remember that. For a NFL party, anything that isn’t competitive equals bad. However, it doesn’t have to be over competitive because that would be equally bad with fights and whatnot. Below I have listed some fun activities.

Wing Bowl
Each year before the Super Bowl, places hold a Wing Bowl that garner national attention. For a party, why not create your own wing bowl? When I mentioned this to the people coming to my party, the enthusiasm was out of this world. Planning a NFL Party, a wing bowl would be a nice little touch to it. Hot or mild sauce, your guests will enjoy this. I had mine set for three minutes, but you can make the duration any length you want.







Relay Race
I played this game while I was out in Green Bay for the tailgate party before the Packers game. It's a great game for competitiveness and bizarre antics on the part of everyone--daring the loser to chug a shot of something or winning prizes—this game will definitely put a smile on everyone's face, even the most competitive of the group.

1.) Break into two or three groups. Name each group for a quarterback (for example: Team Rivers, Team Rodgers and Team Tebow). There should be two people to a group.
2.) As they walk, they must alternate the plastic cups. They should circle the cone until they get to the point where they started. No dropping.
3.) Once person #1 finishes, pass the stack of cups to person #2. They will have to repeat.
4.) Whoever gets back first wins!










Shirt Signing
This is another idea I stole from the tailgate party in Green Bay, but it’s so ridiculous that it makes everyone laugh.
1.) Get a group of four people.
2.) Make them put on a pair of men’s underwear and undershirt.
3.)They must obtain the most signatures from everyone in the crowd to win.














Pictures, Pictures, Pictures!







Closing


I hope this manual has been of some help to you while you prepare for your NFL themed party. I hope you have a great time and that whatever you have planned creates wonderful, cherished memories. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Review of Twiztid's The Darkness



Twiztid, who was formerly signed under Psychopathic Records until 2012; is now under their own company, Majik Ninja Entertainment (since late 2014), has released a new album. The official release of The Darkness is today, but I received a pre-ordered copy yesterday in the mail. I have been a fan of Twiztid since 2003 and was excited for their new album, The Darkness, on their new record label. I was anticipating hearing their sound after Madrox and Monoxide did an interview for Revolver magazine and replied to the question of "do you think metal fans will dig the darkness?" with "if you take it with a grain of salt and open mind, you will find something in it you like. It's not Sepultura, but it's dark" (Madrox) and "a lot of the producers we worked with played live guitars, so there are some heavy riffs on there. One song called "FTS" is instant anarchy" (Monoxide). I've always been a metal fan and have always loved Twiztid, so there I was after reading the article two weeks ago on my couch, anticipating receiving my pre-ordered CD by watching the tracker of whether the CD shipped yet and how long it would take to leave Livonia, Michigan; I wanted to hear Twiztid's sound for The Darkness and I can say I was pretty impatient about it (that’s not typical of me)—I was happy yesterday when it arrived after two weeks of waiting.

The first Twiztid album I ever listened to was Freek Show back in late 2003. I loved Freek Show, which was released in October 2000, with the lyrics, the collaborations with Insane Clown Posse (fan of old ICP) and Mike E. Clark, and the skits in between a few of the songs. That album has been a favorite of mine for more than 10 years. However, I also love their song "Darkness" (from The Green Book, which was released in 2003) and I loved their 2012 album Abominationz, which was their last album with Psychopathic Records. I loved the sound of Abominationz because it has a unique blend of rock, some Southern rock/ bluesy sounds (to me "Bad Side" has that bluesy feel), and rap. I think The Darkness is a great follow up to Abominationz and like their 2012 album, I can't stop listening to The Darkness.

I have seen some former fans trash The Darkness because Twiztid departed from Psychopathic and the think the new sound is abandoning their roots. Some complained that their vocals and beats are too processed now. Yes, this album is different than previous albums, but I don't think that's a bad thing. I listen to all genres of music and artists grow with each album, which is what is needed from artists to be successful; especially in the music business. Everyone has to grow to be successful and I see Twiztid growing with this album—from young guys to very successful men. I think Twiztid took a risk and they succeeded with this risk. I like the thoughts, the lyrics and even the skits behind this album. I really loved how it was produced.

My favorites on The Darkness: Afraid of the Dark, In Hell, Back to Hell, Boogieman, F.T.S., Breakdown and Mind Goes Mad. I give this album a 4 stars out of 5 stars and it's definitely a must listen. Can't wait to hear more from Twiztid and Majik Ninja Entertainment!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Quarter Crescent Winter Moon Triolet



Quarter-Crescent Winter Moon
Jessica Marie


The quarter-crescent moon quickly lights the sky,
once or twice, between the bare branches per week--
illuminating snowflakes and hale that float by.
The quarter-crescent moon quickly lights the sky,
lovers, stargazers, snowflake kiss and loudly sigh
about a winter that is so long and so bleak,
The quarter-crescent moon quickly lights the sky,
once or twice, between the bare branches per week.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Secret Life of Blogger's Blog Party 1/19/2015-1/25/2015

Monday, January 19


The cat statue that was given to me in January 2000 left a cool silhouette from the moon in the bathroom. I thought this was pretty.


Tuesday, January 20

This was such an awesome book! I love snow men.

Wednesday, January 21

Snow! Only an inch, though... but the weather people scared everyone thinking there would be more, so everything closed early.



Thursday, January 22

Picked up my pre-order of Manson's new CD from Best Buy. You can read my review here.

Breakfast at Starbucks.

Friday, January 23

We lit a fire. So warm. :)

Saturday, January 24

More snow! 4 inches this time and I made snow ice cream.

Mimi is enjoying her Caturday.

 Sunday, January 25

#THEDARKNESSISCOMING I hope my pre-ordered CD comes soon. In stores everywhere 1-27-15!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Review of Marilyn Manson's Pale Emperor




Marilyn Manson's new album, The Pale Emperor, was released on Tuesday, January 20, 2015. When I went to Best Buy to pick up the pre-ordered copy (I put the CD on reserve -BestBuy.com has a great service where you can buy it on the site, but put it on reserve to pick up at the store on the same day)  on Thursday, the young lady processing my order exclaimed, "I didn't even know he had a new album out! I haven't heard him in years!" I laughed and said, "Yeah, I'm not sure how well advertised the new album was. I subscribe to Rolling Stone and there was an interview where Manson talked about the new album. I was also on YouTube one day in November and saw the new single out. I downloaded it and loved it. I wanted to check out the album." She smiled, marked in the computer system that I picked up The Pale Emperor, then went on my merry way to listen to the CD in my 2002 Sony walkman.



This was the video I saw on YouTube in November 2014. I really liked Day Three of a Seven Day Binge and wanted to download it. As I continued listening to it, I really thought hard about giving the CD a listen when it was to be released in January. I've been a Manson fan since 2003 and I love his older music. I didn't check out his 2012 album; I thought the new single sounded great.

When I received the January 15, 2015 issue of Rolling Stone in the mail, I was delighted to see an interview with Marilyn Manson. I thought the way Rolling Stone described the Pale Emperor is in line with how I will review Marilyn Manson's The Pale Emperor: "...his new album, The Pale Emperor, is almost an equal to Anti-Christ Superstar, the 1996 record that lifted him out of the Fort Lauderdale post-grunge wasteland and shock-rocked him straight to the top, much to the dismay of the Christian right, which in 1999 tried to blame him for the horrors of the Columbine High School massacre. But where Superstar was all sinister, industrial grime, the Pale Emperor is bluesy, synth-heavy, fairly radio friendly and full of odd found-objects squeaks and torments. Many of its songs, among them the hard-stomping recent release of 'Third Day of a Seven Day Binge,'  were recorded in one take, with all subsequent efforts to clean them up ignored. 'It's dirty,' says Manson happily, 'like the dirt under my nails, like someone who has dug a grave.'"

I agree with Erik Hedegaard, the writer who interviewed Manson for Rolling Stone. Anti-Christ Superstar was the first Marilyn Manson album I owned, copied from a friend's step dad. The Pale Emperor is much different than Anti-Christ Superstar because I find Superstar much more heavy and the imagery of the songs are darker. You can tell with Superstar, which was released in 1996, that Manson was riding the wave of his image of the button-pushing, offensive nut job that everyone feared. When he proclaimed himself as "The God of ----" in 1994, then the Antichrist in 1996, Superstar makes sense. I hold that album in high regard, though, because it's a great album.

I love The Pale Emperor, however, because it's a bit different than what I expected (though I wasn't really quite sure what to expect - I love being happily surprised, which this surprise me in a good way). To me, the album reminds me a little bit of Mechanical Animals, which Manson released in 1998. The Pale Emperor is synthy and to me it has a Southern rock flare to it. I think the synths and the melodies are catchy - it's a perfect album to listen to when you're working out. I mention the Southern rock flare because in the song "Slave Only Dreams To Become King" has a Southern minister preaching "The human wheel that force unseen the offspring of a deathless soul...", but it just has that feel to me. I especially love "The Devil Beneath My Feet," because it makes me want to get up and dance. It just has that powerful beat to get me moving. The lyrics are also classic Manson such as: "Don't bring your black heart to bed/ when I wake up, you better be gone or you better be dead" or "It's better to be blamed for robbing Peter than guilty for paying Paul." (love the Biblical reference - Manson returning to the old days!) I love all the songs on The Pale Emperor, but these are my favorites:

Killing Strangers
Third Day of a Seven Day Binge
The Mephistopheles of Los Angeles
The Devil Beneath My Feet

I bought the Special Release of The Pale Emperor, which included three extra songs. I loved these songs as well:

Day 3 (acoustic version of Day Three of a Seven Day Binge)
Fated, Faithful, Fatal
Fall of the House of Death

I give The Pale Emperor 4.5 stars out of 5 stars. It's definitely an album to check out because you'll be singing most of the songs. They're catchy and easy to memorize. I can't wait to hear more from Manson!


Friday, January 23, 2015

Holy Devil - Sketch

I'm not feeling too hot tonight - I think it's a little bug since things have been going around the library... but I still want to update tonight. Holy Devil is one of my favorites on Instagram. I love the pictures he posts, he's a friendly guy and a very talented musician. I promised him that I would send him a drawing. I'm going to work on the good copy tomorrow (I have to find a pencil), but I want to share with you the sketch I did:



Yeah, I know, the sketch doesn't look that great. But, this a practice and a plan. I'm thinking I'm going to draw a border to make the picture more in perspective. Since the picture I'm copying from is in gray scale, I'm going to keep it in gray scale and will colour it in with my favorite markers. Maybe I'll put "Holy Devil" in calligraphy. Actually, that's what I will do when I feel better! Here is the actual picture:



Any other suggestions? When I draw the actual picture and after I send the picture to Holy Devil, I will post the picture for my blog party. Until then, check out Holy Devil. He's amazing and a lyrical genius. :)

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Thankful Thursday 1/22/2015

Sunday marks the two year anniversary since Nan died (1/25/2013) and it's hard to believe it has been two years already. I don't miss her any less than I did on 1/26/2013. Although she is gone, the article I read last night and blogged about here, provided some good insights of losing a beloved friend and family member. Although it was a dog in this article; a dog or cat is no different than losing a human that we loved dearly. They say time heals all wounds and yes, I think that's true to an extent; I believe we still do miss those loved ones, but good memories lessen the pain of their loss. I guess it's that merry-go-sorry feeling - you miss them, but you become happy remembering the good times. The sadness is mixed with joy. It doesn't make the missing less, but there's comfort in knowing the loved one lived a good life. I like how Lauren Fern Watt put it in her story: " I knew she would live on through my experiences, and that I gave her the best life I could. And that to me was infinitely healing."

Yesterday we had snow, which is common in King of Prussia in January. Although the snow wasn't sticking to the ground a 11 AM, the library had word that all schools would be closing early to avoid accidents in a terrible snow storm later on. My co-workers and I were a bit surprised they made the judgement before snow accumulated, but we were glad they made it since it could get messy quick. It reminded me of one time when I was in 4th grade. It was September 1999 and we were getting storms from Hurricane Floyd. It was closer to the end of September on a Friday and I went to elementary school like any other normal day. The skies were black, but the rain wasn't falling hard when I walked to school. Two hours later, the rain was pounding on the window panes and the lights in Ms. Johnson's classroom were flickering on and off. We were in a state of emergency and dismissed at noon. Nan lived 2 minutes away from Caley; she picked me up and I went back to her house. When I was a child, I would always love playing in the rain (I still do). However, when I was a little girl I would always put on my bathing suit and run around in the rain. I never had a swimming pool, so I always saw this time as my pool time. This day wasn't any different - state of emergency I'll be damned, I put on my swim suit and ran around in Nan's backyard for two hours. I didn't care if it was a hurricane, I played in it anyway. I was 10 in 1999.

After I tired myself out, Nan was waiting on her red porch with towel in hand. I walked up the red stairs leading to the enclosed porch and she draped the towel over me. I dried off and I went back inside to take a hot shower. Nan warmed up some tea for me and we watched TV. This is just one memory of the times I had with Nan; they're pretty much like that. I laugh just thinking about this one instance. I'm thankful for these memories and I'm going to continue working on the poetry book I started two years ago about her. Except I'm going to expand it to short essays as well. :)

Although this isn't a picture of me playing in the rain, especially on that day... this is me at 10 years old enjoying the beach. I've always been a fish - I just love being in water. I love swimming and just being near water.