new album reviewed
...according to joan
is facebook the new big brother?
dorothy checks out
jack the giant slayer +snitch get fit with flame
the wow factor! new cocktail
r a k a Z h c Za ll i w e th
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zaCh zakar ThE wiLL To BE wEird
...one thing about art that really pisses me off is when there is a “deeper meaning.” i went to a gallery in chicago and some of the pieces just confused me, i don’t understand how a large red block represents …
the wow faCtor!
in my experience as a trainer it is sometimes challenging to keep people engaged in their health. Progress is not always fast and we live in a culture where …
“snitch” is the latest film directed and co-written by the former stunt actor ric roman waugh. “snitch” follows a trucking company owner john Matthews (dwayne johnson) as he attempts to infiltrate a dangerous drug-dealing operation. he does this in order to …
rising Estonian singer/songwriter, kerli, describes her album, “utopia”, as a search for love and happiness,” something we all can relate to. whether you have found the love of your life, or you are still searching, the idea that the journey is a road to eternal happiness is a theme that…
jaCk the giant slayer
The film “jack the giant slayer,” directed by Bryan singer, is full of moments that will really take your breath away. in one moment there is a giant colossal beanstalk that violently erupts when jack’s magic beans hit …
call me the Pisco kid. yes, i’m still on a Pisco kick. The attentive reader will recall that my last cocktail chatter column concerned the Peruvian firewater called Pisco, a delicious and hard-knockin’ brandy distilled from Muscat grapes. research into the drink’s history yielded …
big brother faCebook is watChing you... ThE worLd According To joAn
call this a paranoid rant, but what would you say if i told you that your every movement in your social media world was being watched, tracked, and reported to your friends; what you watched, what you liked, what music you are listening to, where you go, what you buy, and …
AT ThE MoviEs wiTh doroThy
AT ThE MoviEs wiTh doroThy
Zach Zakar | Photos by: Tony Lowe
flaMe // flame fitness
factor written by Kimo Frederiksen
n my experience as a trainer it is sometimes challenging to keep people engaged in their health. Progress is not always fast and we live in a culture where things have to be at a snap of someone’s sassy fingers. We have this concept that being skinny means that you are healthy and in shape. How skinny you are does not dictate your fitness level, health or how beautiful you are, dang it! Boys have curves to! Well, some of us; my butt is as flat as a plank of wood. Anyway, how do we track progress and stay involved in a healthy lifestyle? What the H is the “Wow Factor?” Many people use goals to stay motivated, but a major issue with goal setting is not the path, but the dead end people tend to hit. If someone decides to
drop 50 pounds, what happens after they lose the weight? 90% of people gain the weight back within one year. Whatever program you begin needs to be something you can maintain or else old habits come knocking on your door like a jealous ex. Goals tend to be weightrelated, which is hard since your body weight fluctuates! Your weight flips so much it is basically a manic-depressive twit. I do not set goals at all with my clients, but instead we try to focus on “wow moments.” The thought process behind this - there will never be a moment in your life where physical activity and eating nutritious food aren’t important. It is necessary to find something you enjoy, or can pretend to, and be able to do it for the long haul. These “wow moments” a r e essentially every time you think, “ w o w , ” a b o u t yourself.
So that moment you went upstairs and realized you were not winded, when you realized yours arms got bigger, when you were able to fit in an old pair of jeans, or simply when you realized that through exercise you battled through a bit of depression. Moments like these can make you realize the life changing effects fitness can have and, in turn make you want to do even more. If you are on a quest for better health write a list of things you would like to work on, almost like a check list. It can be goofy or serious, large or small. Things in the body change very slowly at times so use this list to reflect on. I promise you that these moments of reflection will fuel your motivation far more than any scale could!
Kimo Frederiksen is the owner and head trainer of True Body Fitness in Detroit. Find TBF on facebook.com/ truebodyfitness or email Kimo directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
flaMe // the World according to Joan
Brother faceBooK IS watchING YoU... written by Joan Stevenson
all this a paranoid rant, but what would you say if I told you that your every movement in your social media world was being watched, tracked, and reported to your friends; what you watched, what you liked, what music you are listening to, where you go, what you buy, and more. It’s strange hearing this up front, but you agree to this every day if you have a Facebook account. Even though we realize this, we still continue sharing our lives. I have had a Facebook account since 2008 and I admit I haven’t changed my account settings that much since I joined. A recent discussion with a family member has prompted me to make some changes to my profile. Facebook used to be so simple, but now is so complicated. Facebook has been making changes constantly to help guard your privacy, but the more and more these changes come, the more complicated things become in trying to set them up. Even though you can somewhat tailor privacy settings to your liking, your friends can completely track your life and activities. Facebook totally tells on you: Are you working? No, you’re playing Candy Crush Saga. Are you at home? No, you’ve just checked in at Starbucks. A quick look on Facebook can tell who you’re with, what city you’re in, what TV shows and movies you’re watching or planning to watch, which causes you support, what websites you visit, what news articles you read, which music you’re listening to, and when you’re listening to it.
There’s sharing and then there’s sharing, right? I’m thinking: Do I really want to know all that information about my friends or their friends of friends? (And, yes, you do get residual information that bleeds in from friends of friends). The primary offender and major annoyance to me is the ticker that runs in the upper right hand corner of a page. The ticker is a real time tattler to let you know what your bestie, or his or her friends or family, is up to. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to remove this except cover it by enlarging your chat list. Also, think about the apps you use - they also report and post information on your page. You can choose who sees this information, but the app will still post achievement and score information on your page. To remove it, you will have to go in manually and remove the posts from your recent activity. I realize that there are things you can do to control Facebook involvement in how much you share, but because this is a social network, you do have to share some of your life. I get that, but I’m still reeling at the amount of that sharing. Facebook makes stalking so easy. Your life is literally an open (Face) book. The bottom line is that if you’re trying to keep anything on the down low stay, off of Facebook entirely! If you get tagged in a photo, and that photo was taken at a time or in a place you denied being in (for what ever reason), oops! You’re busted! But now there are ways to change this information or possibly eliminate the photo or tag entirely. If George Orwell
were alive today he would be screaming, “I told you so!” Not only can your friends see your activity, but also prospective employers as well. This is a major peeve to me. What you do in your personal life should not have any bearing on your professional life, but if you choose to share that information with the community, it’s no longer private. This opens the debate about freedom of expression and how personal expression can lead to unexpected consequences. If you’re really curious as to the degree of sharing going on in your profile, check into it. Control who can see what’s on your timeline. You can also request an activity log archive of all posts you have made. I am just beginning to wade through who can and cannot see what I post. It is taking some doing and I’m still trying to figure it out. It is a confusing web to untangle. You may have to go through your entire friend list and re-classify people, but it may help in the long run if you value what is left of your online privacy. Online privacy...there’s a great oxymoron
Joan Stevenson is an entertainer, writer, and blogger in the Metro Detroit area. Find her on Facebook, her artist profile on Reverbnation.com/ joanstevenson, or her blog on tumblr at houseofwonderandchaos.tumblr.com
ThEE Wi Th WiLL LL TTo o BE W WE WEird Eird written by: jai ferrick photos by: tony lowe
JF: Tell us a little about yourself, Zach. ZZ: I’m a Middle Eastern 20-year-old currently working at Five15 in Royal Oak as a Barista. I’m currently studying to become a social worker. Right now, I’m just living day by day, enjoying life. JF: That’s interesting, what made you go into that field of work? ZZ: One thing I really want to do with any career, in case I do plan to change my major, is to help people. You know, we live in a world filled with assholes; no one’s kind or shows common courtesy. I could have a piano in my hand and no one would open the door for me. People with good intentions are often overlooked these days. So I really want to basically help people - to change someone’s life! JF: Where do you go to school? ZZ: I’m currently enrolled at Oakland Community College, then I plan to transfer to Oakland University.
JF: What are your hobbies? ZZ: I’m a huge runner! I run just about twice every day, need to start transitioning into my upper body, haha. I’m also really big into art. Besides that I’m just the girl next door! JF: And what do you do with your spare time? ZZ: My twin brother and I have a YouTube channel, called “IsAny1Watching.” We goof around, basically dressing in drag and trying to do our best attempt at trying to make people laugh. Hopefully we’ve done a good job so far! You guys should check it out JF: What sorts of videos do you guys make? ZZ: We started off with a comedic approach to our channel, started with videos as a character we deemed as the ‘Bitch’ and put her into different scenarios (Bitch at the movies, bitch in class). We have a variety of videos. But we’re currently in the process of starting some social projects, those are currently under wraps. My twin brother and I really enjoy making the videos, so if 1 person watches or a thousand, we’re happy if we’ve made one person laugh. JF: What kind of art do you do? ZZ: I would like to say I’m fairly decent with just about all materials (color pencil, marker, charcoal). But one thing I cannot do is paint; I’m terrible at it! But for most of my pieces, I like creating non-contemporary pieces. For the past few months, my main focus has been pointillism – creating images with lots of dots, basically! I just did a huge portrait of the Last Supper using it! JF: What about art inspires you? ZZ: One thing about art that really pisses me off is when there is a “deeper meaning.” I went to a gallery in Chicago and some of the pieces just confused me, I don’t understand how a large red block represents the Russian Revolution. When I see art, I want to see skill and thought. I love color, I love abstract
pieces, I don’t care for lines and simple shapes. JF: Have you ever modeled before? ZZ: Funny you ask, I just did a shoot for Steelcase in Grand Rapids, it was a blast, modeling desks all day. Now, I’m doing Flame! So hopefully it goes up from here! JF: Now I see you have tattoos, what are they? ZZ: Yes, I started with a tribal zebra on my right shoulder back when I was 18. I have Luigi on my ankle (my twin has Mario). I have the 4 elements from Avatar on the back of my arm and I’m in the process of getting a half sleeve done on my other arm! JF: Who are your favorite singers? ZZ: Anyone who knows me knows I’m a Carrie Underwood d*ck-rider. I love, love, love Carrie Underwood. I’m really big into female singers, I love Gwen Stefani, P!nk, and Karmin.
JF: Let’s talk about your worldview. ZZ: A philosophy I like to live by, “Where is your will to be weird?” I feel as if everyone is so concerned with their public image, no one cares to show who they really are! Like I said, if you know me, you know I’m a f*cking weirdo. I’m just really personal with people, so you either hate me or you love me, I enjoy who I am! And finally, DeAngela, if you were to retire today, how would you want to be remembered? I would want to be remembered as someone who cared about her community as much as she cared about her performance
flaMe // at the movies With dorothy
3 / 5 stars
in theaters february 22, 2013 written by Richard Klaiss
nitch is the latest film Directed and cowritten by the former stunt actor Ric Roman Waugh. “Snitch” follows a trucking company owner John Matthews (Dwayne Johnson) as he attempts to infiltrate a dangerous drug-dealing operation. He does this in order to lower the sentencing time for his son, Jason, after an unjust prison sentence is handed down by the federal prosecutors because Jason foolishly accepts a shoebox full of Ecstasy from his best friend. As John gets pulled deeper into the murky waters of drug trafficking and a complicated undercover investigation, John Matthews finds himself uncertain of where to turn for help protecting himself, his son, his business and just about everyone close to him. Although the job is dangerous, John is no vigilante hero. Much of his assignment consists of him driving his company semi truck stashed with cash or coke. When he finally goes a tiny bit rogue, after being pushed deeper than he’d like by both the slimy district attorney, Joanne Keeghan (Susan Sarandon) and the slimier Mexican cartel boss she’s after, it is hardly Dwayne Johnson at his action-hero best. “Snitch” is not entirely a one-man show, though, and an excellent performance by Jon Bernthal who plays Daniel James; who happens make the film feel like a more
complete, satisfying package. Daniel is an excon and a reluctant participant in Matthew’s plan. The supporting cast of this film do an excellent job. Despite the potential for some intense action sequences, sadly “Snitch” remains relatively free of butt-kicking moments – especially when we are expecting it coming from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The story and tone remain firmly entrenched in the world of dramatic thrillers. Dwayne Johnson does a very nice job of playing John Matthews as a believable fishout-of-water in the violence-prone drug world who looks terribly out of place. That is the surprising part of the real magic of Dwayne Johnsons’ acting skills – being able to play a compelling character despite his manly, tough, bad boy self. “Snitch” does touch on issues with our legal system and the sentences handed out to first time nonviolent drug offenders without being overly preachy. Most of the information on how our courts handle them is embedded in the dialogue and not plastered in your face like a 112 minute commercial on drug policy reform. With that being said, “Snitch” will leave you in anticipation all the way to the end, which should have you leaving the theatre overall decently satisfied
dwayne johnson ohnson as john ohn Matthews teresa Palmer as agent cooper ooper analeigh tiPton ton as Daniel jaMes Mes es rob corddry orddry as joanne keeghan eeghan
flaMe // at the movies With dorothy
jacK K the GIaNt Sla laYer laY 4 / 5 stars
in theaters MarCh 1, 2013 Written by Richard Klaiss
he film “Jack the Giant Slayer,” directed by Bryan Singer, is full of moments that will really take your breath away. In one moment there is a giant colossal beanstalk that violently erupts when Jack’s magic beans hit the ground. The next there is a land up in the skies above, in which our heroes attempt to locate the beautiful missing princess. And did I mention the giants? There are hundreds and hundreds of them, all of which have different personalities and very gross characteristics that are both creepy and funny at the same time. I could not imagine any 9-year-old not giggling at the sight of those nasty giants. For the most part, the story meshes together elements from the poplar fairytale “Jack and the Beanstalk” and the fable of “Jack the Giant Killer” to ultimately form a new story that does feel like a classic fairy tale. Which is a bit of a surprise, as Bryan Singer is better known for the high-powered comic-book adventures found in his “X-Men” films. The action in this film is centered on Jack (Nicholas Hoult from “Warm Bodies”), and on the Princess Isabelle who is one of those spunky, independent-minded royals who periodically escape from the castle to see how the other 99 percent live. On one of her adventures out, Isabelle and Jack first make not-quite bedroom eyes while at the market where Jack has come to sell his horse. Jack notices that some drooling drunks are accosting the princess in the most ungentlemanly fashion; so he gallantly intervenes. When he was given the beans in exchange for his horse, he was given a
very strict warning about the beans advising to not let them get wet. Of course, they do get wet and a beanstalk erupts, scooping Jack’s house and the visiting Princess Isabelle (Eleanor Tomlinson) up to the sky, leaving Jack on the ground behind. From this point forward, the pace of the story never lets up. Jack is in need to rescue Princess Isabelle from the land atop the beanstalk. He is accompanied on this mission by a group that is led by palace guard Elmont (Ewan McGregor) and Roderick (Stanley Tucci), a sneering, lying dandy; the word “dastardly” was invented to describe such characters. Once the giants have come out to play, the film really starts to shifts into overdrive. The film is like a big roller coaster ride which is full of wonder and myth. The movie appears to be always looking very believable, and it is very easy to get wrapped into the directors’ fairytale world. “Jack the Giant Slayer” is not flush with surprises and we are never too much in doubt that man will somehow triumph over the giants, or that the brave commoner will win the approval of the blue bloods. But it definitely is the simple satisfactions of a well told familiar fairytale. By the standards of today’s bombastic movies, this is a refreshingly modest endeavor— one in which the main event is the skillful holding of our attention, all the way from “Once upon a time” to “Happily ever after.” Most moviegoers watch a movie and think, “...this has great special effects!” Here, you watch and say, “...wow, look at the two-headed giant!”
nicholas hoult as jack eleanor tomlinson omlinson as isabelle ewan mcgregor regor as elMont stanley tucci ucci as roDerick erick
flaMe/ sound check
written by Kyle Johnson (DJ Kēyle)
ising Estonian singer/songwriter, Kerli, describes her album, “Utopia”, as a search for love and happiness,” something we all can relate to. Whether you have found the love of your life, or you are still searching, the idea that the journey is a road to eternal happiness is a theme that resounds through her tracks. The album is preceded by her Billboard club chart-topping single “Army of Love,” in 2011, and by single “Zero Gravity,” released in early 2012. While the full album is set to release this spring, Kerli announced on her Facebook page that an EP would be available on March 19th. I have had the pleasure of listening to ¬¬the advanced release of the EP, and trust me you will not be disappointed. The album delivers a rich electronic vocal sound and solid piano melodies, not often shy of the punch of a substantial bass line appropriate to the genre. The tracks, “Can’t Control the Kids,” “The Lucky Ones,” “Love Me or Leave Me,” “Sugar,” “Here and Now,” “Chemical,” and a Syn Cole/Kerli remix of “The Lucky Ones” are set to be included in the EP.
“Can’t Control the Kids” opens the EP with heavy electro beat that demands your attention complemented by lyrics that express the bond between lovers and the influence that love has on ones actions sometimes spinning out of control. “The Lucky Ones” track is one with meaning that could be up for interpretation, perhaps due to a lack of depth to the lyrics. Given this slight shortcoming, this track has all the workings of a club hit; the song is vibrant and energetic accompanied by a great vocal delivery that make you want to dance (even if its just you in your bedroom). My favorite track of the EP, “Love Me or Leave Me” speaks about the ultimatum between loving one and the factors that drive a relationship apart. The vocal delivery of this song reminds me of other strong female vocalists such as Nicole Scherzinger or P!nk. In the song, she calls for her lover to—as the title suggests—to love her or leave her as she is weary of waiting for them to make up their mind.
“Sugar” has a very minimalist sound to which in turn is right in tune with the lyrics that condense the idea of love being something sweet, desirable, and addictive. “Here and Now” begins to express the concept of capturing a moment in time; to lose oneself in a memory with your lover without another care in the world. “Chemical,” one of the slower tracks on the EP, expresses a love that supersedes the bounds of chemical bond. A simple piano melody and smooth resonating words bring the EP to a nice close. All in all, the EP is a well-compiled “sandwich” of songs that emphasize Kerli’s talent as a naturally gifted vocalist and songwriter with great musical accompaniment. The flow of the album is well done starting with a few powerful dance anthem songs that segue into more-or-less vocal ballads. Conceivably the most notable quality of Kerli’s album was the balance of her lyrics with great melodies and beats that both compliment and capture your ear in a state of utopia. Take a listen!
flaMe/ cocktail c c chatter
pisco punch written by Ed Sikov
all me the Pisco Kid. Yes, I’m still on a Pisco kick. The attentive reader will recall that my last Cocktail Chatter column concerned the Peruvian firewater called Pisco, a delicious and hard-knockin’ brandy distilled from Muscat grapes. Research into the drink’s history yielded the unexpected information that a punch made out of Pisco and pineapple syrup was San Francisco’s most fashionable cocktail in the late 1800s. Nowadays, the Pisco Sour appears more often on cocktail lists than Pisco Punch, so I decided to take the more adventurous route and make a round of the punch for Dan and me. Well, sports fans, it was a punch in both senses of the word. The cocktail knocked us off our feet. We ended up ordering Chinese delivery for dinner, because after a couple of these babies neither one of us was capable of cooking. Besides, given the alcohol on our breath, lighting the cooktop would have put us at risk of blowing up the kitchen. Like Planters’ Punch, Pisco Punch is so delightfully drinkable that you don’t know you’re getting snockered until it’s too late to do much about it. Do not – I repeat, do not – go to the trouble of creating a multi-course meal if you’re planning to serve Pisco Punch as le cocktail du nuit. By the time you’re ready to serve your laboriously created Beef Wellington your guests won’t care if you served them Alpo straight from the can. Here’s both the classic recipe and my time-saving and less watered-down variation:
Ed Sikov is the author of the e-book, The Boys’ and Girls’ Little Book of Alcohol, a novel with recipes based on his Cocktail Chatter column
pisco punch (classic version) cut a fresh pineapple into chunks, or – better – buy a container of cut-up fresh pineapple, and place the chunks in a larger sealable plastic container along with 1/2 cup of really simple syrup.* refrigerate overnight so that the fruit macerates. the next day, mix the following in a cocktail shaker or pitcher for each portion you plan to serve:
2 tbsp Pineapple-infused simple syrup from the container of pineapple 4 tbsp Filtered water 3 tbsp Lemon Juice 4 tbsp Pisco Portón refrigerate the shaker or pitcher until you’re ready to serve the drink. do not serve the punch on ice unless you haven’t chilled the punch enough; it shouldn’t be watery. serve with a chunk of pineapple in each glass.
*note: simple syrup is a pain to make the classic way; it’s much easier to mix equal parts of sugar and water in a jar, put the lid on the jar, and shake it till the sugar is dissolved.
(My Quicker, Punchier Variation) 2 tbsp Pineapple syrup from the can 3 tbsp Lemon Juice 4 tbsp Pisco Portón chill the cocktail thoroughly in the refrigerator before serving; again, do not serve over ice. and forget the chunk of pineapple stuck in the glass since it’s just going to take up space that would be better served by the cocktail itself. moreover, you don’t really want to see your guests digging the thing out of their glasses with their fingers and then wiping their sticky hands on your nice throw pillows.
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