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Now Available in 6 & 12 Pack Bottles! A new, lighter take on a holiday brew, this white ale will surpise you with the rich aromas and flavors of the season. A hazy, crisp white ale breweed with holiday spices including cinnamon, nutmeg, and orange peel. ABV: 5.8% IBU: 8



Enjoy Heineken Light Responsibly

Brewed in Holland. Imported by Heineken USA Inc., New York, NY. ©2013

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December 2013


Modern day transformer


Some are doing good

all year

10 How


you can make the world a better place


Holiday Gift Guide

28 29

Holiday shopping tips Destress during your holidays

29 32

The ‘Just in Case’ Case ~ must-haves for winter driving


Cool Careers: Next-generation art


Documentary looks at hunger in the U.S.


Get into the holiday spirit!


UP AND COMERS: The Hot Boiz: Blackstone Valley straight edge





Elizabeth Lorrey ~ Bittersweet

James LaBrie ~ Impermanent Resonance

Elton John ~ The Diving Board



Grand Theft Auto V steals the show

24 Pulse Shots

BEAUTY: Destress with Elemental Herbology


MONEY: Save in the new year

STORY: Fight depression during the holidays

SHOP: Ways to shop local this season

Rum, brandy or whiskey in your holiday eggnog?

Sports & fitness

40 Modern day transformer Workman’s novel covers life on the road Style & Beauty

22 Club, Pub & Bar Listings

style & Beauty

Group plans new theater for Worcester

Blueprint offers an evening of surprises

21 PulseBooks:

Online @

SKIN: Post-party complexion perfectors

37 PulseBREW: Mass market beers 38

Game On



Follow us on Twitter @ WorcesterPulse and like us on Facebook at magazine.

42 Dressing for success on Main Street 44 45

Get gorgeous for the holidays The Style List:

Do’s and don’ts of holiday fashion

PULSE Magazine is produced 12 times a year by Pagio Inc., 88 Winter St., Worcester, MA 01604. (508) 756-5006. Copyright 2012 All rights reserved. Pagio, Inc. does not hold itself responsible for statements made by any contributor. Statements or opinions expressed in Pulse reflect the views of the author(s) and not the official policy of the Pagio, Inc., unless so stated. Although all advertising material is expected to conform to ethical standards, acceptance does not imply endorsement by Pagio, Inc. unless so stated. Material printed in Pulse is covered by copyright. No copyright is claimed to any work of the U.S. government. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form without written permission. For information on permissions, reprints and other services, contact Pagio, Inc.

Paul Giorgio, Publisher Donna Roberson, Editor Justin Perry, Art Director, Photographer Chris Reddy, Kerry Cyganiewicz, Kelsey Lemmon, Vanessa Herbold Account Executives Kim Dunbar, Sports Editor Alex Kantarelis, Music Editor Tine Roycroft, Lifestyle Editor

Tine Roycroft, Kimberly Dunbar, Alex Kantarelis, Jennifer Russo, Jason Savio, Bernie Whitmore, Juli Fahey, Michael Wood, Paul Giorgio, Stacia Kindler, Tim Korby, Kerry Cyganiewicz, Maxine Giza, Rachel Schuster Writers



d o o g g n i o d e r a e Som

r a e all y


By Tine Roycr

Each year, the holiday season seems to start earlier and earlier. Television commercials start challenging us to find that perfect gift for family, friends and acquaintances by late October. The stress heightens in November, when some radio stations begin their 24/7 holiday music lineups and we’re hit by the realization that Thanksgiving is just around the corner. By Dec. 1, many of us have devolved into anxiety-filled, self-absorbed, rude consumer blobs who are willing to push our way to the front of the line or cut someone off to snag a parking space at the insanely crowded mall. It’s difficult to step away from the holiday madness and remember that there are people who are facing a completely different set of stressors. They’re not wondering what decadent dish to make for a holiday gathering; they’re wondering if they’ll be able to put any food on the table at all. They’re not vying to buy their kids the latest iPhone; they’re struggling with the reality that there won’t be any presents at all. And they aren’t thinking of ways to avoid visiting the in-laws; they’re sadly planning on spending another season alone.   And these issues ~ poverty, hunger, homelessness and loneliness ~ can be found in our own neighborhoods. Luckily, there are a number of organizations, located right here in Worcester, who have made it their missions to bring happiness and hope. These organizations have the power to change lives for the better, but they can’t do it without your support. So step away from the crowded malls this holiday season, put down the credit cards and turn your attention to one (or all!) of these incredible organizations. Whether you’re giving financial support, volunteering or simply spreading the word and raising awareness, you’ll find yourself giving an incredible present to the Worcester community. 8 THEPULSEMAG.COM | Dec. 2013

Worcester County Food Bank Hunger is one of the most prevalent problems our society faces on a day-to-day basis, and yet, it’s not often recognized as the powerful negative force it truly is. Each day, many of our neighbors make choices between their food bills and other necessities. Young parents wonder if they should buy groceries for the week or pay the electric bill. Elderly people have to choose between medication and food. So many children in our community go to school hungry, and then, go to bed hungry. The Worcester County Food Bank is a collaboration of local nonprofit human and social service providers; donors from the food industry; corporate, government, civic and private sectors; and individual volunteers whose support and partnership is focused on “providing relief from hunger” to those in Central Massachusetts. Since its incorporation in 1982, the Worcester County Food Bank has collected and distributed more than 50 million pounds of food and grocery products through a network of local shelters, food pantries, senior centers, residential rehabilitation programs, soup kitchens, after-school programs and neighborhood centers that help feed hungry people of all ages in 60 communities in Central Massachusetts.   “Supporting the Worcester County Food Bank is an act of kindness that provides good food for your neighbors who are struggling to put food on the table,” Executive Director Jean McMurray said. “If everyone does their part, it all adds up to have a huge impact in the lives of children, senior citizens living on a fixed income and individuals who are unemployed or working two jobs to make ends meet.”   For more information, go to  

Toys for Tots

The holidays often stir up beautiful images of opening a much-loved toy in front of the Christmas tree or receiving an exciting gift during Hanukkah. As kids, we can get caught up in the fantasies of new dolls, new pieces of sports equipment or new video games, and we hope with all our might that by some wondrous stroke of luck, we’ll receive everything on our wish list. For many families faced with hard financial decisions, toys simply aren’t in the budget this year. Heating bills, car repairs and food on the table take priority. This is when the Toys for Tots program steps in and brings gifts to the very deserving boys and girls who would otherwise not receive them. This program aims to deliver not only toys but also messages of hope.   Supporters can help this great program in several ways: Donate a toy at one of your area toy drop locations; host a Toys for Tots event at your home, office or other venue and collect toys for Toys for Tots; or volunteer at the local warehouse.   Anita Gallant has worked with the organization for 14 years and has acted as coordinator for Worcester County for the past 12. “It can be heartbreaking,” Gallant said. “Each year, I get at least three families who are homeless. Without Toys for Tots, their kids wouldn’t get anything for the holidays. We ask for people to donate for ages 0-13. Even the little babies need gifts. And every present helps.”   For more information, go to  

Boys & Girls Club

Throughout the years, the Boys & Girls Club has helped thousands of young people develop the qualities they needed to become responsible citizens and community leaders. Actors, politicians, teachers and sports stars have been known to credit this organization as the key to their success. Through education, recreation and leadership programs, caring staff members forge incredible relationships with kids who need it the most. At the Worcester Boys & Girls Club, the success of the program is evident, with 97 percent of the 2013 graduating high school seniors attending college and the remaining 3 percent either enlisted in the military or working full time. “For 125 years, the Boys & Girls Club of Worcester has been in our community providing programs and services to disadvantaged youth,” Liz Hamilton, director of development, said. “We serve all kinds of kids: kids who do not have a support system, kids from broken homes and kids who are at risk of joining gangs or participating in unhealthy activities. We save lives.   Dec. 2013 | THEPULSEMAG.COM 9

How you can make the world a better place Juli Fahey

Help others in need. Whether it is giving someone a ride or helping someone move, everyone needs a little help sometimes. Volunteer. There are numerous food pantries in Worcester where you can volunteer. Visit and find out where your local food pantry is. Recycle. You can start off small by remembering to put your empty water bottles in the recycle bin. Move up from there, and eventually, you’ll be recycling everything. Donate. Go through your old clothes, especially the ones that you always look at and say, “I’ll wear that someday.” Throughout Worcester there are bins where you can donate your clothes or drop them off at Salvation Army, Savers or Goodwill stores. Drive less. Make carpooling a “thing” and get your friends in to doing it, as well. If you think about it, the majority of cars fit at least five people. Better for the world and better for your pockets.

“In order for us to help kids who need us most, we charge only $25 a year for a membership fee. It actually costs between $500-$1,000 to provide each child with the programs and services they need. Without the support of the community through donations and volunteerism, we would not be able to serve the thousands of kids who walk through our doors each year. We are fortunate to have such strong support from individuals, corporations and foundations. Our donors understand that it is everyone’s responsibility to take care of our children and that together we can make a difference.” For more information, go to  

Worcester Animal Rescue League

Beyond our human families and neighbors, there’s another group of beings who are often affected negatively during tough economic times ~ our furry (and scaly and feathered) friends. Sadly, many people surrender their beloved pets because they simply cannot afford them anymore. In the bestcase scenarios, the pets are taken to nearby shelters and not turned out onto the streets. Either way, there are a number of loving animals who find themselves, once again, looking for their “forever homes.” Thankfully, we can depend on the Worcester Animal Rescue League (WARL) ~ one of the largest no-kill, limited intake animal shelters in the region. The shelter accepts pets only when there is enough shelter space to do so and prides itself on not establishing a time limit for healthy and adoptable animals. The staff and volunteers work constantly with foster homes, rescue groups and other shelters nationwide to place animals in the best possible circumstance.   Apart from being an excellent shelter, WARL offers boarding services, pet baths and nail trims, a low-cost spay and neuter clinic and a low-cost vaccine and microchip clinic.   “We’re a no-kill shelter; we run completely on donations,” Executive Director Allie (Simone) Tellier said. “We’re here for the animals, but we are so very fortunate to live in a community where people understand what we’re trying to do and feel the same way about pets.   “We couldn’t do any of this work without our supporters,” Tellier said. “We’re so very thankful.”   For more information on WARL, visit  

AIDS Project Worcester

AIDS Project Worcester is the primary and most comprehensive AIDS Service Organization (ASO) in Central Massachusetts. It is the second largest ASO in New England, providing services to persons living with HIV/AIDS since 1987. This organization has been providing a comprehensive range of services to support the medical care and various service needs of persons living with HIV/AIDS and those at greatest risk for the disease. All services are offered in English, Spanish and American Sign Language (translation services are available for speakers of other languages) and are available in the home, hospital, respite settings, detoxification/substance abuse treatment programs, shelters, neutral locations,

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various community settings and more. One of the greatest things about AIDS Project Worcester is that the group doesn’t just stop at helping those infected by HIV/ AIDS but also helps affected families.   “About 90 percent of the people who access services here earn less than $10,000 a year,” said Martha Axton, director of community relations. “HIV/AIDS is no longer a death sentence, thankfully, but if you’re homeless or facing the reality of losing your home or dealing with domestic violence, it’s easy to forget that you need to take your medications.”   Axton is quick to point out just how much of an impact supporters can have at the organization.   “Thanks to a very generous business in the area,” Axton said, “We are going to be able to distribute Thanksgiving baskets with turkeys, bags of potatoes, stuffing ~ everything you’d expect for a good Thanksgiving. It means so much.”   To find out more, go to aidsprojectworcester. org.  

African Community Education Imagine leaving your home country behind and finding yourself in a different society, where the language is foreign, the traditions and culture are strange, and you’re not certain where to find a friend or a trusted advisor. African Community Education is a community-oriented educational program to help African refugee and immigrant children living in Worcester. The students attending the incredible programs at ACE have come to the U.S. from nations suffering from war and political or social instability. As a result, these children were unable to engage in meaningful schooling. When they arrive in the U.S., they are enrolled in school according to their age, rather than their actual level of education, and thus, are often years behind their peers in most subjects. These kids are bright and motivated, and ACE seeks to draw on these strengths and close the gaps in their education.   One of ACE’s students, a young woman named Antoinette, has been forever changed by the efforts.   “I started the [ACE] program knowing only a little English, but now, here I am speaking, writing and reading in English. ACE has great teachers that are always there when you need help. No matter what kind of problem you have, someone is there to help you. If you feel like you are not safe, ACE is there. Right now, I’ve moved onto higher grade levels and I’m doing better in school because of ACE. ACE has been there for me no matter what.”   For more information, go to

Greater Worcester by providing research-based curricula delivered by trained professionals. The organization equips girls to lead healthy and physically active lives, achieve academically, manage money, navigate media messages and discover an interest in science, technology, engineering and math. Last year, Girls Inc. served more than 1,800 girls through its facility-based and outreach programs. Girls Inc. continuously inspires girls to challenge themselves to learn, grow and be an effective part of our community, but they can’t do it alone. Anne McCarthy, director of communications and volunteers, has some great suggestions on how interested donors can help. “This year, our theme for our holiday party is ‘Stocking’ Up on Books,” McCarthy said. “Literacy is infused in all of our programming, and every day, many girls take advantage of Homework Help here at Girls Inc. of Worcester. By donating age-appropriate books for girls in K-8 and other small school supplies ~ bookmarks, erasers, pencils, etc. ~ each girl will receive a pre-filled stocking while the importance of literacy and Homework Help are being reinforced during this holiday season.”   For more information, visit

Girls Inc. I know I’m biased, but there’s (almost) nothing as confusing as being a teenage girl ~ especially being a teenage girl in 2013. Navigating the tumultuous waters of media, technology, physical development and the politics of the lunch table can be heart-wrenching. And the confusion isn’t confined to one environment ~ both home and school alike can be a hodgepodge of difficult choices. Luckily, for more than 97 years, Girls Inc. of Worcester has been serving girls in Dec. 2013 | THEPULSEMAG.COM 11


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Documentary looks at hunger in the U.S. By Juli Fahey

In light of the upcoming holidays and the focus on hunger at this time of year, it’s always worth asking the question: Do you have a place at the table? If you haven’t seen it already, check out A Place at the Table. The 2012 documentary, narrated by Jeff Bridges, explores the lives of American families that are food insecure by following three families and their every day struggles with hunger. These families do not know where their next meal is coming from. Worcester’s own U.S. Rep. James McGovern (D-Massachusetts) participated in this documentary to bring attention to the issue of hunger in the United States. “This is not an issue that people think about on a regular basis,” McGovern said, adding that the U.S. is the “richest, most powerful country; we should be ashamed of ourselves,” in regards to letting hunger become a concern for so many families. McGovern said hunger is “when people don’t know where their next meal is coming from. …Chances are you know someone who is struggling with hunger, whether you know it or not.” In the United States, 50 million Americans live with food insecurity. Many of these families are working-class families who get food assistance from programs like SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).                  However, McGovern said, eating off of food stamps is no easy task, something McGovern saw firsthand when he took The Food Stamp Challenge. McGovern struggled to find food that he could afford on his allotted $3 a day. “It took forever for me to buy things,” he said.   McGovern said bluntly, “It is hard to be poor.” There are places to get food such as food pantries and soup kitchens, which provide valuable services to the

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communities they serve. However, produce is not widely available at such places because it does not survive nearly as long as canned goods. Therefore, food pantries stock up on nonperishable food, which can be high in salt, fat and calories and low in nutrients. These foods are empty calories, and people are eating them to “make them feel full,” McGovern said. Beyond looking at hunger, A Place at the Table examines the nutritional challenges families face as “junk” food prices drop and produce prices rise, causing families that struggle to afford food to choose unhealthy foods over healthy foods. When this happens, children especially, are not getting a nutritious meal. Children that do not receive healthy meals are at a disadvantage. Hunger affects their immune systems, causing illness in toddlers. Older children cannot concentrate in school when they are hungry. They fall behind in school, which affects their future earning potential. McGovern said he believes that there must be a plan. It has to be “more than just a press conference; it has to be the real deal.” He does not think it will take decades to solve the issue of food insecurity. Last month, McGovern was asked to be part of a conference committee that will take part in completing a five-year-long reauthorization of the Farm Bill. This committee will work to end hunger nationwide. “We can fix this problem.” McGovern said. For more information about A Place at the Table, visit magpictures. com/aplaceatthetable. For a list of local food pantries, which are always accepting donations, visit

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Get into the holiday spirit! By Jennifer Russo

Whether you want to create that magical date night, find something to do with some buddies or are flying solo and trying to kill some time in a festive way, Central Massachusetts offers plenty to get you into the holiday ~ or at least, winter ~ spirit. If you love musical/stage performances, there is no better place to be than Worcester in December. Radio station 104.5 WXLO hosts its annual Acoustic Christmas at Mechanics Hall on Dec. 10, featuring Daughtry as a headlining act. This show always sells out, so get your tix quickly or try to win them by listening to the station. Also at Mechanics Hall, the Worcester Chorus will perform Handel’s Messiah on Dec. 7. The Hanover Theatre will feature a lineup of holiday-centered performances in December, including Cirque Dreams Holidaze, The Nutcracker, Diane Kelley’s Holiday Spectacular, The Boston Holiday Pops Concert, A Christmas Celtic Sojourn and the classic A Christmas Carol. On Dec. 14, The DCU Center hosts its Winter Wonderland Ball, a night of dinner and dancing to raise money for HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention. There will also be a silent auction and entertainment. Also on Dec. 14, Higgins Armory Museum will host its fourth annual Gingerbread House Competition. Have someone who appreciates art on your holiday gift-giving list? Check out the stART at the Station event at Union Station on Dec. 8, where 100plus artists will show off and sell their masterpieces. Looking for a great day out with the crew? Head over to Ski Ward in Shrewsbury, Nashoba Valley Ski Area in Westford or drive north a bit to Amesbury Sports Park for a fun-filled day of snowboarding or snow-tubing. If you’ve never tried this, it’s a blast, and there are usually group discounts available. There are plenty of ski opportunities in the area, as well, and hanging out afterwards near a fireplace is a great way to catch up with friends. If you’d rather stay indoors, check out Dick’s Comedy Escape on Park Avenue for a drink and a laugh. December’s lineup includes funny men Brad Mastrangelo, Mike McCarthy and Danny Kelly. Looking for the perfect date night that is affordable and festive? Take a stroll through the Worcester Common on Dec. 6, when the city has its yearly Festival of Lights, featuring live choral performances, a visit from Santa himself, the lighting of the tree and the opening of the skating rink. If you’d like to work a little more romance in, take your dream date to Old Sturbridge Village and go on a horse-drawn sleigh ride while sipping hot cider and cuddling up close. Follow this with a romantic dinner at Nuovo or Bocado, where you can finish off the night with a delicious dessert and cup of whiskey or amaretto-laced coffee, sure to take that chill right out of your bones. Looking for something more original to do? You could try something completely unique and visit the New Street Glass Studio on Dec. 16, where for $70, you can have a course on creating your own glass ornament. How about hosting an ugly holiday sweater party with a prize for the most hideous or outrageous? Why not head down to Brew City and organize a winter ale- or stout-tasting? If you really want a low-key night, you could always check out one of the holiday movies playing, like Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas, or sit at home and watch a classic one, like A Christmas Story or Christmas Vacation, in your PJs over a cup of Swiss Miss (with marshmallows, of course). Whether you love or hate the cold weather, there is a winter event for everyone around here. Happy Holidays!

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The Hot Boiz: Blackstone Valley straight edge By Alex Kantarelis

The 508 area has a new straight-edge band to keep an eye out for ~ The Hot Boiz. Based in the Blackstone Valley area, they are playing a style of music that some call revivalist, while others call it old school. That’s understandable, considering the group’s sound is similar to the old Revelation Records bands from the late ’80s like Gorilla Biscuits and Youth of Today. Their songs are a little more on the punk side than what you might be used to from the hardcore scene today. In other words, less chugga-chugga beatdown parts that have started to dilute the music and more lightning-fast drums with guitar riffs that sound like they came straight from ’88. The band got its start earlier this year, when four friends got together to make music unlike what they were used to hearing. “Everything out of our area ~ and out of Massachusetts, in general ~ is really heavy, and there wasn’t a lot of this kind of hardcore going around anymore, so instead of being pissed off about it, we just did something about it instead,” bassist Doug Ostroskey said. The result was a real old school-sounding band and a demo so raw that it might have been recorded at Chung King Studios back in the late ’80s. The guys in the band range in age from 17-20, and all are straight edge and love hardcore. While New York dominated the straight-edge scene in the ’80s, it was the late

’90s and early 2000s that saw Boston as the biggest straight-edge city, and The Hot Boiz were always big fans, drawing influence from legendary Boston straight-edge bands Mental and Righteous Jams, just as much as the New York bands that so influenced the scene. After playing a few shows and releasing a demo for free on its Bandcamp page, the band found itself on Vol. 3 of the Massachusetts is a Coffin compilation that came out in the summer, alongside Massachusetts bands like Foxfires, Test of Time, Streetsweeper and Caught in a Crowd. The Hot Boiz have continued playing shows all over the state and have now set their sights on a follow up to the demo, a six-song cassette that they will selfrecord and self-release under their new label. Before recording starts, they will be releasing a zine this month. As for their name, Ostroskey said, “I feel like a lot of these bands take themselves too seriously and have these one-word, ambiguous, tough-guy names. That doesn’t really fit us.” It’s good to know they don’t take themselves too seriously. Check them out if you are a real fan of hardcore music. Check out the Massachusetts is a Coffin compilation for free at Check out the Hot Boiz demo for free at

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ON CD Elizabeth Lorrey ~ Bittersweet By Jennifer Russo

I had the pleasure of attending the Wachussett Valley Music Festival in September to see Amy Ray, of whom I am a huge fan, headline. Though most people recognize me as the “metal chick,” I have to admit that rock that borders on folk music reaches me in an entirely different way. Metal may get me pumped, but folk makes me think. The simplicity of an acoustic instrument paired with a single voice or a pair of wellharmonized voices brings music back to its raw form for me. While at the festival listening to excellent musicians tell their stories in song, I was a photographer. I was operating in my own little world, where I was paying attention but also concentrating on getting the right shots at the right time. Now, let me tell you about Elizabeth Lorrey. This woman stood there with her guitar and made me stop in my tracks with one of the most pure and warm voices I have ever heard. In fact, she was halfway through the song before I realized I hadn’t taken one picture since she had started singing. In one song, she had poured her heart out all over that stage and utterly captivated me, giving me chills and bringing a tear to my eye. Bittersweet is an album that so obviously embraces all that Lorrey is. Her loves, fears and dreams are written in lyric; a diary put to the sound of a perfectly tuned guitar. There is an intense and sultry feel behind the vocal; you can tell there is power there, but she reigns it in at all the right times. The instrumental is rustic and inviting, with an easy and comfortable flow. Each of the EP’s songs is beautiful and relatable, but the title track, which I heard her sing at the show, is easily my favorite. Hear the Bittersweet EP, see when and where you can catch a live show and just what Lorrey is up to on her official website,

James LaBrie ~ Impermanent Resonance By Jason Savio

For anyone who has never heard of James LaBrie before, the name gives the impression of a Josh Grobantype artist. But until Josh Groban can scream with the angst of someone in lockdown, he and Mr. LaBrie will continue to remain on the opposite ends of the music spectrum. It’s nothing personal; it’s just business. And James LaBrie takes his business very seriously on his newest solo effort, Impermanent Resonance. The Dream Theater singer has teamed up once again with his songwriting partner and keyboard whiz, Matt Guillory, to create a heavy metal experience rich with lush and immersing melodies. Joining them on the trip is guitarist Marco Sfogli, bassist Ray Riendeau and drummer Peter Wildoer; all five talents mix together to create a volatile cocktail of escapist rock. LaBrie’s progressive tendencies are clear, right from the highly involved opener, “Agony,” with the entire band locked into a heavy and detailed mind eraser. But Impermanent Resonance isn’t an alienating listen directed toward an inner circle of savvy individuals. It has something for everyone, including a fair share of ballads. “Back On The Ground” has enough lyrical hooks to catch anyone’s attention, and when LaBrie comes clean on “Say You’re Still Mine” ~ singing over an acoustic guitar, “Say you’re still mine, that we’re not broken in two” ~ he reassures us that this is a record with not only brains but also heart. For more, visit

Elton John ~ The Diving Board

By Mike Wood

Reminiscent of the Elton of decades ago, The Diving Board captures all his quintessential piano-banging theatrics with the intense crooning of a man on a mission. With longtime co-writer Bernie Taupin, John delivers one of his best albums in at least 20 years. This isn’t Top 40 pop, but that doesn’t means it lacks punch. It takes risks and plays and sounds like these guys want it to without concerning themselves with radio airplay. There aren’t catchy hooks to lure you in, so you’ve got to commit to repeat replays to savor the lyrical mastery of Taupin and John’s showmanship ~ still sharp after nearly 50 years in the biz. For anyone to have a career in the music industry that long is one thing, but to keep cranking out great music (if not necessarily hits) is another thing all together. John may not be playing for pop, but The Diving Board reaches back to his heyday, and that’s a great thing for both die-hard fans and any newbies who might stumble upon his latest LP. Calling out the strongest songs can be a crapshoot, but we’ll take the first song on the album, “Ocean’s Away,” and “Can’t Stay Alone Tonight” for their magical pairing of song and word ~ telling stories the way they want to, whether we want to listen or not. Turns out, we do. Keep up with at Elton John at or follow him on Twitter @eltonjohndotcom.

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Grand Theft Auto V steals the show By Jason Savio

Unless you have been hiding out in a cabin somewhere deep in the New Hampshire woods like Walter White for the past few months, chances are you have either played or at least heard about Grand Theft Auto V, perhaps even in Pulse’s earlier article previewing the game. But for those of you who have missed out, here’s some advice: Play this game! It is, in a word, epic. Never has there been such a highly detailed game that will undoubtedly supply endless hours of entertainment. The GTA franchise has come a long way since its humble beginnings as a 2D release in 1997. The overall improvement of each new release in the series since that ’97 debut has been mostly consistent, and GTAV is no exception. It is a major accomplishment and leap forward for its manufacturer, Rockstar, and gaming in general. The world in which GTAV takes a place ~ a satirical re-imagining of Southern California, with two major areas: the city of Los Santos and the countryside area of Blaine County ~ is the most immersive of any GTA yet, with the largest map ever to be presented in the series. Whether you want to cause chaos on land, at sea or up in the air, it’s all up to you. And you have the choice of doing it as three different playable characters: Michael, a former bank robber in witness protection whose retirement hasn’t met his expectations; Franklin, a young street hustler who’s looking to make a name for himself; and Trevor, a ticking time bomb running on drugs and booze. For the first time in GTA, the player has the ability to switch freely between each of the main characters, taking part in heists and missions unique to each one. And, yes, among all the debauchery we have come to love, there is an actual story line ~ one that begins with a bang during the game’s thrilling intro. As the game progresses, the paths of the three lawbreakers cross and their stories intertwine with each other, helping to make the storytelling more organic and layered. Of course, all of this packed action comes at a price (besides the monetary one). Upon first inserting the game, you will be forced to give up 8 gigs of your hard drive, just to be able to play. That will certainly cause headaches for those with limited space and saved data they are unwilling to part with, but the tradeoff is ultimately worth it. Games nowadays tend to get a lot of hype that is hard to live up to. GTAV may be the most anticipated game to date, reaching a universal fever pitch that will be hard for others to match, but once you play GTAV, you’ll understand why; it has the scope and feel of not just a video game but a major Hollywood blockbuster. Exciting, addictive and unpredictable, GTAV will grab your attention and won’t let go. Now, if we could just get Rockstar to make that Breaking Bad-themed GTA. … For more, visit

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The best games for every gamer on your list GTAV The best in the series yet. With a highly interactive world, it is nonstop entertainment. Not for all ages. Batman: Arkham Origins The third entry in the Arkham story is a prequel that chronicles the beginning of the Caped Crusader’s journey. With a large cast of villains from the DC Universe that expands beyond the Dark Knight’s typical rogue gallery, this game offers plenty of surprises and is a must for the Batman and comic fan on your list. Call of Duty: Ghosts The new Call of Duty takes place 10 years after an unimaginable catastrophe rocks the U.S. as a mysterious group known as “Ghosts” fights to protect what’s left of the nation. It boasts a new Create-A-Soldier System. Madden 25 It’s hard to believe, but Madden turns 25 this year. The fact that it remains popular year after year is a testament to its innovation. For the sports fan in your family. New Super Mario Bros. U You can’t keep Mario down. After all these years, the game’s original poster boy is still hopping along, finding himself in the mix on Nintendo’s new WII U console.

PulseBooks: Workman’s novel covers life on the road By Tine Roycroft It’s a dream we’ve all had in one form or another ~ life on the road as a member of a ragingly successful band. Depending on where you are in life, you might have seen yourself as the sexy lead singer or the deep and brooding bassist or the alluring and charismatic drummer. Or, like author Mark Workman, you might have chased the fantasy of being a music tour manager. Workman has built a golden career as a tour manager, working with groups like Anthrax, Megadeath, Slayer, Queens of the Stone Age, Steeler and many others. Now, in his book, One for the Road: How to Be a Music Tour Manager, Workman is opening up his treasure chest of experience and hard-won wisdom and sharing the secrets of how to succeed in an incredibly difficult field.   The book is a wealth of straightforward, clean-cut information presented in the format of life lessons. Workman manages to focus on both the big picture and the minutia, but he mixes in some hardcore humor as he does so.   “In 1979,” Workman wrote near the start of his book, “I left the mountains of West Virginia on a Trailways bus with $150 to my name and went 2,400 miles to Los Angeles to find a way into the music business.   “I was only 19 years old. I had never traveled anywhere before, and I didn’t know a single soul in California.   “I found a job working at a porn distributor in Hollywood, eventually ended up running the place, got the bright idea to start bootlegging porn video tapes, got sued for a million dollars and came very close to ending up in a hole in the desert, got out of that by the skin of my teeth, met Ron Keel in Steeler, started a merch company for Steeler, then became their lighting designer, and a career was born.”   Beyond Workman’s incredible experiences, which he shares openly throughout the read, he comes across as a coach of sorts to the world of heavy metal tours, leaving no detail out and no circumstance unexplored. He instructs on how to manage and respect the expectations of a band; he discusses how to stay in contact with the band manager throughout the touring process through quality reports (not pestering him or her about pointless details), and he even talks about estimating a realistic touring budget while considering tax implications.   Even if you aren’t totally sold on the idea of becoming a music tour manager, much of Workman’s approach to business in general can be utilized in all walks of life. He’s a detail-oriented guy who has an intense respect for collaboration and good old-fashioned team effort ~ skills that can easily translate over into other careers.   “Someone once said,” Workman wrote, “‘’You don’t get what you deserve; you get what you negotiate.’ This statement couldn’t be truer than in the music business. When you’re first starting your career, you may have to work for low money or just a small per diem or even for free, but it’s worth it to build a resume. This is how you build a career. Interns do it all the time in every kind of business. Everyone has to pay their dues ~ just like the band is doing ~ and you’re getting valuable on-the-job training. Just get that first notch on your resume at any cost or sacrifice.’”   For more information, visit Dec. 2013 | THEPULSEMAG.COM 21

Club & Pub Listings

Entertainment at clubs, bars, pubs, & other select venues

American Graffiti 113 Summer St., Lunenburg 978-345-1010 The Banner Bar & Grille 112 Green St., Worc. 508-755-0879


New Year’s Eve at The Palladium

Cosmopolitan Club 96 Hamilton St., Worc. 508-752-0482

Barber’s Crossing Road House 861 Main St., Leicester 508-892-7575 Barbers Crossing (North) 175 Leominster Road, Sterling 978-422-8438 Thursdays: Karaoke Beatnik’s 433 Park Ave., Worc. 508-926-8877 Dec.. 31: Jubilee Gardens with Satellite Rockers Beemer’s Pub 114 River St., Fitchburg 978-343-3148 Black Sheep Tavern 261 Leominster Road, Sterling 978-422-8484 Tuesdays: Tuesday Night Trivia Fridays, Saturdays: Live bands Blackstone Tap 81 Water St., Worc. 508-797-4827 Dec.. 31: Bill McCarthy at Blackstone Tap New Year’s Eve Blue Plate Lounge 661 Main St., Holden 508-829-4566 Thursdays: Open mic with Ed Sheridan Dec.. 6: Wooing Dorothy Dec.. 7: byoBlues Dec.. 13: Northbound Train Dec.. 14: Sam Bowen & Blue Cat Groove Dec.. 20: The Matt Brown Band Dec.. 21: Shakedown Street Dec.. 27: The Ric Porter Band Blueprint New American Bar & Grill 9 Village Square, Westminster 978-668-5580 Dec.. 5: Chris Reddy Acoustic Loops from Hell Dec.. 6: Dan Kirouac Dec.. 7: Brian Kendall and Dave Miller Dec.. 13: Total Domination Dec.. 20: Midnight Judges Dec.. 21: Kevin Shields Bolton Roadhouse Bar & Grille 544 Wattaquodock Road, Bolton 978-365-5757, 978-365-3036 Boulder Cafe 880 Main St., Fitchburg 978-345-0008 Breakaway Billiards 104 Sterling St., Clinton 978-365-6105 Brew City 104 Shrewsbury St., Worc. 508-752-3862 Bull Run Restaurant 215 Great Road, Shirley 978-425-4311, 877-536-7190

Dec.. 7: Music of the Woodstock Generation by Tom Yates & The Workingman’s Band Dec.. 13: Andy Cummings and The Swingabilly Lounge Dec.. 14: Rock House Dec.. 20: Side Effect Dec.. 28: Tom Yates & The Workingman’s Band

Creegan’s Pub 65 Green St., Worc. 508-754-3550

Disc Jam Presents New England’s premier jamband New Year’s Eve Event! 12/31/13 - $30 - All Ages - 2 Stages - Alternating Sets Doors at 8pm Dec.. 6: NRBQ Dec.. 31: New Year’s Eve with the James Montgomery Band, The Uptown Horns and Lydia Warren Cafe Destare 320 Main St., Fitchburg 978-345-5734 Canal Restaurant & Bar 65 Water St., Worc. 508-926-8353 Thursdays: Open Mic Night Dec.. 14: Thomas Babatunde The Cannery 12 Crane St., Southbridge 508-764-1100 Cantina Bar & Grill 385 Main St., Worc. 508-459-5325 Center Bar & Grill 102 Green St., Worc. 508-438-0597 Sundays: Sunday Funday Karaoke with DJ Matty J Thursdays: Thirsty Thursdays with DJ Matty J Fridays: Friday Night Dance Party with DJ Blackout Classic’s Pub 285 Central St., Leominster 978-537-7750 Sundays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays: Karaoke Fridays, Saturdays: Live bands Club Caliente 816 Main St., Worc. 508-826-9305 Club Instyle 41 Pleasant St., Worc. Club KasBar 234 Southwest Cutoff, Worc. 508-798-8385 Dec.. 14: BitterSuite Cornerstone’s Restaurant 616 Central St., Leominster 978-537-1991 Dec.. 6: Gale County

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Dance Ranch & Saloon 70 James St., Worc. 508-757-6977 Dar Bah 29 Canal St., Millbury 508-865-8441 Days End Tavern 287 Main St., Oxford 508-987-1006 Devens Grill 4 Ryans Way, Devens 978-862-0060 Dunnys Tavern 291 E. Main St., E. Brookfield Electric Haze 26 Millbury St, Worc. 508-799-0629 Tuesdays: Hip Hop/R&B/Blues/Soul Dec.. 6: Get Down: DeMarkus Lewis and Bamboo Dec.. 7: Fungus Amungus and Kong! Dec.. 13: Swift Technique, Freddie and the Yetis and Mammal Dap Dec.. 20: Dub Apocalypse and Rocky and the Pressers Fat Tony’s Pub 1102 Main St., Worc. 508-798-8908 Fiddlers’ Green Pub & Restaurant 19 Temple St., Worc. 508-792-3700 Firefly’s / Dante’s 350 E. Main St., Marlborough 508-357-8883 Flip Flops 680 Main St., Holden 508-829-3008 Flying Rhino Cafe 278 Shrewsbury St., Worc. 508-757-1450 Funky Murphy’s Bar & Grill 305 Shrewsbury St., Worc. 508-753-2995 Sundays: Josh Briggs and friends Fusion 109 Water St., Worc. 508-756-2100

Galway Bay Irish Pub 186 Stafford St., Worc. 508-753-8909 Gardner Ale House 74 Parker St., Gardner 978-669-0122 Sundays: Sunday Brunch with Chet Williamson Mondays: Blue Mondays ~ live blues Thursdays: Audio Wasabi Fridays, Saturdays: Live music Dec.. 19: Invisible Sun, Police tribute band Gilrein’s 802 Main St., Worc. 508-791-2583 Greendale’s Pub 404 W. Boylston St., Worc. 508-853-1350 Tuesdays: Open Mic Night with Bill McCarthy and local musicians showcase Sundays: Blues Jam with Jim Perry Dec.. 6: Chittlen Brothers Dec.. 7: Valvatross Dec.. 13: Blow it up Johnny! Dec.. 14: No Alibi Dec.. 21: Ed & Da Ve Dec.. 23: Silverbacks Dec.. 28: 9Teen Halligan’s Sports Bar and More 889 Southbridge St., Auburn 508-832-6793 Dec.. 6: New England’s Best Comedy Showcase Hotel Vernon - The Ship Room/Kelley Square Yacht Club 1 Millbury St., Worc. Indian Ranch 200 Gore Road, Webster 508-943-3871 Ixtapa Cantina 308 Massachusetts Ave., Lunenburg 978-582-9701 JC Fenwick’s 37 Mechanic St., Leominster 978-840-4845 Jillian’s - Worcester 315 Grove St., Worc. 508-793-0900 Wednesdays: Karaoke Dec.. 6: Audio Nation Dec.. 7: Ricky Duran Dec.. 13: How Bizzare Dec.. 14: Jediah with Dezi Garcia Dec.. 20: Jimmy’s Down Dec.. 21: Flock of A-Holes Dec.. 27: Never in Vegas Dec.. 28: UFC 168 Silva vs. Wiedmen Dec.. 31: Remuck Bros with Dezi Garcia JJ’s Sports Bar and Grill 380 Southwest Cutoff, Northborough 508-842-8420 Wednesdays: Wacky Wednesday Night Jam Dec.. 6: Windfall Classic Rock Dec.. 7: KISS Forever ~ KISS tribute band Dec.. 13: The Great Escape ~ Journey tribute band Dec.. 14: 9Teen Dec.. 20: No Alibi Dec.. 21: The Tony Soul Project Dec.. 27: Tribute This! GNR tribute, with special guest Electric Funeral (Black Sabbath tribute) Dec.. 28: The Flock of A-Holes

Continued on Page 27

Dec. 2013 | THEPULSEMAG.COM 23



Feel the beat of the City!

Photos by Justin Perry

Breakaway Billiards ~ Clinton

GazBar ~ Leominster

Byblos ~ Worcester

Loft 266 ~ Worcester

The Mill ~ West Boylston

Fying Rhino ~ Worcester

Perfect Game ~ Worcester

Rivalry’s ~ Worcester

26 THEPULSEMAG.COM | Dec. 2013

Continued from Page 22 LaScala Restaurant 183 Shrewsbury St, Worc. 508-753-9912 The Lazy Dog 31 Main St., Marlborough 508-229-2264 Legends Airport Road, Fitchburg 978-342-6500 Leitrim’s Pub 265 Park Ave., Worc. 508-798-2447 Loft 266 Bar & Lounge 266 Park Ave., Worc. 508-796-5177 Tuesdays through Dec.. 17: Game Show Live Trivia London Billiards/Club Oasis 70 James St., Worc. 508-799-7655 Dec.. 7: Altic and Little Levity Lucky Dog Music Hall 89 Green St., Worc. 508-363-1888 Mondays: Open Mike Jam Tuesdays: Electric Tuesdays (always 21+) Dec. 4: Mister Smarta** Theater’s monthly live comedy take on a really terrible film. Dec. 5: ‘80s party with Flock Of A-Holes with Day One and Funk For Now Dec. 6: RiggaGoo with Bangfield, Klokwize and more. Dec. 7: The Delta Generators CD release party with Big Jon Short. Dec. 12: ‘80s party with Flock Of A-Holes with special guests. Dec. 13: Counter Attack ( Led Zeppelin holiday tribute show) Dec. 14: The fifth annual Santapalooza Toys for Tots benefit show! Fancy Pants’d Lads, Hey Now...Morris Fader, Six To Midnite and more!. Dec. 19: ‘80s party with Flock Of A-Holes with special guests. Dec. 21: Opening Night 10 Year Anniversary Show!! w/ special guests Mahoney’s Pub 413 Park Ave., Worc. 508-277-1073 Tuesdays: Pub Pong Thursdays: Karaoke Marty’s Pub 225 Cantebury St., Worc. 508-754-0033 MB Lounge 40 Grafton St., Worc. 508-799-4521 McNally’s Grille & Pub 88 Sargent Road, Westminster 978-874-1444 Michael’s Cigar Bar 1 Exchange Place, Worc. 508-459-9035 Dec.. 4: Blue Light Bandits Dec.. 5: Mystic River Band Dec.. 6: BILL McCarthy Dec.. 7: Real Cool Cats Dec.. 11: Hit The Bus Dec.. 12: Jon Bowser Dec.. 13: Chris Reddy Acoustic Loops from Hell Dec.. 14: Hit the Bus Dec.. 18: Lori Martin Dec.. 19: Jim Devlin Dec.. 20: Acoustic Nation

Dec.. 21: Andy Cummings Dec.. 27: Beatlewood Dec.. 28: SoUp

Pho Dakao 593 Park Ave., Worc. 508-756-7555

Mickey Sheas 324 Electric Ave., Lunenburg 978-342-5825

Point Breeze On the Lake 114 Point Breeze Road, Webster 508-943-0404

The Mill 185 W. Boylston St., W. Boylston 774-261-8585 Dec. 6: Chad Clements Dec. 13: Ethan and Ashley Dec. 14: Bill McCarthy Dec. 20: Dave and Melissa Dec. 21: Scott Babineau Dec. 27: Jay Graham Dec. 28: Belit Mill Street Brews (@ The Artist Development Complex) 18 Mill St., Southbridge 508-764-6900 Moonstruck Café 19 Worcester Road, Charlton 508-248-4558 Moynihan’s Pub 897 Main St., Worc. Nick’s Bar and Restaurant 124 Millbury St., Worc. 508-753-4030 Fridays: Thank Friday It’s Dr. Nat The Nines Neighborhood Bar 136 Millbury St., Worc. 508-340-0318 Olde Post Office Pub 1 Ray St., N. Grafton 508-839-6106 Wednesday through Dec.. 18: STUMP! Trivia On The Rocks Sports Bar & Grill 96 Lakefront Ave., Lunenburg 978-342-6692 The Outlook Restaurant 79 Powers Road, Westford 978-692-5700 Dec. 12: Chris Reddy Acoustic Loops from Hell Dec. 28: Chris Reddy Acoustic Loops from Hell Oxford Tavern 314 Main St., Oxford 508-987-5397 Paisanos Pizza & Spirits 450 Lancaster St., Leominster 978-534-7117 The Palladium 261 Main St., Worc. 508-797-9696 Pampas Churrascaria Restaurant 145 E. Central St., Worc. 508-757-1070 Partner’s Pub 970 South St., Fitchburg 978-345-5051 Patsie Dugan’s 49 Millbury St., Worc. 508-755-4155 Perfect Game Sports Grill and Lounge 64 Water St., Worc. 508-792-4263 Sundays: Open mic with Bill McCarthy Fridays: DJ One-3 Saturdays: DJ Reckless Dec.. 27: Bill McCarthy

South Side Grille & Margarita Factory 242 W. Broadway, Gardner 978-632-1057 Speakers Night Club 19 Weed St., Marlborough 508-480-8222 Thursdays: Pub Night Dance Party Fridays: Top 40 Dance Party

The Pumphouse 340 Main St., Southbridge 508-765-5473!/pages/The-PumpHouse/374917818127?sk=info

Spruce Street Tavern 68 Spruce St., Clinton 978-368-1255

Rage 105 Water St., Worc. 508-756-2223 Ralph’s Chadwick Square Diner 148 Grove St., Worc. 508-753-9543 Sundays: Sunday Nigh Cinemageddon. Drive-in movies in the parking lot Tuesdays: See You Next Tuesday with DJ Poke Smot; guest DJs and bands each week Wednesdays through Dec.. 25: Music Under the Moose Thursdays: Metal Thursday The Raven 258 Pleasant St., Worc. 508-304-8133 Dec. 6: Da Stand Up Guys Tour presented by Sewey Hole Fam. Red Onion - Otter River Hotel 29 Main St., Baldwinville 978-939-7373, 978-939-8321 RG Scooters Pub 84 Lakefront St., Lunenburg 978-348-2453 Sundays: Blues Jam with A Ton of Blues Fridays: Karaoke Saturdays: Live bands Rivalry’s Sports Bar 274 Shrewsbury St., Worc. 774-243-1100 Rose Garden Restaurant and Pub 16 Milford St., Upton 508-529-7776

Stagecoach Inn and Tavern 128 Main St., Groton 978-448-5614, 877-782-4346 Sunset Tiki Bar 79 Powers Road, Westford 978-692-5700 Tal’s Place 138 Lake St., Webster 508-949-6559 Dec.. 21: Henry’s Wine Three G’s Sports Bar 152 Millbury St., Worc. 508-754-3516 Trumbull Bar & Grill 117 Main St., Spencer 508-885-6901 Tweed’s 231 Grove St., Worc. 508-755-8047 Union Music 142 Southbridge St., Worc. 508-753-3702 Dec. 7: Fourth annual Boston Classical Guitar Society Performance Party Dec. 26: The Union Ukulele Club Upper Dec.k Sports Bar & Grille 377 Stetson Road, Barre 978-355-2224

Rumors 371 Park Ave., Worc. 508-755-5542 Rye & Thyme 14 Monument Square, Leominster 978-534-5900 Dec.. 5: Jay Graham Dec.. 6: Caves on Mars Dec.. 12: Zack Slik Dec.. 13 JCDC Dec.. 14: Andy Cummings Dec.. 19: Keiko Gammel Dec.. 20: Scott Babineau Dec.. 27: Chris Reddy Acoustic Loops from Hell Dec.. 31: Andy Cummings Swingabilly Lounge Sakura Tokyo 640 Park Ave., Worc. 508-792-1078, 508-792-1068 Dec.. 13, 14: Windfall Classic Rock Dec.. 20, 21: Doctor Robert Dec.. 27, 28: Auntie Trainwreck

Squire Whites Pub & Restaurant 347 Greenwood St., Worc. 508-752-7544

Victory Bar & Cigar 56 Shrewsbury St., Worc. 508-756-4747 Vincent’s Bar 49 Suffolk St., Worc. 508-752-9439 Sundays: Big Jon Short Dec. 14: Second Saturday Spectacular (or Meatballs and Mayhem) Whiskey Alley 281 Lunenburg St., Fitchburg 978-345-4040 Wonder Bar Restaurant 121 Shrewsbury St., Worc. 508-752-9909

Sean Patrick’s Family Restaurant 494 Electric Ave., Lunenburg 888-824-3924, 978-345-2000

Dec. 2013 | THEPULSEMAG.COM 27

Holiday Gift Guide

No matter if you’re looking to go big or for some items to stuff stockings, we’ve got great gifts for just about everyone on your list!


For Her

Some old favorites LUSH is offering some favorites that will only be around for the holidays. With a sweet scent, Let Good Times Roll ($12.95/$29.95) face polish uses maize flour and polenta to exfoliate and corn oil to even out skin tone. So give the gift of glow. If you’re looking for stocking stuffers, check out Santa’s Lip Scrup ($8.95), with a cola taste and coconut oil to moisturize, and Santa Baby Lip Tint ($8.95), which pumps up a pout with cinnamon and draws attention with a classic red color that looks great on just about everyone.

Gift a gift that helps The nonprofit Ten Thousand Villages operates with the mission to create income-earning opportunities for artisans in developing countries by establishing a sustainable market for handmade products in North America. If you want to know that your gift is doing more than just delighting the giftee, check out the Sacred Sari Throw ($79), which is made of recycled saris by women in Bangladesh who have broken away from the sex trade. Or, check out Hoops of Hope Earrings ($24), which are made from recycled bullet casings from the Eritrea/Ethiopia war. Artisans recycle and silver-plate these beads in the rural Gojam province. Beads are hand-strung at a workshop providing jobs to people with HIV/ AIDS. In addition to income opportunities, the project provides adult literacy and math classes for artisans, as well as a parents’ program focusing on nutrition and discipline and a children’s after-school tutoring program.

For Him Handsome in a box You don’t even have to work to get this one right. Grooming Lounge has developed a Box of Handsomeness, which contains topof-the-line men’s grooming and lifestyle solutions curated by the experts at Grooming Lounge.  Each delivery includes up to six deluxe/travel-size samples or full-sized versions of versatile solutions from top grooming brands ~ like Kiehl’s, Molton Brown, Malin+Goetz, Jack Black, Billy Jealousy and many more ~ with a value of at least $40.  The packages also include lifestyle products from brand-name makers of socks, cuff links, collar stays and other essential male goods. ($24 for one box, $80 for four boxes delivered throughout the year).

For the book lover Know a guy who loves books, art or just really cool gifts? Check out Spineless Classics (starting at $29.99), which offers the full text of a book on a poster ready for framing. Titles include The Hobbit, The Hound of the Baskervilles and A Clockwork Orange, just to name a few. The text flows around a design that illustrates the book. Get one of these, and you’ll definitely be giving the standout gift of the season.

Manly candles Simpatico’s Scotch Pine Hobnail Three Candle Gift Set ($30) offers a warm, woodsy scent that guys will love. The votive hobnail candles come in a gift box and are 3½ ounces each. simpatico-home. com.

28 THEPULSEMAG.COM | Dec. 2013

Jestsetter toiletries Know someone who loves to travel? Give them Clairvoyant Beauty’s Passport to Beauty Travel Set ($25). This set contains all the necessities, including French Clay Cleanser, Lavender & Sea Minerals Toner, Hydrating Body Scrub, Rejuvenating Cream with AHAs, Debuffing Eye Gel and Balancing Rosehips Serum. All come in mini sizes perfect for travelling and with a handy case.

The gift of good taste Ticket Chocolate products are carefully handcrafted in San Francisco of the finest couverture chocolate (read: more cocoa butter!). The signature Hot Chocolate Sticks (two for $8) are the finest Belgian milk chocolate formed into blocks that can be swirled into steaming milk or water for a cup of hot chocolate worth lingering over. Other gift possibilities include the Peanut Butter Cup Hot Chocolate Stick (two for $11) and chocolate tasting kits (starting at $16). Gifts don’t get much sweeter!

For Pets Lemongrass & Flaxseed Collection You know you’re going to buy your pet a gift, so why not add a little pampering to the mix? Keep pets smelling fresh and feeling clean with this pairing of organic Lemongrass & Flaxseed Pet Shampoo and Conditioner ($16 each). Formulated for all furry animals, these petpampering products contain essential oils of neem, citronella and eucalyptus to help ward off fleas and ticks while lemongrass and flaxseed oils help to promote a healthy coat.

Destress during your holidays By Mike Wood

Holiday shopping tips Holiday shopping season is here! But as you gear up for the mad dash to find the perfect gifts for those on your list, don’t forget to take simple precautions to keep your credit card, banking and identity information safe. From the experts at Experian’s ProtectMyID (, we’ve got tips to help you survive the holiday shopping season without falling victim to identity theft.  

Online shopping 1. Never shop on a public wi-fi connection. Although you may trust the baristas at your local coffee shop, you can’t always trust the person sitting next to you. Hackers can easily tap into Wi-Fi connections at public hot spots to steal your identity and credit card information. 2. Look for signs shopping sites are protecting your data. On the webpage where you enter your credit card or other personal information, look for an “s” after “http” in the Web address of that page and a secured padlock (https://). Encryption is a security measure that scrambles data as it travels through the Internet.

The holidays were calling your name from store shelves and Internet advertising before Halloween even hit, but now that we’re in the thick of things, the crunch is really on, which means your stress level is likely through the roof or at least to the top of that Douglas fir in your living room. Whether it’s Chanukah, Christmas or Kwanza that’s got you in a tizzy, take some sound advice and, like the winter weather, just chill. Stress causes wrinkles and is bad for your heart. Seriously. You want to stay healthy and keep stressors at bay for many holidays to come, right? Here are a few tips to keep you tip-top and help you destress during the hectic holiday season, when there are too many things to do and not enough hours on the clock. Whether it’s working yourself into panic attacks about visiting relatives, finding the perfect gifts, cooking the best meal or looking good for holiday gatherings, we’re suggesting you slow it down.

Set realistic goals

Unfortunately, the holidays have been commercialized. There’s really no escaping that. So, the best thing you can do is set realistic goals for everything on your list. Whether it’s prepping dinner, decorating the homestead or hitting the malls for everyone on your shopping list ~ don’t put so much pressure on yourself. This isn’t your first rodeo, right? You’ve done this before. You’ve been stressed before. Learn from your past missteps and keep the madness to a minimum.

Take on one thing at a time

You’ve got a litany of endless tasks on your plate. We know the feeling, but here’s a novel concept: Slow it down. Just because you may be expected to multi-task at the office, the holidays should be enjoyable for you, not just everyone around you. Take time to think about the things you like about the holidays and take the time to enjoy doing these things: Roasting chestnuts? Building a snowman? Cuddling in front of a cozy fire? Take pleasure in the simple things.


Meditation helps, but if you don’t have time for that, just check out for a few minutes. Escape from whatever is jockeying for your time (or trying your last nerve) and make time for you. Yoga-type breathing exercises are therapeutic, and once you’ve had your moment for some deep breaths and centering, you can return to the fray. We suggest cornering someone under the mistletoe for a brief reprieve from the madness.


In-store shopping 1. Streamline your wallet. Leave anything you don’t need, such as your Social Security card and excess credit cards, at home. 2. When paying with a credit card, never let the clerk take the card out of your sight. The swipe should take place in clear view. 3. Don’t sign up for store credit cards at the checkout counter to avoid exposing identifying information to prying eyes. Take the application home and fill it out in private.

We’re not suggesting a triathlon, power lifting or even the gym (although that works, too). Just take a walk. A brisk walk in the fresh air is good for you ~ even when it’s cold outside. Just dress accordingly and let Mother Nature soothe your soul. You can also pop in your earbuds, as listening to music while walking has been proven to help many pick up the pace and release more endorphins.

Have a glass of wine … or a cup of tea

When all else fails, a glass of red wine has health benefits that are greater than you might believe. Sure, it may help you deal with your beloved mother-in-law, but it’s also rich in antioxidants that have been proven to help you stay healthier with long-term, moderate consumption. Notice we recommended having a glass (that means one)! If you don’t drink, a cup of chamomile tea can do the trick, too. While it doesn’t have antioxidants, it does have calming and soothing properties that can help you wind down. Dec. 2013 | THEPULSEMAG.COM 29






The ‘Just in Case’ Case ~ must-haves for winter driving By Jennifer Russo

Living in Massachusetts my entire life, I am no stranger to unpredictable weather. Mother Nature changes her mind quite frequently about what she prefers. Frankly, I believe she must have a bone to pick with us, or maybe she is just plain (w)itchy. What New Englanders can bet on is that we will have at least a couple nasty nor’easters (really big snowstorms) each winter. If you are new to the area, welcome to the frozen-over hell that you’ve heard about. Driving on unplowed roads, black ice and slushy intersections take an enormous amount of experience and skill, but even the most seasoned driver needs to have good winter tires and take it slow. As careful as you might be, it’s a good idea to be prepared for anything, just in case you find yourself stuck in a snow bank or your car dies in below-zero temperatures. So, what should you have in your car this winter? The single most important thing to have in your car is a blanket. No, I don’t mean a queen sized comforter that takes up your entire trunk, but one of those fleece throws is perfect. It comes in handy when you are at a cold football game, too ~ metal bleachers and sub-zero temps just aren’t a nice combo. An extra sweatshirt and a travel rain poncho is always a good idea, too, and don’t forget to grab some of those hand-warmer packs. A small towel is good to have for a number of reasons ~ it dries your hair if you’ve had a nasty walk to the car, dries the dash and door when snow falls in and serves as a great seat cover if you have cold leather seats or a wet jacket. If there was a real emergency, it is also a great compress. Another important thing to have in your car is a set of jumper cables. Not everyone has jumper cables in their car (they should, but they don’t), and you will be glad you do if your battery decides it doesn’t want to kick in. Though we have a reputation for being rude here in New England, you’d be surprised how many people will stop to give you a hand at this time of year. We’ve all been there; end of story.

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Don’t underestimate the power of a can of Fix-a-Flat or tire sealant. If your tire gets a hole in it, it’s not a permanent solution by any means, but it can patch you up enough to get you home, to the nearest gas station or to a Dunklin’s. Quarters are also great for air machines. It’s a good idea to have a couple flares, just in case you get stuck at night. Flares are great for two reasons ~ they help help find you, and they help others not hit you accidentally. A flashlight and extra batteries (or better yet, the LED flashlights you shake to power) are great things to have. Snow removal tools ~ a brush/scraper combo and a compact shovel should be stowed in the car, so you can dig yourself out. Also, keep some lock deicer on your keychain. A first-aid kit is a must. Not just for winter, but for anytime. Snacks are great to have. Nothing that goes bad quickly, though. Granola bars, crackers and mixed nuts are good choices. Don’t keep drinks in the car. They will freeze and burst; trust me, I learned this the hard way after I thought it would be a good idea to keep a gallon of water in my trunk ~ not a good idea at all. If it’s an emergency and you get thirsty in the winter, melt some snow. You won’t get dehydrated. A bag of sand or cat litter provides traction if your car is stuck, and either will weigh down your trunk, which is great when driving in winter. Things you may have not thought about that would come in super-handy: A travel roll of toilet paper or tissues, a sealable plastic bag, hand sanitizer or wipes, duct tape, a whistle and lip balm. For the true survivor types, you can find all-in-one crank-powered radio/flashlight/cell chargers for about $40$100.

Cool Careers:

Next-generation art By Rachel Shuster

A mother, entrepreneur and artist, Lynn Toomey has created a movement that combines all the things she loves most. Founded in 2006, mobile creative entertainment and education services, Let’s Gogh Art and We Paint Social, are the result of Toomey’s dream to make art and crafts a chance for individuals and families to explore their artistic passions and creativity. Toomey has always loved art, but juggling a corporate job and growing children didn’t allow for it to be her main focus. “I was in corporate America for 20 years, but I wanted to find something I could do that I love. I had an art studio in Leominster, but I brainstormed and got this idea that I could go out and do programs and offer a lot more than just in my studio,” Toomey said. Both Let’s Gogh Art and We Paint Social offer children, families and adults a memorable experience that opens the mind when it comes to expressing oneself through art and creation. You don’t need to be an artist; all you need is passion. “I’ve never wanted to do a program where everyone started with the same thing; I’d give people a kit and say ‘OK, this is what it’s going to look like when you’re done.’ We are about giving people a blank canvas ~ we use the term loosely; it may be a pillow, a box or a T-shirt. The idea is that everyone’s art is going to be unique because everyone is unique,” Toomey said. Let’s Gogh Art provides the opportunity for people to channel their inner creativity through classes, workshops, group events and birthday parties, as well as family art fests and camps. This program touches many creative outlets including two- and three-dimensional art, canvas painting, arts and crafts, photography, body art and more. Toomey said that all of these programs come to the client. She has created art at public and private venues such as community centers, schools, businesses, retailers, camps, country clubs, hotels, day care centers, private homes, senior centers and more. So how does it work? To book an event, visit the Let’s Gogh Art website, choose your event, your art, your venue and your date, and viola! You’re booked. Let’s Gogh Art has become such phenomenon in Massachusetts, it is expanding through a worldwide licensing program with a new license in New York City. “We are trying to expand because people love our curriculum,” Toomey said. Let’s Gogh Art also services various corporate customers, some of which include the Boston Children’s Hospital, Boys & Girls Club, Lego Corporation, Raytheon, Patriot Place and Life is Good.

“We also go to Fenway Park every summer and do art projects with the Red Sox players’ kids!” Toomey added. In the midst of Let’s Gogh Art, Toomey is also co-creator of We Paint Social, along with Amy Ashman and Emily Ashman. This service focuses on the canvas painting trend, which is delivered to drinking and eating venues, where participants come to socialize with friends, have some snacks and a couple drinks, all while creating a painting through instruction from the event’s artist. For more information on Let’s Gogh Art, visit For information on We Paint Social, check out


DINING & Entertaining

Blueprint offers an evening of surprises By Bernie Whitmore

Blueprint American Bar and Grille 9 Village Square, Westminster (978) 668-5580

From the street, Blueprint was hardly welcoming. After passing the Westminster Cracker Factory, I scanned every business I passed till encountering Blueprint’s unlit street sign. Even after parking directly in front of the place, I was still unsure that I’d found it. But through the restaurant’s dark-tinted glass, I finally noticed football playing on a flat-panel TV, and ~ with an assist from a smoker banished outside in the cold drizzly night ~ my friend and I found our way to the front door and entered. It wasn’t until Lauren, our server, passed us menus that reality started to come into focus ~ the reality that Blueprint American Bar and Grille might just be exceptional. Perhaps it was the Fig and Gorgonzola Flatbread Pizza, but soon I realized everything on this menu is intriguing. With football blazing on a halfdozen TVs, Blueprint has the decibel level of a sports bar, but the food and drink are of a much higher order. Now, it’s one thing to print up a terrific menu, but execution is what really matters. This proved to be an evening of surprises, all of them pretty wonderful. Let’s start with drinks. When I asked Lauren about the draft selection, she directed my attention to an entire chalkboard wall divided into categories of brews ranging from craft to the standards. Sensing that my amazement was tempered by the desire to make a quick decision, she asked, “What do you prefer?” “An IPA,” I replied. “Try Dogfish; 12- or 20-ounce?” I’ve had Dogfish several times, and it’s always been a piece of beer heaven. It has a clean and crisp bitter flavor and deep amber color ~ totally refreshing after a day of working outside.

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Lauren was even more helpful with my friend. When he mentioned how much he enjoyed Leinenkugel’s Shandy last summer, she recommended Leinenkugel’s winter offering ~ Snowdrift Vanilla Porter ~ and offered him a sample taste. In color, it was as dark as vanilla extract, and it balanced rich coffee, chocolate and caramel flavors with a scent of sweet vanilla. And now, the food. When was the last time you saw Deviled Eggs on a menu? Blueprint has them, with eggs (from local hens) topped with chunks of lump crabmeat and a dab of truffle oil. The order of six was ideal for sharing and

Hot & Now By Paul Giorgio

Hot & Cold. Leicester has its first wing restaurant with the recent opening of Wicked Wings and Ice Cream. Located at 15 S. Main St., the restaurant ~ as its name implies ~ will feature both wings and, to cool you down after eating those fiery wings, why not ice cream? It is open from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday. Speaking of Leicester. We hear good things about Mums Restaurant, which replaced the old Biscoe’s restaurant on Route 9 in the center of town. It is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and is family-friendly, with very good prices.

soon established the chef’s credentials for restraint and balance. The seemingly disparate flavors balanced harmoniously. We continued with a Wedge Salad. This is not something I would normally order because I find iceberg lettuce so boring. But Blueprint’s Wedge was in a class of its own. Large creamy chunks of blue cheese from Great Hill Dairy, of Marion, contrasted with the crunch of pecan-smoked bacon and ripe heirloom tomatoes. And, of course, the perfectly crisp iceberg was topped with tangy buttermilk dressing. Each forkful was a study in contrasting flavors and textures. There isn’t a single entrée on Blueprint’s menu that I would hesitate to order, but I had to make a decision and chose the Caribbean Jerk Pork Chop. This generously-sized chop’s afterburners were fired up with a tasty bit of heat countered by touch of orange-blossom honey. Sticks of grilled sweet potato came on the side, and the chop was topped with roasted corn and smoked green and red peppers. It soon became apparent that Blueprint’s chef has a theme: one of adventurous flavor and texture contrasts presented attractively with flashes of color. The result: delicious and exciting cuisine. This theme continued with my friend’s entrée of Pan-Seared Scallops. Six large scallops were served in a row over a bed of creamy risotto flavored with Meyer lemon, truffle oil and studded with tender asparagus tips. He raved, “The risotto is not overpowered by the lemon or the truffle oil … it’s a perfect blend of the sweetness of the seared scallops with truffle oil!” The forkful of rice I sampled had each of these flavors, plus an undercurrent rich in scallop flavor. Even though Blueprint’s portions are generous and I’d had three courses, I just had to know about dessert. Lauren began to recite the list, but when she got to the Flourless Chocolate Cake with Salted-Caramel Gelato, it was all over. Decision made. As it turned out, the caramel gelato was replaced by vanilla bean. But the real star was, of course, the chocolate cake. Each forkful was sticky and moist and as deep and dark as the devil’s hopyard. No matter what happens in the world, just keep making chocolate this dense and rich and all will be well. Blueprint American Bar and Grille was an exciting discovery. And I haven’t even mentioned the craft cocktails, Asian Hotdogs or Coffee-crusted Fillet. And did I mention the service? Lauren was, in every way, engaging and adept.

Ceres has new menu. Bill Nemeroff, the executive chef at Cerers Bistro at the Beechwood Hotel, recently changed the menu for the season. Among the menu items that caught my eye and made my mouth water are coffee-braised beef short ribs, duck breast with cranberry relish and a double-thick pork chop. Sweet openings. Sweet has moved to 72 Shrewsbury St. and opened its new digs in the middle of November. The place is bigger and hipper with a great vibe. There is a private function area upstairs and a large area to bake and cook. Kudos to Chef Alana Eisenhauer. The Washington Square end of Shrewsbury Street has really grown in the past year, with the opening of 7 Nana, Volturno and, now, Sweet. Shrewsbury Street is more downtown and center city than the old downtown along Main Street. New Indian restaurant. The New House of India opened its doors in September on Worcester’s Park Avenue. Although it has a Coe’s Square address, it is across from Pho Dakao. The restaurant is open seven days a week and offers an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet. Wild beer. Medusa will be the name of a soon-to-be-opened brew pub in Hudson. The brewery is expected to open in the spring of 2014, after some significant renovation of the old Aubuchon Hardware store at 111 Main St. For additional information, visit Speaking of breweries. Wormtown Brewery, Worcester’s iconic brewery, recently signed a lease for a 10,000-square-foot facility on Shrewsbury Street adjacent to 7-Nana, Volturno and Sweet. We hear it will have a tasting room, and we are hoping for a brew pub on the premises. What happened to Ethan’s? It appears that Holden’s Ethan’s Family Restaurant, located in the Jefferson section of town, is closed. The phone has been disconnected. We don’t have any information on what happened. I’m sure another place will open here soon because it is such a good location. It has been home to many restaurants over the years, the longest being the Jefferson House. Santa Claus is coming to town. Well maybe not to Worcester, but on Sunday, Dec. 15, Santa will pay a special visit to The Manor on Route 12 in West Boylston. Santa will make appearances at a special breakfast at 9 and 10:30 a.m. Call The Manor for details and reservations.

Blueprint’s just down the road from Wachusett Mountain Ski Area; I have a feeling it’ll be this winter’s favorite destination. But why not light up the place, so we can find you? Dec. 2013 | THEPULSEMAG.COM 35

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PulseBREW: Mass market beers By Kerry Cyganiewicz Whether it’s being tight on cash or grabbing something on the way to a holiday party, there’s a reason people turn to the old standbys this time of year. So, here are some tips on the beers you can buy just about anywhere at a reasonable price. And since I believe there’s a place for everyone at the table, I won’t be bashing non-craft beers. After tasting them all, I was not full and actually felt somewhat rejuvenated. Bud Light 4.2% ABV This is the best-selling beer in America; you have to look hard to find a place where it isn’t available. It pours a pale yellow, with a decent-sized head that subsides quickly and forms a ring around the glass. It is very well carbonated. It is easy to drink, with a thin mouthfeel. I pick up a light rice and yeast taste and not much else. Is it bad? No. I find it to be quite neutral and inoffensive. I think it would go well with ballpark-type food. Coors Light 4.2% ABV I remember when I was young, Coors products were not shipped to the East Coast. Now, they are everywhere. Coors Light is pale yellow, with a head that disappears quickly. It has more of a cereal aroma than the other beers I checked out. It goes down smooth, with a slight aftertaste that I would describe as faint grain. Again, it follows the neutral and inoffensive profile common to this beer style Miller Light 4.17% ABV This beer is a little different from the other American beers tested here. There is a little more of the aroma of grain and faint hops. As it warmed, I picked up light notes of cooked corn. This had an ever-so-slightly heavier mouthfeel. I picked up a light citrus aftertaste, as well. Corona 4.6% ABV This is the only imported beer here. I included it because of how much of it is sold, as well as how much it boosts the profits of lime growers. I rated it without the lime. I picked up many peculiar aromas … sulphur, mixed vegetables, cooked corn and a slight hop aroma, as well. It was well carbonated and had a larger mouthfeel than the other beers on this list. There was more sweetness and hop flavor. There was even a slight corn husk taste towards the end. Natural Light 4.2% ABV This is the least expensive beer here, along with Busch. It is not a surprise that it is a fan favorite at colleges and universities everywhere. It is much like the other beers here, having a pale straw color and a head that disappears into a ring. I picked up similar aromas, but with a mineral element that is absent from the rest. The taste was again inoffensive, with slight notes of corn. This beer was quite smooth to drink with a minimal mouthfeel. There was no discernible aftertaste. Busch 4.3% ABV This one brings me back to my days playing rugby at Nichols College. I hate to sound like a broken record, but it is a light straw color, with a disappearing head, light mouthfeel and slight corn notes. I picked up a floral note absent in the other beers I tried. It was a welcome familiar taste that brought back memories of things that don’t need to be printed here. Good times. Michelob Ultra 4.2% ABV If you see someone holding this beer, he or she is probably on a diet. This beer is marketed to those seeking a healthier lifestyle, with 95 calories and 2.6 grams of carbohydrates. It is very well carbonated, with a lighter color than the rest. I could not pick up any aromas at all. It tasted of very light grain with no noticeable hop profile or bitterness. The alcohol is hidden well. This also comes in fruit varieties. Rolling Rock 4.6% ABV You might think you haven’t had one of these lately. You could be wrong. If you have taken advantage of the low-price drafts of a house-named lager at any number of local establishments, there is a good chance it is Rolling Rock. It had a minimal head that went away quickly and a malty, creamed corn smell. I also picked up a little malted cereal thrown in, with a slight hop aroma added for good measure. With the exception of Corona, these beers are all American lagers, so these will have similar characteristics with some differences to make them unique ~ kind of like siblings. I certainly wouldn’t snub my nose at any of these beers if they were offered, so pick what appeals to you and enjoy.

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Rum, brandy or whiskey in your holiday eggnog? By Tim Korby

Do you prefer rum, brandy or whiskey in your holiday eggnog? Or maybe you’re like George Washington, whose potent recipe called for rye whiskey, rum and sherry. The term “eggnog” doesn’t appear in written history until the late 1700s, and the actual origin of the name is unknown. Many believe that it is partially derived from the term “grog,” which referred to a warm drink of dark rum, sugar, spices, fruit and water. A tavern patron would order an “egg and grog” from the bartender, which eventually would become just an “eggnog.” The other origin of the term eggnog comes from the word “noggin,” which was a small, carved, wood cup used to serve strong ale or other drinks, thus one would order an “egg in noggin” drink; you see the evolution. The origin of the eggnog recipe itself is thought to have originated from a medieval British drink called posset, which was composed of raw milk, spices and ale, or possibly back even further to the 12th century, when monks drank a mixture of eggs, figs and a sherry-style of wine. In the 17th century, British high society would toast to each others’ health (and their own wealth) with a concoction of milk, eggs and Madeira (all of which were in scarce supply at the time). During that same time period here across the pond, where most farms had plenty of cows and chickens, eggnog became a very popular wintertime drink. But because of the high tariff on Madeira and sherry coming from Europe, Americans started adding the more affordable rum from the Caribbean to their milk-and-eggs drink. Then, in the 1700s, as whiskey replaced rum as America’s liquor of choice, the eggnog recipes changed again. For many (including me), the favorite alcohol additive for eggnog is brandy. Because the flavor of brandy is less intense than either whiskey or rum, it allows more of the flavor of the eggs, milk, sugar and spices to dominate. My favorite brandies to add to eggnog are the slightly sweeter versions like Presidente from Mexico or Torres from Spain. If you would prefer to add rum to your eggnog, then pick up an amber-colored rum instead of a dark or a crystalclear rum. Two good choices are Mount Gay Eclipse Rum from Barbados or Appleton Special Rum from Jamaica. And if you prefer to use whiskey, then try George Dickel Rye or Evan Williams Kentucky Straight Bourbon; you won’t go wrong with either. Here is a simple recipe for homemade eggnog: In a blender, add 4 egg yolks and mix until they lighten in color. Gradually add 1/3 cup of sugar and mix until dissolved. Then, add 1 pint of whole milk, 1 cup of heavy cream, 1 teaspoon of nutmeg and 3 ounces of rum, brandy or whiskey and mix well. Chill and serve. This will make about 6 cups and will last in the refrigerator for days if necessary. Tim Korby is the director of Julio’s Liquors’ online wine store. He started in the wine industry in California in 1976 and moved to the Boston area in 2000. In addition to being a retail wine buyer, he has taught wine courses since 1984 and has regularly written newsletters, articles and blogs since 1981. Korby travels the world several times each year to find just the right wines for his customers and to learn the true romance of the wines he sells.

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CRAFT BREWS. FRESH BREADS. Celebrate the artisan craftsman with an unmatched selection of farm-fresh food, hand-crafted spirits and, of course, world class beers. In late September, you’ll be able to enjoy our expanded kitchen, 30 additional seats with semi-private function space, and the opening of Crust, our artisan bakeshop one block away. The slow food movement has found it’s home here.

118 Main Street Worcester MA 01608 OPENING LATE SEPTEMBER 2013

Lunch & dinner daily beginning at 11:30AM Brunch Saturdays & Sundays beginning at 10AM Located downtown in the historic courthouse district. 144 Main Street Worcester, MA 508.795.1012 Dec. 2013 | THEPULSEMAG.COM 39

Sports & Fitness

Modern day transformer By Kimberly Dunbar

According to Benjamin Mee in his memoir that was later turned into the 2011 movie We Bought a Zoo, sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage and something great will come of it. Just as Mee and his family transformed an old, broken-down zoo into a place people wanted to visit, Darline Thorp Yatim has done the same for Shrewsbury Health and Racquet Club (SHARC). In 2009, Yatim was working in membership sales at the gym, then a men’s hangout for racquetball where most of the club’s revenue was generated from the bar. “I was trying to sell a building that I didn’t like or even want to be in,” she said. “I knew that if someone came in, renovated it and put some money into it, it could change people’s lives.” Yatim, who had recently lost 150 pounds and experienced a personal transformation, decided she would be that person. After finding a bank that would back her in what would become the Great Recession, Yatim purchased the building and put in $750,000 worth of renovations. In addition to bringing the building up to code, updating the equipment, refurbishing the outdoor pool and gutting locker rooms that hadn’t been redone since they were built in 1971, Yatim also installed an indoor pool. “Every family club needs a pool,” said Yatim, whose fitness background began in aquatics. Today, that pool is used for classes for seniors, swim lessons for children and is a spot for the high school and town swim teams to practice. According to Yatim, since her takeover, membership has increased 500 percent, as SHARC’s focus is placed heavily on family and community. “I run the business the way I would want it to be,” said Yatim, a mother of three. “I’ve lived here for 12 years; I am the market. If it’s something I want, or kids and parents are going to want, I know I’m hitting my market.” Yatim knows her market well because she, like millions of other Americans, struggles with her weight and finding time to exercise. “In school, I was an athlete,” she said. “I was captain of the cheerleading squad and varsity in three sports. I stayed active in college, but then I started working 60-plus hours a week.” With a sedentary lifestyle and no structured sports available, work and high stress caused her to gain weight. Yatim, who said she had “eating disorders from one spectrum to the next,” started getting fit and healthy after being a stay-at-home mom. She got certified and taught group exercise for three years before landing in the sales department of the old club.

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“SHARC is welcoming because I have been everywhere,” she said. “From a successful athlete to someone you couldn’t pay to walk into a gym, I’ve seen it all. I want people to be healthy mentally and physically.” Yatim said SHARC strives for excellence, which means tailoring group fitness schedules to her members’ liking and learning everyone’s first name when they walk in the door. “I want it to be like Cheers. I want them to feel like it’s their second home,” she said. “When [new members] come in, my hope is that they’re not given the basic tour of the equipment because we have the same equipment everyone else has,” she said. But not everyone else takes the time to ask members their needs, their likes and how much time they have to exercise. “We assess your goals and figure out how you can do things here that are realistic.” And Yatim, who “went back to bad habits” after getting caught up in the stress of running the gym, certainly practices what she preaches. “I try to pick exercises that I enjoy and not just to burn calories,” she said. “That sucks. You will crash and burn. Find something you love doing and that will make you show up every day. “I’ve lost, gained, lost, gained again ~ now I’m losing,” Yatim said of her weight. “You can always start again. Don’t look at it as ‘I failed again,’ because you always have an opportunity to start again.” Sometimes, it only takes 20 seconds of insane courage. For more information on SHARC, visit

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beauty & style

Dressing for success on Main Street

By Maxine Giza

Bright and motivated, Ariel Wheeler is a confident professional on the road to success, but her path hasn’t been one without bumps. Not long ago, the woman with a now-4-year-old son faced the frightening reality of not knowing if she would have a job ~ or a paycheck for that matter ~ from day to day. While working towards a degree at Bay Path College, Wheeler held a string of full-time temporary positions. “I had one assignment where they told me that the next day would be my last, so I had one-day notice,” Wheeler said. “It can be pretty scary, and I didn’t want to keep going through that process.” Through an event at Bay Path College, Wheeler became acquainted with Dress for Success, an organization that offers a support system to prepare women for the workforce. Veronica Hachey, executive director of Dress for Success in Worcester, said the organization has served more than 2,000 women in the area since 2009. Recently, Dress for Success opened a newly renovated boutique on 484 Main St. in Worcester. The nonprofit aids those with demonstrated financial need. Many of the clients are single mothers who live in government housing. However, the backgrounds of some of the women may come as a surprise. “We have had women who have been very successful; they hold master’s degrees, own their own homes and cars, but were laid off from their jobs. They don’t have a significant other; it’s just them,” Hachey said.” They have really lost everything. They’ve lost their homes because they can’t find employment.”

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Through a referral system, women can get help with everything from resume writing and interviewing to the perfect work-appropriate wardrobe. “We have a personal shopper who will work with her [the client],” Hachey said. “We have this beautiful, brand-new renovated boutique, and we get them [clients] comfortable, and the personal shopper will start bringing her clothes.” The attire comes from a variety of sources, including personal donations and clothing drives run at corporate offices. The external transformations the women go through can be seen in more than just their wardrobes. “It’s a whole process we go through with them,” Hachey said. “They leave with their bags in their hands, and they are standing taller and seem more confident. They are looking you in the eye versus looking at their shoes.” The experience of working with the organization and the newfound courage that came along with it is something Wheeler is grateful for. “Dress for Success helped me really gain confidence in myself,” Wheeler said. “I didn’t think I could network; I didn’t think I could talk to people. Now, I am talking up a storm. It helped me realize I had something to bring to the table.” Dress for Success in Worcester aims to help at least 50 women a month. People interested in learning more about Dress for Success and volunteer opportunities can reach the organization at worcester@dressforsuccess. org or on Facebook at Photos by Tracey Whitney, Dress for Success.

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Get gorgeous for the holidays By Juli Fahey

The holiday season is the perfect opportunity to get dolled up. From head to toe, you need the perfect look. We’ve got you covered with everything from dresses and shoes to the perfect hair and makeup! The Clothes If you’re looking for a great dress ~ and shoes to match ~ check out David’s Bridal (, where you can go simple or glamorous without busting your holiday budget. Sleeveless Lace Dress with Sash Detail ~ What’s better than a black sleeveless lace dress for the holiday season? This dress will get heads turning in your direction at holiday parties. $159. Cap Sleeve Illusion Neckline Dress ~ Red is perfect for the holidays. Be bold and take a chance with this cap-sleeve red dress. $89. Sheer Matte Jersey Dress with Keyhole Neckline ~ A keyhole neckline dress ~ especially in navy blue ~ will make you stand out at your holiday party. $169. Lace High Heel Shootie with Flatback Crystals ~These heels are perfect to glam up a simple dress. $49.50. Nude High Heel Peep Toe Pump ~ This is a shoe for every dress. Every girl should own a pair of nude high heels, and it is the holidays, so treat yourself. $49.50.


Sometimes, the right accessories make the outfit. Try slipping on these great pieces from Three Jane ( for a fun, polished holiday look.   The Map Necklace ~ Do you want to carry a piece of your childhood around with you forever? Check out the Map Necklace. You pick the address, and Three Jane engraves it onto a 14K gold plate and marks your exact location with a small diamond. $150.

Blue or Sugar Plum, you can style up your own holiday look. $52.

The Hair Great hair always makes a big impression, whether you’re at a holiday party or just hanging out. Try one of these looks, achieved with Pravana hair products (, to finish off your holiday look. Supermodel Blowout ~ To achieve a runway-worthy blowout, begin by prepping damp hair with a cocktail of Pravana’s Full Volume and Model Behavior. Full Volume builds weightless body and texture, while Model Behavior provides a smooth, sleek surface, resulting in control and movement with added volume that takes hair to new heights without frizz.   Roped Fishtail ~ The modern braid is elegant, yet whimsical. Achieve this romantic, ethereal look by applying Invisible Control and Model Behavior to damp hair. Invisible Control provides added support to hold the braid, while Model Behavior smoothes flyaways and adds a natural sheen throughout the intertwined strands. Voluminous Updo ~ Modern, red carpet-worthy styles exude luxury and effortless elegance. Begin by prepping the hair with Full Volume and Invisible Control ~ no arsenal of hot styling tools or stiff sprays needed. Full Volume builds body from roots to ends, and Invisible Control allows you to manipulate classic shapes and movement while adding texture and support. 

The Makeup Finish up your bold holiday look with the right makeup. Whether you want a red lip or a shimmery eye, Mally Beauty ( has what you need. Lips ~ Wear a bold, fierce red lip to make your lips pop. Try the Mally Beauty Evercolor Satin Lipstick in Warm Red for brighter lips or Cool Red for a sophisticated look. $15.

Ooh La La Bottle Opener Bracelet ~ There is nothing more convenient than a stylish bracelet that is also a bottle opener. These bracelets will last you throughout the holiday season. You’ll never have to ask “Where’s the bottle opener?” at a holiday party again. $35.   Rachel’s Present Earring ~ Earrings for the holiday season can be hard to find. With a variety of colors, including Candy Cane Red, Evergreen, Tinsel

44 THEPULSEMAG.COM | Dec. 2013

Eyes ~ Make your eyes shimmer with color that will last all night! Try the Mally Beauty Evercolor Shadow Stick in Saddle Shimmer ($25). Then, enhance the shape of your eyes with fabulous, luxurious lashes with Mally Beauty’s Volumizing Mascara ($20). You look great, but there’s one more thing. … Spritz on Avon Passion Eau de Parfum ($35, for a sophisticated, yet feminine, vibe. Now, celebrate the holidays!

The Style List.

Dos and don’ts of holiday fashion By Stacia Kindler The holiday season is upon us, and as you might have guessed, stores are packed with glitzy garments for every holiday-crazed socialite. However, a foolproof ensemble might be easier said than done, as you scramble to fit shopping for yourself into your busier-than-ever schedule. The key is to keep calm and keep in mind a few of these rules.

Do: Play with texture Dressing for the holidays is all about texture! Luxurious fabrics such as velvet, fur, tweed and heavy knits are a must for a chic, yet cozy, holiday look. Paired with other tactile holiday-friendly fabrics, such as all-over lace or sequin pieces and silks, texture is a foolproof recipe for a holiday look that is sure to please. Whether paired with a common fabric or mixed and matched together, glorious texture is one thing that will get us through the bitter temperatures. Don’t: Overdo it A lot of stores start to look a little crafty around this time of year ~ don’t fall for it. Too much of anything might start to look a little overdone, especially garments decorated with embellishments such as loose glitter and rhinestones. If you must get your hands on a sparkle-crazy item, do it with accessories. A belt, bag or shoes should be just enough to get the shiny holiday message across without blending in with the decor. Do: Break the LBD mold The little black dress is without question an item every woman should have in her wardrobe. For the sake of holiday cheer, however, opt for reds or nudes for your holiday attire to really make your outfit pop with a lighthearted holiday change of pace. Don’t: Underestimate party pants Most girls are on the hunt for the perfect holiday dress this time of year and can easily get stressed when slimmer pickings don’t fulfill their high hopes. So if the dresses in your favorite stores aren’t doing it for you this holiday season, turn to the next biggest trend. Constructed of rich brocade and jacquard fabrics or embellished with shiny prints or lace, trousers are trendier and more perfect than ever for your holiday soiree. Pair them with a simple tunic and blazer for a great holiday outfit. Do: Winter whites White is unsurprisingly the go-to color this winter and a super-festive way to stand out among the black suits. Avoid looking costumey with modern shapes and trendy pieces, such as a classic sheath paired with a modern moto jacket. Just be sure to keep your colors crisp at the dinner table. Don’t: Show too much skin Intentionally or not, it happens every year ~ avoid being “that girl” by keeping it classy and choosing pieces with the right fit and tailoring and pairing them with the appropriate accessories. A mini dress will do fine paired with the right tights, but pump the breaks when it comes to a too-low neckline. After all, the holidays are a time for fun with family and friends, so don’t get caught looking like you’re ready for spring break. Do: Use hair accessories A great and simple way to stay festive without overdoing it over the holidays are statement hair accessories. Headbands especially are becoming more embellished than ever with something for everyone. Whether worn flat across the forehead or classically, a statement headpiece is a no-fuss way to spice it up for a last-minute get-together. Dec. 2013 | THEPULSEMAG.COM 45

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Pulse Magazine - December 2013  

A lifestyle & entertainment magazine for Central MA

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