Friday, April 22, 2016

21st-Century Homes on Cleveland's Millionare's Row

Homes are returning to Euclid Avenue’s Millionaire’s Row. Residential redevelopment of Cleveland’s Euclid Avenue gained speed with the avenue’s $200-million renovation that includes the HealthLine, a transit system from Public Square to University Circle. Large cement planters brim with fresh flowers, buildings sport new facades and the wide street boasts new bus shelters.

One could say the street is going back to its roots. The city’s most connected and wealthiest citizens built homes starting at Public Square in the mid-19th century. Sadly, many of the millionaire mansions that once graced the grand avenue known as “The Showplace of America” were destroyed in the early 20th century due to financial collapse and commercial expansion.

Euclid Avenue homes of the 21st century are more modest, but much easier to afford. While most of the dollars spent by developers have gone into apartments, the Park Building, which overlooks the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument on Public Square, has been converted into condominiums. A map of the street from 1846-47 (provided by the Western Reserve Historical Society and reprinted in “Showplace of America, Cleveland’s Euclid Avenue, 1850-1910” by Jan Cigliano, Kent State University Press, 1991) shows a home on the corner of Euclid and Ontario where the Park Building rests.

David Swetland hired Howells & Howells Enterprises LLC to renovate the Park Building, which his grandfather built in 1904 at the height of commercial expansion when bankers, lawyers and merchants overran Euclid Avenue. As stated on the property’s website, “The Howells family is honored to be working on this prestigious project. It is an opportunity to showcase the high-quality craftsmanship of Mr. Howells’ construction firm, MHA, and to continue the legacy that the Swetlands began over a century ago.”

With the new Euclid Avenue streetscape, downtown Cleveland has been redefined. There is a continuous flow of buildings and energy from Public Square out to Cleveland State University, and Cleveland State has now become the eastern edge of downtown. East of East Ninth Street and closer to the theater district at Playhouse Square, the Statler Arms at 1127 Euclid Avenue was built in 1912 as a luxury hotel. Today it offers apartment residences reached through its historic and luxurious lobby surrounded by boutique stores and a restaurant.

Residential redevelopment down Euclid Avenue from Public Square to Cleveland State is expected to continue. Josh Taylor, PR manager of the Downtown Cleveland Alliance, said that the challenges to renovating historic buildings depend on how the building was built. For example, he says, “The 668 Building didn’t take into account the need for natural light, so light atriums were built down to the first floor.”

Historic buildings present many factors for developers to keep in mind. “Challenges depend on how long the building was vacant, its upkeep and the historic tax credit requirement to maintain historic integrity,” explains Taylor. Developers may have to choose between tax credits and architectural changes that enhance a building’s desirability.

The Coral Company has developed 1900 Euclid Avenue Lofts. Formerly an office building, the complex, which was built in the 1920s, features luxury apartments across from Cleveland State University with window views of the downtown skyline, Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga Valley. Further down, the interior space of University Lofts across from Cleveland State University at 2010 and 2020 Euclid Avenue is alive with exposed brick walls and in-suite laundry facilities.

The Stager-Beckwith House remains at 3813 Euclid Avenue. Built during Euclid Avenue’s glory years, the property has been used as a private club. Currently on the market, the building reminds us of how vibrant Cleveland once was. 21st-century lifestyles have lost the extravagance of Cleveland’s forefathers, but that doesn’t mean Cleveland’s Euclid Avenue cannot become a comfortable home for those who value high-style living in an urban neighborhood. We all benefit from the private living going on along the grand avenue-Euclid Avenue.


The Park Building,

Showplace of America, Cleveland’s Euclid Avenue, 1850-1910 by Jan Gigliano, Kent State University Press, 1991.

East 4th Street,

668 Building,

The Coral Company,

Downtown Cleveland Alliance,

Tags:21st-Century Homes on Cleveland’s Millionare’s Row

22 Bible Verses for a Wedding Anniversary

Scriptures add significance and a personal touch when you want to renew your vows. Read through the list and select an appropriate Bible verses for your wedding anniversary. Your vows will strengthen the foundation of your marriage and provide an everlasting devotion to each other. There are several Bible passages to choose from. Feel free to use these verses for anniversary cards, cakes, programs or wedding invitations. All verses are from the New International Version.

Song of Solomon 2:16
My lover is mine and I am his; he browses among the lilies.

Proverbs 30:18-19
“There are three things that are too amazing for me, four that I do not understand: the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a snake on a rock, the way of a ship on the high seas, and the way of a man with a maiden.

Mark 10:6-9
“But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”

1 Corinthians 13
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Song of Solomon 8:7
Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away. If one were to give all the wealth of his house for love, it would be utterly scorned.

Ephesians 5:25
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

Colossians 3:14
And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

1 John 4:7-12
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

Colossians 3:12-19
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.

1 Corinthians 13:13
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Genesis 2:20-24
So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman, ‘ for she was taken out of man.” For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

Song of Solomon 7:10-12
I belong to my lover, and his desire is for me. Come, my lover, let us go to the countryside, let us spend the night in the villages. Let us go early to the vineyards to see if the vines have budded, if their blossoms have opened, and if the pomegranates are in bloom- there I will give you my love.

Genesis 1:27-28
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

John 15:9-17

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit-fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other.

Song of Solomon 8:6-7
Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away. If one were to give all the wealth of his house for love, it would be utterly scorned.

Matthew 19:4-6
“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female, ‘and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Proverbs 18:22
He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD.

Ephesians 5:22
Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.

Song of Solomon 2:10-13
My lover spoke and said to me, “Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come with me. See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land. The fig tree forms its early fruit; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance. Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one, come with me.”

Psalm 128
Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in his ways. You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours. Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your sons will be like olive shoots around your table. Thus is the man blessed who fears the LORD. May the LORD bless you from Zion all the days of your life; may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem, and may you live to see your children’s children. Peace be upon Israel.

Source: Holy Bible, New International Version

Tags:22 Bible Verses for a Wedding Anniversary

21 States Join the Federal Government and Raise Tobacco Taxes

The list of states now joining the Federal government in raising tobacco taxes is growing rapidly. Hard economic times are causing many states to consider tobacco tax increases even though the Federal government just raised theirs again. There are many arguments for and against the increases, but the states that have not yet participated will probably proceed as planned. The main argument for raising cigarette taxes is summed up nicely in a Salt Lake Tribune article by Paul Rolly.

“But here is an interesting fact compiled by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids: Every state that has raised its cigarette tax has gained more tax revenue, even though such tax increases reduce smoking.

Arizona, for example, raised its cigarette tax in 2006 by 82 cents per pack. That resulted in a 32.5 percent decrease in cigarette sales and a $44.5 million increase in revenue. When Alaska raised its tax by 60 cents in 2005, sales plummeted by 23.2 percent and tax revenues jumped by $9.4 million. “

Even though actual cigarette sales decrease, the tax revenues increase. The smokers in all these states will now be getting hit with a new state tax on top of the 62 cent per pack increase planned by the Federal government, which will occur on April 1st. Most store owners are against these taxes because of the inevitable decline in sales that will occur.

The list here shows states that have raised cigarette taxes or are in the process of doing so.

Each state tab below is linked to the source of the information, and credit for the information goes to that source.

Arkansas, up 56 cents per pack– MSNBC article by Jill Zeman
Delaware, up 45 cents per pack– Delaware Online article by Ginger Gibson
Florida, up $1 per pack- Miami Herald article by Fred Grim
Georgia,up 62 cents per pack– AJC article by Jim Tudor
Illinois, up $1 per pack– Salt Lake Tribune article by Paul Rolly
Kentucky, up 60 cents per pack– The Louisville Courier-Journal
Louisiana, up $1 per pack– Daily Comet article by John Dan Gielan
Minnesota, pending- ClearWay Minnesota article
Mississippi,up 31 cents per pack– CommercialAppeal article by Phil West
Nevada, pending- Seattle Times article by Cathy Bussewitz
New Jersey, up 12 cents per pack– Bloomberg article by Berrence Dopp
New Hampshire, $1 per pack– article by Jason Claffey
New Mexico, up $1 per pack– Silver City Sun article, AP
North Carolina, up $1 per pack– article by Anna Looper
Oregon, up 60 cents per pack– KCBY News article by Nicole Plascencia
Pennsylvania, up 10 cents per pack– TribLive News article by Thomas A. Briant
South Carolina, up 60 cents per pack– WIS10 article by Stewart Moore
Utah, pending– Salt Lake Tribune article by Paul Rolly
Virginia, up 65 cents per pack– WDTV News article by Julia Pizzonia
West Virginia, up 65 cents per pack– MSNBC article by Lawrence Messina
Wisconsin, pending– Royal Purple article by Tawnie Thompson

Thanks for reading

Tags:21 States Join the Federal Government and Raise Tobacco Taxes

21st Birthday Themes & Ideas

A 21st birthday is a big event for family, friends, and of course the special birthday boy or birthday girl themselves! Planning a 21st birthday presents lots of options, but the biggest decision one has to make is whether or not to have a theme, and if so what it should be.

Having a theme makes an event more memorable for everyone involved, but need not be complex if you don’t want it to be. Consider a theme for your upcoming birthday, and remember to give your guests some warning so that they can devise a costume too. Here are some theme ideas that might just tickle your fancy.

Formal: While not a particularly creative theme, a formal dress code does give everyone the opportunity to dress up and look their smartest. A formal 21st will encourage formal proceeding, such as the infamous 21st speeches.

Masquerade: Having everyone dressed up with masks can be as formal or informal as you desire. You may encourage guests to wear high quality masks, or distribute bulk bought cardboard masks of animal faces. You can also combine a masquerade theme with other themes.

Toga: Togas are very informal, and everyone has the ability to come up with a costume! Be warned though, alcohol and togas cal lead to some embarrassing situations.

Rubik’s Cube: The concept of a Rubik’s cube party is that everyone arrives wearing different colored pants, tops and hats. By the end of the night, everyone should be trying to wear an outfit of the same color, by swapping with other people. You can award prizes for people who actually manage to be wearing only one color by the end of the night! Be warned, guests could become mischievous!

Diamonds & Denim: A classy and casual theme, the idea is for each guest to be casual whilst at the same time having the opportunity to get out their favorite jewelry, or just something that sparkles. It’s an elegant, easy theme.

40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s etc: Pick your favorite era and make that your theme! It’s usually not too hard to find clothes for (especially for retro shoppers), and you might find the parents still fit into the clothes they wore when they were 21.

Childhood Dreams: This theme requires everyone to think back to their childhood and dress up as what they wanted to be when they’d ‘grow up’. Expect to see lots of firefighters, policemen and doctors.

If you have a favorite television show, band, color or a favorite anything you can make that into a theme for your 21st (or any other) birthday. It’s your birthday, so it’s your decision!

Tags:21st Birthday Themes & Ideas

21st Easter

They say your 21st birthday is supposed to be one of the most memorable days of your life. For myself, it seemed that mine would be extra special given it fell on Easter that year. But instead of going out with friends and family for my 21st and celebrating one of my favorite holidays, on April 12, 2009, I found myself severely ill and in the hospital. Ten months before that I had major surgery done to remove my gallbladder in June 2008, and five months later in December 2008, I had to get surgery on my sinuses after one of them obstructed. My health was beginning to drag me down, and the positive attitude I always embraced was slowly diminishing.

Growing up, Easter had remained one of my top favorites. As a child, we remember loving the Easter egg hunts, the candy and chocolate in our baskets, and sitting on the Easter Bunny’s lap. We remember reading notes from the Easter Bunny and discovering the half-eaten carrot-sticks. Our imaginations were endless. It always had a way of reminding us of spring time and being close to the family and friends that we love. But this particular year I had lost those memories. I remember spending hours that day lying in the hospital bed and getting violently ill every few hours. All I could think about was how everyone else was happy and enjoying their holiday; how everyone else always got to celebrate their 21st, but I was miserable and unable to do so.

I was so focused on that, that I never realized how truly blessed I was until later that night when I was alone. My parents and little brother spent a good majority of their day by my side. Multiple friends and several other family members came to visit. Some of my friends even brought me a Easter basket with a bunny ear headband they had made saying “I’m a hip-hoppity 21-year-old!” My friend’s 3-year-old daughter made me a get well card. The whole day my cell phone was blowing up with texts of people wishing me a happy birthday and asking how I was feeling. On a day where I was so devastated, I found myself surrounded by so much love and comfort.

I had started off my day so discouraged, but by nightfall, I ended up finding solace within this negative turn of events. And isn’t that what some of these holidays are about? Being grateful for the things in life we do have, remembering that God doesn’t give us anything we can’t handle, and fully embracing the love and comfort others bestow upon us? This was a major turning point in my life, and my most memorable Easter. It reminded me of all the beauty and love that sometimes gets hidden among the shadows. If you are struggling this Easter and find yourself down, always remember that there are people in the world that truly love and care about you. Don’t ever give up in the hope of tomorrow. Even in our most darkest struggles, there is always a small, glimmering light waiting for you to fully embrace.

Tags:21st Easter

#22 A&M Falls Short at #24 Baylor

In another physical game that went down to the wire, Texas A&M’s No. 22 men’s basketball team was knocked off by No. 24 Baylor Wednesday, 70-66.

“It was a great atmosphere and a great game,” said Baylor head coach Scott Drew. “It was a typical Baylor versus Texas A&M game from the last couple of years. I am glad that every time these two teams play that it’s on national television because I think this rivalry warrants that.”

The Aggies (19-8, 8-5) fall into a three-way tie for fourth in the Big 12 standings. Due to tie-breakers, A&M sits in sixth behind Texas and Baylor (21-6, 8-5).

Trailing 56-46 with 8:16 left, the Aggies made their push behind six-consecutive free throws by senior forward Bryan Davis. Cutting the lead to one, B.J. Holmes hit a huge three-pointer with 3:32 to go.

Freshman forward Ray Turner hit two free throws to cut Baylor’s lead to 67-66 with 50 seconds remaining. The Bears drained the clock and grabbed an offensive rebound forcing an A&M foul at the 17 second mark.

“We played great defense that last possession, but the ball bounced their way,” said A&M head coach Mark Turgeon. “It bounced long. We had inside position, but it bounced to (Ekpe) Udoh. He went and got it and we had to foul. We were right there, just couldn’t get the stop and rebound to give us a chance to win it.”

Following two Baylor free-throws, A&M senior guard Donald Sloan missed the tying three-pointer as the clock ticked down. Baylor would close the game out from the charity stripe.

“We got a good look and we’ll take it against the zone,” Turgeon said. “Sloan got a pretty good look and he was hot.”

Reminiscent of years past, toughness and physicality characterized the game between A&M and Baylor.

“It is probably one of the most physical games that we know we have on our schedule all year,” Sloan said. “It’s going to be tough. It’s going to be scrappy. We knew it was going to be a good game and we already knew that coming in.”

Despite the rough play by both teams, the Aggies’ ended up on the wrong end of 26 personal fouls that led to 30 Baylor free-throws. With most of the starting lineup in foul trouble, A&M was hampered down the stretch.

“It was a big part of it,” Turgeon said. “(David) Loubeau has been a big player for us. He has had a good year, but he didn’t play a lot. Right when I put him back in, he picked up his fifth so I am a little disappointed. I had to play freshmen a lot.”

Leading the Aggies’ down low, Davis recorded a double-double with 14 points and a team-high 10 rebounds. Davis also made 8-of-11 from the free-throw line.

Offensively, Sloan led the way for A&M, sinking 9-of-17 from the field and finishing with a team-high 22 points.

Baylor junior guard Lacedarius Dunn led the way for the Bears with a team-high 23 points and eight rebounds. Dunn also hit 4-of-7 from beyond the arch including two consecutive three-pointers that answered the Aggies’ comeback.

Despite the defeat, Turgeon was still happy to see the fight that his team displayed Wednesday. “I was really proud of our effort. We shot 36 percent on the road, but were one stop away from a chance to win it. We play with effort. The guys do what I ask them to do. We believe in each other, we just couldn’t get it done tonight.”

A&M will get a shot at redemption this Saturday when No. 21 Texas comes to Reed Arena.

Tags:#22 A&M Falls Short at #24 Baylor

22 Questions for Anyone Who Wants a Happier Marriage

It is a fact that if a person truly wants to enjoy improvements in their life and in their marriage, they must make positive shifts in their way of thinking and operating.

But, before that can happen, they must become aware of what shifts they need to make. And sometimes, all a person needs is a few simple questions…questions that help them see themselves in a new and different way…and then they are able to make the shifts that produce MAJOR improvements in their life.

Knowing this, consider these questions in relation to you, your spouse, and your marriage:

1. Whose efforts do I depend upon to get what I want?

2. Do I need my spouse in order to get what I want?

3. Is the satisfaction and fulfillment that I desire dependent upon my spouse?

4. Is my physical, financial, intellectual, emotional, or spiritual well-being tied to my spouse?

5. Do I believe my spouse is obligated to take care of me?

6. Is it my belief that my spouse should come through for me when I want something…without any effort on my part?

7. Do I blame my spouse for the results, conditions, and circumstances in my life?

8. Do I require the support of others…which gives them license to control me?

9. Who does my thinking for me?

10. Who drives my actions? Do I act of my own volition…or am I acted upon by others?

11. Who do I get my direction from?

12. Who do I expect to validate me?

13. Who is it that I primarily rely upon?

14. How cooperative with others am I?

15. How clear am I on what I want out of my marriage?

16. How clear am I on what my spouse wants out of our marriage?

17. How clear am I on what my spouse and I want together out of our marriage?

18. Do I consider my spouse’s talents and abilities to be threats or allies?

19. Am I a person of integrity, power, strength, and courage?

20. Does my behavior indicate a belief that I must manipulate people into giving me what I want?

21. Does my mode of operation reveal a belief that I must use available “assets” as leverage…as weapons…to get what I want?

22. How much energy do I give to my spouses weaknesses, failures, and flaws?

Here’s an eye-opening exercise you can try; on a piece of paper, write down the major frustrations you are experiencing in your marriage. Then, reference each frustration against these 22 questions.

What did you find out?

Copyright 2010, Article by Calle Zorro of

Would you like to zap away everything that’s unhappy and unpleasant from your marriage? Would you like to start afresh and anew…remaking your marriage into the wonderful relationship it’s supposed to be? Would you like to get the marriage you thought you were getting when you first got married? Whether you need a marriage tune-up, a marriage makeover, or a marriage miracle, and especially, if you’ve sought marriage counseling or marriage help before and it didn’t work, go here:

Tags:22 Questions for Anyone Who Wants a Happier Marriage

23 Oprah Favorites Rated as Christmas Gift Ideas

Oprah favorites may help if you’re stumped for Christmas gift ideas. These are 23 of Oprah’s favorite things for 2010 just in time for holiday giving.

Philip Stein Oprah 24th Anniversary Watch: They’re good quality watches even without the 58 diamonds on the limited edition of these Oprah favorites.

Tory Burch Flannel Tote And Ballerina Flat: You can never have too many tote bags or ballerina flats.

Nikon D3100 Digital SLR Camera: It’s easy to use and takes great pictures and movies so what a perfect Christmas gift.

Ralph Lauren Cashmere Sweater And Throw: I’d love a cashmere throw.

Judith Ripka Eclipse Earrings: I’d rather spend the $500 on more unique vintage pieces.

Andre Walker Shampoo and Hair Kit: It’s the season to make peace even if it’s just with your hair.

Lafco House Candle Set: I’d stick with Molton Brown.

Williams-Sonoma Panini Press: I’m afraid it would just collect dust.

Kyocera ceramic knife: They’re light and sharp and durable.

Beecher’s Handmade Macaroni And Cheese: Overpriced macaroni and cheese annoys me so I’d pass on these Oprah favorite things.

Baker’s Edge Brownie And Lasagna Pans: Brilliant for chewy-edged brownies and lasagna that stays tidy.

Ghiardelli Brownie Mix: It’s okay for a mix.

Marianne Williamson’s A Course In Weight Loss: I don’t need diet books but this is probably better than most.

Jay-Z’s Decoded: Give me the Godard Piano Trios by the Trio Parnassus.

5 Year Netflix Membership: Make mine for life.

52 Inch Sony 3D TV: I can be content with a much more ordinary TV.

Sony Blue Ray Player And Movie Collection: This is more tempting but it might make me want the TV above.

Kiva Gift Card: It’s an organization where you loan money to entrepreneurs worldwide to alleviate poverty so it’s another great Oprah Christmas gift idea.

Custom Container Store Closet: I could use one of these.

“O” Store Long Sleeve T-Shirt: Logos on the front and back, hot pink, and half polyester? I’ll keep getting my t-shirts from Akris.

Lululemon Drawstring Pants: They’re comfortable and they’ve got pockets.

Nike Sneakers: Mine wear out quickly just from walking, but they’re a decent value and comfortable.

Royal Caribbean Cruise: These cruises baffle me. I’d rather spend time at my vacation destination rather than on a big ship.

Many of these Oprah favorites make great Christmas gift ideas, but there’s a few of Oprah’s favorite things that I’d want to return.

Source: “Oprah Surprises Audience With Her Favorite Things From 2010”, Brainz

Tags:23 Oprah Favorites Rated as Christmas Gift Ideas

24 Artist Lane Creative Drive State of Confusion

Creativity, seductive siren tireless task mistress,
sings from out all artist’s dreams
prodding and poking in vague memory streams

Through dim hours of the night
Her once hidden plan comes to light

For artists belabored, weary, even driven it seems,
works on in the darkness, giving life to imaginings
here yet unseen.

Should her promptings be unheeded
Her calls shall not cease
Till the artist tormented, gives up or gives in and creates
If not for art’s glory, then out of shear lack of sleep.

Authored by my wife Joyce

Tags:24 Artist Lane, Creative Drive, State of Confusion

22 Laws of Happiness; How to Pry Open the Cellar of Esoteric Consciousness

Have you ever seriously considered prying open the jammed up musty cellar of your deeply harbored resentments to let them breathe, escape and find a more advantageous home? [Resentment is nothing short of extraordinary unexpressed talent waiting to be set free to be utilized and enjoyed] Like the Israelites under the Pharaoh’s captive domain, Talent does not behave well when forced to remain locked up and hidden away. Human beings are elaborately constructed intricately weaved complicatedly complex creatures, who in the dogmatic administration and execution of their in natural born abilities, find extreme difficulty embracing the liberating freedom and erotic pleasure associated from simply letting them find their own unexpected way in free-flowing expressive outlets. Not only do most mortals feel guilty for having exceptional abilities, (when they cut the ‘crapo’ to admit they really do possess such artistic talent) but they often sublimate the hypnotic influencing attracting power of them until at such time they can no longer contain the animosity it takes to maintain incarceration.

Listed below you will find 22 laws of happiness attached to the releasing of your artistic ability. You were born to exhibit your gifts. You were given the abilities to draw enormous pleasure from them. Unless you are fulfilling the most essential part of your sensual sexual sacred artistic self, you are miserable and will remain so. Cease trying to be a martyr. You are really doing nothing noble but instead exaggerating your consciously deprived personality. So much easier and fun to be rawfully real. Who wants to waste a life as an overblown buffooned phony? Everybody knows!

  1. You possess undeniable talent and with that talent you want something to come from it; therefore, you must be opposed.
  2. Life is a continuous ‘push and pull’ struggle; the tension maintained constitutes your anxious uncertain reality. The road shredded between “yes” and “no” creates the gap of oblivion.
  3. The more diverse your desires, the more stagnation you experience.
  4. Personal fixed determination of insistence of where the talent should go and how it should manifest, decrees the unending complexity involved in obscuring the outcome. (It deforms the process)
  5. An elaborate range of schemes to obstruct the attainment of goals is cleverly devised, (by you) dependent solely upon the intensity of vehement insistence to push a rope. Lighten up. All things in due season.
  6. The lack of focus and sporadically induced commitment presented in your passion of personal desire guarantees a complicated barrier of resistance, defense and the expressed need to overcome defeat. (It’s just the way you like it.)
  7. The difficulty implicated in this personal obstruction is necessary for the exhibition of the veiled project.
  8. A concurrent indispensable artistic theme runs throughout the process of your life; each day produces obvious clues, signs, symbols, and events which expose the truth of that specific talent to you.
  9. The extreme poles in/of your behavior establish the parameters necessary to produce your worthwhile contribution.
  10. Do not allow yourself to be thrown asunder by the emotionally entangled construction of your own fibrous networks of deceit.
  11. Remain acutely aware and awake during any and all confrontations. It is easy to be jarred momentarily off-course by the seemingly unsettling events that occur on the outside of you but to remain ferociously fixed within and ruthlessly detached produces poignant appreciation of purpose.
  12. Nothing occurs by accident. Circumstances are not divided into ‘good and bad’ episodes. All situations all part of the vitally necessary unfolding picture.
  13. Do not make distinctions or maintain positions by allowing preferences to reign. Remain observant without comment or interference.
  14. Allow that which appears the most uncomfortable, unsavory and undesirable, (first) to surface without hesitation or rejection, meander where it will go and disappear without as much as an atom’s worth of intervention.
  15. Passion must be engaged in order to recognize, seize and channel a true artistic vision. Nothing is forbidden. To Make and uphold walls of restriction or judgment will only add ambiguity to the revelation in liberal gratitude.
  16. When unexpected turmoil and chaos appear, be exceedingly awake and grateful; a new level of sacred artistic activity is emerging. Be fully engaged in the eye of the storm of the apparent emotional disaster without having drawn premature inaccurate conclusions. An invaluable clue is hidden among the remains. Confiscate it.
  17. You must always remember and never forget, you on traveling the path of your particular desire which requires the utmost pinpointed observance, detachment, and inner equilibrium.
  18. The treacherous path of psychological recourse is strewn with all sorts of indigestible demons, flesh-eating insects, and barbarous ghosts who have been produced by your own conflicting negative, doubtful, unappreciative, jealous, envious, gluttonous, sour, faithless thoughts. Move through them without even as much as a nod of affirmation.
  19. Even greater than your proposed desire, resides a deep unresolved NEED. This need is camouflaged as an aspiration to eliminate a defect, fear, anxiety or flaw in your human make-up. It is always masked by the unrelenting and unmistakable trait of selfishness. Your current level of stinginess reveals the intensity of your wanting to ‘keep in tact’ a false persona and of not wanting it to be exposed. Get rid of the neurotic need to eliminate that ‘thorn in the flesh.’
  20. The core of this unresolved NEED is buried in a bottomless sea of continued denial. You see and experience yourself as too ‘special.’ You are not separate from the whole of existence. Your entire life, filled with ALL of the conflicting events has contributed to the bitterly obliging character you are. Without admitting that you really feel disconnected from everyone and everything, you can in no wise rise to the momentous occasion of your innate talent’s production.
  21. You long to be recognized as someone very talented; applauded for the exceptional gifts you possess. You are so inwardly detonated because the day of your particular showcase arrival has not yet appeared. Forget that nonsense. It will only lead you astray. Be ‘ordinary’ in the hour of extraordinariness.
  22. And, when “IT” does finally happen, you must realize that nothing changes, you feel the exact same way, maybe even worse for what you have so desperately wanted now evaporates into nothingness. In order to remain on earth, you must start the cycle all over again. The cycle of anticipation, expectation and hopeful wishing for things to improve. Be Where You Feet Are and as Paul so eloquently stated, “…Therefore, I learned to be content in whatever state I find myself….”

Tags:22 Laws of Happiness; How to Pry Open the Cellar of Esoteric Consciousness

23 Unusual Tips to Get Better Sleep

Are you having trouble sleeping? You’re not alone. With so many obligations and the stress of work, school, and other sources, it can be very difficult to get the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try your hardest to get adequate rest though.

A lack of sleep can impact your work performance and mood in a negative way. Here are some tips to take into consideration if you are having trouble sleeping.

1. Get to bed earlier.
2. Invest in some ear plugs.
3. Cut out caffeine (at least at night).
4. Read before bed.
5. Prepare for bed an hour ahead of time.
6. Avoid exercise within 5 hours of going to bed.
7. Make up your bed before settling in it.
8. Let your mind go blank.
9. Forget your worries.
10. Be active during the day – exercise regularly.
11. Don’t sleep in late.
12. Wake up earlier.
13. Drink calming herbal tea before bed.
14. Find the right type of pillow.
15. Develop a bedtime routine.
16. Go to bed at the same time every night.
17. Avoid nicotine.
18. Avoid alcohol.
19. Get a more comfortable bed.
20. Room temperature matters – cool is best.
21. Stop tossing and turning so much – stay still.
22. Avoid bed time snacks.
23. Only use your bed for sleeping.

Sleeping is one of the most, if not the most important functions of the human body. Getting enough of it is essential. These tips can act as a guide on your way to better sleeping patterns.

Tags:23 Unusual Tips to Get Better Sleep

$24 in 24 Hours: Athens Georgia

I started the day at 8 am. After contemplating and debating what I wanted for breakfast, I decided to head to Mama’s Boy. Located in the heart of Athens on 197 Oak St. lies Mama’s Boy. I love Mama’s Boy because you can substitute a lot here and the portions are huge for the price you pay. I was craving French toast, so I decided to go with the “Georgia Peach French Toast” for $7.50. Although I love to enjoy orange juice in the morning, I went with water as choice beverage because it is great with sweeter dishes. The total was $7.50 + $1 tip, which brought my total to $8.50.

For lunch, I found myself at The Grit. Although this popular vegetarian eatery is one of my favorite places to eat, they are also relatively affordable. Located on 199 Prince Avenue, I think with my $24 budget, I would be able to enjoy a lunch here. I decided to go with the “Grilled Cheese Smelt” for $5.95. The sandwiches come with a side of chips. I decided to order an Iced Tea for $1.50. The order came to $7.45. This brought my total as of now to $15.95.

As dinner started approaching, my stomach started to really growl. One of my favorite eateries was the Blind Pig Tavern, so that is where I wanted to frequent. Located on 485 Baldwin St, the prices are relatively good, so I think I can find something here that will allow me not to go over the budget. After browsing the many great possibilities, I decided to go with the “Veggie Burger Philly” for $6.99. At this point, I was at $22.94, so I went with just water. After tip, the total came to $23.94.

Tags:$24 in 24 Hours: Athens, Georgia

24 Cast Celebrates Their 150th Episode - Season 7 Premiere

It’s one of the most faithfully-watched shows in recent memory, and last night the cast and crew of “24” celebrated their 150th episode and Season 7 premiere.

Stars like Kiefer Sutherland, Elisha Cuthbert, and Mary Lynn Rajskub converged on XIV in Los Angeles for the swanky industry party thrown by 20th Century Fox.

Miss Cuthbert looked spectacular as she posed for the paparazzi on the red carpet, sporting a conservative-yet-sexy bluish-green dress with black heels.

Meanwhile, Mr. Sutherland maintained his reputation for rugged good looks in a charcoal sportcoat with a matching vest and a pair of distressed jeans.

See more pictures at

©2008, All Rights Reserved

Tags:24 Cast Celebrates Their 150th Episode - Season 7 Premiere

23 PC Games Coming Fall 2008

Whether buying a game for yourself, a friend, or even doing early Christmas shopping, here is a list of games coming your way. Note: This is not a complete list, and dates may be subject to change.

Sep. 1 – Combat Mission: Shock Force – Marines
– Genre: Turn-based
Sep. 2 – Ford Racing: Off Road
– Genre: Rally/Off Road
Sep. 5 – S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky
– Genre: Sci-Fi/Shooter
Sep. 7 – Spore
– Genre: Breeding/Constructing
Sep. 9 – Romance of the Three Kingdoms XI
– Genre: Historic
Sep. 10 – Nikopol: Secrets of the Immortals
– Genre: Fantasy
Sep. 12 – Righteous Kill: The Game
– Genre: General
Sep. 16 – Crysis Warhead
– Genre: Modern
Sep. 16 – Everlight
– Genre: General
Sep. 16 – Mount & Blade
– Genre: PC-style RPG
Sep. 22 – Sid Meier’s Civilization IV: Colonization
– Genre: Historic
Sep. 23 – Dark Horizon
– Genre: Futuristic Jet
Sep. 23 – King’s Bounty: The Legend
– Genre: Fantasy
Oct. 7 – The Guild 2: Venice
– Genre: Historic
Oct. 15 – Medal of Honor: 10th Anniversary Edition
– Genre: Historic
Oct. 21 – Far Cry 2
– Genre: Modern
Oct. 21 – Heist
– Genre: Modern
Oct. 28 – Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3
– Genre: Sci-Fi
Oct. 28 – MotoGP 08
– Genre: Street
Nov. 4 – Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir
– Genre: PC-style RPG
Nov. 18 – Need for Speed Undercover
– Genre: GT/Street
Nov. 20 – Left 4 Dead
– Genre: Sci-Fi
Nov. 21 – Grand Theft Auto IV
– Genre: Modern

Source: Titles and dates found at

Tags:23 PC Games Coming Fall 2008

23 Yearld New Zealand Man Found Dead While Watching Eclipse

A 23 year old man from New Zealand, who is believed to be a transient was found dead in a Wellington theater, while watching the Twilight Saga: Eclipse.

It is believed that the man had attended the 6:00pm showing of the vampire hit, Eclipse when he died. The movie ended at approximately 8:40pm that evening. A staff member was doing his duty and cleaning the theater when he found the body slumped over in the theater seat.

They emergency crew tried to revive him but had no luck. The police arrived on the scene and found no injuries or anything that was of suspicion. There will be an autopsy later this week.

Eclipse is the number one box office hit right now that tells the story of human, Bella Swan and vampire, Edward Cullen and their Romeo and Juliet story.

Lexington, KY box offices reported that they had multiple midnight and even 1 am showings on the 29th and have often had up to 4 theaters reserved for this movie. It has definitely been the hit of the summer.

For more information on this and other things related to vampires please subscribe above or follow me on twitter at twitter.comtenavarney

Tags:23 Yearld New Zealand Man Found Dead While Watching Eclipse

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...