The Downtown Location continues to host Acousitc Night in our PUB every Thursday night, starting around 8 or 9pm.  The venue is free of charge and there is no purchase necessary to see a performance.

The following is an excerpt taken from the website of recent Acoustic Night performer, ZACH.

“You can’t act like you’re having this much fun.” Indeed, it is no act. It is nothing less than a genuine love for music. This love shows in everything the seasoned artist does, especially his high-energy shows, which frequently send people into “Zach Attacks” – uplifting moments where people are compulsively risen out of their seats by the passion to dance, sing, cheer, or scream out. “I love reaching people. I know I’m doing my job when people come up to me and say ‘I’m kicking drugs,’ ‘I’m quitting a job I hate to do something I’ve always wanted to do,’ ‘Your music has helped my autistic child become more sociable and make major progress with his condition,’ or ‘Your music has helped me get through some bad times, or Cancer or something, or has turned around a bad day.’ That is why I sing. How could you not put all of your passion into that?”

Zach’s newest CD, Face With a View, released in the summer of 2005, is certainly flowing with this passion. Though he has self-released three prior CD’s, this newest one is his crowning achievement. “This record was the first that I really took a good deal of control over, and so I was able to really communicate more so than in my previous recordings. The growth I’ve gone through over the last three years is incredibly prevalent. The songs I chose this time needed to fit the concept of a very genuine and sincere emotional cycle that I felt the record needed to portray.” Its true beauty is in soulful simplicity. The title was chosen to fit this cycle as a reminder that there is beauty everywhere, even if it has to be actively sought at times. Zach was accompanied by the living bass legend, Jeff Berlin, on a song called “Girl in the Corner.” “Jeff was perfect for this song. Because of his feel and technical abilities as well as his interest in the pop music world, I knew he could take the song to another dimension of beauty and innate communication with his extraordinary melodic bass style.” The first single, “Distracted,” brought in producer Michael Seifert (Guided by Voices, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony), drummer Joe “Coach” Hanna (Toby Lightman, Gavin DeGraw), and Billy Sullivan (the Raspberries) to fully augment this proven popular hit. “I thrive on all environments that challenge both myself and everyone around me to grow. Working on this record has been this way, which is why it captured my intents so successfully.”

Zach is no stranger to touring. He performs over 200 shows a year, taking him all over the country, and placing him on stage with Chicago, Bad Company, Catie Curtis, Maia Sharp, Steve Poltz, Rick Springfield, Rusted Root, Farm Aid, Jen Chapin, Michael Bolton, and Buckwheat Zydeco. His exciting, high energy shows and spiritually emotional material have gathered a devoted following and give Zach the ability to win-over and move audiences both in and outside of his genre. “People want to be entertained, but you can’t always be mindlessly entertained. That only goes so far and only fulfills so much. You need substance too.” The coffee shop scene permitted Zach the opportunity to begin and grow as a performer, and he still gravitates toward the more intimate settings. “I love to rock out and dance around! Anytime. But songwriter shows, especially the New York Songwriter Circle at the Bitter End, are so fundamentally based on the song and not the show and are mentally very gratifying. It is so inspiring to be on such a legendary stage with peers on both sides of your career, learning from them. You never stop learning. It’s one of my favourite aspects of life.” Zach is being dubbed a role model for the echo-boomer generation, though he is very appealing to all age groups. His fan-focused approach to performing and promoting, which includes the widely popular “Zach Pack Newsletter,” has earned him a growing and dedicated fan base, resulting in, among other things, his website, Zachmusic.net receiving around 30,000 hits each month. Zach’s heavy performance schedule has also awarded such accolades as #3 All-Time Best Artist as nominated by the 20,000 listeners of WAPS 91.3 FM The Summit in Akron , Ohio and a Finalist in the Soul City Café Music Quest sponsored by pop-star Jewel.

“I’ve always been drawn to writing and reading.” Zach is not only a highly prolific songwriter, with over 200 songs in only four short years, but an accomplished fiction writer, too. A short story Zach wrote as a senior in high school, “Bolero,” won 6th place in the New Century Writer’s Award, was a finalist in a Francis Ford Coppola/Zoetrope Magazine writing contest, and was read at the Nation Undergraduate Literature Conference in Utah . “I’m inspired by everything, especially things that are artistically and culturally enhancing — that really brings out the best in my creativity.” In addition to this, he has finished two novels, which he plans on releasing in the future. “Who knows, maybe someday, I’ll be doing the soundtrack to the movie of the book I wrote. But really, happiness is simply singing my songs to people, changing the world one minute, one life, at a time.”

“’You must be the change you wish to see in the world’”.

Truly, a breath of fresh air.
Accolades/Awards:
Best Singer/Songwriter, a 3 time winner of Best Pop Act in the Cleveland Music Festival, 2 Golden Viking Awards, Best Singer/Songwriter Nominee in the Free Times Music Awards 5 times, Best Pop Song (Garageband.com); over 2,500 Spins on WAPS 91.3 The Summit; was a finalist in the national Soul City Café Music Quest; a finalist in the Unisong Song Contest; receives over 150,000 hits and growing per month on the website, and over 83,000 views on his MySpace; named in the TOP 3 Artists spun on WAPS 91.3 The Summit Radio (6 places above the Beatles); performs over 200 shows a year nation-wide, had his song “On Christmas Morning” spun on over 130 radio stations; wrote the jingle/theme song for the nationally syndicated radio show “Into the ‘70’s with Tom Kent;” had music featured in several independent films and an Extreme Home Makeover Documentary.

ZACH Attacks:

“Zach is an awesome talent! John Lennon’s compassion courses through his veins.  I’m very impressed with this kid and believe he is a star!  He is also a down to earth, level headed decent human being willing to do whatever it takes to make it.  Also, I’ve seen him live and he’s just as good live as his recorded presentation and a charmer as well.”   — Tom Kent, Elektra Records

“ZACH’s performance is in a word, INCREDIBLE!  I have never seen a solo performance like it.  If you’ve never seen one of his solo shows you gotta go.” — Rick Reich, Rudedog Music Promotions
“If Zach’s intension was capturing the power of his live show, he succeeds on 1.19.2007.” — The Cleveland Plain Dealer

“The very definition of ‘working musician,’ Zach performs more than 200 shows a year, playing onstage with both classic and contemporary performers … Zach channels smart and sensitive James Taylor-esque lyrics and melodies, peppered with the contemporary zing of Gavin DeGraw or Jason Mraz.  His spunky live shows are mostly Zach originals, and his goose-bump-inducing cover of john Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ is worth the price of admission.”  — Bill Gruber, Program Manager, 91.3 WAPS The Summit

“Zach’s music is pop/rock at its best, with catchy hooks and insightful, clever lyrics. At times, Zach sounds like James Taylor, others like “80’s group Crowded House. But through it all, he is forging his own unique sound that is getting attention.” — Tim Busbey, Ashland Times-Gazette

“He’s (Zach) very cool. I think “Distracted” is my favorite one. I also love the guitars in “Son Of The Circus.”  Nice and crunchy. I hope it does well. He definitely deserves to be heard.” — Maia Sharp

“ZACH has exceptional talent and I’d like to see him make it all the way.  I think he will.  And that’s why I’m here [performing on stage with ZACH].” — Jeff Berlin

“Zach is a seasoned musician and a great songwriter” — Jeff Niesel, Cleveland Free Times

“We did that kids show, which was great. He was great! He was dancing on the stage. The kids were loving him! He was very animated. I really enjoyed having him on that show. And his album is great — in the groove!”  — Johnny Ciao, legendary Culinary Rocker and chef of the stars

“I love his voice.” — Brett Dennen

“What’s clear is that people loved Zach’s stuff. We received emails and message board postings from people who are blown away by his  work. His music has touched many lives through this competition and we’re all very grateful for his participation. Soul City Cafe is extremely proud of its association with Zach.” — Ken Calhoun, Soul City Cafe

“He has released a pair of good albums, and his better-than-average songwriting — emotional, witty and surprisingly kinetic folk-pop …he carries himself with soul and elegance.” — Ed Bumgardner Relish staff writer

“I enjoyed listening to the CD … someone will recognize his talent.” — Dick Clark

“The CD (A Beautiful Possession) is excellent and a unique blend of acoustical showcases, lyrical magic and hard rockin’ electric guitar and drums. His soft voice has immense range and depth and his well-written lyrics are clearly understandable on every track.” — Mary Kosiniski, Kent Record-Courier

“I put local CDs we get in the changer with four national discs to see if the local one stands out… when I heard Zach’s, I had to take (the CD) out and see whose it was. I said ‘Wow, this is really good. Who is this guy?’” — Bill Gruber, Program Director 91.3 WAPS The Summit

“Zach performed its unique, simple-but-confident tunes, the crowd jumped, laughed and swelled to at least twice its original size. With each succeeding song, bodies pressed closer to the stage and closer to one another as the steady beat overtook their minds and limbs. Not one person stood still… As the players wound down and announced their last song, the crowd cheered and begged for more…’The band performed beyond my expectations,’ said senior and Student Activities Board officer Erik Butcher.”
–Rachel Womelsduff, Collegian Reporter

“Zach has the quiet intensity of Elliot Smith.” — Jeff Neisel, Cleveland Free Times

“The title track (Turquoise Dreams) and “Invisible Man” are songs that make you feel like you are experiencing brilliance on the rise.” — Mike Farley, Michael J. Media Promotions

“Zach’s not just good for his age; he’s just good.” — David Martin, Cleveland Scene Magazine

“Zach… brings his blend or rockin’ folk-pop songs and love on the rocks ballads for an evening of awesome entertainment.” — Jeff Smith, Relish Magazine,  Winston-Salem, NC

“This young poet puts his mindful, sensitive, yet hip lyrics to catchy, toe-tapping groves that uplifts audiences, while making them think at the same time.” — Tommy Bruno, GM 91.3 WAPS The Summit

“He’s electric…enter Zach and everyone lights up” — Tom Kent, Elektra Records


Openers:

  • 2001 Farm Aid
  • Chicago
  • Michael Bolton
  • Richard Thompson
  • Bad Company
  • Don Dixon
  • Steve Poltz
  • Shawn Mullins
  • Michael Glabicki (of Rusted Root)
  • Vanilla Fudge
  • Catie Curtis
  • Bo Diddley
  • Sonny Geraci
  • Maia Sharp
  • John Eddie
  • Jen Chapin
  • Michael Stanley
  • America
  • Mountain
  • Buckwheat Zydeco
  • The Fixx
  • Kyle Vincent
  • Johnny Ciao
  • Damien Horne

ZACH FACT SHEET

1.     Born May 13th, 1981

2.     Birthplace: Parma , Ohio

3.     Astrological Sign: Taurus (Celtic Tree Sign: Poplar)

4.     Eyes: Blue     Height: 6’1”

5.     Favourite Foods: Rice, Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches

6.     Favourite Colours: Black, Red, Green

7.     Lifestyle: Non-Smoker, Non-Drinker, Non-Drugs

8.     Books that Changed My Life:

*Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke – the most inspirational thing I have ever read. Every word was written to me for me. Kevin Spacey referred this book to me, and I am more focused and defined in my music, art, and vision because of it.

* Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll –  the first book I ever read over and over and over again. It single-handedly began my interest in words and word play. The more times I read it, the more inspired I get.

*White Nights (Memoir of a Dreamer)/ the Brothers Karamozov by Dostoevsky – The most beautiful words I have ever read. A lot of my writing is a description, or emotion, or description of emotion. I wish I could someday do it all well as it is done here.

9.     Favourite Authors: Kurt Vonnegut, Fyodor Dostoesvsky, Gogol, Kafka, Albert Camus, Tom Robbins, Woody Allen, Bob Frissell

10. What brought Me to Music: 3 things:

*Appendicitis – I nearly died from a ruptured appendix, and the recouping time dashed my hopes of making the high school basketball team. During the time I was in the hospital, I had gotten a gift of a Beatles cassette and the Best of Queen CD. By the time I came out of the hospital, I had wanted to learn to play guitar and had already begun writing songs.

*Jewel – I fell in love with her debut album, and saw her at an intimate venue outside of Cleveland , Ohio . The show was so moving to me, and she communicated her music and personality so well to the audience, it felt like the show was a personal one just for me. When I left, I knew I needed to be performing and seriously making music for the rest of my life.

*High School Talent Show – I knew I was onto something good, when I had the sell-out 1,000 seat venue screaming and singing along with my own song. Then a huge fight and riot erupted. The police came. And I continued singing. The power of music!

11. My Fiction Writings: I’ve always been drawn to writing. My short story, Bolero: won 6th place in the 2001 New Century Writer Awards, was entered into a competition with Zoetrope Magazine and Francis Ford Coppola where it was a finalist, and was read at the National Undergraduate Literature Conference in Utah for the same year. I have also finished two novels.

12. Radio Writings: I wrote the jingle/theme song “Into the ‘70’s” for a syndicated oldies radio show created in Cleveland , Ohio that is currently on over 150 stations and counting!  It has been my first adventure into writing music for platforms other than pop music. And it has been hugely successful.

13. Pets: I have an adopted Humpback Whale named Patches that lives in the Atlantic Ocean , and a little black cat named Zero.

14. I believe it is our responsibility to change the world for the better, to add meaning and value into life and culture. That sounds naïve, but it is very easy to change the world for a few minutes, or to change someone’s world for a few moments. It’s as the saying goes, “The journey of a million miles begins with a single step.” We must all “be the change we want to see in the world.”

15. Why “Face With a View?” We are always looking at beautiful things. To realize this is to truly feel. The music follows this whole theme. You should listen to the disc in its entirety. The answer is there, waiting. The answer is always the easy part.

Rascal House has long supported Cleveland State, and has recently established the Irene Frangos Endowed Scholarship Fund.  We want to congratulate the 2010 recipient of this scholarship, Micholas Yurko.

Nicholas is entering his senior year as a Chemistry and Biology major at CSU and carries a 3.59 GPA.  He plans to complete a medical degree in combination with a PhD in pharmacology.  He is interested in working on cures for various diseases, including cancer.

Congratulations, Nicholas!

Hip hop is one of the most popular genres of today’s Billboard charts
- it is a major part of the cultural world we live in. Although
today’s youth are often attracted by the braggadocio and “bling” of
top rap hits, there is a rich history behind the music.

Hip hop’s roots originated in the poverty and crime stricken South
Bronx, NYC in the 1970. The founders of the movement consider hip hop
to be defined as a broad term that describes a culture, which includes
dance (breakdancing), music (DJing/beatboxing), words (rapping), art
(graffiti), as well as specific fashion trends and slang. Originally
strictly party music, rap began as nothing more than short, simple
rhymes shouted out by the host of a party as the DJ rocked the house
with funk, soul, Motown, reggae, and R&B records. Once the star of the
party, eventually the DJ took second stage to these rappers who
developed longer and more complex rhymes. Dancers got in on the
creative spirit as well, and they would often compete for crowd
approval during extended “breaks” of songs. DJs eventually finessed
their skills into the art form of turntablism, perfecting scratches
and blending multiple records at the same time to impress the party
attendees.

Hip hop today at its best has evolved into a complex culture. The
lyrics of modern hip hop often carry double meanings / messages in the
same tradition as spirituals; challenge yourself to look beyond the
surface and to dig deeply into this amazingly creative music and come
to appreciate it as an art form. Some talented rappers can sustain
double and triple entendres, extended metaphors, and purposeful
mispronounciation of words to blur meaning – all in a freestyle improv
reminiscent of the greatest jazz players.  Talented DJs and producers
embark on a quest for beats without genre discrimination, seeking
fresh music from unusual sources – Broadway musicals, commercial and
television themes, obscure blues records, heavy metal, and Bollywood
tunes. Listen to the radio – hip hop is full of samples of all styles.
It is not always easy to open our ears but we MUST, and perhaps come
to appreciate the history of one of today’s most popular genres.

To meet Linda Hutchinson, one is immediately aware that her mind is whirling.  She studies your face intently, she listens closer than anyone I’ve known and she sees things that most people can’t, or choose not to see.  She is modest about her life, but confident in her profession:  she is an artist, a painter and she is my friend.

Linda is as eloquent with words as with a brush …

“My work has evolved into painting because of my own disappointment in words, which are often excessive, transitory and over- or under- loaded with meaning. I am intrigued by human behavior and seek to unearth that which lies beneath the surface, sometimes a sublime gesture, a memory, a visual metaphor… often contradictions, a truth for which there are no words.

I am searching for something soulful, something noble.”
So the question is:  What has evolved YOU?
What are YOU searching for?

A friend of mine was driving through Cleveland.  She has 2 kids, ages 5 & 3.  She had a meeting at Rainbow Babies and her husband was wondering what to do with the kids while she was busy …

The Natural History Museum is great – the neighborhood is gorgeous!  I am pretty sure it is free admission or donation only.

There is a little Children’s Museum very close to Rainbow.  It is teeny in comparison to COSI – but it has some fun things … also it doesn’t take long. After 2 or 3 hours the girls will be done.

The Great Lakes Science Center is a COSI type thing – not too far from Rainbow.  If you have a COSI membership, they are reciprocal.  There is a “Polymer House of Fun” or something like that that is just like a huge indoor playground…  lots of fun for the younger set … even my 8 year old loves it though!  Parking can be rough, but on a weekday I think it will be fine.  There is a deck and I think it is $6 or something during the day.

If they decide to go to the Science Center, they can walk along the water and  over to the lobby of the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame.  There isn’t much that kids would love and is is UBER expensive – but the lobby is small enough to be a kind of neat attraction with guitars and a motorcycle and stuff.  If it is a nice day the walk is beautiful.  If anything, the Rock Museum is a really neatly shaped building and the kids are always in awe of it.  There is also a wind turbine out there that is cool to look at and talk about and stuff.

FYI:  There is construction on Euclid – I know the hospital is on Euclid, but traffic can be horrendous – probably best to avoid if possible.  (especially around Cleveland State – there is a lot of building work being done there and lanes are closed in addition to the corridor being built)

I had one of the best dinners of my life at Aquitaine  www.aquitaineboston.com - I had the scallops with basil/zucchini puree and they literally melted in my mouth – they were perfect. I  had a mean mint julep there, too.   The dessert menu has suggested wines paired with each item – and the person who made those decisions is truly gifted in the art of wine pairing.  THe bartender’s version of a New Amsterdam was very creative and also quite tasty!!  Having lived in Philadelphia and New York and experiencing trendy places as they opened and very well known places, it means a lot to say this was one of the best.

We had a late night dinner (about 10:30) and it was perfect.  I think we left around midnight.
After dinner we walked to the Beehive http://www.beehiveboston.com/ … again, delicious  and creative drinks and awesome live music.  You can also eat here, but we didn’t so I don’t have a review.  I actually only drank Canadian Club on the rocks here so I don’t really know what the drinks were like, but they looked very cool and the menu was diverse.

The swan boats are here:  http://www.swanboats.com/
I think it is a Boston “must see”.

Have you taken a stroll through the Cleveland Cultural Gardens?  Do you know they exist?

They were started in 1916 and are still maintained today.  They inhabit a 50-acre strip in Rockefeller Park, a 254-acre park created in 1896 on land donated to the city by John D. Rockerfeller.  The Gardens span from East to MLK Drives and from University Circle to Lake Erie.  Many of the Gardens were created as a part of the WPA in the 1930s.

The Cultural Gardens include sculptures, iron works, flowering landscapes and other depictions of any particular culture.  They are independently maintained by local cultural groups and collectively form the gardens.

Interested?  Please visit their website: www.culturalgardens.org

Copied from a 2008 press release from the PR department @ CSU:

CSU Launches New Center for Advanced Biomedical Research

GRHD will strengthen our reputation for biomedical excellence

Did you know that CSU is home to a group of internationally known biomedical scientists? Or that we’ve enjoyed a thriving research partnership with the Cleveland Clinic since 1973? Or that many of our faculty are working to unlock the secrets to stopping cancer and a host of other infectious and deadly diseases?

The work our faculty and students do to understand the causes and treatment of disease took a major step forward with the launch of our new Center for Gene Regulation in Health and Disease (GRHD) in the College of Science. GRHD focuses on research to improve our understanding of biological processes and how malfunction of these processes results in various diseases.

“You would be hard pressed to find a young group of scientists as productive or with as much potential,” said associate professor Crystal Weyman, interim director of GRHD. For example, associate professor Valentin Boerner is focusing his research on DNA repair, while associate professor Anton Komar works to understand the mechanisms of protein folding. Both have major funding from the American Heart Association.

Rethinking Research
The Center, and its faculty scientists, have embraced an innovative way to explore the causes and treatments of disease. GRHD researchers apply their findings at the molecular level to a wide range of diseases. They are opening doors that will greatly improve our understanding, detection and treatment of many common and deadly diseases found around the world.

“GRHD holds the potential to solve some of the most perplexing and frightening medical problems facing us today,” said College of Science Dean Bette Bonder at the launch celebration. “Every day we’re closer to minimizing birth defects and curing cancer and heart disease.”

“Faculty and students, it’s really your day,” said Provost Mary Jane Saunders. “Your efforts and commitment have made all the difference. GRHD is the best model for the University’s focus on health care and exemplifies the asset that we are to the area.”

Through GRHD, Cleveland State will actively develop new biomedical partnerships, publish research findings, provide outstanding engaged learning opportunities for students, and expand our reputation as a local, national and international leader in gene regulation.

For details, visit www.csuohio.edu/sciences/grhd.html.

When I was in second grade, I invited 15 of my parents friends and family to our home for a surprise anniversary party.  Unbeknownst to my mom and dad, I sent out invitations, received RSVPs, ordered food, purchased decorations and event scheduled a babysitter for my younger sister.  Needless to say, they were very surprised on a snowy December 4th when car after car arrived to their unsuspecting home …  Can. you. imagine?

Now a parent myself, I still enjoy a good party now and then, however I find myself hosting more 8 year olds than I did when I was that age.  Recently, our very own eight year old wanted to have a birthday party at a very well known, overrated pizza place that boasts a grey mouse as its “cheesy” host.  My husband and I shot each other the “no way in hell” glance as our son proposed his guest list and time of arrival.

Instead, we together redefined a party for children in a way that would leave the cheesy mouse and his weird friends speechless…

We knew we needed a space.  Our 4 bedroom ranch barely holds our family of 5 nevertheless activity and craziness that comes with a party.  And WHO wants to clean up before and after?  We were able to secure an enclosed pavilion at our local park.  With this we had the room, eight tables, a kitchen with appliances, indoor restrooms and even a wood burning stove … all for $75!  We chose a Friday night with the idea that while it was indeed going to go late for some kids, parents could enjoy a little alone time together while their youngsters were whooping it up with our family.  Keeping with this, we included siblings on the invites.

Speaking of invites, I created the invitations myself with a word processing program and printed them on card stock.  They were beautiful, unique and cost all of about $1.00 and 30 minutes time for 30 of them.

What would we do to keep the kids happy, occupied and celebratory?

As the kids arrived we directed them to the “crown making” table where we had blank paper crowns and every nick-nacky craft notion you can imagine … from pom-pons to stickable gemstones to gold stars to googlie eyes (and everything in between) and about 100 markers and crayons … the kids created their own birthday party crown to don for the evening.  In retrospect, I should have purchased more letter stickers as the kids really enjoyed spelling out their names.  Total cost:  $60

From the crown table the kids went to the food line … where you guessed it … we had plenty of pizza plated and ready for them to take to their tables for the great chow down of 2010!  Since it was spring, we were considerate of those who were abstaining from meat on Fridays and ordered several cheese pizzas, but knowing that there would be some picky eaters, we also ordered plenty of pepperoni slices and even some with no cheese at all!  (you have to have a finicky 7 year old to understand that logic!)

After clean up we passed around cupcakes and sang happy birthday to the birthday boy …  (cupcakes:  easy to pass around, easy to eat and clean up is infinitely better than cutting a cake for 30 people!) Where some people choose to have a present opening, my husband and I never do this.  We keep the gifts out of sight for all of our parties and we’re sure to tell our guests not to go overboard for them.  It isn’t about the gifts, it is about the celebration.  We don’t want kids to have bad feelings because they didn’t bring a comparable gift or because they themselves didn’t receive one.  It is also a good way to help our kids get over the “party is done” blues by continuing it with a private gift opening once we arrive home.  Total cost: $80 for pizza (grandma made the cupcakes :) )

Buzzing from the sugar, we rounded up the kiddos and my too-talented-for-words husband played a song and dance festival on the keyboard.  He had them singing, dancing, up, down, to and fro … and they had a blast!  Understanding that not all of us can tickle the ivories, keep in mind that most of us have a skill from which kids can benefit … cartoonist, storyteller, armpit fart champion … we all know someone who can do something entertaining.  Total cost for activity: $0

Activity number 4:  the kids returned to their tables to find hundreds upon hundreds of Legos scattered about … and they had 20 minutes to build.  There was no contest, there was no prize.  Just playing with my sons many plastic building blocks.  We took a photo of each child and his/her creation and included it in the thank you note.  Total cost for this activity: $0

When the photo shoot was over, we invited the kids to the fireside and my husband read them Horton Hears a Who …  this is where his skills as a teacher really shone through!  The boys and girls loved the story and as the clock moved closer to 9pm, we were certain we would lose a few to Hypnos.

At the end of the book, most parents had arrived and the kids took their party favors and were on their way.

Every year somewhere around the spring solstice, store shelves fill up with neon colored, sugar coated lumps of …. sugar … affectionately known as Peeps.   Born in Bethelham, PA in 1953 Peeps have gained cult super-status throughout the world.  They are Easter basket treats, ingredients in fondue, baking and yes, even Pizza.  There is even a website dedicated to making “Peeps” sushi.  Love them or hate them … they’ve been around for over 50 years and they’ll likely be along for at least 50 more.