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Life just happens

by The Charger Bulletin | September 17, 2014

By Brianna Rodriguez

A review of local author and clinical social worker, Joan Hoey’s new, inspirational self-help book filled with stories about Hoey, her clients and family. 

Hoey holds nothing back when covering psychology and common lifestyle topics, such as spirituality, fear, destiny and empowerment. (Photo provided by Hoey)

Hoey holds nothing back when covering psychology and common lifestyle topics, such as spirituality, fear, destiny and empowerment. (Photo provided by Hoey)

If you haven’t read Purposeful Destiny by Joan Hoey, you should. It is extremely relatable especially for college students – at a time when everyone is expecting us to have all the answers about our future.

Hoey stresses in her book the importance of having patience and letting some things happen in their own time. The book includes stories about Hoey, her clients and family, and how they overcame obstacles, while being guided by unusual circumstances and synchronistic happenings.

Hoey has more than 20 years of clinical experience as a private practitioner and has been a Connecticut resident for years, which is where a majority of her book takes place.

Purposeful Destiny goes through some of the obstacles Hoey, her family, and a few clients have to face over the years. Certain situations the characters find themselves in seem as though things will not get better, but once he or she also start to rely on his or her faith – regardless of what that may be – the characters are able to move toward each of their destinies.

I had the pleasure to speak with the new author about the preparation that went into this book.

“I’ve been thinking about writing this book for a very long time. At least eight years I would say, you know,” Hoey said. “It was hard because I was attempting to write between clients at first and it’s a very busy practice. Then I just decided to close the office and take a sabbatical to write.”

Like most people when writing, Hoey said the book started out as a way to just get the stories out, but knew she wanted the book to inspire people. She said a lot of people find themselves in the same situations over and over again but do not understand why or see how they can get past it.

This book was written to inspire and give people the hope they may need in order to see there are always options.

Although faith is a major part of the book, Hoey stresses it does not matter what exactly the reader follows.

“I wanted to make it clear it’s not about religion necessarily, but rather about faith and whether someone believes in it,” Hoey said.

I know some of you are probably thinking, “this book probably has nothing to offer me because I am only in my twenties,” and to those people I say false!

Hoey’s goal was to reach anybody that felt as though he or she is stuck in life. She explains that at some point in life everyone will feel helpless and as though he or she cannot find a way out of a rut.

As college students we can definitely relate to feeling as though things will never get better. These four years at the university not only gives us an education but also give us plenty of life experience.

We are subjected to a bunch of different people and different situations, and forced to figure out the best way to deal with each situation thrown our way.

This idea is what Hoey’s book touches upon. Like in any situation sometimes we can only overcome obstacles when we stop trying to force things, take a step back, and look to outside sources for help.

When asked what advice she would give her college-self, Hoey responded by saying, “Listen to your heart and watch for the guidance. Definitely take chances and do not do what other people think you should.”

With societal expectations increasing as we get older it is good to remind yourself sometimes that life just happens and, in those moments, you have to just go with the flow and know everything happens for a reason.

Ashley’s Top 5: America’s Got Talent Edition

by Ashley Winward | September 17, 2014

I’m the queen of being handed weird opportunities; whether it be free tickets to some eclectic concerts, chances to be in tour videos or interview lead singers in cramped tour vans, I love these little moments because I get a really funny new perspective on things. When I was given the opportunity to be in the audience for NBC’s hit show America’s Got Talent I knew it was going to be quite the experience. Sitting in on this past week’s live semi-finals results show left me with a few tips I wanted to share to anyone thinking that the seat-filler experience might be something for them.

 America’s Got Talent season nine finale airs Sept 16 and 17 on NBC (AP/ NBC photo)

America’s Got Talent season nine finale airs Sept 16 and 17 on NBC (AP/ NBC photo)

1.Be ready to move…..a lot!
Our “Hype Man” for the evening put it nicely when he said “Being a member of this audience is like being in church.” You’re up on your feet before and after coming back from a commercial breaks, before and after a performance—you pretty much are doing squats the whole time. The role of the hype man is so important because if you don’t know how to react to something, he’ll be coaching you from the sidelines.

2.Your throat and hands will hurt
Along with being up and down on your feet you will have to be screaming your face off and clapping. I woke up the next morning with no voice; it’s basically like going to a mini concert, except you’re screaming for that joke Howie Mandel attempted to make, not your favorite song.

3.It’s a lot shorter than you’d think.
When you’re sitting on your couch watching an hour long program, it seems like it takes FOREVER to get to that dreaded final result. In all actuality, being in the audience makes it all move ten times faster. Your typical results show is broken up into six “segments” and with some of them already pre-recorded it could be as few as four short live segments and then a bunch of sitting down on your phones during commercial breaks.

4.“Live” performances aren’t really live
At least on America’s Got Talent, they aren’t. Audience members arrive at about 7 p.m. for a 9 p.m. live show. We got to see two live performances before the show began; one of Ed Sheeran (to be played on this week’s finale) and one of Jackie Evancho. I was kind of disappointed that Sheeran only played his one song and then left. I would have much rather shown up earlier and gotten to see him perform two or three songs but the one I did see was phenomenal. It was a good thing that Evancho pre-taped her live performance because it had to be done twice, after a slight mess up half way through her rendition of “Think of Me” from Phantom of the Opera. “Crap, sorry!” she muttered trying to push through the songs before having to do the whole take over again.

5.It’s an awesome experience!
While I don’t even watch America’s Got Talent, being a studio audience member was a unique and interesting experience. Seeing one of my favorite artists, Ed Sheeran, for FREE, learning that Howard Stern is probably twice as tall as TV already makes him seem, being in the same room as Mel B as they blared Spice Girls music over the intercom and watching some incredibly talented people (and I’m talking the tech crew too—not just the performers!) was a fun time and I would recommend going if you ever have the chance!

Lee Brice doesn’t dance

by Elyse Von Der Fecht | September 17, 2014

Lee Brice, born Kenneth Mobley Brice Jr., is an American country singer/songwriter. On June 8, 2010, he released his debut album Love Like Crazy with singles “Love Like Crazy” and “Beautiful Every Time.”

Lee Brice (AP photo)

Lee Brice (AP photo)

Two years later on April 24, 2012, he released his second album Hard 2 Love featuring singles “A Woman Like You,” “Hard to Love,” “I Drive Your Truck,” and “Parking Lot Party.”

Recently on September 9, 2014, he released his third album I Don’t Dance, which has two featured singles “I Don’t Dance,” and “Drinking Class.”
Here are my thoughts on his latest album.

“I Don’t Dance”: Off this album, this song would have to be my favorite out of all the other songs. The melody throughout the song is very soothing and has that sentimental vibe as he sings.

“No Better Than This”: As I listened to this song, Lee had a steady rhythmic tone throughout the song, which went really well as a whole.

“Show You Off Tonight”: Listening to this song from beginning to end made me realize how much that special person in your life means so much and you want everyone to know.

“Always the Only One”: I really enjoyed the instrumental part in the song. The depth of this song was different from his other songs and gave off a more focused feeling.

“Good Man”: To me this song had an overall incredible tempo for the song, as it was more serious and you can feel that with the way it’s portrayed in the song.

“Drinking Class”: This song is perfect for people who want to sit back and relax and have a good time with some friends. Kicking it back and have some drinks.

“That Don’t Sound Like You”: I think that this would have to be my second favorite song off this album. I just like the over all sound and his lyrics are so touching.

“Girls In Bikinis”: The tempo of this song picks up, which gives this song that more “umph” feeling.

“Sirens”: I really enjoyed the intensity of the song as he sings the lyrics more rapidly. He just likes to have a good time and nothing will stop it kind of feeling.

“Somebody’s Been Drinking”: There is a slower tempo to the song and you’re able to follow as he sings his heart out. It was more sincere and really gets you emotional.

“Hard To Figure Out”: I really liked the fact that he sings about how it’s like while you wait for someone to arrive. The melody and harmony throughout the song is catchy and gets to you with the lyrics.

“My Carolina”: You can hear his passion for this song as he belts out some of the lyrics, which gives the song more form fitting to his message of the song.

“Panama City”: The over all message of this song is beautiful as I listened to the lyrics. It actually made me emotional throughout the song. I could feel the intensity and meaning behind the lyrics.
Lee Brice is currently on tour right now and you don’t want to miss out. He is also doing meet and greet with his fans—who wouldn’t want to meet Lee Brice?

Dream Your Life Away

by Glenn Rohrbacker | September 17, 2014

Do you like Mumford & Sons? The Lumineers? Any other pop-folk bands? If you answered yes to any of these, Vance Joy is the guy for you. He is another great prospective star you can add to this list.

Vance Joy (Photo obtained via Facebook)

Vance Joy (Photo obtained via Facebook)

Vance released his debut album on Sept 9 titled Dream Your Life Away. The Australian singer-songwriter previously released an EP in 2013. The album Dream Your Life Away produced four singles before its release. “Riptide” was the most commercially successful single.

You can expect a lot of great things from this album, as it passes the test for an artist’s debut. Dream Your Life Away is a record that stays true to the folk genre, and every song makes you feel like you enjoy folk, even if you say you don’t. Let’s not forget, this isn’t exactly a time in pop culture where the folk genre is prominent. So the fact that Vance Joy has already been successful with his singles shows how he is someone to watch.

Like I said previously, the album has four pre-released singles. “Riptide” is the most successful, and it’s probably the one that you would know; it’s also my personal favorite. “Who Am I” is another song that I really enjoy. Most of Vance’s songs, including these and the others I will mention, have an uplifting spirit to them that you just love to listen to.

He also is a songwriter with a keen lyrical sense. “From Afar” was the first single released. This song definitely shows the softer side of Vance’s songwriting style. “Red Eye” is a song near the end of the album that I could definitely see in a movie, specifically a romantic comedy. When you listen to it, you can just see it being part of a movie. That type of songwriting is hard to come by and Vance Joy definitely displays that ability.

Vance closes out his debut album with a ballad. It’s a risky choice because it’s the last thing people hear, but he definitely succeeded on this one. The song displays beautiful lyrics accompanied by just as wonderful melody.

I had never heard of Vance Joy before I heard his song “Riptide” on the radio, and you probably hadn’t either or probably still don’t know who he is. After listening to all of Dream Your Life Away, I have definitely become a fan.

While Mumford & Sons takes a short hiatus from performing, Vance Joy is now here to fill that void in the pop-folk genre. I have no doubt that he will do great things and produce more great music. While we wait for that, just sit back with your headphones, relax, and dream your life away.

Livewell’s Latest

by Shannon Livewell | September 17, 2014

Martina McBride: Bringing Old Soul to a New Country

On Thursday I received a wake-up call from none other than Martina McBride herself. Needless to say it was hard to sleep Wednesday night knowing that such an iconic artist was going to be calling me in the morning to discuss her latest album, but I couldn’t have asked for a better conversation with such an inspirational woman.

Martina McBride (Photo supplied by her publicist at Shore Fire Media)

Martina McBride (Photo supplied by her publicist at Shore Fire Media)

Hailing from Kansas, McBride and her husband, John McBride, are now Nashville residents. The couple owns Blackbird Studios, which the University of New Haven is partnering with in spring 2015 for our music department’s newly developed study away program. McBride will also be coming to our neighborhood on Oct 11 for a leg of her new tour, performing at Waterbury’s Palace Theater.

McBride’s latest album, Everlasting, was released on April 8, and captures the essence and emotion of classic soul, making the tracks contemporary enough to attract new fans while maintaining the die-hards.

“I recorded an album a few years ago, Timeless, that showcased my own renditions of classic country songs, and I loved the feedback we got from that album,” McBride responded when I inquired about the inspiration behind her latest album. “When I have a chance to kind of recreate those classics I find it really fun, and I had the tour for Everlasting in mind from the moment we started working on the album, so I was really excited from the beginning.”

“I’ve never done a show like this before,” she confessed after I stated how unique I imagined the Everlasting tour to be. “We have a four-piece horn section, three background vocalists, and men in matching suits, familiar to the times of the songs I cover. I wanted the tour to be visually entertaining as well as very musical.”

McBride said that the tour will still cover a lot of her classic hits and said she has fans that have attended the show in more than one city because of the tour’s dynamic. The more she spoke about Everlasting on the road, the more I got the impression that everything with McBride is about the whole team. Without her background vocalists, musicians, management and everyone who had a part in this independent album release, she suggests she would not have had the amazing success that stemmed from the album. Part of that success is her fifteenth nomination for “CMA Female Vocalist of the Year.”

“I was just genuinely surprised,” McBride said regarding her nomination. “We’ve had no radio single from this independent release, and even though we’ve been very visible this year, it was really an honor that the industry recognized all of our hard work on this album.” I asked her to describe that feeling. “It never gets old,” she laughed.

Everlasting is a combination of some of the most influential soul tracks—from Motown to Muscle Shoals and everything in between, including classic hits like Aretha Franklin’s “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man” and Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes’ “If You Don’t Know Me By Now.”

McBride manages to maintain Sam Cooke’s (“Bring It On Home to Me”) soulful elements while singing a duet with the talented Gavin Degraw. The album also features Kelly Clarkson on the classic “In the Basement,” originally recorded by Etta James and Sugar Pie DeSanto.

“The process of choosing and compiling songs that would fit together was definitely challenging,” McBride admitted. “I wanted everything to be cohesive, and then of course I had to choose songs that would fit my voice and feel authentic to what we were trying to create. It was definitely a treasure hunt.”

She’s right. This album is a compilation of jewels that were stored away for far too long and needed a good dusting before being shown to the world once again. This album will expose a new audience to these treasures and allow old fans to rekindle the moment they fell in love with the soulfulness of each song.

As if she wasn’t busy enough, McBride has recently earned her own show on Sirius XM’s Y2K Country. She described how this opportunity came about.

“When we released the album I was a guest DJ on the show, and they approached me shortly after to see if I would be interested in hosting a show of my own. It’s just another opportunity that makes me want to explore so many options—like possibly a show from the road or getting my background singers involved.”

McBride was getting ready to tape a show shortly after our phone call ended, so I asked her what the most challenging part of the taping process was. “Just the newness of it all and wanting each show to be perfect,” she replied. “I think that’s the biggest challenge for me. Finding stories to relate to each song that make the show interesting and fun.”

After speaking to McBride, I got the vibe that she is all about having fun and loving every minute of it. While it is evident by her immense success that hard work must be a huge priority, it is easy to see that she truly enjoys the time she invests in her albums, tours, radio shows, and life in general.

With her team attitude, passion for music, and optimistic mentality, Martina McBride has proven that she continues to break boundaries in the world of country music.

Photo of the Week

by The Charger Bulletin | September 17, 2014

Photo of the week in frame - cmyk

“The Forever Path”

Taken in July

By Steve Ciampa, Junior.

“This photo was taken on the grounds of Herrenchiemsee, which was a castle built by King Ludwig the Second in Munich, Germany.” – Ciampa

Andrew Garfield Speaks out about Spider-Man 2

by Scott Iwaniec | September 17, 2014

It’s no mystery at this point that people were not happy with The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Personally, as a whole, I agree the movie was an absolute mess, but it had really great pieces within it.

Andrew Garfield stars as Peter Parker in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (AP photo)

Andrew Garfield stars as Peter Parker in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (AP photo)

This week, the big talk was about what Andrew Garfield, the actor playing Spiderman himself, had to say about the film:

“I think what happened was, through the pre-production, production, and post-production, when you have something that works as a whole, and then you start removing portions of it—because there was even more of it than was in the final cut, and everything was related. Once you start removing things and saying, ‘No, that doesn’t work,’ then the thread is broken, and it’s hard to go with the flow of the story. Certain people at the studio had problems with certain parts of it, and ultimately the studio is the final say…”

What does this mean exactly?

Well, it means essentially what we thought the entire time: too many people wanted too much stuff in the film, and, as a result, we got a repeat of Spider-Man 3. Think about it, this film had four separate plot lines, each fine on their own. However, as a result, none of them were given the amount of time they needed (or in one case, too much time).

Notice how Garfield addresses the fact that there was a lot cut from the movie. If you want an example of that, watch the trailers and count how many scenes did not appear in the movie. Most notably involves OSCORP watching Peter since he was a child, and Peter’s father still being alive. Keep in mind, these are game changing plot points that were taken out.

If you want to see these scenes, they can all be found on YouTube as deleted scenes.

My only hope is that Sony learns from this mistake—for the second time—and brings us a better Sinister 6 and Spider-Man 3.

Translucent to Opaque

by Dylan Rupptrecht | September 17, 2014

Could society benefit from completely dismantling people’s emotional responses? Eradicating people’s swaying passions that lead to irreparable destruction? Such is the posing question in Phillip Noyce’s movie adaptation of the book The Giver, written by Lois Lowry.

Jeff Bridges, left, and Brenton Thwaites in a scene from The Giver. (AP photo)

Jeff Bridges, left, and Brenton Thwaites in a scene from The Giver. (AP photo)

The movie starts out panning over a colorless dystopia lead by the voiceover of our main character Jonas. Jonas describes that everyone in his community is assigned a purpose by the elders—the sole leaders and law enforcers of the community—and everyone must administer a medical injection (which he later finds out is actually numbing everyone’s sensations and emotions) at the start of each day.

In this futuristic world, people are forbidden to lie, and since everyone has a designed purpose in a conformed community, no one is jealous of one another. Basically, the opening first scenes of the movie show a bunch of monotonous zombies walking about greeting each other in an overtly creepy, polite way.

Jonas, however, stands out just slightly more than the others as he seems to have an innate sense of curiosity, and, at one point, sees color within his close friend, Fiona’s, hair.
As it turns out, this is one of four qualities that leads to him being chosen as his people’s “receiver of memories” role. As such, Jonas is passed down the sacred memoires of humankind, and with them the ensuing emotions, good and bad.

This is really the point of the conflict of feeling emotions and having to balance the two strongest emotions, love and fear. Above all, this movie shows how to deal with the subsequent pain that ensues when dealing with these emotions.

As Jonas experiences emotions for the first time, we’re reminded of what it means to live, to experience birth, love, music, snow, rain, and the enriching facets of joy.

Even as Jonas experiences his first recounts of war and the loss of a fallen comrade, we must accept that pain is a quintessential part of living. Once Jonas feels and soars through this emotional spectrum, it’s clear that he believes that the way of life in his community is egregiously wrong.

Ultimately, The Giver evokes a visceral response from the audience and achieves a carefully mended portrayal of what it means to be human.

Editor’s Insight

by Scott Iwaniec | September 17, 2014

We finally get our first look at the new Batmobile for Dawn of Justice.

Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum in 22 Jump Street (AP photo)

Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum in 22 Jump Street (AP photo)

Similar to the Tumbler in the Dark Knight series, it’s heavily armored but finds a much slicker look of a car. I haven’t heard a bad word about it yet.

We also got some shots of the new X-Wing and half of the Millennium Falcon for Star Wars Episode VII. The shots are from an overhead view, so it is somewhat difficult to see detail, but it is clear the designs are similar while the paint jobs will be different than what we’re used to.

After grossing $320 million, Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum will soon begin production on 23 Jump Street. It is not clear whether it will take place in med school like the end credit gag suggests.

Sylvester Stallone announced the fifth Rambo will be in the works soon. No release dates have been announced but the title will be Rambo: Last Blood.

The Underworld franchise will be getting a reboot in the coming years. It will serve more as a sequel to the underworld films that we know but will not feature Kate Beckinsale.

Orlando Bloom is considering returning for another role in a new Pirates of the Caribbean film.

Morgan Freeman signs on for roles in Ted 2 and Ben Hur.

Staff Second Chances: The Replacements

by Scott Iwaniec | September 17, 2014
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