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Cincy Chic: Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you originally from?
Mollie Ferrigan:
I was born in Kettering, Ohio, but I grew up in South Carolina.

Cincy Chic: What do you like most about Cincinnati?
Ferrigan:
The tremendous opportunity to affect change. I've been able to work with the mayor and help champion projects that are focused on improving Cincinnati, and I think that's so cool. Cincinnati's size affords you a level of civic intimacy and involvement that is truly positive, encouraging and fulfilling. I also love the architecture here. This city is so rich with history, and I think it deserves our stewardship, so get moving!

Cincy Chic: When’s your birthday?
Ferrigan:
September 4.

Cincy Chic: Is it true what they say about Virgos?
Ferrigan:
Sort of…Virgos are typically thought of as boring and methodical. I'd like to think that's not true! However, I'm definitely a details person and love to clean. Yeah, I'm a little strange.

Cincy Chic: What college did you attend and what did you major in?
Ferrigan
: I attended Clemson University – BA in English – and Miami University – MTSC in Technical Communication.

Cincy Chic: Tell us about BEAM.
Ferrigan:
BEAM – Be Engaged and Make a Difference – is a young professionals organization that serves Lighthouse Youth Services – an absolutely stellar social services non-profit. We plan fundraisers, service events, and socials so that community members can volunteer their time to Lighthouse clients as well as meet people with similar interests.

Cincy Chic: What attracted you to Lighthouse and the BEAM Program?
Ferrigan:
I first became aware of Lighthouse and BEAM when I participated in the Lighthouse Happy Holidays Program – a gift drive for Lighthouse clients – in 2004. I was looking for organizations to join because I passionately advocate volunteerism. Once I attended a few meetings and events, I was hooked!

Cincy Chic: What’s next for BEAM?
Ferrigan:
A lot! With tons of support and visionaries, we've ushered BEAM into a new era. We've planned our calendar through March 2008, changed our engagement strategy and ensured that we're balancing fundraising, service and fun! We have upcoming field trips to various Lighthouse facilities, a Reds game service outing and a sand volleyball tournament (Saturday, June 23 at Back Porch Saloon in West Chester). Be on the lookout for BEAM.

Cincy Chic: How can someone get involved?
Ferrigan:
So many ways. BEAM doesn't expect folks who are interested to commit to anything they don't want to. You can offer your time for an event or come to a social to get to know the group – hopefully, you'll do both. Contact PR Chair Kimberly Holland (khollan@cincinna.gannett.com ) and Volunteer Liaison Tynisha Worthy (tworthy@lys.org ) for more information.

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Investing in art can be personally satisfying and financially rewarding. These five tips will help you get the best of both worlds!

1. Go with your feelings – your first impression and thoughts as you experience the piece… does it give you goose bumps? Do you know that you just can't live without it? Does it “speak to you?" Pay attention to your feelings when you look at… Don't purchase a piece of artwork because it matches or because someone says it's an "important" piece of art. Instead, buy a great piece that you love and build a room around it. If you listen to your own internal and external reactions, you'll know when you find the right piece.
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2. Ask questions. Interact directly with the artist. Study the artist's biography. Knowing some fundamental information about an artist can help you gauge their potential for growth and will often provide a deeper understanding of their work. It is also beneficial to get a feel for the artist's personality. Ask questions about the artist's chosen subject, inspiration and technique. If you buy the piece, you'll appreciate it even more.
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3. Look for dedication, not education. When looking for a great doctor or lawyer, academic accreditation matters. When looking for great art, however, it is not as important. Artists whose work appreciates the fastest exhibit a strong work ethic and a lifelong dedication to producing great art. Find a unique, consistent style. A contemporary work of art that looks "just like" a Monet or Van Gogh, for example, might have aesthetic appeal, but will not prove to be "valuable" over time. Ultimately, you want to find an artist who can eventually be identified by his or her style (without looking at the signature).
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4. Negotiate. If you find an artist whose work falls well within your budget, offer to buy multiple pieces at a discounted price. Alternately, you could suggest buying successive pieces over time for a predetermined amount.

5. Promote "your" artist after the deal is done. There is a direct correlation between the value of artwork and the name recognition of the artist who painted it. By encouraging others to explore "your" artist's work, you help increase the value of your personal collection.

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British humor seems esoteric by nature; to be understood and appreciated by the Brits themselves. Well here is a movie that is British through and through but can make anyone laugh; thanks to the send ups and homage it pays to American shoot em’ up classics such as "Dirty Harry," "Lethal Weapon" and "The Untouchables," among others.

"Hot Fuzz" is a risible film that tells a story ringing true to life. No matter how good one’s intentions are: Nobody likes a showboat. If you continually outdo everyone else; then everyone else doesn’t want to be with you. That is exactly what happens to Police Officer Nicholas Angel.

Simon Pegg who co wrote this script with Edgar Wright plays the altruistic, anal retentive, by-the-book police sergeant. So overly competent is he that his coworkers have the champagne poured and the glasses raised as Sergeant Angel is given his transfer orders to the sedate town of Sanford.

"Hot Fuzz" refers, in particular, to unlikely partners, Officers Nicholas Angel and Danny Butterman. Yes, the same popular duo who starred in Britain’s Comedy/Horror spoof Shaun of the Living Dead aka Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Once again they bring a compatibility and rhythm that is irresistible. Simon as Sergeant Angel is athletic and agile compared to Nick Frost’s bumbling Constable Butterman.

Add that chemistry to the supporting cast of characters and a keep you guessing storyline and you have an entertaining film with hidden sight gags and a few of Britain’s finest cameo appearances. (Hint: guess which character Cate Blanchett plays.)

This is an action-packed, go-with-a-buddy movie. A crash 'em! Smash 'em! Stab 'em! Shoot 'em up! It's a showdown! You name it, and this film probably has it. Perhaps that is the only complaint. So many scenes driving home a point make for a very long movie. Warning to parents: there is an extreme amount of gratuitous, graphic violence. Pairing down those scenes and bringing the movie in at less than its 121 minute time frame would have made it more entertaining and less tedious.

All in all Hot Fuzz is good for laughs.

Rating: Three Chic Stars


Jan’s Movie Rating System:
5 – Top notch entertainment
4 – Compelling, Heartwarming, Thrilling, Comical
3 – The a) story b) actors c) special effects saved/made this movie.
2 – If you are bored watch it, or wait for DVD
1 – Don’t bother. Too morose, too violent, too blasé, an enigma.

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"Away From Her"
Julie Christie, Gordon Pinset, Olympia Dukakis Michael Murphy

The Sundance Film Festival just ain’t what it used to be. In the beginning, with the purest of intentions the festival was to be a venue to showcase independent films from newcomers and unexposed talent. Although each year Sundance provides us with eclectic movie choices and gems like last year’s Little Miss Sunshine; the festival has been infiltrated with Hollywood influences and big budgets.

Case in point, the film "Away From Her", which is debuting on May 18, is an example of films selling out to Hollywood. "Away From Her" is a story about a couple who faces the decline of a spouse succumbing to Alzheimer’s. It is based on a short story by Alice Munro (The Bear Went Over the Mountain).

The effervescent Julie Christie plays the victim of this incurable affliction that expropriates one’s ability to retain memories of relationships and the coherence of daily living. But it is Canadian actor Gordon Pinsent, playing Christie’s husband who dominates the screen in the telling of passion stolen and a life misplaced far too soon.

This film is a sanitary, white-washed romantic version of love lost. Love lost not by choice but by a fate that is contrary and unpredictable. None of us are immune to the harsh realities of tragedy. Yet, this film promotes an idyllic love story placed in the beautiful Canadian outdoors. The expanse of this couple’s home and land allows for captivating moments of bittersweet disorientation by Christie. The accompanying music is pitch perfect.

There are no complaints with anyone of the key players in this film. Julie Christie has such a range of expression and beauty. Gordon Pinsent more than aptly portrays a heartbreaking sense of loss. Olympia Dukakis as a caretaker in a marriage of similar circumstance is impeccable. Michael Murphy as her husband whose days at the nursing home are spent confined to a wheelchair in a permanent display of dementia is credible.

Yet, the film rings as a romanticized Hollywood version of Alzheimer’s through the eyes of a lover left behind. Many people have lost loved ones to the insidious effects of Alzheimer’s. The sense of powerlessness and decline in people who espoused a zest for life is devastating for those left to witness this harsh reality. Although easy to relate to the sense of loss in this movie it still felt contrived in presenting Hollywood’s beautiful people playing coiffed caricatures. If only real life would be that harmonious and sanitary. Not enough dementia and human anger was portrayed to be convinced of the true sacrifice of losing one’s wife/father/sister/cousin/friend to Alzheimer’s. It was beautifully done, but cloaked more in romance than in reality.


Rating: Three Chic Stars


Jan’s Movie Rating System:
5 – Top notch entertainment
4 – Compelling, Heartwarming, Thrilling, Comical
3 – The a) story b) actors c) special effects saved/made this movie.
2 – If you are bored watch it, or wait for DVD
1 – Don’t bother. Too morose, too violent, too blasé, an enigma.

 

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Watch for the reports at 5:15 p.m. on Channel 5, or come here to read the reports!

 

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Five Things May 17: Weight Loss Solutions

64 percent of American adults are overweight and 30 percent are obese. So, we found a new weight loss program in town that is having huge success down in Florida.

Look here for past Five Things stories involving money and personal finance. More

 

 

 

 

Look here for past Five Things stories involving relationships, ranging from friendships to marriage.More

 

 

 

 

 

Look here for past Five Things stories involving family and children.More

 

 

 

 

 

 

Women's health

Look here for past Five Things stories involving women's health and fitness.More

 

 

 

 

 

Look here for past Five Things stories involving your home and its upkeep.More

 

 

 

 

 

Look here for past Five Things stories involving beauty and hygene. More

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I had just started a new job and had to attend and take meeting minutes for a working luncheon board meeting at the Metropolitan Club, full of hoteliers, doctors, lawyers, bankers…top notch executives…you get the picture. The food was delicious, however, I really wasn't sure what I was eating and I was trying to discretely eat and take minutes. Young, naïve and not yet worldly or savvy to the sushi scene, I took a big huge bite all at once of something green. I instantly realized it was an extremely large portion of wasabi to accompany the delicious fish I had been eating. Needless to say, after inhaling it, my mouth was on fire, my eyes and nose starting watering and I am certain those around the table (if they noticed) saw smoke coming out of my ears! I quickly drank my water, as well as my new boss' and tried to regain composure and continue taking minutes in the hopes no one noticed! To this day I think about that every time I enjoy sushi with a just a little wasabi! Very awkward!
– Kim, Newport

 

 

I took a vacation day because I was having landline phone issues at home and I needed to wait for the repair man to come. Well, I waited all day and no one came. I called the phone company, where I also work by the way, and told them that I took off the day to wait for the repair man to come. I even remember saying, "You know how important attendance is at our company!" But she apologized and said no one would be able to make it out. So, I figured I'd make the most of my day off and fix a nice dinner for my husband. I even got a little wild and wore a bustier and garter belt to get him in the mood. Right as we're about to sit down for dinner, the doorbell rings. Who is it? A phone repair man from my company! My husband wasn't thinking and invited the repair man into the house, so I dashed for the basement to find something to cover up with. The only thing I had down there was a big, long winter coat. So, when the repair man came  to the basement to fix the phone issue down there, he gave me quite the odd look when he found me hanging out in my winter coat in the dead of warm weather all alone in my basement! 

– Carolyn, East Walnut Hills 

 

 

My best friend and I spent the entire afternoon shopping one Friday to get ready to go to the club that night. We were decked out from head to toe! New outfits, new shoes, new makeup, and of course, new sexy thongs that we were so excited about. That night at the club, we had been drinking for a while, so it was time for a bathroom break. When I went to pull down my undies, the string on my thong snapped right off! Well, I had no choice but to throw my new beloved thong in the tiny little garbage can. But since I was wearing a short skirt, I was afraid of what may happen on the dance floor and I let my BFF know I was feeling very uncomfortable about going back out there. And what do best friends do? Anything they have to in order to get you back on the dance floor! So she said no big deal, she'd take hers off too! Only she didn't want to throw it away (it was brand new after all). So (keep in mind we'd been drinking) she asked our best guy friend and DD for the night if he would hold it! He got the joy of having her already worn thong in his pocket the rest of the night, and he kept on reminding us, and everyone else at the bar, about it all night! The next morning my friends now sober face turned bright red when he gave them back to her. The three of us look back and crack up at that night; it's one of many to remember!
– Kristen, Westwood

 

 

One day at work I was slammed and I asked a co-worker to take on a little of my work. I apologized for asking her to do that, and she jokingly quoted "Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls" and said, "Nonsense poopy pants. I'm happy to help any time." Well, later that day, our office manager sent an e-mail to the women in the office reprimanding us for having a messy bathroom. So, I forwarded the HR manager's e-mail to that same co-worker and said "Looks like they found my poopy pants!" But just as I hit the send button, I realized that I accidentally selected the wrong person in my email address book. Instead of sending it to that co-worker, I sent it to one of our company's board members! After sweating a bucket of bullets, I wrote the board member an e-mail to apologize. Shortly thereafter she responded, saying "Don't worry, I already printed it out and showed everyone in my office. Thanks for the laugh!"
– Amy, Price Hill

 

 

I don't know if this is more funny or gross but it was definitely awkward. Last spring I ended up with this guy on what turned out to be a date, though it wasn't supposed to be and I had no romantic interest in him. He'd apparently shaved right before meeting me and had forgotten to take off the bandaid that was covering a cut. At the end of a couple hours of strained conversation, he grabbed me in this horrible embrace and kissed me hard on the mouth, during which time his bandaid came half loose and was laying on my cheek! When I pulled away the bandaid was wagging on his chin and only then did he realize he'd left it on! He tried to pull it off nonchalantly and apologize but I could tell he was mortified.
– Dorian, Camp Washington

 

Mine was beyond awkward. I lived in Iowa a few years back and decided, with a friend, to get involved in our new town. We joined an extra curricular organization and at one of their events, I was introduced to the organization's president. I said "Hi! When is the baby due?" She said the words we all dread: "I'm not pregnant." I vowed never to ask that question again unless I see the baby physically leaving the womb!
– Kathi, NKY

 

 

Shortly before graduation, some of my girlfriends played a prank on me and put a fake love note on my favorite male teacher's (whom I had a big crush on) desk from me to him. I intercepted it, but I'm not sure if he saw it or not. Then, a few weeks after graduating, I was purchasing underwear with my mom at Walmart. Awkward enough, but what would you know, that same teacher was also checking out at the register next to us! Super awkward!
– Laura, Loveland

 

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Cincy Chic: Have you always loved to write?
Anni Macht Gibson:
It’s funny… I graduated from Seven Hills School and the Alumni Director just came across a prize-winning essay of mine from 1970! So, yes, I’ve always liked writing. I was also co-editor of the school newspaper. During my Procter & Gamble days (where I was marketing manager for 24 years), I mostly wrote memos and marketing recommendations and summaries. Between work, raising kids and ailing parents, I did not have much time to write for fun. Then, after I retired and my parents subsequently died in '01 and '02, I found myself drawn to the page again. I started out writing poetry about my feelings of loss and began reading a lot of modern poets: Jane Kenyon, Naomi Shihab Nye, Billy Collins, Ted Kooser. I graduated from poems about personal angst to more observational poetry, I’d call it.

Cincy Chic: Your first collection of poetry, Unfinished, was just released. What's it about?
Gibson:
Unfinished is a collection of 75 poems. The book will be available at Amazon.com and Joseph Beth books a book store in Dayton and one in Louisville. I’m still working on distribution elsewhere, as I need to have the book in-hand to get the distribution. I am also in two stores in Traverse City, Mich. I am having a private signing for 150 of my closest friends and family in early June. In the fall, I hope to have signings at Jospeph Beth and at Women Writing for (a) Change, the creative writer’s organization for which I teach, and without whom I would not be publishing my book. The women and men in my writing groups there have been my biggest supporters, along with my family and friends.

Cincy Chic: You split your time between Cincinnati and Traverse City. Why?
Gibson:
My husband’s family has been going to Traverse City in the summers for over 100 years. He grew up summering there. I’ve “only” been going for 26 years, since I’ve known him. There's a lot of natural beauty up there with its lakes, sand dunes, exquisite forest. They are an inspiration to me as a poet. We also like the small town life and plan to retire there eventually.

Cincy Chic: What's your favorite thing about Cincy?
Gibson:
The people; everyone is so friendly. After that, Graeters comes in a close second!

Cincy Chic: Where is your favorite spot in Cincinnati?
Gibson:
The Eden Park Overlook. It was sort of a “Lovers’ Lane” when I was a teen, but also has an exquisite view. My favorite place to write (other than at home) is Lookout Joe’s close to my house in Hyde Park.

Cincy Chic: How do you inspire yourself?
Gibson:
Ideas come to me willy nilly – when I’m reading, driving around town, listening to people, watching the world. I keep a notebook with me all of the time. Sometimes ideas are triggered by memories (I just wrote a poem how different people eat Oreo cookies, based on when I went to day camp 40 years ago! Are you a licker, a dunker or a nibbler???)

Cincy Chic: Being a writer, I know we all have an insatiable love for words. Do you have a favorite word?
Gibson:
I love all words… the feel and sound and taste of them. I love word origins and crossword puzzles. I love playing with words. I actually wrote a poem about this:

They Had Me
It’s out –
I make love to words,
promiscuously,
fondling definitions,
playing with them in ménages
a tercet and quatrain,
meaning in fleeting dalliances.

Just yesterday, I hooked up
with a couple of verbs
looking for some action.
Swept off my feet,
I swooned and mooned
over create, berate and inundate.

Tonight, nouns and adjectives
romance me:
seductive latin sambas with gusto;
Who said “words are cheap?”
They were right, available, too,
to satisfy my tawdry urges
for sexy adverbs — scantily clad
alluring modifiers, gilding lilies.

Too many pronouns make a crowd.
All I need is you and me…
maybe us for a little company,
forget he, she, it — who needs them?

I love everything about words.
Definitions, contradictions;
New: condom, old: codpiece.
Parsing sentences gives me glee,
and even spelling captivates:
M-i-s-s-i-s-s-i-p-p-i,
there’s a rat in separate.

Happily, my love is returned,
with metaphors embracing me
similes' not so subtle puns
bringing a smile to my lips.
Loneliness is a thing of the past.

Words, they so had me from “See Spot Run”

Cincy Chic: Do you enjoy writing anything other than poetry?
Gibson:
I also write prose, but I don't have anything publishable. Some day, I'd like to write a murder mystery, my favorite genre other than poetry.

Cincy Chic: What's your favorite book and why?
Gibson:
Collected Poems by Jane Kenyon. She is my idol and I never tire of reading and re-reading her poetry. I like her because her poetry is about everyday life and very understandable, yet beautifully written with exquisite turns of phrase.

Cincy Chic: Did you ever get the notorious "writer's block" when writing Unfinished? If so, how did you overcome that?
Gibson:
I generally go do something else and spend some time thinking. Pretty soon, the ideas start to come. Once I have an idea, I just try to get a draft down. Sometimes drafts bear little resemblance to the final work. Writer Anne LaMott calls this “the shitty first draft." I’m into “shitty first drafts” because they give me something to work from, Not all my poems are good or publishable. Some I just discard because they are hopelessly lousy. It comes with the territory.

Cincy Chic: What would you like to say to other wordsmiths out there with dreams of writing their own book?
Gibson:
Just write. Keep a journal. Write about your day, your misery, your happy times. Write badly, but just write. Over time, you will improve. Also, read. Read other authors in the genre in which you like to write. See how they use words and images and emulate them. Eventually, you will find your own style and make it your own. Also, learn to edit your work. Excise extra words, hone your writing… the more you do it, the better you will get. I took an essay I wrote for “This I Believe” on WVXU and cut it from the original 1200 words to 500, which was the limit. It was hard and took work, but I was proud when I was done. It was a much tighter, and ultimately, a better piece. And WVXU accepted it for airing.

Cincy Chic: Anything else you'd like to add?
Gibson:
I’ll add that I think that writing is both a right- and a left-brained process. The creativity and ideas and first drafts, similes, metaphors come from the right brain, but the editing requires logical left-brained thinking. It’s how you take the creative stuff and make it really good. Finally, I’d say “if you write, you are in fact a writer.” You don’t have to aspire to be one. Just write and you’ll be a writer, whether you're published or not. Develop your identity as a writer, and you’ll start to feel good about your writing. It’s a circular process. But if you aspire to be a writer you can be one. Just write.

 

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I hope all you mother's out there had a great Mother's Day weekend!

Again, thanks for all the questions. The one that I'll answer this week is about motorcycles. Motorcycles have been a part of my life since I can remember. My older brother and younger bother ride. But this isn't about them…it's about us, ladies!

Over the last five years the number of women riders has increased dramatically. When I got my first bike in the early 80s, there were very few women riders on the road. I would see maybe two or three women all summer, if any. Now, it's going faster every year. I would say that I see at least four or five women riding every day that riders are out. Riding on the back is becoming a pastime. Don't get me wrong ladies, that's great if that is where you feel comfortable. But if you want something a little different, feel more in control and still get to hang out with your partner, get your own bike!

Guys are starting to come around with this. My brother's partner got her own bike after riding on the back for three years, now she'll never go back to riding "Bitch!" Men love that I ride. It is usually followed by, "I wish my partner liked to ride; she want's me to get ride of my bike" or "I use to ride until…" you can fill this in with several choicies but most of them include the word partner/girlfriend/significant other/wife made them get rid of it.

Ladies, instead of suggesting that your partner get ride of his/her bike, try driving one yourself. There's nothing else like it!

 

 

 

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Peaceful Warrior
Nick Nolte, Scott Mechlowicz, Amy Smart

Transcendent Zen or Pop Culture Aphorisms?

Peaceful Warrior is the name of a film that plays more like a made for TV movie with all of the bells and whistles of pop culture self help forums now available on any late night infomercial program or perhaps on the motivational speaker circuit.

Peaceful Warrior is a movie made from the book of the same name written by Dan Millmen, a motivational speaker whose story tells his life’s journey to truth and fulfillment. In fact, a declaration at the opening of the movie states,  Inspired by true events. So if a movie is inspired by true events and not necessarily based on true events, does this absolve the storyteller to explain the physical impossibility of Nick Nolte’s character a.k.a. dubbed Socrates, to be able to leap a 12 ft. building in the flash of an eye?

Come on everyone knows the current metaphors for the search for the meaning of life…..The one who is hardest to love—needs love the most.  You will never be better than you are now as well as you will never be less than you are now….The journey is what brings us happiness not the destination….. But did we have to be subjected to 120 minutes of pabulum?

Scott Mechlowicz plays the lead, gymnast, Dan Millman, in his youth. He certainly is credible as a first rate gymnast. He has the puppy dog eyes of a sad sack hit by life’s inevitable suffering and triumph only after discovering that one must always live in the moment. For the record, the moments he was on the big screen he brought great eye-candy appeal.

Nick Nolte as the gas station guru who dispenses prophetic ad nauseam decrying self adulation must be commended for his restrained performance.  Nolte’s performance is what made it bearable to sit through his character’s job of dispensing  a  pop culture bromide of current thinking that could pass for Zen, Buddhism or a number of any other self help or religious agendas. In short, Nolte enlightens us by preaching platitudes that all sound universal.

I’m not knocking the validity of these ideas. I am just suggesting there have been better film vehicles such as Seven Years in Tibet or Gandhi  to espouse the benefits of discipline and the search for enlightenment.

If the lesson learned from this movie is simply the adage…   "In life, concentrate on the journey; not on the goal.”  May I recommend you skip this movie and rent Little Miss Sunshine?  There’s a journey worth your time instead of this superfluous drib called, Peaceful Warrior.

 

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Watch for the reports at 5:15 p.m. on Channel 5, or come here to read the reports!

 

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Five Things May 9: Finding the Right School

With the school year coming to a close, many parents will have to make a difficult decision this summer. For the first time they will have to decide where to send their child to school next year.
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Look here for past Five Things stories involving money and personal finance. More

 

 

 

Look here for past Five Things stories involving relationships, ranging from friendships to marriage.More

 

 

 

 

Look here for past Five Things stories involving family and children.More

 

 

 

 

 

 

Women's health

Look here for past Five Things stories involving women's health and fitness.More

 

 

 

 

 

Look here for past Five Things stories involving your home and its upkeep.More

 

 

 

 

 

Look here for past Five Things stories involving beauty and hygene. More

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want to share your ideas for "Five Things"? Click here!