C. A. Pack

Musings & Brainstorms & Rants

December 2012

Houzz: Experience a Victorian Christmas

I love seeing how Christmas was celebrated in previous centuries and this article from Houzz allows us to peek inside a 19th century home. Just click on the link.

Happy holidays!

December 21, 2012

The End

So here we are on the eve of what the Mayan calendar has predicted to be the end of the world and I thought I’d reprint author Catherine Coulter’s December newsletter, because (aside from being entertaining) it’s so dead on. Originally, I was going to wait for tomorrow to print this, but, you know, just in case, I thought I’d get in one last post…


December Newsletter 2012 Vol. 21 No. 12

     Friday the 21st is 'put up or shut up' time. The ancient Mayans either forecasted our doom in three days time or they simply ran out of calendar rocks. The earth either splits apart and hurls all of us hither and yon or we are frantically buying our last Christmas presents, and praying to the God of Pity that our giftees like them.

     I picture one lone Mayan standing high atop a big honker pyramid, hands cupped around his mouth, shouting, "Sorry, suckerrrrs, you're gone on 12/21/2012!" Another Mayan (this one's bald) sits back on his golden throne, wisely nods his head, points his finger, and says, "Make it so."

     The thing is, though, if the ancient Mayans were able to forecast the end of time, this means they had BIG BAD magic. I ask you,  who on earth then could ever take them out? Surely not Spanish hooligans who didn't even bathe, and had only horses and guns with one bullet? I mean, no magic there. Sprinkle in nasty European diseases --
bodda bing badda boom -- and the ancient Mayans were gone.

     So, when (and if) you wake up on the 21st, lie there a moment, maybe stretch a bit,  and say aloud,  "Carpe diem." Now get yourself dressed and go shopping. Most of all, have fun and be grateful we're all still tethered to the lovely earth.

Merry Christmas!
Catherine Coulter


Colm Wilkinson in Les Mis

In 1987, When I was so sure I was going to be hired as a publicist at Disneyland, I bought myself a ticket to see Les Misérables, because I wanted to make sure I saw it before moving to California. Needless to say, the show was great, and Colm Wilkinson was magnificent. I didn’t get the job, but I did get the opportunity to see a musical that forced me to get the cast recording and learn all the songs by heart.

Fast forward a quarter of a century, and Col Wilkinson is again in
Les Misérables, this time as the Bishop.

“Fight. Dream. Hope. Love.”
 As we’re nearing the highly anticipated release of ‘Les Misérables,’ Working Title Films and  Universal Pictures have unveiled this new clip from Tom Hooper’s (The King’s Speech) adaptation of Victor Hugo’s 1862 novel and subsequent stage musical. The clip centers on Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) getting cut some slack by the Bishop (Colm Wilkinson), someone he just stole from.

**UPDATE: There was a video embedded here, but I guess it was pulled. Apparently, we’ll all just have to see the film to hear Colm Wilkinson sing.

Multi-Functional Furniture

I love multipurpose furniture, and this piece would be great in a kids room or office. This company provides various finishes, so you’re not stuck with shades of pink or purple, and there are other bed/couch/desk configuration. Plus I love any video that’s edited to even the oddest version of Pachelbel’s Canon.

Then, there’s this Youtube video that I found on Resource Furniture’s web site:

I can’t help but linger when I see an ad for this type of furniture, because it’s so functional. Who knew I was so pragmatic?

Writers on Writing

question mark

What is the best way to create suspense?

It’s a question author Lee Child often talks about at writers’ conferences, and recently answered in an article for the New York Times. Here’s a link to the answer:


Be A One Man Band with Your Smart Phone

Last year, Gary Licker and I put together a class to teach people how to shoot and edit news packages on their smart phones. We were almost ready to go with it, but the timing wasn’t right and it fell between the cracks.

Now Vocativ Video School has put together a video primer on how to shoot video on smart phones and it’s excellent advice for everyone. Even though getting a shaky shot of something big is better than not getting the shot at all, keep in mind that you can put together a great story with just a little preplanning. I’ve embedded Vocativ’s video here. It everything we taught our former LI News Tonight reporters and camera people. Good advice is good advice.

It's Getting Closer...

I am so psyched about this film that I grab onto every little snippet I can find about it, and today it’s a piece of the song “Who Am I?” by Hugh Jackman.