Concord News

Kimmel moving into thick of late-night fight

Concord Monitor Living - Wed, 08/22/2012 - 00:00
Move to 11:35 p.m. bumps 'Nightline' Embed multimedia (photos, galleries, audio, map):  TV Emmys Jimmy Kimmel

J immy Kimmel Live is moving into the thick of the late-night fight against Jay Leno and David Letterman, ABC said yesterday, bumping Nightline from its longtime perch.

Starting in January, Kimmel's talk show will shift from 12:05 a.m. Eastern to the 11:35 p.m. Eastern time period long held by the newsmagazine, taking advantage of Kimmel's ratings growth and the potential for greater ad revenue, the network said.

Nightline will move to 12:35 a.m. Eastern. ABC softened the blow for its news division by giving the half-hour show a weekly prime-time hour starting in March, and also will find a home for the ABC News series What Would You Do?

The network is rolling the dice, taking ratings winner Nightline out of a competitive time slot and putting in yet another talk show. Besides network rivals Leno and Letterman, the hour is home to Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert on Comedy Central, Conan O'Brien on TBS and Chelsea Handler on E! Entertainment.

Categories: Concord News

Fair trade: A home for a home

Concord Monitor Living - Sun, 08/19/2012 - 00:00
Open your mind to exchanges, and possibilities are endless

Let's say you have retirement looming in the next year or two. Let's say you have an itch to travel, to stay somewhere long enough to settle in and really get to know an area. And now let's say you're a bit uncertain about living on a fixed income in this skittish economy. How can you enjoy, say, Santa Fe, Puget Sound - or even Costa Rica, the French Riviera or the coast of Ireland - all for practically nothing? Easy! You can swap houses.

Categories: Concord News

Granite faces

Concord Monitor Living - Sun, 08/19/2012 - 00:00
Scaling Cannon Cliff, where the Old Man used to sit, is a satisfyingly difficult and humbling experience Embed multimedia (photos, galleries, audio, map):  Lakeview Lakeview 110703 weissner ac 079 120819 weissner ac 002

My earliest memory of climbing was on a band of 15- to 20-foot cliffs that stretched behind my grandmother's house in Birmingham, Ala. Exploring an area we called the cave, which was no more than an overhang where teenagers had set up a couple of lawn chairs, I had my first real brush with fear. I remember scrambling to a spot and then realizing it was tough to get out of it. The way up was scary and the way down even scarier, but I had to choose. My stomach lurched and my 9-year-old brain froze. I climbed down in the end, but it felt like it took an awfully long time.

Categories: Concord News

A garden in balance

Concord Monitor Living - Sun, 08/19/2012 - 00:00

The late summer garden can be looked upon as either elegance or blight. It's all about balance and control. When plants and vegetables are healthy and performing, that balance has been achieved through natural forces or properly maintained by our intervention. When plants are not doing well, they are out of synch.

Take the Hydrangea panniculata; it is heavenly in blooming perfection now, nodding to the whispering gods for which it was named. Hydrangea offers such an exquisite dilemma: which of its mop-head flowers to be picked first? Perhaps you have other garden performers, like fragrant late blooming hostas, anemones or roses. But there are also many underperforming plants this year, particularly in the vegetable garden.

Categories: Concord News

Pining for Mayberry

Concord Monitor Living - Sun, 08/19/2012 - 00:00
North Carolina 'Andy Griffith' fans flock to leading man's hometown

In the town of Mayberry from The Andy Griffith Show, a small-town sheriff and his trusty deputy always outwitted big-city crooks, and problems never got much bigger than a trigger-happy kid with a slingshot.

But while Mayberry was fiction, it was inspired by a real place: Mount Airy, N.C., the late Andy Griffith's hometown. And more than a half-century after the series first aired, fans are still coming to Mount Airy, looking for a glimpse of small-town life and the simpler times portrayed on the show.

Categories: Concord News

Long nails are point of contention

Concord Monitor Living - Sun, 08/19/2012 - 00:00
Baggage Check

Q: My girlfriend keeps her nails super long, and I don't like it. As in it seriously turns me off and grosses me out. She knows I'd prefer her nails shorter, but this has been her "thing" for a long time and I don't think she gets that it's really repulsive to me, to the point where I can't imagine staying with her if they're not cut. Am I being extreme about this?

A: If they were this deal-breakingly hideous to you from the very first "hello," I'm wondering how you ever started a relationship in the first place. Did she wear gloves?

If she really doesn't get how unattractive they are to you, you might try to be more honest with her. (Hint: A diplomatic "I have trouble getting past the length of your nails sometimes" is much better than "You sicken me.")

Categories: Concord News

He can change the world

Concord Monitor Living - Sat, 08/18/2012 - 00:00
Graham Nash opens up on music, politics and the NRA

Graham Nash has never been one to hold his tongue, musically expressing opinions about some of the most pivotal events of the past 40 years with his band Crosby, Stills & Nash - and occasionally Neil Young.

During that time, the introspective singer-songwriter has written his share of songs with a political spark. But he doesn't consider his music political, instead saying it's inspired by what he sees happening in front of him.

The 70-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee is currently on tour with CSN, which includes David Crosby and Stephen Stills. He spoke to the Associated Press on topics including the band's newest live album and DVD, CSN 2012, captured earlier this year, a project that includes Young and the band's take on political songs. He also spoke of their "40-odd-year bond" and tumultuous journey.

AP: You guys have been together since 1968. What's the secret?

Categories: Concord News

Fantasy & horror

Concord Monitor Living - Thu, 08/16/2012 - 00:00
Review Stop-motion animation keeps moving with 'ParaNorman' Embed multimedia (photos, galleries, audio, map):  ParaNormanmonster paran

The labor necessary to create a stop-motion film like ParaNorman is colossal. Tens of thousands of facial expressions were drawn. 3-D printers (a new advancement in stop motion pioneered here) ran through 3.8 metric tons of printer powder. One scene alone took a year to shoot.

So it's tempting to applaud the 3-D ParaNorman politely, sympathetically simply because of the admirable work. No one wants to tell 60 puppet makers that their months of toil were ill spent.

But though ParaNorman is impressively crafted, the frequently wondrous and whimsical visuals far surpass the story of an 11-year-old boy named Norman (voiced by Kodi Smit-McPhee) who can see and speak to the dead.

Categories: Concord News

'Crimes' scene looks rosy

Concord Monitor Living - Thu, 08/16/2012 - 00:00
TV COLUMN TNT scores big hit with drama spinoff

One night after NBC wrapped its broadcast of the most-watched event in TV history - and maybe the most new-show promo-laden event, too - a new summer show debuted to whopping big ratings.

Unfortunately for NBC, that show was TNT's Major Crimes - the spinoff of TNT's The Closer. Major Crimes, an "all-new drama" (TNT's words) that puts Mary McDonnell in charge of "television's favorite squad of detectives" (read: cast of The Closer), clocked 7.2 million viewers.

NBC also premiered a series Monday night. Stars Earn Stripes logged 5.149 million viewers.

Major Crimes received a lot of help from its lead-in: the series finale of The Closer, which was ending its seven-season run. The finale had an average audience of more than 9 million, which will likely wind up being the crime drama's most-watched episode, when viewing of the episode over the next seven days becomes available. The "Live + 7" stat is the one that Nielsen now puts in the record books.

Categories: Concord News

Cool eats

Concord Monitor Living - Wed, 08/15/2012 - 00:00
You don't have to heat up the kitchen to put a delicious meal on the table Embed multimedia (photos, galleries, audio, map):  NOCOOK82 NOCOOK81 NOCOOK86

It's meteorologically impossible to pinpoint the exact temperature at which the idea of cooking - that is, using some form of heat to prepare a meal - becomes completely unpalatable. By this point in the season, though, it's clear that summer's cumulative sizzle can zap the enthusiasm for the kitchen. Dinner may need making each night, but it's nice when it doesn't bring on a deep sweat.

The goal is to develop noncooking preparations that are at once attractive, inspiring and satisfying. The inspiring part demands some thought. Anybody can toss together a PB&J, but a meal should be more than just bread and condiments. Create a play on Sunday lox by pairing smoked salmon with caper ricotta and peppery quick pickles. Or stack an Italian panino with thinly sliced salami and a marinated fennel salad.

Categories: Concord News

Try something new on the grill

Concord Monitor Living - Wed, 08/15/2012 - 00:00

Summer makes us long for the grill. But by the end of the season, even our favorite burgers and dogs can feel a bit tired.

So to keep your grilling interesting, we came up with a speedy grilled tuna dish that packs tons of big, bold flavors. For our recipe, we used tuna steaks, which are thick, meaty pieces cut from the fish in the opposite direction than a fillet. You also could use salmon steaks, which often include the bone (which helps the flesh hold together on the grill). Swordfish also would work in this recipe.

We kept the prep simple with just a light coating of oil and a bit of salt and pepper. We wanted to let the flavor of the tuna shine. But to ensure we also could taste the fresh flavors of summer, we top the tuna with a cross between a fruit salsa and an herby chimichurri. It goes together in about 2 minutes with the help of a food processor.


Categories: Concord News

'Cosmopolis' falls flat

Concord Monitor Living - Wed, 08/15/2012 - 00:00
Movie Review Film has plenty of shortcomings

Lifeless, stagey and lacking a palpable subversive pulse despite the ready opportunities offered by the material, Cosmopolis is a stillborn adaptation of Don DeLillo's novel that will initially attract some Robert Pattinson fans but will be widely met with audience indifference.

DeLillo's short, chilly 2003 book adopted a Ulysses-like format of a man's journey across a city in a single day in a white stretch limo to presciently foresee the anarchic "Occupy" mentality rising up to protest the financial shenanigans of the ultra-rich.

The film, from director David Cronenberg, is remarkably prosaic, confined through long stretches to the dark and narrow interior of the car, only to be concluded by a static half-hour final scene that feels like a two-character, off-Broadway play.

Categories: Concord News

Keeping an eye on your kitchen's bottom line

Concord Monitor Living - Wed, 08/15/2012 - 00:00
Just a few simple steps can save you big bucks on food

Melissa d'Arabian is a home economist for a new era. Actually, she's more CFO than home ec.

That's because the Food Network host is as adept at balancing ledger sheets as she is at getting dinner on the table.

It's a handy skill that comes with being a trained financial strategist, and turned out to be an unlikely backbone for her culinary career. Her basic message to thrifty home cooks? Stretch your food dollars by treating your kitchen in terms of profit and loss.

"As the manager of a household you're actually running a fairly complicated business," she says. "There are simple lessons we can take from the business world and apply to our own homes."

Before hosting Food Network's Ten Dollar Dinners, d'Arabian was a financial services consultant, then a high-powered financial executive for The Walt Disney Co.

Categories: Concord News

'Odd Life' a mixed bag

Concord Monitor Living - Tue, 08/14/2012 - 00:00
Movie Review Pretty movie lost to flat, sappy tale

You'll either be inspired or nauseated by The Odd Life of Timothy Green. This is a member of the nauseated camp speaking.

The movie from novelist and filmmaker Peter Hedges, author of What's Eating Gilbert Grape and creator of Katie Holmes's lovely independent feature Pieces of April, strains to Disney-ize the family dysfunction territory he explored so well in those works.

In Timothy Green, it's all gone flat, mushy and hollow. Adapting a short story by Ahmet Zappa (son of Frank), writer-director Hedges tries for old-fashioned wholesomeness only to flounder amid a well-intended but sappy tale of a childless couple mystically granted a test run at parenthood.

Hedges assembled an impressive cast, led by Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton as the parents, and the actors buy into the story's conceits wholeheartedly. The characters are simplistic and artificial, though, behaving in ways that often are insultingly naive and sometimes just plain stupid.

Categories: Concord News

From 'Runway' to Penneys

Concord Monitor Living - Sun, 08/12/2012 - 00:00
Q and A Nina Garcia knows what's in and out

As a judge on Lifetime's Project Runway, the fashion director of Marie Claire and the author of four books on dressing your best, Nina Garcia is no stranger to voicing her opinions on what's in and what's out. That's why she'll fit right in as the new style voice and fashion collector/curator for J.C. Penney. If you haven't hit up the 99-year-old retailer since grade school, you could be pleasantly surprised to see the ways in which Garcia is lending it her finely tuned sartorial eye.

Q: What exactly does your new role entail?

A: I'll work closely with the merchandising and design teams, offering them insight into what they might need and what they might want to add that season. I'll give advice and share the experience I've learned after 15-odd years in fashion.

Q: Any particular trends you're looking forward to this fall?

Categories: Concord News

suburban oasis

Concord Monitor Living - Sun, 08/12/2012 - 00:00
Pembroke couple proves you don't need a lot of land for a great garden

People often complain that they'd love to have a garden but don't even attempt it because their lot is too small or too shady. One couple in Pembroke has tackled both these problems, and the resulting gardens around their suburban home are not only breathtakingly beautiful but full of surprises.

Vinny and Erika Flewelling have lived on a small corner lot for 37 years. Over time, they've lost some large, older trees and planted some new ones. They kept the stumps of a tall blue spruce and a roadside maple and turned them into supports for collections of bird houses, wind chimes and other garden art, along with hanging baskets and flowering vines. The newer trees - maples and ash - have grown up to cast their shade on the many varieties of hosta, as well as caladiums and other shade-loving plants.

Categories: Concord News

Massage does a body good

Concord Monitor Living - Sun, 08/12/2012 - 00:00

I used to consider the occasional massage a blissful, self-indulgent luxury. But as I've gotten older, I've become more and more convinced that regular rubdowns are an important prescription for physical and mental well-being.

In fact, there is a growing body of research confirming that massage can be good medicine.

"We now know that massage therapy is not just for pleasure, but has significant psychological, physiological and biochemical effects that enhance health," says Tiffany Field, director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami Medical School, which has conducted more than 100 studies showing that massage's benefits can include positive effects on depression and anxiety, sleep, stress hormones, immunity and pain relief.

Categories: Concord News

Being there for ailing friend isn't easy

Concord Monitor Living - Sun, 08/12/2012 - 00:00
Baggage Check

Q: My closest friend just got a devastating cancer diagnosis. There's a chance she will beat this and if anyone can fight it, she can.

But I'm so thrown and stressed and saddened by this I don't think I'm being a good friend. I keep thinking about her young children and her husband and my own potential loss of her. I'm finding it difficult to be there for her when I'm so sad.

A: Be honest with her about not knowing what to say and how it's affecting you - "I sometimes don't want to show you how sad I am about this." But it's simply not fair right now for you to burden her with your pain.

You deserve your own support, whether it's from your family, other friends or through counseling.

Categories: Concord News

Safety first, bicycle riders

Concord Monitor Living - Sun, 08/12/2012 - 00:00
Monitor board of contributors Don't let bad choices derail exercise

As a physical therapist, I often recommend bicycling as an excellent form of aerobic exercise. It helps reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and chronic pain and to mitigate these problems. It is also an economical means to stay healthy and offers an alternative to car transportation, which allows people to be green while getting lean. So what's the problem?

The problem with my recommendation is that I don't typically follow it up with these suggestions:

1. Wear a helmet.

2. Don't smoke a cigarette while riding.

3. Obey the rules of the road.

4. Avoid riding in the dark.

By not discussing these four seemingly obvious rules, I expose my patients to potential injury that would far outweigh the health benefits of cycling.

Categories: Concord News

DNC host city drama

Concord Monitor Living - Sun, 08/12/2012 - 00:00
North Carolina Perhaps fitting that controversy surrounds convention in Charlotte

When all is said and done, perhaps it was destiny that Charlotte host the Democratic National Convention - and that its choice be controversial.

After all, the city and surrounding county of Mecklenburg are the main players in one of North Carolina's great historic controversies: whether a document known as the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence was signed here more than a year before that other Declaration of Independence (the one drafted by Thomas Jefferson) showed up in 1776.

The Mecklenburg declaration wasn't published until 1819, but the date of its supposed signing, May 20, 1775, is printed on the North Carolina state flag, even though most historians no longer believe the document ever existed.

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