OVERBOARD | Arrives on Digital 7/17 and on Blu-ray Combo Pack & DVD 7/31

A RICHES TO RAGS STORY. IF ONLY HE COULD REMEMBER IT.

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The Hilarious Comedy from Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures and Pantelion Films Splashes onto Digital July 17 and Blu-rayCombo Pack and DVD on July 31 from Lionsgate

OVERBOARD_3D_BD_O-CARDBring the family together for the “heartwarming comedy” (Miami New Times) Overboard, arriving on Digital July 17 and on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack (plus DVD and Digital), DVD, and On Demand July 31 from Lionsgate.

From Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures (MGM) and Pantelion Films, Eugenio Derbez (How to Be a Latin Lover, Instructions Not Included), Anna Faris (The House Bunny, TV’s “Mom”),  and Golden Globe® nominee Eva Longoria (Best Actress, TV’s “Desperate Housewives,” 2006) star in this hilarious fresh take on the iconic romantic comedy. Directed by three-time Primetime Emmy® award winner Rob Greenberg (Jigsaw, Predestination), who teamed up to write the screenplay with Bob Fisher (Wedding Crashers, We’re the Millers) and Leslie Dixon based on Dixon’s story, Overboard reverses the roles from the original film, featuring Derbez as a spoiled wealthy yacht owner who becomes the target of revenge from his mistreated employee played by Faris.

In a splashy new twist, Overboard focuses on Leonardo (Derbez), a selfish, spoiled, rich playboy from Mexico’s richest family and Kate (Faris), a working-class single mom of three hired to clean Leonardo’s luxury yacht. After unjustly firing Kate and refusing to pay her, Leonardo falls overboard when partying too hard and wakes up on the Oregon coast — with amnesia. Kate shows up at the hospital and, to get payback, convinces Leonardo he is her husband and puts him to work — for the first time in his life. At first miserable and inept, Leonardo slowly settles in. Eventually he earns the respect of his new “family” and coworkers. But with Leonardo’s billionaire family hot on their trail and the possibility of his memory returning at any moment, will their new family last or will Leonardo finally put the clues together and leave them for good?​

Take home Overboard, Pantelion Film’s highest grossing film to date, and go behind the scenes with the cast and crew with three featurettes and an audio commentary exclusive to the home entertainment release. The Overboard Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD will be available for the suggested retail price of $39.99 and $29.95, respectively.

BLU-RAY / DVD / DIGITAL SPECIAL FEATURES

  • “Chemistry Is Comedy” Featurette
  • “Culture Clash” Featurette
  • “Captains of the Ship: Bob & Rob” Featurette
  • Audio Commentary with Writer-Director Rob Greenberg, Writer-Producer Bob Fisher, and Producer Benjamin Odell

OVERBOARD – Official Channels

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | #OverboardMovie

 

@Thisfunktional Talks with Paula Garcés ON MY BLOCK

Written by Jesus Figueroa

Actress Paula Garcés talks with Jesus Figueroa, @Thisfunktional of Thisfunktional.com, about her role on Netflix’ Original Series “On My Block” and her Latina superhero Aluna while on the red carpet for “Show Dogs.”

Garcés talks about being a fan of Will Arnett and being able to take her son to “Show Dogs,” her role in “On My Block” and how she related to the story and gives an update on Aluna, the Latina superhero she created.

“Show Dogs” opens in theaters May 18.

“On My Block” is streaming now on Netflix.

The Aluna graphic novels are available at PaulaGarces.com or TheWorldOfAluna.com.

Follow and interact with Jesus:
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*NSYNC Dirty Pop-Up Shop & Walk of Fame

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Ladies and gentlemen, today is the last day of April . . . which means that it’s gonna be MAY!! Yes, sorry, I had to do it.

In less than an hour, fans out in Hollywood, California and online all over the world will get to watch *NSYNC (finally) get their star on the Walk of Fame! If you’re like me and couldn’t make it out to Cali for the event, you can stream it live on walkoffame.com at 11:30 PDT.

Leading up to the ceremony, where all five members will reunite, they announced a pop-up shop in Los Angeles that is aptly dubbed Dirty Pop-Up. You heard that correctly. Not only do we get to see our favorite group-gone-too-soon together again, we also get new merch! Have we just transported back to my high school years??? Give me some sort of glimmer of hope for a mini reunion tour and I might need an EKG to check my heart lol.

I remember watching Disney’s In Concert with *NSYNC back in 1998 and I was immediately hooked. I begged my parents to buy me the VHS (yes, it was that long ago) of *N The Mix and watched it repeatedly for months – I’ve since upgraded to the DVD version of it and I even introduced my niece to it when she was younger. I had stacks of floppy disks with pictures on them and my bedroom walls were wallpapered with *NSYNC posters and magazine articles. I was that person.

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Merch – Volume 1

I saw them live for the first time at the Broward County Fair where Britney Spears opened up for them ( I had no idea who she was yet). My best friend and I were trying to get there early, but we had a fire drill at school that delayed our release. We definitely contemplated fleeing during the drill, but it turns out it wasn’t just a drill-someone set a garbage can on fire on the third floor and ruined our chances at meeting the guys. Another friend of mine sat next to me in Science in 10th grade. We’d have *NSYNC magazines and books resting on top of our Science books and I don’t think we ever looked so involved in our schoolwork! I was lucky enough to see them live 4 times before their “hiatus” in 2002. I was just graduating high school and between that and their hiatus, I thought my world was turned upside down.

 

16 years later and here I am, prepping to watch the guys receive their star on the Walk of Fame and checking out merch online in their store at nsync.com. Maybe now, my world is being turned right-side up!

So, I just wanted to send a huge CONGRATS to Justin, JC, Lance, Joey and Chris for making their mark in music history no matter how long it lasted. As I sit here with my *NSYNC playlist on repeat today, I’m finally old enough to hold up a glass (if I wasn’t at work) and cheers to a fabulous run! Thank you for everything.

Telemundo and Universal Music Latin Entertainment Will Host “THE AFTER,” The Official 20th Anniversary After Party Of The BILLBOARD LATIN MUSIC AWARDS | #Billboards2018 #TheAfter

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Surrounded by Las Vegas’ lights and glamour, “The After” will be presented by Neutrogena and Monster Products and sponsored by Heineken, Ciroc and City National  Bank

Telemundo and Universal Music Latin Entertainment will host “The After,” the official 20th Anniversary After Party of the Billboard Latin Music Awards. The event will take place TONIGHT Thursday, April 26 at the Jewel night club inside the Aria Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada and feature special performances by Colombian star Karol G, viral phenomenon-turned-DJ, Gianluca Vacchi and platinum-selling artist and syndicated radio host/DJ Alex Sensation with NYC’s Latin Mix DJ’s.

The official After Party of the 20th Anniversary of the Billboard Latin Music Awards will be presented by Neutrogena and Monster Products and sponsored by Heineken, Ciroc and City National Bank, with attendees to include J Balvin, and hosts of this year’s award ceremony, Gaby Espino and Marco Antonio Regil, as well as celebrities, hosts and singers who will celebrate 20 years of musical excellence.

The Billboard Latin Music Awards will be broadcast live on Telemundo TONIGHT Thursday April 26 at 7pm/6c from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, and will include musical performances by Jennifer Lopez, Bad Bunny, Becky G, Calibre 50, Cardi B, Chayanne, Christian Nodal, CNCO, Daddy Yankee, David Bisbal, De La Ghetto, Farruko, J Balvin, Karol G, Luis Fonsi, Maluma, Maná, Natti Natasha, Nicky Jam, Ozuna, Paty Cantú, Quavo, Reik, Ricky Martin, Sebastián Yatra, Sofía Reyes, Víctor Manuelle, Wisin, and Yandel.

The show also will air simultaneously on Spanish-language entertainment cable network Universo and will feature such television, film, music and social media stars as presenters as: Ana Jurka, Dr. Ana María Polo, Aracely Arámbula, Aylín Mujica, the singers of Banda MS: Oswaldo Silva and Alan Ramírez, Candela Ferro, Carmen Villalobos, Catherine Siachoque, Diego Boneta, Elva Saray, Erika Ender, Eugenio Derbez, Fernanda Castillo, Gianluca Vacchi, Karim Mendiburu, Raul Méndez, Reykon, Yuridia; and the Executive Director of Content and Latin Programming for Billboard, Leila Cobo.

Fans will be able to experience the excitement of the event at @LatinBillboards on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, as well as on Snapchat with TeamTelemundo, and will be able to join the conversation at #Billboards2018 and #TheAfter.

The Billboard Latin Music Awards honor the most popular albums, songs and performers in the Latin music, as determined by the actual sales, “streaming”, radio airplay and social data that informs Billboard’s weekly charts during a one-year period from the rankings dated February 4, 2017 through this year’s January 27 charts. Based on album sales, digital track sales, streaming data and monitored radio airplay provided by Nielsen Music and social data provided by Next Big Sound, Billboard’s rankings and the world’s most authoritative music charts. Finalists, and the eventual winners, reflect the performance of new recordings on Billboard’s albums and songs charts, including Top Latin Albums, Hot Latin Songs, Latin Streaming Songs and Latin Digital Songs, among others.

My Essay, ON THE WAY DOWN, Has Been Published On Anti-Heroin Chic

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Hey there!

I recently submitted two essays to Anti-Heroin Chic and am happy to report that BOTH have been accepted! ‘On the Way Down’ was published on April 24th and the second essay will be published at a later date.

Both of these essays are extremely personal to me, so I was nervous about submitting them. My only hope is that someone who might be experiencing something similar won’t feel so alone.

‘On the Way Down’ was written about my first major experience with anxiety. Losing someone close to me was a trigger for me and it’s become a part of who I am. I was experimenting with different styles of writing, and I wrote this essay using only semi-colons to give off the effect of experiencing the anxiety I was feeling at the time.

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You can read the essay for yourself by clicking the link below. This will redirect you over to Anti-Heroin Chic:

On the Way Down by Kristin Trujillo

 

A Mom Is On A Mission To Save Her Kids in BREAKING IN

BGN_Tsr1Sheet_0301_RGB_1This Mother’s Day, a group of thieves mess with the wrong mom!

Gabrielle Union stars as a woman who will do anything to rescue her children from a band of ruthless criminals who kidnap them before her very eyes.

In Breaking In, the new Universal Pictures action thriller from V for Vendetta director James McTeigue and producer Will Packer, Shaun (Union) takes her two children on a weekend getaway to her late father’s secluded house. When they arrive, she discovers her father had built a fortress designed with impenetrable security.  As she wonders why, criminals force their way in, lock her out of the house and hold her children hostage, demanding the contents of a safe.

Initially feeling powerless, Shaun’s maternal instincts kick in and she gets physical as she figures out a way to outwit her children’s captors.

When the ringleader tells her she is “a woman alone at the mercy of strangers,” she becomes determined to prove them wrong and find a way into the house to save her kids and herself from what looks to be certain death, even if she cooperates with the thieves.

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Union shines in this action-packed suspense thriller as a desperate mom who will stop at nothing to get her children back and teach the criminals a lesson: no traps, doors or locks, and especially no man can match a mother with a mission.

The movie will keep you at the edge of your seat, rooting for Union as she tells the criminals “you broke into the wrong house.”

Breaking In co-stars Billy Burke (Twilight series), Richard Cabral (End of Watch), Ajiona Alexus (Empire), Levi Meaden (Pacific Rim Uprising), Jason George (Grey’s Anatomy), Seth Carr (Black Panther) and Christa Miller (Cougar Town).

The movie premieres May 11. Don’t miss this kick ass mom fight for her kids this Mother’s Day!

STARS ON ICE 2018 Tour Review | #StarsOnIce #Review

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Ice skating fascinated me at an early age. I remember stopping whatever I was doing so I could sit down to watch it with my mom whenever it was on. Scott Hamilton’s back flips were always my favorite. When I was about 11, my cousin had a birthday party at the Miami Ice Arena (which no longer exists). I was so excited to get out there and glide gracefully across the ice like Michelle Kwan, Tara Lipinski and Kristi Yamaguchi. Sadly, that did not happen. As soon as I put one skate on the ice it all went downhill & I spent the entire birthday party, by myself, holding onto the wall as I attempted to make my way around the rink. It was a complete disaster. I also recall overhearing my aunt telling someone that paying for me to attend the party was a complete waste of money. Luckily, I’ve since learned how to “skate”–if just making your way around the rink without falling or holding onto the wall is considered skating.

SOI_USA2018_13x19_BradieMy love and appreciation for ice skating was renewed during the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. Watching Mirai Nagasu become the first U.S. woman to land the triple axel in the Olympics; Maia & Alex Shibutani (#ShibSibs) winning the bronze medal in ice dancing; Team USA winning the bronze in the team event; Nathan Chen’s redemption after a devastating short program to land SIX quads in his long program, and watching Adam Rippon’s flawless routines and hilarious interviews while welcoming him into our hearts was an experience I got to share with my mom and it reignited that flame for the sport.

So, needless to say, when I saw that Stars On Ice would be making its way down to South Florida, I just had to buy tickets–especially considering the fact that my birthday was the day after the show. It’s like the stars aligned!

The tour kicked off in Ft. Myers on April 6th, with a follow-up show in Orlando April 7th that was filmed for television (check your local listings for Saturday, April 14th). Skaters included Olympic Bronze Medalists Maia & Alex Shibutani and members of America’s Olympic Bronze Medal-winning team Nathan Chen, Adam Rippon, Mirai Nagasu, Bradie Tennell and Madison Hubbell & Zachary Donohue. Plus Olympic Gold Medalists Meryl Davis & Charlie White, World Silver Medalist Ashley Wagner and U.S. Champions Jason Brown and Karen Chen.

1323356447_STARSONICEStarBNWREL[1]Our show was in Ft. Lauderdale/Sunrise, Florida on April 8th and it was nothing short of amazing. The lights reflecting off of the ice were mesmerizing, and the outfits sparkled like hundreds of tiny diamonds. (The only thing missing was Adam singing Rihanna’s “Diamonds,” but I digress.)

The show opened with a group number to P!nk’s “Raise Your Glass,” followed by individual performances from each skater. There were also mini performances sprinkled throughout the entire show with 3-6 skaters at a time. Adam joined the ShibSibs for one song; Zachary, Madison, Meryl, Charlie, Nathan & Ashley combined forces to Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You”; a beautiful performance featuring Ashley, Karen, Bradie and Madison; there was a girls only number, and an energetic boys only number to Portugal. The Man’s “Feel It Still.” You can also expect a brief 20-minute intermission in the middle of the show that returns with more individual performances and a group number that closes the show. Some of the other songs you can expect to hear during the show are “Remedy” by Adele and “Let Me Think About It” by Ida Corr (Adam Rippon), “Can’t Stop the Feeling” by Justin Timberlake (Jason Brown), “Elastic Heart” by Sia (Meryl & Charlie), “Never Enough” by Loren Allred (Karen Chen), “This Is Me” by The Greatest Showman Cast (Bradie Tennell), “Nemesis” by Benjamin Clementine (Nathan Chen), plus songs from P!nk (Ashley Wagner), Wicked on Broadway (Mirai Nagasu), Hamilton on Broadway and more.

Sadly, I missed Nathan Chen’s quad in person because workers at the BB&T Center kept walking down to stop people from recording videos on their phones and were blocking my view, BUT I know it happened because everyone went nuts. The atmosphere was amazing and it was nice to see people of all ages and backgrounds in one room–just don’t try to record video because it does distract from other’s experiences. There’s a strict policy against flash photography and video recording, so just don’t.

Since our show took place the day before my birthday, I splurged a bit and bought Meet & Greet tickets for my niece and I. When we finally made our way to the room where it was taking place, the skaters were all seated at tables waiting to sign their lives away. You have the opportunity to speak with each skater, have them sign autographs and take photos. It wasn’t like other “meet & greets” where someone is standing there rushing you through the process. You actually got to meet them, which was nice. Everyone was so kind. Taking into consideration the fact that they’d just completed their third show of the weekend and had to wait until the meet & greet was over so they could eat, I was surprised at the level of kindness they all had for everyone.

Stars On Ice is a show I highly recommend to people of all ages. The music was great, the atmosphere was so positive, and the skating was phenomenal. The entire event is put together so well. Meet and greet tickets are sold out for the remaining shows on the tour, but the show itself is well worth the money. You’re guaranteed to be in awe of the grace, beauty and talent of these skaters on and off the ice.

You can find more information regarding skaters, tickets and merch by visiting the Stars On Ice official site HERE.

You can also click HERE to help Adam Rippon on his quest to raise funds for GLAAD‘s youth program.

 

 

Soon To Be Major Motion Picture From Annapurna Pictures’ and Plan B Entertainment, James Baldwin’s IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK Named Finalist In 2nd Annual One Book One New York

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MAYOR’S OFFICE OF MEDIA AND ENTERTAINMENT WITH NEW YORK MAGAZINE & VULTURE ANNOUNCE RETURN OF “ONE BOOK, ONE NEW YORK”

The Largest Community Reading Program In The Country Returns For A Second Year

New Yorkers Will Vote For One Book Among Five Titles Set On The Streets Of New York And Reflecting The City’s Diverse Neighborhoods

5,000 Copies Of The Nominated Books Will Be Available In Libraries Throughout The Five Boroughs

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Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment Commissioner Julie Menin today announced the return of One Book, One New York, an exciting citywide initiative that brings book-loving New Yorkers together to read the same book at the same time. Building on the enormous success of the program’s inaugural year in 2017, this year’s campaign, in partnership with New York Magazine and Vulture, features five acclaimed titles. Throughout the month of April, New Yorkers will cast their votes at NYC.gov/OneBook to determine the one book the whole city will read together.

The nominated books, all featuring New York City neighborhoods are:

  • If Beale Street Could Talkby James Baldwin
  • Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan
  • White Tears by Hari Kunzru
  • Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue
  • When I Was Puerto Rican by Esmeralda Santiago

“We are thrilled to present the five books in contention for this year’s One Book, One New York program,” said Media and Entertainment Commissioner Julie Menin. “These beautifully told tales reflect the rich variety of experiences and voices that make New York’s literary culture second to none. We hope once again that One Book, One New York will inspire great conversations, foster compassion in difficult times, support our vital publishing industry, and spur New Yorkers to rediscover their local libraries and neighborhood bookstores.”

Seeking stories reflecting New York City’s rich history, diverse neighborhoods and resilient people, the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment consulted with literary leaders throughout the city for suggestions on which books to include in this year’s One Book, One New York. New York Magazine and Vulture’s book editors helped whittle down the list to five books, each of which delves into the lives of complex characters, from groundbreaking women to struggling artists to new immigrants, grappling with adversity as they try to forge a life and identity in New York City neighborhoods. They explore themes of missing fathers, tragic love and racial injustice through the eyes of unforgettable narrators that will speak to book lovers and new audiences alike.

“For 50 years, storytelling with flair has been integral to our mission at New York Magazine, and we’re delighted to team up with the Mayor’s office to champion these five books rich with city life and distinctive New York voices,” said New York Media CEO Pam Wasserstein.

Each of the authors has a unique connection to New York.

“New York City has been my inspiration and my muse for decades, and never more so than while I worked on Manhattan Beach,” said author Jennifer Egan. “I’m lucky to live in this splendid, inexhaustible city, and honored to be a contender for its One Book, One New York program.”

“Books saved my life,” said Esmeralda Santiago, author of When I Was Puerto Rican. “Newly arrived from rural Puerto Rico, with no English and feeling lost in a big city, I discovered the Bushwick branch of the Brooklyn Public Library, a bright, warm, place where I could be lost without feeling endangered. I feel honored to be among the writers whose stories will help future generations reflect their experiences and struggles as they steer their own lives, mentored by such generous guides.”

“In the last decade, I’ve made a life in New York. I got married in the courthouse downtown, my children were born here,” said Hari Kunzru, author of White Tears. “To be part of One Book is extraordinary. It makes me feel welcomed. It makes me very proud.”

Behold the Dreamers is, among many things, a love song to my adopted hometown of New York City, so it is a tremendous privilege for me, that it is being considered for One Book, One New York,” said author Imbolo Mbue.

“From my earliest days as an undergraduate student, James Baldwin’s life and work have provided a guiding force that has given me the courage to pursue work that has meaning and social impact,” said Barry Jenkins, writer/director of the film adaption of If Beale Street Could Talk. “With If Beale Street Could Talk, my favorite author renders the city and neighborhood that raised him in unflinching detail and with endless empathy and grace.”

The publishers of the five nominated books have provided copies to each of New York City’s library branches (5,000 copies in all); the books will also be available for sale at bookstores throughout the city.

This year’s One Book, One New York includes a public awareness campaign that will blanket New York City with information on how to vote online at NYC.gov/OneBook. Ads on subway cars in all five boroughs, as well as a One Book, One New York video campaign to be broadcast throughout the month of April on Taxi TV and on NYC Media, the City’s flagship television channel, will encourage New Yorkers to vote for their favorite nominated book.

On Thursday, April 19 at 7:30 p.m., the four living nominated authors, Imbolo Mbue, Hari Kunzru, Esmeralda Santiago, and Jennifer Egan, as well as director Barry Jenkins (Moonlight), who is making a film of the late James Baldwin’s If Beale Street Could Talk, will join a panel discussion as part of the Pen America World Voices Festival. Held at The New School’s auditorium in the Alvin Johnson/J.M. Hall, the event is free and open to the public on a first come, first served basis. Click here to register.

As part of the fourth annual Vulture Festival at Milk Studios on May 19-20, the winning One Book author will be featured in conversation with a New York Magazine / Vulture editor. This event will also be free and open to the public. To find out more about Vulture Festival and register for the One Book One New York winning author event, visit vulturefestival.com/onebookny after the winning book has been announced.

After the month-long voting period, the winning book will be announced in early May. Once the winning book is picked, New Yorkers can look for events at their local libraries and throughout the city that will keep the discussion going all summer long.

One Book, One New York is intended not only to encourage a sense of community among New Yorkers, but also to support the City’s book publishing and bookselling industries. New York City is the country’s book publishing capital, home to the “Big Five” publishing companies – Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Hachette, and Macmillan – along with many of the most prominent independent and academic publishing houses in the country. In recent years, both the publishing and bookselling industries have faced significant challenges. An unsettling number of independent book stores have closed, along with several Barnes and Noble branches. The Bronx currently has no bookstores at all. Both Queens and Staten Island are underserved.

“Every day, people find common ground and new perspectives in the books, programs, and services offered at The New York Public Library,” said NYPL President Tony Marx. “Now, when the world can feel more divided than ever, One Book, One New York is an exciting opportunity to bring New Yorkers together through the power of reading. We are thrilled to participate again this year.”

 

Continue reading “Soon To Be Major Motion Picture From Annapurna Pictures’ and Plan B Entertainment, James Baldwin’s IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK Named Finalist In 2nd Annual One Book One New York”

Issue 2 of Longleaf Review is now LIVE!

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Good morning, everyone!

You may or may not know that some friends and I started an online literary journal called Longleaf Review at the end of 2017. As writers ourselves, we wanted the opportunity to read the work of our peers and to share their work with the world. You can view our titles and credentials HERE.

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With that being said, the second issue of our journal went live at midnight last night and we couldn’t be more excited to share it with you! You can check out the fabulous work included in the issue by click HERE, where you’ll be redirected to our official website.

You can also check out the list of contributing authors below. We appreciate all of the support from our friends, family, and fellow writers. We hope you have a fantastic weekend and that you help spread the word about our growing journal! This has been one of the most supportive communities I’ve ever been a part of and I, personally, can’t wait to see our little baby grow.

If you’re a writer yourself, we’re accepting submissions for Issue 3 until May 1st. You can find our submissions page & guidelines HERE.

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MASTER CHEF JUNIOR Contestant Emily Brings Her Passion for Cooking to Set

Emily. Age: 9. Hometown: Sylmar, CA.
Signature Dish: Tamales with Homemade Red Sauce.
Photo Credit: Michael Becker / FOX. © 2018 / FOX Broadcasting.

Written by Jesus Figueroa

“Master Chef Junior” contestant Emily started cooking when her babysitter would cook with her and show her all the gadgets they could use to cook.

Emily first learned to cook from her parents, but she would be excited to see her babysitter use different gadgets to make food.

“(The judges and mentors) helped me improve as a cook,” Emily said.

The judges would teach techniques and would encourage the contestants to gain as much knowledge as possible, but the contestants would gain experience from what they shared with each other.

The contestants would share techniques on how to cut ingredients and different ways to make different foods which was something Emily enjoyed.

“To know I was on (the show) made me feel special,” Emily said. “It’s so awesome to see so many people who love cooking as much as me.”

Emily’s passion for cooking was nurtured while being a part of “Master Chef Junior,” but also brought new interests to light.

Learning much more about cooking while on the show brought baking to Emily’s attention.

“I like cooking alot of savory food, but I’ve been leaning more towards baking now,” Emily said. “I feel like (baking) is a little more exciting because you can experiement more with the sweet flavors.”

Watch Emily on “Master Chef Junior” Fridays 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET/PT On FOX.

@Thisfunktional Talks With Walter Martinez, Bob Barboza PACIFIC RIM UPRISING East LA Rising Event

Written by Jesus Figueroa

Walter Martinez, IT manager and Instructor of Robotics at California State University, Long Beach, and Bob Barboza, Barboza Space Center in Long Beach California, talk with Jesus Figueroa, @Thisfunktional of Thisfunktional.com, about robotics during an event at East LA Rising inspired by “Pacific Rim Uprising.”

Martinez talks about wanting to inspire young minds to go into a STEM field, having been very  young when he decided robotics is what he wanted to do and a few easy tips for starting off.

Barboza talks about some advances in robotics, the great feeling of working with youth and a fellowship at the Barboza Space Center in long Beach for students interested in the field of Robotics.

PACIFIC RIM UPRISING
Opens In Theaters March 23
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Patreon – Thisfunktional

 

Why Adam Rippon & Gus Kenworthy’s Sexual Orientation Is Important

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What’s up, everyone?

I have to preface this post by saying that it saddens me that this is even a discussion in 2018. The fact that members of the LGBTQ community have to “come out,” or explain anything in regards to their sexual orientation is beyond me. I mean, you do realize that all they want to do is be themselves, be happy and LOVE another person, right?

I want to share a little story with you. My niece, Briana, is about to turn fourteen. When she was 5 or 6, I was watching one of my old *NSYNC DVD’s with her. She pointed to Lance Bass and said, “Krissy, he’s cute!” I know she was young at the time, but something came over me and my immediate (nonchalant) response was, “You know, Lance is gay.” She paused the movie and asked me what that meant.

. . . SHE ASKED ME WHAT [BEING GAY] MEANT . . .

I explained to my young niece that it meant sometimes boys like boys and sometimes girls like girls. I reiterated that “the norm” in society is for boys and girls to like each other, but there are others who feel differently and that’s normal too. She responded with a simple, “Oh, ok.” and un-paused the video. From that moment on, she has accepted EVERYONE and never thought of anyone who is gay as “different.” If she ever thought they were different, it’s because she knows how fabulous they are!

Throughout this year’s’ Winter Olympics, we were graced with the presence of two GAY athletes representing the USA, Adam Rippon and Gus Kenworthy. Even as a straight woman, I actually felt so proud of these men for being honest and for simply being themselves . It wouldn’t have mattered to me whether they were gay or not. Being gay doesn’t mean they train less than other athletes, or that they’re weak. If anything, it makes them stronger because they deliver strong performances regardless of any negativity being directed towards them.

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Yesterday, Kenworthy posted screenshots on his Twitter page of 4 complete strangers who posted extremely hateful comments on one of his YouTube videos. These people called him names and wished that he would get AIDS and die. Let that sink in for a moment . . . . . . . . . . . . Which leads me to the reason for this post. Adam Rippon and Gus Kenworthy’s sexual orientation shouldn’t matter to anyone. It’s their lives and, if they’re happy and are able to fully love another human being, it shouldn’t matter to ANYONE ELSE whether that other human being is a man or a woman.

The ONLY reason why their sexual orientation is important is because it opens doors for conversations between parents and their children. Children are taught to hate other people. If I had responded to my niece, at 5 years old, that being gay is gross and wrong, she would’ve grown up to believe that as true.  I know that many Christians do believe that to be true, but the hate starts with you as parents, not as Christians. Don’t teach your children to hate others simply because of something you don’t understand. I grew up Catholic, I have tattoos and I’ve had pre-marital sex. Those things don’t make me a bad person. They don’t mean I’m going straight to hell. Neither does being gay. Instead, teach your children that some people love different things, but we all love the same. Teach them that just because you have a certain belief, it doesn’t give anyone the right to make hurtful comments and, more specifically, to wish for someone’s death.

Adam Rippon and Gus Kenworthy’s sexual orientation is important because it shows that being gay doesn’t define you . . . your character does. The same way that being straight doesn’t define anyone else. Being straight doesn’t mean you’re a good person. It also doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. It’s the same with those who are gay, bi, transgender, etc. Rippon and Kenworthy are both strong AND graceful. They’re respectful. They’re hilarious. They’re kind to others. They’re using their platform to speak for that little kid who wants to lace up a pair of skates and glide gracefully across the ice, but is afraid to tell anyone. They’re speaking to that kid who is afraid that coming out as gay will make people think they’re weak and can’t nail flips on skis or snowboards. They’re speaking out to kids who don’t think that they can be themselves and still stand on an Olympic podium. They’re speaking to anyone who feels that their sexual orientation means they can’t chase their dream, regardless of what that dream is.

There are so many kids out there who are feeling things they don’t quite understand yet because their parents are afraid to actually talk to them about something that should be normalized at this point. THAT is why Rippon and Kenworthy’s sexual orientation is important. Speaking to your child about homosexuality won’t make them gay. What it will do is teach them to be accepting towards others and to embrace what they might be feeling themselves. So, to the parents out there . . . do your jobs. Don’t raise bullies and closed-minded people. Raise young men and women who know who they are and who can accept those who aren’t exactly like them.

It starts with you.

It’s Official! I’m A Published Poet!

 

Hey there, everyone!

I am so excited to finally be able to post about my first poem that is published in an online literary journal called Mangrove Journal. It’s the official journal put out at the University of Miami and I couldn’t be more ecstatic to be a part of it. Let me tell you how it all came about . . .

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Ever since I can remember, I’ve always loved writing. I would write letters to people that I never intended to send. It was my way of expressing my innermost thoughts. I’ve always carried a journal, I was on the yearbook staff in high school, and I had countless notebooks with friends growing up. For some reason, I ventured off into other majors rather than going straight into English, writing or journalism. It wasn’t until my late twenties that I finally admitted to myself that this was the one thing that I was really good at, and the one thing I wanted to pursue.

When I enrolled in the University of Central Florida’s English/Creative Writing program, I signed up for a creative writing class that had one module focusing on poetry. As much as I’ve always loved writing, I’d never really attempted poetry. I felt like it was important for me to step outside of my comfort zone and really try to tackle it. With the help of a fantastic professor, I did well in the poetry module and signed up for two poetry workshops and an independent study in poetry after that semester. I can’t say that I’m the greatest poet who ever lived, but I think for someone who never ventured in that direction, I do pretty well. 😜

This particular poem that was published with Mangrove Journal is one that began as an epic fail. I’d written it as an assignment for class and it earned me a ‘D.’ As a perfectionist, I was devastated and disappointed in myself. I focused on reworking the entire poem and this was the end result. It proves that you can always fix a mistake, and that even if something is awful at first, hard work and dedication can make it great!

I am so incredibly thankful to the editors and everyone involved with the journal for accepting my piece for publication.

You can view the Winter 2017 Online Edition of Mangrove Journal below:

My Thoughts | #MSDStrong #ParklandStudentsSpeak #StudentsStandUp #NeverAgain #EnoughIsEnough

YoursTruly

I’ve always wondered how a criminal defense lawyer can outwardly defend the actions of someone who is, without a doubt, guilty. Yes, some might be wrongfully accused and everyone deserves the right to a fair trial BUT if you know, with absolute certainty (fact-based) that a person is guilty of committing a crime against another person, how can you defend them and let them back on the streets? How are you able to sleep at night knowing that they can do this to another human being?

This week has been a tough one in South Florida, and around the country in general. On Valentine’s Day, 17 students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School lost their lives to yet another mass shooting.

I hadn’t been catching up on the latest news that day, so when I began receiving texts from out-of-state family asking if my niece was safe, I almost went into a panic. MSD High School is about 35 miles from where we live, so luckily my niece was safe, but I can’t say the same for the 17 souls who were taken way too soon, or for the thousands of others who are terrified of GOING TO SCHOOL. Does everyone realize how awful that is?? Do you remember being afraid to go to school? I don’t.

Last year, we received an automated phone call alerting us that there was a “situation” at my niece’s school. We never got the full story, but apparently a student had a gun and threatened one of their teachers. The school went into defense mode, where students were scrambling together to hide in corners trying to avoid what could have been a devastating outcome. SWAT arrived and videos surfaced of officers armed with rifles peeking into classrooms to make sure everyone was safe. Luckily, everyone was, but no one should receive an automated phone call from their child’s school telling them that there might be an active shooter on campus.

In 1999, I was a freshman in high school. Columbine happened. It was scary to think of something like that happening, but to us it was an isolated incident and we carried on with our lives. In my senior year of high school, they began implementing drills that forced teachers to lock classroom doors, turn off the lights and everyone had to hide beneath their desks. Even the drills were enough to scare us. Still, we didn’t have that fear of going to school because there hadn’t been a lot of school shootings at the time. At least none that made headlines like Columbine did.

Since then the number of school shootings, movie theatre shootings, church shootings, shootings at music festivals, a night club, and just everyday gun violence in cities like Chicago have increased and it’s time to sit down and really think about how to control it.

I’m typically embarrassed by any news that surfaces out of Florida because we’ve become known for odd headlines, but after the tragedy at MSD High School last week, I couldn’t be more proud of the headlines that are surfacing. A generation of kids who are thought to be glued to their phones and lacking communication skills are stepping up and demanding change for all students, teachers and families. They’re not asking for all guns to be banned, they are asking for gun laws to be reformed. They are asking for semi-automatic weapons to remain in the hands of the trained MILITARY and not in the hands of civilians. They are asking for stricter gun laws, where people with mental health issues can not obtain a fire arm. If stricter gun laws have been implemented and have WORKED in other countries why can’t we do that here in what is believed to be the best country in the world?

This leads back to my original statement. How can a criminal defense lawyer defend someone who is guilty? How can politicians deny an honest conversation about stricter gun laws to save the lives of children? To prevent them from living in fear every day that they have to go to school? To prevent parents from fearing that their children won’t make it home at the end of the day? The answer to all of those questions is . . . money. Lawyers get a hefty paycheck and a notch on their belt when they win a case, and politicians receive hefty donations from the NRA for allowing anyone over the age of 18 the “right” to obtain a military-grade weapon.

This is not a Republican/Democrat issue. This is a HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUE. I don’t care if the children’s parents are Republicans or Democrats. I don’t care if the children, themselves, plan on voting for either side. I care about them being safe and being able to learn in an environment that doesn’t scare them. Arming teachers is not the solution. Teachers are teachers, not police officers. We have to spend hundreds on school supplies every year because there is not enough funding at the schools to provide students with the tools they need to LEARN. Where will the money come from to provide every teacher with a firearm? Where will the money come from to TRAIN teachers to use that firearm? I can honestly say that about 98% of the teachers I had growing up were unqualified to carry. And when you arm every teacher at every school, isn’t that increasing the chances of gun-related violence at schools? There would essentially be a gun in every single classroom. What if the one of the teachers snap one day and use the gun on their students? What if a student is stronger than the teacher and overtakes them to obtain the government-issued firearm? That is simply NOT the solution.

My niece’s school is not the picture-perfect version of a great learning environment (by any means), but no one is able to just walk onto their campus. The doors are locked and you can only get onto the campus by entering the front office when school is in session. There are security measures that can be taken at the schools, absolutely. But without changes to gun laws, we are all basically sitting ducks.

I have never been more proud of a younger generation than I am right now after seeing the speeches and activism by students around the country, led by the incredible students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School here in South Florida. I have a renewed hope for the future knowing that these intelligent, strong-minded, determined teenagers are our future leaders.

To those of you trolling social media calling these kids spoiled liberals and spreading rumors about them being crisis actors, you should be ashamed of yourselves. As I mentioned before, this is not an issue of whether you are a Republican or a Democrat. Let’s be honest . . . all politicians are full of shit anyway. This is a matter of keeping our children safe by working TOGETHER to create gun laws that work to prevent mass shootings. No one is trying to take away your precious guns. But if we have to take a driving test, maintain car insurance and renew our licenses every certain amount of years, it should be 10 times harder to obtain a gun.

Listen to what these kids are REALLY asking for. And I mean, actually LISTEN. They are not spoiled. They are kids and teenagers that want their right to LIVE to be more important than your right to carry an AR-15 that killed their friends, classmates and teachers. They want to prevent this from happening at your kids school. Don’t let money come before the lives of our future leaders of this country you love so dearly.

Students should aim to obtain their diplomas. With the way things are going with the gun laws we have now, they should also be obtaining a certificate celebrating their success at living through their school years. This is the time for change. Their lives should mean more than a paycheck. Their right to live is more important than your right to play with a gun. Just be willing to LISTEN.