Sole Focus

News, Views, Rantings & Ramblings by Carey Parrish

My Photo
Location: Georgia, United States

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thursday's Author

When I first met Will Entrekin, we were both on My Space and we hit it off right away. On reading, writing, and life in general we shared many of the same tastes and ideals. Will's writing even then was superb. His blogs were just enthralling. Then he published his first book, a self titled tome called Entrekin, which was really a nice look inside the guy himself. I knew he was ready for the big time. He was living in L.A. and attending college there, taking classes from some of the most respected writers on today's scene. How could he go wrong?

He didn't. Now he lives in New York and his first novel, Meets Girl, is almost ready for release. A work of fiction that I know will be a hit, Will has given this book his all and he's promoting the hell out of it already. I for one am anxious to read it. I know I'm not alone either. Will's warm personality and friendly nature make him very easy to like and he has a genuine interest in the people he meets. Together with his innate writing skills, the package is practically unbeatable. Get to know him. You'll see what I mean.

Survivor Nicaragua Episode 12 Recap: And Then There Were Seven

This week's episode of Survivor Nicaragua was an exercise in the absurd. After moaning and bitching about the weather, the hunger, the ocean, the everything, both NaOnka and Purple Kelly decided to quit the game. Twenty-eight days in - and only eleven more days to go - they announced after the challenge that they were going to leave. They had each already shared their intentions with their tribemates but no one really took them seriously because they've both said the same thing in the past. At first, after their challenge revelation, Jeff Probst didn't take them seriously either.

Flashback to the beginning of the episode. Everyone was returning from the previous tribal council where they had voted out Brenda and NaOnka was flying because of how things went down, while Purple Kelly was reeling from being left out of the decision to jettison Brenda. There were no new indications from either of them that they were again considering leaving early. Not then.

It wasn't until after the next morning when the weather took a turn for the stormy and the wind was cold while the rain blew in sideways. drenching everybody. that these girls started their kvetching again. NaOnka talked about being anemic and not being able to take the cold. Purple Kelly began exclaiming that her body was just breaking down and she couldn't go on. A few pep talks ensued from Jane and Holly. For the most part Chase, Benry, Sash, Fabio, and Dan could have cared less. Everyone seemed happy either way things were going to go down. Either the girls would remain and tough it out or they would quit and make the playing field wider for those who were staying.

Then came the challenge. With Dan sitting out, opting to pull for the blue team of Benry, NaOnka, Holly, and Chase, the object was to untie an eight foot long stuffed Gulliver and then carry him across a series of three obstacles. The first team to get to the finish line would get a cinema treat of popcorn, hot dogs, candy, and a private viewing of the new Jack Black comedy Gulliver. The yellow team of Fabio, Sash, Jane, and Purple Kelly fell behind on the last obstacle, giving the blue team all the time they needed to win. It was at this juncture where NaOnka and Purple Kelly announced that they were leaving the game at the end of the day.

Probst was really annoyed at them, it seemed. He talked to them about how they were so close to the end and that they didn't look like quitters. His words fell on deaf ears, so he said they would have a tribal council that night and "sort it all out" if the girls would agree to give it some more thought, reminding them both that on more than one occasion during the game they had done things which they later regretted. The girls agreed.

Then Jeff said that the tribe had endured the flood that washed away some of their things and the fire that destroyed their extra food, supplies, and part of their tarp. He then unveiled a new tarp and a tin full of enough rice to get them through to the end of the game, stating that if someone from the winning blue team would agree to sit out the reward then the whole tribe could have the replenished supplies. All eyes fell on NaOnka. True to her selfish character, she did not step up to the plate and take the offer. Holly did it instead. She selflessly gave up her place in the reward to get the tribe what it needed, and when she took her spot with the yellow team she gave NaOnka a "bad move" look. NaOnka averted her eyes.

This girl then went on the reward with Benry, Chase, and Dan. She fully enjoyed the hot dogs and the popcorn and the candy and the movie. She behaved entirely self-centeredly, which did not escape the notice of her peers, and then she had the audacity to defend her decision to take the reward even though she was planning to leave at the end of the day. There was no one left who asked her to stay after this.

Back at camp, Jane and Holly both tried again to prop up Purple Kelly by telling her that with only a short time to go she would be foolish to quit. Holly even reminded her that in the game of Survivor one wanted to leave by the vote and not by quitting. Kelly paid little to no attention. Her mind was made up.

At the impromptu tribal council Probst again berated the girls for what they were considering, telling them that by doing so they would be joining the "quitters" who no one ever remembered. The other tribe members stated how they felt that being there was a huge opportunity which shouldn't be wasted. Jane made the most eloquent speech, telling them that if they thought Survivor was the roughest thing they would ever face then they were in for a rude awakening as they got older. She also reminded them that in today's economy there are a lot of peope worse off than them who didn't have the chance to win a million dollars. Jeff then asked for a final decision from both girls. They each quit.

Asking that their torches be "smuffed," as NaOnka put it, Probst agreed to put out their fire but he said their torches would remain in the council area to remind them - and everyone else - that they were quitters. Both then made her exit.

The jury of Brenda, Alina, and Marty was both amused and outraged by what was happening. Each one of them wanted to play the game but were voted out, and here were two quitting? The jury's point of view is well taken.

And then there were seven.

For next week, the preview showed the younger boys plotting to oust Jane and Holly because they are well aware that both ladies will win if they get to the end. Strangely they didn't mention Dan. Bad move. Dan, in my opinion, is the one to watch out for because, as I wrote in a previous recap, I've never seen anyone with the ability to so easily disappear into a group with the ease he displays. If Dan gets to the finals, he will walk away with it all.

Favorite quote of the week - Jeff Probst: "This game is not about how big you are on the outside. It's about how big you are on the inside."

(Note: I've interviewed dozens of Survivor contestants and I've become friends with many of them. However, I have never interviewed someone who quit the game. Why? Because I don't respect anybody who would quit Survivor. For someone like myself, who would LOVE to play Survivor but who will never get the chance, it is an insult for anybody to get that opportunity and then throw it all away.)

Tina Turner Thursday

Tina Turner’s 1995 album Wildest Dreams was a major hit in Europe and the UK, while it only attracted mild interest here in the US. This was really one of her best solo efforts and it continues to gain followers fifteen years after it was released. The tracks ranged in appeal from pure techno pop to smoothly arranged love songs and Tina never sounded better as she delivered the tunes in her unique way.

The biggest international hit of the album was her cover of Taylor Dayne’s Whatever You Want. The video is just amazing and it gives its audience a sizzling look at what powers Tina’s enduring popularity. Still a huge crowd pleaser in her live shows, Whatever You Want is a masterpiece in itself. It is proof positive of the magic that can happen when a superior song is performed by a superior entertainer and mixed with the superior production values evident on Wildest Dreams.

One of my favorite Tina performances ever, Whatever You Want still makes me go all ga-ga whenever I hear it. This is just one of those songs that will always remain timeless. Perhaps Ms. Turner’s timeless star power is the reason…I think so.

This Day in History: December 2

1804 - Napoleon was crowned emperor of France at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris.

1816 - The first savings bank in the U.S., the Philadelphia Savings Fund Society, opened for business.

1859 - John Brown, a militant abolitionist, was hanged for his raid on Harper's Ferry the previous October.

1862 - Circus entrepreneur Charles Ringling was born.

1901 - Gillette patented the first disposable razor.

1917 - During World War I, hostilities were suspended on the eastern front.

1927 - The Ford Motor Company unveiled the Model A automobile. It was the successor to the Model T.

1939 - New York's La Guardia Airport began operations as an airliner from Chicago landed at 12:01 a.m.

1942 - A self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction was demonstrated by Dr. Enrico Fermi and his staff at the University of Chicago.

1943 - "Carmen Jones" opened on Broadway.

1954 - The U.S. Senate voted to condemn Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy for what it called "conduct that tends to bring the Senate into dishonor and disrepute." The censure was related to McCarthy's controversial investigation of suspected communists in the U.S. government, military and civilian society.

1961 - Cuban leader Fidel Castro declared in a nationally broadcast speech that he was a Marxist-Leninist and that he was going to lead Cuba to communism.

1969 - The Boeing 747 jumbo jet got its first public preview as 191 people flew from Seattle, WA, to New York City, NY. Most of the passengers were reporters and photographers.

1970 - The Environmental Protection Agency began operating under its first director, William Ruckelshaus.

1982 - Doctors at the University of Utah implanted a permanent artificial heart in the chest of retired dentist Barney Clark. He lived 112 days with the device. The operation was the first of its kind.

1988 - Benazir Bhutto was sworn in as prime minister of Pakistan.

1990 - The Midwest section of the U.S. prepared for a massive earthquake predicted by Iben Browning. Nothing happened.

1991 - American hostage Joseph Cicippio was released by his kidnappers. He had been held captive in Lebanon for over five years.

1993 - Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar was shot to death by security forces in Medellin.

1993 - An unemployed man opened fire at an unemployment agency in Oxnard, CA. He killed three workers at the location and a police officer during a chase that ended in Ventura, where the man himself was gunned down.

1993 - The space shuttle Endeavor blasted off on a mission to fix the Hubble Space Telescope.

1994 - "Hollywood Madam" Heidi Fleiss was convicted in Los Angeles of three counts of pandering.

1994 - In Pensacola, FL, Paul Hill was given two life sentences for murdering a doctor and security guard outside an abortion clinic in July 1994.

1995 - NASA launched a U.S.-European observatory on a $1 billion dollar mission intended to study the sun.

1997 - U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno declined to seek an independent counsel investigation of telephone fund-raising by President Clinton and Vice President Gore. It was concluded that they had not violated election laws.

1998 - Microsoft Corp. chairman Bill Gates donated $100 million to help immunize children in developing countries.

1999 - The British government transferred political power over the province of Northern Ireland to a the Northern Ireland Executive.

2001 - Enron Corp. filed for Chapter 11 reorganization. The filing came five days after Dynegy walked away from a $8.4 billion buyout. It was the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history.

Thursday's Flashback

Way back in the early 70’s, the Edgar Winter Group recorded one of the best known songs of the rock era. Free Ride is a love song, an anthem of independence, and a dance along track that continues to rock listeners on radio all these years later. This song, written by the legendary Dan Hartman, just makes people feel good.

I couldn’t find a really good video of the band performing the song live, but there are many lower quality ones on You Tube, so I settled for this audio set to the cover of the album which spawned the single. Whether the track is live or not, it still delivers the same punch and there is little to compare with its groove when you get right down to it.

Free Ride crosses generations to remain popular and contemporary. The band is still touring and thrilling fans with their biggest hit ever, and it’s a classic that will never lose its appeal.

Thought For Today

“It’s not about how big you are on the outside. It’s about how big you are on the inside.” – Jeff Probst