Forget Divorce Court – Most Florida Divorces Never Make It To Court
Conjure up an image of divorce. The average person visualizes people sitting in a courtroom, giving testimony, with a judge at a bench presiding over everything. The reality of most divorces is dramatically different. Forget high profile, exciting confrontations in courtrooms built 50 years ago. The vast majority of divorces in Florida are relatively boring exchanges of paperwork and telephone calls.
In Florida, and in many states in the U.S., mediation is becoming a mandatory step. And mediation appears to work. Howard Iken, managing partner at The Divorce Center (www.18884mydivorce.com), a divorce law practice in the Tampa Bay region, observes over 90% of divorce cases settle by the time they get to mediation. Of the 10% that do not settle by mediation, approximately 9% settle some time before final trial. The bottom line is that approximately 1 out of 100 divorce cases go through the colorful confrontation that many people visualize. 99 out of 100 cases never make it to court.
Between the time a spouse files for divorce and the period most cases settle, the legal action consists of very boring paperwork, financial disclosure, punctuated by the occasional phone call. The process rarely varies and the paperwork in each case is similar if not the exact same. One spouse sends a petition, the other sends an answer. Each spouse exchanges financial affidavits, tax returns, paycheck stubs, and other types of documentation. The attorneys act as paperwork mills, churning and spinning out pounds of identical documents into the postal system. Other than copies of documents filed with the court, judges rarely get involved at this stage. All of the documents, legal pleadings, notices, and forms, are oriented toward getting to mediation, the final event in many divorces. If the parties settle at mediation, and the statistics show most do, one spouse will never see the inside of a courtroom. The other spouse usually attends a short, 10 minute hearing that is only a formality. A judge reviews the documents and signs off on the divorce.
“Hurry up and then wait,” divorce attorney Howard Iken tells his clients. Most cases consist of tons of paperwork creation followed by a long wait. The long wait is normally to allow the opposing party time to create and send a similar pile of paperwork. The process seems to work. The benefit: thousands of dollars in attorney fees are saved. Money that could pay for rebuilt lives is not diverted to the bank accounts of each attorney. Cases are brought to an early end. And each party to the divorce ends up having little or no contact with the court.
Containing the United States
European intellectuals yearned for the mutually exclusive: an America contained and a regime-changed Iraq. The Chinese are more pragmatic – though, bound by what is left of their Marxism, they still ascribe American behavior to the irreconcilable contradictions inherent in capitalism.
The United States is impelled by its economy and values to world dominion, claimed in March 2003 an analysis titled “American Empire Steps Up Fourth Expansion” in the communist party’s mouthpiece People’s Daily. Expansionism is an “eternal theme” in American history and a “main line” running through its foreign policy.
The contemporary USA is actually a land-based empire, comprising the territorial fruits of previous armed conflicts with its neighbors and foes, often one and the same. The global spread of American influence through its culture, political alliances, science and multinationals is merely an extrapolation of a trend two centuries in the making.
How did a small country succeed to thus transform itself?
The paper attributes America’s success to its political stability, neglecting to mention its pluralism and multi-party system, the sources of said endurance. But then, in an interesting departure from the official party line, it praises US “scientific and technological innovations and new achievements in economic development”. Somewhat tautologically, it also credits America’s status as an empire to its “external expansions”.
The rest of the article is, alas, no better reasoned, nor better informed. American pilgrims were forced westward because “they found there was neither tile over their heads nor a speck of land under their feet (in the East Coast)”. But it is the emphases that are of interest, not the shoddy workmanship.
The article clearly identifies America’s (capitalistic) economy and its (liberal, pluralistic, religious and democratic) values as its competitive mainstays and founts of strength. “US unique commercial expansion spirit (combined with the) the puritan’s ‘concept of mission’ (are its fortes)”, gushes the anonymous author.
The paper distinguishes four phases of distension: “First, continental expansion stage; second, overseas expansion stage; third, the stage of global contention for hegemony; and fourth, the stage of world domination.” The second, third and fourth are mainly economic, cultural and military.
In an echo of defunct Soviet and Euro-left conspiracy theories, the paper insists that expansion was “triggered by commercial capital”. This capital – better known in the West as the military-industrial complex – also determines US foreign policy. Thus, the American Empire is closer to the commercially driven British Empire than to the militarily propelled Roman one.
Actually, the author thinks aloud, isn’t America’s reign merely the successor of Britain’s? Wasn’t it John Locke, a British philosopher, who said that expansion – a “natural right” – responds to domestic needs? Wasn’t it Benjamin Franklin who claimed that the United States must “constantly acquire new land to open up living space” (the forerunner of the infamous German “Lebensraum”)?
The author quotes James Jerome Hill, the American railway magnet, as exclaiming, during the US-Spanish War, that “If you review the commercial history, you will discover anyone who controls oriental trade will get hold of global wealth”. Thus, US expansion was concerned mainly with “protecting American commercial monopoly or advantageous position”. America entered the first world war only when “its free trade position was challenged”, opines the red-top.
American moral values are designed to “serve commercial capital”. This blending of the spiritual with the pecuniary is very disorienting. “Even the Americans themselves find it hard to distinguish which matter is expanding national interests under the banner of ‘enforcing justice on behalf of Heaven’ and which is propagating their ideology and concept of value on the plea of national interests.”
The paper mentions the conviction, held by most Americans, that their system and values are the “best things in human society”. Moreover, Americans are missionaries with a “manifest destiny” and “the duty and obligation to help other countries and nations” and to serve as the “the beacon lighting up the way for the development of other countries and nations”. If all else fails, it feels justified to “force its best things on other countries by the method of Crusades”.
This is a patently non-Orthodox, non-Marxist interpretation of history and of the role of the United States – the prime specimen of capitalism – in it. Economy, admits the author, plays only one part in America’s ascendance. Tribute must be given to its values as well. This view of the United States – at the height of an international crisis pitting China against it – is nothing if not revolutionary.
American history is re-cast as an inevitable progression of concentric circles. At first, the United States acted as a classic colonial power, vying for real estate first with Spain in Latin America and later with the Soviet Union all over the world. The Marshall Plan was a ploy to make Europe dependent on US largesse. The Old Continent, sneers the paper, is nothing more than “US little partner”.
Now, with the demise of the USSR, bemoans the columnist, the United States exhibits “rising hegemonic airs” and does “whatever it pleased”, concurrently twisting economic, cultural and military arms. Inevitably and especially after September 11, calls for an American “new empire” are on the rise. Iraq “was chosen as the first target for this new round of expansion”.
But the expansionist drive has become self-defeating: “Only when the United States refrains from taking the road of pursuing global empire, can it avoid terrorists’ bombs or other forms of attacks befalling on its own territory”, concludes the opinion piece.
What is China up to? Were this – and similar – articles a signal encrypted in the best Cold War tradition?
Another commentary published a few days later may contain the public key. It is titled “The Paradox of American Power”. The author quotes at length from “The Paradox of American Power – Why the World’s Only Superpower Can’t Go It Alone” written by Joseph Nye, the Dean of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and a former Assistant Secretary of Defense:
“Hard power works through coercion, using military sticks and economic carrots to get others to do our will. Soft power works through attraction … Our attractiveness rests on our culture, our political values and our policies by taking into account the interests of others.”
As it summarizes Nye’s teachings, the tone of the piece is avuncular and conciliatory, not enraged or patronizing:
“In today’s world, the United States is no doubt in an advantageous position with its hard power. But … power politics always invite resentment and the paradox of American power is that the stronger the nation grows, the weaker its influence becomes. As the saying goes, a danger to oneself results from an excess of power and an accumulation of misfortunes stems from lavish of praises and favors. He, whose power grows to such a swelling state that he strikes anybody he wants to and turns a deaf ear to others’ advice, will unavoidably put himself in a straitened circumstance someday. When one indulges oneself in wars of aggression under the pretext of ‘self security’ will possibly get, in return, more factors of insecurity … Military forces cannot fundamentally solve problems and war benefits no one including the war starter.”
Nor are these views the preserve of the arthritic upper echelons of the precariously balanced Chinese Communist party.
In the same month, in an interview he granted to Xinhua, the Chinese news agency, Shen Jiru, chief of the Division of International Strategy of the Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, reiterated his conviction that “the United States aims to create a unipolar world through the Iraq issue”.
Mirroring the People’s Daily, he did not think that the looming Iraq war can be entirely explained as a “dispute on oil or economic interests”. It was, he thought, about “the future model of international order: a multipolar and democratic one, or the US strategic goal of a unipolar world”. China has been encouraged by dissent in the West. It shows that the “multipolar international community” is an “inevitable” momentum of history.
Why this sudden flurry of historiosophic ruminations?
According to Stratfor, the strategic forecasting consultancy, “for Beijing, the only way to stymie the fourth phase is through promoting multilateralism; barring that, China must be prepared to confront the United States in the future, and U.S. history can give some guidance … Thus, Beijing continues to focus on the concept of multilateralism and the legitimacy of the United Nations as the best ways to slow or even disrupt U.S. expansionism. At the same time, Beijing is preparing to face a future confrontation with the United States if necessary.”
When its economy matures, China wants to become another United States. It has started emulating America two decades ago – and never ceased. Recent steps include painful privatization, restructuring of the banking system, clamping down on corruption and bad governance, paring down the central bureaucracy, revamping the military and security apparatus and creating mechanisms for smooth political transitions.
China sent a man to the moon. It invests heavily in basic science and research and development. It is moving gradually up the manufacturing food chain to higher value added industries. It is the quintessential leapfrogger, much of its cadre moving straight from the rustic to the plastic – computers, cellular phones, wireless and the like.
Ironically, it could never have made it even this far without its ostensible foe. Thousands of bright Chinese students train in the United states. American technologies, management, knowledge, capital and marketing permeate Beijing’s economic fabric. Bilateral trade is flourishing. China enjoys the biggest share of the world’s – in large part American – foreign direct investment flows. Should the United states disintegrate tomorrow – China would assuredly follow.
How to Sing the Song of the Unsung Hero on Your Team
This article is for you if you’re a behind-the-scenes kind of person – the admin assistant who gets the presentation ready for the guys in marketing but doesn’t get to go to the meeting; the PR pro who writes all their speeches and answers all the complaint letters for the president or CEO; the at-home mother who makes sure the concert pianist practices; the deputy chief whose job description is doing all the things the chief doesn’t like to do or can’t do; or the paralegal who prepares all the pleadings, knows all the codes, and does all the licking and stamping.
Temistocle Solear, Antonio Ghislanzoni, Henri Meilhac, Jules Barbier, Michael Carre, Guiseppe Giacosa, Luigi Illica, Renato Semoni, and Nicola Haym all know what this is like.
Who on earth are these people??
Well even if you’re not an opera fan, I bet you’ve heard of the composers Verdi, Bizet, Mozart, Strauss, Gounod, Handel, Donizetti and Puccini. And I’m sure you’ve heard of some of their operas – Aida, Carmen, Cosi fan Tutte, Madame Butterfly, Faust, and Don Giovanni, for instance.
Did you know that these composers wrote the music for their operas but not the lyrics? Solear, Ghislanzoni and the other individuals in the list are what’s called “librettists.” It is they who wrote the words to the music that tell the story, without which you would be listening to a symphony, not an opera. And we never hear their names!
They’re called “librettists” because the words to the songs, which basically comprise the script of the opera, is called a “libretto.” It’s Italian for little book.
Like Gilbert and Sullivan, the pairs worked together. The inimitable Richard Wagner was the only one to compose all his operas entirely by himself, creating both music and lyrics, which may account for why they are so powerful, so “Wagnerian.”
This is quite a feat because composing music and writing words require different parts of the brain.
Sometimes the composer and librettist met in person, while other times the work was done by correspondence. Strauss worked exclusively with one librettist, after writing his own lyrics for his first opera and finding out he wasn’t good at it, but most other composers switched around, finding the right librettist for the job, or one who was available. It’s not unlike the way a lot of us work these days – long distance and by contract.
Again, grasp the significance of the work these unsung heroes did. The words are so integral to the opera they are never translated. Subtitles run across the big screen on stage, or the little screen on the chair in front of yours at the opera. We read them in our native tongue while they are sung on stage in the original German, Italian, or French. (For aficionados, anyway. Beginners may enjoy translations, such as The Chandos Opera In English series, which translates the lyrics into English.)
What an incredible collaboration an opera is. It takes costume designers as well, because an opera is as much visual as it is auditory. The Grand Opera is known for its elaborate sets and costumes. In “Turandot,” when the mob turns surly and the moon appears, she is personified and costumed in a magnificence dominated the stage for what seems like half an hour, that will keep you transfigured.
One opera I hope to see one day is Verdi’s “Aida,” excuse me, Verdi and Ghislanzoni’s “Aida” at the Bath of Caracalla in Rome, where the Triumphal March of Rhadames features live elephants and horses on stage. Now that’s entertainment!
What we don’t see at an opera is the orchestra, perhaps the most important element of all. They’re listed in the program, of course, and given their bows at the curtain calls, but we only hear them, seated down below in the orchestra pit as they are.
Many elements go together to produce the opera we see that bears the name of one man only. Take “Turandot” for instance. It was librettist Semoni who gave Puccini the suggestion for the opera in the first place, telling about “Turandotte,” a play written by Gozzi, based on a fable from the Arabian Nights.
Puccini had been searching for two years for a suitable plot for an opera, and at the age of 61 began “Turandot,” instructing his librettists, Adami and Semoni to “pour great pathos into the drama.” Puccini was known, incidentally for being extremely demanding, requiring endless rewrites from his librettists.
From his point of view however, the librettists were difficult. We can read his letters begging them to do their work. He wrote frantically to Simoni, in charge of Act III, “The third! The third! The third!”
At one point, he confessed to a friend “Music disgusts me…”, as he evidently had periods of self-doubt and composer’s block. Toscanini paid him a visit and gave him the encouragement to keep going. Every team has their Toscanini; or needs one.
Puccini was justified in urging completion of the opera as he died before the team had completed the third act. The collaboration continued on, as Toscanini found a composer named Franco Alfano, whose name is rarely mentioned, to complete it. The world premier took place on April 25th, 1926, the work of one guiding genius and many hands, hearts and minds.
It isn’t that teamwork and collaboration is new, it’s that it’s newly being recognized. Most of us realize we couldn’t accomplish anything alone, while those behind the scenes who work long and willing hours, long for some recognition. Appreciation, after all, is what tops the surveys when employees talk about what they want at their job, and it’s so consistently there, it’s a wonder it isn’t heeded more.
Richard Montuori, town manager of Bellica, Massachusetts, knows and appreciates his team. “I love [my] job,” he said a newspaper interview. “Every day is different and presents new challenges. Finances are a daily and yearly challenge, but no one person ever accomplishes anything alone. We have excellent department heads and town boards that help keep the town moving in the right direction.”
Isn’t it nice to hear someone publicly acclaim the team that makes him shine? I hope your boss or manager does this for you, and that if you’re the boss or manager, you appreciate and acknowledge – and sing – the unsung heroes in your midst.
But how do you praise everyone? There are always so many.
Here’s a leadership trick I learned from a pro. At the culmination of an anniversary banquet, engineered by many, and funded by many more, the director of the benefited-agency rose and thanked “everyone who helped make it possible to raise the $50,000.” Then he added, looking around the room, “And I’d especially like to thank someone whose name I won’t mention, but they will know who I mean.”
I thought it was me! So did a dozen other people, I’m sure, and that was what the director had in mind, he told me later when I asked him whom he had in mind, because his glance around the room was professionally ambivalent.
It works, and it’s always, always true.
The Various Stages and Common Symptoms of Lymphoma
The cancer that is known as lymphoma can be clearly understood through the staging process. This refers to how the sickness is categorized based on how big it is and what parts of the body has already been affected or healed. The worse the outcome seems to be, the higher the stage of the disease could be. There are four parts or stages that the disease will be grouped into and this can only be done after the patient has undergone through series of tests and scans to rule out the body affected organs and body parts.
To give you an idea about the various stages that this illness is categorized, here are the basic points about each phase.
Stage one. At this stage, the illness has only been determined to be present at a group of lymph nodes. There are also cases wherein the illness was found in one organ, which is not part of the lymph system, but this kind of case is quite rare.
Stage two. The cancer is now seen in two or even more groups of the lymph nodes that can be found on the similar side as with the diaphragm, which is a lean kind of muscle that is located under the lungs. The diaphragm helps a person to breathe easily. This also separates the chest area from the abdomen.
Stage three. The cancer at this stage can be found at the groups of lymph nodes that are situated on both sides of the diaphragm. There are some cases wherein the adjacent organs are also involved. This also becomes part of stage III when a spleen is seen after the sickness has been detected.
Stage four. This is the terminal stage wherein the lung substance is already affected. This is also the phase when the bone marrow and liver are involved in the disease as well as the other organs that are far from the originally infected parts.
There are many other factors that can affect the results of the treatments that are done with people that are suffering from the disease, like the age of the patient and the size of the illness. If you are in the advanced stage of this sickness, you must not lose hope because there are many cases that have been healed eventually even after suffering from the higher stages.
From the early signs or when you are starting to feel like there is something wrong, do not hesitate and consult with a doctor. To help you find out if you have the symptoms that are related with the disease, here are some of the most common ones. The most common and also the most important symptoms are the lumps on your neck, groin and armpits. These are painless, which is why there are many people who disregard these easily and only start seeking help when other symptoms start to come up.
The other symptoms that you may feel once you have the enlarged lymph nodes include loss of appetite, weight loss, fever, excessive sweating, especially at night and itchiness. You may also feel weak as the cancer cells of the lymphoma start spreading and grow bigger.
Successful Home Buying Tips For You To Follow
Buying real estate can be a real headache sometimes. Real estate comes with many laws, regulations and policies that make it difficult for customers to know exactly what they should do. This article will outline a few helpful tips for making your real estate transaction go as smoothly as possible.
Spend some time researching neighborhoods before you begin searching for a home. In particular, look up the crime rates in each neighborhood that you are considering. You may find out some statistics that you were unaware of, causing you to either eliminate some homes or place a priority on others.
Buying real estate is about developing relationships and above all else, nurturing those relationships. You can meet the right people that can help you with your goal and you can say all the right things. However, if you do not treat this as a relationship where both parties benefit, you will be selling yourself short and possibly, not seeing anything sold at all.
Never be afraid to negotiate a better price. With the weak housing market, perhaps the seller will be eager enough to reduce the sales price in order to sell. Those with great credit can pretty much call the shots these days. Although interest rates are at historic lows, few borrowers qualify and buyers are so scarce that they can often name their price.
Don’t allow the furniture arranging of a home overly influence your buying decision. Well-staged homes are designed to make the home look more attractive, but you must consider how your furniture and decor items will look in the home. On the other end of the spectrum, you may have to imagine what an unattractive home will look like if it has been cleaned, organized, or re-decorated.
Do lots of research about the neighborhood you are considering buying in, before you make the purchase of a new home. Look at the crime rate, the school system and home owners association. You are buying in to that community and deciding that you don’t fit in later can be stressful and costly.
Look beyond what you see when you are in the market to buy real estate. Most sellers will make their properties look to be in their top physical condition. Unfortunately, elaborate decorating and staging can detract from issues. Make sure you are buying more than just an momentary pretty scene.
Before purchasing a home, take its proximity to schools, shopping and other facilities into consideration. This is especially important to people who do not drive. You do not want to live somewhere that you cannot do your shopping, or where it would be difficult to bring your child to school
As you can see, buying real estate can be easier than it looks. If you keep a keen eye as a consumer, you’ll be less likely to fall into common pitfalls and traps. Being armed with knowledge also means that you’ll be more likely to get the biggest bang for your buck. Buying real estate is all about being able to play the rules to your advantage, and these tips should help you on your way to success.
Dominican Republic Holidays And Festivals
The holidays and festivals in the Dominican Republic are some of the most prestigious and festive celebrations in the whole world. The pageantry, lively music, garish costumes, and the happy disposition of its locals all contribute to the ebullience of the festivities. Tourists around the world come regularly to the beautiful island to join in on the fun and excitement.
Most of the holidays being celebrated in the Dominican Republic pay homage to the tenets of Christianity. This is no surprise because the Dominican culture is of Hispanic origin. In fact, there seems to be a celebration everyday from somewhere in the country as all municipalities and towns have their own patron saints to commemorate on a particular day of the year.
VIRGEN DE ALTAGRACIA
The most important religious celebration in the Dominican culture is the La Dia de la Virgen de Altagracia, which is celebrated on January 21. The Virgen de Altagracia, known as Our Lady of the Highest Grace, is the patron virgin of the Dominican Republic. In this holiday, thousands of Dominicans set out on a several day pilgrimage to the magnificent basilica of the Higuey.
Held every Sunday throughout the whole month of February, the La Carnival is the most anticipated and exciting festival in the Dominican Republic. It is a time for partying, with the locals donning their traditional demon costumes and dancing incessantly to the lively tempo of the band’s music. The Carnival is concluded by a massive parade to the Malecón on February 27 to herald the coming of Independence Day.
LA DIA DE INDEPENDENCIA
The La Carnival is just a prelude to a party that is so much bigger. Held on February 27, the La Dia De Independencia (Independence Day) marks the day of the Dominican Republic’s independence from Haiti. Same with the La Carnival, this particular day involves a lot of dancing, parades, eating, and drinking. It’s the apex of the celebrations that started during the carnival. In a manner of speaking, the La Dia De Independencia is the party to end all parties!
La Navidad is celebrated on December 25, which is actually Christmas, just like in the United States and many parts of the world. The usual serving of food among families and exchanging of gifts is done to celebrate the day. The only difference is that the locals attend a midnight mass before proceeding with the actual celebrations.
THE MERENGUE FESTIVAL
The Merengue is the most popular music and dance in the Dominican Republic. Every year in July, the Dominicans stage a 10-day celebration filled with parties, music, dancing, and concerts. The festival begins with a parade, complete with bands, dancers, and men in costume. Even hotels and clubs organize their own events and concerts in lieu of this particular holiday. And of course, they all dance to the tune of the exotic and upbeat rhythm of the merengue.
The Dominicans, aside from being a religious bunch, are a festive group of people, which is quite telling when you consider the manner in which they celebrate their holidays. Truth to tell, they love to party and have fun all the time even in ordinary days. So if you want a truly unique and fun holiday, the Dominican Republic is the perfect place to go to.
The Divine Beauty of Traditional Chinese Culture Shines at Radio City Music Hall
As we usher in the Year of the Pig, the divine beauty of the ancient East will come to life in NYC with the now legendary NTDTV Chinese New Year Spectacular! The 30-city world tour Spectacular will play at Radio City from February 14 – 17.
Featuring the best of Chinese culture and world-class performers, this unique show portrays genuine traditional Chinese culture and includes classical Chinese dance as well as various traditional dances. Performers have worked hard to emulate the musical style of the ancients—classical melodies filled with the power of compassion. Showcasing grand stage designs, hand-painted backdrops and authentic costuming from ancient Chinese Dynasties, the theme of Myths and Legends weaves a tale of the proverbial battle between good and evil through theatre, music and dance.
NTDTV’s main goal is to revive lost Chinese culture from the ancient past. As you may be aware, in 1949 when the Chinese Communist Party took power in China, its leaders did everything possible to sever the people from their 5,000-year-old culture. Everything moral and spiritual was suddenly uprooted from people’s lives–temples and buddhas were destroyed. The arts became a tool for fulfilling political aims, evoking the dark side of human nature. China’s folk music was used to serve the communist revolution.
Unfortunately, those born after 1949 have opened their eyes to a spiritual desert. They are no longer familiar with their own heritage, which has been decimated and replaced with the communist-atheist model.
Judging by the growth and success of the Chinese New Year Spectacular, now in its fourth year, I believe that NTDTV has lived up to its word. The Spectacular really does have the effect of removing the communist “wrapping paper” around the essence of traditional Chinese values and beauty. It is not surprising that the show ranked 7th on Billboard Magazine’s top 10 shows in Feb 2006 based on ticket sales for the 2006 shows at Radio City Music Hall.
The Spectacular is a delight to Chinese and Western audiences alike—a truly heartwarming event not to be missed. “The Chinese New Year Spectacular is the best show ever to appear on stage in North America,” said former member of Parliament Simma Holt. “I saw the show in Canada and I would like to say to the Chinese Consulate officials, who made a statement saying that the show is political, the fact that some of the atrocities committed by the Chinese regime were re-enacted in the show is nothing unusual; interpretative dance is a feature of all great symphonies, operas and ballets.”
Get Your Prince Tickets To Witness The Return Of A Musical Legend
For many years, Prince tickets were among the most sought-after concert tickets in the music world. Prince has been a legend almost since he stormed onto the scene in the early 1980’s, and his longevity and ability to change his style to fit the times and his own development as a musician has been nothing short of amazing. A look at Prince’s life will help to paint a picture of just how this iconic musical figure came to occupy his current status as a legend.
Prince Rogers Nelson was born on June 7, 1958 in Minneapolis. His name came from his father’s jazz band, which was called the “Prince Rogers Trio.” He was introduced to music early, but his family life as a child was a bit rocky. Prince’s parents separated and divorced, and Prince did not have a good relationship with his stepfather, ultimately running away from home as an early teen.
Prince moved in with his father for a brief time, and his father bought him his first guitar. However, he soon moved in with a neighborhood friend’s family and began to explore his musical talent and interests in junior high school. He joined his first band, Grand Central, and began to jam mostly with instrumental songs. Grand Central played in local clubs and at parties, and they soon morphed into a new name, Champagne, and started playing more traditional rock and roll music.
Through a series of connections, Prince produced a solo demo tape in 1976, and this demo was circulated among record producers. Ultimately, a bidding war ensued, and Prince finally signed a recording contract with Warner Bros., as it was the only label that offered Prince artistic control over his work.
Prince released his first two full-length albums in the late 1970’s, and neither was a commercial success. However, he continued to hone is style and put together is backup band, and his third release, Dirty Mind, got him some attention based on its unique sound and sexually-explicit lyrics. After another mildly successful release, Controversy, which came out in 1981, the stage was set for Prince to become a star.
A Star is Born
In 1982, Prince released 1999, an album that sold millions of copies and contained several successful singles. Prince was suddenly a name that was recognized around the world, and Prince tickets began to sell in a big way for his concerts, as he gained a reputation for his hot-and-bothered live performances. All of this momentum led to his next release, which would ultimately make him an icon.
In 1984, Prince released a soundtrack for a movie in which he starred, Purple Rain. Although the film was widely-panned by critics, it was a commercial success, and the album generated even more revenue, as it sold over 13 million copies. Purple Rain was responsible for the newfound genre of the “Minneapolis sound,” which was a very influential phenomenon.
Since the release of Purple Rain, Prince has remained busy. He has released 20 subsequent albums of varying styles, reinvented his own persona several times, and captured the intrigue of the world when he demanded that his name needed to be a symbol.
Prince has continued to draw the interest of music fans everywhere with his unquestionable talent and legendary work ethic, as Prince is known as a perfectionist. That attitude continues to bleed into his live performances, and is one of the reasons that Prince tickets are still in high demand.
Smart Ways To Family Reunions At Disneyland
If you looking for to family reunions. You can carry the two whole by having your family reunion at the happiest place on earth. It is absolutely easier than you might expect to arrange this!
Start by calling the Disneyland Holiday Planning Assistance Branch. Let them help you book rooms at the Resort hotels, and admission tickets to the park. You should be competent to get discounts on the tickets by purchasing them in bulk.
The specific aid that you require to accommodate all of your family members is the Happiest Place on Earth Picnic. This assistance is offered stage round, and includes admission to the park for your whole party. You also get a selection of fully catered meals for the happening. For 100 – 300 persons, your event can be held at Big Thunder Ranch. For 300 – 1000 persons, the event desire be held at the Festival Ground.
If there are less than 100 people in your party, you may not be proper for the providing help. This is at the sole prudence of Disneyland, and you disposition want to consult on this with Visitor Services or the Planning Services Departments. If catering is not accessible, reservations in the many restaurants can be made instead.
You may be able to get a reduce on your family member’s rooms at the Resorts as agreeably, if you book well in advance, hold your event during the off occasion, and book a block of rooms. Airline tickets for those who will need to fly to Disneyland should also be purchased well in advance, and in bulk for variant discounts.
Again, allow Disneyland Vacation Planning Services to help you with the preparations, and use a travel deputy to handle any arrangements that planning help doesn’t cover. For best results, select one family member to work with the planning assistance and the travel agent, and telecast intelligence back and forth between the services and the family members. Having one person collecting and sharing information will cut down on a great deal of disarray and misinformation when you are trying to shape travel arrangements for a great number of people.
It may take work and planning, but in the end, this will be one family reunion that will never be forgotten. Talk with the Vacation Planning Services Department to find out what other services are accessible to make this an even other specific participation for you and your family members. The Surprise services would be a nice touch!
Accessible Appalachia – Exploring Virginia’s Crooked Road
Located in Southwest Virginia, the Crooked Road is more than just a driving route. This 200-mile heritage music trail winds through Appalachia and connects music venues and heritage sites that highlight the traditional music of the region; the gospel, bluegrass and mountain music that’s been passed down for generations by local families. Along the way you’ll find stage shows, outdoor concerts, festivals, Appalachian crafts, galleries and some great scenery; however it’s the locals who bring the Crooked Road to life. Be it the banjo maker in Galax or the quilter in Floyd, they all have a story to tell. And part of the whole Crooked Road experience is simply taking the time to listen.
Technically the Crooked Road isn’t just one road, but a route composed of many state routes and local roads. The best starting point is the eastern terminus, Rocky Point; which is located 25 miles south of Roanoke. Just take VA 40 west towards Ferrum and follow the Crooked Road signs. Not only is this the easiest access point, but Ferrum makes a great first stop; as the Blue Ridge Institute and Museum offers a good overview on the regional heritage.
Located on the campus of Ferrum College, the Blue Ridge Institute and Museum features indoor gallery space plus an outdoor heritage farm museum. The gallery space hosts exhibitions which highlight the people and heritage of the region. There is level access to the museum, barrier-free access throughout the galleries and plenty of accessible parking outside.
Across the street, take some time to look through the Farm Museum which has gravel and dirt pathways, ramps up to the barns and a few steps up into the farmhouse. The pathways are doable for most people in dry weather and even though you can’t access every display, you can still get a good feel for what Virginia farm life was like back in 1800.
Traveling west on the Crooked Road, you’ll cross the Blue Ridge Parkway and enter Floyd County. Here’s where a little diversion is in order. Although it’s not on the official route, I highly recommend at least a short drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway, as it’s very scenic. Either way, a stop is Floyd is a must; and if you are looking for overnight accommodations, look no further than the Oak Haven Lodge.
Opened in 2003, this 10-room rustic lodge features ramp access to the front porch and office, with accessible parking available in a gravel parking area next to the office. Room 1 is located downstairs and has wide doorways, two double beds, good pathway access and a 5-foot turnaround in the bathroom. Access features in the bathroom include a low-step shower, a roll-under sink, grab bars in the shower and around the toilet and a portable shower chair. A commode chair is also available upon request. All this for a very affordable $65 per night.
Continuing west, you’ll pass through Galax and Abingdon before coming to Bristol. Here you’ll find the Birthplace of Country Music Alliance Museum, which features exhibits on the roots of country music and the musicians that helped shape the genre. Access is excellent throughout the museum, with a level entrance and barrier-free access to all the exhibits. Best of all, admission is free.
There’s plenty of live music to be had in Bristol too, with weekly concerts at the Birthplace of Country Music Mural on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday nights and a Thursday morning jam session at the Star Barbershop on State Street. All of these musical events are free and open to the public. And as far as access goes, there is good wheelchair-access to the seating area at the mural and level access to the Star Barbershop.
Finally, no matter what you do on your Crooked Road adventure, save time for a visit to the Carter Family Fold for a Saturday night concert. Granted some advance planning is required to plan a Saturday night stay near the Hiltons, but fortunately it’s only about 20 minutes from Bristol.
Located on the AP and Sara Carter homestead, the Carter Family Fold is actually a large theater; and in keeping with tradition, only acoustic instruments are allowed and no alcohol is served. That said, each week there’s a different headliner, so no two shows are exactly alike. The energy however, is ever present.
Accessible parking is located near the theater with level access to the entrance. Accessible seating (with companion seating) is available up font and it’s the only reserved seating in the house. Indeed the front seats are the ones with an up-close look at all the action, because once the music starts, the area in front of the stage turns into a massive dance floor. But again, that’s all part of the show. All in all it’s great place to mix with the locals and an excellent opportunity to enjoy a real slice of Crooked Road culture.