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Getting Ready For The Working Week

It Makes Me Feel Better, Random Musings

My visual motivation.

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A Pinata Party with the Spirited Meaghan Kennedy of Your Pinata

Best of 2016, Random Musings, Rave!

I just love it when someone who is kind, generous, and good finds success in not only what they do, but who they are. Art and life can sometimes be incongruous, but when the fusion of creating something coalesces with true talent, anything can be possible. Just ask the raven-haired beauty with the crazy nails behind Your Pinata, the tremendously unique entity that can make a likeness of anything into a pinata. And I mean anything.

So, without further adue, here is my exclusive interview with Meaghan Kennedy, pinata savant and radiant beauty. And no, she didn’t pay me to say that. It’s just the truth.

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Meaghan Kennedy, the Genius Behind All That Pinata-ness.

Reading Other People (ROP): I’ve known you a long time, and I know you’ve always been creative. Why pinatas? Why now?

Meaghan Kennedy (MK): We have known each other for ages! So rad! Pinatas started as a joke. I wanted to enter in a talent show and so I made a pinata of a pink poodle… it became an obsession quickly! So fun to smash all my hard work!

ROP: Your free spirit is something that makes you so memorable. How have you harnessed that openness to your art?

MK: That’s lovely, thank you:)

ROP: You’ve met some pretty famous people and gotten some pretty major exposure to Your Pinata. Who would you just love creating a Pinata for?

MK: The list is huge. So many people are inspiring to me. I made one for Trudeau during his election campaign, and I had always wanted to make one for John Waters and that happened last year.. I would love to make one for Mariah Carey, Britney, Amy Poehler and Tina Fey are way rad. Anyone from daytime television. SO many crazy characters to smash (who wouldn’t want to hit Victor Newman?)!

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The Artist at Work.

ROP: How would you describe your design aesthetic? Do you do a lot of pre-planning or do you like for the creation phase to be as organic as possible?

MK: I always try to connect with each client and give them a pinata that will really leave an impression. I think the big heads/small bodies are hilarious, they look like the person but not too much that you would get creeped out. I don’t do well with drawing so I tend to reference images and just get creative!

ROP: You’ve modelled, you’ve acted, you’ve DJ’ed..and now with your piñata, you are becoming an artistic tsunami. Do you have a favorite?

MK: Hehe, pinatas for sure! It’s the first time I feel like I am really great at something. Like I am making something special happen.

ROP: How do you decide who you’re going to design a Pinata for?

MK: Almost all my work is commission based, so the client decides what/who I am making. That being said, I make a lot of pinatas on my downtime, and I pick people who inspire me. I had the opportunity to see my idol John Waters last year, so I made him a pinata and showed up with it. He loved it and brought it up on stage with him to thank me. Pinch me!

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Cry Baby Pinata from the John Waters Film

ROP: When you finally make that piñata for Britney Spears, can I come with you to Las Vegas to deliver it to her?

MK: YES!!! I still remember the big poster on your bedroom door at your mum’s place:)

ROP: Is there a time of day that you feel the most creative? What inspires you? Music? People? Feelings?

MK: Having worked retail for 15 years I have a big love for pop music and top 40 for when I need to keep energy up. I love me some Supertramp, Neil Young, Charles Bradley, Smashing Pumpkins.. I could listen to Britney/Mariah all day and be a happy girl! Wide range!

ROP: Have you ever declined a piñata order?

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Heathers!

MK: Yes. Many times. I am not interested in making people you hate. Go smash a bottle against a wall. I declined several Stephen Harper pinatas, Trump, Rob Ford (I made one and it made me feel horrible looking at his ugly face for 3 days while making him.) I would so much rather make your mum or your boss! Life should be fun! Don’t waste your time on bullshit!

ROP: Amen to that, sister. Amen to that.

Read more about Your Pinata at http://www.yourpinata.com, including instructions on how to get your own custom pinata.

Smash on.

 

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Let the Sunshine In: A Review of Eric Henderson’s “Stranded in Sunshine”

Book Reviews

Weird AND funny? The perfect descriptive words for any novel, if you ask me. Eric Henderson’s “Stranded in Sunshine” is like Dawn of the Dead meets Fellini’s 8 1/2 – it’s super weird, provocative, a wee bit violent and a colorful commentary on modern society.

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Twelve people find themselves in a closed shopping mall. Their goal? To rebuild society. Some of these characters already know each other quite well, some not so much. But what they all have in common is their desire to forge ahead and begin to build a society with honest principles and ideals. Don’t worry – this is not “Lord of the Flies” lite – it’s funny.

Because this is a novel, and because it’s fiction, the author has to devise a plot where ideals are subverted, dreams are dashed, and personalities are altered. Henderson, as an author, composes such relatable and realistic characters that the reader instantly can empathize and identify with their actions.

With each character expanded upon in each of the chapters, the author does not make “Stranded in Sunshine” a character study or essay on humanity in a post-apocalyptic world. Instead, he lightheartedly tells a story of the intent to achieve happiness and start anew in the one place where dreams can happen: the mall.

Apocalypse Wow

A Review of Ben Mariner’s Sublime “Apocalypse Wow”

Best of 2015

First and foremost, I love a good play on words. I also love Martin Scorcese, which is why I could not help but accept to review the magnificently titled, genre mash-up novel “Apocalypse Wow”.

As the title suggests, the novel is indeed set during the Apocalypse, whatever that may mean. The main character here is the simply titled Jack Winters. He’s an average dude – has a job he semi-enjoys and a group of friends that he likes to hang out with. Throw in an encounter with a woman he thinks may have been sent to him from his dreams and he’s one happy camper. However, as this is a piece of fiction that has to subvert and move a narrative forward that enthralls the reader, Jack awakens from his dream date to find out that the world has ended. Imagine waking up to that. And you thought hangovers were bad.

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A Fool Among Fools

Fool’s Gold

Book Reviews, Rave!

Ah, 1986; the year of Chernobyl, the birth of the Oprah Winfrey Show, and another average year in terms of hopes and dreams in New York City. Using 1986 as the setting for his hilarious and touching “A Fool Among Fools,” John Terracuso cleverly uses the readers fondness for the past to tell a story that is like a brilliant mash-up of a great 80’s tv show sprinkled with all the good parts of a Jennifer Aniston movie.

Michel Gregoretti, “Fools” driving narrative force, finds himself coping with the grind of being a copywriter at some nameless, mammoth New York ad agency where Don Draper would not be entirely out-of-place scouting the pretty new things loitering in the lobby. Underpaid and immensely talented at his craft, Michael churns out terrible commercial after terrible commercial for a new novelty product. In hopes of changing his current rut, Michael accepts a new assignment that will get him a better paying, more respectable position. With this new assignment comes the introduction of the utterly evil Gwen Hammond, a villainess, and Craig Connolly, a love interest for Michael who isn’t without his own flaws.

A Fool Among Fools

Floyd & Mikki

Hunt This: A Review of Joseph Tatner’s “Floyd & Mikki: Zombie Hunters”

Book Reviews

With the many types of books asked of me to review, it can sometimes be draining to read of stories that require much mental exertion and contemplation of underlying themes and commentaries. This is precisely why when I read Joseph Tatner’s “Floyd & Mikki: Zombie Hunters,” I was over the moon with its deft humor and wry dialogue.

Not knowing that “Floyd and Mikki” was the first in a trilogy, I was pleasantly surprised when I learned that there are more journeys in store for these two hilarious characters. The novel itself finds Floyd on a life-mission to reach the only safe, zombie-free Mecca left on earth – New California Haven. Upon his long and arduous journey, Floyd provides observations and descriptions of a post apocalyptic world of sorts with intelligence and depth. It is on this solo journey, and in a small town where a light is emanating, that he finds Mikki, the soon to be other half of this duo. Uniting their efforts in reaching their safe haven, Floyd and Mikki rid the world of zombies one at a time along their pilgrimage. Encountering other survivors on their expedition, Floyd and Mikki find themselves learning about each other through these sometimes terse interactions with the others. Their mutual hardened passion for survival fuels their ambition to reach their goal of safety and survival.

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