Category Archives: Music

POSE Season 2 Premiere (Vogue, ACT UP)


Image result for POSE Season 2

Image result for POSE Season 2

We are in the middle of June, which means that Ryan Murphy’s other series POSE is in full swing.  Season two premiered last week, with the story turning even darker.  As dark as the story gets, the ballroom culture thrives further than ever.

Image result for Pose Season 2 Pray Tell

Just like last season, POSE touches up on familiar events that happened in the past.  Whether they be big or small, they had a major impact in shaping America as it is today.  Two interesting references popped up during the season premiere.

Today, it’s time to go a bit deeper into these elements:
Madonna ‘Vogue’

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Image result for Madonna Vogue

Image result for Ballroom Vogue

Madonna released her famous song ‘Vogue’ back in March 27th, 1990.  It was the music video she released that truly helped her make a major splash in the world.  Interestingly enough, Madonna’s inspiration was through vogue dancers and choreographers Luis Xtravaganza as well as Jose Gutierez Xtravaganza of the Harlem ‘House Ball’ Community.  She was introduced to ‘vogueing’ at the Sound Factory Club in New York City.

Image result for Pose Season 2

That Madonna hype was a major element within the season premiere. Blanca was of many characters excited to see the ballroom culture becoming more mainstream over time.  Madonna’s ‘Vogue’ skyrocketed in popularity, showcasing a whole new world of dance to audiences worldwide.

ACT UP

Image result for POSE Season 2

Image result for Pose Season 2

Pray Tell attends yet another funeral of someone who passed away from HIV/AIDS.  Nurse Judy Kubrak takes Pray Tell to attend his first meeting with the group ACT UP.  He eventually joins hundreds of others in an ACT UP Protest at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Image result for ACT UP

Image result for ACT UP

ACT UP is short for AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power.  It is an international grassroots political group that was founded in March 1987.  Their motto was ‘Silence = Death’, which was how the episode ended.

Image result for ACT UP Stop the Church

Image result for ACT UP Stop the Church

The episode also referenced the infamous ‘Stop the Church’ incident at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York.  On December 10th, 1989, over 4,500 protesters gathered outside a mass at the cathedral to protest the Cardinal’s public views on homosexuality.  A total of one-hundred and eleven protesters were arrested that day.

Image result for Madonna Vogue

Image result for ACT UP Stop the Church

All of this was referenced in the very first episode.  It has only been one episode so far and various elements from the real world are already coming into play.  Two major trends in history, Madonna’s ‘Vogue’ and ‘Stop the Church’, were woven together within season two of POSE.

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That’s all for today’s discussion on season two of POSE.  Another episode premieres tonight, which means more colorful references will be discussed within the story.

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Useless Recorder Meme PR Revision


Just over two weeks ago, we dived into an internet meme that was absolutely priceless.  This meme was so hilarious and relatable that there had to be a topic about it.  The meme I am describing is the useless recorder meme.

The meme revolves around the small flute known as the recorder.  It was the one annoying instrument that many elementary school kids came home with.  One of the most popular songs that kids had to learn was Hot Cross Buns.

This meme was created on Twitter a few weeks ago, sparking popularity all across social media.  It read like this:

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Me: how do I do taxes?

School: here’s a recorder

Me: what is a credit score?

School: just put it in your mouth and blow like this

Me: how do I choose the right healthcare plan?

School: HOT. CROSS. BUNS.

Taxes, credit scores, healthcare plans – all useful things I truly needed to know as a grown adult.  And yet, my public school decided teaching me HOT CROSS BUNS on the RECORDER was absolutely necessary for me.  After graduating from school almost nine years later, I still have very little ideas about how those three things work.

Here at MakeSandcastlesNotWar, we enjoyed the useless recorder so much that we decided to put in a PR spin on the popular meme.  Even after graduating from college for public relations, I still come out into the real world with many burning questions unanswered.  Some are small, while others play a major role for my career.

With that, here are my three biggest questions about PR I wished I learned over the recorder:

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Me: What are the best negotiation tactics to win over your clients?

School: here’s a recorder

Me: How do I create a fair pricing on goods and services to promote for my audiences?

School: just put it in your mouth and blow like this

Me: How do you advance further in PR?

School: HOT. CROSS. BUNS.

Image result for Mad Men Dinner

Image result for Mad Men Dinner

Our first question revolves around negotiation tactics with clients.  I have seen enough Mad Men to know that I will be doing a lot of negotiations with clients in public relations.  They will need to be wined and dined in order to feel enough confidence of your ideas.

What are some great negotiation tactics that will truly win them over?  How do you dive into the topic of business so easily?  Is there any type of alcohol you should have with your dinner?  Should you even drink any at all?

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Next question is ‘how do I create fair pricing on goods and services to promote for my audience?’.  I do have lots of great ideas for what to provide for my audience, but I now very little about the economics aspect of the project.  As creative as I get, I forget how much the cost would be to make it actually happen.

With that, what makes for a fair pricing for my good and service?  Better yet, how do you even know the pricing will be fair?

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Last question is about furthering my career in public relations.  In a competitive field like PR, there’s lots of ways to go about pushing for a bigger role.  What would make you stand out in front of the competition?  Experience in a job setting?  Personal projects you work on?  Networking?

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I don’t know the best negotiation tactics, what makes for a fair pricing on goods and services, or how to further my career in public relations.  And yet, I still know how to play HOT CROSS BUNS on a RECORDER.

Alas, those are the three burning questions I still have.  So much to be learned, yet very little room for that knowledge.  Instead, I used that time to use a RECORDER to play HOT CROSS BUNS in school concerts.  Hopefully I will have these questions answered out in the real world.

Image result for Mad Men Client Dinner

Maybe playing hot cross buns for my clients could win them over at during a business dinner.

Hot Cross Buns on Recorder Meme


I don’t usually create a post centered around one specific meme around the internet.  There is an overwhelming number of memes all around that it is tough to find one worthy of writing about.  But every now and then, I will stumble onto one that just hits the nail right on the head.

Funny Recorder Meme

Image result for The Recorder

Earlier last week I found a hilarious tweet from @whatsupboosh that got me feeling nostalgic about elementary school.  The meme poked fun at the recorder, a small flute device used for making music.  To me, learning the recorder was one of the most useless instrumental lessons I was ever taught about in elementary school.  Better yet, it was one of the most unnecessary pieces of information I ever needed in life.

Image result for Taxes

Image result for Credit Score

Image result for Healthcare Plan

Taxes?  Yeah, I still don’t have that down yet.  Credit Score?  Haven’t even gotten that far for that.  Choosing the right healthcare plan? Just… NOPE.  But hey, thank god I know how to play HOT CROSS BUNS on the recorder.

Image result for Kids playing recorder

Ah yes, hot cross buns on a recorder.  One of the most basic and preposterous musical lessons I learned as a kid.  Forget about jamming out on an electric guitar or hitting the drum set.  Learning hot cross buns on the recorder was apparently THE quintessential life lesson every kid in elementary school needed before moving into the real world.

Image result for Kids playing recorder

At this point, I am not close to the point of being an adult.  Taxes are still a mystery to me, I don’t know what a good credit score looks like, and I don’t know which healthcare plan is right for me.  Not to worry though – I know I have the skills necessary for the real world because I know how to play HOT CROSS BUNS on a RECORDER.

Image result for Recorder Concert

So what exactly did we learn from this humorous tweet?  Nothing about taxes, credit scores, or healthcare plans whatsoever.  You can thank our glorious educational system for teaching young adults (like this aspiring writer right here!) to play HOT CROSS BUNS on a RECORDER during elementary school.

Image result for Kids playing recorder

If you ask me about credit scores, taxes, or anything related to healthcare plans, I will have no answers for you.  All I can offer you is a peaceful serenade of HOT CROSS BUNS on a RECORDER.

Phish at Phenway


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Image result for Billy Joel Fenway

Besides being the home field for the Boston Red Sox, Fenway Park also hosts many musicians coming into the city.  Zac Brown, Pearl Jam, Billie Joel, and even Jimmy Buffet are a few of many notorious bands that rocked Fenway Park.  It just goes to show that they sing more than just ‘Sweet Caroline’ in Kenmore Square (#InsideBostonJoke).

Image result for Fenway park

Image result for Fenway park Jimmy Buffett

Whether it be a music act or another baseball game, one thing’s for certain – Fenway Park makes for one of the most entertaining venues here in Boston.  Fenway Park branches out in its entertaining avenues by hosting more than just sports games.  All types audience roam around Yawkey Way to grab their food, beers, and other accessories before the big game (or show!).  This summer, audiences will be grooving to the infamous VT jam band known as… Phish.

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Image result for Phish at Fenway

Image result for Phish at Fenway

That’s right folks – Phish is returning to Fenway Park.  Phish will be returning with some all new jams in Boston for their Summer 2019 tour.  It’ll be a true Boston highlight known as ‘Phish at Phenway’ (#PhishPhanPun).  You can see Phish at Fenway Park on July 5th and 6th.  Tickets go out starting February 1st.

Image result for Phish Logo

Image result for Phish Phan

Phish hails from the quaint town of Burlington, Vermont (a.k.a. my old college stomping ground!).  Trey Anastasio, Mike Gordon, Jon Fishman, and Page McConnell formed the band back in the 1980s, making fantastic music as a jam band.  They attract many fans, known as ‘Phish Phans’, all across the nation.  Coincidentally, Phish Phans are similar to the ‘Dead Heads’ that followed the Grateful Dead.  They still play many sold-out shows, filling every seat around the stage.

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Some of their earlier albums include Junta, Lawn Boy, A Picture of Nectar, Rift, Hoist, Billy Breathes, The Story of the Ghost, and even Farmhouse.  Not only do they have lots of studio albums (15 to be exact), but they have a TREMENDOUS number of live albums from their past shows.  Phish Phans can choose from a variety of shows they played over the past 30 decades or so.  It’s those live albums that make Phish even better.

Image result for phish

Image result for phish

I’m honestly so pumped that Phish is playing in Boston this summer!  Phish was one of my favorite bands in college and I have been looking to see them live at some point in the future.  Their music gets really creative throughout each track, with some spanning more than ten minutes.  So amazing that Phish his hitting up one of the most iconic spots of Boston.

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Be sure to grab your tickets to see Phish at Phenway this summer!

2018 Year in Perspective


Image result for Never ending road

Image result for Never ending road

Here we are on the LAST day ever of 2018.  2019 is quickly approaching, bringing in a whole new year of adventures.  We may traverse back to familiar places or even discover new destinations we haven’t even reached yet.  So many noteworthy events happened on this very blog here at MakeSandcastlesNotWar.

Image result for Never ending road

Image result for Never ending road

We kicked off the year with the recreational cannabis countdown in the wake of recreational dispensaries becoming legalized in July.  It actually wasn’t until NOVEMBER that the shops actually opened.  Then again, it’s better late than never.  In the meantime, Vermont passed a law to make cannabis legal this year.  Over time, famous figures like Bill Nye the Science Guy and the so-called ‘weed moms’ started to branch out into the ever-growing cannabis industry as well.

Image result for Never ending road Sunset

Image result for Never ending road Sunset

While consuming such cannabis products on the side, we got to look at the bizarre, trippy anime series Devilman Crybaby as well as a teaser for American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace (which was also discussed numerous times!).  But it wouldn’t be a cannabis kickoff without HBO’s High Maintenance.

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But in the midst of viewing TV series, we went deep into the rabbit hole with some philosophy on products.  Speaking of products, I’m still dreaming of sleeping in the Harambed every now and then.

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PR nightmares, miracles, and other bizarre tales made their way every now and then.  Hollywood is in the midst of their biggest scandal yet, which sparked lots of bad publicity among the area.  Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Hart were some of many that are caught within their own PR nightmares.

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And yet, there were still other great TV series and movies to watch.  Every now and then, we had some exciting video game titles that were out this year.  Some of the great games include PUBG, Kingdom Hearts III, and Fortnite.

            In retrospect, all forms of media played their parts over the year.  During the slow summer season, I found some of the most magnificent novels to read.  Even as I create this blog now, I am finishing up another mind-blowing book (which you will find out about in 2019!).

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Like the past few years on MakeSandcastlesNotWar, it wouldn’t be Halloween without American Horror StoryAmerican Horror Story: Apocalypse was quite an eruptive chapter this season, bringing together both old and new characters from the AHS universe.  The season was SO good that each episode had to be discussed every week.  Here’s to hoping the next chapter becomes even better.

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With that, MakeSandcastlesNotWar looks forward to what 2019 brings to the world.  Whether it’s a random TV Criss-Cross or another horrendous PR nightmare, any topic can be featured for the week.  During the weekend, there will sure to be even more quotes up to ponder about.  The journey to 2019 is sure to begin.  All that and so much more is sure to come in the new year.

See you all in 2019.