Summer Reading #1 – Angels in America


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One of my goals this summer is to read more books (at least 5-10 in total).  Days are getting much longer, which means I get extra time to spend outdoors.  With all of these new books I got over the past few months, I figured it’s the perfect time to do some summer reading.  It is also a good time to discuss my summer reading titles for the blog.

First up on the summer reading list involves a timeless play that takess place during the 1980s AIDS crisis when the disease was rampant all across the country.  During these rough times, many gay characters turned on each other due to various personal conflicts among each other.  This is the story of Angels in America.

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Angels in America is a two-part gay fantasia series written by Tony Kushner.  Roy Cohn is a successful New York lawyer and power broker.  He is a deeply closeted gay man who has AIDS.  Through his political connections, he is able to score some supply of an experimental drug called AZT.  Alone in a hospital, he is constantly judged by his night nurse Belize (friend of Prior’s and former drag queen) and the ghost of Ethel Rosenberg.

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In the meantime, Joseph Pitt is a closeted gay Mormon and republic who is offered a job in Washington D.C. by Roy Cohn.  Joe hesitates about accepting the job due to his agoraphobic wife Harper who refuses to move.  Harper starts suspecting that Joe does not love her as she loves him.  It is then that Joe confesses to her that he is gay.

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After his confession, Joe hooks up with Louis Ironson.  Louis’s boyfriend, Prior Walters, contracted AIDS.  While Prior’s illness progresses, Louis moves out and abandons Prior altogether.  Prior is then visited by a pair of ghosts who claim to be his own ancestors and hears this angelic voice informing him to prepare for her arrival.

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The first part of Angels in America is titled ‘Millennium Approaches’ and premiered in May 1991; meanwhile, the second part ‘Perestroika’ premiered in November 1992.  These two parts happen in a span of almost five years.  It’s a metaphorical and symbolical examination of AIDS and homosexuality in America during the 1980s.  Many characters are supernatural beings (such as angels) while others become deceased persons (who are the ghosts).

Image result for Angels in America HBO

Image result for Angels in America HBO

Years after the play was released, Angels in America was made into an HBO series back in December 7th 2003.  The miniseries starred Al Pacino as Roy Cohn with supporting actors including Meryl Streep, Patrick Wilson, Mary-Louise Parker, Emma Thompson, Justin Kirk, Jeffrey Wright, and others.  There are six episodes that span within a total of 352 minutes.  It makes for a great miniseries that stems from the play.

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Overall, I really enjoyed reading Angels in America.  It was definitely intense to read and I really connected with the characters throughout.  I really enjoyed the symbolism and metaphors surrounding the whole AIDS crisis.  There were times where the story line had some bizarre scenes in the mix, but I understood what was happening either way.

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This play was a great start to my summer reading list.  There were AIDS, homosexuality, heartbreaks, new friendships, and even betrayal all rolled up into one incredible story.  You should definitely pick up Angels in America this summer if you want a riveting tale that involves one of the most notorious health PR nightmares in American history.

Check out Angels in America this summer.

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6/15 TGIF Quote


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Most people exhibit what political scientists call “the conservatism of the peasantry.” Don’t lose what you’ve got. Don’t change. Don’t take a chance, because you might end up starving to death. Play it safe. Buy just as much as you need. Don’t waste time. When we think about risk, human beings and corporations realize in their heads that risks are necessary to grow, to survive. But when it comes down to keeping good people when the crunch comes, or investing money in something untried, only the brave reach deep into their pockets and play the game as it must be played.

~ David Lammers

Domino’s Paving For Pizza


Some companies may modify their brands in order to keep up with the current times while other create a nation-wide campaign.  Creating a campaign for your brand helps to bring it more to life.  That campaign will do wonders for the story you are trying to present to your audience.  People always love a good story to hear, so its important to write up a great one to tell.

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Earlier this week, IHOP unveiled their PR stunt with International House of Burgers.  This PR stunt presented a new story for the IHOP brand with some tasty burgers on the menu.  Meanwhile, Dominoes initiated an interesting campaign for their brand.  Domino’s newest brand campaign involves the work of…filling potholes?

Image result for Domino's Paving for Pizza

Image result for Domino's Paving for Pizza

That’s right folks – Domino’s Pizza is paving potholes all across the country.  It’s all under Domino’s newest ‘Paving for Pizza’ campaign that initiated on Monday.  The campaign allows customers to nominate their town for pothole repairs.

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Customers can nominate their town by entering pavingforpizza.com and entering their ZIP code.  If your town gets picked, then you will be notified about your city receiving extra funding to fix the potholes.  While you won’t see the Domino’s branded trucks coming by to do the work, your town will get some much needed essential resources.  So far four towns were provided with the funding which include Bartonville, Texas, Milford, Delaware, Athens, Georgia, and Burbank, California.

Image result for Domino's Paving for Pizza

Image result for Domino's Paving for Pizza

The gist of Domino’s PR campaign is so that pizzas can safely make it from their locations to their destinations.  As simple as this idea seems, it also makes for a great strategy to advertise their carryout service.  By scoping in on one downfall about delivery service (with this case, it’s the potholes!), Domino’s seized this opportunity to highlight the option of carrying it out with you.  So not only did Domino’s create a brilliant campaign, but they also showcased their carryout option during the process.

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This says a lot about American businesses when a pizza company is offering road repairs for certain towns.  It’s a bizarre look into how our society is run.  Politicians usually deal with things like fixing up potholes, yet a popular pizza chain like Domino’s is easily providing the funding necessary to do just that.  Who knew that a pizza chain would be fixing up potholes all across this nation.

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Nevertheless, Domino’s brilliant PR campaign already has a huge following on the internet.  Many customers are taking to the site to have their roads paved, all in the name of pizza.  Your pizza will be saved, but your roads will be improved as well.

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This is the kind of campaign we need here in America.  Businesses like Domino’s are solving some the country’s major annoyances, one day at a time.  They may not be catastrophic problems, but they still need to be fixed in the long run.

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Time to start being like Domino’s and pave for pizza.

#420BostonPatioEvents


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Happy Hump Day readers!  We’re only just a mere week away until Summer starts.  Summer solstice is happening on the earth, creating longer days and shorter nights here in the country.  Longer days means more time spent heading to amazing events around your area.  Cities like Boston are rolling out outdoor vendor events so that many audiences can enjoy the beautiful summer weather.

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On Monday we dived into cannabis-themed LGBTQ events that were happening in San Francisco.  While Boston will have to wait a while until LGBTQ events start mixing with cannabis, there are other ways the city could cash in on that PR gold.  And the key tactic for this opportunity can happen right outside.

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Rooftop bars are all in the rage here in Boston, providing cold beers and magnificent views.  People come up after their work day to soak up the last few hours of sunshine before heading back home.  With cannabis legal in Boston, the next step in the strategy would be to create 4/20-themed rooftop events (which you can dive back into here).

But why stop there?  Are rooftop events the only marketing tactic for cannabis?  Why not further expand the marketing mix of opportunities that are presented to us?

And ironically enough, these answers were right in front of us the entire time.  They were there before you make it up the rooftop, even before you step onto the elevator.  Cannabis events should open within…patios.

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Image result for Boston Patios

Image result for Boston Patios

Patios make for a perfect spot for events outdoors.  Now that the warm weather is here, people will want to be served at a table on the patio.  They want to enjoy their food and cold beers outside with their friends or family.  It makes for a simple, yet entertaining event for everyone.  After spending three months escaping the bitter cold winter, now is the time to soak in this amazing weather.

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Image result for Boston Patios

These events on the patio are great and throwing cannabis into the mix will provide for a HIGHER positive experience.  You can’t really smoke cannabis indoors in many places, so having a designated smoking area is a must for this to happen.  Providing a special designated area will keep people around longer without feeling paranoid.

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Think about this – you got a cannabis-themed networking event out on the patio.  Many of these professionals want to enjoy their cannabis during the event.  Why not make it easier by mixing cannabis and networking right on this special area.

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In other words, let the people have their cake and eat it too.  Let them meet up to discuss things happening in the cannabis industry all while consuming the very product they enjoy.  They spent their time and energy planning to attend the event, so it’s only fair that they spend that time wisely.  It may seem complicated, but the ending results would be incredible.

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This may take a while to figure out the legality kinks throughout this process, but it’s something that CAN be done.  Cannabis-themed patio events are something we should definitely look into in the near future.  Recreational shops are opening in almost a month and these will present a lot of magnificent ideas for the city of Boston.

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Image result for Human Beings Nature

Patios, as well as rooftops, are some of a few places we could utilize within the marketing mix.  As human beings, we owe it to ourselves to become closer with nature.  Having cannabis-themed events indoors is great but providing them outdoors makes for a more monumental experience.

Let’s start brainstorming 4/20-themed patio events for a HIGHER experience.