Daily Archives: June 11, 2008

Restaurant: Foxwoods Resort Casino

Foxwoods Resort Casino offers an impressive array of eateries giving guests a wealth of dining choices to suit every appetite, budget and occasion. The resort has more than 30 food and beverage venues to choose from with more on the way.

Guests in the mood for a celebratory meal will find inspired dining choices at any of Foxwoods gourmet restaurants including Paragon, Al Dente, and Cedars Steakhouse.

Opportunities for a casual meal are as endless as they are memorable, from an ever-popular buffet to regional American and international specialties and plenty of familiar national names.

New to the Foxwoods Resort Casino casual dining scene is the recently opened, 2,700-square-foot Burke in the Box, by celebrated chef David Burke. Burke in the Box offers gourmet food to-go or to eat-in. Located on the casino level, the high-end fast casual restaurant is modeled after the flagship Burke in the Box in Manhattan.

In-Swing Fundamentals – The Backswing I

by Derek Hooper

The backswing in golf is a series of movements that places the body into an athletically loaded position from which there can be a free release of power through impact. A well-coordinated backswing is the combination or blending of three simple body movements.

Backswing movement 1 – Wrist cock:

The club is raised in the backswing due to the cocking of the wrists. To feel this motion take your normal address position and bend the wrists so that the club is lifted up in front of you.

Backswing movement 2 – Arm lift:

The club is raised up over shoulder height due to the lifting of the arms. It is important that the arm lift stays in front of the body and is not accompanied by a raising of the body or loss of posture.

Backswing movement 3 – Body rotation:

The club head moves away from the ball due to the upper body rotating away from target and loading into the rear leg. There will be a point in the backswing where you will not be able to turn the upper body any further without the lower body rotating. This is the point at which the lower body should start to turn, not before.

The challenge that most golfers face is in blending these three actions together in the correct amounts. A common mistake that players will make is to take the club away from the ball through wrist and forearm rolling. This takes the club too far behind the body and forces a correction in the downswing to get the club back to the ball – the common over the top move which starts the ball left of target.

So how can you learn a good back swing and thus make hitting the ball more consistently a little easier.

Drill 1: Handshake drill

Take your normal set up position but without a club in hand. If you are right handed, place your right hand behind your back and keep the left hand in front of you. Now turn to the right like you would to shake hands with someone. You will notice how you turn the arm and upper body together and the arm stays in front of the upper body. This is how the arm and body should work in an athletic backswing.

Drill 2: Plane drill

Take your set up with a mirror to your right side and hold a 5 iron at the bottom of the grip. Place a second club on the ground to represent your target line. Now slowly make your takeaway, arms and upper body turning together as in Drill #1 and watch your movements in the mirror. Your goal is to ensure the club you are holding is either pointing at or parallel to the club on the ground at all times while the triangle formed between your arms and chest stays in front of you. When you can do this, you are swinging on plane with arms and body working together in a well-coordinated backswing.

Derek Hooper is the Director of Instruction at Lake of Isles Golf Academy. Derek has a college degree in teaching and over 13 years experience conducting lesson programs in Australia, Japan and Taiwan. Before moving to the United States Derek was the Director of Instruction at the David Duval Golf Academy in Miyazaki, Japan. Derek can be contacted at 888.475.3746 or dhooper@troongolf.com.

Cat on a Leash

by Sam Mazzotta

DEAR PAW’S CORNER: The other day I watched a neighbor walking her cat on a leash. I was unaware that cats could even stand a leash, much less that they need to have one to go outside. What’s the deal with cat leashes?
- Bill R., Cleveland

Cat leashes aren’t as new or unusual as you think — they’ve been available at local pet stores for more than a decade now, and the idea of taking one’s cat outside on a leash is continuing to catch on, for a simple reason: owners want to keep their cats safe.

The leash is one sign in a trend of heightened awareness among cat owners, that letting their cats run around the neighborhood unfettered is detrimental to almost everyone involved – the neighbors, the owner and the cat itself, which is at risk from cars, wildlife and manmade or natural poisons. Local laws around the country also are increasing penalties for cats that run loose.

Increasingly, cat owners are deciding to make their cat an indoor cat, where the pet stays inside. But not all cats are happy being inside all the time; and many owners still want their pets to experience the outdoors.
Cat leashes differ from dog leashes – they’re much lighter, as is the harness used to attach the leash. (Leashes should never be attached to the cat’s collar.) The leash should be no longer than 6 feet, as cats do not follow verbal commands the way that dogs do, and tend to leap under bushes or toward the street, necessitating a gentle tug back onto the sidewalk.

While this trend may seem a bit strange to some, “walking the cat” will likely become a very common sight.

Send your tips, questions and comments to Paws Corner, c/o King Features Weekly Service, PO Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or e-mail them to pawscorner@hotmail.com.

Roger’s Rave Reviews: Jay Black, Nick Checker, and CT Sun

by Roger Zotti

Jay Black

With sixties’ icon Jay Black, you get two shows. There are his big hits from the sixties. There’s also his comedy. The man is genuinely funny. Accompanied by an eleven-piece band, Jay performed on May 25 at the Mohegan Sun Casino Wolf Den.

He opened with a vigorous cover of “Pretty Woman,” Roy Orbison’s huge sixties’ hit. In the music business, Jay said, “Orbison [who died in 1988 at 52] was one of my closest friends. So I open all my shows with that song. It’s a tribute to him.”

Jay told the audience he will be seventy in November. “Look at me,” he said, “because this is what happens.” Later, after mentioning Neil Diamond’s stage fright, he said, “There’s always that fright. I’ve been at it forty-six years. I mean, take Barbara Streisand.” Pause. Then: “You take her. I can’t stand her.” He told the audience that he loves performing for senior citizens and recently did a show in Florida, “where I was the youngest person there. They thought I was hot.” His best remark came when he talked about one of his three wives who, he noted, had a lot in common with Marilyn Monroe: “She looked like Joe DiMaggio.”

Highlights: For most of the crowd “Cara Mia” was the biggie. “I sang it when I was 25, then 40, then 50, and now at almost seventy, and I can still do it in the same key.” Well, with “Cara Mia” Jay proved why he’s called “The Voice.” The number earned him a well deserved standing ovation, proving that Jay, like Roy Orbison, is a pop singer with an operatic voice.

The concert’s highlight for me was Jay’s cover of a song, he said, his mother loved: Dean Martin’s “Sway.” Then too, he was on the money with “Magic Moment,” and “Some Enchanted Evening.”

Nick Checker and Firesite Films

When Quaker Hill’s Nick Checker screened “The Curse of Micah Rood” for 35 senior citizens – all members of the Lifelong Learning program – at Three Rivers Community College, May 24, he was asked about the vines that play such a crucial role in the film. Credit goes to the film’s “greens” person, Erica Angello of Stonington. “I watched her make those things,” Nick said. “They’re so authentic-looking that Bob Whittle, owner of Whittles Farm, where some of the film was shot, thought they were real bittersweet vines.”

“I was very much into the special effects and absolutely enjoyed the work,” said Erica, a floral designer. “I was pulled in by the crew for my expertise. I took the dead pieces and made them kind of come alive.”

Speaking of “come alive,” veteran stage actor Joe Gramm, one of the key supporting actors in “Micah Rood,” certainly gives life to his character, Sheriff Blaine. Joe told me about his role: “I caught the small boy who has stolen Micah’s apples and I bring him to apologize. In the course of the scene, Micah is acting so strangely I know something’s wrong.” The longer Blaine watches and listens to Micah the more he’s convinced Micah is hiding something.

Joe added that “Nick’s screenplay was wonderful,” and Alec Asten, who directed “Micah Rood,” is “a terrific director.”

“The Curse of Micah Rood” will be one of the films screened, August 15, at the Garde Arts Center’s Independent Film Festival. Stay tuned.

CT Sun

As of May 27, the CT Sun’s fans, opponents, and reporters were surprised with a 3-1 record.

The first game I saw this season was against the Sacramento Monarchs on May 24, and after a shaky fifteen minutes, the Sun put it all together. Final score: Sun 84, Sacramento 64. The Sun’s top scorers were Lindsay Whalen (a game-high 21 points) and Barbara Turner (17 points, including five three pointers). CT won the rebounding battle, too: 35-30.

But then there’s the May 27 contest against the Indiana Fever. Final: 75-46, Indiana. A drubbing!

Embarrassing! Sun guard Lindsay Whalen put it this way, “…where it’s a 30 point game [on national TV], it is unfortunate from a market stand point but it happens in sports…you just move on.” Sun forward Asjha Jones said, “…right from the beginning they came out and they just made shots, and we didn’t have an answer for their defense…We are going to look at it the only way we can [and] not lose our confidence.”

The game marked the return of former Sun star Katie Douglas, and she certainly let everyone know she was back: 23 points. It also featured the debut of highly touted Sun rookie Sandrine Gruda. Make no mistake, Sandrine is the real deal. She played 14 minutes, scored two points, and hauled in six rebounds.

Gloria Estefan Opens MGM Grand at Foxwoods

story & photos
by Tony Schillaci & Don Church

In a spectacular opening show, May 23-25, world-renown singer Gloria Estefan gave her fans what they came to see – an electrifying performance at the new 4,000-seat MGM Grand Theater.

From the moment Gloria appeared onstage in a black lace gown with a red flower in her hair, her strong clear voice and heart-warming personality won over the adoring audience.

The sold-out shows deserved a venue as beautiful and audience-friendly as the MGM Grand Theater at the new MGM Grand at Foxwoods. The sight lines are great from every seat, and even the balcony seats are closer to the stage than in other theaters.

This was a rare US appearance – her only one this year. Gloria spends her time appearing in Latin America and will leave soon for Europe.

The show consists of some of Gloria’s hits, including “Conga.” She sings many of her songs in Spanish, and “for the benefit of the Anglos in the audience,” an English translation was projected upon the three colossal screens in the theater.

A highlight of the 90-minute show was Gloria’s “Where The Boys Are” homage to legendary singer Connie Francis. Gloria is working on a screenplay in which she’ll portray the sometimes tragic life of the Italian-American pop singer.

Gloria was born in Cuba, but has lived in Miami since she was a baby. Her music is true to its roots.

An exciting salsa show-band, a group of talented back-up singers and a troupe of Latin dancers added to the rhythmic pulse of the action onstage. Gloria gets her energy from daily Pilates and resistance training combined with a healthy diet.

Before a costume change, Gloria Estefan introduced her musically gifted and charming 13-year-old daughter, Emily, who played the drums and did a guitar duo that deservingly brought down the house.
The finale found the audience rushing in great numbers to the stage, dancing in the aisles, and giving a standing ovation to one of America’s and the world’s most popular performers. Viva la Diva, Gloria!

Seinfeld Scores Laughs at MGM Grand

by Tony Schillaci and Don Church

“I have absolutely no idea where the hell I am,” quipped Jerry Seinfeld during his opening monologue on May 30th at the MGM Grand Theater at Foxwoods. “I see plenty of woods, but no foxes… do you see any foxes?”

Beginning with that observation, Jerry riffed on a multitude of everyday subjects, beginning with the idea that “everyone’s life sucks, although mine probably sucks less than yours,” followed by references to his elderly mother’s “custom-made cataract car windshield” to “Florida’s minimum security prisons – otherwise known as gated over-55 communities,” to the fact that “nobody wants to be invited to your wedding.”

The show, scheduled to begin at 9 p. m., was delayed until 9:20 while more than half of the audience sauntered in during those 20 minutes. The 4,000-seat theater seemed almost filled to capacity when the “opening act” was introduced.

The stage contained only a microphone, a chair and a spotlight. By the time the seats were filled, Jerry came running onto the stage to thunderous applause, cheers and whistles. HE is what the fans came to see!

Jerry is a very physical entertainer, and his presence literally filled the stage. He used it successfully as a prop to add punch to his hilarious stories. And his brilliantly quirky observations of the human experience made it seem that a whole cast of characters were onstage with him. We could actually “see” an entire family avoiding answering a ringing telephone, or a bride adding hundreds of yards to her train because she needed to prove it was her day!

At one point, a heckler shouted something from the rear of the theater. Without missing a beat, Jerry shouted back, “What’s that? I can’t hear you, sir. The theater is so inconsiderate! They didn’t provide microphones for EVERYONE! I’m the only one who got a microphone!” The heckler meekly shut up while the audience cheered Jerry on.

During the 90-minute laugh fest, Seinfeld lived up to his reputation as one of America’s best comedic actors, and the loyal Seinfeld audience agreed that life, after all, doesn’t really suck. But it sure is funny – when Jerry’s around.

The Piano Man Still Wows Fans at Mohegan Sun Arena

by Taryn Alessandro

During his 10-concert series at Mohegan Sun Arena, musical genius, Billy Joel, is proving he still has what it takes to sell out venues and keep fan’s swooning. The exclusive New England appearance shows are running from May 23 through July 3. Tickets are going fast! The June 28th and July 3rd are the only shows that haven’t sold out yet.

The concert is an eclectic mix of Billy’s lesser known songs, such as “Zanzibar,” accompanied by trumpet player Carl Fischer, and his classic hits, such as “River of Dreams,” “In a New York Minute,” “Only the Good Die Young,” and “We Didn’t Start the Fire.” Billy had us laughing, crying, jumping, and swaying.

“This has been an amazing ride,” said the six time Grammy Award winner. “Thank you all for continuing to come see us and letting me do what I love.”

Instead of an intermission, Billy surprised us by introducing his “rough around the edges,” roadie, “Chainsaw,” to give a fist-pumping performance of AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell.”

The concert concluded with a much awaited, stellar performance of Billy’s first hit, “Piano Man.” Seemingly, every audience member knew the words as they collectively sang back to Billy. “Sing us a song, Piano Man. Sing us a song tonight,” radiated the 10,000-seat arena and showed us how huge an impact Billy’s music has had on his fans.

Salome’s Stars: June 11 ~ 24, 2008

ARIES (March 21 to April 19) Cheer up, Lamb. Your emotional impasse will lift once you allow your highly tuned sense of justice to guide you on what to do about an associate’s questionable behavior.

TAURUS (April 20 to May 20) News about a project you hoped to work on might need more clarification. Take nothing just on faith. Draw up a list of questions, and insist on each being fully answered.

GEMINI (May 21 to June 20)
Giving your time to help others is fine. But don’t lose sight of your own needs. Make plans for an energy-restoring getaway with that very special person in your life.

CANCER (June 21 to July 22)
Congratulate yourself on getting that difficult job done to everyone’s satisfaction. This could be the first of many such challenges you might be offered down the line.

LEO (July 23 to Aug. 22)
With your enthusiasm soaring again, you feel ready to tackle a tough new assignment. Good for you! And remember: Don’t be too proud to accept help when it’s offered.

VIRGO (Aug. 23 to Sept. 22) Cupid rules the week for single Virgos eager to make a romantic connection. Meanwhile, Virgo couples experience renewed commitment in their relationships.

LIBRA (Sept. 23 to Oct. 22)
Home and work issues vie for your attention through early next week. Rely on your Libran sense of balance to keep you from being overwhelmed by either side.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23 to Nov. 21)
Creative projects might have to go on standby as you tackle other matters making demands on your time and energy. Things should ease by the middle of next week.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22 to Dec. 21) Your energies are high, and so are your aspirations. But be careful not to let work dominate the week. It’s also important to spend time with family and friends.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22 to Jan. 19)
It’s a good time to set aside your pride and stop nursing those hurt feelings. Instead, consider restoring relationships you want to have back in your life.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20 to Feb. 18)
You might be miffed at not being shown more appreciation for your hard work. But don’t brood over it. Recognition comes in its own time and in its own way.

PISCES (Feb. 19 to March 20)
With your inner creative juices starting to boil and bubble, this is a good time to launch a new arts-related project, or go back and restart the one you had set aside.

You have a way of seeing the best in people, which helps encourage them to live up to your perceptions.

Fairview Odd Fellows Recognition Awards Dinner

story & photo
by David Brown

The Fairview Odd Fellows Home of CT held its first annual Recognition Awards Dinner on Saturday, May 10. This event honored two individuals who demonstrated extraordinary service to Fairview through personal effort, selfless gifts of time, financial aid, and service to residents.

This year’s winners are Edith Kalin, RN, a longtime member of the Odd Fellows and Rebekah organizations, and Billy Joe Foreman, also a member of the Odd Fellows organization and a resident of Fairview’s independent living facility, Fellowship Manor.

Who You Are, Not What You Have

It’s common for people to measure what they’ve accomplished by what they have accumulated. Often a person is eager to show off how much they make, what they are worth, or what they own. They erroneously believe their financial status is impressive.

Although it’s true money comes as a result of service to others, how much you accumulate is not a measure of who you are. Who you are is determined by how you treat others, regardless of your financial standing.
When you pass on, your legacy is not the assets you leave behind but rather how many lives you have positively impacted. Many millionaires have been despised. Conversely, those of modest means have been admired by all who knew them.

This is not to say that money is bad or lack of it is good. The fundamental issue is how you live. Who you are isn’t related to what you have. You don’t need a lot of possessions to be a great person.
It’s not important how much money you make if you discredit your character to obtain it. When you compromise your ethics, no amount of wealth can compensate for your loss. Once your integrity is tainted, it is virtually impossible to restore it.

The size of your house is not as important as how many people you welcome into it. A big house may be a sign of financial status. Yet size does not equate to warmth. A huge house can feel lifeless. A shack can feel cheery. You make the difference by how you treat visitors. Make them feel welcome, and your house is transformed into a home. When a guest feels like an intruder, a dwelling is no more than a collection of construction materials. It’s that simple.

How many people you befriend is more significant than how many friends you have. The distinction between friends and acquaintances is frequently blurred. Merely knowing someone doesn’t make him or her a friend. People who associate with you because of what you have, aren’t friends. Should your financial standing diminish, they will flee.

When you are a true friend to another, there is a good chance you will have a friend in return. Even if the other person doesn’t respond in kind, you shouldn’t be bitter. A sincere person doesn’t act in the hope of a payback. They get genuine satisfaction from assisting whenever possible, without any desire for reward.
How you treat your neighbors is more important than the neighborhood you live in. What’s the point of living in a fancy gated community where no one speaks to each other? A true neighborhood exists only when the residents behave neighborly.

Being a good neighbor begins with a smile along with a friendly greeting. In the days of the pioneers, your neighbors were essential to your survival. Today, you don’t have the same dependency on those who live around you. But you can still be friendly.

Working to the best of your ability is more important than the title of your job. Being the best at what you do, regardless of your occupation, is the surest way to get a promotion. Even if you have reached a dead-end at your current job, opportunity awaits you elsewhere. Being the best is something you will carry with you wherever you go.

The content of your character is more important than the content of your bank account. In the long, and short run, it is how you are known and remembered.

NOW AVAILABLE: “Dare to Live Without Limits,” the book. Visit www.BryanGolden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at bryan@columnist.com or write him c/o this paper. 2006 Bryan Golden

Afraid of Being Alone

Dear Neil: I have been with my partner for three years. In the beginning, our love making was great, but as time went on she stopped giving herself to me on a regular basis. I now get sex once a month, if I’m lucky. It seems related to money, because the more I make, the more she wants to take, and then she is more sexual with me. But I lost my job three months ago, and now she’s angry with me all the time. I have come to realize that I feel so much lighter without her. I truly want to leave, but I’m afraid of being alone. How do I move on?
- Sucked Dry in Miami, FL

Dear Miami:
You move on by deciding your life is better without her than with her, and then by acting upon that decision-by cutting the relationship off-and keeping it cut off. Your task is to heal yourself, to learn whatever lessons this relationship has taught you, and also to take whatever gifts or blessings this relationship has afforded you.

Dear Neil:
My boyfriend and I have been together for about two years. We were living together and we cuddled a lot, but that gradually dwindled away as he accused me of suffocating him, saying that he wanted us to live apart because he wanted “space.” So we broke up. When we got back together again, he told me he loved me and that he shouldn’t have broken us up.

But a couple of weeks later he virtually abandoned me. Now he says he’s not sure whether he loves me, and doesn’t want to talk about how to get closer again or how our relationship might develop in the future. I’ve expressed my unhappiness with the distance between us (he hardly ever touches me outside of bed in an affectionate way on his own accord unless I say something). I’ve asked whether there’s any point in us continuing to be together but he basically refuses to discuss it. I sometimes get told off for expressing my unhappiness at how things are. I want to be in a close, loving, committed, connected relationship, and have asked him to tell me if he doesn’t so that I can move on-but he won’t. What would you advise me?
- Unwanted in New Zealand

Dear New Zealand:
Your boyfriend does not love you-and does not want a closer relationship or a future with you-but he isn’t coming out and directly saying that. It sounds as if he doesn’t want to acknowledge his true motives to you because he is reluctant to lose the sexual relationship he has with you.
So the ball is back in your court. Is the sexual connection enough for you, or do you want more from this relationship? If you want more, cut it off with him and find someone who wants an actual relationship with you, and who will value your feelings, needs, desires and your happiness.

Neil Rosenthal is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Denver and Boulder, Colorado, specializing in how people strengthen their intimate relationships. He can be reached at 303.758.8777, or e-mail him from his website, www.heartrelationships.com

Success Story

by Roger Zotti

David Lindahl said he wrote his book, “Emerging Real Estate Markets” (Wiley), to share what he learned with other people who “were looking to change their lives.” His hope is that readers realize “that anybody can do what I did. They just need a road map and that’s what the book provides.”

He summarized “Markets” as being about how to invest in emerging markets in the US, “without being a landlord. It’s also about the different market cycles and what strategy to use with each particular cycle.”
Here’s what David found most satisfying about writing his book: It gave “me the chance to explain step-by-step how I went from having nothing to actually acquiring a great deal of real estate. I explain the process I went through along the way.”

At the same time, David said the toughest thing was his writing routine. The alarm would sound at four o’clock in the morning. He’d get up and write. “That started my day,” he said.

When David was in his late twenties, he was a landscaper. In the back of his mind was, he said, “The idea to start a business and create a better life. I ended up getting involved in real estate, not intentionally, and I realized a lot of money can be made in that field. And I continue to learn. I currently own over 5,000 units in the United States and I’ve done most of that with other people’s money.”

In one of the book’s most informative chapters, “How To Find All the Money You Need to Do Your Deals,” David examines the “Four Myths That Will Keep Your Poor (If You Believe Them).” Consider myths one and two. Myth #1 is that “You need money to make money.” If it were true, “there would be no self-made millionaires like me,” he writes. “Banks are where the money is” Myth #2. According to David, smart investors realize banks are “only one of many, many sources for deal financing.” The rest of the chapter is devoted to explaining, in concise and clear detail, why the myths have no relationship with an individual’s success in the real estate market.

Two chapters deal with “How to Identify Markets Using My ‘Market Phase’ Method” and “The Ten Biggest Mistakes Investors Make in Emerging Markets and How to Avoid Them.” (In the latter David advises that before making any moves, you should “see evidence that people are migrating into an area, and creating a demand…”) Two others are concerned with “How to Inspect Both the Property, and the Investment” and “Know Your Exit Strategy, Before You Get into a Property.”

Immensely readable, “Emerging Real Estate Markets” is David’s first book. On May 3 “Multi-Family Millions” will be released. Another book, “Commerical Real Estate 101” is due in November. David also operates a company, RE Mentor, that teaches investors about making profits from real estate investments.