Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, September 22, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page 11



 Mountain Views News Saturday, September 22, 2012 




Book Reviews by Jasmine Kelsey Williams 

SHARP TEETH By Toby Barlow

 Another personal recommendation, ‘Sharp Teeth’ is a definite must-read for anytime and 
anywhere; whether it is summer reading, recommended, or just for your leisure, this is one 
book that you will not want to put down. Published in the UK in a slightly different form in 
2007and then published in hardcover in 2008, ‘Sharp Teeth’ is not your typical werewolf story; 
rather it is excellent storytelling done in prose, so that the book is one large poem that can easily 
flow throughout. There are smooth breaks and transitions from one part to the next which will 
keep the reader engaged. It is a departure from the classic blood, horror, and gore genres and 
focuses on an entirely different perspective from not just one character, but several characters 
and how they act and interact throughout the story. ‘Sharp Teeth’ is divided into five parts, 
each starting with the focus of one character and building upon their story; all the characters 
have their backgrounds, current lives, and predicaments all explained to the reader and how 
they ended up at that point. ‘Sharp Teeth’ also does a wonderful job of smoothly connecting the 
characters to each other and how each of their lives weaves in and out. A notable point relating 
to this is a female character who is the love interest of the main protagonist named Anthony 
but through the whole book is nameless and is simply referred to as “She”. Even the plot alone 
is completely redone; the werewolves do not live in hiding when they are human, but rather 
have a shifting capability, are divided into different packs with a different leader who each 
want something from the other, and the themes are fresh, raw, and exciting. Love, betrayal, 
revenge, strong alliances and a sense of intrigue are in equal measure and clearly executed with 
great detail, but without being wordy to the point where the whole book seems effortless. With 
‘Sharp Teeth’ being Toby Barlow’s first book, he has received immediate praise from critics 
such as the Washington Post and Los Angeles Times, confirming that this profoundly poetic 
book will not only be an instant favorite on your must-read list, but one that will always call 
you back again.

Editor’s Note: Ms. Williams is the latest addition to the Mountain Views News family. A young 
writer alumni of Pasadena City College, she brings a new voice to our Arts and Entertainment 

Review By Sean Kayden


“Tourist History” was a buoyant, lively, and stunning debut from the young Irish 
band, Two Door Cinema Club. The band garnered praise from both supporters 
and most critics to make the transformation from under-the-radar players to full 
fledge all-stars. Now nearly two and a half years later, the three-piece pop-rock band find themselves 
trying to reinvigorate their 2010 sound. It pains me to say that after a solid introduction, Two Door 
Cinema Club can’t figure out which direction to head. While the listener may enjoy some pit stops along 
the way, ultimately, their second LP is an aimless exploration that’s sorely unrewarding. Maybe it’s the 
sonically polished, yet tiresome pop sound that merely just doesn’t do it for me anymore. Whatever the 
case may be, “Beacon” is the epitome of the sophomore slump. 

The reason why this effort seems to wander and be disoriented is the sheer fact that the band has stated 
how “Beacon” begins where “Tourist History” left off. Instead of a brand new story, we’re just getting 
another chapter of the same old narrative. At just shy of forty minutes, the record is relatively short, 
but feels lengthy because some songs are simply flaccid. Despite some heavy emptiness, there is the 
occasional song or two that has you remembering just why you were a fan of Two Door Cinema Club 
in the first place. One of these songs is “Settle,” a 
slower and more heartfelt song for a band with a 
partiality to frenzy type arrangements. “Settle” is a 
rare song off “Beacon” that demonstrates the group’s 
artistic talents aren’t simply one-dimensional, but 
dynamic and multifarious. Following in tone as well 
as track order is, “Spring.” The aforementioned tune 
is another lovely and mellower resonance. If only 
Two Door Cinema Club had more songs like these 
then maybe this new album as a whole would be completely fulfilling. The first single, “Sleep Alone” 
sounds like something off “Tourist History” but it’s immediately amicable. “Next Year” is another track 
that bares strong similarity to the band’s first album. There’s much to enjoy with its catchy riffs and its 
impeccable way of being so smooth and jovial. However, it’s one more reincarnation of something off of 
“Tourist History.” In essence, you like it on one hand, but soon realize the best songs are just retreading 
the same ground already planted two years ago. 

The problem with many of the other tracks such as “Wake Up,” “Sun,” and “Beacon” is how formulaic 
they are. There’s no “it” factor that separates these songs from the other tracks or songs from different 
bands competing in this congested genre. I came away discovering that Two Door Cinema Club may 
benefit much more with songs that are a bit dreamier and that slowly transition from mellow to fast-
paced then back to a nice calm state. As far as themes go, you have the typical subjects like remaining 
optimistic despite heartbreak. While the songs remain mostly upbeat and positive throughout, there 
are shades of darkness in lyrical choices. Two Door Cinema Club are a fine band, but in the end, they 
didn’t accomplish all that much to put them leaps and bounds above the competition. Unfortunately, 
with “Beacon” the band sounds like they’re imitating the imitators. 

Grade: 6.3 out of 10 

Key Tracks: “Sleep Alone”, “Settle”, “Spring”

Artist: Two Door Cinema Club 

Album: Beacon 

Label: Glassnote

Release Date: Sept., 4th, 2012


 The Tap Chicks are seasoned tap dancers who dazzle with youthful energy. A favorite at the 
L.A. County Fair for many years, their previous performances at the Sierra Madre Playhouse 
have sold out.

 The Tap Chicks were originally formed at Pasadena Senior Center. They are choreographed by 
Pam Kay, who also provides musical accompaniment, comedy and vocals.

The fully costumed act dances to music ranging from Broadway tunes to 40s favorites to contemporary 
songs. The dancers are mature in years (ranging in age from 50 to 84) but young at 
heart. You don’t have to drive all the way to Palm Springs to see an act like this. It’s coming to 
Sierra Madre.

 EXTRA: Also performing will be special guest vocalist Franny McCartney, formerly of Bette 
Midler’s Harlettes.

For the first time, this show will perform in an afternoon time slot, for the convenience of our 
senior audience members.

Sunday, September 23, 2012 at 2:30 p.m. The Sierra Madre Playhouse is at 87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra 
Madre, CA 91024. Tickets are $20 general, $17 for seniors (65+), $12 for children under 12. Reservations: 
(626) 355-4318. Online ticketing:






On a recent amusement park outing with my son, I was waiting in line 
above a play area filled with young children that were in or nearing the 
obesity zone. Needless to say I was saddened and truly appalled to think 
that these kids are already leading unhealthful lifestyles. I immediately 
looked up the obesity rates for children.....16.9 percent. What is scary 
about that number is that it only represents the ones that fall into the the 
obesity category, researchers speculate that the number would be twice 
that much for kids that are overweight.

We can all agree that our kids love of videos games facilitates the lack 
of physical activity, so utilize them to make them active. First you have 
to place limits how much time they spend playing games then use it as 
a reward for physical activity. Play games with them that have a physical 
component (Wii/Kinect), the bonus will be time spent bonding with 
your kids.

For every kid that enjoys playing sports, there are three that don’t want to be anywhere athletics. For 
these kids, parents can be the biggest influence. If a child grows up in a family that is physically active, 
they have the best chance of being physically active throughout their whole life. You need not be an 
uberathlete, just willing take every opportunity to be outside at a park, ride bikes or simply taking a 
walk into town for dinner instead of loading up the SUV for a ten minute drive. When you look at the 
area we live in and the options for family activities, do we really have an excuse.

Making sure our family eats nutritiously is easy as long as you remember the number one rule, we are 
the parents! Our children are not the ones who’s job it is to shop at the grocery store, pick out the food 
and pay for them. Don’t blame your kids for the food you choose to cook either, your kids will eat what 
you eat. It is inevitable that they will find a way to junk food but let it be outside of your home. If our 
kids become apart of the overweight/obesity statistics, we are the ones responsible.

Yes, there are a few things to be aware of at yoga class. For the most part, it 
is very easy going. And almost every one knows to silence their cell phones 
and not talk on the phone in the yoga room. Almost every one knows to 
take off their shoes outside too. But there are a few other things that seem 
to be less obvious to us at first. 

1. Time to spare? Most yoga studios lock the doors 10 minutes 
after class starts. If you are not in - you miss out. But life happens. The last 
place you want to go all stressed out is yoga class (or maybe the best place). 
But at any rate, after you have braved the world in your car or on your bike 
and gotten stuck in traffic, it is majorly disappointing to not be let in. Get 
there a little early, especially if you are new to a studio. 
2. Move quietly. This is a biggy. Especially if it is opening meditation. This is an important 
part of the practice and we are so very easily distracted at this point. (After class we could care 
less.) At the beginning our brains are attaching to every sound. So when the yogini next to us 
comes in and sets up her spot, it is excruciating to the quiet one. It’s best to wait outside until the 
meditation is over. Then when you do come in, come in quietly. When the mat snapper comes in 
and whooshes out their mat with a crack – everybody cringes. Quietly roll out the mat. Don’t go 
gather props. The teacher will prompt you later if they require any or you can find a resting point 
to do it (also a good time to use the bathroom if you need, not during the hardest balance pose…..). 
Remember not to rustle. Keep your personal sounds to a minimum. Keep it down with the moans 
and sighs. Move around on your mat as silently as possible. 
3. Don’t come smelly. Another biggy. We are breathing deeply here. No perfume. Take a 
quick shower first. Easy on the garlic the night before. You get the picture.
4. Talking. Hmmm. A lot of classes are fun and dynamic and interactive. So feel free to ask 
questions and participate in humor and discussion as a group. If you chat with your friends during 
class, it is disrespectful to the teacher and the other students. Yes, we are trying to get in The Zone.
5. Don’t skip the most important pose – savasana.
6. Have fun and be open to it. Be open, even if it’s a sub that day. You never ever know what 
the Universe has in store for you to learn. It may just be that new teacher has something to say 
that you are ready to hear.

See you in class, you are now an expert. ;) Namasté, René

Kurt Vasquez is a Nationally Certified Personal Trainer. His philosophy is simple: Fitness is a 
process, not a project. He can be reached at (626) 695-2624 or


By Melanie Ann Green

I say deformity 
instead of 
disorder because 
“skin disorder” 
understates what 
people actually 
go through. I am 
speaking about 
Psoriasis, Eczema, 
Lupus, Vitiligo, 
and many other 
skin deformities. 
Although all if 
these illnesses 
are important 
and need more 
awareness, in 
this article I will 
be discussing 
Vitiligo, and why 
our community 
must know 
more about it. 
Vitiligo is not 
always visible to 
the human eye. Most of us who have it spend a great 
deal of time and money covering it up, or at lease 
trying to. However, many people have never even 
heard of Vitiligo. In layman’s terms, Vitiligo is a 
pigment eater that removes the natural pigment of 
the skin and creates white blotches all over the body. 
If someone has a severe case of the disease, especially 
on the face, it looks like a deformity and causes great 
pain and anguish in their lives. At that point it is very 
hard to cover up, and a simple thing like going to the 
store can be an agonizing event. The silent whispers, 
the glares, the perpetual questions in the middle of a 
busy day. Vitiligans are finally making a cry for help.

 The most well known case, and the first time 
Vitiligo received public awareness, was Michael 
Jackson. Much of the uninformed public accused 
him of “not wanting to be Black.” Their misplaced 
anger continued until his death in 2009. Over the 
years I have met many African-Americans and other 
nationalities that have “de-pigmented” and they 
too look like Michael Jackson did before he died. 
In lighter races it is not as noticeable. On the other 
hand, members of darker races that have Vitiligo 
often struggle with their ethnic identity. Some have 
not de-pigmented, but have turned completely white 
as a result of the spread of the disease.

 I never met Michael Jackson, however in the early 
1990’s I was a poor aspiring actress with Vitiligo. 
Naturally, I was very sensitive and self-conscious 
about my appearance. I was often reminded of my 
uneven skin by make-up artists, who begrudgingly 
spent additional time concealing my “spots.” 
Eventually, the remarks drove me to get help. I went 
to a free UCLA clinic and met a doctor who suggested 
that I take Benoquin. “This is what Michael Jackson 
used” the doctor explained. The drug has one 
purpose: To remove the remaining pigment in those 
with extensive Vitiligo. In other words, it makes you 
totally white. In the 90’s one small tube of Benoquin 
cost $75. When I experimented with it, I realized 
that the process was too slow and I could not afford 
the treatment. Despairingly, I gave up and have been 
living with the malady ever since. 

 I have lived with my Vitiligo since I was four 
years old. I have been bullied and called names like 
“leopard, spotted b….,” and others. I was fearful of 
never meeting a husband. 

 I still dislike like summer, and loathe going to 
community pools or beaches without wearing 
tanning cream to cover my spots. (For darker 
skinned people tanning creams do not work.) I 
have experienced blistering sunburns on my white 
spots and spent thousands of dollars on treatments, 
cosmetics, and continuously have numerous tubes of 
tanning cream in my house.

 70 million people worldwide have Vitiligo, and 
three million of them live in the United States. It 
does not kill you, however the psychological effects 
are immense, not to mention the discrimination 
one undergoes in the workplace and elsewhere. This 
article is for Vitiligo awareness. We are requesting 
support to create a wellness center. We are looking 
for a venue in the Pasadena area for weekly meetings, 
and possible treatment for people who have or know 
someone with Vitiligo.

If you want to become involved or donate please contact 
me at For more information you 
may also visit