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Not Just Clothes
How to Dress like A Grownup
by Bernadette Ulsamer

About mid-way through my junior year of college I started building what I thought was going to my “adult” wardrobe. Over the course of a year and a half I invested in a suit, dress pants, pencil skirts and button-downs in anticipation of post-graduation grown-up life.  A decade plus out, I’m still trying to figure out what being an adult is all about. And those initial purchases have ended up in the donation bin. Granted being a grown-up isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to dress in a boring suit every day, thank goodness! Our culture has definitely leaned toward more casual dressing over the past 10-15 years. However, dressing like you’re still in college at age 30-something may seem acceptable, but it’s far from ideal. Here, are a few easy switch-eroos to take your casualwear/everyday dressing towards a more adult and slightly sophisticated style.
  Unless you’re headed to the gym then switch the leggings for relaxed-fit jeans. Leggings have recently gotten a bad rap and have sparked some controversy in regards to unwarranted/inappropriate attention. So, for a more adult approach that is on trend at the moment opt for a boyfriend, or relaxed-fit jean. This style of denim is just as comfortable as leggings and comes across as a more intentional style choice.
  Once you hit you 30 it’s time to discard the promotional accessories like visors, sunglasses, and lanyards. For sunglasses, especially you may want to consider investing in a pair to wear for years to come. Even in winter sunglasses protect your eyes and classic styles like aviators and Ray-Ban clubmasters will have you stand out in a good way. Same thing for lanyards, if you’re looking for a fun purse accessory or key chain, try a leather, or leather-like, fringed option as opposed to a plastic give-way version.
  Thinking back to those girls’ nights in my earlier twenties I can’t help but cringe at some of the outfits my girlfriends and I left the house in… looking at you catsuit! No it was never that bad, but we definitely put together some skimpy ensembles. As one leaves behind the younger days it’s not only more appropriate, but also more subtly sexy to leave off those body-con type of bandage or “sausage” dresses, and slip into a sophisticated shift dress. Plus, as the multitasking adult you are, the shift can be worn for both work and play!
  They say style is in the details and that’s particular true when it comes to shoes. What separates the girls from the women is the right kind of footwear. Any pair with scuffs, nicks, or scrapes that can’t be repaired should be tossed. Also, women wear shoes they can walk in, so if you’re not able to easily move from point A to point B in those 4-inch stilettos, then leave them in the store and feel confident in your flats or wedges. For more casual footwear trade in your jellies and flip-flops for slide sandals, which can be sleeker and just as easy to wear. Plus, they can be kinder to your feet.
  Speaking of accessories, it may be time to trade in that worn backpack for a grown-up handbag. Sure, a drawstring backpack is easier to wear and allows your hands to be free, but a leather tote not only works for work, but also can be easily transitioned for a chic add-on to your casualwear.
  Rethink the graphic or statement T-shirt. Sure, it’s fun to sport an ironic t-shirt everyone so often, but as you get older they get harder and harder to pull off. Thirty-year-olds with “Your Boyfriend Thinks I’m Hot” spelled out across their chests reads as a bit too try-hard. Instead, go for tees and sweatshirt with more subtle graphics and patterns. Right now, arrows motifs are popular, and there’s always the standard vintage sports tee.
  Recently, I saw a teenage girl in some very short shorts, and I was taken back days of daisy dukes and skimpy shorts. Then I recalled how often I found myself pulling at the crotch and being self-conscious about bending too far over. Do yourself a favor and leave the awkwardness of your teens behind with those high-cut shorts and opt for a clean, tailored version. You may not want to go full on Bermuda, but a 7 inch chino type short will keep you comfortable and still looking crisp, not frumpy.
  And finally sweatpants, that gloriously comfortable staple that somehow could be worn to class, to the grocery store, to where ever you’re twenty-year-old life took you, right? Actually, I hate to break your bubble, but you probably looked like a hot mess back then, however you were also probably full of hope and promise that you didn’t notice. Now, in the reality of 30 donning sweatpants is definitely a sloppy option. But, that doesn’t mean you have to give up on comfort. Thanks to the recent sporty, athleisure-wear trend you can find a chic alternative in jogger pants, or pull-on pants depending on the retailer. Especially in sturdy fabrics like wool these easy bottoms have a grown-up vibe that you can be worn for work, weekend, or evening depending on the styling.
  So yes, being an adult can be overwhelming, but dressing like one can be fun and stylish!


The Pennsylvania Garden
Dog-Gone-Good Advice From My Dog
By Jeffrey Allen Federowicz

Some of the best advice I ever heard came from Tucker. He's my dog. 
  We don't verbally talk about the triumphs and tribulations of life, well, not since our heated debate whether neutrons have mass. Tucker's viewpoint was totally illogical.
  Tucker is a medium-sized five-year-old Labrador mix from a local shelter and everyone knows shelter dogs make the best new friends.
  The tidbits of knowledge I learned from my dog were simple ways to live a life with less stress and more happiness. I came about this insightful information by watching Tucker's reactions to people, his daily routine and stuff that made his tail move faster than a propeller on a plane ready for take off.
  Besides learning to howl for cheese, here is what else I learned from my pooch.
• Always show affection to your loved ones and friends because they're way more important than your favorite squeaky toy.
• Be curious about the world around you and seek out new experiences. It could be a tail-wagging time.
• Unless you're a burglar trying to steal the TV, dogs give everyone a chance – so be open-minded.
• The next time you're in trouble take a trick from a pooch and use the sweet, innocent, ‘I didn't do it!’ face that dogs have mastered over the years.
• Never turn down a snack.
• When it’s cold and snowy outside, find a cozy spot and take a toasty nap.
• After said nap, it’s time for another snack.
• Never miss the chance to go for a walk and experience the great outdoors.
• A belly rub can be total bliss.
• Dogs will try anything once – be adventurous, try new things.
• If you have an itch, give it a scratch.
• Be excited to see your people when they come home from work. After a hard day a friendly smile and a happy bark is a nice welcome.
• Always make time to play.
• No matter how good you may be, there are times you just need to chase the cat. Find your own cat to chase after once in a while.
• Race, money, personal beliefs mean nothing to a dog. Nothing.
• A dog sees past labels and isn't judgmental on appearances or disability, all a dog wants is kindness, an occasional belly rub and the opportunity to be a fantastic friend.
  If people around the world learn a few of these lessons, the world would be a much better place.


'Batman: Arkham Knight'
Not the Hero Gotham Deserves

The "Arkham" series has become rightly renowned for capturing the essence of Batman. It pulls you into his persona, shows off of his superb detective skills and fills its world with Easter eggs and dozens of familiar faces from the iconic character's gallery of foes and allies. Most importantly, for me, it captured the way that Batman's fists and boots connect with the faces and chests of the criminal thugs trying to overrun him. It just has a way of getting the blood pumping. "Arkham Knight" had a heavy legacy to live up to, and while it is mostly successful at this, I can't help feeling that the series could have ended on a much higher note.
  Picking up on the storyline from "Arkham City," the game sees a return of several iconic characters in the Batman universe. Penguin, Two-Face, Poison Ivy and Scarecrow make reappearances, alongside trusted Batman allies like Robin, Nightwing, Alfred and Commissioner Gordon. This game does a fairly decent job of weaving such a large case naturally into the plot. However, the dialogue occasionally feels like forced exposition, and the voice acting from supporting characters like Gordon and Oracle was hit-or-miss.
  Perhaps the biggest issue with "Arkham Knight," however, is the overuse of the caped crusader's handy car, the Batmobile. Introduced for the first time in the series, players can now take to the streets of Gotham in the trusty, black-painted tank that we're pretty sure isn't road-legal in any state. Of course there are some perks to using the Batmobile, like a Battle Mode that allows the car to turn into a side-strafing war machine and the ability to use the Power Wench for puzzle solving, as well as the remote-controlled function, which managed to save my life many times.
  At first, the Batmobile feels empowering and useful. It controls well, and overall it's a nice addition to the series. However, there are several points throughout the game where it feels forced, like segments were added specifically to make it a necessary tool rather than allowing you to discover creative solutions. If you love vehicles and the combat options they offer, you probably won't mind this so much. But for those of us who love the "Arkham" series because of how well it puts you into the mind of Batman, there are many times you lose the option to move in the shadows, and the game becomes more of a linear shoot-em-up due to the Batmobile being required to take down any enemy drones and turrets.
  When outside the cockpit, "Arkham Knight" still holds true to the amazing feeling of beating up thugs that the "Arkham" series is so popular for, as well as offering up a plethora of fantastic gadgets to play around with. Things like the Batarang reappear, as do weapons like the Disruptor, which allows you to disarm enemy weapons and booby trap resupply boxes. The Predator Mode gets a welcome addition with a Fear Multi-Takedown option, which lets you take out clustered thugs in quick succession with dramatic flair. I personally leaned more toward a stealthy approach, but the option to be a little flashier was nice.
  I'd also be remiss not to mention the issues plaguing the PC release. The massive amount of stuttering, low framerate and complete freezing of the game during intense moments is not a good sign for PC players looking to pick up the game close to release. Though WB has stated it is working hard on a patch to fix these issues, it is still something that users should be aware of when picking up the game on PC. Due to the limited effect one platform's performance has on a game, it will not affect the score, but buyers should be aware.
  Overall "Batman: Arkham Knight" is a welcome finale to Batman's story. The combat that has made the series such a favorite is still very much alive, and I still can't get over the happiness it gives me to leap down from the skies and kick a thug in the face. Though the Batmobile seems excessive to the point of tiresome, the combat within its special Battle Mode is both smooth and mostly enjoyable. However, every positive - the twisting storyline, the iconic villains and the superb combat - is undermined by other factors. Mediocre acting, rough dialogue and overuse of the Batmobile leave "Batman: Arkham Knight" that much less cohesive than its predecessors.
  This review is based on a PC version of the game. "Batman: Arkham Knight" is now available in retail and digital stores for $59.99. The game is rated M.


Uptown Music Collective: Summer Music Fest

The Uptown Music Collective will present its annual free Summer Music Festival on Sunday, August 2nd at Williamsport’s Brandon Park Band Shell. The day’s festivities will begin at 1:00pm with free music performances all day as well as children’s activities, free music clinics from some of the area’s foremost musicians, and food vendors. The event will culminate with two exclusive, one-time only performances entitled Heatwave: A Motown Revue as well as Freaking out the Neighborhood: A Tribute to Modern Indie Rock.
The music will run throughout the day and feature a variety of performances including the annual Collective Summer Music Showcase, in which Collective students are featured performing songs of their choosing in full-band arrangements. The day will also feature debut performances by some of the school’s newest community performance groups.
In addition to these performances, the day will also feature free clinics from area musicians and music professionals including a guitar luthier clinic from Sean Farley. Throughout the day there will be raffles and giveaways including gift certificates from local businesses. The grand prize, given away before the closing of the event, will be a brand new electric guitar. Free face painting for kids will be offered throughout the event. Food vendors, including the Hard Times Cart, Old School Pizza, and others will also be on hand. This is a family event designed to engage all ages of children and adults through a combination of exciting activities and high quality live music.
The primary entertainment throughout the afternoon will be the school’s Summer Music Showcase, presented by current UMC students in full-band configurations. Showcases feature the school’s younger and beginner students. The Uptown Music Collective holds frequent showcases and offers many performance opportunities to its current students as part of its curriculum. The Summer Music Showcase is a much anticipated performance event for the students of the Uptown Music Collective, many of whom have been preparing for months for this opportunity to perform to parents, friends, and the Williamsport community on the Band Shell stage. 

“Our student showcases are always an exciting time for the Collective,” said Jared Mondell, Uptown Music Collective Marketing Director. “It’s a chance for everyone to check out the upcoming talent at the Collective. The Summer Showcase is especially exciting because of its part in our annual Summer Music Fest, the whole thing makes for a great family day in the park!”
The day will also include two exclusive, one-time performances. The first is called Heatwave: A Motown Revue that will be a call back to our spring performance at the Community Arts Center. Rounding out the day will be a performance entitled Freaking out the Neighborhood which will feature music from bands and artists such as Mac Demarco, Grouplove, Florence and the Machine, Franz Ferdinand, and a lot more! The Uptown Music Collective Summer Music Festival has become a summer tradition in the city and each year is one of the most anticipated music events of the summer.
Established in April of 2000, the Uptown Music Collective (a 501(c) 3 nonprofit school of music) has developed a reputation as the premier source of music education in the area. Offering private lessons at all levels on guitar, bass, drums, keyboards and vocals, as well as classes and workshops in music theory, songwriting, and styles such as the Blues, Jazz, Classical and Rock. The primary age range of the Collective is 10 – 18 yrs. old, but is open to all ages and levels. The program brings outstanding student run performances to the area, including most recently, Motown: From Detroit to L.A. The Uptown Music Collective is committed to being a valuable musical presence in the community. The Collective prides itself on producing the well-rounded musician, and feels that the strong presence of current and former Collective students, teachers, and staff as frequent performers in Williamsport is evidence of the UMC’s effective and exciting curriculum.
The Uptown Music Collective Summer Music Fest is sponsored by K & S Music, Woodlands Bank, and Pneu-Dart. Media sponsors are Lamar Advertising along with WZXR and all of Backyard Broadcasting. For more information contact the Uptown Music Collective at 570-329-0888 or visit www.uptownmusic.org.


The Bookworm Sez
By Terri Schlichenmeyer

 


CD or Margarine Lid Campfire Craft

The margarine lid version of this craft is slightly easier than the cd rom version, but both turn out to make a cute campfire that kids can display.  Our favorite part of the craft is walking around outside collecting the twigs and pebbles.

Materials:
• old CD or margarine container lid
• small rocks
• small sticks
• yellow, red and/or orange tissue paper
• glue (white school glue not a glue stick)

Instructions:
• Collect some twigs and pebbles (you can do this during a nature walk).
If using a CD Rom, make sure you ask mom or dad if it is ok.  You don't want to accidentally build your campfire on dad's old tunes!
• Pour a good amount of glue into the margarine container lid (the lip of the lid will keep the glue from running out.
If using a CD Rom, you need to be a bit more careful applying glue to each rock but still use lots.
Arrange the rocks in a circle all around the outside of the lid.
• Scrunch a bit of tissue paper around the end of a pencil and place it in the center of the lid.
Lift the pencil out - this should leave a little "flame" of tissue paper on your lid.
Repeat until the center of the lid is full of flames.
• Put a little glue on each of the twigs and lay them around the tissue paper in a pyramid shape like you would laying out a fire.
• Sing a campfire song around your blazing fire!


 
 
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