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lifestyle

02.07 Massage

Massage 

Finally, Something That Feels Good Is Good For You !
By Steph Moore

Ahhh…watch what happens when people hear the word “massage.” They sigh deeply, rub their necks, stretch their arms with a wistful sigh. And who can blame them, since for most getting a massage is an indulgent, stress-relieving slice of heaven that’s rejuvenating for both body and soul. But what not everyone realizes is that the benefits of massage are significant beyond just making our sore shoulders feel better after a long week stuck behind the keyboard or after a tough aerobics class:

Benefits of Massage:

• Reducing muscular tension & associated discomfort
• Improving the flow of energy throughout the body
• Relieving muscle aches and stiffness
• Improving quality of sleep
• Relaxing tight muscles
• Relieving chronic headaches
• Enhancing overall mental and physical relaxation
• Enhancing digestion
• Reducing anxiety
• Increasing feelings of well-being and calm
• Enhancing flexibility and tissue elasticity
• Increasing range of motion in joints
• Speeding recovery from injury or overuse
• Promoting healthy skin
• Improving circulation
• Improving immune system
• The variety of massage therapy techniques practiced around the world is extensive.

Here is just a partial list of the options:

• Craniosacral Therapy
• Deep Tissue Massage
• Esalen Massage
• Erotic massage
• Shiatsu
• Swedish massage
• Pfrimmer Deep Muscle Therapy
• Aromatherapy Massage
• Neuromuscular therapy
• Jin Shin Do
• Hakomi
• Trager Psychophysical Integration
• Myofascial
• Trigger point and Myotherapy
• Polarity therapy
• Hot Stone Massage
• On-site or chair massage
• Reiki. 
• Manual Lymphatic Drainage
• Rolfing
• Sports Massage
• Watsu
• Thai

Check out massagenetwork.com/massage_therapy.html, www.thebodyworker.com/typesofmassage.html, and www.holisticonline.com/massage/mas_types.htm for more detailed information about these as well as additional kinds of massage therapies, then call your local massage therapist’s office to schedule a meeting to discuss the type of approach that is right for your situation/needs/goals.

So there’s no reason ever to feel guilty about treating yourself to a massage ~ it might seem decadent, but it’s also very healthy!

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lifestyle

01.07 Cool Careers – Tim Hartigan of ICB Talent

Giving Artist Promotion a Good Name
By Christine R. Walsh


Neyo (L) and Hartigan at the UPC tour at the DCU Center

Eight years ago, a fresh-faced and hopeful young promoter stood outside of a Fitchburg venue. He was one of the main forces behind a show that was about to go up and he had a lot riding on the gig. He was new to the business of promotion, so he was putting his reputation on the line. There was also the matter of the sizeable chunk of change he had put down, too.

The young promoter had been working with a booking agent; a shady character to say the least. The agent hadn’t given the promoter a single straight answer about the artist who was scheduled to perform and that gave the young promoter a bad feeling.

Minutes ticked by but the performance artist never showed. The promoter’s pride took a hit, as did his wallet. He walked into the night, vowing never to get back into entertainment until he knew the business inside and out.

Today, that young promoter is the mature, business-savvy Tim Hartigan, Directing Manager and Founder of International College Bookings Talent, or ICB Talent. The man can listen to a song and accurately predict it to be a hit or a miss in under a minute. He can be found driving to an unknown comedian’s Friday night gig or pouring over stacks of artists’ demo tapes, always in search of the next biggest star.

That vow he made to himself as he walked away from the failed show in Fitchburg inspired this guru of promotions to become the first licensed African-American theatrical booking agent in MA. Hartigan, 28, is extremely proud of this accomplishment, but maintains modesty amongst the bright lights of success.

“I’m very proud of my heritage,” said Hartigan. “I’m African American and Italian. When you’re first at anything positive in life, you have the opportunity to be a pioneer, a trailblazer.”

Today, Hartigan blazes those new trails in entertainment with determination and zest. He divides his time between serving his clients ~ people who are trying to break into comedy, music or even fighting on television’s “Ultimate Fighter” ~ and providing colleges across the nation with quality entertainment that gives them the most for their money. Hartigan has worked with colleges including Harvard, Stanford, University of San Francisco and BC, to name but a few ~ the list of his satisfied clients in academia spans from coast to coast. The schools call Hartigan to provide singers, hip hop artists and comedians and Hartigan works, sometimes 18 hours a day, to make certain that the shows run smoothly.

“I make sure the artist is there on time,” said Hartigan. “I want to make sure the college gets everything they pay for. I want my clients to feel comfortable and satisfied at the end of the day. If they’re not happy, they’re not going to come back and we can’t have that.”

Undiscovered entertainment artists vie for Haritgan’s attention and approval. Typically, Hartigan will review a demo tape, and if he likes what he sees, will seek out the artist and watch him/her perform live or in the studio. If the artist gets his stamp of approval, Hartigan will bend over backwards to represent him/her.

There’s a soft side to this fast moving man, however. Close to his heart are events that have a charitable component, and he’ll do whatever he can to provide the talent that will help such causes raise the most money possible. Hartigan keeps in shape through jogging and hitting the gym. He also recently took up bow hunting, a sport which he never thought he’d even try. But most of all, he loves spending time with his two sons, Timothy, 8, and Michael, 5.

“I hope they join me someday in entertainment,” laughed Hartigan when speaking of his children. “But whatever they want to do, I’m going to support them 100%.”

He also appreciates the company of good friends, a lesson he learned from his mother, who has breast cancer.

“She’s battling it,” Hartigan said with pride in his voice. “She’s battling it and she’s going to beat it.”

Despite a ICB Talent’s booming business and a supportive family, Hartigan does not intend to take a break from his busy schedule anytime soon. His next goal is to obtain the appropriate licensure so that he can start representing local athletes as well.

“The Worcester area produces some tremendous athletes and I am interested in representing them,” he said. “That particular license requires a great deal of knowledge of corporate law, but I’ve been speaking to my lawyer friends and hitting the books.”

The Tim Hartigan of today may be all grown up, but he understands that in order to be the best, he must never stop learning.

For more information on ICB Talent, including the impressive list of featured performers that Hartigan works with, go to www.icbtalent.com.

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lifestyle

01.07 Brain Break

Bored at work? Have you completely exhausted the typical goof-off sites? Tired of sitting in your cube endlessly scrolling through myspace, youtube, facebook, and thepulsemag (shameless plug)? Need more to quiet your ADD? . . . Seriously? Wow . . . I can’t believe you get paid . . . where do you work?! Email me an application. But first, check out these sites

www.realultimatepower.net: If you don’t want to get pumped, stay away. This is easily the sweetest site about ninjas. Ever. In the world. It’s also the most educational, e.g. ninjas are mammals.

www.chucknorrisfacts.com: Learn something useful at work for a change ~ like facts about Chuck Norris. The legend of Chuck Norris is growing, rivaling that of Paul Bunyan and Mike Ditka. Learn the facts(?) so you have stories to tell your kids: “Chuck Norris doesn’t read – he just stares them down until he gets the information he wants” and “Chuck Norris wears condoms inside out so he gets all the pleasure.”

www.subservientchicken.com: Spend a couple hours trying to find the limit of what this guy in a chicken suit will do. Then ponder how long this guy must have spent in the chicken suit . . . I mean, he (come on, it’s a guy, no girl would subject herself to this) does the electric slide. Ridiculous. But awesome.

www.ratemymullet.com: Stare in awe at some of the most righteous coifs ever to be intentionally worn. Then rate it, Ebert.

www.stuffonmycat.com: You can pretend you don’t love this site, but you will.

www.websudoku.com: You take your goofing off seriously? Here’s one for you.
www.tokenarcade.com: Simple games, hours of fun. Your boss will think that you’re staying late because you’re a dedicated employee ~ not because you’re an addicted mouse jockey.

www.careerbuilder.com/monk-e-mail: Send your loved ones monkey-grams. Honestly, who doesn’t love talking monkeys? Plus, the site is affiliated with careerbuilder.com, so when you get fired for spending all day emailing primates to your co-workers, you’ll be halfway to a new job.

www.horoscopes.com: This one will help you figure out why you’re having such a bad day . . .

www.corporatedump.com: This site has a clutter of distractions for your perusal: games, puzzles, jokes… all slightly more entertaining than analyzing spreadsheets.

www.deathball.net/notpron: Tired of shaking your computer and screaming, “What do you want from me?!” when it freezes up or fails to save the last thing you worked on for hours? Well, here’s a completely different reason to shake your computer and plead for directions. If frustrating puzzle games are your thing (think Myst), then give this a try. Anger management sold separately.

www.coolquiz.com: Not challenged enough at work? Give your brain a workout. Think of this as constructive slacking off.

www.smallblueprints.com: Daydreaming of ways to fritter away your new raise? Design your new house with this neat little site.

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lifestyle

12.06 Cool Careers – Ned LaFortune

Ned LaFortune, Wachusett Brewing Company
By Shelly Schweizer

Ned LaFortune is one of the fortunate few who has managed to turn a passion for drinking and brewing good beer into a career. He’s President and a co-founder of the Wachusett Brewing Company.

Cheap beer fueled the college adventures of LaFortune and two WPI buddies, Peter Quinn and Kevin Buckler. When their careers as engineers and biologists afforded them with the ability to buy the good stuff, things got serious.

“We started drinking better beer, imports, whatever craft beers we could get our hands on,” La Fortune said. “We started to understand what made this [kind of] beer different.”

As the trio incorporated tours of small breweries into their hiking, biking and ski trips across New England, they became fascinated by the brewing process. LaFortune and Buckler began to home brew and eventually pooled their equipment, engineering skills and brewing know-how to build a small scale commercial system. The turning point was a visit to the Ipswich Brewing Company.

“They had also built their own system for making beer. When I saw their system, I knew that we could do it. It wasn’t going to be that big of a jump,” LaFortune said.

Ned, Peter and Kevin opened their brewery in LaFortune’s hometown of Westminster in 1993.

Initially, the three partners worked every aspect of the business. Now, each manages a specific area. As President, LaFortune handles product distribution, managerial, business and legal issues. As those areas of expertise are a far cry from his training as a civil engineer, LaFortune muses that he’s had to become a “real” businessman. It’s often stressful but he says he truly enjoys the challenge.

LaFortune still has a serious appreciation of beer, taking an active role in “account support” ~ drinking beer, hobnobbing with customers, attending events, and of course keeping up with the competition.

“It’s nothing like college but a couple of nights a week, we get out there,” he smiled.

According to LaFortune, the highly competitive craft beer market already has established brands, so he advises that anyone interested in starting a brewery would need very deep pockets. Many breweries have failed or are in poor fiscal health. In the early days, LaFortune and his partners worked upwards of 80 hours a week. It took 10 years for the company to become financially stable.

The Wachusett Brewing Company currently has 450 draft accounts in bars and restaurants, representing a total of 700 draft lines, and supplies beer to 1,000 package stores statewide. LaFortune is proud, not just of those numbers, but of what they represent.

“They’re what we consider retained, secure accounts. They want to carry our beer,” he said. “It’s a serious statement. There are tons of breweries in New England that would love to have our lines.”

LaFortune says the best part of his job isn’t the beer ~ it’s working with two of his best friends. There are lots of laughs but they’re serious about the business. He has no regrets or reservations about mixing business with friendship.

“If you need partners and you see similar people with a similar work ethic you think you can trust, go into business with them. I trust these guys to the highest level that could be.”

For Ned LaFortune, it’s all about his buds, the brews and the business.

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lifestyle

12.06 PulseTRAVEL

Take a Break from Fruits Cakes and Bad TV Specials
We’re Going on Vacation!
By Beau Taylor

Well, here comes winter ~ and you know you’ve gotta’ grab yourself a holiday getaway before all that unselfish-giving-to-others stuff takes over your life. So what you need is a few options on where you can go before all that madness sets in (or once all that madness sets in and you decide to just say, “Screw it all, I need some fun!”).

Short on cash? No problem! Let’s start off with the four day vakay of your dreams… OH YEAH, we’re talking VEGAS, Baby!! You know you want to…c’mon…and maybe you can even win some extra holiday spending money while you’re at it, right? And we all know that what happens in Vegas stays in… well, never mind, you know the drill.

One of the tricks to Vegas is knowing when to go ~ and the first half of December is THE time to go. As America snuggles into its family holiday scene, the casinos need to reach out and touch…you, and they do it with discounts. Check online to find some great deals. I looked at Expedia.com and Orbitz.com and sure enough, Bingo! ~ How does four days at the HOOTERS CASINO HOTEL LAS VEGAS sound?! Yee- hah! Non-stop air Boston to Las Vegas, three nights at the Hooters hotel (and since you’re so hot, you’re only paying for two nights ~ the third’s on the house, in true high-roller style). I’ll bet (Get it? Vegas? Bet?) you didn’t even know there was a Hooters hotel, not to mention that it’s right off the strip in Vegas. So, all this is yours for under $360 per person total. Plan for temps in the 60s. Sweeeest. Just be sure to spend some time outside of the right-there-onsite Hooters bar, guys ~ there’s a whole town out there and there’s a lot that’s legal just in Nevada…of course we’re talking about gambling …wink wink.

Now, if you’d feel a little guilty about spending time on a mini vakay for yourself when you really should be spending time spending money on holiday gifts for your friends and family, why not combine the two? There’s nothing like a quick road trip to New York and the phenomenal shopping/shows/restaurants/nightclubs that await you. And since we’re not up to breaking the bank just yet, the secret with NYC in December is “the later the better.” You want to hold off on your Big Apple excursion ‘til as close to the Christmas holiday as you can. The whole rest of the world is there the first two weeks of the month and that’s when you’ll see rooms at the Sheraton New York, Hudson (Phillip Starck’s ~ as in the amazing Delano in South Beach Starck ~fab new property of DELANO South Beach fame) or even always reasonable Hotel Penn going for close to (ouch) $400 per night! Wait until around the 20th and these rooms will plummet to $200 or less per night. The stores are having their sales, the Rockettes are still kicking up their heels and heck, we can drive there whenever we want in just about 3 hours from Wormtown or take (with iPod firmly in ear) a bus (just remember to steer clear of the accident-prone Fung Wahs so that you actually make it to the Big Apple!). Winter in NYC is absolutely gorgeous and the city is buzzing with even more energy and excitement at this time of year, if you can believe it.

All right ~ I promised that we’d get to a trip that could really max out the credit cards (always easier to swallow if it’s someone else’s bank we’re breaking, so feel free to mention to your special someone that he or she will be…appropriately rewarded…for springing for this getaway!), so here goes. Nothing says cold New England winter better than a warm, private, stay in a world-class tropical paradise.
We’re going to the Dominican Republic ~ not the part all your little sister’s friends are considering for Spring Break…no Sirree. We are going to spectacular spot on the eastern shore called Punta Cana. This gem has been an almost-secret spot for the last few decades, full of stunning half-moon white beaches, turquoise waters and forests of coconut palms swaying in the breezes. Basically, it’s just one of the best places on the planet.

Julio Iglesias and Oscar De La Renta made Punta Cana their new home (separately, Silly, we don’t want to start THAT rumor!) and are two of the primary developers of the Punta Cana Resort and Club ~ and that’s where we’ve reserved a tropical, pastel-colored beach bungalow just for you. These two- bedroom beauties are ocean FRONT (not ocean view, if you know what I mean). At $470 per night, we have you in for three nights. And yes, you can fit up to four people in the bungalow, but let’s face it, the whole reason for going someplace so delicious is so that you can be there ALONE with someone equally delicious (unless you prefer to do a little shopping for yourself upon arrival, perhaps picking up a yummy cabana boy to show you the local…customs?)…and you’re going to want that extra room for your luggage, too, so just get the idea of bringing Mom and Pop on this little excursion. Air from Boston is excellent, figure around $450 per person for coach (I know, I know, it would be nice to fly to a first-class resort in first class, but let’s not be greedy. Save the extra for tipping that cabana boy). The food there is out of this world ~ almost as amazing as the beach.

Hooters and the glitter and sin of Las Vegas, the Rockettes and shopping in the Big Apple, or Julio on the beaches of the Dominican Republic ~ so many choices, so little time. So get to deciding and then get to going ~ ‘cause before you know it, you’ll be looking at a long, cold January and wondering why you didn’t kick up your heels while you still could.

Best travel shopping spots online: for Vegas packages, airfare or NYC Hotels try www.orbitz.com or www.Expedia.com ~ and if you’re going my way, www.puntacana.com

Happy Holidays, you fun lovin’ people, you!

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lifestyle

11.06 Designing Women

By Leeanne Griffin

Forget trekking to mall if you’re looking for distinctive, one-of-a-kind pieces of fashion or jewelry. You can find them right in your backyard.

The creative juices are flowing for two Central MA women who are turning their passions for designing into bona-fide business opportunities.

Courtney Ryan – Jewelry

West Boylston’s Courtney Ryan, 21, has been designing jewelry for several years. She has a store at etsy.com, an online market for “buying and selling all things handmade.” She has more than 300 jewelry items available there, ranging from crystal pendants to clay charms. Her most unique designs look good enough to eat ~ glazed ceramic beads decorated to look like chocolate truffles, cinnamon buns and cookies.

“Weird and wonderful ideas always pop into my head, especially in my dreams,” Ryan wrote in her etsy.com profile. “It just sparks the imagination ~ and the crafts run wild.”

Ryan said that although she has no formal art-school training, she’s been creative her entire life and her jewelry styles have evolved throughout the years. Her inspirations are high fashion, new-age jewelry, and modern ideas and design concepts.
“Designing is fun to me because it is never-ending, and I love waiting for new challenges to be presented to me,” she said. “It pleases me when I know people are wearing my jewelry around the world, and appreciating what I’ve made,” she said. “That’s my main fuel to continue.”

In addition to her website, Ryan has also sold jewelry at local gift shops and craft fairs. Those experiences have taught her a lot about the business end of design: “I’ve learned to never share your secrets, to protect your designs, and to protect any copyrights you may have,” she said. “You need to get your name out there with sales, and don’t forget business cards to get exposure.”

Visit Courtney’s etsy.com store at www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=18364

Kelly Ann Gorham – Clothing

For 23-year-old Kelly Ann Gorham of Clinton, fashion designing came out of a stressful period in her life. Suffering from a disability, she was in and out of the hospital and was often unable to get out and see her friends. Designing funky “rave”-type clothing became a healthy creative outlet during those times.

“I make a lot of my designs when I’m in the hospital or home sick, so I figure if I’m going to spend time on them…they should be comforting and look good,” Gorham said. “That’s why I tend to use bright colors and write positive messages, and make spunky things in all kinds of sizes.”

Gorham gets her ideas from a variety of sources ~ friends’ suggestions, trends, books, music, and thrift stores. She buys items from the Salvation Army, she said, and figures out how to customize them to her style.

“Fashion and clothing communicate personality, ideas, and beliefs,” Gorham said. “[This way,] my friends and I get to wear things we’ve specifically thought of and wanted, and it’s all our own.”

A student of complementary healthcare and massage at Mount Wachusett Community College, she said her education has also influenced new design ideas.

Gorham mostly designs fashions and accessories for herself and friends at the moment, but is looking to branch out and share her work with a larger market. She has set up a PayPal account and is looking to launch a MySpace page and website to display and sell her fashions.

“As far as my fashion statements, I’d like to try and incorporate these new ideas into designs with a positive message,” she said. Stay tuned to www.myspace.com/thriftyniftyniblets for more of Kelly’s designs!