Meet and Greet Packages. Are they $worth$ it?

There’s a new way to make more money beyond acting, singing or dancing. Nowadays fans can pay a hefty price to meet and greet performers. But buyer beware. These costly meet and greet packages are not always worth the price. Organizers are charging $200-$300 above ticket prices for VIP Meet and Greet Packages that do not deliver.

VIP Meet and Greet Packages are relatively new and costly, and sometimes a great disappointment to fans. It is important to do your research before parting with a large sum of money. Even the biggest fans will feel cheated if the Meet and Greet is a fail.

Here are a few things to consider:

1. Will you actually meet, as in physically shake hands with the performer?

Eve    @evelienh   How not to do a Meet & Greet. £500 for a Q&A is not worth it, sorry.  5:59 AM - 5 Jul 2014

Eve @evelienh
How not to do a Meet & Greet. £500 for a Q&A is not worth it, sorry.
5:59 AM – 5 Jul 2014

Some fans don’t get within twenty feet of the performer at these Meet and Greets. It sounds like a stupid question, after all, it is a Meet and Greet. But the organizer’s definition might be very different from yours.

2. How long will the meet and greet last?

Fans have complained of 3 second meet and greet experiences. Is it really worth the extra money?

3. How many other fans will be in attendance?

In some cases over 200 other people are there and the performers/performer is just plain tired by the end. It isn’t their fault, and remember they might be tired after performing on stage, they aren’t super human. Is that going to be your fond memory of the pricey meet and greet?

4. What are the precise details of the Meet and Greet? What will happen from start to finish?

Perhaps you were you promised a photo with the performer, some signed memorabilia and did not receive it?

5. What happens if the Meet and Greet is cancelled?

If a performer becomes ill, or simply decides not to do the meet and greet, what happens? Will you get refunded?

6. If photos are permitted will you be able to get your picture taken with the performer?

Selfies? Group photos? Sometimes cameras are not permitted. Sometimes flash photography is not permitted. Sometimes it is just a $400 awkward moment.

7. What do you do if you feel ripped off by a meet and greet package that fails to deliver?

It is one thing to pay $900 for a Miley Cyrus Meet and Greet package that delivers all that was promised, groping included, but what if you paid a hefty sum and not all meet and greet promises were met?

  • Find out who the organizer or promoter of the Meet and Greet was and send an email complaint to them regarding your issues with the meet and greet.
  • Start up a Facebook group page and invite others to come and share their experiences.
  • Get on social media and connect with people on twitter or instagram who have taken pictures to illustrate their disappointing meet and greet experiences.
  • Contact local consumer advocacy groups and ask what can be done to correct the issue.
  • Be courteous to the performers. Remember, they are not responsible for the organization of these meet and greet packages, the promoters and organizers are.

Important things to do before the Meet and Greet

1. Save every email communication from the organizers.

2. Ask precise questions about the details of the Meet and Greet and save responses.

3. View social media prior to purchasing Meet and Greet packages for reviews if possible. #MeetandGreetRipOff   on Twitter can be useful.

Hashtag Wars on Twitter #Ruinamagazine

Every now and again Twitter lights up with hashtag wars. It means when someone starts a challenge and others take it up. Like today for instance. The hashtag war started by a user @midnight, Chris Hardwick of Talking Dead’s account, was #ruinamagazine. And twitter users did their very best to do that, making for some very funny titles and magazine covers.

From, “The New Yorker But Written By People Who Play Hashtag Wars,” to “Reader’s Indigestion,” and then there is “Irrational Geographic.” Or how about “Thyme Magazine?” Instead of Food and Wine you could read “Fool and Whine.” Or how about the good old fashioned “Prayboy?” For the more dignified among us there is “Better Gnomes in Gardens.”

If you need visuals, well go no further.

Men's Fitness?

Men’s Fitness?

Sports Illustrated?

Sports Illustrated?

Vanity Fair?

Vanity Fair?

Here’s a few more unfortunate mistakes that actually made it onto the shelves….

Layout is EVERYTHING. Parents?

Layout is EVERYTHING. Parents?

When the water reflections don't do the title any justice...Sh!t Yourself?

When the water reflections don’t do the title any justice…Sh!t Yourself?

Tails Magazine informs us, somewhat casually, that master chef, Rachel Ray, not only eats regular food, but her family and dog also.

Tails Magazine informs us, somewhat casually, that master chef, Rachel Ray, not only eats regular food, but her family and dog also.

Or my own personal favorite from Wallace and Gromit’s The Curse of The Ware Rabbit,

The Yorkshire version of Hello magazine. Ay-Up!

The Yorkshire version of Hello magazine. Ay-Up!


In July we paid a quick visit to Scotland, my first visit, but hopefully not my last.

The Caledonian sleeper train took us overnight from London to a small town in western Scotland called Fort William. I found that the stopping, uncoupling of carriages and slant of the tracks during the overnight journey contributed to a very disruptive sleep. I slept about two hours on the train. The entire train we travelled on will be defunct as of 2015 as new carriages will be added to the Caledonian fleet.

We stayed overnight at  Inverlochy Castle Hotel.The castle was a little too isolated for me, but if you like quiet and remote, this place is for you. It boasts hunting and fishing as part of it’s experience.

From there we took a steam train across Spean Bridge, the bridge made famous by the Harry Potter films, to a town called Mallaig on the western coast of Scotland. The highlands were spectacular and made me think of the western coast of Ireland, Connemara, but on a larger scale.

We returned to Edinburgh and explored the beautiful, and lofty, Edinburgh castle, built on a volcanic plug and rising high above the city. Edinburgh was once known as the Athens of the north, but it was said that the city’s stench was so bad you could smell it from miles away. Hence the sewer system that spawned the wearing of platform shoes, no I am not kidding.

The underground tours, locally known as the sewer tour, explains the architecture of the city, the “closes” and the illegal retailers that set up shop beneath the bridge. It was here that we learned of the Burke and Hare murders. The tour was interesting and worth the time and money.

We stayed at the Caledonian Hotel, which was once a railway station.

From walking the Royal Mile to strolling the coast at Mallaig I would definitely return to Scotland.

The citizens will vote yea or nay for Scottish Independence on September 18th. From my talks with the older generation of Scottish people, tax money from Scotland is being funneled into London and tax payers up north don’t see much of a return on their taxes. The younger generation seems indifferent to independence.

I was shocked to learn that Scotland has its own separate currency from the UK. The value is the same as the UK but the look of the notes is different. Remember to use as much of the Scottish currency in Scotland, because it will not be accepted in the UK.

Coming soon: Barmbrack

                     Coming soon to and Kindle

                     Final Cover


 a play


Loretto Horrigan Leary

Mary is a young Irish woman living in New York city. She shares an apartment with three other Irish women. Rosie, the pretty new immigrant, just moved in.

It is a time of change in America. President John F Kennedy visits Ireland on June 28, 1963, and promises peace and freedom in his speech to the Irish parliament. For many Irish-Americans it is a time to celebrate Irish culture and heritage in the melting pot they call New York city.

Bridget is Mary’s neighbor and good friend. Mister Nowak is a survivor of the holocaust. They have learned through their own experiences that life is too short, live it as you wish to.

Is life like Barmbrack? Filled with strange surprises, forcing us to accept our lot and make do with what we find?  Or can we shape our destiny? Is it the luck of the draw, or do we have control over our happiness?

Mary decides, upon listening to Bridget and Mister Novak’s shared experiences of loss, that if she wants true happiness she must go after it.

For Mary, and those around her, actions do speak louder than words. Everyone is ready for peace and change. But peace and change mean different things to Mary.

10 Week Pilates Challenge asks for donations to American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

The average daily views of my Pilates Vlog hovers at 100. That means that around 100 people are either browsing and or doing the 10 week challenge. Thank you!

It is my hope that the 10 week challenge will provide you all with a feeling of health and well being.

I ask nothing more of you than to continue the exercise plan you have created from this 10 week challenge and to make a donation to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Please click on AFSP to make your donation. Thank you.

I will be doing a sponsored walk on October 11th 2014 and if you wish to make a donation and sponsor me you can do so by clicking on the blue life saver to the left of the Home Screen. My brother committed suicide on October 11, 1990, so there’s my reason why.

The average daily views of my Pilate Vlog hovers at 100. That means that around 100 people are either browsing and or doing the 10 week challenge. Thank you! It is my hope that the 10 week challenge will provide you all with a feeling of health and well being. I ask nothing more of you than to continue the exercise plan you have created from this 10 week challenge, and to make a donation to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Please click on AFSP to make your donation. Thank you. (Picture Source:

Top 10 reasons the new WordPress Beep Boop Boob editor is a stunning failure.


I switched back to my old editor mode because this new one was not easy to use and hard to navigate.

Originally posted on Watts Up With That?:

(WUWT readers, please excuse this distraction while I holler at WUWT’s hosting provider, As Willis would say, “my blood is mightily angrified”.)

I have generally been supportive of most upgrades, for example the recent upgrade to allow the top editor bar to float with scrolling is a HUGE time saver.

Unfortunately, the new Beep Beep Boop “upgrade” is a crash-and-burn moment in user interface design.

Top 10 reasons the new WordPress Beep Boop Boob editor is a stunning failure.

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Shorelines Arts Festival September 18-21 2014

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The Shorelines Arts Festival runs from September 18th to the 21st in Portumna, County Galway. Last year’s festival was packed with fun and creative works and this year promises even more things to see and do.

The festival offers a plethora of events which are sure to whit everyone’s appetite. From drama to history, from literature to food, from art to upcycling, and with workshops galore, there are plenty of events to keep you busy from morning until night.

Most events sell out quickly due to popular interest. You can purchase tickets to events online prior to the festival by clicking here.

If you are in the area on or around September 18th to the 21st I would strongly suggest that you visit the festival. The town boasts a Jacobean Castle as a venue for plays, an Irish Workhouse Center for art as well as musical events and plays, and the locality is steeped in history, a rich and diverse history that comes to life as you stroll from castle to workhouse.

I am attending the festival, flying from Connecticut, USA, because I admire how the organizers and volunteers put so much effort into showcasing my hometown of Portumna.

If you are part of the Irish diaspora, remember that September in Ireland is a beautiful time of year! It’s a great opportunity to experience Irish history, culture and art all in the one town at the Shorelines Art Festival 2014. Hope to see you there!


Mental Health Awareness Challenge

How about this for a great idea? On Mike Rowe’s Facebook page, one commenter to Rowe’s post/tribute to Robin Williams said the following:

Thefrugal Witchyii Since I never met him or knew nothing about him except what I see on TV. I knew the Man was evidently 63 years old. So I donated $63 & took 63 cans of food to a local shelter …and donated in the name of Mrs Doubtfire. My Granny who was from Maryland use to do this with anyone she knew or admired. She use to say do not mourn the Dead but Celebrate the Life they had….and what they shared with others. I adored his movies…My Fav was Mrs Doubtfire……. ( May I see you on the other side Mrs Doubtfire you gave us much Joy while you were here. )
So how about creating a new challenge? Let’s donate $63.00 to Suicide Prevention, or donate $63.00 worth of food to a local food pantry. And I really like the idea of using Mrs. Doubtfire as a name. A nice gesture towards remembering someone we never met but whose death has brought attention to a topic that needs attention.

Mental Health Awareness: More Awareness Needed

Mental Health

Because suicide has touched my own family, I struggle to understand the lack of awareness in other people regarding the inability of those who suffer with depression to “get on” with life.

In a response to an article in the Daily Mail about the recent death of Robin Williams, and that’s just one place that you’ll find this lack of awareness, there are a myriad of comments that show how people don’t fully understand how debilitating depression can be. Not just to the person who is depressed, but to the people who love them as well.

If there was as much attention given to Mental Health Awareness as  there is to AIDS and Cancer and presently ALS we wouldn’t see comments like those above. These comments show a complete lack of awareness of mental health issues.

Is it because the person who has depression seems in perfectly good health on the exterior? Is it because we can’t see the hurt? Is it because there is still a taboo in our society about depression and other mental health issues? I don’t know. But I do know that apart from being disgusted at how much information, and precise information, we know now about Robin Williams’ death, we as a society are showing  lack of knowledge about mental health.

We shouldn’t know how the man died, it is enough to know that he suffered from depression and ended his life. What we should know, and what we should be asking about is how many people suffer from depression? Are medications successful in treatment of it? What are the signs to look for if someone is contemplating suicide? These are the questions and answers we should be interested in, not the gory details of how he did it.

Having lost a brother 24 years ago to suicide, I know that my brother didn’t wake up one morning in his 17th year of life and suddenly decided to choose depression. I know his depression was a chemical imbalance. He didn’t decide to just try depression on to see how it suited him. He didn’t wake one morning in his 28th year thinking this is my last day. That was a decision made in a moment of despair, and utter loss of hope. 

Depression is indiscriminate. It doesn’t care how wealthy, smart, good looking, poor, ignorant, or plain you are. Depression chooses you.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we dedicated as much effort to Mental Health Awareness as we are currently doing to this ALS ice water challenge?

I just heard that FOX news reporter, Shepherd Smith, called Robin Williams a coward for taking his own life. This is the ignorance I am talking about.

In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Perfection, Success and Invisible Scars


#RIPRobinWilliams #MentalHealthAwareness

Originally posted on Breise! Breise! Extra! Extra!:

May is Mental Health MonthThe hurt and pain run deep, and these internal undetectable scars and wounds often go unnoticed, sometimes for years.

Then a traumatic, life changing event triggers the onset of symptoms which now become recognisable as part of a routine. A life long pattern of practices that when looked on with 20/20 vision, which always comes with hindsight, points to mental health issues, or what I call invisible scars.

Invisible because despite the progress made in mental health treatment, the topic is still somewhat taboo in our society. Despite breakthroughs in science, the invisible nature of what happens in our brains makes it fearful. It is terra incognita, the unknown land, and we are all fearful of the unknown.

Here’s what the professionals do know about brain health though, a lack of chemicals such as serotonin, dopamine and some others can effect our moods, perceptions of reality and our relationships with others.

Diabetes is a…

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