Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness * Edge-Of-Your-Seat Exciting, Heartwarming, Reminds Us Of The Importance Of Love.

Dr. Stephen Strange casts a forbidden spell that opens the doorway to the multiverse, including alternate versions of himself, whose threat to humanity is too great for the combined forces of Strange, Wong, and Wanda Maximoff. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Nyara A., comments, “The thrilling Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, written by Michael Waldron, keeps you on the edge of your seat—you silently root for Doctor Strange as he embarks on the daunting journey to save America Chavez.” Katherine S. adds, “Right from the start, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is action packed and keeps you on the edge of your seat for the duration. The movie evolves the depth of these Marvel characters that we already know and love, and it introduces us to new characters that are likely to be fan favorites.” Tiana S. wraps it up with, “This film pulls you right into the multiverse with action-packed scenes from the opening credits right up until the credits at the end. The visual effects and cinematography will have feeling like you’re traveling through your own multiverse.” See their full reviews below.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

By Nyara A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

The thrilling Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, writtenby Michael Waldron, keeps you on the edge of your seat—you silently root for Doctor Strange as he embarks on the daunting journey to save America Chavez. Not only exciting, this film is also heartwarming, as the characters show the viewers the true importance of love. The acting is emotional and grounded in reality, even though the Marvel world is fantastical. Marvel fans will be fully engaged as they travel through the endless and unknown multiverse with Stephen Strange.

The storyline follows Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) as he tries to save America Chavez’s (Xochitl Gomez) powers from being stolen by the indomitable Wanda, the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen.) The unlikely duo must travel deep through the uncharted multiverse in order to defeat Wanda, but along the way, how will Strange and Chavez overcome the seemingly impassable obstacles that they will inevitably face? Wanda just wants her children back, but how much is she willing to sacrifice and destroy in order to return to her content family life? 

As usual, Benedict Cumberbatch portrays Stephen Strange’s beautiful complexity with ease, making his work seem simple. I forget he is even acting. To me he is truly Doctor Strange. Xotchil Gomez, although new to the Marvel Universe, starts off with a bang. She acts in a relatable and comical way, and it is impossible not to root for her with every step. The CGI is scarily realistic and absolutely essential to the story.  The marvelous monsters are gruesome, each universe is unique and colorful, and the fight scenes are powerful—all because of the CGI. The music in this movie, by composer Danny Elfman, makes the action even more dramatic and gives the audience a pump of anticipation and adrenaline. Music even plays a pivotal role in one scene as it becomes a tool and a weapon in battle. My favorite part of the movie is the first time Dr.Strange travels with America to a new universe and experiences wonder and fright and ultimately awe.

The message of this film is that love is the most powerful kind of magic. One may be strong or supernatural, but familial love comes before any other superpower. This message is beautiful, relatable, and uplifting, especially for those of us who miss someone we truly love. The film starts really quickly and immediately draws the viewers into to the plot, but there are many macabre scenes that may be frightening to a younger audience. 


I give Doctor Strange, into the Multiverse of Madness 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10-18, plus adults. It was released in theaters Friday, May 6, 2022.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Right from the start, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is action packed and keeps you on the edge of your seat for the duration. The movie evolves the depth of these Marvel characters that we already know and love, and it introduces us to new characters that are likely to be fan favorites.

Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) encounters fourteen-year-old America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) who has the power to travel the multiverse, but she doesn’t know how. Strange joins his old and new allies to go on a thrilling and perilous adventure that pushes the limits of the multiverse.

The special effects are not just out of this world, they are out of this universe. Everything from intense fight scenes and portals through the multiverse to scary creatures and witchcraft, the CGI lives up to the high standards of a Marvel movie. My favorite performances in the movie come from Elizabeth Olsen, Xochitl Gomez and Rachel McAdams. Elizabeth Olsen, as Wanda Maximoff, really sheds new light on her character as she displays a more complex personality. Xochitl Gomez plays America Chavez and brings a very refreshing yet powerful performance. Rachel McAdams (as Christine) shows the audience an independent girl-boss side to her character. Make sure to look out for some surprise cameos and always stay for the credit scenes at the end.

The message of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is to try to make the most of your circumstances as “multiversal” travel isn’t usually an option. This movie contains violence and some scenes that will be frightening for the faint of heart.

I give Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18, plus adults. Marvel fans will love this movie. It released in theaters May 6, 2022.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
By KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Tiana S., age 11

Four Doctor Stranges, epic battles, twists and turns and dimension travel are just some of the thrills you can expect in the new Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness! This film pulls you right into the multiverse with action-packed scenes from the opening credits right up until the credits at the end. The visual effects and cinematography will have feeling like you’re traveling through your own multiverse. 

In Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), is having dreams about the universe being in danger and him trying to save a young girl, America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez). The adventure begins when he encounters her in his real-life universe and learns that she has the power to travel dimensions. They run into Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), also known as the Scarlet Witch, who is on a mission to steal America’s powers so she can re-connect with her two sons. It’s an all-out battle between happiness vs. sadness, evil vs. good and even dreams vs. nightmares.                                             

The main characters of this film are Stephen “Doctor” Strange, Wanda Maximoff, America Chavez, and Wong (Benedict Wong). I love the different versions of the characters and learning the backstory of each from their own universe. My favorite part of this film is when America and Doctor Strange are falling through tons of dimensions and pass through one that turns them into paint. America even jokes about how hard it is to eat in that universe. The music battle scene between two Doctor Stranges was hilarious and creative. They use their powers to fight each other with music notes while upbeat piano tunes play in harmony. The Marvel character cameos from films such as The Fantastic Four, Captain America, and even a special appearance from the X-men that, once again, will wow Marvel fans.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness shows us that just because someone stumbles, and falls, doesn’t mean they’re lost forever. Many of the characters multi-verse versions didn’t always make the best decisions. People deserve to have second chances to become better. Parents should be aware of foul language, gory scenes, some jump-scares, and violence.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is very entertaining. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. I recommend it for kids ages 13 to 18, plus adults. You can watch Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness now in theaters only.

Celebrate National Shrimp Day at Rubio’s with $6.99 Shrimp Entrées

Celebrate National Shrimp Day at Rubio’s on two days this year, Monday, May 9 and Tuesday, May 10, when all Rubio’s shrimp entrées are just $6.99 with the purchase of any drink. Simply enter the coupon code TASTY with your order through the Rubio’s app, or online at Rubios.com. Or, scan the coupon https://www.rubios.com/coupons/national-shrimp-day when ordering at any Rubio’s.

Rubio’s guests can visit locations across California, Arizona and Nevada and enjoy any shrimp entrée on the menu, including seasonal favorites, the Chipotle Honey Argentinian Shrimp bowl, burrito or two taco plate. Available for a limited time, the wild-caught, grilled Red Argentinian Shrimp features a sweet-spicy kick of honey and chipotle peppers. With its large size, bright color and exceptional flavor, wild Red Argentinian Shrimp is a Rubio’s fan favorite. Guests can also choose other popular shrimp entrees including the Salsa Verde Shrimp two taco plate, the Shrimp and Bacon burrito, or the Mexican Street Corn bowl with grilled shrimp.

Guests are encouraged to order ahead through the Rubio’s app or Rubios.com. For more information about Rubio’s Coastal Grill and to view the menu, visit Rubio’sFacebook and Instagram

Credit: Rubio’s Coastal Grill.

8 Best Slow Pitch Softball Bats

Little things have been more complex than choosing a slow-pitch softball bat when purchasing sporting items online. Space-age substances, proprietary formulations, a wide variety of pricing, and an alphabet soup of regulating organizations that determine what is or isn’t allowed can transform a pleasurable experience into a grind. Understanding what you’re searching for is essential when selecting a bat. To begin, just first comprehend yourself as a hitter. Are you a large, powerful power hitter looking for the most leverage? Is there a speedier middle infielder that can leg out grounders? Or would you like to frustrate the opposing team by hitting them where they aren’t supposed to be due to your better bat regulation?

The bulk of bats may be classified according to design, Construction, and resources.

Design:

Bats are usually classified into one of two kinds based on how the bat is constructed. One-piece bats are made of the same substance altogether, and the complete assembly is made up of simply one workpiece. These bats are a touch harder and more robust, and they’re ideal for hitters looking for more straight energy transfer to the shot.

Two-piece bats are made up of two pieces: a grip and a muzzle linked together. This increases the bouncing effect at impact by allowing the bat to bend more throughout the swing.The flexible structure also reduces resonance, which means you’ll feel less sting if you smash a pitch shot later on down the road.

Construction

Inside the barrel of contemporary bats, there is either a solitary or a double-wall design.

The bouncing effect is accentuated with the double bats because the external wall flexes until being strengthened by the interior layer, which creates a potent energy transfer to the ball. As a result, several leagues have banned them, so double-check with those before purchasing.

The bat’s components will significantly influence its effectiveness and longevity.

Aluminum is combined with other metals to form thin, sensitive walls in alloy bats.

Aluminum or an aluminum alloy is used in almost all one-piece bats. These are the most affordable, but they are often the most lasting.

Carbon fiber, graphite, fiberglass, and even Kevlar make composite bats. They depend on the elasticity of these components to boost the barrel’s bouncing effect. Please note that composites bats require some break-in time until you can get the most out of every substance, and they wear out faster than metal bats because the barrel’s flex strength diminishes over time.

Wood is the preferred material for a conventional league or a genuine striking artist.

How to Select the Correct Size

Because practically all slow pitch softball paddles are 34 inches in diameter, a hitter’s primary consideration in selecting a bat size is heaviness. While a giant bat allows a stricter player to produce more force, thinner bats in the 26 to 28-ounce range are best suited for u-trip softball and also to mediocre players or those looking for more excellent bat management.

DeMarini Juggy

DeMarini’s legendary juggernaut style is back, with a ZnX Alloy grip for greater rigidity and longevity and ultra-soft compressing for a match feel right out of the box. This final stage bat, developed in consultation with Dale Brungardt, one of professional slow-pitch softball’s best power hitters, has a 12-inch overall length and is excellent for professionals who want the most range from every moon mission.

Dale Brungardt Signature

This bat is a remake of the DeMarini Nautalai that arrived in 2019 and quickly became a slow-pitch sensation. It has more bulk in the muzzle (a plus if you can swing it) and a fiber-reinforced construction for ultimate longevity.

Easton Fire Flex IV

Easton’s flagship Fire Flex model for 2020 is available in various settings to suit your swinging style, namely balanced, mid-loaded, packed, and extra-laden. Each of the three overloaded models has a 13.5-inch barrel, whereas the flat model has a 13.75-inch barrel.

TPS Power Load Lousiville Slugger

Louisville Slugger collaborated with Jeff Hall to rethink its famous TPS model, incorporating a newly designed energy recovery mechanism that promises to give maximum force every time you hit. The bat has one of the lightest shells in the brand’s history, resulting in a super-duper and hence simple to swing, stick with an additional half of finish. The TPS is supposed to be hot right out of the box, but some early testers have reported that it can take up to 100 strokes before something feels available to compete.

AXE Bats Avenge Blackout

AXE bats have a unique grip that aids in getting into the proper hitting stance during impact. The grip for the 2020 version of the Avenge Blackout is somewhat narrower to match slow-pitch professionals’ frequently unconventional grips better. The bat has a graphite fiber composite head known for its toughness but may miss the pop that slimmer versions provide. However, this is an excellent pick for casual gamers who need something to last for several seasons. Furthermore, it has been authorized for usage by all central regulatory agencies.

Easton Salvo

The Salvo is a canceled mid-range bat with a single composite body with a 13.5-inch barrel hailed for its mix of pop, toughness, and pricing. Both the equitable and final stage variants are still available at various vendors.

Miken Freak

The Miken Freak is a two-composite construction with many different weights, including “X Maxload,” which adds a half-ounce of finish. Bats in the Freak series feature a 12-inch barrel and weigh between 24-and 28 ounces.

Miken Izzy Psycho

Originally launched in 2015, the Miken Izzy Psycho was re-issued in 2019 with the same components and specs. It was resurrected due to a public request that should speak volumes about its reliability: After four years of progress, there is still much work to be done. Notwithstanding four years of technological and creative advancements, this one-piece composites bat with a full pound of end packing is still known for its sturdiness and hot straight out of the wrapping.

Conclusion

One of the most excellent ways of spending a Saturday with relatives and friends is to play slow pitch softball. Yet unless you go up to the bat, it’s all good and dandy. The most passable dead pitch softball bat should offer you an advantage over your opponents and allow you to smash for the bleachers easily.

Robby May 5th Pet of the Week

Robby is a delightful little pit bull mix, a senior at 10 years old. He was turned in by his owner and has been with us for a while. He has a gimpy knee but it doesn’t affect his health, and he’s now ready for something he hasn’t thus far experienced: a forever home to spend the rest of his sunny days enjoying. Shelter hours are Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at 7700 E. Spring St. at the entrance to El Dorado Park (no parking fee for shelter visitors). You can email PetAdopt@longbeach.gov to speed the process for adopting Robby. Ask for ID#A671976.

(This rescue encouraged by the usual suspects.)

2ND & PCH Celebrates Cinco de Mayo and Mother’s Day Events in May   

Photo provided courtesy of 2ND & PCH.

2ND & PCH, Long Beach’s premier outdoor shopping center, welcomes the community to celebrate Cinco de Mayo and Mother’s Day at the center in addition to complimentary community events for all to enjoy throughout the month of May. 

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, the center will host live music and dance performances Thursday, May 5th on the grand staircase. Thee Academy will provide ballet folklórico dancing, rope tricks and live mariachi music from the company’s youth group Mariachi Garibaldi Juvenil de Jaime Cuellar and Ballet Folklorico Los Angelitos dancers 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm. Mickey and Minnie Mouse will be present in Ballet Folklórico attire for dancing and a meet and greet 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm followed by a performance from premier mariachi group Mariachi Corazon de Maria 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm. 

The outdoor movie series, PCH Movies & Moonlight, continues on Friday, May 6th at sunset with a showing of The Goonies. Movies are complimentary for the community to enjoy, weather permitting. Self-seating will be available along Seaport Way on a first come first serve basis. Guests are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs and blankets. 2ND & PCH offers an array of restaurants, retailers and specialty services within the center for the community to enjoy before, during or after the movie.

2ND & PCH is a perfect place to spend Mother’s Day weekend from an array of brunch options, cocktails and shopping to enjoying live music on the grand staircase from local musician and composer Evyn Charles on Sunday, May 8th 11:00 am – 1:00 pm. Follow 2ND & PCH on Instagram and Facebook to participate in a special Mother’s Day social media giveaway for the opportunity to win a giftcard from participating tenants. Giveaways are hosted monthly; follow the center’s social channels to learn more and participate. 

Shop for hand-crafted treasures and support local artisans at the Creative Communal Makers Market on Sunday, May 15th 11:00 am – 6:00 pm along Seaport Way. The unique open-air market features a curated assortment of vendors, kids activities, a photo op and live music.

Young adventurers are welcome to an interactive Pop-up Kids Club on Wednesday, May 25th 10:00 am – 12:00 pm featuring performances from CoComelon character JJ, storytime and crafts at the picnic benches nearest Johnny Was. All are welcome to participate; Kids Club is ideal for ages 2 to 10 years. 

For additional event information and a complete list of tenants visit 2ndandpch.com or interact with us via Instagram or Facebook.

Credit: 2ND & PCH

Last-Minute Mother’s Day Gift Suggestions!

Mother’s Day is almost here! Don’t forget to get Mom something special! Here are a few more of my favorites!

Moms need to have time to relax! They spend a lot of time taking care of everyone! CBD Living Relaxing At-Home Spa Kits are the perfect way for a tired parent to relax and have some “me time.” Each curated kit contains a bath bombbath saltslotion and soap in one of four luxurious scents (Relaxing LavenderSoothing EucalyptusRefreshing Coconut Lime and Zenful Amber Bergamot).

I absolutely love this Spa Kit! I had the opportunity to try out the Relaxing Lavender Kit and I highly recommend it! My favorite item is the Bath Bomb but I can’t wait to try the Bath Salts! Any of these kits will be a hit with Mom!

I love MyBevi!

A while back I featured MyBevi and they absolutely are one of my favorites! You may remember that one of their water bottles is one that I take to the gym with me! I actually take it everywhere because I love it especially because my water stays cold. Well, I love the new Hollywood Tumbler as well! It’s so stylish!



Price: $25.00
Every mom on the go needs a sturdy water bottle! Fill up their new Hollywood Tumbler and enjoy your favorite drink that stays cold for hours while you run errands, pick kids up from practice, etc. All MyBevi
products are vacuum insulated and stainless steel, keeping your drinks hot or cold for hours. Plus, it’s splash resistant so no more stains in your car or couch.

Love these shoes!

Famolare shoes are a must-buy! These totally take me back to the 70’s and the 80’s!

Price: $128.00 – $188.00
The iconic sustainable fashion brand from the ‘70s is back! Women who wore Famolares in the 70’s and 80’s shared an identity, supporting peace, pushing for civil rights and rallying to
protect the environment. Now 50 years later, not much has changed. The world needs Famolare now more than ever to continue to make waves together. That’s why owner Victoria Staten is bringing back the brand that supports what you stand for and what you stand in! These are so cool, stylish and so comfortable! These are a must for this Spring and Summer!

Love this Face Cleanser!

ATTITUDE Living – Micellar Foaming
Cleanser
Price: $9.95
ATTITUDE’s facial cleansing foam is made with natural ingredients containing a gentle surfactant (disodium cocoyl glutamate) that deeply cleanses and detoxifies your skin without irritating it, while reducing the adhesion of pollutants. The vegan formula contains
watercress and Indian cress super leaves, known for their regenerative properties and high vitamin and mineral content. Designed for all skin types, this dermatologically tested EWG VERIFIEDTM micellar cleanser can also remove light makeup. I love how refreshed my skin feels after I use this product!

Wildwood Grilling- Does mom like to grill? Wildwood Grilling’s brand-new Hamburger Grilling Gift Set includes everything mom needs to make the perfect burger! Each set includes a smoker box, smoking chips, spices, grilling planks, patty press, grill scraper and more. It’s available on Amazon, for less than $50! I also love that this one is available on Amazon.com.

Wildwood’s products (in a variety of wood like cedar, hickory, cherry, alder etc.) pair wonderfully with anything you put on top (meat, vegetables, fish, etc.). Their rubs like chicken spice, rib rub, hippie gold spice and American jerk taste great on a variety of protein and veggies. Made in the USA, and all products are 100% pure and clean with no pesticides, herbicides or foreign matter. Available nationwide at Whole Foods Market, Sprouts, Amazon, Albertson’s, Hy-vee and www.wildwoodgrilling.com.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Self Disclosure: I received free samples to facilitate this featured holiday post. Images were also provided.


























Celebrate Mother’s Day With These Children’s Books

NANA LOVES YOU MORE by Jimmy Fallon; illustrated by Miguel Ordóñez (Feiwel & Friends, on sale March 29, 2022, Ages 1-3): Jimmy Fallon, host of NBC’s The Tonight Show and #1 New York Times–bestselling author, is back with a book that pays tribute to all of the NANAs out there. Whether you call her Grandma, Gram, Gammy, GiGi, Meemaw, Abuela or Bubbie – there’s nothing like a NANA’s love.

LET’S DO EVERYTHING AND NOTHING by Julia Kuo (Roaring Brook Press, on sale March 22, 2022, Ages 3-6): A lush and lyrical debut picture book about the marvels—big and small—of childhood.

MY PARENTS WON’T STOP TALKING! By Emma Hunsinger and Tillie Walden (Roaring Brook Press, on sale April 5, 2022, Ages 3-6): A girl’s plans are ruined when her parents have the audacity to stop to talk to the neighbors in this laugh-out-loud picture book about patience. This is a clever, irreverent take on a universal childhood dilemma, written and illustrated by two stars in the comics world.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Self Disclosure: I received copies of one of the books to facilitate this post. Images were also included.

5 Activities That Will Bring the Generations Together

It isn’t always easy to keep several generations of the same family together and create a bonding experience that everyone can enjoy. Your older family members might not be able to get about as well as they once could, while your kids never want to sit still. It might be tricky to keep everyone happy but here are five activities that will bring the generations together.

Crafting

Crafting is a dying art and things like knitting, crocheting, and sewing will become obsolete if nobody teaches these skills to the younger generation. In times gone by, children were taught these skills from a young age and there is nobody better than your older relatives to teach the young ones how it is done. Making something together is a fantastic bonding experience and it will give them something they can keep.

Cards

Cards are an easy game to play, and they don’t take up a lot of space. For example, if your elderly relatives have moved into a Huntington assisted living facility such as Brandywine, you can pop a deck of cards into your pocket before you visit and this will keep all the generations occupied for hours without needing a lot of room. By the end of your visit, you will all know some new games or card tricks.

Board Games

Board games are a fantastic idea if you want to bring the generations together. Make sure that everyone is sitting comfortably and then play an old favorite such as Ludo or Monopoly or let the kids introduce you all to a brand-new game. Just remember not to get too competitive or it might not be as good a bonding exercise as you thought.

Create a Family Tree

A family tree is educational and children will love learning about their relatives as much as the older generation will enjoy reminiscing about them. There are lots of facilities online that can help you to trace your ancestry back hundreds of years and discover who lived before you and learn their stories. This may turn into a large-scale project which is great because it will keep the whole family busy for months and give them time to bond well.

Reading

Reading is a great challenge for kids whatever their age. A young child will enjoy looking at picture books with an older relative whereas a child who is learning to read can practice and be guided. This will be great for your elderly loved ones too as they will feel that they are helping and getting involved. An older child who can read well can discover new books to read while they are listened to. This will be relaxing for your elderly relative, and they will enjoy hearing new stories or re-discovering ones they loved when they were young.

The age gap between the generations does not have to be a barrier to them enjoying spending time together. Use these five activities to unite the generations and have fun.