RP Funding Center – Lakeland

Central Florida’s premiere entertainment, sports and convention venue offers loads of indoor entertainment, and is within walking distance of downtown Lakeland’s unique shopping and dining options.

Arena, Theater, Exhibit Hall and Conference Center

The RP Funding Center is the only multipurpose facility in Central Florida with four distinct venues under one roof: the 10,000-seat George Jenkins Arena, 2,186-seat Youkey Theater, 28,000-square feet Exhibit Hall, and 34,000-square feet Conference Center.

Broadway Series

Theatre lovers enjoying a Central Florida vacation will enjoy The RP Funding Center’s annual Broadway Series, featuring five nationally touring productions. Enjoy upbeat musicals, on the edge-of-your-seat dramas and timeless classics. Locals who subscribe to their Broadway Series Subscription Package receive entrance into all five shows, free parking, priority seating, special discounts and 10 percent off pre-show dining.

Entertainment Series

The RP Funding Center’s annual Entertainment Series brings down the house with thrilling live concerts, ballets, standup comedy, dance performances and more.

Famous groups and performers who have and will take part in the entertainment series include The Tenors, Neil Sedaka, various Dancing with the Stars alumni, America’s Got Talent winner Jackie Evancho and Kathy Griffin.

Lakeland Pro Rodeo Classic

If you’re lucky enough to be in town for the Lakeland Pro Rodeo Classic, you must go. Professional cowboys and cowgirls compete for cash, shiny gold buckles, and most importantly, the title of champion – it’s a boot scootin’ good time.

Public Ice Skating

One of the coolest things to do at The RP Funding Center in November and December is ice skating. Dates are scheduled to coincide with Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks, and sometimes summer vacation.

Expos

Annual favorites for Central Florida visitors include Collectorama, featuring collectibles including currency, knives, watches more; Buckler Arts & Craft Show, which occurs in the summer and fall; The Original Sewing & Quilt Expo in the winter; Snowbird Extravaganza, which features 50,000 sq. ft. of vendors and entertainment; the Log & Timber Home Show and Lakeland VW Classic, which is held outdoors and features multiple vendors and a parts swap. The RP Funding Center also hosts multiple knife and gun shows each year, and the occasional boating and hunting expo.

When Did We Start Folding Pizza?

It’s easy to understand why someone might think folding pizza started in New York City. Most of Italy eats pizza with fork and knife, so it appears as though the tradition started after the dish left its native country. But we have to keep in mind that pizza is not necessarily Italian to begin with, it’s Neapolitan, and the culture of Naples is key to the understanding of pizza at its origin. Naples was an active port and one of the most densely populated cities in Europe at the time pizza was gaining popularity in the 19th century, but as a peasant food it was not often eaten by outsiders. Even today, the most common reason for visiting Naples is as a connecting point to go somewhere else (Capri, Amalfi, etc). Pizza was a street food enjoyed by the lazzaroni (peasants) thanks to its low price point. It’s unlikely these people were eating a meal at a table with fork and knife. But because of their circumstances and the culture of Naples, this method was isolated until its resurgence a century later in New York City.

To sum it all up, people were definitely folding slices of pizza before post WWII NYC, but it was only happening in Naples and never achieved the status of compulsory eating method the way it did in New York City. So your 20-something friend might want to be careful about using television programs as historical references.

7 Things You Can Guarantee Will Happen On Christmas Day

1. Getting an unexpected gift and being forced to feign joy and excitement.

Maybe you get something you already have? Maybe you get given yet another generic shower gel package? Maybe you get given some piece of tat that there is no way in hell you would ever use? Whatever the case, this happens every year and let’s face it, you’ve become a bit of an expert at faking Christmas cheer at this point. The last thing you want to do is offend someone’s gift taste.

2. Eating yourself one roast potato away from a heart attack.

A loved relative knocks up a Christmas dinner of titanic proportions and you soldier through and eat every morsel you possibly can. You think you are going to combust but know that seconds are already on their way. You take a deep breath and prepare yourself. Refusing extra food is not an option. You can’t face seeing the look of disappointment on the cook’s face as you decline the festive dinner they slaved for hours over. By the time thirds are offered you have to accept defeat, justifying it by saying you are “saving yourself for dessert”; thereby reluctantly committing yourself to even…more…food…

3. Getting at least one gift that you can’t use because it doesn’t come with batteries.

This should be a criminal offence. Is there actually anything more disappointing? Your childhood is already scarred with memories of opening toys that didn’t come with batteries; yet you never learn.

4. A family feud over *insert trial reason here*

This could be about anything. What channel to put the TV on? What time to open presents? What flavour gateaux to have for dessert? Take your bets. Either way, brace yourself for a tense moment or two on this fine day.

5. Watching the same Christmas films you do every year.

Die Hard, check. Home Alone, check. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, check. Love Actually, check. You know these films like the back of your hand and Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without them. But there’s always that one person who insists on talking through the film; who you will sit and internally rage against for the entirety of the movie.

6. Taking board games a bit too seriously.

Bitch please, no one knows Monopoly like you do. You are the Monopoly Grandmaster and no one will stand in your way – that includes your blood relatives and closest, longest friends. You will happily disown a loved if they lose your Pictionary team a point and you have no qualms about bending the rules slightly to keep your title.

7. Being hounded by personal questions from your loved ones.

Is any subject deemed too personal? No. Your love life, career plans and past mistakes could be brought up at any point. It is likely to hit you when you least expect it; but in the same way you have mastered the art of feigning joy, you’ve mastered the art of talking about your life as if you actually know where it’s going and what you’re doing.

Why We Kiss Under the Mistletoe

If you’ve ever wondered why we kiss under the mistletoe and how the plant got that strange name, well, wonder no more.

The name for mistletoe derives the fact that mistletoe tends to spring from bird droppings that have fallen on trees, with the seeds having passed through the digestive tract of the birds. Thus, the plant was given the name “misteltan” in Old English from “mistel”, meaning “dung”, and “tan”, the plural of “ta”, meaning “twig”. Hence, “mistletoe” is another way to essentially say “dung twig”.

Not only is mistletoe a dung twig, but most varieties of this plant are partial parasites, being unable to sustain themselves on their own photosynthesis, so they leach what they need from the particular tree they are growing on. Some varieties of mistletoe, such as the North America Arceuthobium pussilum, are full parasites in that they get all their resources from the tree they are growing on and have no leaves.

So where did the tradition of kissing under a parasitic poop twig come from? The mistletoe has been considered a prized plant throughout history going all the way back to the Ancient Greeks, Celts, the Babylonians, and Scandinavians. For instance, the Ancient Greeks considered the plant an aphrodisiac; believed it aided in fertility; and could be used to achieve eternal life.

According to Ancient Babylonian legend, they had the closest thing to our current tradition of kissing under the mistletoe. At that time, single women looking for a mate supposedly would stand outside of the temple of the goddess of love. Mistletoe was hung over the entrance to the temple and when a potential suitor would approach one of the ladies, they were supposed to bond with him. They did not kiss, however, as kissing wasn’t a way to show affection at that time in the Babylonian empire.

As for a more direct root of our kissing tradition, Norseman had many traditions and legends concerning the mistletoe. One tradition was that mistletoe was a plant of peace and so that when enemies met under the mistletoe they were obliged to stop fighting for at least a day. Eventually, this spawned a tradition to hang mistletoe over the doorway of one’s home for peace and good luck.

Mistletoe became associated with Christmas from this tradition of hanging mistletoe in one’s home to bring good luck and peace to those within the house. The mistletoe would be hung around the New Year and the previous year’s mistletoe would be taken down, with its powers apparently tapped. The new plant would then provide this luck throughout the year.

By the 18th century in Britain, this evolved into the kissing tradition we have today. At this time, it became popular to create a ball of mistletoe that would be hung as a Christmas decoration. If a couple was found standing under the mistletoe, they were then obliged to kiss if the mistletoe ball still had berries. For each kiss, one berry would be taken from the ball. Once all the berries were gone, all the “luck” in love and marriage was considered to be drained out of the mistletoe and it was now considered bad luck to kiss beneath it, instead of good luck as before.

Properly Deal With Nervousness

Anxiety can be a really big nuisance, specially when you are already pressured with maintaining up with everything else you have to offer with in existence. If you feel your life could use some aid from nervousness then this article and the tips within can support. There is a way to get rid of anxiety, you just have to know how.

Appropriate respiration is crucial to reducing sudden feelings of anxiety. Employing a rely to manage your respiratory can be an effective way to decrease nervous inner thoughts. Choose a depend, this sort of as 3 in, and 3 out. Repeat this sample, right up until the thoughts of nervousness have fixed, and passed.

Anxiousness is detrimental to your well being and your normal overall health schedule need to usually contain methods to decrease your everyday dose of nervous feelings. Established aside a couple of minutes each day that can be used to consider care of your very own nicely-becoming. The emphasis of this time should be undertaking one thing that gives you joy.

Remove unfavorable vocabulary from your speech. Just making use of unfavorable words, can deliver you down and when you truly feel down, you are a lot more probably to have an anxiousness assault. Change individuals negative words with words of encouragement or simple constructive phrases. Use them in your conversations, as properly as, your inner chatter.

Being energetic with exercise of some sort will aid to melt away off energy that your physique would set to use to feed your stress. Get out for a walk, consider a swim or just take up aerobics or yoga for optimistic bodily exercise. Anything that will really feel very good as you do it and burn strength is heading to help alleviate your anxiety.

You want to locate someone you can speak to about every thing. You will be in a position to speak via your inner thoughts of anxiety with this man or woman. Obtaining a person you have confidence in to confide in can really make a large variation. When you lock these thoughts inside, you boost the possibilities of an stress attack.

Keep oneself as occupied as achievable at all instances. When you have down time, it will be less complicated for your head to emphasis on unfavorable things and will, as a result, gas anxiousness. Begin your working day out by cleaning the residence, working in the backyard, looking through a book or undertaking some other action that you appreciate.

Physical exercise is one of the very best factors that you can do to help eradicate any anxiety that you come to feel. When you exercising, your human body flushes out all of the toxic compounds from the within out, which can boost your physique functionality. Exercise at minimum a single hour for every working day to increase the way that you come to feel.

1 of the biggest triggers for anxiousness is caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant. Not only does it encourage your body, but it also stimulate pressure hormones as effectively. If you want to get rid of nervousness from your existence, you need to have to begin with the removal of all caffeine from your diet plan.

You need to try out to add some deep respiration strategies to your daily routine, if you are struggling from feelings of stress. If you breathe from the diaphragm, it brings oxygen to your blood and that will assist you to unwind appropriate absent. Any time that you come to feel overwhelmed, you must just take a moment to do this.

When you are obtaining an stress assault, it is a very good idea to splash your confront with chilly water. Many men and women have read this, but they may possibly not do it simply because they believe that it is not going to actually support them. Actually, it causes what is acknowledged as a dive reflex, and it sends a concept to your brain to explain to your physique to gradual down.

Physical exercise is a excellent way to decrease your anxiousness. When you function up a sweat at the health club or outdoors you just come to feel much better about oneself. The more you get in shape, the less stress you happen to be susceptible to have as well. Check with with a physician to see if your entire body can get some exercise, and then, get to it.

At instances you will find oneself in various positions for the duration of a stress attack. If you have an nervousness assault, do whatever you can do in buy to preserve you distracted. Rely down from 100, do math troubles in your head, talk about good occasions you’ve experienced lately, and anything at all else that you can believe of that could distract you in a positive method.

What is the 1 thing that will eventually preserve anxiousness absent from you for excellent? When you suffer from stress, laughter or a smile can make a big big difference in your working day. Get a search all around and locate all these things that you can be grateful and cheerful to have in your daily life. When you are in the midst of an anxiousness attack, feel of something funny, this kind of as a joke or circumstance.

Rite Pharmacy reviews Do not strategy life or problems as a black-or-white circumstance. The entire world is awash with shades of gray. When you comprehend that the worst-scenario situation is not the only end result for a problem, you can comprehend that you have options to resolve the problem. Management your contemplating by not working in absolutes.

A great deal of men and women that are shy deal with anxiousness. Standard bodily exertion and deep respiration tactics may possibly be effective in aiding men and women deal with stress in a healthier way.

Make positive to get eight hrs of rest every night time if you happen to be vulnerable to nervousness attacks. Lack of sleep is a massive trigger of generating people anxious, make confident you get ample rest every day. When you don’t get ample slumber, it is even possible for your anxieties to trigger actual physical discomfort. You need to purpose for at minimum 7 hours of slumber each night.

Anxiety isn’t going to have to bug you day and night anymore, you can be by yourself once again and target on a lot more important items in life rather then managing your anxiousness. You now have the knowledge to get rid of stress in your existence, just remain sturdy and apply what you’ve got discovered right now and the stress will depart, but only if you want it to.

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ISO Presents Comic Opera

Professional singers join FSC students on stage

The Imperial Symphony Orchestra’s annual opera production welcomes opera professionals to Lakeland for a two-week rehearsal and performance schedule including special workshops for students. Puccini’s hilarious Gianni Schicchi, sung in English, is a comic opera based upon an incident in Dante’s Divine Comedy where Schicchi is condemned to Hell for impersonating the rich Buoso Donati in order to make Donati’s will favorable to Schicchi. The short, one act opera will be preceded by famous choruses with Lakeland Choral Society, Christina Dominski Sale (mezzo-soprano) and Mark Thomsen (tenor).

Tickets on sale October 16:
$60 • $40 • $15 students

(plus applicable ticketing fees)

Learn the history behind the songs and carols you love to hear during the winter holiday season as Maestro Mark Thielen leads this lecture.

Learn the history behind the songs and carols you love to hear during the winter holiday season as Maestro Mark Thielen leads this lecture.

Date:December 5

Time: 5:45 pm – 7:00 pm

 

Held the Tuesday prior to a performance, the ISO’s popular Tea & Symphony program takes guests on a musical journey! Tea & Symphony pre-concert talks are designed to enhance your enjoyment of the concert by providing insights into the works on the program. Enjoy a cup of tea and venture “inside” the music with Maestro Mark Thielen as he examines the life and times of composers, the structure and themes in the works and offers fun and interesting facts about symphonic music.

Add the series of Tea & Symphony lectures to your Lakeland Genesis Concert Series subscription for just $10 each!

Diving “feet first” into Opera

As the ISO prepares to celebrate the joys of the holiday season on December 12, the opera committee is also diligently working to finalize plans for Gianni Schicchi on January 20.

Following successful auditions in New York and Lakeland, the committee identified some exciting artists to join the cast in 2018 and 2019 including recent FSC graduate Alyna Francine as Lauretta and Grammy Award-nominated Daniel Bates as Rinuccio.

And now you’re wondering about the “feet first” mention in the headline, right? The opera committee has also created a fundraiser we can all support – OPERA SOCKS!

Using the 2018 poster design for Gianni Schicchi, the folks at bakdrop.com will custom print socks just for the opera. You can learn more and purchase your socks here: http://bakdrop.com/products/gianni

Bakdrop will donate up to 50% of sock sales to the ISO – and you’ll be able to collect socks for each opera for years to come!

Thank you for supporting the ISO and all the programs that bring live music to our community!

I’ll see you at the Symphony,
Brad Lunz, ISO President

Top 10 Black Friday Shopping Tips for 2017

Some of us wait all year for the Black Friday shopping season, our heads filled with the promise of scoring the best price of the year on a new TV, tablet, printer, or high-tech gadget. But don’t let all the Black Friday hype fool you. You might end up overpaying if you get taken in by so-so prices masquerading as fantastic bargains, and you can miss out on great deals because you didn’t do your research. (Check out the best Black Friday TV deals for 2017.)

No worries—Consumer Reports has been tracking Black Friday deals for years, so we’ve got you covered. Our top 10 Black Friday shopping tips below will help you get the best deal on the items you want and keep frustration—and overspending—to a minimum.

We are also tracking the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals we find on televisionslaptops and tablets, and smartphones.

1. Start early. Gone are the days when Black Friday simply meant checking the Sunday circulars to see which local retailers had the best deals. Black Friday has morphed into a whole month of deals and savings, and online retailers also regularly update prices throughout the event.

So to judge how good the actual sales really are once it’s crunch time, you’ll need to track the deals leading up to Black Friday. The same goes for Cyber Monday, which now stretches into a week of online specials.

2. Do your homework. Only rookies head out on Black Friday unprepared. Getting ready means studying the ads—in print and online—the weekend before Thanksgiving. CR has already weighed in on the Black Friday deals at Best BuyCostcoDellBJ’sTarget, and Walmart.

You’ll find tons of leaked Black Friday ad scans at bfads.netbestblackfriday.comdealnews.comgottadeal.com, and theblackfriday.com.

3. Compare prices. If you spot a great deal at one retailer, go to PriceGrabber.comPriceWatch.comShopping.com, or ShopZilla to make sure you can’t do better elsewhere. (Don’t forget Google Shopping and NexTag.com.) There are also a growing number of apps, such as ShopSavvy, Shopular, and BuyVia, that let you scan bar codes to compare prices, get discounts, and score coupons from local retailers. (See tip No. 6, below, for additional shopping apps.)

But remember, direct comparison shopping isn’t always easy. For instance, large retailers might apply their deepest discounts to TVs with a specific model number, which makes it difficult to be sure you’re doing an apples-to-apples comparison. In some cases, comparison shopping isn’t even possible.

4. Be loyal. Stores often have loyalty programs that offer sales and promotions to their members first, then let them earn rewards on what they buy. Signing up for Black Friday shopping alerts will get you the early word on promotions, coupons, and discounts. In some cases, you can even find out whether the products you want are in stock or eligible for a buy online/pick up at the store option that saves you on shipping.

5. Get social. The Facebook pages and Twitter feeds of your favorite retailers are a great way to find out about deals and promotions. Retailers will often reward customers who like or follow them with special alerts to Black Friday discounts and incentives. And of course texts, tweets, and social media posts are an easy way to share Black Friday shopping intel with your friends.

6. Phone it in. Before you head out to a store, make sure your smartphone is fully charged and loaded with a few of the comparison-shopping apps mentioned above, or Flipp, RetailMeNot, Shopkick, and SlickDeals. In addition to providing pricing info, they can often be used to place orders or monitor items via a personal watch list.

Many include a bar-code scanner to help you compare prices and a QR-code reader for coupon codes and special deals. The aforementioned Black Friday sites may also have their own shopping apps, as do the major retailers, such as Amazon, eBay, and Walmart. Amazon’s Mobile app, for example, lets you use a smartphone camera to scan products and price-shop online, and Walmart’s uses geolocation, so if you’ve ordered online, it will start getting your order ready the second it detects you’re in the store. But as the The Washington PostThe New York Times, and other news outlets reported last year, be on the lookout for fake apps that masquerade as well-known retailer apps.

7. Create a budget—and stick to it. Yes, this sounds simple. But Black Friday sales, especially the doorbuster specials available in limited quantities, are designed to get you into a store so that the retailer can sell you something else.

Decide ahead of time how much you want to spend on your Black Friday shopping spree, and do your best to resist impulse buying, especially if you’re not sure how good a specific deal is. If you find that you’re too free with your charge cards, try buying with cash this year and see whether you have better self-control. But if you are sufficiently disciplined, buy with a credit card that doubles the manufacturer’s warranty and then pay it off before any interest accrues.

8. Check all store policies in advance. It’s always good to know a store’s price-match and return policies. As noted in our Black Friday 2017 TV predictions article, we expect more retailers to price-match specific online and in-store deals this year. Almost all of the major retailers have some form of price-match policy, and they’ve been expanding them almost every year. But some stores might suspend their price-match guarantees during the Black Friday weekend on certain items, so read the fine print. Check the return and exchange policies for Black Friday sales to make sure that the store won’t charge a restocking fee for any item you bring back.

9. Avoid pricey accessories. You’ve just scored an awesome giant-screen 4K TV at an all-time low price, so don’t blow your savings by splurging on pricey accessories or extended warranties. (This is where retailers make their money, hence the hard sell.) If you know you’ll need an HDMI cable, buy it in advance from an online retailer such as monoprice.com or bluejeanscable.com. That way you won’t be pressed into overpaying at the store, where you might pay $35 for a 6-foot HDMI cable that performs similarly to a cable you can buy for less than $3 online.

10. The cheapest TVs aren’t always the best deals.Doorbuster specials draw people in with visions of savings, but they might not offer the best product for their needs. This is especially true for big-ticket items such as TVs. Just remember that you’ll probably be watching that TV for a number of years; if you’re not happy with its features or picture quality, you’ll wind up spending that time regretting the fact that spending an extra $100 could have gotten you a set you’d be happier with. Also, those loss-leader TVs are usually at their rock-bottom price. A retailer may have more wiggle room on a step-up model or flagship model, so during your Black Friday shopping don’t be afraid to ask for a better price on the TV you’d really like to own. (Read “Haggling Really Works When You Buy a New TV, Laptop, or Other Device” for more details.)

By James K. Willcox

Recipe of the Week: Pulled Pork and Sriracha Guacamole Grilled Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 8 slices french bread
  • 8 slices cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Sriracha Guacamole Ingredients

  • 2 large avocados
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 serrano pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon sriracha sauce

Instructions:

  1. Make the guacamole first so the flavors have a chance to meld. To make the guacamole, mash avocados together in a bowl. Add in remaining guacamole ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over a medium heat. Cook onions over medium-low heat until they start to brown and caramelize. About 20 minutes. Add in pulled pork. Cook just until pork is warmed through. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. To assemble a sandwich, butter one side of each slice of bread. With the buttered side down, place one slice of cheese on the bread. Top with 1/4 of the pork. Spoon guacamole over the top. Place a second slice of cheese on top of the guacamole and place another slice of bread on top with the buttered side facing up. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
  4. In the same skillet that you cooked the pork and onions in, cook sandwiches over medium heat until bread is golden brown and cheese has melted. Serve immediately.