“Friends” Reunion for HBO Max on the Way

After a year of curiosity, we finally have an answer. The “Friends” reunion is on the way.

Production for the highly anticipated “Friends” reunion hit a delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which was supposed to film last year.

The reunion is officially on and starts production the week of April 5.

The original cast of Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox, David Schwimmer, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, and Matthew Perry will take place on the original Warner Bros soundstage (stage 24) located in Burbank, California.

Photo Credit: NBC

Schwimmer, who played Ross on the beloved sitcom, confirmed the reunion on The Graham Norton by sharing, “I’m going to Los Angels – we’re going to be shooting the Friends reunion next week, I’m going to see everyone next week for the first time in many years.”

He continued sharing that “There’s nothing scripted, we’re not in character. We are all ourselves, although there is one section of it that I don’t want to give away, but we all read something.”

Photo Credit: NBC

“Friends” originally aired on NBC for 10 seasons from 1994 to 2004. The original reunion was February 2020 with a premiere of May 2020 on HBO Max. However, due to the pandemic, everything was delayed.

You can re-watch every episode of “Friends” on HBO Max now and keep an eye out for the reunion’s official release date by following HBO Max on Twitter.

Written By: Mike Stark | @MikeStarkCA

Coachella and Stagecoach Canceled for 2021

Hold off on getting out your Coachella and Stagecoach outfits because two of the most popular music festivals have been canceled again.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and Stagecoach Festival will not occur this year. According to the latest public health order released on January 29, 2021, from the California Riverside County.

The health order states both music festivals are “music concerts and gatherings of an international scope, attracting hundreds of thousands of attendees from many countries, including several disproportionately afflicted by the worldwide COVID-19 epidemic.”

The order continued, “If COVID-19 were detected at these festivals, the scope and number of attendees and the nature of the venue would make it infeasible, if not impossible, to track those who may be placed at risk.”

Last week, California Governor Gavin Newsome lifted the statewide, regional stay-at-home order; that had been in effect since the middle of December. In a virtual news conference on Monday, January 25, 2021, Governor Newsome stated the “hospitalization rate was down nearly 20% in the past two weeks.”; He continued, “Everything that should be up is up, and everything that should be down is down; case rates, positivity rates, hospitalizations, ICUs.”


Photo Credit: Escape Velocity at Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival by Andrew Ruiz on Unsplash

2021 marks the second year in a row where both of the popular music festivals are canceled.

Both festivals were scheduled for April 2020; Then postponed to October 2020 due to COVID-19.

In June 2020, the county canceled both festivals. Coachella and Stagecoach festival operator; Goldenvoice did not provide a statement as of January 30, 2021, regarding the festivals for 2021, and neither did official festival organizers.

Last year, Coachella headliners included Travis Scott, Frank Ocean, and Rage Against the Machine. While stagecoach headliners included Thomas Rhett, Carrier Underwood, and Eric Church.

Which festival are you missing more right now? Coachella, Stagecoach, or both? Sound off by hitting me up on socials @MikeStarkCA on Twitter and Instagram.

Written By: Mike Stark | @MikeStarkCA

Cover Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival Ferris Wheel by Aran Mtnez on Unsplash

Mike’s Semester Survival Guide

Welcome back! I can’t believe that Winter Break is already over and another semester is here. Exactly like last semester, this semester will be fully online for classes. If you didn’t do well last semester with the all-online format, here are some tips to help get you through this semester.

Use A Calendar

Photo Credit: Screenshot of Apple Calendar from MacOs Big Sur from Apple YouTube Channel

Whether it is your phone, computer, or a paper calendar, it is essential to stay organized throughout the semester. I love to use my phone calendar. I have an iPhone and MacBook Pro and using my iCloud account, the two sync together, which is perfect when entering assignment due dates and virtual appointments.

If I enter an assignment on my iPhone, it automatically shows up on my MacBook calendar and vice versa. Android users can use their Google account synced with their android and use google calendar.

School Hack: Canvas, our new learning management system in which we submit assignments, has a feature where you can connect their calendar with your own, so all assignments professors enter with due dates can be automatically entered on your calendar.

More information on how to add events to Google Calendar are available here and for iCal (Apple Calendar) here.

Use A To-Do List

Photo Credit: Screenshot of todoist app from todoist.com

You have your calendar to keep track of assignments, which is great, but having a to-do list is also important. Being able to plan out assignments without putting exact times is important in keeping you organized.

I use a to-do app called todoist. I can organize everything by category (homework, class, work, cleaning, etc.) to let me know what I need to get done for that day. It is important to focus on one day at a time so you do not feel overwhelmed. Focus on what projects/tasks need to be done for that day and that day only and get them done.

Take Advantage of Office Hours

Photo Credit: Office Hours Clip Art from nextgengovt.com

Virtual learning is not easy, one thing we have learned from the previous semester. My suggestion to help you this semester? Take advantage of office hours with all of your professors. Hold yourself accountable in attending office hours and schedule it like a meeting on your calendar.

Office hours are the perfect time to check in with your professor to ensure you are on the right track in class, clarify any confusing concepts, or asking a simple question. You do not need to be there the entire time, but checking in can help you stay on track throughout the semester. Remember, your professors are here to help you.

Use School Resources

Photo Credit: Screenshot of Coding from heylagostechie on Unsplash

Even though we are fully online our school resources are still available to us virtually. The library on-site may be closed however everything has transitioned online. You can chat with a librarian who can guide you in the direction of finding research materials for a project.

You can access the entire library database remotely from home. Need a hard copy of a book? Not a problem. The library is offering domeside book pickup for students who need physical copies of materials. For more information on Library materials, you can visit the library website.

Have a paper due and need some feedback before submitting it? The writing center offers both live (real-time) appointments and “e-tutoring” appointments.

A tutor will provide written comments on a paper within 48 hours of the appointment day and time. You can learn more about the writing center appointments by visiting their website.

Need help with math? The Math and Stats Learning Center has transitioned virtually and has live tutors available via zoom. You can learn more about the Math & Stats Learning Center by visiting their website here.

Make Your Health a Priority

Photo Credit: Screenshot of Healthy Food from Brooke Lark on Unsplash

The pandemic is still here, we are still learning virtually, and places are still closed. It is essential for us to take care of our physical and mental health during this time.

When visiting the grocery store stock your cart with more fruits, veggies, and protein than processed food like chips, power bars, candy, and drinks. It is ok for a treat once a week but most of the week we should be eating healthy.

Here are some healthy recipes to get you started. In addition to eating healthy, working out is essential.

Sweating it out by completing a workout has proved improved mood and handling of stress. Even if it is for 30 minutes, take the time to complete a workout that you find on YouTube or check with your local gym to see if they’re operating outdoors. Remember to check in with your doctor before starting any new workout routine.

Schedule “me” time

Photo Credit: Screenshot of Surfer from Daniel Guerra on Unsplash

Every day we should be scheduling “me” time and this should not include your workout as that is mandatory for physical health. For mental health, we should select an activity that we enjoy and want to do, but stop scrolling social media.

We need to take a break. “Me” time can be anything from journaling to facetime with a friend or family member.

Take 60 minutes out of our day to watch a favorite tv show, go for a run, or practicing meditation.

Don’t forget to also stay hydrated with plenty of water throughout the day. Self-care is essential for our mental health and keeps us going through the semester.

If at any point you are struggling emotionally throughout the semester there are campus resources available here to point you in the right direction to get back on track.

Good luck this semester, remember to take it one day at a time and check in with me on social media @MikeStarkCA on Twitter and Instagram to let me know what tips worked for you and if you have some to share with me.

Written By: Mike Stark | @MikeStarkCA

Cover Photo Credit: Computer Desk from Galymzhan Abdugalimov on Unsplash

The West Wing Original Cast Reunites for Special with Voting Mission

President Barlet and his staff are back for a reunion special, and I could not be more excited. The special, A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote is the first time in 17 years, the original cast reunites with the creator and executive producer Aaron Sorkin for a theatrical stage performance of the episode “Hartsfield’s Landing” from season three of the series.

The original cast, which includes Martin Sheen (President Barlet), Allison Janney (C.J. Cregg), Rob Lowe (Sam Seaborne), Dulé Hill (Charlie Young), Richard Schiff (Toby Ziegler), Bradley Whitford (Josh Lyman), and Janel Moloney (Donna Moss), will all reprise their roles for the special, to raise awareness about voting in the upcoming general election. The special will also have guest appearances from Michelle Obama, President Bill Clinton, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Elisabeth Moss, Samuel L. Jackson, and Sterling K. Brown. The special, filmed over a couple of days at the beginning of October inside the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles, California, followed all COVID-19 safe protocols.


Screenshot of original cast photo of The West Wing from NBC.

In the trailer, we see President Barlet (played by Martin Sheen) start us off by asking, “What’d I miss?” A lot Mr.President. We also see the same scenes from the episode re-created beautifully on stage, emphasizing how important it is for us to vote. In the clip, we see Sterling K. Brown sign on for the special in replacing the late John Spencer character Leo McGarry. Spencer died of a heart attack in December 2005.


Screenshot of A West Wing Special When We All Vote title card from HBOMax.

From 1999 – 2006, on Wednesday nights at 9 PMThe West Wing took viewers inside the west wing of the white house, the oval office, and senior staff offices’ location for the fictional Democratic administration of Josiah Bartlet. You can watch The West Wing reunion titled “A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote” beginning Thursday, October 15, 2020, on HBO Max’s streaming service (subscription required). You can binge all seven seasons on Netflix before watching the special for those who haven’t seen the series during its original run. For those who have seen it before, you can catch reruns of popular episodes every Friday morning on TNT until the general election.

After watching the trailer, I am so ready for the special as this reunion is overdue. Will you be watching The West Wing special? Let me know on socials @MikeStarkCA on Instagram and Twitter.

Written By: Mike Stark

First Photo Source: Screenshot of President Bartlet from A West Wing Special When We All Vote Trailer on YouTube.