Introducing Mr. Jingle

BY  |  Wednesday, Nov 30, 2011 2:30pm  |  COMMENTS (12)

You better watch out, you better not cry, because Mr. Jingle, man-about-Baristaville, will be keeping an eye on boys and girls big and small this December.

Mr. Jingle loves hot cocoa, coffee, cake, Beef Bourguignon, Bobby Darin and Frank Sinatra. But most of all, he loves boys and girls who appreciate everything they have big and small. He’s very good friends with Holly, you could say they have a special connection, and can be found at her home enjoying cocktails on cold nights.

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Montclair’s SVPA Presents “Showcase 2012: A Night at the Round Table”

BY  |  Wednesday, Nov 30, 2011 1:00pm  |  Comments Off on Montclair’s SVPA Presents “Showcase 2012: A Night at the Round Table”

The Montclair High School of Visual and Performing Arts continues its tradition of presenting an end of year showcase of student talent. Last year it was all about songs of bringing the songs of British musical theater to the stage. This year the show, Showcase 2012: A Night at the Round Table, centers on the famed Algonquin Round Table, a celebrated group of New York writers, critics, actors and wits. It is a trip through the 1920s, with songs like “Fascinatin’ Rhythm,” “Putting on the Ritz” and “I Got Rhythm” alternating between solos and large company numbers that feature the singing and dancing talents of 30 MHS students.

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Chicken Boy: The Amazing Adventures of a Super Hero with Autism

BY  |  Wednesday, Nov 30, 2011 11:00am  |  Comments Off on Chicken Boy: The Amazing Adventures of a Super Hero with Autism

I have a superhero inside my head.
I call him Chicken Boy.
I love to eat chicken fingers, ketchup and French fries and then he comes out.
People sometimes look at me when I make my superhero sound.
That’s because they can’t see my super hero powers.
Doctors say I have autism which is a fancy word…
for me living inside my own brain.

Gregory G. Allen, Managing Director of Westminster Arts Center at Bloomfield College, has a godson with autism. Greg and Gabe spend (almost) every Wednesday at TGIF’s eating dinner “Most children with autism need a set schedule where they know exactly what is going to happen. And let’s just say we don’t veer off of that Wednesday night of eating at Friday’s where he can get his chicken fingers, French fries and red velvet cake.” explains Greg. One night at dinner, Gabe’s sister Natalie (a freshman in high school) and Greg were watching Gabe and started thinking of a super hero named Chicken Boy and a children’s picture book idea was born.

Greg noticed that most children’s books about autism are from the perspective of a sibling or a friend and never from the mind of child. He expalins, “This book (while conceived by myself and Natalie) is told through his voice as a very basic attempt of a child with autism to try and alleviate the concerns of other children around him because of what they perceive as ‘strange’. The story shows that children with autism are just like other children, capable of imaginations full of wonderful pretend games.”

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New Report Shows Kids Are Bad for Your Health

BY  |  Wednesday, Nov 30, 2011 9:00am  |  COMMENTS (2)

I’ve always believed my kids were draining the life out of me, but now I have proof. A report issued this month confirmed what I have long contended: Kids are hazardous to your health.

The study put out by Televox, a software company specializing in health and business communication, reported that 46% of parents across the country say “their overall personal health is not in good shape.” The report points to the over-scheduled, fast-paced lifestyle that has parents shuffling from school activities to sports to music lessons to birthday parties all while trying to squeeze in homework, housework and paid work.

Certainly no one would suggest parenting was ever easy, but the demands today seem, well, crazy. And I ask you, my fellow health-failing friends, is it not enough to birth them, feed them, clothe them, bathe them, teach them, groom them, and generally attend to their every need? Now they want years from our lives?

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Maplewood’s Dickens Village 2011

BY  |  Wednesday, Nov 30, 2011 7:00am  |  COMMENTS (1)

The surest harbinger of the holidays in Maplewood is the sight of the Dickens Village Houses in downtown Ricalton Square. These eight miniature Victorian-style structures, which bring to life scenes from Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, have been a beloved tradition in town for over half a century.

The houses are opening to the public this weekend, kicking off several weeks of festive holiday events including caroling, wagon rides, real live reindeer, holiday music and of course, the Jolly Old Elf himself.

Speaking of: don’t miss Santa’s arrival by fire truck this Saturday, December 3 at 1 p.m. Later, hear local celebs and dignitaries read from classic holiday stories, and listen to the jazzy sounds of The Collectives, a band featuring local students. Mayor Vic DeLuca caps off the day with the lighting of the Christmas tree.

Saurday, December 10 brings horse and wagon rides through the village, reindeer from Edelweiss Farms and a holiday book reading at Words Bookstore.  The 3rd Annual Maplewood Village Holly Walk is from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., with local shops and restaurants offering up holiday treats.

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Montclair Mounties State Championship Game

BY  |  Tuesday, Nov 29, 2011 4:00pm  |  COMMENTS (3)

The Montclair Mounties, which are 11-0, have made it to the State Championship and will go against the North Bergen Bruins (7-4) in the North Jersey, Section 1, Group 4 title game this Saturday, December 3 at the Met Life Stadium.

I graduated from North Bergen High School in 1991 and I love Montclair. I’m torn. Do I root for my alma mater or my hometown team? I’m going to just wish them both luck and play it safe.

Student buses will be available to bring the fans to the game and will depart from the Midland Ave Gym entrance on Saturday at 3 pm. If you want a spot, you need to sign up at the Athletic Office before Saturday.

Tickets are available for purchase daily at the Athletic Office and at the main bldg lobby between 6 pm -8 pm: $9 adult / $3student.

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Giveaway: Mary Higgins Clark and Local Authors Excite Students to Read

BY  |  Tuesday, Nov 29, 2011 2:30pm  |  COMMENTS (5)

Oliver Conheeney gets a hug from his Grandmother.

WINNER: Congratulations to booklover92

Best-selling mystery writer Mary Higgins Clark is helping Watchung Elementary school hold a successful Read-a-Thon!  This past Monday, Ms. Clark read to Watchung Elementary School first graders, including her grandson Oliver, from her new children’s book, The Magical Christmas Horse. This holiday tale, which was part of our holiday book giveaway, is Clark’s second children’s book and her second collaboration, after Ghost Ship, with painter and illustrator Wendell Minor.

The first grade classes at Watchung Elementary School were impressed when, in the introduction to the author, they learned that she has sold over 100 million books in the United States alone (“Woah!” was the awed response.), and that her words have been translated into as many languages as the children could name – and then some.  They listened attentively as the prolific mystery and suspense writer read from The Magical Christmas Horse, a story about a boy’s wish for his brother at Christmas.

Following the reading, Mary Higgins Clark laughed with the children and answered a variety of questions about the story.  She also listened as a line of excited children took turns sharing their favorite part of the book and telling her what they were giving to others (including their pets) for the holidays.  This was especially appropriate considering the story’s theme of the magic of a heartfelt wish for someone you love.

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Christmas Trees: Where to Cut Them Down or Buy Them

BY  |  Tuesday, Nov 29, 2011 12:30pm  |  COMMENTS (2)

It’s that time of year — time to put up your Christmas tree!

If you’re the real deal and would never go artificial, you’re in luck. Around Baristaville, choices for Christmas trees abound. Want to go rustic? Head out to western Jersey or up to the border of New York state for a true cut-it-yourself tree experience. Looking for a quick pick-and-wrap experience? We’ve got you covered.

Here’s the scoop on where to get your Christmas tree:

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Butting In With Parenting Advice: Just Do It

BY  |  Tuesday, Nov 29, 2011 10:30am  |  COMMENTS (4)

If you take a look around some of the parenting sites on the interwebs, you see a lot of complaints about “free advice.”  It seems everyone and her great-aunt is ready to interject a “Isn’t your baby too warm?” or “His poor cold toes!” or “She’ll develop an overbite if you don’t take that pacifier away.”  And that doesn’t even begin to get into the hot button topics of breast/bottle, sleep training, organic/conventional, and cloth/disposable diapers.

Most times, it’s best to just smile and nod and move on.  Most times it’s also best to just keep your opinions to yourself – especially to strangers.  But sometimes, in cases more immediate than lost socks or a beloved pacifier, we have an obligation to both listen and speak up.

In the last year, I’ve become that annoying person who approaches you and butts in.  At least when it comes to one issue: Children in shopping carts.

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The Stories Pirates Performing Live This Friday

BY  |  Tuesday, Nov 29, 2011 9:00am  |  Comments Off on The Stories Pirates Performing Live This Friday

Local kids write the stories. The entertainment troupe called Story Pirates brings the words to life. Check out the Story Pirates–a group of teachers, actors and comedians–this Friday evening at Hillside School in Montclair when they put on one of their outrageous, over-the-top musical shows.

The performance is a fundraiser that will help Northeast Elementary keep their beloved Story Pirates program at their school. Students from Northeast will make guest appearances alongside furry monsters, Viking costumes, sacks of treasure and flying cats. Story Pirates is a New York City-based educational organization. They come into schools to present a series of writing workshops ending in showcase assemblies that celebrate creativity and writing.

Want to attend? Want to get Story Pirates at your school? Click to the jump for the details… Continue Reading

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