February Around Town NYC


February 1st

*Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade & Festival12 -3pm Canal Street South
The parade usually winds throughout Chinatown along Mott, Canal, and Bayard streets, and along East Broadway. The spectacle features elaborate floats, marching bands, lion and dragon dances galore, Asian musicians, magicians, acrobats and procession by local organizations. The parade is expected to conclude at 3:00 pm, at which time an outdoor cultural festival will take place on Bayard Street featuring more performances by musicians, dancers and martial artists.

The Enchanted Pig3 & 7pm New Victory Theater, 229 West 42nd Street, Times Square
A funky and fresh opera from England tells the story of a modern day princess who is marrying an enchanted pig. Two hours in length with intermission. Suited for ages 7 +. Tickets $12.50 - $35. 646-223-3010.

February 2nd

*Kids Night on Broadway Free Pre-Theatre Celebration3 - 6pm Madame Tussauds NY 234 West 42nd Street (between 7th and 8th Avenues)
On Kids' Night on Broadway in New York, kids get to meet their favorite stars and join in lots of cool activities.

*Kids Night on Broadwayshow times vary
Buy your theater tickets, and your kids can go free. Check out http://www.kidsnightonbroadway.com/ for shows. Many Times Square area restaurants are also offering free kids entrée’s. Go to http://www.kidsnightonbroadway.com/restaurants.php to find one.


February 3rd

*Kids Night on Broadway Free Pre-Theatre Celebration4 - 7pm Madame Tussauds NY 234 West 42nd Street (between 7th and 8th Avenues)
On Kids' Night on Broadway in New York, kids get to meet their favorite stars and join in lots of cool activities.

*Kids Night on Broadwayshow times vary
Buy your theater tickets, and your kids can go free. Check out http://www.kidsnightonbroadway.com/ for shows. Many Times Square area restaurants are also offering free kids entrée’s. Go to http://www.kidsnightonbroadway.com/restaurants.php to find one.

*Neighborhood Concert: Community Sing with Young People's Chorus of New York City6:30pm Carnegie Hall, Lehman Stages at Lehman College The Lovinger Theatre 250 Bedford Park Boulevard West, Bronx


February 5th

*Family Friday: Djembe Beat2 – 4pm Charles A. Dana Discovery Center, Central Park (110th Street between Lenox and Fifth avenues)
Learn authentic rhythms from the West African countries of Ivory Coast, Ghana, Benin and Togo. Each beat is celebrated in the context of the culture, dance, or ceremony of which it is an integral part. No drumming experience required. For more information, please call (212) 860-1370


February 6th

*Marine Mammal Watch - 11am Coney Island Boardwalk Boardwalk and W 8th St
Coney Island, Brooklyn http://www.nycgovparks.org
Chances are your little one won't be begging to hop into the frigid winter water, but he will love learning about the seals, whales, and dolphins that reside under the boardwalk's waves. All ages. 718-421-2021 Subway: D, F, N, Q to Coney Island–Stillwell Ave

*Sesame Street: Friends to the Rescue12pm Sony Wonder Technology Lab 550 Madison Ave, New York http://www.sonywondertechlab.com
Weatherman Al Roker issues a weather warning for Sesame Street, causing the neighborhood to prepare for the big storm. In the monsoon-like weather, Big Bird's nest gets destroyed, bringing Elmo and the rest of the crew together to remedy the situation. All ages. 212-833-7858 Subway: 4, 5, 6, N, R to 59th St; E, V, to 5th Ave; F to 57th St.

alice...Alice...ALICE!1pm Irondale Center, 85 South Oxford Street, Brooklyn
The audience follows the ensemble down the rabbit hole into Wonderland, down the nooks, crannies, recesses, and lofts of the Irondale Center in its historic 19th Century building. Wear your most comfortable clothing and get ready to enter strange wonderful worlds that the general public seldom sees with the Irondale Company as your guide.
$10, space is limited, so reserve as early as possible!

*THIS IS IT (PG) - 2pm Sony Wonder Technology Labs, 550 Madison Ave. at 56th St
New York
A rare, behind-the-scenes look at Michael Jackson as he developed, created, and rehearsed for his sold-out concerts scheduled at London’s 02 Arena. Chronicling the months from April through June 2009, this film captures the singing, dancing, and creative genius of Michael at work as he creates and perfects his planned final London shows. Reserve seats at (212) 833 7858. Subway: 4, 5, 6, N, R to 59th St; E, V, to 5th Ave; F to 57th St.

*Wonder Pets! Double Feature12pm Sony Wonder Technology Labs, 550 Madison Ave. at 56th St, New York
A special double feature of Nick Jr.’s animated Wonder Pets! In Save The Bengal Tiger, the Wonder Pets head to India to save a Bengal Tiger who’s got a thorn stuck in her paw. With the help from the thorn pulling Mouse Raji, they prove that no hero is too small to be a big help. In Save The Gecko - Save The What?, the Wonder Pets travel to Costa Rica for a play date with a baby Gecko who can’t seem to stay out of trouble. Reserve seats at (212) 833 7858. Subway: 4, 5, 6, N, R to 59th St; E, V, to 5th Ave; F to 57th St.

February 7th

*Free Super Bowl XLIV Watch Party! - 5:30pm – 12am Comix, 353 West 14th street,
Kick off at 6:30pm After party until midnight Game shown in its entirety on an 8 Foot projector screen & Four 52 Inch HD TV’s in the Comix Theatre. State of the art full theatrical quality house sound. $5 Drafts, $6 Bottles, $7 Well drinks and $18 Draft Beer Pitchers. Special Super Bowl Food Menu (Various Items ranging from $6 to $13) Fun DVD/CD giveaways throughout the event. RSVP required! Email rsvp@comixny.com with your full name and the number of guests in our party. Please arrive early to ensure your seating reservation (First come-First Served Basis) Upon your arrival you will be asked to check in at the hostess stand. Nearest train station is 14th Street (A,C & E Trains). Free street parking in the area.

Dr. Nebula’s Planetary Vacation - 2pm Kaufmann Theater Museum of Natural History
Enter at 77th Street
Dr. Nebula is lost in space! Come help Scooter find Dr. Nebula by creating a three dimensional model of the solar system and learn about the planets and moons in the process. $10 adults; $8 children. Code: RC020710 (Recommended for families with children ages 4 and up)

*Sci-Tech Workshop: Flower Power12 – 2pm Sony Wonder Technology Labs, 550 Madison Ave. at 56th St, New York
Surprise your valentine with a special gift - a flower like no other that will never wilt… because it runs on batteries! Design and power up your own colorful electric flower using LEDs, colored cellophane, pipe cleaners and some technical instruction. Reservations of up to 4 children can be made beginning the Monday of the week the program is offered by calling (212) 833-7858. Best suited for ages 8 and up. $7 per participant. Subway: 4, 5, 6, N, R to 59th St; E, V, to 5th Ave; F to 57th St.

*Kids Night on Broadway Free Pre-Theatre Celebration11:30am – 1:30pm Planet Hollywood , 1540 Broadway (at West 45th Street)
Activities, autographs, and more! On Kids' Night on Broadway in New York, kids get to meet their favorite stars and join in lots of cool activities. RSVP recommended. Space is limited at Planet Hollywood so please RSVP to KNOBRespond@Broadway.org if you plan to attend and include the number of people in your party. We want to make this experience wonderful for you and your family!

*Kids Night on Broadwayshow times vary
Buy your theater tickets, and your kids can go free. Check out http://www.kidsnightonbroadway.com/ for shows. Many Times Square area restaurants are also offering free kids entrée’s. Go to http://www.kidsnightonbroadway.com/restaurants.php to find one.

*Seal Shore Safari1pm Pelham Bay Park, Orchard Beach Nature Center Bronx
Seals hang out by the beach between December and March and you'll get to see them during low tide. Wear warm and comfortable clothes. Bring your own binoculars if you have them. NY Parks & Rec. (718) 378-2061.

February 11th

*Family Workshop: Who do you love? 3 – 4pm Sony Wonder Technology Labs, 550 Madison Ave. at 56th St, New York
Watch Elmo’s World: Elmo Loves You and join us for a special workshop where you can celebrate Valentine’s Day by decorating a special jewelry box or picture frame for someone you love. No reservation required and space is limited. $5 per participant, space is limited. (212) 833 7858 Subway: 4, 5, 6, N, R to 59th St; E, V, to 5th Ave; F to 57th St.

*Valentine's Day Crafts2 – 4pm Chess & Checkers House, Central Park (mid-park at 64th Street)
Limited space; no groups or strollers inside the building, please. Advance registration not required. For more details and information about disabled accessibility, please call (212) 794-4064


February 13th

musicNOW! - 8 pm Brooklyn Queens Conservatory of Music, Concert Hall
Mezzo-soprano Emily Howard, violinist Masha Lankovsky, cellist Lawrence Zoernig, pianist Michael Rose, and flautist Chris Johnson performs Ravel’s “Trio” and “Chanson Madecasses” and Shostakovich’s “Seven Romances on Poems of Aleksander Blok.” $10/$5 students & seniors 212.209.3370. Advance purchase strongly recommended. Concerts sell out quickly.

Irondale’s Big Box of Distractions: Kids Day at the Theater - 1 – 3pm Irondale, 85 South Oxford Street, Brooklyn
Celebrate Valentine's Day early. Join the Irondale Ensemble for an afternoon of improv, games, music, and fun. All material is appropriate for children six-years-old and up. $10.00 child + one adult, $5.00 for each additional child; $10 for adult without child

The Little Mermaid12 & 2pm Manhattan Children’s Theater, 52 White Street in Tribeca, between Broadway & Church Streets
Creatively brought to life by just two, very versatile actors, this fairy-tale exemplifies the value of love being more than skin-deep, and shows just how far one will go for the happiness of the ones they truly care for. Suitable for ages 4 and up. Tickets: $20 Premium Seats: $50 (Includes: Front Row Seats, Meet & Greet with actors prior to the show, and programs signed by the cast. Tickets must be purchased by the Wednesday prior to the performance.) Reservations: (212) 352-3101

NY Philharmonic8pm Carnegie Hall, Stern Auditorium
There is an abundance of vitality in this program, starting with the overflowing youthful heroism of the Wagner overture. The Sibelius symphony towers in its grandeur, and the concerto by Magnus Lindberg shows off the astounding virtuosity of its soloist. Tickets from $39 - $116

February 14th

Romance Under the Stars - 6:30 - 8:30pm Hayden Planetarium Space Theater
What could be more romantic than champagne under the magical, star-filled sky? Enjoy a cocktail hour complete with open bar, champagne, chocolate-covered strawberries, and hors d’oeuvres, then join an astronomer in the Hayden Planetarium for a unique view of the night sky. Sit back, hold hands, and enjoy some of the greatest romance stories from the past. Please note that tickets are limited and will not be sold at the door. $75 per person (includes one hour of open bar and appetizers) Code: HL021410

Moviehouse Presents: Get Your Heart On!7pm 195 Morgan Avenue, Brooklyn
Presenting the very best in local filmmaking amidst cool beats, drinks, snacks and creative conversation. Based on a monthly theme, a showcase of blow-your-mind-good shorts, music videos, animation and video art by the city's most intrepid moviemakers.

Women of the Calabash - 3pm Brooklyn Queens Conservatory of Music, Concert Hall
Music for Families, a music and movement literacy program that introduces and develops specific aspects of the music language in an engaging and joyful manner (similar to the way Sesame Street introduces and develops the English language!) is targeted to young children between the ages of 2 and 12 and their families. Tickets: $10.

*Valentine's Day Poetry Hike11am Belvedere Castle, Central Park (79th Street, mid-park)
Express your love of nature as we hike to the most romantic spots around Central Park. You're invited to bring your favorite poems to read as we make stops along the way (212) 628-2345

Love in the Parlors: Valentine's Day Concert5:30pm Merchants House Museum 29 East Fourth Street, Manhattan
Join us for a program of romantic songs and arias by nineteenth-century composers, performed in the Museum’s Greek Revival double parlors by members of the Bond Street Euterpean Singing Society. Tickets $20. (212) 777-1089

February 15th

Pinkalicious: The Musical1pm Bleecker Street Theatre, 45 Bleecker Street, Greenwich Village
The famous musical, based on the book of the same name; about a girl who eats pink cupcakes until she turns pink has been delighting little girls and their families for 3 years. Produced by the Vital Theater Company. $29.50 per person.

February 16th

Pinkalicious: The Musical1pm Bleecker Street Theatre, 45 Bleecker Street, Greenwich Village
The famous musical, based on the book of the same name; about a girl who eats pink cupcakes until she turns pink has been delighting little girls and their families for 3 years. Produced by the Vital Theater Company. $29.50 per person.

February 17th

The Enchanted Pig1pm New Victory Theater, 229 West 42nd Street, Times Square
A funky and fresh opera from England tells the story of a modern day princess who is marrying an enchanted pig. Two hours in length with intermission. Suited for ages 7 +. Tickets $12.50 - $35. 646-223-3010.


*The Uptown Dance Academy's Tribute to James Brown and Michael Jackson6:30 – 8pm Jackie Robinson Recreation Center (85 Bradhurst Avenue at West 146th Street)
Manhattan
Please join us for a very special celebration of Black History Month, with a dance performance by the talented Uptown Dance Academy as they pay tribute to music legends James Brown and Michael Jackson. To RSVP, please call (212) 408-0296 or email artsculturefun@parks.nyc.gov

February 18th

The Enchanted Pig1pm New Victory Theater, 229 West 42nd Street, Times Square
A funky and fresh opera from England tells the story of a modern day princess who is marrying an enchanted pig. Two hours in length with intermission. Suited for ages 7 +. Tickets $12.50 - $35. 646-223-3010.

February 20th

SonicVision7:30 & 8:30 pm Hayden Planetarium
SonicVision, a digitally animated alternative music show, takes audiences on a mind-warping musical roller-coaster ride through fantastical dreamspace. Featuring music from Radiohead, U2, David Bowie, Coldplay, Queens of the Stone Age, Prodigy, The Flaming Lips, Fischerspooner, Spiritualized, Audioslave, Stereolab, Boards of Canada, David Byrne and Brian Eno, Goldfrapp, Zwan, White Zombie, and Moby.Tickets, $15

*Dora the Explorer & Go, Diego, Go! Double Feature12pm Sony Wonder Technology Labs, 550 Madison Ave. at 56th St, New York
In Dora The Explorer Pinto, The Pony Express, Cowgirl Dora and Cowboy Boots need to rustle up your help riding Pinto the Pony through the wild west to deliver their cowboy cookies. In Go, Diego, Go Whistling Willie Finds A Buddy, when the sun begins to set, Willie needs help getting home. His buddy baby Jaguar, Diego, and you need to play your way through the rainforest, all the way home to Willie’s mountaintop lake. Reserve seats at (212) 833 7858. Subway: 4, 5, 6, N, R to 59th St; E, V, to 5th Ave; F to 57th St.

February 21st

*Native American Winter Games2pm Belvedere Castle, Central Park (79th Street mid-park)
Venture into the Ramble to learn and play some traditional Native American games. Children and adults welcomed. Please dress for the weather. (212) 628-2345

February 24th

*Manhattan Independent Film Festival 2010: The Eyes of Me6:30 – 8:30pm Chelsea Recreation Center (430 West 25th Street) Manhattan
The Arts, Culture and Fun Series at Manhattan Recreation is pleased to partner with ITVS Community Cinema from San Francisco and the Independent Lens series of PBS to bring powerful documentaries into our recreation centers. Please join us for a first look at these films before their national debut on PBS. After each screening, audience members will have the opportunity to participate in facilitated discussions/conversations about each film with a special guest speaker. To RSVP, please call (212) 408-0296 or email artsculturefun@parks.nyc.gov.

February 27th

Learn Your Digital Camera - 2:30-5:30pm 3rd Ward, 573 Metropolitan (btw Lorimer & Union), Brooklyn
Learn how to utilize camera operation past the automatic setting to get the most out of your photos. We will also discuss what camera works for your needs, how to manually set your exposure, what different lens do, and other tips. Class fee: $65. 718.715.4961

The Backyardigans Double Feature - 12pm Sony Wonder Technology Labs, 550 Madison Ave. at 56th St, New York
A special double feature of Nick Jr.’s animated The Backyardigans! In Escape From Fairytale Village, it’s a madcap bluegrass chase through Fairy Tale Village as paperboy Tyrone meets his hungry new customers, Austin the Wolf, Uniqua the Witch, and Pablo the Giant. In Front Page News, Berlin cabaret plays as Tasha tries to photograph the big news, the superheroes of Bigopolis taking on a giant robot. Reserve seats at (212) 833 7858. Subway: 4, 5, 6, N, R to 59th St; E, V, to 5th Ave; F to 57th St.

The Velveteen Rabbit12 & 2pm Manhattan Children’s Theater, 52 White Street in Tribeca, between Broadway & Church Streets
In MCT’s re-telling, two adult brothers rediscover the book while packing up their childhood home, with the audience joining them on a nostalgic joyride that, like the book itself, is at turns lively, funny and heart-achingly beautiful. Suitable for ages 4 and up. Tickets: $20 Premium Seats: $50 (Includes: Front Row Seats, Meet & Greet with actors prior to the show, and programs signed by the cast. Tickets must be purchased by the Wednesday prior to the performance.) Reservations: (212) 352-3101

February 28th

The Velveteen Rabbit12 & 2pm Manhattan Children’s Theater, 52 White Street in Tribeca, between Broadway & Church Streets
In MCT’s re-telling, two adult brothers rediscover the book while packing up their childhood home, with the audience joining them on a nostalgic joyride that, like the book itself, is at turns lively, funny and heart-achingly beautiful. Suitable for ages 4 and up. Tickets: $20 Premium Seats: $50 (Includes: Front Row Seats, Meet & Greet with actors prior to the show, and programs signed by the cast. Tickets must be purchased by the Wednesday prior to the performance.) Reservations: (212) 352-3101

*as always, starred entries are free or free with admission!
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February Around Town Staten Island


February 2nd

*Groundhog Day Celebration7am Staten Island Zoo, 614 Broadway
Staten Island Chuck will predict the coming of spring at 7:30am, and guests can even meet him. There will be music, games and a contest in conjunction with Applebees. Ceremony is free, Breakfast with Chuck is $10 adult, $5 under 5years; pre-registration at 718-442-3101.

Historic Movie Houses/Movies Made on Staten Island - 7:00pm - 9:00pm1000 Richmond Terrace, Building H
Join Curator of History, Patricia M. Salmon, for a lecture on selected topics of Staten Island History in the new Snug Harbor History Center,$12 ($8 for members). To register, call Patricia Salmon at (718) 483-7123

February 6th

Olympic Medal & Games! - 1, 2 & 3 pm Staten Island Children’s Museum 1000 Richmond Terrace
Make medals & compete in some games in celebration of the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Valentine Card Making Workshop1 - 3pm Third County Courthouse Historic Richmondtown
Love is in the air…and valentines are on the table! Visitors will assist talented craftspeople in the making of valentines for members of the local community currently living in nursing homes, surrounded by images of valentines from the large collection of cards preserved by the Staten Island Historical Society. Admission is free, but space is limited. Please call 718.351.1611, ext. 281, to reserve a place amongst the Victorian valentine-makers. Valentine kits can be purchased at the end of the workshop for $5.00. Hopeless romantics always welcome.

Songs Of The Sea & Taverns7:30 & 9:00pm Historic Richmondtown Tavern
Known by the local Townspeople as the “Richmond Tavernacle Choir,” this motley assortment of performing groups annually fill the tavern with great sailor sing-alongs, heart wrenching ballads and tales of life at sea and ashore. Landlubbers welcome... $15/person, $12/SIHS Members. Call (718) 351-1611, ext. 281 for reservations.

Margot Leverett and the Klezmer Mountain Boys - 8pm Williamson Theatre at College of Staten Island
Tickets: $15, 20



February 7th

Olympic Medal & Games! - 1, 2 & 3 pm Staten Island Children’s Museum 1000 Richmond Terrace
Make medals & compete in some games in celebration of the 2010 Winter Olympics.

February 12th

Valentine Love Songs & Memories8pm St. George Theater
Featuring performances by Kenny Vance & The Planotones, The Duprees, Vito Picone & The Elegants, Barbara Harris & The Toys, and The Emotions. Tickets $25 - $65 718-442-2900

February 13th

Ronnie Spector - 8pm Springer Concert Hall, College of Staten Island
This Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee is known as the lead singer in the legendary 1960s girl group The Ronettes. Ronnie Spector has dazzled us for years with hits like “Walking in the Rain,” "Baby I Love You," and others that helped lay the groundwork for the pop music we know today. Her classic recordings have been heard in such films as The Pickup Artist, Goodfellas, Mean Streets, Nine Months, and Dirty Dancing with the smash hit “Be My Baby.” Tickets: $35, 40

*From Slavery to Freedom - 5:30pmSt. Philips Baptist Church, 77 Bennett Ave
Staten Island OutLOUD presents “From Slavery to Freedom” by Dr John Hope Franklin at St Philips Baptist Church’s annual Black History Month program. There will be a home-cooked soul food luncheon at 3pm, followed by the performance.

*African-American Celebration2-4pm Staten Island Museum, 75 Stuyvesant Place
A celebration of African American art and music presented by the Universal Temple of the Arts.

Linda Russell & Companie - 7:30 & 9:00pm Historic Richmondtown Tavern
Celebrate Valentine’s Day Eve with Tavern veteran Linda Russell—a singer/songwriter deeply rooted in traditional music, playing mountain and hammered dulcimers. $15/person, $12/SIHS Members. Call (718) 351-1611, ext. 281 for reservations.

Laura Ingalls Wilder... Growing Up on the Prairie6:30pm St. George Theater
The beloved Laura Ingalls Wilder performance chronicles the exciting adventures of the Ingalls family as they travel across the prairie in search of a little house to call home! Tickets $16 - $24 718-442-2900

February 14th

Courtship Tails1:30-3:30pm Staten Island Zoo, 614 Broadway
Come to the zoo on Valentine’s Day to find out how “love is in the air” for some wild beasts. There will be an opportunity to make a free valentine craft for a loved one. Donation requested.

February 15th

Dinosaurs and More - Staten Island Zoo, 614 Broadway

President’s Day Cool School Holiday - 10am – 5pm Staten Island Children’s Museum, 1000 Richmond Terrace.
Free admission.

*Young Writers OutLOUD - 2-4pm Richmondtown Library, 200 Clarke Ave
Free creative writing workshops for Islanders ages 10-15. RSVP at 718-907-0709

February 18th

*Young Writers OutLOUD - 2-4pm Richmondtown Library 200 Clarke Ave
Free creative writing workshops for Islanders ages 10-15. RSVP at 718-907-0709

Vacation Earth Camp1 - 3:30pm Clay Pit Ponds, State Park Preserve, 2351 Veterans Rd West
Join Earth Camp’s Seth Wollney for a winter time adventure through selected Staten Island> parks. For children ages 8-13. Pre-registration required by calling Seth at (718) 483-7105.

February 19th

Snug Underground Theatre Festival – Snug Harbor Community Theater 1000 Richmond Terrace
Produced by The Heart & Soul Theatre Project. Featuring FRANKIE & SYLVIA (Friday Feb. 19 @ 8pm; Saturday Feb. 20 & Sunday Feb. 21 @ 3pm), BENCHES (Saturday Feb. 20 @ 8pm; Sunday Feb. 21 @ 6pm), and THE FEMME SHOW (Friday Feb. 19 @ 10pm; Saturday Feb. 20 @ 10pm) The festival will also feature 2 bands Friday & Saturday @ 7pm. Tickets: $15.00, please call: (641) 715-3900 or email: snugunderground@gmail.com

*Vacation Earth Camp - 1 - 3:30pmBlue Heron Park, 222 Pollion Ave.
Join Earth Camp’s Seth Wollney for a winter time adventure through selected Staten Island parks. For children ages 8-13. Pre-registration required by calling Seth at (718) 483-7105.

February 20th

Olympic Medal & Games! - 1, 2 & 3 pm Staten Island Children’s Museum, 1000 Richmond Terrace
Make medals & compete in some games in celebration of the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Blues Clues Live! The Case of the Class Clown11am & 3pm St. George Theater
Tickets $15 - $30. 718-442-2900

Blue Harvest - 7:30 & 9:00pm Historic Richmondtown Tavern
Featuring some of New York City’s hottest acoustic musicians, this bluegrass band combines rich harmonies and fiery instrumentals to create real honest-to-goodness homespun music that everyone will enjoy. $15/person, $12/SIHS Members. Call (718) 351-1611, ext. 281 for reservations.

Snug Underground Theatre Festival – Snug Harbor Community Theater 1000 Richmond Terrace
Produced by The Heart & Soul Theatre Project. Featuring FRANKIE & SYLVIA (Friday Feb. 19 @ 8pm; Saturday Feb. 20 & Sunday Feb. 21 @ 3pm), BENCHES (Saturday Feb. 20 @ 8pm; Sunday Feb. 21 @ 6pm), and THE FEMME SHOW (Friday Feb. 19 @ 10pm; Saturday Feb. 20 @ 10pm) The festival will also feature 2 bands Friday & Saturday @ 7pm. Tickets: $15.00, please call: (641) 715-3900 or email: snugunderground@gmail.com

February 21st

Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny - 3pm
Williamson Theatre, College of Staten Island
Running Time: 1 hour, including meet and greet in the Atrium. Tickets: $10 - 15

Olympic Medal & Games! - 1, 2 & 3 pm Staten Island Children’s Museum, 1000 Richmond Terrace
Make medals & compete in some games in celebration of the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Snug Underground Theatre Festival – Snug Harbor Community Theater, 1000 Richmond Terrace
Produced by The Heart & Soul Theatre Project. Featuring FRANKIE & SYLVIA (Friday Feb. 19 @ 8pm; Saturday Feb. 20 & Sunday Feb. 21 @ 3pm), BENCHES (Saturday Feb. 20 @ 8pm; Sunday Feb. 21 @ 6pm), and THE FEMME SHOW (Friday Feb. 19 @ 10pm; Saturday Feb. 20 @ 10pm) The festival will also feature 2 bands Friday & Saturday @ 7pm. Tickets: $15.00, please call: (641) 715-3900 or email: snugunderground@gmail.com

Chinese New Years Celebration2pm Snug Harbor Cultural Center 1000 Richmond Terrace Dragon Dancers in Chinese Scholars Garden at 2pm; NY Chinese Cultural Center Performance in The Music Hall at 3pm; Chinese Buffet in the Lower Great Hall at 4pm

February 27th

Breakfast with the Beasts - 8:30-10:00am Staten Island Zoo, 614 Broadway
Take a tour of the animal kitchen, help prepare some food for critters and watch them eat. Meet some animals close up and have a breakfast snack, too. Members: $10 / Non-members: $13 Children ages 5 and up – please no younger siblings. A paying adult must accompany a paying child. Pre-registration required.

Johnson Girls7:30 & 9:00pm Historic Richmondtown Tavern
This energetic all-woman a cappella group specializes in maritime music. Their repertoire includes songs of Afro-Caribbean, Irish, Anglo-American, Italian & French Canadian influence; songs of the inland waterways, of fishing, mining & much more. $15/person, $12/SIHS Members. Call (718) 351-1611, ext. 281 for reservations.

February 28th

*Later Alligator1:30 – 3:30pm Staten Island Zoo, 614 Broadway
Enjoy an afternoon watching these pre-historic looking creatures catch some tasty goodies. Children can participate in a scaly activity and craft while learning about their crushing jaws and powerful tails. Registration not required.

*as always, starred entries are free or free with admission!
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Keep Warm and Help Haiti this weekend

It's cold (17 degrees right this minute!) outside, but in the Big Apple, this weekend you and your kids can have fun, stay warm, and even help out. Some pretty great organizations are ready and willing to help you do just that:
The Upper East Side Gymtime (1520 York Ave) is hosting a pizza-and-DJ party tonight from 6:30 – 7:30pm benefiting UNICEF, and all the proceeds will go directly to the children of Haiti. Tickets are $15 each, (children under 18 months are free.) 212-861-7732.
Divalysscious Moms is partnering with Rodeo Bar in Gramercy (375 3rd Avenue), for Help Haiti Heal, a relief concert on Saturday from 10am - 12pm; for $50 suggested donation per family, starring lots of local rockers including Princess Katie & Racer Steve and Bari Koral, with all proceeds going to the Red Cross. Get tickets at rsvp@divamoms.com
The Jewish Community Center on the Upper West Side (at 334 Amsterdam Ave) is collecting shoes to donate to Haiti, and hosting a free open house on Saturday at 3pm with kid-friendly singer-songwriter Chana Rothman. After the performance, she'll hang around for a fun workshop. (Best suited for ages four and up.) RSVP: 646-505-5716

The Kids Helping Kids fundraiser from 1:30 - 4pm on Sunday at Bowery Poetry Club, (at 308 Bowery) features such fun acts as Hayes Greenfield & Jazz-A-Ma-Tazz, and Louise Rogers, Rick Strong & The Washington Heights Children's Jazz Choir. There is a $5 minimum suggested donation, with 100% of the proceeds benefiting a Haitian orphanage. Contact: Christine Timm bowerykids@yahoo.com. A compilation CD will be made available after the show, and feel free to bring along some new or gently used toys to be sent to along to the Haitian orphans.The kids' fundraiser will be followed by a more grown-up version from 4 - 6pm. There will be a theater troupe, reggae music, and poetry from some of the most loved local artists. If you're brave enough there will also be an open-mic set...
You can even watch the whole thing live if you can't make it at http://www.bowerypoetrylive.com/
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Neosporin 3-Day Challenge

In my family, dry lips are no joke. Once that cold weather settles in, cracked, dull, scaly and sometimes even raw and bleeding lips are just part of the season. So when Mom Central announced a blog campaign featuring Neosporin's Lip Health 3-day Challenge, I knew I just had to get in on it.

There are two Lip Health formulas: one for day, and one intended for overnight.


The Daily Hydration Therapy lip creme goes on smoothly, settles onto the lips and hydrates immediately without leaving any stickiness; and the angled applicator is a plus. It's perfectly sized to make it easy to carry along, either in purse or pocket. I love that there is no mentholatum at all in this product, which tends to burn like nobody's business on chapped lips. Instead, Neosporin added sunscreen. SPF 20, in fact. (This is great, especially in light of recent warnings about how lipgloss actually seems to draw those UV rays in.) Did I mention that it lasts and lasts and lasts?

The Overnight Renewal Therapy also applies smoothly - with a thicker, almost luxe feel on the lips. It doesn't seem to melt into the lips so much as slide on top at first. But by morning my lips did feel better, and I didn't have the tell-tale white gunky ring on them either. (Which is what happens to me whenever I fall asleep with stuff on my lips.) I especially like that it comes in a little pot, mostly because I associate those little pots with high-end beauty products. I want to say that a little bit goes a long way, especially with the overnight creme.

But do they work? Now you may have seen the commercial - if not, click here. If you'll notice, they do have a tiny disclaimer letting you know that the results in the ad are exaggerated. I'd say so. These pics are of actual 3-day results:





In Neosporin's clinical trial, the participants were asked to use the formulas for 14 days total, but these pictures were taken at the three-day mark. I'd say the difference is noticeable. In other words, yes, at least for me, and apparently the owners of those lips up there, Neosporin's Lip Health works. And quite well, I might add. I went from flaky, pale lips to soft and smooth. I'm giving Neosporin Lip Health an unequivocal thumbs up.


If you're in need of some lip-conditioning, I suggest you try the 3-Day Challenge too; and here's a coupon to help you get started.


I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Neosporin and received a sample of the Lip Health Overnight Renewal Therapy and the Lip Health Daily Hydration Therapy to facilitate my review and a $20 thank-you gift certificate.
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Airwear made my glasses lighter




And safer. And greener, too.




See... I have a gnarly eyeball issue, in that the sight in one eye is hugely, disproportionately more degraded than the other. What that means for my eyewear is one regular lens, and one coke-bottle, super heavy (headache-inducing) lens. Which tended to makes my glasses lopsided. I know vanity is silly, but I felt incredibly silly. So I just wouldn't wear my glasses at all. Then along comes Airwear's magical polycarbonate lens. Polycarbonate weighs less than glass or plastic, and doesn't distort, so that a higher prescription can still be pretty thin. (Yay!)


Did I tell you about when I was fourteen and I dropped my glasses on the black-top between classes in junior high just two weeks after getting them? Did I mention the huge scratch directly in the center of the left eye? (My bad one.) Did I perhaps already explain that as the oldest of six kids I knew there was absolutely NO WAY I was going to be able to get a replacement pair? You can bet that I was bummed. And then I was busted! I don't think I ever managed to keep an unscratched lens. (I'm still traumatized, as you can tell.)

Imagine how excited I was when I found out that Airwear eyeglass lenses, (manufactured by Essilor,) which are made of polycarbonate, are more impact- and scratch- resistant than standard plastic lenses. This makes my whole world a better place. Seriously, the kids have tried to destroy them and are thwarted every time. No worries about my glasses hitting the ground or getting tossed in an impromptu game of catch. Even the puppy has made an attempt on them, and guess what? No scratches. That's what I'm talking about!

Beyond the increased durability, Airwear lenses are made using eco-conscious manufacturing practices like recycled water and 100% recyclable packaging. Then the company re-purposes their unused material for other industries, thereby conserving millions of gallons of water and eliminating 570,000 pounds of plastic waste. Check out www.LighterSaferGreener.com for more ways that Essilor is working toward a greener world.

If you're looking for new lenses, please, please take a look at Airwear lenses. Ask your eye care professional about them. They are amazing, and I don't know how I ever lived without them!

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Airwear and received a pair of Airwear eyeglass lenses to thank me for taking the time to participate.
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Step Out on Nothing by Byron Pitts Book Review

*******************************Read to the end for my review****************************


It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:


Step Out on Nothing: How Faith and Family Helped Me Conquer Life's Challenges

St. Martin's Press (September 29, 2009)

***Special thanks to Paula Krapf of Author Marketing Experts, Inc. for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


BYRON PITTS was named a contributor to 60 Minutes and chief national correspondent for CBS News in Jan. 2009. Pitts was one of CBS News' lead reporters during the 9/11 attacks and won a national Emmy award for his coverage. As an embedded reporter covering the Iraq War, he was recognized for his work under fire within minutes of the fall of the Saddam statue. Other major stories covered by Pitts include the Chicago train wreck in 1999, for which he received a national Emmy Award, Hurricane Katrina, the war in Afghanistan, the military buildup in Kuwait, the Elian Gonzalez story, the Florida Presidential recount, and the refugee crisis in Kosovo. He garnered recognition as NABJ Journalist of the Year Award in 2002 for his coverage of the 9/11 attacks. He is also the recipient of four Associated Press Awards and six regional Emmy Awards. Pitts graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a B.A. in journalism and speech communication. He lives with his wife in Montclair, N.J.

Visit the author's Facebook Fan Page.

Product Details:

List Price: $24.99
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press (September 29, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0312577664
ISBN-13: 978-0312577667

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


New York City


“In five, four, three, two . . .” This wasn't the first time a floor director had ever counted me down, but it was the first time I ever choked back tears. It was August 25, 2006, my first on-camera studio open for the CBS News broadcast 60 Minutes. Moments earlier I'd been in makeup with famed artist Riccie Johnson. She'd done up the likes of Mike Wallace, Harry Reasoner, Morley Safer, Dan Rather, Ed Bradley, Lesley Stahl, Steve Kroft, and every other big-name correspondent who ever worked for 60 Minutes. And the Beatles. And now she was putting powder on me.


Executive Producer Jeff Fager poked his head in the dressing room, "Good luck, Brotha! You've come a long way to get here. You've earned it." I think Jeff was talking about my ten years of covering hurricanes, tornadoes, politics, the September 11 disaster, wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and every other sort of story for CBS News during those years.


If he only knew. My mind flashed back to elementary school, when a therapist had informed my mother, "I'm sorry, Mrs. Pitts, your son is functionally illiterate. He cannot read."


Months earlier, another so-called expert had suggested I was mentally retarded. Perhaps there was a "special needs" program right for me. Here I was some three decades later sitting in the "special" chair of the most revered show in the history of broadcast news. Musicians dream of playing Carnegie Hall, astronauts work a lifetime to take their first mission in space, and every broadcast journalist worth his or her salt dreams of 60 Minutes.


Engineers generally keep television studios icy cold to prevent the equipment from overheating. The 60 Minutes studio is no different. But in this age of high-tech sets with massive video walls and graphic trickery, Studio 33, where 60 Minutes is taped, looks more like a throwback. You can almost smell the cigar smoke from decades past. Black-covered walls. Bright lights hanging from the ceiling. There’s one camera and one chair. As a correspondent, you sit in the chair, cross your legs, look into the camera, and tell a story.


"Take two. In three, two, one!"


Seven takes later I finally recorded one that everybody liked. It took a while—not so much to settle my nerves as to get everyone settled in that one chair. Sitting with me were my mother, Clarice Pitts; my grandmother, Roberta Mae Walden; my sister, Saundra; and my brother, Mac. We had made the journey as a family, with the help of a few friends and even a few strangers.


What an overwhelming feeling it was and the symbolism was not lost on me.


That afternoon, to all who could see, I was seated alone. But I knew better. Some thirty-seven years before I would ever hear the phrase "Step Out on Nothing," God was writing those words to cover my life. How many times has each of us been in a difficult place and thought we were alone? Standing on nothing. Perhaps it is only in the empty space of those moments we can truly feel God's breath at our necks. His hands beneath our feet. Step out on nothing? Yes. Step out on faith.


So where did I get the title for this book? Step Out on Nothing. What does it mean and how does it fit into my life? Most important, how do you find the courage to try it?


I first heard those fateful words on a Sunday in March of 2007, Women's Day at St. Paul Baptist Church in Montclair, New Jersey. My wife was excited. She'd helped with the weekend program. Me, not so much. As usual I was running late for service and she was getting annoyed. We arrived at church in time. The place was packed. Women all dressed in white and black. The guest preacher that morning was Reverend Benita Lewis. She began her sermon by talking about the pain women will endure to be beautiful. She talked about pedicures, high-heeled shoes, and women's sore feet. I thought to myself, This is going to be a long service. Nothing here for me. And it got worse. She moved from pedicures to massages and spa treatments. Body wraps to skin treatments. At that point I was drifting away. It felt as if we'd been in church for hours. But Reverend Lewis was just warming up, and I soon discovered that she wasn't speaking only to the women in the congregation. She was telling all of us about overcoming pain and obstacles in our paths. She was talking about a belief in God, a faith so strong that anything is possible. Then Reverend Lewis uttered four words that took my breath away. "Step out on nothing." She encouraged the congregation to "step out on faith" in this journey we call life. To put your life and its challenges in God's hands. To believe in a power greater than yourself.


Step out . . . on nothing . . .


In the time it takes to say those four words, a lifetime flashed before me. She was speaking about my life. How had I overcome my childhood inability to read when I was nearly a teenager? It was my mother stepping out on nothing, despite the doubts she must have had during the nights around the kitchen table when I "just wasn't getting it."


And how do you explain an inner-city kid who stuttered until he was twenty years old becoming a network television news correspondent? Let's start with a college professor who didn't even know my name. She stepped out on nothing and believed in a young man who didn't believe in himself.


Then there's Peter Holthe: a stranger. A college classmate from Minnetonka, Minnesota. "Why's your vocabulary so limited?" he asked. He stayed around to find out why and helped expand it.


Those Franciscan Friars at Archbishop Curley High School in Baltimore, Maryland, who heard I was in a gospel choir at a church across town. These were white men who'd never ventured into a black neighborhood or set foot in a Baptist church. They too stepped out on nothing, figuring that being supportive of one of their students after hours might actually make a difference in his life.


We all have those defining moments in our lives. Moments of great joy. Moments of unspeakable sadness and fear. We usually think we're alone. But if we look into the corners of our memories, we'll find them—those people who had faith in us. Those times when a grace beyond earthly understanding touches us.


This is a story of those times. Those people. And the lessons they taught me. We've all had such people in our lives. If not, it's time to find them.


And for me, this story is my "step out on nothing," revealing a childhood shame that I've hidden from all but those who are closest to me, in hopes that my leap of faith will inspire some young child, or even an adult, who is living with a secret. It took me years to discover my shame was actually a source of strength.


Byron Pitts is an astonishing individual. In a country where more than 50 million people* are considered to be functionally illiterate, Mr. Pitts is one of the lucky ones. People cared for him, stood up for him and refused to let him wallow in the back of the class. This is the reason why Byron Pitts overcame his difficulty. This, and pure faith.

Clarice Pitts raised her son to believe. In himself and family and hard work; but most especially, in God's plan. In Step Out on Nothing, Mr. Pitts reveals how his faith pulled him through, over and over. How when his faith began to waver, an "angel" of sorts would appear and help him in his long journey from illiterate child to award-winning journalist.

If you have ever felt that all the world was against you, if your own circumstances seem hopeless, and your dreams out of reach, I pray that you pick up this book. Let the story of Byron Pitts, 60 Minutes correspondent inspire you to take a leap of faith, to "step out on nothing". It has me.


*according to the National Right to Read Foundation.
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Live The Difference (Guest Post)

DH's Uncle Steve is a funny guy. He's a missionary currently living in Malaysia, and he keeps us updated re: daily life, spiritual life, etc. It's a pretty big deal when he comes stateside. In fact, he stayed with us for a few days right before Christmas. We are always glad for his company; as I said, he's a funny guy, intelligent and a pretty good listener, too, as evidenced in today's guest post. I just know that I'm not the only one who needs to hear this message.
****************************************************************************************

My church had their annual Vision Banquet recently. This is the time of year
when the church comes together, and the Pastors share what the Lord has done in
the previous year, and shares the vision and ministry goals for the upcoming
year. While I was not able to attend, I was given a DVD to take home and watch.

I was watching the DVD the other day, and listening to my Pastor, who was
saying, “This year, I am going to ‘live the difference’; it’s no longer about
me, or what I want, but how can I live my life to impact the lives of those
around me?” I took time to think about how I could live my life “differently”
and how I could affect those around me.

Later on, I was doing my devotions, and I read Matthew 5:41 “Give to him who
asks of you…” That portion of the Scripture just stood out to me. Give to
those who ask of you. I thought, “Wow, that’s pretty open-ended.” He did not
say, ‘give to the poor’, He was not specific, at least in this instance, on
‘where’ to give, He just said to give to anyone who asks you.

I really felt that this was the “Word of the Lord” for me for that day, and so
at the end of my time, I prayed one of those dangerous prayers: “Lord, help me
today to live the difference and to practically apply the Word You have given
me.”

Afterward, I got out into town and went about running my errands. On many days,
it is common for me to be approached by panhandlers, and this day was no
different. As I was walking to my car, a panhandler came up to me and asked for
some money, and I politely said that I did not have anything and walked away.
As I walked away, I heard the Holy Spirit whisper to my spirit, “Give to those
who ask”, “Live the difference.” I immediately knew that I missed an
opportunity to apply what the Lord had given me, so I repented and asked for
another opportunity to live out what I heard the Lord speak to me earlier that
morning.

The next day, I was again running errands, and again, I was approached by a
panhandler. I walked past him, but as he called out to me, I again heard the
Holy Spirit whisper to me, “Give to those who ask”, so I turned to him and said,
“How can I help you?”

He seemed to be genuinely upset and in need, and as he told me his story, I was
doing a mental check. I noticed that he was a little bloody (he said he had
been in a motorcycle accident), I thought I smelled alcohol on his breath, (I
wondered if he would take anything I gave him and buy alcohol), and he did seem
to be in distress. At the end of his story, I gave him a few dollars, and went
on my way.

As I walked away from him, I actually felt a sense of peace and joy; it is that
‘feeling’ you get when you know that you have pleased your Heavenly Father. The
Spirit whispered to me, “That’s how you live the difference.”

I learned a couple of things from this experience. For one, the money I gave I
did not miss. I had plenty, but it sure was a help to the person I gave it to.
I have to admit I walked away wondering what that money would be spent on, but
as I reflected on the Matthew 5:41, Jesus really did not say to put
“restrictions” on what you give; He just said to give to those who ask. Period.
End of story. No rules and instruction to who you give your money to, just,
“give to those who ask.” It is kind of liberating when you can give like that.

Second, living the difference is not necessarily doing “big” things for people
(although it is that too), but living the difference happens in small ways in
everyday life….if you allow it to. In addition, it seems that many times when
we “give” we are giving out of our abundance. I did not really “need” the money
I gave; I had extra, so it is not as if I had to do without anything.

Third, I realized that day that Jesus is more interested in me becoming more
like Him than He is in what I do for Him (What profit is it for a man to gain
the world but lose his own soul?). Yes, ministry is great, and what I do, I do
out of a heart of love and thankfulness, but at the end of the day, He really is
more interested in what is happening in me than He is in what I do for Him.
That day, I became a little more Christ-like. I reflected the image of my
Father a little more clearly.

My encouragement for you today is to ask God to help you live the difference
this week. Ask Him to show you how you can have an impact on someone’s life.
In big ways and in the small things of everyday life, we can have an impact on
the lives of those around us.

Steve
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Last Day by James Landis Book Review

Becoming a book reviewer has allowed me to read some good books, some not so good books and some that were just okay.
The Last Day by James Landis is one of the good. Make that great. Make that incredible. Seriously. I want DH to read this book immediately. I want his mother to read it and then my brother, and then I'll likely read it again. I enjoyed it that much.

Warren Pease (oh, yes) is a soldier, and a lover of words, and a believer. He goes to war, and is referred to as War and yet is utterly accepting when he recognizes the Prince of Peace walking toward him on the beach of his childhood.

The unswerving faith of War and his disturbingly poetic descriptions of desert battle speak to Mr. Landis' strength as an author. War is lonely and loving and beautiful and complex in The Last Day.

Each character in James Landis' book is thoughtfully written. Even those for whom you might not immediately want to embrace, a measure of sympathy is afforded them. Even grace. Wesley Pease, (War's father) a veterinarian, book-hater, hunter and cold widower is easily the least likable character in the book. Until he isn't. Until you want to reach through the words to hold him, to ease his sorrow. Bethie and Ryan and Mr. Smith and Dodie and Seth and even Juba are incredibly believable.

Jesus as a character in a novel is a kind of conceit in and of itself. How rare it is to find a story in which Jesus is neither exactly what you think, nor is he the opposite of expectation. Jesus is a man, and in his presence men are more - if that makes sense to you. He is not just The Christ. He is companion and teacher and student and playful and childlike and compassion.

I truly hope that when it is my turn, I meet Jesus in much the same way.

For discussion questions aimed at reading groups, go to thelastdaybook.com. Buy this book. Share it with your loved ones. Gain an understanding of young men, soldiers, widowers, believers of different flavors, and maybe, just maybe, of Jesus.

For a sneak preview of the first chapter of this incredible book, please click here.


In the interest of full disclosure, I was given a copy of The Last Day by James Landis to read by Christian Fiction Blog Alliance in exchange for a fair and objective review. I did not take payment from the publisher or author of this book beyond a copy of the book in question. Disclosure Policy
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American Idol is Ba-ack

Woo-Hoo! I am sooo excited. As you probably already know, I crazy-love this show. I cannot claim to be much of a singer, and I would rather be drawn and quartered than audition for A.I. but I watch it breathlessly from audition to grand finale.

This year I actually know someone on the show. On January 27th, an old family friend will be auditioning, and spoiler alert, he gets a golden ticket! Now, I don't know what happens after that, his brother has been distressingly mum about it all.

Here's video of him coming out of the LA auditions. Cue it up to 4:56. God love him, 'cause he fielded the first of many comparisons to Adam Lambert with grace.



Hmmm. Perhaps I should say that I knew Danny. I was actually quite good friends with his brother in high school and the three boys spent a lot of time at our house for about a year or so. As things tend to happen in high school; (Danny being in junior high at the time) friendships wane. Or get cut short for one reason or another. At any rate, it wasn't until a couple of years ago that I saw him again.. Oddly enough, my husband was quite good friends with a former bandmate, and when they were playing in Baltimore, DH invited the entire band (+ roadie and manager) to camp at our place. (That was an experience!) Bless their hearts, 'cause those boys went through about a ton of laundry soap, food, hair product and towels each time. Honestly, though. They were utterly polite and loved on my kiddos, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

Here's something weird about knowing someone who is, or rather is about to be, on T.V. People can be distressing mean. One blogger called Danny a douche. Wow. In reality he's a total sweetheart. I immediately wanted to leap to his defense with a scathing retort and then realized, um, this is American Idol. It's the name of the game. Sadly, there will be much, much more to come if Danny in fact does well in Hollywood. (If he even goes!) So I just let it go. I still recall that little skater boy with fondness, and I know that no matter what, he'll land on his feet.

So that makes American Idol Season Nine my favorite ever. Evah! (And another time maybe we can talk about Paula Abdul, Victoria Beckham and Ellen Degeneres.)

One more little thing, a gift really.




oh, lol!
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The Chic Shall Inherit The Earth by Shelly Adina Book Review

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:


The Chic Shall Inherit the Earth (All About Us #6)

FaithWords; 1 edition (January 7, 2010)

***Special thanks to Miriam Parker of the Hachette Book Group for sending me a review copy.***

CONTEST! For a chance to win one of two prizes: a Tiffany's Bracelet OR an All About Us T-shirt, go to Camy Tang's Blog and leave a comment on her FIRST Wild Card Tour for The Chic Shall Inherit the Earth, and you will be placed into a drawing for a bracelet or T-shirt that look similar to the pictures below.






ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Shelley Adina is a world traveler and pop culture junkie with an incurable addiction to designer handbags. She knows the value of a relationship with a gracious God and loving Christian friends, and she's inviting today's teenage girls to join her in these refreshingly honest books about real life as a Christian teen--with a little extra glitz thrown in for fun! In between books, Adina loves traveling, listening to and making music, and watching all kinds of movies.


Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $9.99
Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: FaithWords; 1 edition (January 7, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0446179647
ISBN-13: 978-0446179645

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


THE CHIC SHALL INHERIT THE EARTH

© 2010 by Shelley Adina


Chapter 1


LET ME PUT it right out there: I’m no sports fan—unless you count surfing, which is more of an attitude to life than a sport. I used to think that there were some things you just knew. But if God were a major league pitcher, He’d be the kind of guy who threw curveballs just to keep you on your toes. To catch you off guard. To prove you wrong about everything you thought.

Which is essentially what happened to us all during the last term of our senior year at Spencer Academy.

My name is Lissa Evelyn Mansfield—yes, I’m back again. Did you miss me? Because, seriously, this last term of high school before my friends and I graduated was so crazed, so unpredictable, that I had to write it all down to try and make sense of it.

But, hey, let’s take a moment here. The words last term of senior year need some respect, not to mention celebration. They need to be paused over and savored. Excuse me.

Okay, I’m back.

The term began in April, and by the time our first set of midterms (or thirdterms, as my roommate Gillian Chang calls them, since we get three sets of exams every term) rolled around at the beginning of May, it was just beginning to sink in that there were only seven weeks of high school left. Seven weeks until freedom. Adulthood. Summer vacation. Adulthood. Home.

Adulthood.

Eek.

“Sarah Lawrence is stalking me,” Gillian moaned from where she sat on her bed in our dorm room. “Here’s another letter.” She fished an envelope out of the pile of mail in her lap and waved it.

I looked up from my MacBook Air, where I was checking e-mail. “Don’t let Emily Overton hear you. She got turned down and her roommate has had to keep her away from open windows for the last month.”

“But I already told them no twice. What’s it going to take?”

“You could fail some exams.” I’m always willing to offer a helpful suggestion. “They can’t help it if they covet your fearsome brain.”

“So does Harvard. And Princeton. Not to mention Stanford and Columbia and Juilliard.” She threw her hands in the air so that the letter flew over her shoulder and bounced off the headboard. “How am I supposed to pick just one? Can I spend a year at each school? I could be a career transfer student.”

“I’m glad I don’t have your decisions to make,” I told her with absolute honesty. “If all those schools were after me, I’d run away and hide.”

“I’ve got to figure out what I’m doing with my life.” She glanced at me. “Or maybe I should say, what God wants me to do with my life.”

“There’s the kicker.” I nodded sagely. “I understand about waiting on the Lord, but . . . He knows about registration deadlines, doesn’t He?”

“Oh, yeah. He knows. I keep asking Him, and He keeps thinking about it. Maybe He wants me to figure out what I want, first. But that’s the impossible part.”

Poor Gillian. She has the kind of brain schools fight over for their research programs. But she’s also a music prodigy—hence the acceptance from Juilliard. Then, to complicate things even more, she also has quite the talent for drawing, and ever since she met my friend Kaz Griffin, her dream has been to create a graphic novel starring a kick-butt Asian girl with a secret identity. Kaz, in case you haven’t met him, is my best friend from my old high school in Santa Barbara. He’s been trying to get his graphic novel published for, like, years, with no success. But I have to hand it to him. He never gives up.

Anyway. Gillian.

“You could always do pre-med at Harvard and minor in art or music,” I suggested. “You know you’re going to need a release valve from all that scientific pressure. It would be good to have the right-brain kind of classes to turn to.”

Gillian pushed the stack of mail off her lap and leaned back against the mound of colorful silk pillows. The letter from Sarah Lawrence crumpled somewhere underneath. “But then how will I know if I’m any good?”

“Um, your grades? Not to mention, if you got an acceptance from Juilliard, you’re good. Full stop, as Mac would say.”

Lady Lindsay MacPhail, aka Mac, was a student here at Spencer for two terms, and she’s one of our little group of friends. She’s gone back to live in London until the end of term, when she’ll return to her family’s castle in Scotland, and she has none of these questions about her life. She knows exactly what degree she’s going to get, when she’ll get it, and what she’ll be doing after that: making the Strathcairn Hotel and Corporate Retreat Center the go-to place for world-class events in the UK.

I envy people who have their future in a laser sight. I’m still trying to figure out what to wear tomorrow.

“What do teachers know?” Gillian asked. I don’t think she was looking for the answer to that one. “If I’m going to find out whether I’m really any good, I have to try to get into an art program and give it everything I’ve got. Try to get an exhibition. Or a publisher. Live in a garret and try to make it as an artist.”

“That sounds scary.”

“I know.” She sighed. “Medical school is the easy path, grasshopper.”

Only Gillian Chang would say something like that.

I turned back to my notebook and saw that while we’d been talking, a message from Kaz had popped up in my inbox.




*

To: lmansfield@spenceracad.edu

From: kazg@hotmail.com

Date: May 4, 2010

Re: Ow



I am so regretting pushing off physics until senior year. My brain hurts. What was I thinking? Instead of grabbing my board and heading for the beach, I’m stuck down here in my room writing equations I don’t know the answers to.

Does the Jumping Loon tutor over the phone? Can you ask her? I’ll give her anything she wants, including full use of my studly body, if she’ll just say the magic words that will unveil the meaning of x and y, not to mention z.

Life, I’ve got a handle on. X is a mystery.

Kaz




I looked over my shoulder. “Kaz wants to know if you do physics tutoring over the phone. He says you can do what you want with his body if you help him.” I paused when she didn’t look up from a Neiman Marcus catalog. “I didn’t know you were interested in his body. Does Jeremy know about this?”

“That sounds like a jealous remark.” She flipped a page. “Ooh, nice dress. Chloé does summer so well. Which reminds me, if we’re going on a Senior Cotillion dress safari, we’d better start soon.”

I was not to be sidetracked, no matter how tempting the bait. “Is something going on with you and Kaz?”

She put the catalog down and rolled her eyes to the ceiling. “Yes. Yes, there is.”

I sat there as stunned as if someone had upended a bucket of seawater over me.

Kaz and Gillian? What? How is that possible? When did—

What is the matter with you? Kaz is your friend. You aren’t . . . like that. If he’s interested in Gillian, it’s none of your business.

Poor Jeremy.

“Lissa. Lissa, come back to me.” I blinked at her. My face felt frozen. “For crying out loud, get a grip.” She was trying not to laugh and not succeeding very well. “He’s teasing you. He’s helping me with a plaster mold of his hand for my art project, okay? That’s all.”

“A mold. Of his hand. And you don’t have guys’ hands any closer than Santa Barbara?”

“He has interesting hands, which you’d know if you ever paid any attention.”

Of course he did. And of course I did. Pay attention to him, I mean. He was my best friend. We e-mailed each other, like, twenty times a week.

“And Jeremy’s hands aren’t interesting?”

She picked up the catalog and flipped another page. “Write him back and tell him of course I’ll tutor him. We can start tonight if he’s desperate.”

Hm. Poor Jeremy, indeed. What was going on here? “He wants to know the meaning of x.”

“Don’t we all. Some of us wait for the universe to reveal it to us. And some of us wouldn’t know it if the universe dropped it on our heads.”

“What’s your point?”

But my friend, who usually has all the answers, didn’t reply.
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Dinosaurs for Kids by Ken Ham

Please read to the bottom for my review.

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:


Dinosaurs for Kids

Master Books (October 15, 2009)

***Special thanks to Robert Parrish of New Leaf Press for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Ken Ham is the founder and executive director of Answers in Genesis in the USA and one of the most sought-after Christian speakers in North America. He is the author or co-author of many books and is heard daily on the radio program, “Answers...with Ken Ham,” on more than 300 stations worldwide. Ken is also featured in various videos including the series, “Answers in Genesis with Dr. Gary Parker,” and the 12-part series of 28-minute videos, “Answers...with Ken Ham.” Ken's teaching is clear, true to the Bible, engaging, and challenging. Many have found salvation and others have been encouraged and equipped to reach others with the gospel through Ken's ministry.


Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

Price: $14.99
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Hardcover: 64 pages
Publisher: Master Books (October 15, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0890515557
ISBN-13: 978-0890515556

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


Dinosaurs for Kids

by

Ken Ham, illustrated by Bill Looney


Dinosaurs can provide a great way to learn about history. You may already be familiar with some of these dinosaurs. These drawings show you what we think they may have looked like. Now, we don’t know for sure, of course, as we usually only find their bones as fossils (and most times, only a few of their bones). Artists use what bones have been found, knowledge about living animals, and some imagination to come up with drawings like these. See if you can pronounce these dinosaur names:


Dilophosaurus (die-LOF-o-SWAR-us), meaning “two-crested lizard.”
Styracosaurus (sty-RAK-o-SAWR-us), meaning “spiked lizard.”
Triceratops (tri-SER-a-tops), meaning “three-horned face.”
Megalosaurus (MEG-a-lo-SAWR-us), meaning “big lizard.”
Iguanodon (i-GWAHN-o-don), meaning “iguana tooth.”
Ceratosaurus (ser-ah-toe-SAWR-us), meaning “horned lizard.”
Deinonychus (die-NON-i-kus), meaning “terrible claws.”
Velociraptor (vee-LOHS-i-RAP-tor), meaning “swift robber.”
Ultrasaurus (UHL-tra-SAWR-us), was so nicknamed because of its enormous size.
Seismosaurus (SEIS-mo-SAWR-us), meaning “earthquake lizard.”


Did you know there are hundreds of dinosaur names? However, there were not hundreds of types of dinosaurs. There were a number of similar ones that should be grouped into categories known by what the Bible describes as “kinds.” Does that sound a little confusing? Well, this book will help to explain this and a lot of other things about dinosaurs you may not know.


(Pictures with names):

Dilophosaurus
Styracosaurus
Triceratops
Iguanodon
Ceratosaurus
Velociraptor
Ultrasaurus
Seismosaurus


Before we begin, I don’t want you to miss out on knowing what my very favorite dinosaur is! In fact, I think he deserves this whole page to himself! It is the mighty Tyrannosaurus rex (ti-RAN-oh-SAWR-us-rex), meaning “tyrant lizard king.” I’ll let you in on a secret – I love T-rex because I like his teeth! I use teeth to teach kids and parents some very interesting things about dinosaurs – things that you may not have heard or really understood before. But it is very important to understand the truth about dinosaurs!


FOUR FAST FACTS

T-rex fossils are found in Canada and the western United States.
The first documented T-rex fossil was discovered in 1902 by Barnum Brown.
Scientists think T-rex skeletons were made up of close to 200 bones.
T-rex had around 60 teeth, which ranged in size based on their placement in the jaw of the skull.


With a strong tail extended for balance, an adult T-rex could be a little over 40 feet in length, 12-13 feet tall at the hips, and weigh between 5 and 7 tons. T-rex’s jagged teeth could be up to 9 inches long, and like sharks, the T-rex was able to replace teeth when one was lost.

What’s in a name? Remember that the T-rex name means “tyrant lizard king.” But secular scientists are still wondering whether T-rexes were active hunters or clever scavengers, or a combination of both. However, creation scientists are able to explain the evidence in a different way using the biblical account of history, as we will soon learn.


FOUR FAST FACTS

The word “fossil” is from the Latin word meaning “dug up.” Scientists often make assumptions about dinosaurs based on a few fossilized bones, bone fragments, or other fossil remains, impressions, etc.
Only a few thousand dinosaur skeletons have been discovered.
The vast majority of fossils discovered are marine invertebrates (creatures that don’t have backbones like clams).


I’m sure you have lots of questions about dinosaurs. I believe I can answer many of those questions for you because dinosaurs are not a mystery at all. I know someone who was there when dinosaurs came into existence, and was also there when they seemed to disappear from the earth. In fact, this “someone” has written a book for us that gives a detailed account of the history of the universe. He tells us when the earth began, as well as when all the living creatures and the first humans appeared.

Now, you may be asking “Who is this someone you say was there to see the dinosaurs?” He is the Creator of all things. He knows everything because He is all powerful and has always been around. And this Creator had a book written for us to give us the details of how time began, and how the universe and all life came into existence. This book also tells us who we are, where we came from, and why we exist. It also gives us information on what is going to happen in the future! There is no other book like this on earth. It is unique, and it is called…the Bible.

When you understand the Bible, you will understand more about dinosaurs. The Bible helps us to answer questions about dinosaurs and about the world around us today.

Bigger. Among the most widely known type of dinosaurs, the sauropods (“lizard foot”) are some of the largest creatures to ever walk the earth. Many of these dinosaurs are known by only a few pieces of bone fragments, and debate continues on just which dinosaur was the largest ever. As discoveries continue, more will be known about these massive giants. Sauroposeidon (“earthquake god lizard”) was considered the largest dinosaur ever to live, until the discovery of Argentinosaurus (“silver lizard”). Though only a few bones of each creature have been found, many scientists estimate that Argentinosaurus was larger, though Sauroposeidon may have been taller.

Smaller. Compsognathus (“elegant jaw”) is among the smallest dinosaurs discovered. A little bigger than a chicken, this dinosaur weighed around 6 pounds. Some scientists have found smaller creatures, like Microraptors, which they try to use to prove dinosaurs were the evolutionary ancestor of birds – real science and the Bible disprove this idea. Archaeopteryx (“ancient wing”) is another example of a creature once thought to prove this link, but that idea has now been proven false.

Did you know that the Bible is really a collection of books written by people specially inspired by God, the Creator, to write down exactly what God wanted us to know? The Bible tells us more about who God is and why we can always trust Him to tell us the truth:

The God of the Bible is the true God: “But the LORD [is] the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King…” (Jeremiah 10:10).
The God of the Bible is infinite – He is all knowing, all powerful: “Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite.” (Psalm 147:5).
The God of the Bible lives forever – He lives in eternity – He had no beginning and has no end: “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever…” (1 Timothy 1:17).
The God of the Bible is the only true God – other gods people claim to have are false gods: “Therefore You are great, O LORD GOD. For there is none like You, nor is there any God besides…” (2 Samuel 7:22).
The God of the Bible is all wise and all knowing: “…in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Colossians 2:3).
Wow! What an awesome God.


The Only One.

Only God is a witness to the entire history of the world, including the history of dinosaurs. During the creation week, God created dinosaurs and flying reptiles. Pterosaur (“winged lizard”) like this one, could have wing spans of 30 feet. Stegosaurus (“roof lizard”) is easy to recognize with two rows of large plates running along its arched back, and its multi-spiked tail. Corythosaurus (“helmet lizard”) is a great example of dinosaurs with bony crests on their heads. Scientists think these crests were used in making sounds.

Does any human being (including any scientist) know everything? Has any human being always existed? The answer to both questions is, of course, NO. However, who is the only one who knows everything? Who is the only one who has always been there? The answer to both of these questions is, “the Creator God of the Bible.”


True History!

I call the Bible “The History Book of the Universe.” This is because it is a book that tells us how time and the universe began. And in the very first book of the Bible, the Book of Genesis, we are given a detailed account of not only how God created everything to begin with, but also major events of history that happened after creation.

You might be saying, “Wait a minute, haven’t scientists already found out lots of things about dinosaurs – that they lived millions of years before people and that they lived during the dinosaur age 200 million to 65 million years ago, and then they became extinct?”

Well, not all scientists say that! And though the majority of people today might believe that dinosaurs lived millions of years ago, the majority are wrong on this. And more and more people are now finding out the truth because they listen to and understand God’s Word!



I really, really want to say something nice, so here goes: The illustrations in this book are fantastic. Everything else is absolutely dreadful.

I was curious to see how Mr. Ham was going to incorporate a Christian worldview into the dinosaur paeon. What he came up with is such utter bull that I'm not sure how any sane publisher ever agreed to print it. T-Rex on the Ark? The Earth is only 6000 years old? You see, Mr. Ham is a Young Earth Creationist. He doesn't believe in carbon-dating, but apparently he's okay with CT scans; which are another kind of radiology. (Go figure!)

Young Earth Creationists are, in my vaunted opinion, rather full of themselves. Taking the Bible too literally is... well, it's just stupid. The early Jews used stories, allegories, and parables to explain points, ideas and examples. Jesus spoke in parables. To constrain God to the human understanding of time, to believe that He could only work in 24 hour intervals, that He who created the sun could only work in the time it takes for Earth to circle it? Well... that's awfully presumptuous.

Young Earth Creation is normally characterized as opposing evolution, though it also opposes many claims and theories in the fields of physics and chemistry (especially absolute dating methods), geology, astronomy, cosmology, molecular biology, genomics, linguistics, anthropology, archaeology, climatology, dendrochronology and any other fields of science that have developed theories or made claims incompatible with the Young Earth version of world history. YECs are fundamentally opposed to any explanation for the origins of anything which deviates from their literal reading of the Bible, whether it be the origins of biological diversity, the origins of life or the origins of the universe itself.
- quote taken from wikipedia entry "Young Earth Creationism" 01/07/10

Not only do I not recommend this work, I absolutely oppose it. I would certainly never allow my children to read such rubbish. My apologies Mr. Ham. I'm sure that you are a very nice person. I appreciate your passion for these creatures of legend. It's too bad, really, that you are so incredibly wrong-headed.

In the interest of full disclosure, I was given a copy of Dinosaurs for Kids by Ken Ham to read by FIRST Wild Card in exchange for a fair and objective review. I did not take payment from the publisher or author of this book beyond a copy of the book in question. Disclosure Policy
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