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All posts for the month June, 2016

Father’s Day is for Fathers … Period

Published June 19, 2016 by Maryanne

Father's Day

There seems to be an annoying trend going around. I don’t know exactly when it started, but this year it’s more obvious than ever. The trend is women celebrating their mothers on Father’s Day because they feel their moms are like both a dad and a mom.

If a single mom does the work of two, more power to her. But taking a special day that’s reserved for dad and making it all about “YOU” is just another screwed up thing that is wrong in this world today.

You see, I don’t have a dad either. My mom was a single mom who worked incredibly hard to take care of me and my younger sister. She had a full time job and a part-time job on weekends for years. The thing is … I celebrated her a month ago … on Mother’s Day.

And today is Father’s Day, a day for all the good dads to have their glory. By saying “a mom who is a dad” on this day takes away from all those amazing men who are doing their job. And what about all the single dads who have custody of their kids and are also “like a mom too”? There are plenty out there!

As someone who doesn’t even have a dad, I still find it highly insulting to all the dads in the world that now have to share their special day with the self-absorbed people who have to make it all about themselves. To declare to the world on Father’s Day that their mom is “like a dad” because their dad is a deadbeat is just ridiculous. Love your mom, of course, but let those who are blessed to have incredible fathers have their time in the sun.

Today is Father’s Day … period. It’s a day to celebrate the male energy … to celebrate all our friends who are dads, uncles, nephews, cousins, and/or father-like figures. It’s about the positive that men bring to the table. The strong traits such as courage, confidence, protection, as well as the tender traits good men have such as sensitivity and compassion.

For one day, let’s get our minds off ourselves and make it about other people. If the day isn’t all about you, the world won’t come to an end if you’re happy for somebody else!

So eat some humble pie, and give the thumbs up to a father you know … he doesn’t have to be YOUR father!

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY! 

 

“On the Guest List” Book Reading/Signing

Published June 16, 2016 by Maryanne

Cover proof 4

Tuesday, June 21, 2016, 7 p.m. I’ll be doing a book reading/signing for my first book “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” at Fairfield Library, 261 Hollywood Ave., Fairfield, NJ.

“On the Guest List” is available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Guest-List-Adventures-Music-Journalist/dp/162903908X

“On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” is a fun, upbeat memoir about a girl who loves music and life in general. Maryanne paints a vivid picture of being a teenager in the 1970s and young woman in the 1980s — and how the punk, new wave and rock scene was from a young fan’s viewpoint. Life truly comes together for Maryanne once she creates a career for herself reporting on the music she loves, writing for publications such as The Aquarian Arts Weekly, music.com and Punk magazine. Unlike other music memoirs, there is no downward spiral into drugs and addiction. Nor is it a groupie “tell all.” “On the Guest List” is simply a compilation of mostly happy memories straight from the pages of Maryanne’s diaries — and of course, her heart.

Meet Nicholas Gray!

Published June 15, 2016 by Maryanne

DSC_0137Nicholas Gray

Yesterday my husband and I got word that our new rescue cat has a perfect bill of health.

He’s about 3-years-old and a friendly little bugger. He loves to cuddle, but really loves to play. He’s also a big guy; at 11 pounds, he’s heavy!

It’s been so long that we had a cat so close to kitten-hood. My last two lived to 19. The oldest, Billy Cat, passed in 2013 and Derick, just a little over a month ago.

Derick wasn’t even gone a week and friends started asking if we wanted a cat. We weren’t ready. We mourned a long time and even after getting Nicholas, things about him reminded us about our others that made us sad.

That’s the thing, you never forget your old cats. But a new one can bring so much joy. Since my other two lived so long, I forgot what it was like to have a cat that loved toys and jumped around a lot and scattered through the house. It’s just so much fun!

Like the other two, Nicholas has some “dog-like” qualities. He loves people. He runs to the door when we come home. And he’s very affectionate, purring up a storm when we hold him.

Just like love for a human being, it’s always when you least expect it that you’ll fall in love with a new pet. When the right one comes along to adopt, you just KNOW it.

We love our new baby and are very happy with him.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of “Love Cats” available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1681020513

Music Softens Challenges Faced by Family’s Struggle with Autism

Published June 15, 2016 by Maryanne

easthanoverautismTom Corea and son T.J.

I recently had the opportunity to speak with musician Tom Corea about the struggles he and his wife Carol face having a son with autism. They are truly an inspiration. The article was published in the East Hanover News: http://www.mypaperonline.com/music-softens-challenges-faced-by-east-hanover-familys-struggle-with-autism.html

Punky Meadows at BB Kings, NYC

Published June 15, 2016 by Maryanne

SAM_0379Rock legend Punky Meadows and lead vocalist Chandler Mogel

I was an Angel fan since I was 12-years-old … and back then parents didn’t really take their children to see concerts like they do today. In fact, I didn’t even go to my first concert until I was 15 and only because it was at a college. I was forbidden because “People smoke pot at those concerts,” my mother said.

But I had all the Angel albums and they remained one of my favorite bands all these years. It was epic seeing them in the movie “Foxes” starring Cherie Currie from The Runaways.

All that said, last night, standing right in front of the stage at B.B. Kings seeing Punky Meadows perform, with my husband who is also a big Angel fan, was a dream come true — totally surreal for both of us. Though my husband got to see Angel back in the day … lucky him!

We got the new Punky album “Fallen Angel” the day it went on sale a few weeks ago. The line-up is: Danny Farrow: guitar, Chandler Mogel: lead vocal, Bob Pantella: drums, Charlie Calv: keyboards;and Angel member Felix Robinson on bass. For the BB King show Randy Gregg filled in and Felix Robinson played a few songs. Plus two female back-up singers.

The band was tight as hell and truly recreated the Angel sound, playing five Angel songs: “Feelin’ Right,” “Wild and Hot,” “Don’t Leave Me Lonely,” “Can You Feel It,” and “The Tower.” Punky still plays incredibly. The new stuff is great too — and even greater live. My favorites as of now are “Something Strange” and “Straight Shooter.”

Fans continued to scream out names of Angel songs and front man Chandler Mogel jokingly said, “This isn’t an Angel cover band.”

After the show my husband and I waited outside of B.B. Kings hoping to meet Punky Meadows. And we did! We also got to talk to other band members, including Felix Robinson. It was so cool how everyone took the time to acknowledge fans.

An epic night indeed!

SAM_0352Live at BB Kings

SAM_0418So nice Punky took the time to meet us!

SAM_0416Felix Robinson, Angel member who replaced Micky Jones back in the day!

I had a crush on him as a teenager 🙂

SAM_0421Can you spot the Angel songs?

SAM_0348On our way into NYC, psyched for the show!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” https://www.amazon.com/Guest-List-Adventures-Music-Journalist/dp/162903908X?ie=UTF8&redirect=true

Take the Road Less Traveled

Published June 7, 2016 by Maryanne

road-less-traveled-desktop-download

Bike riding is one of my favorite forms of exercise for several months out of the year; throughout New Jersey’s spring, summer, and fall seasons. Even in winter we may have some warm days to bike ride.

My husband surprised me with a beautiful bike before we were married, the first summer I was living with him. I was so proud of myself for learning the area fast and being somewhat independent, I loved taking bike rides to a favorite park in the area.

This particular park was beautiful. I’d see deer, ducks and ducklings, geese, and of course many dogs being walked. A 20-minute ride from our home to the park and back could turn into a 45- to 60-minute extravaganza, as I loved to diddly dally, stopping to pet every cute dog and pausing to see the deer and ducklings … or even a squirrel or rabbit. I’m just always so in awe of it.

From time to time I’d see my husband’s brother’s girlfriend, Eileen, in the park and we’re exchange pleasant words. She was retired, and with me being self-employed, we’d often be in the park when everyone else was at work. She’d greet me with a big smile and big, “Hi!” It always lifted my spirits to see her, she was just such a happy person.

Right after Thanksgiving of 2015, Eileen passed suddenly. She wasn’t ill, it was just one of those things that happens. And just as suddenly, I stopped going to the park because I couldn’t go without shedding tears thinking of her. One day I road my bike towards the park and when I got there, I turned around to come back home, as I was not about to enter; it was just too sad.

After a whole winter of not going to the park, I started again in the spring. However, once my 19-year-old cat Derick died, I couldn’t bring myself to go to the park again. It was just too depressing being out in the sunshine when I was once again mourning. Instead I stayed at home with the shades down.

When my spirits finally lifted and I tried heading out to the park again, I realized something about the park changed. It just didn’t have the same positive vibe it once had.

In one area, there’s this little bridge going over water and people are supposed to walk their bikes over it. One day as I was walking my bike, a guy was running with a stroller. He almost ran right into me and screamed at me, “Get out of my way!”

I called the town and tried to explain what happened — that no one should run with a stroller and they should possibly have an official moderating the park. What if I wasn’t such a petite person? If that guy banged into someone who was larger, the child could have went flying out of the stroller and possibly ended up going over the bridge and into the water.

There were other incidents, but after that particular, I stayed away from the park for another few weeks. What was going on? Was I attracting bad things coming my way because I was so down about the losses in my life? Or was I just in a world of my own, not paying attention because I wanted to shut out all the noise around me? Is this why my essence was attracting such negativity?

Or perhaps I just needed a change … for closure … two many things about that park reminded me of what I lost. Mainly seeing Eileen there. But also, whenever I stopped to talk to people about their dogs, I was always telling them about my cats — Derick who just died at the age of 19, and Billy Cat who died two years earlier, also at the age of 19. When I moved to this area to be with my husband, my two cats came with me … it’s as if we all embraced the wonderment of a new township together. Me, a person who commuted to NYC for work for so many years, now was driving a car. And the cats who always lived with me in apartments, now had free roam of a large house. And then back to Eileen, the one who told me how to pronounce the Indian name of the park. I considered that park “my” park since 2006 … and now life was so different.

That’s when it dawned on me … there was another park near our house that could possibly be better for my spirits. (This one had a name I knew how to pronounce on my own!) Maybe this “new” park had my name on it?

This park was a little quieter. Maybe too quiet. Without all the dogs and possibilities of running into someone I knew, it might be a lonely ride. I got on my bike and went anyway.

And, wow, what a great peaceful ride it was. At this park, people weren’t running with baby strollers. They weren’t even talking on cell phones. They seemed to be there to take in the scenery. And they were more polite. People moved out of each others way. People nodded or smiled. It was a more beautiful vibe.

There were less dogs. But there were also less geese and less geese droppings. There were less hills, but one clean straight path to just ride on as the sun hit my chest. All alone with my thoughts, my ideas, my inspirations. I was able to think about Eileen and the cats without feeling such a heaviness like I felt in the other park. The memories were now simply sweet … thanks to the peace of a quiet, less traveled road.

Yes, the road less traveled was a lovely one; and certainly a case of less equals more.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of “Love Cats” available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1681020513

Pear Tree’s “Learn & Listen Series” Now Has Johnny Cash Tribute!

Published June 7, 2016 by Maryanne

Johnny CashHello, I’m Johnny Cash

Maryanne Christiano Mistretta, of Pear Tree Enterprises (https://peartreeenterprises.wordpress.com/) is proud to add a brand new program to the “Learn and Listen” series, available to libraries, senior centers, assisted living facilities, rotary clubs, Jewish Community Centers, etc.

Now on board with Pear Tree, Keith Beck brings his talent to the stage featuring the music of Johnny Cash. 

“Learn and Listen: The Life and Music of Johnny Cash” is a one-hour presentations, with Maryanne Mistretta sharing the biography of the the artists, followed by a half hour of acoustic music, featuring Keith Beck (http://www.zigmanbird.com/music) performing the songs the legendary Johnny Cash made famous.

UPCOMING DATES!

Check out this amazing new addition to the Pear Tree “Learn & Listen” repertoire at The Boonton Library, 621 Main St., Boonton, New Jersey, on Friday, July 1, 2016, 6:30 p.m.

Thanks so much to Stephanie Gableman for having us back for the third time this summer!

SAM_0259Keith Beck performing earlier this year at Boonton Library

Don’t miss out on the fun! Book us today!

The “Learn & Listen” series features the following acts: Johnny Cash, David Bowie, John Lennon, Elvis Presley, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, and Frank Sinatra.

To find out more dates, please follow Pear Tree at:  https://peartreeenterprises.wordpress.com/

Pear Tree Enterprises is updated monthly — so mark your calendars! All events are FREE!

For rates and availability, please contact Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta at: 908-276-1514 during business hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or email: maryannechristiano@gmail.com