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All posts for the month February, 2022

Happy National Retro Day, Embracing 1980s

Published February 27, 2022 by Maryanne
Me, teenage punk rocker, 1980

I’m ecstatic that it’s retro day! Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE being in my late 50s – and unlike many others my age, I do love much of the music today (Billie Eilish, Sierra Ferrell, St. Vincent). However, I have to give credit to the 1980s for shaping who I am today. Music was always my life. Early 1980, I saw The Clash, and it empowered me. I was always bullied in my childhood and teens, but once I got into punk rock, I fought back. People still didn’t leave me alone, but showing I wasn’t afraid was really cool. I am so proud of my young self!

Me, 1985

Then by mid-80s I was a working girl and changed my style altogether. Yet, I fell victim to the “big hair.” This is me in the Bahamas, 1985.

Me, on the right, NYC, on stage with Pharaoh, 1986

From 1985 to 1986, I was part of the stage show for Pharoah, a 1980s glam rock band. Who would have known back then I’d marry the bassist, Dennis Lords, in 2011?! I was shy and barely talked to him, but I always thought he was cute!

Me, Summer 1987

By 1987 big hair was on its way out, but I still held on to it. Around this time many people told me I looked like Pia Zadora, who was a famous singer/actress, big in the 1980s. I was known as “The Pia Zadora Girl.”

Me, with Tiny Tim, 1988

Lucky me, I got to meet the late Tiny Tim in 1988 when he performed in NYC. My hair was now all grown out, but still “big” on the sides.

Me, 1988 photo shoot

Late 1980s, a softer variation of “big hair.”

Me, 1989

From 1986, onwards, I started getting into goth. But not being one to follow the crowd with a typical gothic look, this was my version of it, black hair, but embracing color like red and a pink lei at a party.

When I look back at the 1980s, I think of music, having a variety of friends, and the fact that my beloved grandmother was still alive. It was a time of going out A LOT. It was a time of seeing bands all the time (which I still do). And it was a time for dancing (which I only do on rare occasions). It was a time for clothes and experimenting with hair and make-up. I experimented plenty, because in your 20s you never feel “good enough.” While they were fun times, I look back and cherish, but I certainly DO NOT want to re-live them. Plus the fact that it wasn’t until the mid-1990s that my writing career took off. But that’s another decade I’ll revisit another time. 🙂

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: https://eroticbooknetwork.com/product/love-cats/

Maryanne is also available for book editing and coaching. Rates are competitive.

And for positive messages, visit Be YOUnique, the Anti-Bullying You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLq6J9MSvcjd-haQ30ycLWA/videos

New Jersey Winter

Published February 25, 2022 by Maryanne
Photo by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

I love New Jersey. I love that we get four seasons. Winter is not my favorite season, autumn is, but you can’t deny how beautiful the snow is.

A few weeks ago, on Valentine’s weekend my husband and I went to see a cool play, “The Wedding Singer” (you may know the movie with Adam Sandler; it’s one of my favorites). It was a cold day and when we got out of the theatre, three hours later, the wind had picked up and it was dark at 6 p.m. I declined going out for dinner and said to my husband, “Let’s just go home and snuggle!”

As we drove down to the play, earlier in the day, there were so many photo opts. The shots I have in this blog are photos I took from the car, illustrating the beauty of New Jersey in winter.

Photo by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta
Photo by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: https://eroticbooknetwork.com/product/love-cats/

Maryanne is also available for book editing and coaching. Rates are competitive.

And for positive messages, visit Be YOUnique, the Anti-Bullying You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLq6J9MSvcjd-haQ30ycLWA/videos

Billie Eilish – Prudential Center Newark, NJ

Published February 23, 2022 by Maryanne
Photo by Mistretta

Last night was a concert dream come true! I took my husband to see Billie Eilish at Prudential Center, Newark, NJ. I waited two years for this show! Back in 2020 it was canceled because we just entered the pandemic. It was a few months prior that I learned of her music. My husband was then working a night shift and Billie Eilish’s music helped me get through the sad, lonely nights.

Now we made it to the show and it was fantastic, including warm-up act, Dora Jar.

I am truly Happier Than Ever!

I’ll let the music speak for itself, via some really cool videos I found on You Tube of the show:

I couldn’t find any footage yet of Dora Jar’s performance from last night, so here’s an official video to support her :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJ-e2iRewhU

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: https://eroticbooknetwork.com/product/love-cats/

Maryanne is also available for book editing and coaching. Rates are competitive.

And for positive messages, visit Be YOUnique, the Anti-Bullying You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLq6J9MSvcjd-haQ30ycLWA/videos

Vegetarian Options Are Available On The Men

Published February 22, 2022 by Maryanne
Photo by Danie Franco

When I worked as writer and lead market editor for Dining Out magazine, I was ecstatic to see the first blueprint prior to publication. When we had our first blueprint meeting I discovered I wrote this sentence in one of my articles: “Vegetarian and non-vegetarian options are available on the men.”

It was supposed to be “menu” of course; but then again, who wouldn’t want vegetarian and non-vegetarian options on their men! 🤣

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: https://eroticbooknetwork.com/product/love-cats/

Maryanne is also available for book editing and coaching. Rates are competitive.

And for positive messages, visit Be YOUnique, the Anti-Bullying You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLq6J9MSvcjd-haQ30ycLWA/videos

‘To Sir With Love’ and ‘Lean on Me’ — Black Educators That Made a Difference

Published February 21, 2022 by Maryanne
Sidney Poitier and cast of “To Sir With Love”

Yesterday my husband and I saw “To Sir With Love” on the big screen. It’s not only Black History Month, but yesterday was the late Sidney Poitier’s birthday. He died earlier this year, but had he lived, he would have been 95 on February 20, 2022. The movie was shown at the Union County Performing Arts Center in Rahway, New Jersey. This is where portions of “School of Rock” were filmed. My husband and I attended many shows at this theatre throughout the years, including their outdoor concert series prior to the pandemic.

“To Sir With Love” deals with social and racial issues at an inner city school in London. Poitier plays teacher Mark Thackeray, who is waiting to hear about an engineering job he applied for while teaching tough high school students. The movie also features Lulu in the cast of students and also singing her hit, “To Sir With Love.” I won’t give away the rest of it, for those who haven’t seen it, but I will say, I didn’t not expect to get so choked up about it. It was a fantastic movie.

While watching the movie, I was reminded of another male, Black professional who worked in the school system and also handled students with tough love. Paterson, New Jersey principal, Joe Louis Clark. I was honored to write about Clark, not once, but twice in my writing career. First for The Paterson Press, and later on, after his death, I wrote a Joe Clark tribute for Grey Journal: https://greyjournal.net/news/joe-louis-clark-nj-principal-who-inspired-film-lean-on-me-died-age-82/

Joe Clark inspired the 1980s movie “Lean on Me” which you can read more about in my article.

While one film is fictional and another is based on a true story, you can’t deny the impact these films had on society. With one more week of Black History Month, it’s a great time to check out either movie–or both.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: https://eroticbooknetwork.com/product/love-cats/

Maryanne is also available for book editing and coaching. Rates are competitive.

And for positive messages, visit Be YOUnique, the Anti-Bullying You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLq6J9MSvcjd-haQ30ycLWA/videos

Love Your Pet Day 2022

Published February 20, 2022 by Maryanne
Nicholas

I should have known something was up because Nicholas came to our bed at 4 a.m. wanting snuggles – not food. He started out between my husband and I and worked his way over to me. He just knew today was Love Your Pet Day! My husband and I are the proud pet parents of three beautiful cats!

Give your babies extra love on this special day!

Sammy
Happy

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: https://eroticbooknetwork.com/product/love-cats/

Maryanne is also available for book editing and coaching. Rates are competitive.

And for positive messages, visit Be YOUnique, the Anti-Bullying You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLq6J9MSvcjd-haQ30ycLWA/videos

Happy Random Acts of Kindness Day!

Published February 17, 2022 by Maryanne

Happy Random Acts of Kindness Day! In my book, “Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” there is a chapter on kindness. It’s so easy to be kind and it doesn’t cost a dime. You can purchase my book here: https://www.amazon.com/Be-Extra-Ordinary-Ways-Become/dp/1733546227

I also have a You Tube channel, based on being unique, and anti-bullying. A few months ago I did a video dedicated to World Kindness Day, which will be celebrated this year on November 13.

Check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIWT_1E7g0c

If you’re following my blog, I’m sure you’re a kind person with a little sass like me. But trust me, being nice doesn’t mean taking away your edge. You can be both nice and bad ass (or cool, or unique). That means you’re not a phony! Celebrate with me today, and come back to share what random act of kindness you did today (or if someone gave YOU a random act of kindness!)

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: https://eroticbooknetwork.com/product/love-cats/

Maryanne is also available for book editing and coaching. Rates are competitive.

And for positive messages, visit Be YOUnique, the Anti-Bullying You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLq6J9MSvcjd-haQ30ycLWA/videos

The ‘Smart’ Phone Won the Battle, But Not the War

Published February 15, 2022 by Maryanne
Me, on a real Smart phone, photo by Darlene Foster, 2010

People do not believe me when I tell them, I do not use a phone–a “Smart” phone that is. I have four landlines in my house, one in the kitchen, one in the living room, one in my home office, and one upstairs in my Zen Den which used to be my office. AND, there is a senior cell phone in my purse, just in case of an emergency. Though I am guilty of forgetting to recharge it.

I do not want a “Smart” Phone. I’ve explained myself countless times and that shouldn’t be. It’s obvious the thing is obnoxious. I once had a friend who insisted on taking her Smart phone out, during dinner, at MY birthday party. She couldn’t control herself. It was her drug. She insisted on showing everyone at the dinner table a cute selfie she took of herself. These things turn nice people into egomaniacs. People are chained to them as if they were a life preserver. For what? To let everyone know what you are doing, every living second of your life? To update your Instagram page to show everyone your food, your cute outfits, and your positive quotes that you didn’t write. It’s all annoying bullshit.

About 10 years ago, Annabella Lwin, the singer of the original 1980s band Bow Wow Wow performed in my town. I was ecstatic. My husband and I scored a spot right in front of the stage. She even came to me and danced with me. It was an amazing show. There was a woman next to us, ON HER PHONE, missing out on this over-the-top experience. Well, guess what? Annabella Lwin called her out on it! She said, “There are people way in the back, rocking out, wishing they were where you are right now. Put the phone away and enjoy life.”

Correct.

People miss out on so much by being possessed with phones. Namely my friendship because I have no tolerance for this texting tomfoolery. If you can’t be a true friend and give me a real phone call (or RETURN my phone call), I can’t be bothered. Texting is so weird and cold. And dumb. I never liked small talk. I didn’t like it when I was young and cute and guys would try to hit on me while I was commuting on the train to NYC for work. I’m now 58 and I still do not think it’s cute. Give me a deep, in depth conversation that makes me THINK. Or make me laugh so hard my stomach hurts. You can’t get this kind of heartfelt exchange from a text. I speak with my eyes — not with my thumbs.

Sadly, whether it’s due to the pandemic or because some “GENIUS” thought it was a good idea, concert venues are tossing out the old ticket system. Instead you can only enter by having a security guard scan a bar code that is your “ticket.” I think this is dumb for many reasons. WHY would anyone take their phone to a concert? Oh, because they want to record it. Then stay the hell home and watch it on You Tube – I don’t need to see your flashing phone during the performance. Or because they want to take selfies during the show. Uh, see what I wrote about Annabella Lwin. Performers do not respect those who take pictures during the show. JUST WATCH THE DAMN SHOW! But, no, people insist on being assholes. Do they not think someone can steal their phone? In a crowd of thousands, anything is possible. Why not be safe and leave your phone at home. No, these rocket scientists didn’t consider that. Now bar codes trump tickets.

So, in order to go see one of my favorites, Billie Eilish, in a few days. I have to CAVE IN and get a “Smart” phone. I won’t have a paper ticket, not even as a memory for my scrap book. It’s all about a bar code.

I guess the “Smart” phone industry won the battle, but they have not won the war. I’m using this phone ONLY to get into the concert. None of my friends will be texting me because I’m not giving out my number. I’m not taking pictures with it because nothing compares to taking photos with a REAL camera. I’m sorry, I do not like the over shadowy photos, produced by phones, that make me look 10 years older than I really am. And my clients won’t know I have one either. I’m not telling them.

Just like my senior cell, this “Smart” phone will be floating around somewhere in my big ‘ol bag. I will forget to recharge it. I will forget it’s even there. It will be useless to me except for concerts.

Screw you, “Smart” phone! My friends and family deserve more. Phone calls, surprise cards in the mail, and even emails from a REAL computer. Just because you exist, it doesn’t mean you exist in my world. You will never have top billing in my life — NEVER!!!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: https://eroticbooknetwork.com/product/love-cats/

Maryanne is also available for book editing and coaching. Rates are competitive.

And for positive messages, visit Be YOUnique, the Anti-Bullying You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLq6J9MSvcjd-haQ30ycLWA/videos

Valentine’s Day For Pets Too!

Published February 13, 2022 by Maryanne
Nicholas wishes all of you a Happy Valentine’s Day
Sammy wishes all of you a FurEver Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is a day of love for everybody! Couples, singles, friends, family, and of course pets! Since Valentine’s Day is on a Monday this year, we let our pets open their Chewy box of treats early so they can have them for the weekend. The Chewy box had an assortment of catnip toys and treats to eat. But what did they like best? The box of course! Cat lovers know this first hand, cats love boxes big and small.

They know it’s a special day and love to participate. Give your pets some treats and extra snuggles in the name of love this Valentine’s Weekend!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: https://eroticbooknetwork.com/product/love-cats/

Maryanne is also available for book editing and coaching. Rates are competitive.

And for positive messages, visit Be YOUnique, the Anti-Bullying You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLq6J9MSvcjd-haQ30ycLWA/videos

Happy Valentine’s Day Weekend

Published February 12, 2022 by Maryanne
Me and my hubby

Happy Valentine’s Day Weekend!

Happy couples are always in a state of honeymoon bliss. Valentine’s Day is extra special because so many people are on the same page and the vibe is beautiful. Some of us have children or fur babies we like to spoil. I got our kitties a Tunnel of Love which they are enjoying and have a big box of treats and toys waiting for them in the trunk of my car (because I don’t dare bring a box of toys that contains catnip in the house–they will most certainly keep attacking the box; cats are ambitious when it comes to treats!)

Valentine’s Day we plan on just chilling at home. But this weekend we’ll be checking out the play, The Wedding Singer, a musical based on the movie. I’m super psyched for that, as it’s one of my favorite movies. It will probably be hilarious, and you can’t beat music from the 1980s (though I favor the new wave over other ’80s randomness).

Are you still staying home for safety during the pandemic?

Below are my 10 Valentine’s Day Quarantine ideas that were published in Grey Journal last year and still relevant and many still stay inside, while the rest of us mask up–or not. I’m fully vaccinated, but I like to wear a mask to help protect others.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: https://eroticbooknetwork.com/product/love-cats/

Maryanne is also available for book editing and coaching. Rates are competitive.