kids

All posts tagged kids

Love Cats – Second Printing Now Available!

Published June 4, 2020 by Maryanne
Love Cats 2020
“Love Cats” by Krystianna Mercury
With all the tragedy happening, I was hesitant as to when to write about the second printing of my book “Love Cats.” (Krystianna Mercury is the first time I’m using a pen name. You can purchase directly from Pink Flamingo: Love Cats).
I’ve decided that making my announcement today, National Old Maids Day would be appropriate, because it’s a day to support single and childless women.
In “Love Cats” (Love Cats) I address the “old maid” issue via my character Janey.
 
Janey starts out as a smart character who wants a guy with substance. Though when she meets one, her insecurities get the best of her and she subconsciously does everything she could to kill the relationship. Though the difference between me and her is that while creative success is what drove me, Janey doesn’t need any kind of success as she’s already a wealthy trust fund and she’s simply driven by her own selfishness.
 
Whatever motivates us to stay single (work, fear, waiting for the right one, etc.) I think it’s super cool that in these modern times women are viewed as so much more and we no longer have to live in “shame” because we aren’t hooked up.
 
I tell everyone who asks my advice, to wait. Wait until you meet that one of a kind soul mate who rocks your world. There is no need to settle. Nor was there a need to settle 30 years ago either, we just took more shit from people for not settling. I’ve avoided certain relatives for years because they were more interested in who I was dating and how serious it was. Not my career, not my interests, not my dreams or desires. Just who I was dating and if marriage was in the cards.
 
I dreaded those horrible questions, yet stuck to my guns and never settled.
 
Mind you, when I say “never settled” while I did date a ton of jerks, I also dated some really cool guys — just not right for ME. I am still friends with some of these guys and my husband likes them too. We are so blessed that we have such an honest relationship with each other. And his ex-girlfriend’s brother is my favorite of all his friends! And that’s another cool blog for a later date, how trust is the most beautiful thing in a relationship.
 
But back to Janey …
 
In “Love Cats” Janey’s live-in maid, Lucia refers to her as an “old lady” for not having a ring on her finger — and she’s not even 25 yet! But that’s how it was in the 1980s. So much pressure for a young girl trying to find herself. Too much noise from the peanut gallery. Urgh!
 
It’s so cool that it’s acceptable today for women to live at home longer, concentrate on their careers, and not even marry at all if they don’t want to. Even though I’m married, I can sigh with relief that there is no pressure on me to bear children and raise a family. My husband and I are perfectly fine with our little love cat, Derick. Life is so good when you don’t have the rest of the world throwing their desires in YOUR face. We’re so blessed to exist in a live and let live time. Let’s keep it that way!
 
We’ve come a long way baby!
 
THANK GOD!

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

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements. In addition to Love Cats, 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: https://www.amazon.com/Be-Extra-Ordinary-Ways-Become/dp/1733546227

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

Freddie Mercury, Bullied as a Young Boy

Published July 3, 2019 by Maryanne

Freddie Mercury as a BoyFarrokh Bulsara (photo found via Google Search)

The other night, my husband and I once again went to see our favorite Queen tribute band, Almost Queen (http://www.almostqueen.com/). Note that they have been around long before the successful Bohemian Rhapsody film. That said, if you’re a true Queen fan who loves the deep tracks, as well as the hits, be sure to check them out, as you will definitely hear some rare gems.

Anyway, before the show, I thought about how I’ve heard the stories of Freddie Mercury being bullied as a young boy because of his overbite. He was called a donkey by school bullies.

But did that stop him from becoming Freddie Mercury? Absolutely not.

If you’re having a hard time and being bullied, perhaps you have that special something that you can bring to the table by being YOUnique!

Check out my new video, where I speak about Almost Queen, Freddie Mercury, and how being bullied didn’t stop him from becoming a household name! (And if you like it, give me a thumbs up).

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

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing, and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books (in which she mentions Freddie Mercury in both, and how he inspired her as a child, teenager, and still today!):

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: Ten Ways to Become Your Own Hero” will be available October 2019. To pre-order, go here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

Youngsters Do Vinyl

Published June 30, 2019 by Maryanne

SinglesMy tattoo of the 45 rpm spindle

If I had a nickle for every middle-aged or old person who stopped me in the street and commented on my tattoo, “I bet young people don’t know what that is,” I’d have a hellavu lot of nickles. It’s almost as bad as people asking me, “How’s Gilligan?” whenever I say my name is Maryanne.

I’ve never been a fan of redundant comments, especially when they are incorrect.

Allow me to school MY generation (Generation X), and those who are slightly older (Baby Boomers)…

YOUNG PEOPLE LISTEN TO VINYL.

Yes, they do! This is not something I am making up. It’s a fact.

My husband and I are vinyl listeners and buy on a regular basis. We score records online, in record stores, and in antique/vintage shops. We always see young people buying vinyl. On Record Store Day there are more young people around to buy vinyl than older people. Young bands put out vinyl records. And they’ve been doing so for some time now.

Here’s a link to a recent article about the vinyl revival: https://www.classicfm.com/discover-music/millennials-are-going-nuts-for-vinyl-revival/

But I didn’t need an article to tell me that. In my line of work (writing/journalism/speaking) or even shopping for groceries, I chat with many young people who share their love for vinyl with me. Most of them get their vinyl/music passion from their cool parents. We’re living in a time where the generation gap is closer than ever. Kids are no longer at war with their parents. They bond. They do things together (especially going to concerts). So of course they share the same taste in music. That’s not surprising at all. Thanks to tribute bands, rock movies, radio stations that didn’t cave in to modern music yet, Sirius, You Tube, and many music stream stations, kids are exposed to the good stuff. Plus, there are so many bands around that emulate music from the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. Like all good things, you may have to dig for it, but it’s there.

Maybe 15 years ago young people disrespected parents, and older people in general. When I was in my late 30s and early 40s, I truly felt a gap from those 15, 10, and even seven years younger than me. It was uncomfortable and not fun. But young people today are the best younger generation ever. As a 50-something adult, I have to say I’ve never enjoyed talking to 20-somethings as much as I do now!

From those 30 and younger I’ve heard amazing things like:

“I’m sick of texting and considering giving up my phone.”

“Don’t underestimate me because I’m young. My parents have a record player in the basement.”

And in response to me sharing my story about oldsters commenting on my spindle tattoos, saying that young people don’t know what it is: “Of course I know what it is. How old do they thing my parents are?”

Young people checking out vinyl is also a matter of curiosity and exploration. During evolution, we have set backs, but life becomes full circle again. Young people have ears just like we do. They want to explore the sound on a record. Young people see a movie about Queen and they want more than what is just spoon-fed to them. Like it was when I was young, they want the records, they want the liner notes. It’s not just about Freddie Mercury and Queen’s greatest hits, they want to hear the deeper tracks.

For a very long time, we were experiencing a me-me-me generation. But that’s now a thing of the past too. In a month, I’ve had several young people ask me questions about my life, rather than just talk about themselves. This new generation is flipping the switch to something more positive and genuine. So why wouldn’t they listen to something more authentic like vinyl?

So, to all my middle-aged peers…

If you see someone cool in your age bracket with a 45-rpm spindle tattooed on them (and there are many — since I got mine in 1996, I’ve met at least three people with the same tattoo!) think twice before inserting foot in mouth…

  • I’m not dating myself. Young people know what a spindle is. And I predict within the next three years you’ll see young people getting spindle tattoos themselves.
  • Young people are COOL. Give them a chance and pay some attention to them!

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

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing, and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: Ten Ways to Become Your Own Hero” will be available October 2019. To pre-order, go here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

 

Anti-Bullying Book “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” Now Available on Audiobooks!

Published June 21, 2019 by Maryanne

BookCoverPreview Mistretta

I am ecstatic that my book “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” published by Higher Ground Books & Media, is now available on AUDIO! (https://www.audible.com/pd/I-Dont-Want-to-Be-Like-You-Audiobook/B07TB2VKWY?source_code=AUDFPWS0223189MWT-BK-ACX0-155390&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_155390_rh_us)

Sarah Staton is the voice who made my story come to life!

My book takes place growing up in the 1970s when I was bullied in both grade school and high school. And I’m sad to say, that even in this day and age bullying continues. Children are committing suicide because of assholes who have not yet evolved. Adults are secretly emailing me, “Write something about bullying in the workplace.”

It makes me so angry that 50 years later, it’s not getting better but worse.

Bullies target those who are unique; those who speak up for themselves; those who are shy; those who are creative; those who are very smart and think out of the box; those who don’t follow the crowd; and those who are very good looking. If you recognize yourself in any of those words, you most likely were a target for a bully. Because victims are often so smart and creative, they also carry around insecurities. Smart and creative people never feel good enough. You know that old saying, a genius never sees himself as one. Bullies pick up on this and attack.

The good news is, there is no reason at all to feel shame. It’s not you, it’s them. Bullies are the ones who feel hurt, sad, unloved, ugly, dumb, so they target others to make themselves feel big. Bullies are also masters at gas lighting (making others think THEY are the ones who are crazy). It’s a manipulative way for a bully to “win.”

Truth be told, all bullies are losers. If you can’t come from a place of love, you’ll never evolve. And isn’t evolution the ultimate goal? 

I recently sent out a call for speaking engagements. I let everyone know I am READY to speak out against bullying — in libraries, schools, corporations — and I will travel.

One of the responses I received was that bullying isn’t going away.

I did not know how to answer that. From what I wrote above, you may think I agree that it’s not going away. But hear me out, I now believe differently.

I was speaking to someone in a health food store earlier today. This man asked me if I was a vegan.

I said, “No, but I eat vegan for several days at a time.” I further explained I was a vegetarian/vegan for 28 years, from ages 23 to 51. Then I started eating meat (grass-fed only, and some chicken — no pork or veal!) to get my health in order. (I went from having low blood sugar, thyroid issues, low white blood cell count, very low blood pressure/borderline anemic as a vegetarian to a person of perfect health with some meat back in my body!)

After hearing my story, my new vegan friend thanked me for being one of the leaders in the movement back in the day when it was HARD. Now it’s easy! There are more vegans than ever and you can get vegan food anywhere. But in 1986, I was considered a “weirdo” for not eating meat.

What does this have to do with bullying, you may ask? 

You see, over 30 years ago, people didn’t get vegetarians. But we’ve evolved. Now we get it. And people are health conscious and accepting. The smarter ones are getting along in harmony. THIS can happen with bullying too!

At age 55, I see myself having at least another good 30 years on this planet, in this body I rented. In the year 2049, I TRULY BELIEVE, bullying will be on its way to extinction. We will evolve and change the world. Bullies will be the new neanderthals … so over. People who love will no longer be the weirdos. They will be the WINNERS! The meek will surely inherit the earth.

I CAN’T WAIT!

In the meantime, please purchase my book or audio book, it may save your child’s life when he or she hears about how I was bullied, but grew up to be successful and happy!

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

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing, and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: Ten Ways to Become Your Own Hero” will be available October 2019. To pre-order, go here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

 

Anti-Bullying Book Club!

Published April 7, 2019 by Maryanne

IMG_20190406_172624_591 (1)Say “yes” to acai bowls and “no” to bullying! (Photo by Sara Liptack)

I was so honored to be a part of an anti-bulling club this weekend!

Sara Liptack of the Little Free Library, Westfield, New Jersey, invited me to her home to discuss my book, “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” with young readers in the Westfield neighborhood.

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is about my experiences growing up in the 1970s and dealing with bullying throughout grade school and high school. The girls had a few weeks to read the book, but they all said they finished it in one or two sittings.

It was refreshing to be in the company of such inspirational young ladies who are all anti-bullying advocates and have dreams for a bright future.

What I’ve learned, unfortunately, is that when it comes to peer pressure and bullying, not much has changed in the last 40 years; especially now with the internet.

The good news is, the four girls I’ve spoken with were confident to be themselves and truly have it together when it comes to standing apart from the crowd, going after their dreams, and not worrying what others think of them.

One commented, “I can’t wait to go to college. I’m going to learn so much!”

I asked the girls what part of the book they liked best. Most agreed they liked the whole book, in general, and that it was a quick read. One young lady said her favorite part was when I started fighting back.

In a comfortable, private setting, everyone, including the adults Sara and myself, shared their experiences with bullying and how they handled it. It was an awesome event and a great learning experience.

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

She is available for motivational speaking engagements and is the author of the following books: 

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: Ten Ways to Become Your Own Hero” will be available October 2019. To pre-order, go here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

Essex Special Skaters 2013

Published April 28, 2013 by Maryanne

SAM_0705

Last night my husband Dennis and I had the pleasure of going to see Robby Stutts, son of our dear friends Bob and Marie Stutts, ice skate in the Special Skaters Spring Spectacular, along with other special needs skaters.

It was quite a show! Robbie was fantastic. In fact, he even won medals for his talents! (Here’s a recent article about him and some adorable pictures: http://www.northjersey.com/sports/201228481_Cedar_Grove_resident_wins_gold_medal_at_Special_Olympics.html?c=y&page=1)

And here is a video of Robby skating from 2012: Robby Stutts

Robby is such a sweet kid and an inspiration! Go Robby!

SAM_0702Robby Stutts and Maryanne

Note: The delicious looking cupcake was made by Robby’s dad, Bob Stutts aka Mr. Fun, Funtime Cakes

You can like Funtime Cakes on Face Book: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Funtime-Cakes/212323232111664

SAM_0701Maryanne and Bob Stutts (Robby’s dad)

SAM_0704Robby (far right) and his friends

After the show there was a little party for the skaters with coffee and Bob’s Funtime Cakes. It was so nice to see Bob, Maria and Robby again. All the kids were so adorable and having such a great time. Very inspiring!

Afro-Cuban Festival in Paterson School 24

Published April 27, 2013 by Maryanne

SAM_0690Photo by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

Yesterday I had a very rewarding assignment, interviewing the students who participated in this amazing performance. (It was so cute, the younger ones that I interviewed were calling me “Miss Reporter.” I loved it!)

Here’s the full article, plus a video that someone else took. Enjoy!

http://www.northjersey.com/community/community_events/They_got_the_beat_Paterson_students_shine_in_Afro-Cuban_Festival.html?c=y&page=1

Baggy Maggy and Friends Save Stinkville

Published April 22, 2013 by Maryanne

BAGGYMAGGY_032212_gh_tif_New Jersey author Paulette Szalay’s book “Baggy Maggy and Friends Save Stinkville” 

This morning I had the honor to meet and interview Paulette Szalay who wrote the environmentally conscious book, “Baggy Maggy and Friends Save Stinkville.”

It’s a great book to inspire children to recycle!

For more information, visit: http://www.baggymaggy.com/

American Idle

Published January 17, 2013 by Maryanne

American Idol

American Idol is another show I was late jumping on the band wagon for. I was first intrigued after seeing a clip of Adam Lambert performing. My sister was a huge fan. One day I was at her home. All the women were in the living room watching Adam Lambert videos that my sister compiled. We were all so intrigued another woman was stuck in the bathroom (the door was jammed) for 20 minutes before anyone realized. Yeah, Adam is a hottie.

Then the following year I watched the show because Steven Tyler was a judge. I’ve been an Aerosmith fan since I was 13, and I was friends with Steve Tyler’s late wife Cyrinda Foxe. I attended her funeral and met Tyler. When I offered my condolences, he thanked me for my kind words and gave me a big hug. So, hell yeah, I made sure I watched every episode that Steve Tyler was on. And he delivered. He was funny as hell, sincere and encouraging to the kids. As great on screen as he is off.

Thanks to Steve Tyler, I fell in love with American Idol. Those young performers were terrific. The judges had a great chemistry. It just worked. For two years I was a part of what I was missing since the show debuted almost a decade prior.

Last night I watched a mere five minutes, with the new judges (except for Randy Jackson) and all I saw was bickering between Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj. Was this drama real or fake for publicity? I don’t know, but I didn’t like it.

To me, bickering between judges takes away from the talent of the kids. And remember, this is a family show.

I am almost 50-years-old and miss the variety shows I loved growing up. The ones I remember were  “Sonny & Cher,” “Tony Orlando & Dawn,” “The Dean Martin Show,” “The Tom Jones Show.”

These shows were extremely entertaining. Yeah, if you have them on DVD some of the old jokes were corny, but everyone came across as professional. If there ever was any drama, you may read about it in the tabloids, it wasn’t in your face. You could disappear into a fantasy world for one hour and pretend that everything was good and everyone liked each other. You didn’t even know Sonny & Cher were going through a divorce. They gave the audience what they wanted, a beloved couple that knew how to entertain with talent and not resorting to taking the low road.

What was that old saying in show business, and a Queen song as well? The answer is: The show must go on!  If Sonny & Cher could do it, why can’t these judges just shut the hell up and act like professionals?!

“American Idol” is the closest thing this generation has to a good old fashioned variety show. It has it all: talent, comedy and fashion. And I love the mini documentaries on where the kids came from and what their story is. Some are heart-breaking and all are inspiring. But, sadly, now the Fox network show is low-balling the audience with drama and taking away from the kids and their performances.

Is this supposed to give the show higher ratings? Probably. This is what seems to be the American way. We seemed to have reached a pinnacle in TV Land where innocence is lost on all levels and unless there is *bleeping* words out left and right and people are trashing each other, our attention is lost.

Children Should Be Heard and Not Herd

Published November 25, 2012 by Maryanne


I can’t hold back.

I am very upset with some of the ugly, disturbing things I’ve been hearing out of the mouths of babes of late.

Ever since Barack Obama won the election, seems a lot of pissed off parents are teaching their children to parrot them by spewing hate and racism. This is not cute. And it is definitely not fair to the child.

Is this what parents want? Do parents REALLY want their children growing up to be 21st century Archie Bunkers? Bullies? Young people who can’t think for themselves? Young people with a herd mentality?

Do these words mean anything to them? Racist. Ignorance. Intolerance. Homophobia.

I’d like to believe the world is moving forward in a positive direction. Do you want your child left behind and viewed in an unfavorable way by others because of the backward things you are teaching him to repeat?

Is your ego that fragile that you have to brainwash your child in order to compensate for what you feel is your loss?

Is creating a “mini me monster” your way of getting back at those who voted for who we thought would be the best leader of our country for the next four years?

Way to go, parents! Teach your kid to be a brat because you didn’t get your way. Shame on you!

Back in the early 1990s I lived next door to a Russian family. The little girl was named Tanya and she was extraordinarily smart. She’d come to my apartment every day and talk to me. I took her shopping with me and to the zoo.

One day she was very excited to tell me that they got to vote in school.

I asked her, “So who did you pick for president?”

She said, “Nobody.”

I asked why.

She said, “Well, if I voted for one president, the other would be mad. And I don’t need a president being mad at me!”

SMART KID! Tanya’s young words showed that she was a child who was going to grow up to be fair and diplomatic. And her words came from a beautiful source — her heart! Not something she overheard her parents say on their cell phones. If all parents raised this child like Tanya’s parents did — to think for herself — the world would be a much better place to live in!

From the lyrics of the song “The Greatest Love of All” written by Michael Masser and Linda Creed, made famous by Whitney Houston:

I believe the children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be