WHEN IS IT TIME TO GIVE UP THE B’S? Here’s a when, how, and why look at bottle and binky bye bye’s

Coffee or Vodka? Parenting 911

binky of doom

 

WHEN IS IT TIME TO GIVE UP THE B’S? Age appropriate and how too’s on saying bye bye to the bottle and Binky’s!!

Dear: Parenting 911

I am a dad of 2 beautiful kids, Zackariah is 3 and Maleiah is 5. With my daughter “LeLe” I had no issues with giving up the bottle  and she never used a pacifier –or “Bink” as Zack calls it. It was an easy conversion her need for independence, and desire to be more grown up far outweighed her need for the comfort of her BOTTLE. She was easy as pie to reach milestones. When Zack was born — my wife and I were  thrilled that we were going to save on formula, since he took to breastfeeding like a champ. LeLe was never a good “latcher” she really struggled with it, therefore the bottle solved our issues. Zack was awesome — he rarely…

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BOSTON MAYOR RACE : WALSH, ROSS BEST AT WBUR FORUM; CONNOLLY and BARROS DO OK AS WELL

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^ Dan Conley and Marty Walsh ; sitting to the side, waiting to get called on at this campaign’s least useful Forum

—- —- —-

Station WBUR hosted the last major Mayor Forum before the Primary and broadcast it as well. Perhaps that was why so many of the ten candidates on stage — David Wyatt and Rob Consalvo did not attend — speechified, pandered, and played the anti-casino hypocrite.

Very little was learned at this Forum except that many candidates who had distinguished themselves for for thoughtfulness and answering the question posed showed that they could swing the sweet stuff and duck a question. This is the sort of swerve that has made so many voters view candidates as a low form of life. It was discouraging to see and hear.

The questions, by WBUR’s Bob Oakes and his sidekick did not make things better. He seemed to favor the candidates sitting in front of him and to overlook those to the stage’s sides. Thus John Connolly and Marty Walsh, sitting at opposite ends, had to raise their hands to get called upon, while Jon Barros, Charlotte Golar-Richie, Charles Clemons, and Mike Ross, sitting stage front, answered and re-answered all night long.

Many of Oakes’s questions sought one line answers; many seemed like pea soup and pecan pie. Bring back David Bernstein ! Piniel Joseph ! Paul Watanabe ! Please, please….

Shall I go through the long night of chocolate mousse and near beer ? I guess that I must.

Asked who was the political figure they most admired, no fewer than six candidates said Barack Obama or Nelson Mandela. Felix Arroyo said “My father.” Wonderful men, all three; but shouldn’t
a question like this call for some original thinking ? Some sense of history ? Only Mike Ross — “Roosevelt” — and Dan Conley — “Abraham Lincoln” broke through the pillow talk.

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^ Charlotte Golar-Richie, Felix G. Arroyo : ready on day one to speechify …

Asked who was the person outside of politics that they most admired, nearly every candidate said “My Mom” or “My dad.” Let the angels dangle on their harps… Yes, one’s parents are wonderful people — usually — but is one’s family the only awareness field of these potential Mayors’ vision ? I suppose I should be grateful that no one said Mother Teresa…

Asked, “if you can’t be Mayor of Boston, which other city would you like to be Mayor of,” the candidates had to think fast, and it was tasty to watch them do so. Only two came up with a thoughtful answer. Marty Walsh : “Detroit, for the challenges.’ Charles Yancey ; “New Orleans, for the infrastructure work and the culture.” Dan Conley found levity in the query : “San Diego, for the weather !”

Questioned on whether the community vote to approve the East Boston casino should be city-wide or restricted to East Boston, the entire group, with two exceptions, answered as if intimidated by Bill Walczak, whose opposition to casinos, period, is an obsession with him. Walczak never ceases to decry that people of limited means will gamble their money away at the casino — as if they are not already doing that on scratch tickets and Keno ? OK, Bill, we do get it. What was truly depressing was to hear Dan Conley, Mike Ross, even Charlotte Golar-Richie dis the idea of a Boston casino. Ross tried to have it both ways. He doesn’t like casinos, but since if Boston doesn’t approve one there’ll be an Everett casino “seven feet from Charlestown,’ he will grudgingly seek a city-wide vote. Gee thanks, Mike.

Marty Walsh wouldn’t out and out say he likes the idea of a Boston casino, but he did note that it will benefit the economy of the City. (And also the construction workers who are his core constituency.)  John Connolly seemed to approve the casino project without endorsing it; he supported a city-wide vote and said so with his usual originality of argument. Walsh also noted that the enabling legislation — which he participated in enacting –for casinos included a mandate that a casino project would need have a program on site to deal with gambling addiction. So much for Walczak’s throwing drama all over the room on that subject.

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^ John Connolly : waiting to be called upon, he looked bored often and frustrated too. My sentiments exactly about this Forum

Listening to Walsh and Connolly address this issue, it’s reassuring to see them holding the top two spots, so it appears in Tuesday’s Primary. as for those who want only an East Boston vote, did anyone tell them that the gaming Legislation calls for a “community” vote ? and that the “community” here is the City of Boston, legally chartered as such ? Nothing in the legislation supports the notion of restricting a casino referendum to a neighborhood. Such a vote would simply be unlawful.

On and on it went. On the BRA and education questions, most candidates gave their usual speechify — Felix Arroyo especially, but also John Connolly, Dan Conley, and Charlotte Golar-Richie — even to some extent Marty Walsh. Perhaps their brains have fried now, their words stuck on hold, unable to restate. After two dozen candidate Forums it gets like that. Still, it is my duty to report, so here is a selection of what the candidates said about school reform :

Felix G. Arroyo : universal pre-school and a longer school day
Golar-Richie ; new school superintendent and create alumni associations of Boston public school graduates
Jon Barros : three strategies — focus, principals, school autonomy
Mike Ross : bring back our neighborhoods first because unhealthy children can’t learn as well as healthy kids
Marty Walsh : need to improve school buildings and school administration; we also need better diversity among our teaching staff

Does it all sound familiar ? You got it. Now go vote. Before the candidates repeat themselves into utter absurdity.

—- Michael Freedberg / Here and Sphere

MEEK AT THE MOVIES —- Thanks for Sharing ( 2.5 STARS )

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^ six coins in a fountain ? maybe THAT’s what we hear in “Thanks for Sharing.”

Sex addiction is a strange and fascinating matter. It’s also something that’s hard to comprehend and even harder to have sympathy for, because after all, what are we talking about, someone who’s compulsively after the fruit of life? That’s like trying to feel bad for someone who eats too much sushi or chocolate mousse. No matter, the line between indulgence and addiction is a fine one, and while Stuart Blumberg’s “Thanks for Sharing” doesn’t quite get between the sheets of the matter, it does delve into the lives of three recovering addicts.

Tall and rangy Mike (Tim Robbins) runs a New York based support group like a big Papa Bear — stern, avuncular and always quick with an answer. He may be the warmest practitioner of touch love. Mike’s addiction, while a bit vague, is more substance-based than sexual in nature; but he’s been clean for some time and seems to have a solid home life with his dutiful wife (a radiant Joely Richardson) who has obviously been through the wars (probably not to the same degree as Anthony Wiener’s spouse, Huma Abedin, but still) and opted to stand by her man. Then there’s his trusted lieutenant Adam (Mark Ruffalo), a successful international financier with a primo high-rise condo in Manhattan ; he’s five years sober, and because sex is so easy to come by, goes to painful extremes to truncate alone time with the TV and internet. The good news is that Adam has met the perfect woman in Phoebe (a very toned Gwyneth Paltrow), though he’s reticent to tell her about his bug (sex is permissible, just not compulsive sex). Adam’s also taken on a reticence to tell her about his bug (sex is permissible, just not compulsive sex). He has also taken on a new charge who’s a discombobulated mess. Recently terminated from his medical post in a hospital for sexually harassing a co-worker, Neil (Josh Gad) subsequently rubs up against a woman in the subway and as a result of that offense gets mandated to the group.

As gross as that sounds, Neil’s a pretty affable guy and perhaps the most anchored of the lot. After ‘sharing’ he forges an immediate and awkward alliance with Dede (Alecia Moore, aka Pink, who is excellent in her first real dramatic role) who does more for Neil’s progress than Adam. Adam and Mike, it turns out, are not quite the pillars of Gibraltar initially reported. Mike’s son (Patrick Fujit), who was both a victim and refugee of Mike’s down years, returns to the nest suddenly; past pains quickly percolate to the surface. Over in Adam’s killer view of the big city, Phoebe’s called on her eating and exercise disorders and can’t figure out how to digest Adam’s confession of sexual compulsion.

Such revelations become triggers and how they go off and integrate together in the bigger picture doesn’t quite mesh. Blumberg, who as a story teller garnered an Academy Award nod for penning “The Kids are All Right,” seems a bit hesitant behind the camera in his directorial debut. Situations erupt out of nowhere, and since we’re in varying stages of ‘recovery,’ without a genuine taste of the descent into addiction hell, the “now” feels more like artifice than sincere soul-baring. The Neil and Dede thread yields the greatest rewards, perhaps because we catch Neil just as he’s fallen, coupled with the reality that he’s not a lean, chiseled alpha male, but more a slovenly Jack Black or John Candy type. Dede’s efforts to get him out of his shell and pig sty apartment ring with bona fide compassion. For two big personas, the pair have many quiet, small moments tinged with sexual tension. How Blumberg uses that and the actors is a true charm and maybe the story he should have built the film around. The other A-list actors are fine, it’s just that their characters lack depth, especially Ruffalo’s Adam. He’s a weepy version of Michael Fassbender’s shark-like sexaholic in “Shame,” a film that dove into the nastiness of sex compulsion and put the audience on edge. Here we’re told the stories of depravity in group. Hearing is not seeing.

— Tom Meek / Meek at the Movies

“SECRET LETTERS” to home one stop-loss soldiers story LETTER # 4

If you haven’t been following this series the time to start would be NOW. My fellow Americans this is not a “STORY of fiction” this is one soldier’s ongoing battle or should I say battles THIS IS REAL LIFE — get off your ass and pay attention, THIS is what is REALLY going on….. If you have no interest in the real world a.k.a. our “GOVERNMENT”, or it’s cruelty to those that serve and protect, you are wasting the very oxygen the rest of us with souls and hearts NEED — TO BRING THIS MAN — and all the others like him HOME……

The Local Vocal

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“SECRET LETTERS” to home one stop-loss soldiers story LETTER # 4

According to Wikipedia, the Stop-loss definition is:

“Stop-loss is a term primarily used in the United States military. In the U.S. military, it is the involuntary extension of a service member’s active duty service under the enlistment contract in order to retain them beyond their initial end of term of service (ETS) date and up to their contractually agreed end of obligated service (EOS). It also applies to the cessation of a permanent change of station (PCS) move for a member still in military service. Stop-loss was used immediately before and during the first Persian Gulf War. Since then, it has been used during deployments to SomaliaHaitiBosniaKosovo and after the September 11 attacks and the subsequent War on Terror.”

The policy has been legally challenged several times. However, Federal…

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