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Dad Combines Love of Reading, Parenting, and Sports

Imagine a moment of low-grade, but daily, agony. It is time to put your child to bed. This is supposed to be a moment to bond, a moment to read a story, to support future literacy and your relationship. You believe in all that.

3 Reasons to Go Exploring in the Beautiful Santa Ynez Valley

Much like the locations it features, Rachel Thurston’s soon-to-be-released travel guide is brimming with beauty, culture, and history. Featuring rich, bold images from Brooks Institute’s Chuck Place, The Beautiful Santa Ynez Valley falls somewhere between coffee-table book and well-organized brochure.

What Every Pet Owner Should Know

Dr. Karen Halligan, devoted pet owner and respected veterinarian, has developed a distinguished veterinary medical career while gaining acclaim as a national spokesperson for animals.

Sci-Fi Skies

FIRE ON THE FRINGE: Few positives can be wrung out of the prolonged incendiary scenario and the lurking dread of the Zaca Fire, apart from the realization that it’s all perfectly in sync with nature’s clearing process. But, as we slink and cower beneath the sci-fi skies of orange hue and snowy ash, certain clarifying ideas hit home. There comes with the picture a sense of solidarity and awareness of the greater forces of the landscape that surrounds our urban coastal outpost.

Rhapsody in Yellow

I remember watching the first-ever episode of The Simpsons. Titled “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire,” this Christmas-themed pilot aired December 17, 1989-at a time when I doubt my seven-year-old brain understood most of the jokes or could have expected how this bug-eyed, surreally yellow family would figure so largely into my life. I know, I know-it’s The Simpsons, for god’s sake, but here I am making a case for the value of this TV show.

The Dangerous Book for Boys

Conn and Hal Iggulden have come up with an idea so great and obvious it’s hard to imagine why no one thought of it before. The Dangerous Book for Boys is a big red hardback full of information about the sorts of things 10-year-old boys obsess over, from building a tree house, a really good paper airplane, and a homemade bow with arrows, to reading a compass, identifying constellations in the night sky, and even knowing basic English grammar.

Music for your Eyes

As a child prodigy violinist, Endre Balogh remembers playing solos onstage at the Lobero with the Santa Barbara Symphony when he was eight years old. He then became an acclaimed chamber musician and accomplished soloist, but now he’s a fine-art photographer. Now’s your chance to see his work, which hangs all summer at the Karpeles Manuscript Library on Anapamu Street. The museum is free, so check it out today.

Dr. Mac’s Music

Although she was playing it cool, my friend was panicking when I went to see her the other day. Many people might not have noticed, but we mothers pick up on this panic in each other right away. It’s that I’m-afraid-my-kid-isn’t-going-to-get-something-I-want-them-to-have panic. It’s the kind of panic that fuels viciousness about preschool admissions and fist-fights over Tickle Me Elmos.

Visiting Ashland’s Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Things have changed a lot at Ashland’s Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) since performances began there back in 1935. For instance, when it started out, the OSF included boxing matches along with the plays in attempts to broaden its appeal.


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