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October 16, 2012

Jam with Radio Disney this weekend at Zoo Miami

Looking for something fun to do this weekend? Take the whole family to Zoo Miami on Saturday for an event celebrating the release of “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” on Blu-ray and DVD, out today.

Jam out with Radio Disney from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and participate in games, activities and dancing.

Get there early because the first 100 kids will receive a free gift!


Zoo Miami is at 12400 SW 152nd St. Miami. General zoo admission is $15.95 per adult and $11.95 per child ages 3 to 12 plus tax. Children 2 and younger, Zoological Society of Florida members and parking are free. For more information, visit or call 305-251-0400.

POSTED IN: Activities (143), Entertainment (114)

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October 11, 2012

Publix deli line: Why I order ahead


It's not good for my kids to see me stress out as we approach the Publix deli line.

The line is often 10 people deep, and no one looks happy. Everyone is confused over whether to take a number or not. Inevitably, the person in front of me has a seemingly endless order of turkey, chicken, meats and cheeses, and must get a taste of each one before proceeding.

I try to get there early in the morning to avoid the line. But when I can't, I've figured out a new way to approach the line: by ordering ahead.

I call the day before to place my order and it's ready when I get there. What a relief to avoid that wait! The only problem is I have to go up to the counter to get my little package. Those in line have not looked too happy.

Photo: Amy Beth Bennett/Sun-Sentinel

POSTED IN: Lois Solomon (211)

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October 3, 2012

Tim Burton’s ‘Frankenweenie’ is electric

Victor Frankenstein and Sparky in "Frankenweenie" directed by Tim Burton and presented by Walt Disney Pictures. Photo/Disney

It’s a film of opposites. Black and white. Good and evil. Fun and fright. But only one word comes to mind when summing it up: Magical.

Tim Burton’s creative genius has come back to life in his latest stop-motion Disney animated flick, “Frankenweenie.” This film about a boy and his dog will appeal to a wide range of ages and personalities. Dog lover or not, the story will pull at your heartstrings. Tender moments of love and affection create a sense of relateability to the quirky animated characters.

In the black-and-white film, a boy named Victor Frankenstein (Charlie Tahan) uses his love for science to bring his dog, Sparky, back to life. Even though you already know Sparky’s fate based on the premise of the movie, the scene of him being hit by a car is capable of drawing tears — until Victor, a boy of few companions who takes solace in science experiments, brings Sparky back to life in his attic using lighting and electricity. The “Frankenstein”-esque scene is one of Burton’s references to horror classics; other nods include characters’ names, such as Elsa Van Helsing, Edgar “E” Gore and Mr. Burgemeister.

When classmate Edgar learns of Victor’s “experiment,” he blackmails Victor into teaching him his method. They re-create the experiment on a dead goldfish, but the result was a more sinister, invisible monster fish. Victor seeks advice from his forward-thinking science teacher Mr. Rzykruski (Martin Landau), who tells him that science can be used for good or evil, so he must be careful. He asks Victor if he loved the second experiment the way he loved the first. Since Victor says no, Mr. Rzykruski says the lack of love was a change in the variables, resulting in the disastrous second outcome. The lesson learned is that we are all capable of both good and evil, and it’s up to us to decide which path we take.

Edgar spills the beans to more children who then try to one-up him by conducting the experiment themselves but unintentionally create monsters that menace the town (which looks like it was plucked right out of “Edward Scissorhands”).

The movie also stars Burton veterans Winona Ryder (“Beetlejuice,” “Edward Scissorhands”), Catherine O’Hara (“Beetlejuice,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas”), Martin Short (“Mars Attacks!”) and Martin Landau (“Ed Wood,” Sleepy Hollow”).

Charged with just the right amount of positive and negative, “Frankenweenie” is the perfect movie for this time of year and one that Disney can add to its Halloween bag of tricks — and treats.

“Frankenweenie,” in theaters Oct. 5, is rated PG; some material may be too intense for the littlest of moviegoers, so parents should use their judgment. Go to


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October 2, 2012

Brandeis Books: When your kid needs a book fast and you don't want to pay full price

If your kid is like mine, she tells you the night before that she needs a book for school the next day, and she expects you to magically produce it.

I always chide her for not giving me enough notice. Then I check the library to see if I can pick it up, since I don't want to pay full price at a bookstore.

But she usually needs the book for more than a month, and wants to take notes in it. Fortunately, I have found a terrific used book store, Brandeis Books, in West Boca, which raises money for Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass. (my alma mater).

I call first and the volunteers check to see if they have it. They always do. Yesterday I picked up "Animal Farm," by George Orwell. I paid $3.18.

One day I will walk through there and explore. The shelves are teeming with classics and bestsellers. I have many at home that I am eager to donate too. Brandeis Books is at 9050 Kimberly Blvd., 561-852-2650.

Photo: Reuters

POSTED IN: Lois Solomon (211)

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About the authors
Gretchen Day-Bryant has a son in high school and a daughter in middle school. She’s lived to tell about the struggles of juggling little kids and work.
Joy Oglesby has a preschooler...
Cindy Kent Fort Lauderdale mother of three. Her kids span in ages from teenager to 20s.
Rafael Olmeda and his wife welcomed their first son in Feb. 2009, and he's helping raise two teenage stepdaughters.
Lois Solomonlives with her husband and three daughters.
Georgia East is the parent of a five-year-old girl, who came into the world weighing 1 pound, 13 ounces.
Brittany Wallman is the mother of Creed, 15, and Lily, 7, and is married to a journalist, Bob Norman. She covers Broward County government, which is filled with almost as much drama as the Norman household. Almost.
Chris Tiedje is the Social Media Coordinator and the father of a 7-year-old girl, and two boys ages 4 and 3.
Kyara Lomer Camarena has a 2-year-old son, Copelan, and a brand new baby.

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