Tuesday, May 18th


by GMT


Posted on May 18, 2010 at 8:16 AM


Eight years ago, on the night New York Times bestselling novelist Brad Meltzer became a father, it hit him. “…I remember looking up at the crisp black sky and thinking about this baby boy we were just blessed with. That’s when I asked myself the question for the first time: what kind of man did I want my son to be?”
Meltzer realized that there are heroes all around usfrom Jim Henson, to Rosa Parks, to Mr. Rogersand it was those heroes that he wanted to share with his son. HEROES FOR MY SON (HarperStudio / May 11, 2010 / $19.99) is a book that shows you far more than great people. It shows you the single moment that makes each person great. In a time where we are challenged in so many ways—by wars, a failing economy, moral failings of leaders and would-be leaders—the simple question of what makes a hero is as crucial and timely now for adults as it is for children. Bringing together vignettes, quotes and photos (many of which have not been seen in decades), Meltzer creates a special kind of guide to just those qualities that make a life great.
Meltzer chose 52 men and women as varied as the Wright Brothers and the cop who would help create the Make-A-Wish Foundation; Mother Theresa and Lucille Ball; Jonas Salk, Jesse Owens, and yes, Grandfather Ben Rubin. The stories he tells about them is pitch-perfect, and each tale focuses on the telling, little-known moment when character was forged. It might not be the moment we think of—for example Thomas Jefferson is not included because he wrote the Declaration of Independence, he’s there because he didn’t publicize that fact (indeed, it didn’t become common knowledge that he was the author until sixteen years after his death). Meltzer wanted his son to know that kind of modesty. 
About Brad Meltzer:
Brad Meltzer is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Book of Fate, as well as the bestsellers The Tenth Justice, Dead Even, The First Counsel, The Millionaires, The Zero Game, and The Book of Lies.   He is also one of the co-creators of the TV show, Jack & Bobby—and is the Eisner Award-winning author of the critically acclaimed comic book, Justice League of America.   His newest thriller, The Inner Circle, will be released in January 2011. You can read more about him at www.BradMeltzer.com.
Each time I see one of those Southwest Airlines commercials that ends with “Wanna Get Away?” I think to myself….does anyone ever say no? I mean who doesn’t want to go on vacation. And when I say vacation I don’t mean a business trip where you are locked up in the hotel with your laptop or in back to back meetings. I mean where you can leave your iPhone/Blackberry or, whatever else is glued to your hand, in your room and go out and enjoy yourself or do nothing, just do what you want. So we won’t get crazy because I realize in this economy we all have to work twice as hard but remember even a brief vacation can reenergize you and allow your mind to generate ideas that can make you even more valuable in your business environment. So we’ll imagine you are going to allow yourself a four-day weekend getaway and I’m going to give you some tips of what to bring.
Since I travel about 150 days a year I have discovered its easiest to just have a bag packed with the essentials and add whatever specifics I need for each trip. Some of my favorites include the following:
My Top Ten Summer Travel Must-Haves
1) A carryall you love.
My favorite is this amazing chestnut leather Saddleback Overnight Bag ($537) With a 100 year warranty and a company slogan “They’ll Fight Over it When You’re Dead” Get one now before there aren’t any more to will your grandchildren.
2) A versatile oversized handbag.
… to maximize your carryon capacity…just admit it, it never fits the same on the way back as when you packed it. And this stunning creamy white and gold bag is a beauty for summer travel. A versatile go with everything style to do just that…go with everything!
3) Reading material
Since you won’t be scrolling thru 376 emails an hour you’ll have time to read something that enlightens you or entertains you or just something you can read because no one is telling you what to read. I admit it is considered a business read for me but I can’t resist brining along the latest copy of Lucky Magazine to see what they are saying will be the hot new buy.
4) Travel Shoes
Once you’ve been stopped going thru airport security in a pair of boots you learn the valuableness of slip-ons. If like me you have a “Stop Me TSA” beacon on your had you learn to streamline everything. My favorite travel shoes are comfortable,easy to maneuver thru airport security and roll up to the size of my fist so I can throw them in my clutch. At just $22.50 how are you living without your own pair of “Spare Pair Travel Shoes/Ballet Flats.”
5) Oversized Sunglasses
So maybe you overslept, or maybe like me you finally want to sleep in peace or maybe you actually just need to shade your eyes but some oversized black shades are a must-have. They hide a multitude of things and work brilliantly for shutting down the lady next to you on the plane who was about to tell you about her recent intestinal issues.
6) A Staple-Meets-Accessory Scarf
Areat replacement for airline blankets, wrap for evenings, sarong for day and a little extra something for the freezing hotel room. Check out the cool multi-purpose scarves available from Donni Charm. You’ll be amazed what college students are doing nowadays!!!!
7) Little Black Dress
Does this really need an explanation? If it does check out my “Little Black Dress Experiment” from last year and see all the ways you can wear it.
8 Oversized Hat
To hide from family, ex-boyfriends, the paparazzi, or just to keep your skin shaded to avoid skin cancer, this awesome widebrimmed hat can be folded, bent, smashed and yet it still pops back to its original shape when you take it out at the pool.
9) A comfortable swimsuit
Get out and enjoy the beach, pool, lake, whatever. No one is looking at your “pasty-white-I’ve been in the office all year” skin. Just get some sunshine so when you return to work everyone else wishes they enjoyed your vacation as much as you did.
10) A trip to the Container Store Travel Sale for all of lifes little travel essentials.
This last one is a little all-encompassing…but there are so many great little pieces I don’t leave home without….the reusable Ziploc complete with TSA approved travel-sized toiletries, jewelry roll, shake and wake travel clock, lint roller, wrinkle release, digital luggage scale, vacuum bags…and there is so much more to meet every traveler’s need. Visit the store or their website for amazing deals on travel goodies. Sale going on now.
Josh Goldberg's song is one of three from current and former students of Booker T. Washington High School for Performing and Visual Arts. "The Booker 3" is a project got students to be matched with a professional songwriter/producer (in this case, Cary Pierce and Kort Peters). Proceeds from the sale of "The Booker 3" (available on i Tunes with more information at www.booker3.com) goes to support the school. The songs were co-written and produced by Cary Pierce of Jackopierce. Josh was recently accepted into University of Southern California's prestigious Popular Music program and will be attending in the fall. As a result of a generous grant from the Goss-Michael foundation, and in honor of the opening of the AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas, Josh was recently chosen to perform his original arrangement of John Lennon’s “Imagine” on the same piano Lennon used to compose the masterpiece in 1971. He was also one of the first recipients of the BTWHSPVA Advisory Board’s Songshop Scholarship. Josh has been a member of Booker T’s prestigious Midi Ensemble for two years, contributing his vocals, piano, and original songs, and shared a Downbeat ©Award with them in 2009 for best Blues/Pop/Rock Group. Josh was a finalist in the Dallas Songwriters Association 2008 Song Contest, and has performed for their Crossroads Songwriting Festival multiple times. Other performance highlights include: Deep Ellum Arts Fest, opening ceremonies of the Maccabi International Youth Olympics, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson’s Holiday Celebration, Arts Fest at the Meyerson Symphony Center, Gala at the Wyly Theatre, Aga Kahn Foundation annual Partnership Walk, One Arts Plaza Block Party, No Tie Dinner [Benefitting Aids services of Dallas], Texas Rangers’ Foundation Dinner, Lightcatcher Winery, The Door Dallas, Save Darfur- Benefit Concert, American Cancer Society- Benefit Concert, and numerous appearances at coffee-shops, corporate events, and private parties. In addition to his musical endeavors, Josh is deeply involved in school and community life; he serves as president of the student council and the creative writing club and is the Religious and Cultural Vice President for the Dallas Area Federation of Temple Youth. Josh is a National Merit Commended Student, AP Scholar, National Hispanic, and is in the top 10% of his graduating class.
Booker T. Washington High School for Performing and Visual Arts
BTW Arts Magnet prepares students to attend college, conservatory or to enter the professional field. Since its inception the school has garnered 18 presidential scholars and 207 DeeBee awards sponsored by Downbeat magazine – a total unmatched by any institution, college or university in the country. The curriculum prepares students to explore an artistic career, with an academic program offers all courses required for the State of Texas 3 graduation plans. In addition to a host of honors and advanced placement courses in both the academics and the arts, the O’Donnell Foundation provides teachers with training in the Advanced Placement Program. Several teachers have been awarded the Surdna Grant which provides for professional enrichment. The National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts named BTWHSPVA as one of the five Distinguished Schools in the Arts.
·     Recognized nationally as a prototype for successful arts magnet high schools
·     Curriculum integrates the arts and academics
·     Students select an arts cluster to major in: dance, music, visual arts, or theater
·     A complete academic program is offered including 23 Pre AP and AP classes
·     Grades 9 through 12; students must audition and interview to be admitted
·     99% graduate; 95% go on to higher education
·     Over $9.5 million in college scholarships awarded to 167 graduates in 2009
·     National Blue Ribbon Award for Exemplary Education by the U.S. Dept of Education
With an approximate ratio of 1 faculty member to every 12 students in specialized areas, the efforts of 61 full-time teachers and 14 part-time/consultant teachers are augmented by master classes from visiting professionals in every discipline throughout the year. Approximately 88% of the faculty has more than ten years of teaching experience, and more than 83% have advanced degrees. The distinguished faculty includes Fulbright Scholars, a Christa McAuliffe Fellow, National Tandy Technology Scholars, and several Surdna Fellows. The school’s dual emphasis on arts and academics has produced an impressive list of graduates including Grammy winners Erykah Badu, Norah Jones, Roy Hargrove, members of the gospel group God’s Property, and Brave Combo. Other notable alums include dancer Jay Franke, Philadelphia Orchestra cellist John Koen, visual artists Christian Schumann and Chris Arnold, drummer Aaron Comess, and Edie Brickell of the New Bohemians.
More than 44 million Americans (21% of the adult population) provide unpaid care to an elderly or disabled person. Altogether, informal caregivers provide 80 percent of the long-term care in the United States. Many of these are adults who are caring for their aging parents. But, as Allison Bottke reveals, many who long for a strong relationship with their parent (or parents) instead find themselves trapped in an endless cycle of chaos, crisis, or drama. It’s a sad fact that there are a great many families where significant dysfunction concerning healthy boundaries plays a profound role, often spanning multi-generations.
It was during the speaking tour for her previous book release, Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children, that Bottke first discovered this problem. As she addressed our society’s current epidemic of enabling our adult children, she was surprised when, time after time, her audience would ask what to do when they, the adult children, faced boundary problems with their aging parents.
In response to these numerous cries for help, Bottke wrote Setting Boundaries with Your Aging Parents to address the more problematic relationships some adult children have with their parents as a direct result of a parent’s destructive choices. Bottke specifically addresses the more toxic relationships—the less-than-Norman-Rockwell-images” of family. Using the Six-Steps to SANITY, she helps “not so perfect parents” to find balance in the difficult journey of setting healthy boundaries with their aging parents.