Holiday lessons: Never feed the dogs chocolate

NEIGHBORS

December 30, 1993|By LOURDES SULLIVAN

Lessons from the holiday season:

Never feed a child a peanut butter sandwich just before showing her how to play solitaire on the computer.

Never take the favorite stuffed animal into the rest stop, no matter how much the boy begs. You can add fifty or sixty miles to a journey by doing that.

Never buy a gift toy that has a label boldly proclaiming "over 400 pieces" and a fine-print caution, "some assembly required."

Always buy extra batteries, any size.

Never feed the dogs chocolate.

Don't ask who ate the last piece of Christmas cake and didn't even put the dish in the dishwasher: you'll never find out.

Learn a wacky song -- "Percy the Puny Poinsettia" was my favorite last year.

Make time to read a Christmasy story to yourself and to a child. It makes this day more than just a gift exchange.

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The Laurel Art Guild holds its first meeting of the year Jan. 10 at the carriage house of the Montpelier Mansion art center at 7:30 p.m. The featured speaker will be John Crumride, a noted sculptor.

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Brian Emelson, the recreation site coordinator of the Forest Ridge Recreation center wrote to plug his latest offerings. How can I blame him, with such programs coming?

Because the rec center is in a school, the recreation department can offer many early afternoon and evening programs for children.

Among the interesting offerings are a beginning acting class for kindergartners to second grade. This program culminates with a public performance by the budding actors at the Drama Learning Center in Jessup.

The five-week course runs Wednesday afternoons at 4:30 p.m. beginning Jan. 12. The cost is $40. Other offerings include Computer Tots, an orientation course for young children; G.A.M.E.S., a noncompetitive play session emphasizing that fitness is fun; indoor soccer; and arts and crafts.

The recreation center offers more than just programs for kids, though. Monday nights, the center is open for adult co-ed recreational soccer. The program is open to players of all abilities few of us are as fast or as clumsy as we think we are). Think of it as a more interesting aerobics class. Get rid of the 20 pounds of turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie you consumed over the festive season.

Call the recreation center to get more information at 880-5855.

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Spencer "Spinny" Johnson, a former member of the PTC world-famous Harlem Globetrotters, will visit Forest Ridge, Feb. 26 at 1 p.m.

Mr. Johnson will dazzle the audience with basketball wizardry as he stresses the importance of positive thinking, drug awareness and prevention, respect for others and oneself and the importance of education.

Tickets to Mr. Johnson's performance are only $5 per family but do sell out fast. Pick them up at the main office of the Department of Recreation or send a self-addressed stamped envelope with a registration form to Howard County Recreation and Parks, 300 N. Ridge Road, #170, Ellicott City, Md. 21043.

There's a limit of six tickets per request. Call the bureau for more information about this lively and fun program. (410) 880-5855.

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Michael Young and Arthur Adams of Laurel are busy putting the final touches on the live game,"Terror on the Thames," that will run this February at the Columbia Inn.

According to Gary Rumain and Susan Cohen, of Silver Spring, the authors, a live game is a hybrid of a table-top role playing game and improvisational theater.

The authors of the game and the gamemasters who run it provide the players with a setting, a character to play, some goals and a plot outline. The players however, provide all the drama, the dialogue and often much of the plot.

In "Terror on the Thames," the year is 1892, Halloween weekend, and danger is afoot.

H. G. Wells is there, as is Queen Victoria. But fictional personalities are also present. Eliza Doolittle is peddling flowers, Black Adder is skulking in the shadows and although Sherlock Holmes supposedly died at Reichenbach Falls, some believe he may return. (Ms. Cohen is very cagey on this last point.)

The authors and gamemasters are busy casting the roles right now. Players can request roles, though they may not always get them.

For more information about this game, or about this creative way to meet a slew of imaginative people, call Arthur Adams at 725-2944 or Mike Young at 206-2973.

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