Adventures of a modern mom: Disconcerting news on the music, toy store and author front

2012-02-23T00:00:00Z Adventures of a modern mom: Disconcerting news on the music, toy store and author frontOpinion by Kelley Helfand Special To The Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Today I'd like to share some thoughts I've had on music, the Tucson Lifestyle "Best of the City" article and the passing of author Jeffrey Zaslow.

Music

I miss the old KWMT FM "92.9 The Mountain" radio station. Clear Channel's "My 92.9" new format features more 1980s music. Having "Pour Some Sugar on Me" by Def Leppard follow Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" just sounds strange. I guess I'll be listening more to satellite radio.

I have to be careful, though, when I'm listening to SiriusXM in the car and my boys are with me. Many of the satellite stations don't censor as much as broadcast radio stations. I've been noticing a lot of profanity and adult themes in popular music. I'm sure it's because Preston, 8, and Griffin, 5, are singing along to a lot of the music and I'm more sensitive to what they are hearing.

Cee Lo Green's single "F*** You" was huge a little while ago. Even the milder "Forget You" version isn't the nicest thing to hear your kids singing. Nicki Minaj's popular "Super Bass" song is filled with words and themes not appropriate for children. Griffin told me that lots of his kindergarten friends sing the LMFAO song "Sexy and I Know It."

Many of the words and themes go over the boys' heads, and maybe it's not a big deal as long as I'm willing to answer their questions, like, "What does 'sexy' mean?"

"Best of the City"

The February issue of Tucson Lifestyle Magazine features the readers' opinions on what is the "Best of the City." It's fun to read what Tucsonans choose as their favorite spots, events and personalities.

Usually I agree with the choices, or at least understand how people could have chosen the winners. But I was disappointed to see that Toys R Us was voted "Best Toy Store." Sure, its selection is huge, but in my opinion, locally owned Kid's Center and Mildred & Dildred are so much better. They both offer excellent customer service and carry high-quality toys. Free gift-wrap is also offered, and both stores support local charitable organizations.

Jeffrey Zaslow

I was sad to read in the Feb. 11 Arizona Daily Star that author and journalist Jeffrey Zaslow passed away in a car accident in Michigan. He is probably best known for co-authoring "The Last Lecture" with Randy Pausch, and he co-wrote "Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope" with Gabrielle Giffords and Mark Kelly.

I became a fan of his after reading "The Girls from Ames," a moving book about the lasting friendships that began among 11 girls more than 40 years ago in Ames, Iowa. I was looking forward to seeing Zaslow at the Tucson Festival of Books, where he was scheduled to appear in a panel discussion.

E-mail Kelley Helfand at foothills@azstarnet.com

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