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A Barn Yarn

IN THE AGE OF X-BOXES and DVDs, kids’ entertainment has reached new levels of techno-sophistication. But is that such a good thing? Local radio personality Mike O’Brian encourages parents to “turn off the TV and turn on your children’s imagination” with The Barn, a storytelling CD he created with local singer/songwriter Steve Poltz.

The father of three kids——9 months, 3 and 6 years old——O’Brian would entertain his kids in the car by making up songs. Seeing how much their kids enjoyed the creative process, he and his wife, Alisa, wrote The Barn, a 16-minute tale filled with songs, lively characters and a lesson about friendship. O’Brian called on old friend Poltz——who co-wrote the most-played song in Billboard chart history, Jewel’s “You Were Meant for Me”——to write and perform the music.

“Steve has been the genius behind the making of this CD,” says O’Brian. The duo developed the theme song on the deck of Poltz’s La Jolla apartment——the same place the Jewel smash hit was penned. Poltz, who plays with local favorite band The Rugburns, also performs the character of Dusty the Dirt Bike in the story.

Other cast members include O’Brian’s morning counterpart at US 95-7, Linda Welby; “Dr. Zoolittle” at the San Diego Zoo, Michael Ari Wulffhart; Channel 933 creative services director Randy Cox; and local veteran radio and TV personality Jerry Bishop. “It pieced together organically,” says O’Brian, a.k.a Tommy the Tractor.

The Barn can be purchased at Thinker Things in Del Mar, online at poltz.com or iTunes.

Fiesta!

CELEBRATE Cinco de Mayo at one of these local traditions:

Five on Five Block Party, celebrating Cinco de Mayo in the Gaslamp, is a 21-and-over bash featuring four bands, a deejay stage, mariachis, go-go dancers, Mexican food and “Marga-tinis,” May 5, 5 p.m.–midnight. J Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, 619-233- 5008; gaslamp.org.

Fiesta Poblana educates and entertains with a chicken mole dinner and a show featuring dances and costumes from the region of Puebla, Mexico, May 5, 6-8. Centro Cultural de la Raza, Balboa Park, 619-235-6135; centroraza.com.

The Wells Fargo Old Town Fiesta Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of cultural, ethnic and historic heritage, featuring a traditional Mexican mercado, May 5, 11-10, and May 6, 10-6. Old Town San Diego State Historic Park at San Diego Avenue, 619-296-3236; oldtownsandiego.org.

Chula Vista’s Festival Cinco de Mayo Celebration, a cultural street fair with food, music, dance and arts and crafts, is April 29, 11 a.m.–7 p.m. Third Avenue between E and G Streets, 619-422-1982; chulavistaevents.org.

Dying to be Thin

WITH NICOLE RICHIE and emaciated runway models splashed across the headlines, eating disorders are a firmly entrenched facet of our culture. Information about these self-destructive diseases is slowly reaching mainstream media, but access to treatment often remains elusive.

Tucked away in the hills of Carlsbad, Montecatini offers “healing and hope for women” with eating disorders. The facility offers two residences where those suffering from anorexia, bulimia and/or binge eating can take their first steps toward recovery. One of the oldest residential eating-disorder treatment facilities in California, Montecatini has served adolescent and adult women for more than 20 years.

“By using research-based therapies and employing an experienced, knowledgeable clinical team, we aim to offer the best treatment possible,” says program director Danielle Lullo. Each resident’s treatment reflects Montecatini’s holistic approach to eating disorders. Mind, body and spirit are addressed through individual, family and art therapies; skills training, spirituality and relapse prevention groups; nutrition and health education; and weekly yoga and Pilates classes.

For more information, call 760-436-2657 or log on to montecatinieatingdisorder.com.
——MEREDITH WATKINS

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