Mishy walking to the Arctic Lights at America's Teaching Zoo in the storm

It was one of the worst rain storms in the history of Los Angeles on  the weekend of this year’s Arctic Lights at America’s Teaching Zoo and we still made it out because we were pretty certain there wasn’t going to be any crowds. Most importantly, snow was advertised. They were going to bring tons of snow rain or shine and the event was not going to be cancelled. One of the many childhood pastimes we want to share with our daughter is the pleasure of snow – snowmen, snowballs, riding down a hill of ice and snow. We were lucky we found all three at this year’s Arctic Lights.

America’s Teaching Zoo is part of the four year course – Exotic Animal Training and Management Program at Moorpark College. If you would like to learn how to work with animals in zoo, on set for film, television, and commercials, or in theme parks where they have animal shows, this program is one of the most recognized and highly sought after in America. Every weekend, they open their doors to the public for a small fee – $5/person. Children under the age of 2 are free. For the public, they have animal shows where they introduce to you various animals they have trained. You are also able to visit the animals on site. Animals include a female lion, two mountain lions, a bald eagle, maccaws, several types of monkeys, among others. All of the animals are rescued animals – either given by U.S. Fish and Wildlife when people have illegally had these animals as pets or by the zoo – when they no longer have room for them. Some of the animals on site are loaned from studios.

The Arctic Lights is an annual event which features a raffle, silent auction, several types of craft projects – card making, ornament decorating, and most importantly, snow!

Preparing to slide down

Details:

http://www.moorparkcollege.edu/current_students/teaching_zoo/index.shtml

In Mother Words

January 1, 2011

I’m putting an early word out for a very exciting theatrical event which will be starting previews on Feb. 15th and opening on Feb. 23rd for a limited run.

In Mother Words – a theatre piece written by – Leslie Ayvazian, David Cale, Jessica Goldberg, Beth Henley, Lameece Issaq, Lisa Loomer, Michele Lowe, Marco Pennette, Lisa Ramirez, Theresa Rebeck, Luanne Rice, Annie Weisman & Cheryl L.

These playwrights are some of contemporary theater’s most talented voices, tackling the universal subject of motherhood. It promises to be an eye-opening, hilarious and irresistible night of theater. They will be sharing personal joys, absurdities and unflinching honesty about mothers to give voice to moms and children of all ages, races and even sexes. Whether you are a parent, have a parent or ever want to become a parent, this play promises to elate and terrify, equally — much like motherhood itself.

In Mother Words Conceived by Susan Rose & Joan Stein Written by Leslie Ayvazian,
David Cale, Jessica Goldberg, Beth Henley, Lameece Issaq, Lisa Loomer, Michele
Lowe, Marco Pennette, Lisa Ramirez, Theresa Rebeck, Luanne Rice, Annie Weisman &
Cheryl L. West Directed by Lisa Peterson Run: February 15 – May 1, 2011 Opening
Night: February 23, 2011

Running at the Geffen Theatre. For more information and tickets:

http://geffenplayhouse.com/more_info.php?show_id=71

Kidspace Museum

January 1, 2011

Last week, we spent a lot of time at Kidspace Museum in Pasadena. In the beginning of the week, we went for their annual snow days, and then it just happened we would pop in every chance we could when we were in the neighborhood. We were in the neighborhood of Pasadena to take in as much Pre-Rose Bowl Activities. When we decided to skip the preview of the floats, we decided to spend the rest of the afternoon at the museum – where it was New Years Eve day. They dropped balloon at noon and had activities around the museum to make noisemakers, pom poms, and New Years Eve party hats.

We have gone to Kidspace Museum first as regular visitors, and then as part of a homeschooling group to make and learn about Chumash wall paintings, then on farm day to meet and pet the young farm animals, and then snow day, and finally Noonsday or New Years Eve Day. I find it amazing how your experience at Kidspace can transform based on the special day and activities associated with those special days. On some days, we explored the entire museum – they have a lot of water play, walls you can climb, art activities, and gem stones you may explore. On others, we stayed in one section of the museum. Yesterday, Mishy spent hours on a tricycle, going around and around on their track. She did venture off their track, until we were kindly informed that tricycles had to stay on the track.

Mishy did get me to go on a tricycle with her – the same size she was on – we don’t have pictures – and we had races. She won, not because I let her, but because she is fast on that tricycle. At home, we don’t have one for her – she has requested it be put on her wishlist. Luckily for her, she has a birthday coming up.

Mishy on a tricyle. She wants exactly the same one 🙂

Details:

Kidspace Museum

http://www.kidspacemuseum.org/

Central Park

January 1, 2011

I know it’s not the summer right now – especially in New York. I thought it would be fun to post about our adventures in New York in 2010, when it was hot and the perfect attire would be to wear just a diaper. We were living in Brooklyn for three months last year for work and got to see and re-visit so many wonderful places. One of the most enjoyable for Mishy and probably for many is Central Park.

Here is a snapshot of one of Mishy’s time in Central Park.

At the entrance of the playground. We stopped by Whole Foods where their breakfast buffet is 50% before 10AM on a weekend.

On the swings. No visit to a playground is ever complete without some swinging.

Mishy finds the water! She made me run into the water many times before she ventured to them. I got soaked, of course. She did too.

Taking a break to drum on the concrete.

Running again.

We didn't bring a change of clothes. Mishy picked out a balloon that was by donation.

Both my husband and I used to live in New York. We met in New York. We had one of our first outings as friends at Lombardi’s – shared their clam pizza. We walked around the East Village where we were both working in the theatre. We went to see many plays together because he was reviewing shows for a magazine then and through my contacts at various theatre companies. Somehow, we fell in love and now we have a beautiful daughter whom we love and appreciate so much in our lives. This time in New York was my opportunity to show Mishy all the things I love about New York.

Details:

Central Park

http://www.centralparknyc.org/

Central Park also hosts Shakespeare in the Park by the Public Theatre and features a zoo.

My daughter is mixed ethnicity. In the fall, there was a touring photographic exhibition by Kip Fulbeck, a photographer who previously had an exhibition entitled – The Hapa Project – protraits of adults with mixed ethnicities. We didn’t make it to that exhibit – that was when Mishy did not like going on too many adventures in the car. When Mixed: Portraits of Mulitracial Kids was at the Japanese American Museum in the Little Toyko district of  Los Angeles, I really wanted to make a day of visiting Little Tokyo and seeing some exhibitions. (On the same day, we visited both MOCAs and stopped at a farmer’s market by City Hall.)

Making herself comfortable inside the exhibition

Following the handprints of other children and adults who are mixed.

I really think Kip Fulbeck’s photos speak for themselves and urge anyone with mixed children or children in general, to get the paperback copy of Mixed Portraits of Multiracial Kids. Mishy has been looking through the pages of this book over and over again, fascinated by the faces. (In the book, Nutureshock, the authors state that speaking about race is crucial by the age of 6 years old. Otherwise, stereotypes could possibly remain imprinted.)

Details:

MIXED Protraits of Multiracial Kids by Kip Fulbeck, forward by Dr. Maya Soetoro-NG, Afterword by Cher

http://www.seaweedproductions.com/

http://www.amazon.com/Mixed-Portraits-Multiracial-Kip-Fulbeck/dp/0811874087

http://www.janm.org/exhibits/mixed/