Friday, July 31, 2015
Friday, July 24, 2015
Happy birthday to these celebrity July Leos: Selena Gomez (7/22), Daniel Radcliffe (7/23), Kristin Chenowith (7/24), Matt LeBlanc (7/25), Sandra Bullock (7/26), Alex Rodriguez (7/27), Lori Loughlin (7/28), Josh Radnor (7/29), Arnold Schwarzenegger (7/30), JK Rowling (7/31)
Celebrity August Leos: Coolio (8/1), Edward Furlong (8/2), Martha Stewart (8/3), President Barack Obama (8/4), Maureen McCormick (8/5), Soleil Moon Frye (8/6), Charlize Theron (8/7), Dustin Hoffman (8/8), Deion Sanders (8/9), Antonio Banderas (8/10), Chris Hemsworth (8/11), Casey Afflick (8/12), Danny Bonaduce (8/13), Mila Kunis (8/14), Joe Jonas (8/15), Madonna (8/16), Robert De Niro (8/17), Edward Norton (8/18), John Stamos (8/19), Demi Lovato (8/20), Hayden Panettiere (8/21), Ty Burrell (8/22), Kobe Bryant (8/23)
With the humid heat, emotions will, run hot this month. We should not avoid conflict however. Take situations as they arise on a solo basis, rather than attribute our personal bias or history. Address things as they come instead of worrying about their significant or insignificant meaning. Examine mood swings as they appear. Take nothing at face value or anything for granted now. We should shift our focus from fun and frivolity, and focus on the real things that matter to us. Whether it's work, money or love, whatever our greed, it should be attended to with great effort.
Friday, July 17, 2015
Friday, July 10, 2015
Rediscovering the LA Zoo with other grownups is a rare treat! After all, the zoos are places where children go to see animals. Roaring Nights seamlessly converts the sun-drenched kettlecorn and plush souvenir safari into a fun, comfortable night habitat for adults, which still has kettle corn and gift shops. A friend I ran into at the event commented that she was genuinely surprised this was the same place.
Roaring Nights is essentially a party with exotic animals, and it drew a big enough crowd to feel lively and popular. The event is laid out like an archipelago, featuring centers of activity carefully scattered just out of sight of one another all across the sprawling campus. They seemed to pop up out of the darkness as I wandered between islands of art and food and music. The distributed layout created welcome quieter spaces to relax between the busy attractions. It was also a treat to walk around the LA Zoo’s expansive asphalt paths without the usual midday heat. Attendees are a relatively even mix of all ages from recent high school grads to couples with grey hair, with a healthy population of attractive twenty-somethings.
The “animal artistry paint party,” a series of tables with paper and paint for making postcard-sized artworks just inside the gate was pretty quiet when I arrived but built up a crowd by the end of the night. At the next island in, zoo personnel in their khaki best have a variety of smaller animals for people to interact with. I stopped by mini-presentations on an armadillo, two snakes, which I got to touch, and an adorable hedgehog. The larger of two music venues featured live rock music at authentic rock concert volume which drew a dense and enthusiastic crowd. It is also net to the carousel, which runs all night for $3 per rider. The DJ and dance floor on the opposite side of the campus had a mellower atmosphere. Food was provided by popular food trucks, arranged into several mini food-courts. The zoo also provides surprisingly thorough, if expensive bars in all the food areas. Daytime zoo-lovers, fear not, the kettle corn stand is open.
Parking is free and easy, even if you’re a little fashionably late. There’s a very fast security gate to walk through and wristbands to identify the over-21s. I got carded! Try to wander to the big outdoor exhibts while there is still some light, as none of the enclosures are lighted, and many of the larger mammals do not come out at night. You are probably not going to see a lion at Roaring Nights. The gorillas don’t stay out past 8:00. Once it does get dark, the reptile houses are a good bet for animal viewing.
Zoo volunteers carry little flashlights, which they use to point out animals at night. I’m not sure how I feel about shining a flashlight into an animal’s habitat, but it is a potentially useful accessory. On the other hand, there’s also a special sort of pleasure in working to find a little moving shape in the dark, and knowing that you and you alone found the outline of a Koala climbing up his tree. The elephants stay up late, and their white tusks are particularly striking in the darkness. The animals are different at night – some are asleep, of course, but the ones who stay up for the party seem genuinely intrigued by the unaccustomed throngs of nighttime visitors. And the grownups are different too, more willing to ooh and ahh at the razor jaws of a false gharial. A couple highlights for my group included standing in front of a dark, empty enclosure, when someone’s camera flash drew out a little herd of inquisitive Zebras, and a paca which was so excited by our presence that it ran circles around its cage for its rapidly growing audience.
Upcoming Roaring Nights at the LA Zoo, July 24 and August 21, 7-11pm. 18+ only. Tickets at http://www.lazoo.org/roaringnights/
--Matt Share (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Friday, July 3, 2015
Summer is the season of Scout. In the "tired old town" of Maycomb, Alabama, a six-year old girl in overalls chases after her older brother Jem, while their widowed father Atticus Finch valiantly defends Tom Robinson, a black man charged with the rape of a young, white woman. On July 11, 1960, Harper Lee's novel, "To Kill a Mockingbird" was published, earning a Pulitzer Prize for its Southern Gothic style, and vivid characters caught in a slow boil of prejudices and racism. Two years later, a wider audience followed along with Scout in the film adaptation starring Gregory Peck as Atticus. To this day, the acclaimed solo novel has never been out of print.
It's summer, 55 years after the initial publication of "To Kill a Mockingbird." On July, 14, 2015, Harper Lee's much-anticipated sequel will undoubtedly fly off the bookshelves by eager readers, following this time, an adult Scout returning to her small town to make peace with her childhood through the differing eyes of maturity and a country in the zenith of the civil rights movement.
This season, Will Geer's Theatricum Botanicum brings the beloved characters of Scout (Lily Andrew) and Atticus (Richard Tyson) to the stage. It is only providence that this play adaptation happens to coincide with the timely publication of Ms. Lee's sequel as the play was selected before the release of this literary jaw-dropping news. It is also providence, (albeit a far uglier one), that our country is still very much divided on issues of race, justice and civil rights both mortally and ethically. Lee's novel was slightly ahead of its time, and may have contributed to the growing awareness in America regarding segregation, racism and the results of these...