Monday, March 31, 2014

on my desk monday

I'm slowly getting better! I still have an unexpected booming cough and overall malaise but I'm pretty sure I'm no longer contagious.  Now I just have to catch up on things--as I said earlier, I have a lot of belated Hong Kong posts to put up!

But in the meantime, I thought I'd show you this:

They are the costume designs for Wheelock Where the Mountain Meets the Moon production! When I met with Jane Staab, she let me have a sneak peak!  Aren't they neat? They were created by the costume designer, Melissa Miller. I can't wait to see them come to life!

(The production opens in less then two week! Have you gotten your tickets yet?)

Friday, March 28, 2014

fortune cookie friday

"It is more shameful to distrust our friends than to be deceived by them."
- Confucius.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

trying to do things right

The doctor says I have a nasty virus that is just lingering... my Hong Kong posts are going to have to be very belated as this sickness is just beating me down. But these recent articles about ethnic stereotypes in plays make me feel obligated to force myself out of the brain fog at least for a short post.

Just in case you missed it, Newton High School put on the play "Thoroughly Modern Millie" to the horror of many in the Asian-American community there. The play (I have not seen it but I have heard from many sources I trust)  is rife with horrible Asian stereotypes, including a "a farcical Chinese accent." (When reading the accounts, the thing that makes me the saddest is how so many think "these people are just being too sensitive," which --to me-- shows a lack of empathy. I can understand if you personally don't find the play offensive but to dismiss someone else's obviously sincere distress is probably what started this fiasco in the first place.)

So, with this in the news and knowing that the Where the Mountain Meets the Moon production will soon be opening, friends have asked me if I am worried.

I'm not worried at all.  

I trust the people at Wheelock Family Theatre. How do I know my trust is not misplaced?

Jane Staab, the director of the Wheelock production, came to see me before they started to work.  During our conversation, Jane told me that before their production of Peter Pan she seeked out leaders of the Wampanoag tribe, met with them and went over the entire script. There were many reasons why the Wampanoag refused to take their children to any Peter Pan production and Jane addressed them. Small reasons like removing of a feather to replace an ostrich feather (as feathers had meanings and an Indian--they did not find the use of that term offensive--would not do that). Jane also added words from their language into the script, such as "aquine" which means peace. And, most of all, Jane rewrote the lyrics to the offensive song "Ugg-a-Wug," keeping the lovely music and important message but removing the offensive word usage.   

me & Jane Staab, the director of the Where the Mountain Meets the Moon production at Wheelock

The end result, Jane told me, was two rows of Wampanoag Indians at their Peter Pan performance who all gave it a big thumbs up. I suspect the entire audience would've given the same review. 

Which makes me so proud that Where the Mountain Meets the Moon will be produced by them.  If they give Where the Mountain Meets the Moon production even half the consideration they did with Peter Pan, it's going to be fine. In fact, I know it's going to be much, much better than fine. It's going to be great! I can't wait! 

Monday, March 24, 2014

on my desk monday

Back from Hong Kong, but still so sick. Boo hoo! I'll have to do a slew of belated Hong Kong posts because even though I was physically a mess, there were a lot of great memories. In the meantime, I'll just enjoy this yummy tea that I brought back. It's kind of a marmalade that you melt in hot delicious and so throat soothing. I hope it helps me stop sounding like a toad.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

What We're Reading Wednesday

Doggy Kisses 123 
By Todd Parr

Indiebound Description:
Meet ten colorful, lovable (and sometimes a little slobbery) canine friends in this kid-friendly concept book. From one doggy kiss all the way up to ten, each page stars playful pooches showing love the best way they know how. Featuring a padded cover and thick card-stock pages and filled with Todd Parr's signature bold and kid-friendly illustrations, here's a book that will make readers laugh out loud as they learn to count.

My Thoughts:
A surprisingly fun book! I don't think Rain Dragon gets the numbers yet, but she gets a big kick out of me reading it and then trying to give her the appropriate amount of doggy kisses. She uses the book often when she wants me to chase her!

Monday, March 17, 2014

on my desk monday

Not on my desk, but on my lap in my hotel bed were lots and lots of bookplates:

Unfortunately, our grand adventure in Hong Kong turned out to be not so adventuresome and not so grand. I caught something on the airplane which turned out to be the most virulent and persistent germ that I've had in a long, long time. When characters in books or movies get ill, they are still somehow lovely--just more wan, frail.  Sometimes they are even more ethereally beautiful, like Beth in "Little Women." That, however, is not me. For, not only was I toad-like with a bellowing cough, I was oozing all kinds of disgusting goo and bodily fluids. 

I was so gross that the school took pity on me and rearranged the schedule so that I could get an afternoon off to rest and (hopefully) get better. So instead of seeing sights of Hong Kong, I laid in my hotel bed, coughing, blowing my nose and signing bookplates. I hope they sanitized the bookplates before they gave them to the kids.

Friday, March 14, 2014

fortune cookie friday

“The great man is he who does not lose his child's-heart.”
- Mencius

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

What We're Reading Wednesday

Wait! Wait!
By Hatsue Nakawaki; Komako Sakai (Illustrator)

 Wait! Wait! is an ideal book for young children that gently follows their rhythms and preoccupations. With a text of few words, frequent repetitions, and delicate illustrations with which children will quickly identify, the book follows a young child's discovery of other creatures. This discovery comes with the recognition that while other creatures can suddenly appear they can also go away and disappear just as quickly. But the delightful appearance of a dad and his playful swoop of his toddler up onto his shoulders will remind little ones that the people who love them will always be there and will never, ever not come back.

My Thoughts:
This is one of those books that is a hidden gem. I admit I bought it because I thought the character looks like Rain Dragon, but it's a pitch perfect book--beautifully illustrated and exactly capturing a child's perspective.

But what clinched this as an amazing book to me is when one weekend we went to visit a butterfly garden. Rain Dragon was  she kept pointing at all the butteflies and saying "Wait, Wait!" and then "Book!"

And when we came home she wanted the book read again, too 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Monday, March 10, 2014

on my desk monday

This new batch of pocket pacys were on my desk but now they are packed in my luggage for my trip to Hong Kong.

Oops, did I forget to mention that I was going to Hong Kong? Yes, I am! I'm off to visit the Hong Kong International School there for a week! Originally, I was going to go alone but since Rain Dragon managed the Taiwan trip, we decided to make it a family trip again.  I think Rain Dragon has traveled more in her first 2 year of her life than I did in my first 10.

But I had such an amazing trip 7 years ago when I went to Hong Kong for the first time (and also visited HKIS) that I really wanted to share it this time. I know I won't get to see or do as much as I did the first time, but even if the trip is only half as much fun it will be a blast.

Friday, March 7, 2014

fortune cookie friday

"The book salesman should be honored because he brings to our attention, as a rule, the very books we need most and neglect most."
- Confucius.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

What We're Reading Wednesday

By Sandra Boynton 

Featuring a beachful of bare-bellied hippos—including one tiny baby who can only say “Bee Bo”—the Belly Button Book is the latest quirky addition to the phenomenally successful Boynton on Board series. 

Every page captivates with Sandra Boynton’s inimitable illustrations and joyful rhyming text: "Soon after dark, upon the beach, we sing a hippo song, and if you’re feeling in the mood, we hope you’ll sing along: “Belly Belly Button, you’re oh so fine. Ooo, Belly Button, I’m so happy you’re mine.” 

Shiny and sturdy, and featuring a great (navel-shaped, naturally) die-cut cover that offers a provocative glimpse of the merriment inside, the Belly Button Book provides enduring, giggly, read-aloud fun.

My Thoughts:
Recently, the Sasquatch and I were at a bookstore and he took a new, pristine "Belly Button Book" off the shelf and showed it to me. "Look," he said, "This is what our copy used to look like!"

That's because our copy is very, very well loved:

It's so well-loved that Rain Dragon made me draw belly buttons on all her toys:

Monday, March 3, 2014

on my desk monday

Remember those green horses? This is mine, protected by plastic, taped to my desk.

That's because I've started a new tradition. You might know how my friends and I love to make resolutions. Well, this year for the Year of the Horse, we wrote our resolutions on the back of the green horses and are keeping the horses in sight, with the hope that the help those intentions to come true.

We also thought about all the things that happened in the Year of the Snake that we wanted to let go of and burned it:

I'm already looking into making next year's paper sheeps!