Who doesn’t remember how exciting it was to read their first Dr. Seuss story? In honor of that spirit, I am joining a crew of kindergarteners on Tuesday to celebrate the good doctor’s birthday with lots of cool activities from PBS Kids. You can have your own party at home while watching the new episodes of The Cat in the Hat knows a Lot About That! starting Monday morning!
I can’t ever get my act together in the New Year until I get through the PBS Winter Press Tour, which, for me is a biannual week of joining my fellow PBS Kids VIPs together with the Television Critics Association to review the new season’s offerings from PBS. Yesterday I hugged Abby Cadaby, Count von Count, Elmo, and Cookie Monster, heard about how we are all descended from fish, and enjoyed an amazing panel of TV nostalgia that is still making me smile from ear to ear, including George Takei, Jimmie Walker, Ray Romano, THE Bob Newhart (especially near and dear to my heart, since our chance encounter in the Bel Air Camera parking lot).
As always, the tour inspires me with the collection of what are truly treasures of talent – people who do what they were meant to do, and are the BEST at it. Which brings me to the final session of the day – the inimitable Kristin Chenoweth. I have always loved her in everything she does, but seeing her live is indescribable. It’s hard to believe that this 4′ 11″ beauty could emit the sound that this woman can – she literally blew us away with old standards and a few of her own favorites. It was the perfect end to a perfect day.
I’m still basking in the sensory feast, and look forward to seeing all the great new shows – watch your local PBS affiliate listings, and – HAPPY NEW YEAR!
I have been saving this fun video I took at the PBS Press Tour in August so I can share it in celebration of the newest season on Sesame Street – welcome number 44! The Critter, Cookie, and I talk about cookies, family, friends, neighbors, and…self control. Noting how quickly we can point to a good bakery, we need a little help in this area.
Thank you all for all your kindnesses, comforting comments and private messages with regard to my last post. Your support really has helped me to get back to the business of being me and taking care of my family. In loading these photos that might have been posted back in June, I realize how much we pack into a short time, and we have MANY more happy occasions to report on than sad.
I would say that the ultimate highlight of the season was the marriage of my beautiful friend Tammi Jones to the handsome Michael Tanaka of Atlanta. Tammi, being the elegant event planner that she is, hosted one of the most beautiful and FUN weddings I have attended in my life. Beyond the gorgeous setting at he foot of the Hollywood Hills was the kickass DJ, delectable dinner and adorable kids’ table – we danced the night away with some of my bffs and took home memories for a lifetime. Bittersweet is that Mrs. Tanaka has relocated to Atlanta, but we can always visit!
Other gracious invitations we were fortunate to accept were: PBS SoCal hosting us to see Sesame Street Live!, a sexy brunch hosted by Beats by Dre, shopping day at the Children’s Place, Natalee Thai’s hosting of twenty of my bloggy pals to try their summer menu, and an adorable Paris themed birthday party for the Critter’s pal Miss Strawberry.
Coming soon: PBS Press Tour, Steve Songs at the Levitt Pavillion, and whale watching this Thursday. Remember when we went last year? Getting to Long Beach by 8:30 am will be a practice run for what it will be like to have to rise early again in preparation for back to school next week. First grade may be the perfect time to give my Critter a new nickname. More on this later – thanks again for your support xoxo
I am still swooning from all the creative inspiration that I found this year at the PBS Annual Meeting. The PBS Kids VIPS were guests of PBS so that we might bring our readers more information on new AND tried and true programming on our favorite station! Very exciting this year is Mando, the new man (or should I say hombre) on Sesame Street, aka Ismael Cruz Cordova. I feel so lucky to have access to the people who embody these wonderful programs – here’s a clip of a little get to together I had with Rosita and Mando just after Mando’s debut. You can see how bad my Spanish really is.
I also found the introduction of Peg + Cat, a very artful new show with a female heroine that promotes math learning, to be particularly exciting, as I loved the combination of the illustrative aesthetic and mathematical thinking, along with some very fun original songs. We were also able to spend some time with the creators, Billy Aronson and Jennifer Oxley, who are literally TITANS – their individual bios include such classics as Beavis and Butthead and The Wonder Pets. They were incredibly generous with their time to discuss how the program developed, and I adored how they are so smart AND silly at the same time. Check out this clip of their new show, debuting this fall.
There was more than I can possibly explain, but spending time in Miami was a great way to start the summer – I had some GREAT dinners and terrific conversations with my fellow VIPs and can’t wait to see them (and the Fountainbleu) again.
I am just speechless over the song that Mr. Steve of PBS Kids wrote for us bloggers! He included all of our blog names!
I was one lucky mommy today – I was one of the first people to see the newest character on Sesame Street here at the PBS Annual Meeting! A huge search was undertaken to find the perfect person to join the cast and Ismael Cruz Cordova is THE guy.
I got to talk to Ismael after this adorable performance about Spanish words that sound alike and I can see why he was chosen. I will post ALL about it soon – enjoy the video of Mando and Rosita and all will be revealed when I get back to the ‘hood.
While it certainly would have been a worthwhile event for the Critter to play hooky and skip school, we had the good fortune that his school had what is mysteriously referred to as a “Pupil Free Day”, so no such infractions had to be committed. It was a great morning in Hollywood for a premiere, and the folks at PBS SoCal hosted a nearly full house of excited kiddos to watch the first Sid the Science Kid feature length film, which premieres Monday March 25th on PBS. The film is chock full of learning tidbits, from critical thinking to simple machines, to complex computers and how to work as a team, which all combined to captivate all said kiddos for the entire movie – a mom’s dream!
It was also a treat to be able to chat with Lisa Henson, daughter of Jim Henson and CEO of Henson Studios, THE studio for all things creative involving puppets and digital animation. You may remember the awesome time I had at on the lot, where I got to see how Sid and Wilson and Ditch were created. I was really happy that I was able to tell her how proud Mississippi is of her family, and what a fan I have been since childhood. To see the empire that creativity built is truly inspiring – make sure to tune in on Monday!
Y’all know my history with Chris Mann, and you know how much I love PBS, so you can imagine how thrilled I was when I got the invitation from Barbara at One2One Network to attend the taping of his upcoming PBS Special! I went to Sony last night and watched and listened to him BRING IT for four hours, and I can assure you the special will be something…special. I thought this about Chris since the first night I heard him play and am so happy to see all the great things that have happened since then – that he’s in the skilled hands of the production people at PBS is also very reassuring. I know that they’ll “get” him and create a wonderful program with all his hard work. His voice is in top condition, and every note her delivers is rich and clear. My favorite songs he performed? Cuts from his new album Roads: My Way ( Frank Sinatra and his grandad would be proud), and Cuore (it really doesn’t matter if you know what he’s saying, just close your eyes and listen). After seeing this special you will also want to add his Christmas album to your permanent collection – his version “Oh Come All Ye Faithful” is just amazing.
Here we are together after the show – I got to give him a hug and tell him how happy I am for all he’s achieved since that night at Genghis Cohen…
When the Critter was about eighteen months old I found this Feist video on SesameStreet.org. He was completely enraptured by it! I now had five minutes to go to the bathroom or make a phone call and know that my wee one was entertained. But that was only the beginning of the benefit of this discovery – The Critter counted to four AND sang the Whoaaaaa part of the song, the first time either happened, EVER! This was the beginning of many special moments of discovery with the furry and funny monsters that I will always remember, and in which my baby began his education – I credit this program and others on PBS with his ease (so far) in learning to read in kindergarten.
Since then I have developed a relationship with programming and people at PBS and write about them frequently. I believe that there is no more valuable resource for our children AND adults to learn and broaden horizons.
Government needs to trim fat, but our public television is not fat. It is the steak on the plate in a sea of potatoes. Support PBS!