Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Day 217 - 21+ nights at Carnegie Science Center-Sci-Fi Night

Back to the Future fun on Sci-Fi 21+ Night at Carnegie Science Center

I have not been to the Carnegie Science Center since my son’s elementary school years. Back then it was an exhausting rush from one thing to another as you moved along with the short attention span of your child.  I recently learned about the Carnegie Science Center’s  monthly  21+ nights. I was excited to explore the  exhibits  kid free, with a libation and food in hand, and listening to live music. Since I am a fan of science fiction movies, a bonus  was  this month’s  Sci-Fi theme with  visits from an array of characters: Ghostbusters,  Back to the Future  professor and  time machine DeLorean replica, Stormtroopers, Jedi Knights, Darth Vader and more.

“Experiencing life like a child, with full absorption and concentration” is the behavior of a person who has reached their personal best or who is self-actualized in  Maslow's psychological theory. I must be getting there along with  a lot of the others who were at the science center that night because everyone seemed to be enjoying the science just the way the kids do.  The interactive exhibits were being actively explored. Many grown-ups (including me) were also playing along with, and taking silly pictures with, the Sci-Fi roaming cast of characters. 
I even learned the science behind making my own “Ghostbuster Slime”!

Everyone seemed to be enjoying the exhibits (O2HO!) 
There was so much to do.  “Roboworld” is a floor dedicated to robotics. It  has robot models displayed in a film time line, some robots to play with, and a giant robotic arm shooting basket balls to watch. Another  floor, “O2OH!” focused on water and explored the importance of water and the things living in it.  Since I have a health background, I seemed to spend most of my time on the new "Bodyworks" exhibits, interacting with the stations on bones, x-rays, and the mechanics of the body and mind. I also visited the miniature railroad  and enjoyed the Buhl Planetarium show which was in line with the nights Sci-Fi theme, “War of the Worlds Martians, Mystery and Mass Hysteria!”
Made Slime

My favorite  was  the Bodyworks exhibits
The Science Center and staff  went all out to facilitated the fun. I especially enjoyed the older gentleman that reminded me of a sarcastic absent minded professor who talked me into making the slime. Classic Science Fiction movies played in the Science Stage, a green screen provided various  photo-ops from Star Wars, and the Pittsburgh Penguin’s play-off  game  was on a large 4th floor screen so that hockey fans like me could explore the exhibits and  watch some game action. There was a bar on each floor and "GumBand" (a classic rock band)  played most of the night.
GumBand played most of the night
I loved having fun like a kid without the kid because I actually had the time to read the exhibits!

I would definitely explore the science center again during one of their monthly 21+ nights (6 pm to 10 pm). The next one is on June 16th -“Prom night”.  I better rally up some of  my high school friends (yes, I still see some of my friends from high school ), find  a prom date and some 80’s garb to wear!

miniature railroad of Pittsburgh from 1800's to 1930's 
Spiritual Reflection
Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:4)

Other Sources
Carnegie Science Center http://www.carnegiesciencecenter.org/ 
Maslow http://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html 

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Day 216 –Sebastian Maniscalco- Value Laughter –Comedy at Heinz Hall

As I have said before, it takes a lot for me to find amusement in most comedians (see Day 215). A few months ago, I saw Sebastian Maniscalco on Netflix and I was surprised to be in a continual state of laughter in front of  the TV. My blog inspiration psychologist, Maslow, describes a characteristic of a person who is self -actualized as having an “unusual sense of humor”. This is just what Maniscalco  has with an added injection of  physical body contortions and  vivid facial expressions that are  just off the chart funny.  He often tells his life stories though a hilarious Italian lens. It feels like he is telling my story  because  I am a product of Italian immigrants. I was excited to see my first "TV-stand -up comedian"  live at  Heinz Hall.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Day 215 Jim Krenn-Try Pittsburgh Comedy-Oaks Theater

I have not been to many comedy shows because usually comedians don’t make me laugh.  I have never been one to laugh during off color jokes or ones about being impaired which seem  to be the subjects of most comedic  shows.  I am usually the girl in the audience that the comedian points to and states, “This joke will even make that girl laugh”.  Since I am a native Pittsburgher, I ventured to the Oaks Theater to see if local comedian, Jim Krenn, known for his Pittsburgh humor, would be able to “crack me up”!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Day 214 Chris Botti Jazzed it up with the Pittsburgh Symphony POPS

Chris Botti  is a  trumpeter  who fuses jazz and pop and entertains by drawing the audience in with his  crisp sound and his personality; not to mention that he was named one of "People" magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People of 2004! It was a romantic evening in February  2015 when I last saw Chris Botti with the POPS (see Day 104). In 2015, he played  several  ballads from his CD, “When I Fall in Love”  and it was a romantic “dreamy” night.  I was excited for a repeat experience. 

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Day 213 Super Natural Exhibit & Party in the Tropics at Phipps Conservatory

Enormous Aquilegia  

We all know that the Phipps Conservatory is the place to see beautiful plants and flowers but  you can now see super- sized  blossoms of natural beauty in the creations of  glass master artist, Jason Gamarth, in the new "Super Natural" exhibit.  I have been to the Phipps many times (Day 180) but it’s a new experience to feel small next to these towering works of art scattered among the foliage and  to experience an evening event like “Party in the Tropics”  where you can have drinks, eat, dance, and explore the Phipps at night (see Day 141).

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Day 212- Summer King- Baseball and Opera- Josh Gibson Story is a Homerun/Vocals a Single

Summer King is a Pittsburgh premier original opera* which tells the story about baseball power hitter, Josh Gibson, who in 1975 was the second player from the Negro League to be elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame. I have seen the Pittsburgh Opera several times (see Day 134-Nabucco and Day 174-Salome)  but this show was a unique experience.  It is an opera about our city and a man whose hall of fame plaque states that he hit "almost 800 home runs in league and independent baseball during his 17-year career" but he never made it to the Major Leagues because of color.  This is a story that needs to be told and a “hit out of the park” as an innovating Pittsburgh Opera!    

* Music by Daniel Sonenberg, Libretto by Daniel Sonenberg, Daniel Nester and Mark Campbell 

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Day 211- Pittsburgh Public Theater, Death of Salesman –Which American Dream?

Bendard (Shaun Hall) and Willy (Zach Grenier)*

Death of a Salesman, written in 1946 by playwright Arthur Miller, is one of those classic tragedies that we all have to read at some point in our educational history. This play is well known for  an analysis of the “American Dream”. Willy (Zach Grenier), a 63 year old washed up salesman  anguishes over his lack of  self-success and the lack of career accomplishments of his two sons, Happy and Biff (Maxwell  Eddy and Alex Mickiewicz).  He  fades in and out of reality as he relives his  past but in the present, he has a delusional  view of his imagined success. When forced to face his failed “American dream,”  he ends his life.

To be honest, in my youth without much life experience, I just did not get it. In my empty nest period, this play was much more relevant-I think Willy missed the American dream that was right in front of him because of an  unbalanced  focus on being liked by others and  equating success with monetary gain.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Day 210 Pittsburgh Ballet-Romeo and Juliet- Grand Romance/Love

I have enjoyed dance performances before (see Day 90) and I have seen several ballets but not the tragic love story of Romeo and Juliet.  My blog inspiration, Everything I Need to Know I Learned From a Little Golden Book, reminds us to “be romantic”.  As this season comes to close, I was excited to experience the romance and passion of this first time Pittsburgh Ballet production of Romeo and Juliet.

We all know  Shakespeare's story of the two young lovers who would rather end their life than live without each other but this production was so grand. It had 13 scene changes in 3 acts. The sets were magnificent with an elaborate market square, a stone castle home, a garden with the famous balcony, floor to ceiling stained glass in the chapel, beautiful arches in Juliet’s bedroom, and finally, a crypt. An ornate tapestry- like 7 paneled curtain, which  rose and fell  in sections between each scene, directed the audience's  focus on the character(s) by the pattern used.  It looked just like a painting each time!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Day 209 Celebrate Earth Day-“Ecolution Fashion Show” at Fairmont Hotel/ the Universe and more

Earth Day Pittsburgh celebrates the city’s transformation from steel production to a city with a pulse for green innovations with the theme,“Steel to Sustainable”. The festivities kicked off with the, “Ecolution Fashion Show” at the Fairmont Hotel. My Blog inspiration book," Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Little Golden Book", reminds us that we should remember to, “Look up…Stargaze”. “Plants-Preserving the Wonders of the Universe” was what this show celebrated with art, fashion, food, and dance.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Day 208 Nightly- Alternative POP at Spirit (Lawrenceville, Pgh)

Nightly in Pittsburgh

I have tried listening to various genres of music and exploring different music venues in my continued  quest to try new things (see Days  169, 172 and 174 ). This is in line with what my blog inspiration book, Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Little Golden Book, recommends, “keep music in your life”.  So I was off to experience Nightly, a band from Nashville and try listening to some alternative pop at a new venue, Spirit, in Lawrenceville.