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I dare you to change the world today. All you have to do is look people in the eye and greet them by name. Try doing that all day long and your mood will lift and you’ll feel more connected and alive. There’s actually a great deal that happens both in our bodies and in our spirits when we connect in that very simple way. And from a medical standpoint, it’s actually very important: check out this fascinating article about an “activation phenomena” that happens when an emergency room team does introductions prior to operations. Naming each other and sharing our stories is part of what makes us grow into the people we’re supposed to be. And as we share that skill with our kids, they’ll find their purpose too!

Why am I writing about all this? A couple of reasons – one is that I teach regular workshops and present talks about finding your passion (coming up soon -- What's Your Purpose? at Body Mind & Soul on May 19, 3-5pm and a new lunch series called “Gabbing with Gish” at the Central Library starting May 3 with the talk “State Your Mission: Creating Personal Mission Statements.” More on those later…). I’m also bringing up the topic of easy ways to connect to people because of the controversy over feeding the homeless downtown (missed it? Click here for more information). There are excellent arguments for both sides but I am in favor of re-visiting the ordinance so that we can seriously address the issue of homelessness in our city; please join me in signing a petition supporting that if you wish. And aside from the politics of this issue, I wanted to share with you a simple idea for dealing with the homeless as you are shuttling your kids around Houston. Carry a handful of small water bottles and crackers (or some other snack you can store in your car) and hand them out when you see folks approach your car. I label mine “You are loved.” and give them to the person after which I get their name and shake their hand. I also introduce them to my kids or whoever else is in the car with me. It costs little and often will make that person’s day – someone whom people usually won’t even look at. I hope you’ll give this idea a chance – maybe we can start a revolution by connecting with ALL KINDS of people!

This is a busy weekend of community festivals and new beginnings (I can’t wait to check out the new Asia Society Texas Center!) so hopefully the weather will hold and we can all GO.FIND.FUN!

Events for the Weekend of April 13, 2012


“If you don’t bring your own imagination to the show, the puppets stay dead,” says Bobbindoctrin Puppet Theatre’s website, which is awesome since kids have PLENTY of creativity! Bobbindoctrin is presenting their Eighth Annual Puppet Slam, “Puppetsploitation,” this weekend – a wild variety of short staged and filmed puppet works for the discriminating grown-up. Those crazy puppeteers know many of us have kids who also want to enjoy the finer puppets in life, so they’ve created a special “Fambly Slam Day” this Sunday, April 14 at 2pm with the fabulous entry fee of “pay what you will”!
Children are welcome, nay encouraged, to come to this show because it is a zone free of sexuality, harsh language and excessive violence. Please note, however, many mature themes remain, because, in their words “We tone it down but do not dumb it down. We think most kids will appreciate the journey.” It’s probably best for kids 10+.

Bobbindoctrin Puppet Theatre has been producing original puppet works for the benefit of the Houston community since 1995. Bobbindoctrin provides experimental adult puppet performances with low admission prices and gives actors, directors, playwrights, musicians, sculptors, dancers and engineers a much-needed and unique venue for their art while encouraging theatregoers from all economic strata to attend. Bobbindoctrin has a history of introducing audiences to new forms of stagecraft using puppet techniques rarely touched upon by conventional theatre groups. Bobbindoctrin incorporates a mix of shadow, rod, hand, string and tabletop puppetry, as well as masks, in any given show.

The family show takes place at the Midtown Arts Center, 3414 La Branch Street in downtown Houston.

Bobbindoctrin Puppet Theatre

Menil Community Arts Festival


This Saturday, April 14, from 11am-5pm, the Menil Collection museum and a group of surrounding non-profit arts organizations come together to host a free afternoon of art and entertainment that will extend across the Menil “campus” from West Alabama to Richmond Avenue. Highlighting the diversity of the Menil neighborhood arts community, the Menil Community Arts Festival will include the Houston Indie Book Fest as well as films and performances, workshops and family fun. Click here for the complete list of events.

Some highlights for families are a 3pm “Family Drum Circle” with THE SUMMER BOOK advertiser and director of the Dinky Drum Company Samuel Dinkins III presented by Da Camera of Houston as well as an Aurora Picture Show Stop Motion Animation Workshop, WAS-H Watermedia Demonstrations, and Writing at the Menil with Writers in the Schools (WITS).

Open House


I was overwhelmed this week with the amount of events I’ve learned about so instead of carefully picking through them like I usually do, I’m taking the lazy way out and listing them for you here so you can pick your own (kind of like “Pick Your Own Produce” right?!). I hope you’ll get to enjoy at least one of these very cool events:

Alliance Franšaise


The Alliance Française (French Alliance) is starting up a new series of French classes for children this Saturday, April 14. Their children’s program immerses children ages 4-15 in the French language, allowing them to learn in a natural way, through visual, kinetic and auditive experience. Classes meet in seven-week sessions on Saturday mornings at either 9:30am or 11:15am. Tuition is $175 for the seven-week session, which ends June 2. Registration must be in advance or a $25 late fee will be assessed and there is a one-time registration fee of $15 for children. You may register by phone anytime using a credit card.

For more information, call 713.526.1121 or log onto


Melissa Noble is my hair stylist and truly gives me the best haircuts I’ve ever had. I know many of you like off-the-beaten-path discoveries and I assure you, Melissa is one of those. She’s a multi-faceted and passionate independent hairstylist who has built a reputation and client base in the cultural community by sculpting each person’s hair to its natural movement as well as adding longevity with the shape and cut.

She truly understands wavy, frizzy, complicated hair and can easily work with ANY kind of hair. Her specialty is her attention to the detail of precision cutting and “carving” each hairstyle while being sensitive to her client’s lifestyle needs as well as working with color. She is always accountable and service oriented. I promise you’ll not only get full attention from her without all the noise or attitude of a large shop but you’ll also get great conversation as Melissa is actively involved in many local arts nonprofits, including KPFT-FM, DiverseWorks, and Project Row Houses.

Melissa operates in a quiet, serene, art-filled studio that overlooks a garden in the Montrose area where she was raised. For appointments, contact her at 713.520.5878 or

Melissa Noble

GISH PICKS is a free weekly email in which I highlight family-oriented cultural events, products or services. Please note that I "highlight" events, but I don't know if they are appropriate for your particular children, so choose wisely based on age, maturity and interests. I know many of you go to events based on GISH PICKS recommendations; PLEASE remember to tell the organization that you are there because of us. Word-of-mouth like yours helps our business to grow. In the same spirit, please also feel free to share GISH PICKS with friends and families.

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The purpose of GISH PICKS is to help parents become aware of all the fun things they can do with their children in Houston and the surrounding area, so GO FIND FUN! Please do give me feedback and ideas, as you are out there in the trenches also looking for interesting things for your family and I want to hear what you find.

If you are having trouble getting to a website listed here, try hitting the "Ctrl" button and left-clicking on the web address, which should make it "live".

For more about my personal, business, and family enrichment company, Gish Creative, and the services we offer, please click here. You are on this list because I thought this e-newsletter would be helpful to you or because you signed up for it. Please feel free to tell your friends to subscribe by clicking here.
My goal is to serve as an information resource for Houston parents through my various endeavors, including:

  • GISH PICKS, which is online and emailed out to thousands of parents and caregivers;

  • THE SUMMER BOOK®: A GUIDE TO HOUSTON DAY CAMPS AND CLASSES FOR KIDS AND TEENS which comes out annually in March and is sold at bookstores all over Houston, including Barnes and Noble; and

  • OTHER SERVICES including SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS, INTERACTIVE WORKSHOPS, PRIVATE CONSULTATIONS, and ART PROGRAMS that cover topics such as summertime fun, passion-finding (for adults, children and families), marketing, historic preservation, art classes, and activism. All of these services can be tailored for any audience and budget.

Sarah Gish
Gish Creative
1940-A Fountainview, PMB 116
Houston, Texas 77057
phone/fax: 713.482.7065


© 2012 Sarah Gish

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