In this urban desert land we call home, you might hear a group of javelinas pass through your backyard at 5 a.m. Or you might see a bobcat standing in your driveway. Even a stray coyote could wander down your street. If you aren't accustomed to such visitors and want to know more about how to live peacefully with them, "Living With Urban Wildlife Classes" will teach you what you need to know.
The free class is offered by the Arizona Game and Fish Department, the Tucson Audubon Society and the Tucson Botanical Gardens. The 90-minute class will focus on how humans and wildlife can coexist successfully. According to a recent press release, it will "cover behavior of common mammals, birds, reptiles and insects; tips on how to avoid practices that can attract unwanted wild animals; and gardening and landscaping principles that can attract and support desired wildlife and discourage unwanted visitors."
In addition to the classes listed above, seven others have been scheduled so far, through June. Check our Outdoors listings in upcoming issues for additional class times. --I.M.
For those of us who are approaching mid-life or are in its throes, local author Judi McMahon is an example that life really isn't half over; it's just beginning. McMahon joined Alcohol Anonymous at 39, adopted a daughter from Russia at 58 and plans to adopt another child as she approaches 70. For McMahon, it's never too late to live your dreams.
McMahon always had a desire to write, but alcoholism stood in her way of success for many years. At 39, she controlled her addiction and joined AA. She has been sober 32 years.
"It's a wonderful program. You give back by showing people you don't need to drink every day," she says.
After her sobriety, McMahon became a writer. She wrote a beauty and shopping column for a New York newspaper and contributed to magazines such as Redbook and New York Magazine. McMahon has written several books and will discuss her latest, Someone to Watch Over Me, at the April 9 event. The book deals with addiction, adoption and Alzheimer's.
McMahon's book "is based on true events and real people," she says. "It deals with addiction in a way women can identify with." Staff members at the Betty Ford Center requested copies for the center's library.
Addiction is not the only struggle McMahon has faced. For two years, she lived with her father who suffered from Alzheimer's. McMahon will discuss the early signs of the disease at the event.
McMahon will also discuss the adoption process, share her experiences and provide handouts. She feels being older doesn't matter at all. Adopting her daughter "has been the best thing that ever happened to me." --I.M.
The human voice is the best musical instrument of all, says Bruce Bayly, a member of Catacoustic Groove.
"It gives us more freedom, because each of us has the flexibility to be the backup or the lead vocals," Bayly says. This week, Catacoustic Groove, m-pact, and Vocal Ease are coming together for one night of purely vocal expression.
"Each group does its own unique take on jazz/rock/pop favorites," Bayly says.
Catacoustic Groove, a Tucson-based all-male a cappella ensemble, delivers a high-spirited mix of classic rock from the '60s and '70s. The Groove started in 1993, and since then, the group has won four Tucson Area Music Awards (TAMMIES).
M-pact is an all-male vocal sextet that took first place in the 2004 A Cappella Community awards and has appeared with Bobby McFerrin, Sheryl Crow and Ray Charles. Following the styles of Rockapella and The Bobs, m-pact delivers rich harmonies, energetic vocal percussion, and skillful solo performances.
The San Francisco Chronicle named m-pact "one of the best pop-jazz vocal ensembles in the world," according to a press release.
Vocal Ease is the UA's all-female a cappella ensemble. The seven-member group performs a wide variety of music, including pop, gospel, R&B, jazz and country. Vocal Ease has sung the national anthem for UA basketball and Diamondbacks' games.
Advance tickets are $15 for general admission and $12 students and seniors, and are available at Antigone Books, Brew and Vine, CD City, Enchanted Earthworks, Green Valley Chamber of Commerce, and online at
www.rhythmandroots.org . Tickets are $3 more at the door. --A.L.
Six years ago, Matt Lemm and Emily began performing magic. In 2003, they were one of only six finalists accepted at the International Championships of Stage Magic, and they have won the Arizona State Championship two years in a row.
Even though the two performers are relatively new to the magic scene, "They are definitely making a big splash," says show producer Norm Marini. Their high-energy and personable show will grace the Gaslight Theatre for the first time on Monday.
Matt is slated to start the show by making birds appear from his empty hands. What follows is a trick with birds--which I will leave as a surprise--that Matt used in his act as an International Championships finalist.
"This act is worth the price of the show itself," according to a press release.
The show continues with a mix of comedy, magic and audience interaction, including one point when Matt tries to teach a confused volunteer how to perform with the famous Chinese linking rings.
The show peaks when Matt and Emily perform Metamorphosis, an act in which they simultaneously exchange places in the blink of an eye. "This final grand illusion will keep you guessing, especially when Emily emerges at the end of the trick wearing a completely new costume," says a press release.
The show will end with two special guest appearances by Matthew McArther and Jason Schultz, two of Tucson's youngest upcoming magicians.
Cost is $12 for adults and $10 for children. Call for tickets in advance. --A.L.