Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Trip To The Fair

Ask Elliot what he got to do at the fair this year and he'll tell you, "A maaaan give you a baaalll, and you throwwww it in a waaater!" And, sure enough, it's true.  A carny gave Elliot a little ping pong ball for free to try throwing into his slowly spinning pool of water.  A ploy to get a child hooked so that the parents feel compelled to pay.  But, alas, Elliot is only two, he does not have very good aim (though he did make it into the water!), and we were able to distract him with something else once the ball was out of his hand.  But while the carny might not have made any money off of us, clearly the memory was worth a million for Elliot. 

Keep asking and he might also tell you that he got to pet "a baaaaby goaaaat."  (He has a way of drawing out his words for emphasis.)  And, that, he did.
As for other fair highlights that he's not so quick to recall... he flipped when he saw the big ice cream cones in the sky, he ate his way through one heck of a cob of corn, and he rode his first ride--twice.  Yep.  It was a good year at the fair.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Amazing Alazar

Hi there!  Popping in with a different kind of post this time.  I'm going to take a minute to introduce you to a very special person in my life.... Amazing Alazar!

Alazar is this super smart, super aware, super kind, super funny, super awesome kid who I know from Portland.  He's a really good friend of mine and he and Elliot absolutely love each other!  While I could go on and on about all of the things that make Alazar so awesome, what I really want to focus on is his dedication to helping stop HIV.  That's right.  He's a kid who isn't afraid to talk about HIV, isn't afraid to teach people (of all ages!) things about HIV, and isn't afraid to work his tail off in all sorts of ways to help stop HIV.  One of the things he's doing is raising a lot of money for the AIDS Walk Portland fundraiser that helps to support people living with HIV and provides HIV prevention programs.  I asked him if I could interview him on my blog so that he could spread the word about his frundraising and message raising compaign.  I want to let as many people as possible know about his efforts so that they can support him in any way possible (read his blog, donate money, talk about HIV with the children and adults in their lives, etc).  So, here it goes...

First of all, Alazar, tell me 3 things about yourself so that readers get to know a little about you.
1. I like people.  I get along with most everyone no matter their age, race, religion, sex, orientation, etc.
2. I like to have fun, from playing with my iPhone to going outside and playing with a ball!
3. I like art, from sculptures to painting to stamping.  It's all fun!  

Now, tell me about AIDS Walk and why it's so important.
The AIDS walk is so important because me and my Dad both have relationships with Cascade AIDS Project [who puts on the walk and is one of the major HIV service organizations in Portland].  It's important to raise money to help people in our community.  It's fun being a leader and leading a team.  This year I'm trying to get "famous" people to walk with us.  I don't know if that's going to work, but I am trying.  HIV isn't going away anytime soon and it's growing 7 times faster in the black community than the white.  It is totally preventable if people would just be more aware of their behaviors. 

What does CAP do with the money that is raised by AIDS Walk?
CAP takes the money that is raised and gives it back to the community through the many programs they have, including housing, teaching about HIV, emergency care, family support, etc.   CAP's mission is:   "To prevent HIV infections, support and empower people affected and infected by HIV/AIDS, and eliminate HIV/AIDS-related stigma."

I heard that this year you are working really hard on fund-raising, but you're working even harder on message-raising. What's the main message you hope people learn from you?
The main message I want to send is that by doing the right things, you won't get HIV.  It's totally preventable.  What I've learned is that most people don't want to talk about HIV, especially with an 11 year old.  My Dad says adults don't talk about it with themselves, and they feel uncomfortable talking with a kid like me.  HIV is growing 7 times faster in the black community than the white.  I want people to get help, to get tested sooner, to have safe behaviors and to talk about HIV.  

How can people get more information about HIV, learn more about you, and donate to your AIDS Walk team?
1.  People can learn more about HIV from our primary source, which is Cascade AIDS Project at:
2.  People can also learn about HIV at the bottom of my blog at:
They can also read and learn about me on this page!  From my page, you can click on "Sign up to help the A-Team this year"   and the click on "Donate at the official AIDS Walk Team Page"  and it takes you right to the A-Teams donation page.  I hope people will sign up to walk with me, as well as donate to my campaign!
3.  Another place to look for information about HIV is:

See what I mean?  Amazing, right?! Yep, that Alazar.  He never ceases to amaze me.  So, readers.  You heard him...  take a look at his blog, sign up to walk with him (if you're in Portland), donate to AIDS walk, and talk about HIV.  Get it? Got it?  Good!

PS--Alazar, you did a really good job on this interview.  xo
PPS--Update:  apparently Alazar got Angela Bassett to donate to the walk and comment on his blog.  Um, ALAZAR! You are sooooo amazing!!!