30 April, 2008


Simple beauty
Makes me smile
Petals open
Like my heart


No longer grounded by a stem but
Floating on the same water
That could sink it

Yet still beautiful
Still thriving
Still open

29 April, 2008


Does everyone have "creative crushes" like I do? Not a true crush. Not anything at all that you would act on or do anything about. Just an innocent crush on a creative human being. They don't even have to be good looking or nice in real life (although that helps!) - it's by far more of a crush on their talent than their actual selves.

My list includes a few actors of course (among them Martha Plimpton), a lighting designer, a director, a brilliant musician...

What about you? Don't hold out on me. I know you've got at least one.


Oh the dreams this little blossom gave me.
Gives me.

28 April, 2008


I'm one of 16 women in a choral ensemble and we recording an original work today in a professional studio. We had mics, music stands, and even our own headsets. It was such a unique experience.

The songs are flooded with emotion (and it's music that particularly pulls on my heart strings right now) - but there were so many technically challenging elements that there were moments when the emotion seemed to come second to the structure. There was such a fine line between the two that it was truly a lot of work to make it sound completely effortless.

But from the snipets we got to hear played back to us, we did make it sound effortless - and I'm very proud to be associated with this beautiful group of talented & generous women.

27 April, 2008


Marisa Tomei - no way. Other than that, an intriguing show at MTC.

But on a bigger picture level, it made me think of what it means to be a "top girl". In a nutshell (although it's hard to wrap up any Churchill play in a nutshell) the first act of the show is a cast of 6 women (and 1 woman who's a great actress, but gets a throw-away role) who are all powerful, presumably single ladies at the top - or climbing their way to the top - of their field. And all are from different eras in history, including present day (or rather 1980's England).

They are all beautiful. They are all successful. But I don't believe that any of them are happy.

I look around me everyday in New York and witness dozens upon dozens of beautiful, successful, seemingly single (or at least un-married) women. And I now find myself among them. And I wonder if any of us are truly happy with just ourselves and our careers. Or if we need that added element of a relationship to make us feel "whole". Hmm.


Sheraton New York, 43rd Floor
View of the city I've come to love
Room service for dinner
Room service for dessert
Giant flat screen TV

Catching up with an amazing couple whom I admire greatly
And their kids
Their adorable kids
Three beautiful, wildly energetic, loving kids
My Bella
And Jack
And Juliette

One of the best nights I've ever spent
In a hotel

24 April, 2008


When I'm away from children for too long, my soul becomes old and boring.

And then, when I get the distinct pleasure of spending time with a funny, smart, wacky 7-year-old girl, I am reminded why it is that I love being around kids.

Thank goodness for "Take Your Child To Work Day".

And thanks to my spider monkey loving, Chicken McNugget eating, Irish dancing boss's daughter for reminding me how much fun even one day can be.

23 April, 2008


There's a plant in my house - a beautiful, simple, deep purple, three-leafed organic thing that I absolutely adore. It's the first plant that I've ever had a real attachment to. It was given to me by someone who means very much to me - and it was once owned by someone who meant very much to him. It feels generational. It feels like an heirloom that I must preserve to the best of my ability.

It even breathes, lives. Closes its leaves when the sun goes down at night. Reaches out and opens up when the sun rises in the morning - even the thin stems straighten up at the warmth of a new day.

About a month ago, it faded. Each delicate stem, dying away, one by one. I changed it's position, moved it to somewhere new, stirred the soil, spoke encouraging words to it... and it started to grow.

To re-grow. Re-growth.

It's amazing when something you once thought was gone comes back.

22 April, 2008


Monday, April 21st, 2008
My Vote's for Obama (if I could vote) ...by Michael Moore


I don't get to vote for President this primary season. I live in Michigan. The party leaders (both here and in D.C.) couldn't get their act together, and thus our votes will not be counted.

So, if you live in Pennsylvania, can you do me a favor? Will you please cast my vote -- and yours -- on Tuesday for Senator Barack Obama?

I haven't spoken publicly 'til now as to who I would vote for, primarily for two reasons: 1) Who cares?; and 2) I (and most people I know) don't give a rat's ass whose name is on the ballot in November, as long as there's a picture of JFK and FDR riding a donkey at the top of the ballot, and the word "Democratic" next to the candidate's name.

Seriously, I know so many people who don't care if the name under the Big "D" is Dancer, Prancer, Clinton or Blitzen. It can be Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Barry Obama or the Dalai Lama.

Well, that sounded good last year, but over the past two months, the actions and words of Hillary Clinton have gone from being merely disappointing to downright disgusting. I guess the debate last week was the final straw. I've watched Senator Clinton and her husband play this game of appealing to the worst side of white people, but last Wednesday, when she hurled the name "Farrakhan" out of nowhere, well that's when the silly season came to an early end for me. She said the "F" word to scare white people, pure and simple. Of course, Obama has no connection to Farrakhan. But, according to Senator Clinton, Obama's pastor does -- AND the "church bulletin" once included a Los Angeles Times op-ed from some guy with Hamas! No, not the church bulletin!

This sleazy attempt to smear Obama was brilliantly explained the following night by Stephen Colbert. He pointed out that if Obama is supported by Ted Kennedy, who is Catholic, and the Catholic Church is led by a Pope who was in the Hitler Youth, that can mean only one thing: OBAMA LOVES HITLER!

Yes, Senator Clinton, that's how you sounded. Like you were nuts. Like you were a bigot stoking the fires of stupidity. How sad that I would ever have to write those words about you. You have devoted your life to good causes and good deeds. And now to throw it all away for an office you can't win unless you smear the black man so much that the superdelegates cry "Uncle (Tom)" and give it all to you.

But that can't happen. You cast your die when you voted to start this bloody war. When you did that you were like Moses who lost it for a moment and, because of that, was prohibited from entering the Promised Land.

How sad for a country that wanted to see the first woman elected to the White House. That day will come -- but it won't be you. We'll have to wait for the current Democratic governor of Kansas to run in 2016 (you read it here first!).

There are those who say Obama isn't ready, or he's voted wrong on this or that. But that's looking at the trees and not the forest. What we are witnessing is not just a candidate but a profound, massive public movement for change. My endorsement is more for Obama The Movement than it is for Obama the candidate.

That is not to take anything away from this exceptional man. But what's going on is bigger than him at this point, and that's a good thing for the country. Because, when he wins in November, that Obama Movement is going to have to stay alert and active. Corporate America is not going to give up their hold on our government just because we say so. President Obama is going to need a nation of millions to stand behind him.

I know some of you will say, 'Mike, what have the Democrats done to deserve our vote?' That's a damn good question. In November of '06, the country loudly sent a message that we wanted the war to end. Yet the Democrats have done nothing. So why should we be so eager to line up happily behind them?

I'll tell you why. Because I can't stand one more friggin' minute of this administration and the permanent, irreversible damage it has done to our people and to this world. I'm almost at the point where I don't care if the Democrats don't have a backbone or a kneebone or a thought in their dizzy little heads. Just as long as their name ain't "Bush" and the word "Republican" is not beside theirs on the ballot, then that's good enough for me.

I, like the majority of Americans, have been pummeled senseless for 8 long years. That's why I will join millions of citizens and stagger into the voting booth come November, like a boxer in the 12th round, all bloodied and bruised with one eye swollen shut, looking for the only thing that matters -- that big "D" on the ballot.

Don't get me wrong. I lost my rose-colored glasses a long time ago.

It's foolish to see the Democrats as anything but a nicer version of a party that exists to do the bidding of the corporate elite in this country. Any endorsement of a Democrat must be done with this acknowledgement and a hope that one day we will have a party that'll represent the people first, and laws that allow that party an equal voice.

Finally, I want to say a word about the basic decency I have seen in Mr. Obama. Mrs. Clinton continues to throw the Rev. Wright up in his face as part of her mission to keep soking the fears of White America. Every time she does this I shout at the TV, "Say it, Obama! Say that when she and her husband were having marital difficulties regarding Monica Lewinsky, who did she and Bill bring to the White House for 'spiritual counseling?' THE REV. JEREMIAH WRIGHT!

But no, Obama won't throw that at her. It wouldn't be right. It wouldn't be decent. She's been through enough hurt. And so he remains silent and takes the mud she throws in his face.

That's why the crowds who come to see him are so large. That's why he'll take us down a more decent path. That's why I would vote for him if Michigan were allowed to have an election.

But the question I keep hearing is... 'can he win? Can he win in November?' In the distance we hear the siren of the death train called the Straight Talk Express. We know it's possible to hear the words "President McCain" on January 20th. We know there are still many Americans who will never vote for a black man. Hillary knows it, too. She's counting on it.

Pennsylvania, the state that gave birth to this great country, has a chance to set things right. It has not had a moment to shine like this since 1787 when our Constitution was written there. In that Constitution, they wrote that a black man or woman was only "three fifths" human. On Tuesday, the good people of Pennsylvania have a chance for redemption.

Michael Moore

21 April, 2008


When you're already having a bum day, thinking that you're not as talented or as fit or as happy as you'd like to be, and a kinda smelly old guy sitting across from you on the subway looks at you, winks, smiles a semi-toothless grin and tells you "you're awful pretty"... is that supposed to make you feel better or worse?

20 April, 2008


A lovely spring day in the city that never sleeps.

Church this morning, with a sermon reminding me that I can choose to live my faith everyday by the actions I take and the things I say or do. Then a stop at home before heading out to meet a great friend for an afternoon in Columbus Circle - a journey into Borders, some snacks at Whole Foods, a walk to Central Park to sit on a big rock and eat and catch up, a stop at the Gap to buy some socks (3 for $15 - good deal!), and then a treat of champagne at the Trump Bar.

Fancy ending to a fun Sunday. And a great reminder of the blessing of friendship.


Thank goodness for beautiful, spirited, independent women!

And thank goodness that they embraced me...

for who I am,
where I am,
why I'm there
& where I'm going.

19 April, 2008


I treated myself to a beautiful movie on Friday night: THE VISITOR. It was a great, simple film - full of music, emotion, love, loss, grief, re-joining. And it was a real treat to take a leisurely spring stroll from the Upper West Side to the Lincoln Center Plaza, know nothing about the movie at all, take a chance and enjoy it. And then there was the added smile I had when I recognized someone I knew having a short but lovely scene with the leading lady (shout out to Tzahi). Maybe I should take myself on movie dates more often.

18 April, 2008


Happy Opening!
Read more about this absurdly beautiful new play here .
Although, a review can't really do it justice - so you'll just have to come see it at The Vineyard.

17 April, 2008


New York is not that big.
There's a bazillion people, but physically - it's just not that big.
It's pretty small in fact.
Small enough that when you run into someone unexpectedly (even if in the 5 years you've lived in this city, you've never EVER run into them by sheer chance) it shouldn't altogether shock you.

But sometimes it does.
Sometimes you think - of all the people, of all the subway cars, of all the neighborhoods...

And no doubt, you're usually on your way somewhere (and in my case, often running almost late) so there's not very much time to: A) get over the initial surprise at seeing them and B) linger there on the corner of 79th and Broadway, making small talk, and wanting to stay there forever.

I suppose I'd like to think of it as fate - but instead, it actually feels like a mischievous taunting - a treat on a string at the end of a stick, hanging right in front of my face and just beyond my reach.

15 April, 2008


Today on the subway I witnessed what I think may be a new phase in teen dating: talking & flirting while keeping one ear plugged with your Ipod earphone.

A cute girl & guy - maybe about 15 or 16 - were sitting next to each other on the train. She was smiling and he was trying a little too hard to be funny. They both had their Ipods on; the ears closest to each other where open (willing to listen and engage) but the ears on the outside were filled with music (as if they were willing to listen and engage only to a point, but not fully since that might involve real intimacy - even if just for a moment).

It seems that technology gives teens a sense of safety. We can talk, but only if I have my Ipod on at the same time. We can poke each other, and even superpoke each other, send gifts, play games, plant gardens together, and send each other good karma or hugs... but only from the comfort of our own laptops - never face to face. That's way too personal!

But what are real relationships if not personal? And if it's not personal, is it a relationship at all?

14 April, 2008


A shout out to B.

He's playing Stanley in STREETCAR to these tres, tres complimentary reviews:

a live wire
always listening
giving every syllable of his line readings perfectly realized emphasis
astonishingly alert performance
blunt, macho charm

insidiously toying with Blanche like a cat with a mouse before moving in for the kill

13 April, 2008


i know it is

but how can it be
for the best
when it hurts
so badly

that's not best at all
seems to me
that's worst

and still
i know it
to be true


Today I was a witness to my own talents - and boy, what a beautiful thing it was!

I believe that when you are blessed with a God-given talent, you have a responsibility to use that gift and not let it be wasted. A responsibility to yourself and to the Greater Good that is within each of us. And a responsibility to those around you who may, in turn, also be blessed by the use of your talents.

But was only in witnessing my talents and using them for others that I was able to fully understand what a true GIFT they are - to receive the initial blessing, to be able to bless yourself with it, and to hear from others that it was a blessing to them as well.

That is powerful. A gift that truly keeps on giving...

12 April, 2008


Music is such a blessing to me.

The ipod shuffle playing songs in my ear on the subway.
The heartbreakingly angelic choral harmonies I get to sing at rehearsal.
The traditional hymns at church that I play (with awe!) on the piano.

Even the repetative dominican beats from below my open window.

All of it is a blessing.
All of it transports me from within myself to something greater.
Something universal.
Something beautiful.
Even in the midst of a chaotic heart.

11 April, 2008


A simple hour
under the blue lights
with a dear friend
and a glass of red
really can
make you

10 April, 2008


There are two items I have in my apartment that I particularly treasure: a wooden clock and a set of side tables.

The clock is at the same time simple and ornate, with roman numerals one through twelve and that wonderful "ding dong ding dong" that you expect from a clock that chimes the hour. The tables are as functional (they fit quite nicely under one another) as they are beautiful - a warm, medium brown wood.

Both of these things lived for years at my grandparents' house. I remember playing Dominos and Tiddly Winks with my grandpa - he in His Chair and I comfortably on the floor, with the tables in between supporting our afternoon game. I remember hearing the clock chime at quarter after, a longer chime at half past, longer yet at quarter til, and finally coming full circle on the hour - every hour - and then the trusty individual "bong" that would gently remind you of the time of day, (even though at grandma & grandpa's house it never mattered what time it was, until that sad 8th hour of bedtime). But even then, as my little brother and I would somehow both fit on that small living room couch - snuggling up to sleep and begging grandma to read just one more story - the security of the ticking clock, hanging on the wall above our heads, was a lullaby in itself.

Having them stand up to those many years in Akron, through my father's childhood and my own, it is not only a testament to their craftsmanship that they have traveled all the way to New York with me, but also a symbol of great, great love.


Two Sundays ago, I offered to play the piano for our church (since we recently lost our organist). Last Sunday, I was given a list of 5 hymns I'd never heard before, and the book of music, and was told to "have at it" (ask and you shall receive, right?).

This coming Sunday is the big day & I'm so nervous about it that I'm up practicing (and blogging cause I can't sleep) at 1:00 in the morning.

It's not that the hymns are technically difficult, or that I'm worried about impressing the people in the congregation... but more that I want to impress myself. Playing the piano is something I don't do nearly often enough (especially when it comes to playing for and in front of other people).

I'm having a few flashbacks of awkward junior high recitals. Except without the braces, frizzy hair and poofy bangs.

08 April, 2008


I find it strange that in a time when I'm having some of the deepest emotions I have ever known, I am finding it so hard to write.

In moments of high school or college devastation, the words and the poetry and the songs flowed from my hands like water - albiet turbulent water. And sometimes I wrote beautiful, heartbreaking words when nothing significant was happening at all - just because I could.

But right now, I can't.

I know that it's because that Instinctual Survival-Wall (the one I thought was long gone) has been resurrected in me. And right now it's keeping such a close watch on my heart. Not letting anything get in to hurt me - but also not letting much of anything get out.

And I need a release.

06 April, 2008


"It wretched her heart to say goodbye.
But what were hearts for, in the end?
A little wretching now and then was far,
far better than no wretching at all."

- Jan Karon, A NEW SONG

05 April, 2008


"The day will come when Love will be accepted by every heart, and the most terrible of human experiences - solitude, which is worse than hunger - will be banned from the face of the Earth. For the Earth, that day is still a long way off. But for each of us, that day can be tomorrow. One has only to accept a simple fact: Love - of God and of others - shows us the way. Our defects, our dangerous depths, our suppressed hatreds, our moments of weakness and desperation - all are unimportant. If what we want to do is heal ourselves first, so that then we can go in search of our dreams, we will never reach paradise. If, on the other hand, we accept all that is wrong about us - and despite it, believe that we are deserving of a happy life - then we will have thrown open an immense window that will allow Love to enter. Little by little, our defects will disappear, because one who is happy can look at the world only with Love - the force that regenerates everything that exists in the Universe."

- Paulo Coelho, THE VALKYRIES

04 April, 2008


Taxes are so strange. I don't really understand them. What they're for, why we pay them, where they go... who decides who pays what and who decides what's fair or not? It's all pretty foreign to me.

But using this little thing called Turbo Tax, makes me feel like a Tax Genius.

I'm so good at it, I might start charging.

03 April, 2008


I'm reading a book right now that scares me a little: THE VALKYRIES, by Paulo Coelho. I bought it in mid-December... but at that time I was not ready for it. I purchased it because I so loved one of Coelho's other works (THE ALCHEMIST) and had recently discovered that he wrote many more. But as I leafed thru and read one or two pages (as I'm apt to do with a new book, rather than just jumping in at the beginning with no sense of what's to come) it appeared to deal with a subject matter that was too close to some raw & tricky feelings I was experiencing.

As I take it up now, three months later, I'm still not sure I'm ready. I notice myself reading it with an expression of empathy & a bit of pain on my brow. It tugs at things in my heart that are hard to think about...

About 1/2 way through the book, a statement is made:
"We have a contract, you and I: not to win when victory is possible."

The story seems to be a journey of learning how to break that very pact most of us have made unknowingly - how not to kill the things we most love.

I wonder how it will end.

02 April, 2008


A lovely thought...

"Anything that occurs once
can never occur again.
But should it happen twice,
it will surely happen a third time."

01 April, 2008

LOVE / hate

There's a new commercial for New Balance running shoes. The guy in the commercial, The Runner, sleepily pulls himself out of his warm bed and starts jogging (with hate)... by the end of the meant-to-be-inspiring commercial, The Runner is sprinting through the city streets with a LOVE of how running makes him feel.

I've recently started running again - and this is the first commercial I've ever seen that seems to get it right. It's a struggle to leave my comfortable and cozy bed an hour early and put those New Balances on. And it's not that easy to come home from work and change into my running clothes either, instead of sitting down in front of that lovely TV.

But if I can hold on to even a little bit of that AMAZING feeling I have after I run, then I truly am inspired to get my lazy bum to the gym or the park - no matter what. And although I may have a bit of hate in there when I start, the LOVE I feel for myself (and the world!) after a good run is so worth it.