31 December, 2008


Auld Lang Syne roughly translated from the original Scottish means "old long since" or "long long ago". The song's been sung (most times poorly and a bit off-key by groups of not-so-sober friends) since the late 1800's and barely anyone knows the words.

It's simple, really. And quite nice. A song of remembrance for times gone by, and days past, and friends missed, and growing apart... but somehow it's also hopeful.

For your nostalgic enjoyment:

Should old acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot and days of auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear
For auld lang syne
We'll take a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne

And surely you'll by your pint cup
And surely I'll buy mine
We'll take a cup o'kindness yet
For days of auld lang syne


We two have run about the slopes
And picked the daisies fine
But we've wandered a many weary foot
Since days of auld lang syne


We two have paddled in the stream
From morning sun til dine
But seas between us broad have roared
Since days of auld lang syne


And there's a hand, my trusty friend!

And give us a hand o'thine!
And we'll take a right good-will draught
For days of auld lang syne


29 December, 2008



After a four-page lease, two riders, an acknowledgment of lead paint laws, a side letter, agreeing that we have no children and therefore do not need safety windows, a tour of the smoke detectors, a lesson in using the fire escape gate, and many dollars in cash - we finally got our beautiful new apartment. One block from the subway, one block from Central Park, only two flights up, new floors, new kitchen, pedestal sink in the bathroom, big windows - how did we possibly get this amazing place!? Pictures to come...


It's interesting to think about what the feeling of "being home" actually feels like. Only a week ago I was so glad to be leaving NYC for a visit home to Akron - seeing the house where I grew up and the wonderfully warm holiday decorations. I felt a relief to finally be home.

But as I trudged up the 5 flights with my luggage, back to my own apartment this morning, I also felt a similar feeling of gratefulness to be home.

Perhaps home is where your heart is - and perhaps your heart can be in more than one place at a time.

28 December, 2008


A flight back to New York at 6:25 AM is not the thing I'm most looking forward to tomorrow...

but it does allow me to have one more night at home with my family, a few more precious hours of being with the people I love so much that even from 500 miles away I feel close to them.

What a blessing it is to have been with them for a whole week. And I hope I can remember that blessing when I get up before the sun rises to get to the airport on time!


My sis... and her new baby puppy.
She's a spazoid, but she's a cute spazoid.


A while back I posted that I wanted to run the NYC Marathon for my 30th birthday.

And now I have a Marathon Buddy.

We're gonna do some "inter-city" training for the next several months while I'm in New York and she's in Akron. We're gonna get tips. We're gonna keep tabs on each other. And then she's gonna come to NYC and run with me. And we will go slowly. Because of her bad knees. And my simple need to go slowly (I figure my marathon motto is: "Be the turtle, not the hare").

I'm excited!

27 December, 2008


I don't care what anyone has to say about it, game nights are awesome. More people should have game nights. It's so much fun. Perhaps that'll be one of my new year's resolutions. More board game playing.

Particular favorites include Scrabble, Scattegories, any Women vs. Men game, Cranium, Life... the list goes on and on.


After far too many years of being out of touch, I was finally able to spend some quality time with a good friend over this year's Christmas holiday. It had been so long since I'd last seen her in person - three years? five years? - and I must admit that I was apprehensive at first, thinking perhaps it was possible that we'd grown too far apart and I worried that there would be those awful moments of awkward silence over lunch and coffee.

But once again, the strong bonds of friendship prevailed and it was a true joy to spend a few hours together - catching up on work, relationships, ideas, old friends, high school reunion stories, show choir memories, plans for the future... just indulging in some simple time with each other.

I am grateful that we were able to reconnect so honestly. And it was a pleasure to laugh together again. In the future, I will take care not to let the all-too-convenient excuse of living far away get in the way of our friendship.

26 December, 2008


If I was a little kid right now,
this would be the most awesome thing ever.


What I love most, and am most proud of, about my family is the incredible boundless acceptance that they show - to all people, in all situations, at all times of the year.

Oh sure - we might make fun of you (lovingly!) and we might make non-PC comments about your religion or political viewpoints (we're only teasing!) and we might especially enjoy a practical joke or two at your expense (hey, 7-year-old nephews think everything's hilarious).

But the acceptance that goes beyond believing in Jesus or chanting Hare Krishna, beyond the teasing about past relationships or new ones that are just beginning, beyond Obama or McCain (but not beyond Bush, I mean let's be honest - can't we all agree to joke about him?!)... THAT is the acceptance I've been taught. THAT is family I come from. THAT is who I have learned to become.

And I am incredibly proud to call myself an Ayers and be a part of that family.

24 December, 2008


Tonight, like every Christmas Eve in recent memory, I will go to midnight mass at my church.

And it will be beautiful.

The striking red flowers against the marble altar. The almost life-sized nativity scene. The sheer awe of being in a church that big. The thrill of singing my favorite music from the highest balcony. The feeling of familiarity with the crowds packing the pews. The magic of the middle of the night.

But tonight will be different, as my priest - the only priest I've ever thought of as "my priest" - will not be there.

And like the eventual change that is bound to come to all traditions, this one will be similar (and still good!) ... but not quite the same.


For the past 1/2 a dozen years or so, our family has woken up at 6am on Christmas Eve and gone down to our church to serve breakfast to those less fortunate than ourselves. For me, at the beginning, it felt like a chore and has now become a tradition I actually look forward to each year. It's a combination of both feelings actually - this one thing AND another seemingly opposite sensation.

Yes, I'd rather sleep in... AND it reminds me that I'm grateful to have that warm, comfy bed. Yes, I'd rather not be around so many people who haven't had the luxury of a shower... AND it reminds me that cleanliness is a luxury I take for granted. Yes, I'd rather spend those 5 hours eating cookies or relaxing... AND it reminds me of the truer spirit of the holidays - giving, rather than receiving.

23 December, 2008


Need to fit in a visit to this classic joint while I'm home...


Some things I love about being home for the holidays...

* the ever expanding array of cookies, candy, chocolate, nuts, goodies that slowly but surely take over the kitchen table * the dining-room-turned-present-wrapping-center where the gifts are so beautiful we could seriously start charging people for our services * the tree, complete with ornaments I fondly remember * the stereo filling the house with partridges in pear trees, hippopotamuses for christmas, and the YES take on the holly and the ivy * the striking difference between one hour of complete ruckus and the next hour of complete silence, save for the crackling fire


Shopping for a new apartment in NYC is feast or famine... and it can also take forever or only a matter of a few hours.

I'm in the market now - could this beauty be the one?

"Secret" those exposed brick walls, people! And that brand new kitchen - oh, the dinner parties!

22 December, 2008


It's turning into a Christmas tradition (one of the first of such traditions I've had in New York) to go to our friends' apartment and watch Muppet movies... particularly the Muppet Family Christmas and Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas.

Complete with popcorn garland on the tree, a french toast buffet, old friends who just moved to the city, laughing so much our sides hurt, and everyone singing along with the montage of carols at the end of the movie.

It was - and will continue to be - one of the best holiday traditions ever. One to warm my heart, not only with nostalgia for the Muppets but for that beautiful group of friends, too.

20 December, 2008

169 BAR

169 Bar. Located, conveniently for those of you with short term memories, at 169 East Broadway. One of the oldest bars in NYC. And my awesome friend is gonna rock it out there tonight. I can't wait to hear her do her thing. But even more... I can't wait to see her outfit!


Overheard on the subway today:

MAMA - "Because you have to."
4-YEAR OLD - "But I don't want to!"
MAMA - "I know, sweetie."
4-YEAR OLD - "Pleeeeaaase?"
MAMA - "I'm sorry, but you have to."
4-YEAR OLD - "Mama, we ain't friends no more."


I love sleepovers.  I always have.  Sleepovers in kindergarten when you talked about boys being gross and used sleeping bags on your living room floor and staying up until you passed out (which, when you're 5 or 6 is just barely until the late night news starts) made you feel like a rebel.  Sleepovers in middle school when you talked about boys you crushed on and girls of whom you were jealous (but would never admit to either of those things).  Sleepovers in high school when you talked about boys you dated and formed deep friendships with a few particular gals and dreamed about what you'd be when you grew up.  Sleepovers in college when suddenly the sleepovers actually involved boys (and girls, and sometimes whole groups of people who just fell asleep wherever they could find a spot).  And sleepovers as an adult - when you stay up all night and don't sleep at all because you're discussing the many realizations of what it is to be a "grown up", or when the nightly sleepover you thought was everlasting starts unraveling hour by early morning hour right before your eyes, or when someone who cares about you trudges all the way to "Upstate Manhattan" and ends up crashing on your couch, or when you spontaneously enjoy a night in Brooklyn with a new friend who's married to an older friend whom you have always wanted to get to know better... and the figuring out of each other, the bonding - that is the root of all great sleepovers.

19 December, 2008


Today I will learn how the amazing company I work for


New York says sorry to Cleveland with free Broadway tickets
From The Cleveland Plain-Dealer, 12/19/08

New York has apologized to Cleveland. Really. Free tickets to Broadway shows beat roses, no matter where you live. All Clevelanders have to do is get there. The big-dollar mea culpa comes courtesy of an ill-considered quote -- "We hate tourists from Cleveland" -- from Broadway ad executive Nancy Coyne in Tuesday's New York Times. It became instantly infamous. The New York Post blared, in typical fashion: "P.R. Poobah's B'way Bomb." And bloggers in both cities traded insults. One Web site based in New York identified Cleveland as the place Lake Erie caught fire. Other New Yorkers, however, showed Cleveland some love by giving us free tickets -- free! -- that can cost upward of $300 a ticket. Deal No. 1: "Chicago Loves Cleveland." Not Chicago the city; "Chicago" the musical. Show up on any Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday in January at Ambassador Theatre (219 West 49th St.) with a government-issued photo ID proving you live in Ohio, and you get in free that night. Deal No. 2: Coyne, who caused this drama and who runs an agency that represents 24 New York shows, will give away Broadway tickets in January and February on Cleveland radio.


This cracks me up. And I want it.

18 December, 2008


Tonight I met "James" on the subway. He looked kinda like this guy, but a little more "every man". James and I talked from 59th to 175th on the A train. We both went for the same seat and ended up sitting caddy-corner from each other. This could've been the end of our interaction... but as I was putting on some hand lotion and preparing to read my book, he asked me if the train was still going express. And I politely answered yes.

Then he proceeded to tell me about the history of the subway. How it was in the 60's. How there used to be an AA train and then a K train. How there used to be wooden fans and straw seats in the 30's. How the N train used to run on the R line.

And although at first I was just smiling & nodding, I soon found myself thinking: I could either pay half-hearted attention to this guy or I could really engage and have a subway friendship for the next few stops. So I asked him his name. And we shook hands.

Then we talked about our neighborhood. And how the Mother Cabrini is odd. Which led to discussing funeral rituals in different religions. We covered a small array of topics in the short 1/2 hour ride. And it was nice. And it was genuine. And it was nothing more than a sub-friendship.

17 December, 2008


I was reminded today about the importance of keeping my focus on the right things. I felt distracted (ha! no pun intended) and scattered and it was difficult for me to feel like I was accomplishing anything good all day. But then I had a phone call with someone who called me out - telling me that one of the main problems was that I was focusing too much on the dollars and not enough on the art.

And this was coming from the EXACT person who was a source of most of my frustration. So it was infuriating and humbling to realize... he was right. I am responsible, as someone who produces theatre, to adhere to the budgets and to force people to think harder about things and to step it up and work through difficult problems.

REGARDLESS! I have seen this in other people in this industry as well: the fact that we can get so worked up about the challenges in our jobs that we can completely lose track of the joy. And I get to do theatre - make believe! - everyday. Every day. All day. That's my job. And it's amazing. And it's hard. And it's incredibly rewarding.

And a humbling day today can mean for a better day tomorrow.


I am learning so much so quickly with my relatively new job... sometimes this picture is exactly how I feel. Don't get me wrong - not in a bad way - just in a brain exploding way.


Tonight I'm going to see this.
I'm not sure if it will be good or bad or crazy or ridiculous.
I am sure it will be memorable.
And make for a good story.

16 December, 2008


A good friend and I have recently begun what's shaping up to be a new tradition: Tuesdays at Toast. It's this great restaurant in my dream neighborhood - the upper west side. I've always loved that neighborhood and it's been so nice to spend the last few Tuesdays meeting with a lovely lady and sharing an array of delicious food (and emotional gossip!) at a sweet spot that we've come to call our own.

15 December, 2008


Did anyone else know that McDonald's has a gospel choir?
Seriously. McGospel.

14 December, 2008


The candlelight service at St. George's tonight was beautiful. And it was nothing short of pure joy to be a part of it.

I remember going to this service last year - during a time when the joy of Christmas was hard for me to grasp. I wasn't feeling that Christmas spirit... and being in a church, surrounded by uplifting music and the warmth of happy people really helped allow me to take that step from sorrow to joy. Or if not complete joy, then at least I could see the cracks of light.

This year, being a part of this service gave me a wonderful "circle of life" reminder - a karma of sorts. Having those two hours last December to lift my spirits was so meaningful, and being able to lift my voice with others today (and perhaps bringing a little light into someone else's life) is a gift I didn't even know I wanted. But it was a wonderful, wonderful present.

11 December, 2008


A very happy birthday to my amazing mother.

My mother is incredible. There are not words enough to describer her giant heart, her deep wisdom, her patience beyond patience, her bright smile, and her dedication to her family. I can only hope to be growing into half as wonderful a woman as she is.


And a very happy birthday to my loving grandmother.

Yup. My mom was born on her mom's birthday. That's a tiny family factoid that I've always loved. The magic, the gift of human life - of creating human life - and bringing it to the world on the day of your own birth. My grandma is still kickin' it well into her 80's - and today I wish her love and joy and many more years to come.


This post is specifically for one person who called me out on not blogging every single day and has instead decided to call my blog "A Little SOME Days".

I have nothing too interesting to say (or perhaps I have several interesting things to say, but none that I want to risk writing on the world wide web at the moment)... however, I did have a lovely Wednesday evening into early Thursday morning seeing this. And eating here. And having a night cap here.

So there, Mr. I've-Decided-To-Re-Title-Your-Blog. By the time you read this you can think to yourself, "Wow - she was 20 feet from me only 10 short hours ago." And you can admit this blog has made you laugh.

08 December, 2008


Sunday night's activity: tree trimming! Complete with ornaments, ribbons, bows, a shining star, holiday drinks, pizza, popcorn, cookies, the Griswold's, and this holiday classic.

PS - if you're unfamiliar with said "holiday classic" you definitely need to take the little more than 1/2 hour it takes to watch and cuddle up on the couch to enjoy it with friends and family.

07 December, 2008


Thinking about Christmas this morning while watching Barack on "Meet the Press"... it's definitely hard to do both at the same time. Not only because my attention is mostly on the charismatic President-Elect, but also because what he is saying makes it difficult to think about the simple want to spend money on presents. Hearing about Mumbai, taxes, financial woes, bankruptcy, and the list goes on and on - he will have a challenge beyond challenging when he enters the office.

When you listen to these things, buying gifts seems excessive. But then I read this last night from the Bhagavad Gita and it gave me pause: "A gift is pure when it is given from the heart to the right person at the right time and at the right place, and when we expect nothing in return."

Perhaps it is less about a physical gift, a present wrapped in shiny paper that will only end up in the trash, an item that will sit on a shelf or get hung on a wall... perhaps it has always been less about these kinds of gifts.

Welcome, Welcome
Fah who rah-moose
Welcome, Welcome
Dah who dah-moose
Christmas day is in our grasp
So long as we have hands to clasp

Maybe Christmas he thought, doesn't come from a store.
Maybe Christmas perhaps, means a little bit more.

06 December, 2008

1st SNOW

The beginnings of snow tonight. The kind that's almost rain. But I was so excited about it, I walked an extra 20 blocks this evening just to stay outside in it.


Once in a while, I sit back and am amazed (in this crazy & unpredictable life) that anything at all happens in the way you'd hoped. There are a million little blessings that I witness every day. And it is so good to remember to be grateful for them.

For time spent with good friends over lunch. For being surrounded by beautiful, confident women. For the magic of being able to get real work done from home, from the comfort of your couch, in your pajamas, with the help of the Internet. For the foresight to buy 2 bags of english muffins the last time you went grocery shopping, and putting one in the freezer, so when you needed breakfast this morning you remembered them and were glad you didn't have to go out shopping until tomorrow. For projection designers who are interested in and available for the work you're offering, even though it's last minute. For a very intelligent co-worker who gives you smart advice the moment you need it. For the good idea of a prop storage sale, where you're able to buy an amazing blue cooking dish for a great price, providing for your own kitchen's happiness while supporting the theatre you love.

For the small joys that push their way up through the cracks in everyday life. For these especially, I am grateful.

04 December, 2008


Christmas carols are so simple and yet so beautiful. I can't tell if it's the words that touch my heart more, or the music. And I'm sure they wouldn't be enough for me on their own. Just the music and I miss what the message is. Just the words and I'm not moved nearly as much.

When you've had the delight of singing one of the simplest (and one of my most favorite) carols, and when you're in a church, and singing in the company of others who have amazing gifts of music, and who want to lift up their voices with you - in harmony, in prayer, with open hearts... how can you not stand in awe?

Son of God
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of REDEEMING GRACE


Another good friend. Getting the word out. In a funny way.
Thanks for posting THIS, my bearded friend!

03 December, 2008


A good friend. Doing good work.

Shane December Pledge from Shane Guiter on Vimeo.


Impromptu date nights are fun. I love having nothing to do after work, then hitting the gym for an hour, and getting a message as I'm leaving from a good friend who suggests going for dinner and enjoying a 1/2 priced bottle of wine at a local neighborhood restaurant. It may have undone all the calories I ran off at the gym... but it was worth it!

01 December, 2008



Christmas is my favorite holiday.
By far.
No, not because of the presents.
But the joy.
And the togetherness.
And the beauty.
And even the waiting - the anticipation.
The preparation - the planning.
And the hope for a new beginning.