theater

Looking Back on Summer: Baseball, Camp, Forgiveness and Faith

This is the longest spate I’ve not posted on my blog. It’s so funny, the reason I usually stop writing is not lack of ideas or things to say, but too much to say. It becomes overwhelming and I don’t know where to start. Much has happened already this year, some I have shared and some I don’t, well, know where to start… Some seems almost moot now. I sent my kids to camp: baseball, theater and technology (yes, technology). We were all pretty busy, so no vacations were planned although we did go on a few day trips: Coney Island, the Ripley’s Museum and Madame Tussaud’s.

But the crux of my summer boils down into better understanding three primary themes: Forgiveness, Authenticity and Faith.

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Passing The Baton

shutterstock_148204991When I was growing up, my father taught me to play Scrabble. Not by coaching me through a game, side-by-side as players on the same team, but by being a worthy counterpart in a back and forth exchange on the board. Through this methodology I too became a worthy opponent, a skill I am very proud to have today because it connects me to him, his strengths, his values and is a reminder of fond memories.

Throughout my life, some of the most meaningful and transformative moments I can recall were the conversations I had with my Dad. Some may call them “heart-to-hearts” but that would be underestimating the range and scope of what we would talk about. Similar to our Scrabble matches, he never “dumbed down” an intellectual conversation–not in his interpretations or his expectations of how I was to participate–which challenged me to meet him, or at least make a valiant effort to get there.

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Summer 2013: Highlights, Gifts and Surprises

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The kids in the ocean at Coney Island: Summer 2013

The summer is almost over. It’s hard to believe Labor Day weekend is just two days off in the distance and all I my blog has to show for it is a handful of posts. I had grand plans…

The summer is a meaningful time for me: family birthdays and annual celebrations, my anniversary and, of course, excursions and getaways. Yet every time I meant to sit down and capture it for my blog, I was distracted or something else came up and it no longer seemed timely. But now, dear reader, as summer’s precious moments are coming to a close, it seems all the more necessary to remember the highlights, gifts and surprises of Summer 2013.

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Unexpected Treasure

20130707-221405.jpgAs I was searching my basement this weekend for suitcases, I found myself in a nostalgia detour. My inner procrastinator happily combed through boxes and Ziploc baggies brimming with the past, and as each vessel surfaced with archives of long-lost treasures (treasures maybe a strong word for old pictures, “Welcome Home Baby” cards, baby teeth and hair, positive pregnancy tests from my first and second born–yes, I kept them–and umbilical cord stumps, but one person’s treasure is another’s trash) another hour was almost surely lost. But then I came across something else quite unexpected.

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One For Them, One For You: Book Gifts

Image courtesy of Kittisak / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Call me old-fashioned but there’s something about a reading a text with a cover and a spine that can be folded back and dog-eared that is so comforting. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve read a number of books on my iPad and that was a great experience, but sometimes I need a real tactile read–I guess I’m book-polar. These books are some new and new-ish picks that make great gifts, and–as the title of this post suggests–ones you may also want to get for yourself: one for them and one for you.

Happy reading!

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Gifts For Gleeks

20120904-223209.jpgI’m a Gleek. I’m 37 years old and I can’t wait to find out what happens to Rachel and Finn, how New York (the city I love and live in) will be written into the show, and I nearly died when I stumbled onto this post on Vulture giving some juicy insights into the next season. Yep, I’m a Gleek and proud of it.

My dream episode would be an entire hour dedicated to the genius that is Stephen Sondheim and I think these kids nail handle it (are you listening Ryan Murphy?). Just picture it… Kurt singing “Not A Day Goes By,” Blaine singing “Being Alive,” Mr. Shoe singing “Children Will Listen” and of course Rachel singing “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina.” I would pre-order that baby on iTunes right now.

With only nine days before the season premiere, I thought it would be appropriate to come up with fun Glee-themed gifts for the Gleek in your life (I have a few also). Happy listening!

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Gifts For Moms & Grandmas

July 4th Lobster Bake: Three Generations
From left to right back row: my grandmother, mom, aunt
Front row: my son (2) and daughter (4.5)
I am behind the camera

My mother’s birthday is at the end of August–sometimes falling right in the middle of Labour Day weekend (if you want further proof of this, see my earlier post on her Summertime Tea Party). What’s really interesting, or at least it was for me, is when you see your mother in action as not just “mom” but as “grandma”… particularly if this is to your children, and in my case since I was my mothers’ only child this was the only way that was going to happen. Putting on my gift-giving hat, this is a very cool challenge because I get to think about different kinds of gifts for her from my children and work with them on the selecting and assembling.

Gifts for Theater Geeks

I have been a theater lover for as long as I can remember. I had posters of Bernadette Peters, Terrance Mann and Patti LuPone in my room along with The Bangles, River Phoenix, Ricky Schroeder (before he was Rick), Rick Springfield and Toni Basil.

I grew up in the heart of New York City so for birthdays, I could ask for tickets to Broadway shows– Les Miserables (with aforementioned Terrance Mann), CATS (with Betty Buckley), Dreamgirls (with Jennifer Holiday), The Tap Dance Kid (with Alfonso Riberio) and Into The Woods (with Peters and Joanna Gleason)–we’re talking early / mid 1980’s and my parents were theater lovers too so they were happy to oblige. I also saw my share of productions that were probably too “adult” for a child–La Cage Aux Folles with George Hearn in 1983, which would have made me eight–but when I heard him sing “I Am What I Am,” and I could listen to it again and again and my eyes would well up every single time, I just knew that…well…there was something a bit different about me. I was a theater geek.

Below are gifts that I can say, with some authority, are great options for the Broadway Baby in your life (cue Bernadette Peters’ version now…).

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