Happy Jar

The Happy Jar is a collection of events in my life that make me happy.

Holiday Treat at the Met Room

Last night was a delightful example of how the simple things can often be just as special as glitz and glam. It was a charming contrast to the “big” stuff we’ve been doing lately in the City.

Let me back up a bit. Yesterday was December 17th, my mom’s birthday. She would’ve been 65. Last year (the first year she was not with us), by coincidence, it also happened to be her yahrzeit (the anniversary of her passing on the Jewish calendar). Because we had had a long-planned cochlear implant checkup in NY scheduled on the 18th, we decided to travel from RI on the 17th with the whole gang for a little adventure in the City. We zipped down…

The Nose Knows at Cyrano

Kevin Kline is Cyrano in the limited 10-week run of Cyrano de Bergerac on Broadway. Kline embodied the droll and tragic large-nosed hero so magnificently in the masterfully-directed play that I can’t imagine anyone better in the role. The actor is simply brilliant on the stage.

The first act of this classic story tipped perhaps a little too much toward the comic than the romantic, but the set design was perfectly dingy, and the second act was dramatic and powerful. Jennifer Garner was decent as Roxane, but she paled in comparison to Kline. While she has an adorable charm, she lacks the soulfulness to be a character on a dramatic stage. Her style is much more well-suited for the screen.


The Schtickmeister

One of my favorite quotes ever was a wife’s lovely tribute to her husband – “I get excited when I hear his key in the door. It’s like ‘Ooh! The party’s going to start.’” Quick – any idea who said it? The enamored wife was the wonderful late Anne Bancroft, and the mate to whom she referred, of course, was the extraordinary Mel Brooks.

To close out our musical month of November, we had long-held tickets for Mel Brooks’ new stage version of “Young Frankenstein” – a musical adaptation of his 1974 screen creation. To be blunt, I was less “whelmed” than I thought I’d be.

Don’t get me wrong. There is no one who comes even remotely close to Mel…

Giving Thanks

As our family gathers in Rhode Island today to celebrate Thanksgiving 2007, I want to take the opportunity to give thanks for something particularly special to us. Yesterday marked the fifth anniversary of Matthew’s cochlear implant, the miraculous device that has given him the ability to hear, and consequently develop speech and language. His progress over the five years has been extraordinary, and today he is a successfully-mainstreamed third grader, doing extremely well academically and socially.

We are ever-grateful that the technology even exists to begin with, and we give our most sincere thanks to the professionals who have helped change Matthew’s life to a hearing one: the surgeon and medical staff at NYU; his audiologists; his speech/language pathologists…


I am sweetly hungover this morning from living a lifelong dream last night. And believe it or not there was not a drop of alcohol involved. You know how when you finally get to experience something you’ve been dreaming of forever, it rarely lives up to your overblown expectations? Well this went so far beyond anything I ever could’ve imagined! And it never would’ve happened had I not moved so close to New York.

Call me superstitious if you like. Say that I’m livin’ for the city. But for once in my life the stars were completely aligned and I was absolutely overjoyed. If you haven’t guessed by now, I spent last evening being mesmerized by Stevie Wonder. And then…

Hats-Or Shoes-Off to Zappos

I just hung up the phone with Zappo’s, and they simply continue to awe me with their unrivaled customer service. I placed an order yesterday at noon EDT, and their policy is to ship (free) overnight. I didn’t need the shoes for any particular event this weekend, but I’ve got the major uglies these days, and it sometimes helps to buy a new lipstick and some new shoes. Lipstick and shoes tend to fit more reliably these days than, say, belts. Or anything else with a waist for that matter.

But I digress. I went on a spree and ordered a few pair of shoes so I could try them all on and decide on a pair or…