Monday, December 29, 2014

The. Gift.

I had it all planned. Weeks prior, I had written Brownie & Christy (friends from CRT) explaining that during our seven months living in Creede, Colorado, it was Brownie's paintings that Person* was most enchanted by. Did they have a small one I could purchase to surprise him with at Christmas? For the person (indeed, my Person) who has everything, this was one thing I reckoned I could get him that would really surprise and delight him.

So Brownie took off to get one of his paintings from a gallery in a neighboring town to store at his house in Lawrence until I arrived on the 20th - en route to St. Jo Mo. Meanwhile, I started saving. Not having had steady employment since August, I knew Person wouldn't expect a gift from me, which made this extra special - sacrifice and beauty. Nothing beats it.  

We arrived in Lawrence to hugs and a lovely fish dinner in an historic home. Christy and Brownie are lovers of history and their house is filled with it. Built in the 1800s it's gorgeous - tall ceilings, wood everything. It's amazing. And every inch is filled with something from an antique or thrift store. Wanna see what a POW built out of toothpicks while stuck in a cell during WWII? They've got it. Ever fancied a Celtic cross? - They've got a drawer full. It's like staying the night in a museum. 

But Brown, Christy, and I had a game plan. So I slipped out to the barn-turn-gallery to "see Brownie's studio." He hurried to a brown box and pulled out the painting. 

"I love it. He'll love it." 

"It's based on a memory I have during my time in France," he explained. Even more perfect. It was The. Gift. 

Tuesday, December 02, 2014


It's #GivingTuesday and this is a not so subtle attempt to market some of my favorite non-profits and tell you where to put your money (spoiler alert, it's not necessarily where your mouth is).

So, here they are, Ann's Top Nine (I don't know why I chose nine) Places to Give this Giving Tuesday...


Because, to be frank, art changes people. It may be our best ally.

1. Trinity Street Players. I admit it. I may be biased because I founded this theatre and now I'm helping them out again. But still. It's a theatre. In a church. Where thespians are allowed to be themselves, and make art, and not feel proselytized. It's a nice change from the unfortunate norm. (Note: go to the Trinity Street Players line item to donate).

2. Creede Repertory Theatre. Also a biased choice. This is where I worked over the summer and it's a dream. And an anomaly... considering there's only 400 people living in Creede, Colorado right now.

3.  The Rude Mechs. I love this internationally acclaimed theatre company whose home is ATX. However, they're trying to make the hard decision about staying or going. So, get your money and go vote. (Their marketing team is brilliant).


What do you care about the most? They alway ask this on those dang surveys that I get in the mail. Check one of the following.... Healthcare, Corruption on Walstreet, Gun Control. Well, needless to say, my X goes next to the environment box, cuz, y'all. Facts are facts. And it's going fast.

4. World Wildlife Fund - "WWF’s work has evolved from saving species and landscapes to addressing the larger global threats and forces that impact them." And, pandas.

5. The Conservation Fund - "From Alaska’s North Slope to Maryland’s Eastern shore, we’re working with groups to protect lands that that will allow vulnerable species to move and adapt." This is smart work.

6. PETA - Because people who are cruel to animals suck. And don't get me started on what it says about our culture that we have puppy farms and factory farms.


Because, cancer.

7. St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Enough said.

Oh and ALS. Because our healthcare system is pretty corrupt, and trying to get resources to survive is pretty difficult.

8. The ALS Association.


9. NPR. Because, news and art. It's a lifesaver on those long drives. And its refreshing to know that thoughtful people still exist and are telling theirs and other's stories.