Snow Week:) and the Nerds Grow Old…..

Our son Dan is hitting the big time in Baltimore in a couple of months – his first Equity gig at Center Stage!:)

Snow Falling on Cedars

Mar 9-Apr 3, 2011

Adapted by Kevin McKeon from the novel by David Guterson

East Coast Premiere

Directed by David Schweizer

Against the backdrop of an America torn by World War Two, cultures and communities clash when a Japanese American islander is accused of murder. This hauntingly lyrical saga—adapted from David Guterson’s acclaimed story of mystery, love, and identity—deftly shifts from courtroom to strawberry fields to bloody battlefront, digging for hard truths buried in a forgotten history.

 

He’s going to play the guy who was murdered.

Cannot wait to see this!

 

This week was rather snowy – not exactly the “Snowmageddon” of last year, but enough to be a pain in the behind. Wednesday – which is usually my day to catch up on visits (now thanks to my co-workers I have Friday as well)- was just too dangerous to drive around in. Even the courts agreed because the courthouse was closed in my county Wednesday and Thursday.  In fact, most of the state courts west of the Chesapeake were closed on Thursday.

Strangely enough, I didn’t do very much.  I should have cleaned.  I should have done wash, I should have practiced, played flute, even knit more, but for some reason, I spent most of the time answering e-mails and trying to get some sleep.  Must have been fighting something – maybe a severe case of LazyButt or the flu.  What I did do was bell prax on Tuesday and Friday, I was a witness for a friend in an uncontested divorce case. Her attorney is a dear friend and it was WONDERFUL catching up with her and spending time with both of them.

Yesterday we had the grand girls and today my brother Dan and two of his sons, Geoff and Pat, came to Sunday dinner with the proverbial gang.  All six of the “kids” were here with spouses and kids, but one significant other couldn’t make it – she was in a tech rehearsal and then was going to go have a few drinks with her fellow cast members.

 

One thing I may not have mentioned is that back in December, St. J’s decided to update its parish directory.  Our parish directory has pictures in it.  This time, they arranged with Olan Mills Portrait Studio to have families, couples, individuals, what have you, to have their picture taken in the Undercroft.  How I got poor John to agree to this, I’ll never know.  And he didn’t back out at the last minute!  So now it’s official, we are NERDS! OLD NERDS! One of the pictures for some reason highlighted a serious streak o’ white on the sides of John’s head, giving him the proverbial, “Paulie Walnuts” look of the Sopranos.  Another one looked like a chunk had been taken out of his hair (it really hadn’t).  A dear friend of ours, Charles O, graciously photoshopped the picture to correct this strange thing, apologizing right and left, worried that he would have offended us.  As if!

Well, here’s the photoshopped picture (this is not the one we’re using for the directory, that one has me standing behind John – and NO, I did NOT have a knife in my hand!) Of course now, that we know Charles can (ahem) correct some photographic “errors,” we are wondering if he removes grey and excess poundage…. Thank you Charles:)

On the knitting front, I am happy to report that I finally got back to the Westerwick and, having cut my second steek, am happily working away at sleeve no. 2. No pictures yet, but believe me, when this thing is finished, I’m throwing a parade!:)

I did, however, finish the Terra and because I had to use it yesterday, decided to keep it – I don’t like giving away used things unless it’s something somebody likes and comments on (that’s different). And boy, it keeps you warm!

I didn’t have enough yarn to get to the second chart, believe it or not.  I think the yarn I used is bulkier than that originally called for, so the yardage should have been a bit more.  No problem, it was large enough!

 

Well this coming week is also threatening snow, but I do have to be in court tomorrow, so I’d better get ready!

 

 

Oh before I go, found out from Tom C this morning that Ron Mutchnik was pleased with the percussionists and we are hired for next year’s performance! Whoot!

 

Well, God be with you ’til we meet again:)!

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Sometimes it pays to do the right thing!

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This is NOT our client!

And believe it or not, as a lawyer, one really ought to know that.  Think about it, lawyer jokes aside, if we do the right thing, we rarely (sometimes, but not often) have to worry.  We don’t have to get our stories straight; all we have to do is get our ducks in a row and do our thing and we’re fine.

But sometimes it’s not so certain what the right thing is.  As you know, dear readers, I do NOT give details about clients.  That would be the greatest of all Bozo No-Nos.  And just plain mean and wrong. What I will say in general, is that our office decided to take an appeal on a decision we believed to be wrong and against our client’s interests.  The AG’s office warned us against it.  They felt it was a gamble, that we could end up with a bad decision that could make things difficult for their other cases. Ultimately, they refused to even be involved in the appeal.  But it was the right decision for our client and that’s the only person we had to worry about.  So we took the gamble. And the intermediate appellate court agreed with us. Yes, we could still be overturned on a subsequent appeal.  Yes, this means even if we prevail at the appellate level, we’ll still have to prove our case in court.  Again.  Yes, we could lose.  Again. But it was the right thing to do.  Luckily, I have two bosses who believe in doing the right thing.  They believe that we have to do what’s right for our client.  Not everyone else.  Our client.

Did I tell you I really really love my job?

On the knitting front, Terra is growing, albeit slowly.

But it’s the only relatively mindless thing I’ve got going, outside of the Cassidy:) And yes, I’m working on that, too.  But I think I will just have to bite the bullet and get working on that Westerwick.  Just being a chicken, that’s all.:)

Oh, and not for nothin’, but I thought I’d leave you with a picture of Mr. and Mrs. Fox – in our next-door neighbor’s back yard, munching on the deer feed they put out.  Another reason I can’t play in the back yard!

Ah well, God be with you ’til we meet again!

You can find them at the bottom of the picture!

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Great News!

Vicki’s Church, “St. PJs” is famous! Here’s a video of that jazz ensemble I wrote about, Theodicy:

And here’s a link to an article in the New Haven Independent:

So cool, but it’s not just the music.  There was such a sense of acceptance and love in that community – and a community it is!

Thanks, Vicki, for sharing your good stuff with us!

In recent news, not much is new.  I played rather badly for the children’s service, having stupidly forgotten that there was a REPEAT after the first verse (DOH!), but I do give myself some credit for having recovered and done my best to finish on time, LOL.  After the Offertory, I did the proverbial “Catholic Shuffle” (sorry my Catholic friends and family, I mean that in only the most loving terms!) and high-tailed it home, only to find that John was not going to be able to go.  Bless his heart, he wanted to get the house cleaned up before my brother got there. We later found out that Dan had been violently ill the night before and could not make it.  But we will probably see him next week, which will be absolutely terrific, because I think everyone will be here for dinner! At least I hope so!

On the knitting front, I did test out those Signature circular size 7s:) and ended up knitting the night away! I got the 6″ needle, stiletto point, 47″ total length with cord and needles.There was a bit of a learning curve: I needed to get used to the idea of longer tips.  However, once that was out of the way, I was knitting like a maniac and enjoying myself immensely.  What really struck me about them was the strength and the smoothness of the join between the cable and the needle.  There was really nothing to complain about – quite the opposite.  This is definitely the “Cadillac” or “Rolls Royce” of knitting needles! Is it worth the cost? How do I know? One or two in a size I use fairly regularly would be very nice, but a whole set? I could get the national debt into the billions, LOL:) But definitely everything I hoped they would be!

Here’s the beginning of the Cassidy.  I’m using Cascade 220 wool, worsted weight in a dark heathered green that I’ve had in my stash for about a year. I’m not getting the stitch definition I did with the grey acrylic, but I’m liking the quality of the yarn a lot better.

I have NOT made any real progress on the Westerwick since last I wrote because I need a block of time to work on it properly.  Cannot make cuts in knitting without the remedy ready at hand!

Work today was not very much to write about.  I do have a bunch of phone calls to return and  quick trip to Annapolis to file something tomorrow.  Then it’s visits and meetings and courts and all the usual. Hopefully the weather will cooperate!

Oh, and speaking of Great News:), Send a few good thoughts, vibes, prayers, whatever out into the Universe for the Penultimate Child.  She just made it through the first hurdle in the process of the Fulbright! YES!:)

Until next time dear readers, God be with you ’til we meet again!

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Postlude: Just about the only thing I have in a size 7:)

This post is for Knitters Only:) As many of you are no doubt aware, Signature Needle Arts recently came out with their next generation of circular needles.  These babies arrived in the mail today:)

I don’t care what projects I have to do, I am starting the Cassidy by Bonne Marie Burns today!! I have the yarn, I have the coolest needles and I have a need for a green hoodie that fits (well, maybe not a need) and know I can do this!

YES:)

Which makes my knitting self very happy!

 

 

God be with you ’til we meet again!

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It’s been an interesting coupla weeks:)!!

It’s a cold and sunny day here in central Merlin. I don’t have a docket and am spending the day getting organized for the onslaught that will be next week. A three-day trial I thought was going to start Monday was postponed until mid-May, so I feel like one who has been granted a reprieve:).  So of  I figured I’d update this thing. When last I posted, dear readers, I was clinging for dear life onto the handle of a the passenger side of our car as we were careening through the snow-covered roads of central Connecticut.  We had visited with my brother Dan in “Joysey” on the way (he looked terrific, BTW!!).  We got off that dratted I-95 North parking lot posing as a highway when we realized that John had left his good suit hanging in the garment bag on our hall closet door hook! Thanks to my trusty i-Phone app (AroundMe – I highly recommend it), and a search on Kohl’s (yes, even though they never sell decent skirts for the old fart in your life), got an address and phone number and verified that they were open until 11 pm.  We took a rather long detour which included sections of the Merritt Parkway that seemed to have never experienced the effects of a snowplow, and finally made our way to a Kohls, where, wonder of wonders, they were having an enormous sell on men’s wear! A couple of pairs of pants, some shirts and sweaters later, we were back on the road.  Thankfully, we were only about 15 minutes away from New Haven at that point – something for which I will be eternally grateful, my nails having already dug four holes in my right palm to avoid screaming during the ride.  Did I ever tell you I was very glad that John had waken up and taken over the driving before we got to the Merritt Parkway? Oh, well, I’m telling you now – and I was glad he was behind the wheel or the panic would have gone into nuclear mode.

We made it to the hotel, unpacked and found a Mexican restaurant around the corner (after being warned away by a local gendarme from doing too much exploring in the neighborhood at night).  We had a terrific meal and then todddled off to bed.  Dinner with Vicki was not to happen until the next night.

The next morning, we headed to the Church of St. Paul and St. James (“St. PJ’s”) and immediately saw Vicki in the middle of the thick of things.  After many hugs and happy words, Vicki showed me where the choir was practicing and John pitched in to help in the kitchen. (He’s a good guy, my hubby.) The choir was great and we had a wonderful time singing some of Vicki’s favorites and mine as well: “Yes, God is Real,” “Siyahamba”, “I am the Bread of Life,” the Taize”Veni Sancte Spiritus” and various hymns from the 1982 Hymnal. There was a guest organist and an excellent – and I mean excellent jazz band that goes by the name of Theodicy. It always comes out sounding like The Odyssey when I say it, though!  The pianist, Andy Barnett, is the parish Director of Music and Art and is currently himself in seminary.  Everyone had something good to say about Vicki! As I said to another friend of mine, it was wonderful to see her in a community that appreciates her charisms and her wildly sick sense of humor as only my dearest friends have:)!

While practicing with the choir, I made the acquaintance of two friends from Vicki’s home church, St.John’s in North Haven, who have retired and moved to the Delmarva Penninsula in Virginia (near Merlin’s Eastern Shore)! They, like us, had an interesting adventure braving the snow to get there!

Then of course the awesome part – Vicki’s Ordination.  She has been waiting for this moment for so long – about 40 years – and it this was just the beginning.  She will be a wonderful priest.  She has known the joys and suffering of life and I do believe she will be a force for good in this world. Congratulations, Vicki! May God bless your ministry! After the service was over, we met more of Vicki’s fellow congregants at the reception in her honor in the church hall.  This is a city parish, serving rich and poor alike, right near prestigious Yale University. It’s an eclectic group and I very much enjoyed the privilege of sharing a meal with them.  Afterwards, John and I did a very little bit of shopping for the grandkids – of course Yale-related – why not? We had dinner with Vicki, her sister Kate and Kate’s family.  It was so great to see them all and catch up.  John was laughing because Vicki and I have known each other for almost 40 years now, but with huge gaps of time between seeing each other – sometimes as much as a decade – yet the one-liners were still flying! I think he had a great time too. And I realized how much I miss New England! I’d move there tomorrow if all my kids didn’t live in Merlin!  Sunday, we went to the 8:30 service at which Vicki presided over her first Eucharist (after concelebrating at her Ordination, of course).  There were three of us at the service  probably because of the snow.  We all gave Communion to each other as we stood in a circle – I received from John and Vicki received from me (irony of ironies, LOL!).  Immediately afterwards we were packed, checked out and on the road to Merlin.  After that hair-raising eight-hour ride on Friday, our trip home was only four hours!We even had dinner with some of the “kids” and grands. That weekend happened so quickly but I know I will remember it as long as my brain works!

As if we didn’t receive an embarrassment of riches that weekend, right before we left to go, I received an urgent message from a fellow St. J’s choir member.  Tom plays tympani for the choir and was drafted to play percussion for the Orchestra of St. John’s next concert, the regular percussionist having demurred due to a gig already in the works with the Baltimore Symphony.  Apparently, when he finally got his sheet music, he realized there were too many parts even for Spike Jones to play.  So, given that we have some marching band experience between us, he called me to see if I’d be interested.  Hell yeah! So last week, between the duties and obligations of work, I had a number of practices with Tom and a CD of just about every Strauss and other waltz I’ve ever heard of! By Saturday, we were ready for them! (Well, sort of!) We practiced four hours with the orchestra and it was heaven! My life could have been over and I’d be satisfied I’d really lived. My only concern was that I didn’t sound professional enough.  Tom certainly did. The next day was the concert and I had a blast, although I was grateful once or twice that Tom actually knows how to count – unlike yours truly! Hopefully I didn’t embarrass myself.  Even if I did, it was worth it!

John, bless his heart got out of bed to see it, though he is decidedly NOT a classical music fan! Now that’s love! For fans of the waltz, this was a wonderful concert – it actually sold out in a matter of minutes! It was a multi-media event: as the orchestra played the waltzes, a large screen played videos of local historical and other places of interest in Howard County (central Merlin); There were real dancers from the Columbia Ballet Company waltzing up and down the aisles.  At one point, some of the male dancers invited women from the audience to dance with them.  And the crowd went wild.

Ron Mutchnik, our Maestro and Concert Master wrapped into one, had composed a lovely little “St. John’s Waltz” to which he had written lyrics for the audience to sing. They did very well:) Of course, you cannot have a Viennese waltz celebration without ending with the Radetzky March and an audience of clappers and stompers.  Tom had the snare drum for that one and I got to boom on the bass drum.  What a hoot.

On a more mercenary level, it was enouraging to see that most of the audience were adults, which means our fan base is increasing.

Immediately afterwards, the choir was going to sing for a church-related activity (the Orchestra is affiliated with the Church, but it is a non-profit, not a religious organization) – the welcome of Bishop Rabb into our midst.  It was a nice pot luck and again, a nice time.

By the Reverend King’s birthday holiday on Monday, I was just a weeeee bit tired.

This week I am finally up and running again, with the usual stuff going on.  Tomorrow I am babysitting the grandgirls in the morning, helping with the “after” at the choir-sponsored lunch for Discovery weekend and then having little Johnny over for an overnight visit (with his Mommy) to get him more used to Pop and Gramma’s house as they get closer to the Due Date:).  Sunday, I get to play flute with the Junior Choir and then run to our firm’s holiday brunch.

So, that should catch me up as far as the highpoints of the past few weeks.

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If you haven’t fallen asleep, I have some knitting updates.  For the most part, I have been working on two projects – the Westerwick cardigan for Nancy and Jared Flood’s Terra shawl (sometimes I have to work on something relatively mindless, so the Terra has been my portable go-to project this time around.

I have finally completed the first sleeve – did not machine stitch my steek for this sleeve, but picked up stitches, knit a row, then promptly sewed under the excess to make a sleeve facing.  It didn’t turn out half badly.  I still have two more steeks to go: the right sleeve and the central (my technical term is the big-assed) steek for the button band facing, both of which I am facing with some trepidation – well at least for the latter one.

 

 

 

I used slightly different colors for the sleeve ribbing than what was called for in the body ribbing.  Now I have to be careful to use the same colors, LOL! I am starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel.  Hopefully this sweater will be done before February! There are projects I am chafing at the bit to get started, but have exercised some self-discipline to get this done properly first!

My one bit of self-indulgence has been the Terra.  It is a fairly simple pattern and one that knits up quickly in contrast to the complex fair isle above.  It’s a basic triangle and Jared Flood uses a combination of stockinette/stocking stitch with garter to create a ribbing pattern on the body and a very simple lace patter for the edge.  I have about another 200 yards and 26 rows and the bind off to go before it’s done and ready to be blocked.  Not too shabby.  Now the question: do I keep this for myself or give it to the Prayer Shawl Ministry?? Please vote! I will post a poll on this blog for anyone who cares to give their opinion!

Well, dear readers, I don’t have much more to share.  Stay safe out there and God (however you understand Him/Her/It) be with you ’til we meet again!

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Blogging between the trucks

Anyone who said New Yawk has the worst traffic never tried the trip from Pelham to New Haven on I-95 North on a Friday on a wet day in January!


As I enter these words via cellphone, it is about 7:30 PM eastern time. We need to get to Exit 44. We just passed Exit 16 and have been on this part of the highway since 5:00. You do the math. I think we’ll forget dinner with Vicki the night before her ordination, LOL!
John, bless his heart, worked the overnight shift last night. He’s gotten dribs and drabs of sleep all day and has now taken over the driving to give my cramped right leg a break.
Well that was exciting, wasn’t it??
I am looking forward to tomorrow! Vicki asked if I would sing with the choir and I accepted of course:). Rehearsal is at 9 and the service is at 11 at St. Peter and St. James (“St. PJs”). Must remember to get the Bishop’s name for Carol, our Rector here at St. J’s- she probably knows him from her environmentalist days.
Vicki has wanted to do this all her life. Unfortunately, the church we used to belong to didn’t think the female half of the human race was worthy of such wonders. Their loss. Truly- it makes me sad to think about it. Of course that doesn’t mean her path was automatically a smooth one when she joined another Communion- au contraire, mes amis! She heard a big fat “No” in the 80s and went her way to live through a decade or two of joy and tragedy. Trust me when I tell you, she will be an AWESOME priest!
And it will be equally awesome when I stand or kneel at the altar and hear her say,”the Body of Christ.”
Like I said- awesome:)
More tomorrow- till then, God be with you ’til we meet again+