Another ordinary Saturday*

*Unless of course, you count that whole Rapture thing.

For those of you who haven’t heard (and I imagine that by this point there are not many of you) today, May 21, 2011, is supposed to be the day of the Rapture.  I figured that this concept has reached a saturation point in our society when even is talking about it at length.  So the big day is supposed to be today according to one group of very determined fundamentalist Christians.  Sunday is Rogation Day, and Kelly and I are planning to bring the dogs with us.  We do not anticipate any theological or metaphysical issues with our plans.  And speaking of pets, it turns out that there is a group who is fulfilling the dual purpose of taking care of animals and forcing the people who actually believe this stuff to put their money where their mouth is.  They are called Eternal Earth-bound Pets and they have a website.

I am thinking that there has got to be someone, somewhere, who is a really wealthy fundamentalist Christian and who is concerned about the state of their earthly affairs after today.  They are wondering what is going to happen to their beloved boat.   I wish I had thought of it.  I could have volunteered to take care of their boat while they are gone.  How else am I ever going to get one of these anytime soon?  Hopefully I will not have to compete with any of the 800,000 (so far) people who signed up on Facebook to participate in the post-Rapture looting.


Thursday Night Fun, 5/12/2011

If you’re looking for something fun to do this Thursday and you’d prefer it to be something that goes toward a good cause and involves chocolate, I have the right event for you.

If you thought Charlie Chaplin was great, you ain't seen nothing yet.
The event of the month, a benefit for Japan, an evening of fun, all for $20.

My friend, Peter Krasinski, will play live accompaniment, which will be entirely improvised on the fly, to the silent film Speedy starring Harold Lloyd.  There will be a champagne and chocolate tasting before the film and the proceeds of the evening will benefit the Episcopal Relief and Development Japan Earthquake Fund.  All tickets will be sold at the door so if you’re interested in going make sure to get there before 7:00pm.

For more details you can visit the church website or you can leave a comment here.


Kelly & Geoff

Dyngus Day

I was talking online last night to my friend, Ray.  I was telling him about how yesterday, known more or less globally as Easter Monday is known is my circles as National Church Musician Recovery Day.  I also guessed that it is probably known among clergy as National Clergy Recovery Day (though they may need a week).  Anyway, he told me that not too far away from where he lives, Easter Monday is known as Dyngus Day.

I had never heard of this holiday, but he informed me that it involved squirt guns and pussy willow branches.  Wow, OK.  I decided I had to go look it up.  Here is what I found.  (From

Did you know that the legend of Dyngus Day goes back to the year 966? Where is the largest Dyngus Day celebration in the world? What is the deal with pussywillows? Why sprinkle water? Who founded the modern Dyngus Day celebration in Buffalo? How do you say “cheers” in Polish? Can you really find your TRUE love on Dyngus Day? Become a Dyngus Day Buffalo expert before headed out to celebrate!  

Wow.  There’s more where that came from.  If you’d like to read all about it click here.  It helps if you can read Polish though, the site has a bit of it sprinkled in here and there.  I find it funny that I’d never heard a word about this before yesterday.  I used to live on the edge of the largest Polish neighborhood in Boston.  It was called the Polish Triangle and it was the kind of place where when you walked into a neighborhood store which, naturally, flew the Polish flag and carried home made pierogies in the freezer, they greeted you in Polish before they greeted you in English.  I had almost figured out how to say, “I don’t speak Polish” in Polish before they realized I was a Welsh/Irish transplant and started greeting me in English when I came in for a gallon of milk.

So, um, a belated Happy National Church Musician Recovery Day, National Clergy Recovery Day/Week, Easter Monday, and Dyngus Day!


A very long but good weekend

Geoff here – Kelly and I managed to survive the very epic weekend, and what’s even better is that we actually had a pretty good time all around.

Kelly’s mom – Jo – arrived Thursday night and we picked her up from the airport.  After I got off work on Friday we went out to dinner at the Fireplace.  Jo had never been there, but she seemed to really like it.  The food was pretty fantastic, as usual.  I tried something different and got a special – hake.  Boy, it was good.  And Kevin, the awesome manager, actually donated some gift certificates to their “Fireside Chats” special events for us to sell at the auction.  It was very cool of him.  Stuff like that is why we like the place so much and are glad to have our rehearsal dinner there.

Saturday we had to split up as Kelly and Jo went off to do their own errands, and I had to run a bunch of my own before my police detail.  The detail ended up being a lot of fun, as we got to meet the Red Sox mascot, Wally, the Green Monster.  So I got his autograph for Kelly and then got some pictures with him.  I will post those as soon as I can.  After the detail was over, I ran home to shower and change and then the three of us went to the auction at our church.  Kelly and I had contributed several items to the auction:  a series of dog training lessons from Kelly; a few hours of IT tech support from me; and an entire home-cooked four course Portuguese dinner with table and dessert wines.  So together Kelly and I raised over a thousand dollars with our donated items.  It turns out that the family who bought the dinner from me is pretty interesting – the husband was the auctioneer for the church, and his wife is the one who kept bidding on the dinner.  I am looking forward to making them dinner.

Kelly has already talked about the concert, but I wanted to throw in my two cents worth.  I had a slightly different perspective, since I was running around at the front tables and doors while Kelly was running around inside and then performing.  We were quite pleasantly surprised when people kept showing up, even after the concert had started.  I think the last ticket I sold was at around 4:15, well over an hour after the concert started.  But people seemed to really enjoy it, and the reception afterward was a lot of fun too.  I got to watch one of the Deputy Superintendents talk with our landlord, who it turns out was in the CAPD himself from the late 1940s to the early 1960s.  Apparently they knew a lot of the same people.  And this couple from our church had nothing but praises for all of the help that they got from the officers on the detail.  So although we were pretty exhausted by the time we got home Sunday night, we were quite happy that everything had gone so well and everyone had such a good time.

April 2nd & 3rd- Mark Your Calendars!!

Hi folks!

We have a big weekend coming up here in Brookline and Cambridge on April 2nd and 3rd and I wanted to tell you all about it NOW so you can mark your calendars, arrange for babysitting, rent a car, book your flight, etc.  That’s right, it’s THAT exciting.

On the evening of Saturday, April 2nd will be the annual Episcopal Church of Our Saviour Dinner and Auction.  There will be drinks, a silent auction of all sorts of great items (curated with an assist from yours truly), dinner catered by the fantastic Lisa Shaw (she’s handling the food at our wedding, come to the auction for a preview) and a live auction by professional auctioneer Dan Smith.  On offer will be everything from jewelry and Red Sox tickets to time in vacation homes, voice lessons, and private dinners catered in your home.  It is always a great night and it is one of only two major fund-raising events of the year for the Parish.

The schedule is:

5:30pm Silent Auction 7:00pm Dinner 8:00pm Live Auction

Sunday, April 3rd at 3:00pm is a can’t miss performance by The Seraphim Singers.  I’ve sung with this group for over a decade and this is probably the most exciting concert we’ve ever done.  We’re doing the entire Bach St. John Passion with the Orchestra of Emmanuel Music.  We’ll be performing in the acoustically lovely St. Paul Parish in Harvard Square, home of the Boston Boy Choir, and also of the St. Paul Adult Choir, who will be joining us for parts of the Passion.  A reception to meet the musicians will follow the concert.

Though I have had the opportunity to perform the St. John Passion several times in my life, this is the first time I have had the opportunity to perform as a soloist, so please, if you are available that afternoon, I urge you to attend.  This is one of the monumental works of choral literature and should not be missed.  If you have never come to one of my concerts before, this is the one to come to.  If you have come to one before and never come to another again, don’t miss this one.

If you have any questions, please email me or Geoff.  I’m making this post sticky so it stays at the top of the blog till April 4th.  Please check under it for new postings.

Thanks, everyone!


Edit 3/15/11- I finally have the updated concert poster to post.  Here it is:  Updated St. John Passion Poster <– download me !  email me to your friends and loved ones!

3/15/11  Aaaaand, one more edit.  Here’s a jpg of the poster if you want to see it in small scale before you download it.  Enjoy.


Pretty red poster!
Pretty red poster!

Consider yourself invited!


A general update since returning home

First of all, a HUGE thank you to everyone who emailed, called, sent flowers, and kept me entertained while I was incarcerated in the hospital.  It is such a huge relief to be able to do things like shower and comb my hair again.  Also, sleeping in my own bed is really, really nice.  While my hospital bed wasn’t particularly bad, it just wasn’t mine.

For those of you who might be thinking about getting 29 electrodes superglued to your head on a lark, know this.  I have had to treat my hair with baby oil and wash it 3 times and I am STILL pulling glue out of it.  There have been times when Geoff, God bless him, has reached over and pulled a flake of glue out that I couldn’t see, just like the apes on National Geographic groom one another.  That’s love, I tell you.  The bonus?  The glue looks a LOT like dandruff.  Awesome.  Thankfully, everyone in choir at church this morning was very  understanding when I explained that I did not, in fact, have snow and/or dandruff in my hair.

In other news, I didn’t get either job that I interviewed for at Major Local Music School, however each person that I interviewed with did tell me that they wanted to encourage me to apply for other positions within the school.  This is good, I think.  So I will do that, and I will mention that I have met with both of them and see where that gets me.  I REALLY want to work there.  Please keep your fingers crossed for me.

Also, keep your eyes peeled here.  We’re going to be adding a blogroll to the side of the page.  There were so many fantastic suggestions emailed to me of stuff to read that we’re going to keep track of it in one place so that you all can share in the hilarity.

I think that’s it for now.  Thanks, everyone.


Stanford- Beati Quorum Via

Ok, I have fought with this file and with various downloads from CNET to try and edit it and convert it to MP3 and, after much swearing and fighting and whatnot, I finally got an MP3.  This is the recording Geoff made of the anthem in today’s service at church.  It will be one of the anthems in the wedding in November.  I love this piece.  The performance is excellent.  The recording is poor.  My apologies for the recording quality.  There are a couple of points in there where something bumps the mike and it gets a little loud.


Church work

Yesterday was our annual church yard sale.  It is always a lot of work but it is also a lot of fun.  Geoff usually gets assigned to the Electronics area and this year was no different.  I always get assigned to the “Attic Treasures” or Jewelry table.  This year they were combined so I had the *target* table for all of the antique and jewelry vendors who show up early.  I spend most of my day explaining over and over again that, no, I’m not selling that sterling silver or crystal item for $4, that, yes, I’m a dealer and I know what I’m talking about, and that no, same annoying Russian man from last year, I am still not selling you that silver item for $4 when it is priced at $30.  Not. Gonna. Happen.

But, we did really well and I met some really great people.  Two of the most interesting people of the day were the two Muslim women who showed up at the end of the day in the most beautiful outfits.  One of them had this embroidery around her wrists that I just wanted to touch, it was so gorgeous.

I managed to get a huge amount of the items at my table sold and only spent $25.  Usually I end up spending a couple hundred dollars which, while good for the church, is not so good for my bottom line.  This year, I’d call it a win in that I got a lovely vase and a bunch of things during the $5 a bag sale period while not emptying my bank account.

Today was our first Sunday back with choir and, considering I am still getting over this cold and in the leg brace and the rest of the pro women in the choir were also coughing and sniffling I think it went well.  Our new organist is excellent.  After the service and coffee hour as I was leaving the head of the Altar Guild walked up to me and handed me one of the bouquets from the altar.  It was so nice of her and I was thrilled.  Nobody has ever done that for me before.  So, now I have the bouquet on the dining room table in the vase I bought yesterday.  Hopefully the cats will leave it alone…