Oh, and speaking of dumb

A restaurant here in Massachusetts decided to turn away a group of diners because some of them had service dogs.  At a restaurant called Bamboo in Dedham, staff decided that a group that included several people with service dogs could be refused service.  The police were called in, and unfortunately, the police sided with the restaurant.  How this is remotely compliant with the ADA is beyond me, but these days, businesses seem to be getting the benefit of the doubt when it comes to a lot of things.  It will be interesting to see where something like this will go in the courts.

At any rate, this little local chain, like Upper Crust, will be one that Kelly and I avoid and encourage others to avoid.


Never liked their pizza anyway

Upper Crust, a well-known local pizza chain here in Massachusetts, has had all sorts of legal problems in the last year or so.  I have never been a fan of their pizza anyway, since I think their sauce sucks and their pizza is shockingly overpriced, costing more than twice as much as pizza you might get from a local mom and pop place (where the pizza is better anyway).  So why anyone continues to eat there is beyond me.

Now one of their franchises has been slapped with an $80,000 fine for committing the same kind of employee abuse that got the company in trouble.  I guess that apple didn’t fall far from the corporate tree.


Once a year, in June

I have the odd fortune to have a huge number a friends who have birthdays in close proximity to mine.  I swear, I grew up without knowing a single other Gemini (Ok, I knew one person who had the same birthday as me, but she and I didn’t hang out.)  Now, as an adult, I have two friends who share my birthday and half a dozen friends who have birthdays within days of mine.  This doesn’t even include my parents.  My mother’s birthday is  7 days after mine and my father’s birthday is another 4 days after that.

So, for about, oh 8?  10? years now, my friends and I have been having a big joint birthday party.  As times have changed the parties have gotten smaller and involved less alcohol and ended earlier.  Now they involve offspring.  Ah, how times have changed.

This year the kids were remarkably cute and SO energetic.  For your enjoyment I have uploaded a video from the party of 7 1/2 month old Thomas and a bunch of photos from the party and also from a while back when we went out to cut down some trees felled by an ice storm (aah, life in the burbs) and one of the wee ones is wearing my hard hat.

Enjoy and if you’re the parent or Auntie of one of these kids, feel free to leave a comment if you want me to email you an original of one of the kidpics.

And here is the URL for the photos from the party.  http://junebirthdays2011.shutterfly.com/



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

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.

Thank you!

I don’t even know where to begin, but I owe a lot of people a lot of thanks.  Today was the St. John Passion concert that I feel like I’ve been preparing for for months.  In fact, it felt like the least of my duties was nailing my aria.  I was coordinating with the St. Paul Adult Choir (SPAC), I was running everything relating to the Front of House, I was marketing my fool head off, arranging for flowers with the florist, proofreading the program book, the list just goes on.  It feels like this has been a really long process and now that it is over, I feel awesome.

Was the performance flawless?  No.  Live performances never are, which is something that we, as a CD listening society of studio perfected work have come to forget.  Was it spectacular?  Yes.  Do I feel like I left the best version of my aria in the room for the concert?  Absolutely.

As a concert manager did I learn something from this?  Oh HELL yes.  Did everything I organized run perfectly?  Of course not, it never does and it never will, such is human nature.  But that is ok, there were no catastrophes, no major fires, and everyone seemed pleased.  I can absolutely live with that.

So, in no particular order, to the Cambridge Auxiliary Police Department officers on our detail, to our crack Ushering Corps, to the Stage Crew, to the women of SPAC who helped coordinate everything with me between the two groups, to John, Jim, and most especially Jennifer, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.  The words seem inadequate, but there they are.

To our fabulous and supportive landlord Marvin who came out to hear this concert when I am sure there were a 1,000 other things he could have been doing and for being so generous as to take us out to dinner afterward.  Thank you, sir.  You are a true gentleman.

To Amanda, Leigh, Mackie, Donna, and every single member of COOS who braved Harvard Square parking to come out for this concert, and to my Mother and Liza who braved the TSA for this concert.  I thank you.  You have no idea how much it meant for me to see friendly faces in the audience.

And to my betrothed, my darling, Geoff, who was the Head Usher, the liaison with the CAPD, who worked his behind off all day and way above and beyond the call of duty.  I cannot tell you how much it means to me to know that you’ve got my back.  Thank you and I love you.

Till next 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!