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A year ago, in one of my mother's last gasps of rationality, we sat together in her room at the assisted living community and she earnestly read me this psalm and commented on its applicability to the presidential primaries.  I need to hear its message even more today.  

Holy Bible, New International Version

Psalm 37
     Of David.

1 Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong;
2 for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away.
3 Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this:
6 He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.

7 Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.
8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil.
9 For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.
10 A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found.
11 But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity.

12 The wicked plot against the righteous and gnash their teeth at them;
13 but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming.
14 The wicked draw the sword and bend the bow to bring down the poor and needy, to slay those whose ways are upright.
15 But their swords will pierce their own hearts, and their bows will be broken.
16 Better the little that the righteous have than the wealth of many wicked;
17 for the power of the wicked will be broken, but the Lord upholds the righteous.

18 The blameless spend their days under the Lord’s care, and their inheritance will endure forever.
19 In times of disaster they will not wither; in days of famine they will enjoy plenty.
20 But the wicked will perish: Though the Lord’s enemies are like the flowers of the field, they will be consumed, they will go up in smoke.
21 The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously;
22 those the Lord blesses will inherit the land, but those he curses will be destroyed.

23 The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him;
24 though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.
25 I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.
26 They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be a blessing.
27 Turn from evil and do good; then you will dwell in the land forever.
28 For the Lord loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones. Wrongdoers will be completely destroyed; the offspring of the wicked will perish.
29 The righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it forever.
30 The mouths of the righteous utter wisdom, and their tongues speak what is just.
31 The law of their God is in their hearts; their feet do not slip.

32 The wicked lie in wait for the righteous, intent on putting them to death;
33 but the Lord will not leave them in the power of the wicked or let them be condemned when brought to trial.
34 Hope in the Lord and keep his way.
He will exalt you to inherit the land; when the wicked are destroyed, you will see it.
35 I have seen a wicked and ruthless man flourishing like a luxuriant native tree,
36 but he soon passed away and was no more; though I looked for him, he could not be found.
37 Consider the blameless, observe the upright; a future awaits those who seek peace.
38 But all sinners will be destroyed; there will be no future for the wicked.

39 The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord; he is their stronghold in time of trouble.
40 The Lord helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him.

Footnotes:
This psalm is an acrostic poem, the stanzas of which begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet.


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Some quick notes for the record so I'll remember what we did to celebrate our 20th anniversary!

We started early and ran late, spreading the festivities out over more than a week!  

Sunday, October 23
We had a wonderful day in RI!  We had a delicious German lunch at Redlefsen's in Bristol, then headed off to the South Shore Beach in Little Compton.  It is so beautiful there!  We stopped at a farm stand going down, then at a farm coming back and another farm stand.  I found a yummy chocolate chip cookie, a honey crisp apple, caramel apple sauce and a wonderful butternut squash apple bisque at the farm.  I got a cucumber, a tomato, fresh corn and a pumpkin at the farm stand!   We had dinner at our favorite restaurant in the world - The Boat House in Tiverton.  I feasted on the raw bar sampler of oysters, clams and shrimp, then the baked stuffed lobster.  We shared the cranberry creme brûlée for dessert.  Yum! 

Wednesday, October 26 (the day)
I was off work.  We had breakfast delivered from The Neighborhood via Foodler.  We had the installation team in from NetBlazr, making real our year-long campaign to get away from Comcast.

We headed out about 6 pm to VOTE EARLY!  We went to the Police Station on 6th Street.  It was fast and easy, and such a relief to have it done.  We took the requisite selfies and posted them to Facebook.  

We had a special dinner at Helmand, the Afghani restaurant.  The service was it's usual lackluster thing but the food is so special I overlook it.  We had the pumpkin, which is, as a friend put it, "the best thing I ever put in my mouth."  I had the aushak soup and the quabalee lamb and rice dinner, had the ferreeeney for dessert.  

Thursday, October 27
 
I was off work again.  We went to MGH for the last of my five-year check-ups with the radiation oncologist.  He said I look fine and don't need to see him again.  YAY!  I visited the Healing Garden one last time, and had my arm measured for the lymphedema study.  

We went off to Lake WInnipesaukee!  We headed to Shipley's in Alton Bay, but they were already closed for the season.  Argh!  We drove on the Patrick's Pub in Gilford. I had the onion hooks and the shepherd's pie and pumpkin cheesecake.  It's a pleasant place but the food is not that great.  I don't need to go back there.  

We went over to Weir's Beach to Kellerhaus, the candy and gifts store.  I got some cashew turtles, butter crunch and two bracelets!  Bling!  

We went to the Belknap Point Inn to check in and crash.  Despite the rain, I could still see the lake from the balcony!  I got to nap for a couple of hours, then we made our way in the rain and cold (40s) to Laconia for dinner at Tavern 27.  We shared tapas.  The Scotch eggs with the mustard mayo sauce was the stand out.  I had a great hibiscus iced tea.  We made it back to the hotel and turned in early.

Friday, October 28
At Lake Winnipesaukee 
We slept late and made our way back to Laconia in the pouring rain for the $6 buffet at Pizza Hut!  I was surprised how many choices there were - a salad bar, a pizza bar and desserts!  I especially enjoyed the dutch apple pizza dessert!  

I drove around "downtown" Laconia, trying to get the lay of the land up there, but it was too cold and wet to get out and explore.  So we went back to the hotel for another nap. 

We had dinner at the Lyons Den, just down the road from the hotel. We had a prime waterfront table with a view of the lake and the brand new marine patrol station.  I had the crab cakes to start, then the baked stuffed shrimp with peas and rice.  We shared the pumpkin mousse cake for dessert.  

We made our way to Meredith to the Lake Winnipesuakee Playhouse, an amazing refurbished barn turned into everything a theater should be!  We saw a staged reading of "War of the Worlds" with great foley work and wonderful actors.  

We checked out the spiffy new Cumberland Farms convenience store near Weirs Beach.  It is huge and had lots of different candy and munchies.  We went back to the room to nosh.  

Saturday, October 29
It was time to pack up and go off to our favorite breakfast place, Kitchen Cravings, near the airport in Gilford.  I had kielbasa!  We went on to Walmart to stock up on basics at low prices with no taxes.  We picked up coffee for Hubby at Dunkin then an iced chai for me at the Starbucks in Tilton, then hopped on I-93 and whizzed home in no time!  

I was amazed that we managed to have such a lovely retreat in the cold, wet weather, but the food and the play and the lake still made for a great time away! 

Monday, October 31
We had one last blast of anniversary treats with a trip to Malden to our favorite Asian restaurant, All Season Table.  I had the hot & sour soup, crispy honey ribs and a scallion seafood pancake!  So so good!  

So that's the story on our 20th anniversary!  Here's to many more! 


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Neil's dad died this morning after a week in hospice care. I didn't see him many times, but he was always nice to me.  There was always a funny card and a check on my birthday and at Christmas.  And terrible puns (Neil's comes by that trait honestly) with a twinkle in his eye and a little knowing chuckle as we all groaned.  He was tremendously generous and good-natured about paying for our rehearsal dinner at the Chinese restaurant despite me turning it into dinner for 80 people (all the out-of-towners) instead of just the wedding party.   When Neil had surgery, he and his wife flew in and helped see him through it.  They hosted lovely dinners when we visited and invited the entire family so we didn't have to go multiple places to see them all.  They clued us in to things that have meant a lot such as "The West Wing" and Harry Potter books!  

This makes the FIFTH death in my close family in the past six months - Neil's brother Tim, my dear friend Lois, Mom, her brother - my Uncle MG - on Monday and now Neil's dad! *sigh All senior folks, all expected... but *sigh
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2016 claims another icon, dead too early. Prince was subversive and a pervert in the best possible meaning of those words. I felt naughty listening to him, which I needed to do as I was altogether too good a girl back then.

It's odd how a musician and movie star become so firmly entrenched in a moment in my life. There was a good boy who needed to break out... get away from his abusive father... and his idea of "THE MOST SCANDALOUS THING" was to go see "Purple Rain" so I took him to the movies and bought him a Members Only jacket. It was so 80s. And Prince is in the middle of the memory.

RIP dear man. Thank you for leaving behind so many songs to keep us bopping along.


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Sad news last night.  The dear "little old lady" that drove me to church for years has died.  She had fought the good fight for years but it was her time to go.  She asked me to watch over her when she had no family left, so I had the exciting adventure of being her power of attorney and health care proxy, filling out DNR forms and meeting with hospice people this week.  She was one of the grand ladies of old Somerville who spent her life helping others - taking care of her Mom, working at the library, volunteering at the hospital for 20 years after she retired, and doing all sorts of church work for First Church.  Here's the obituary I wrote.  

LoisMcD.jpg

Obituary for Lois E. MacDonald

Lois E. MacDonald, age 87, died Thursday, March 24, 2016 of pneumonia at the Whidden Hospital in Everett.  A lifelong resident of Somerville, and graduate of Somerville High School Class of 1946, she was an avid reader and was retired from the Somerville Library.  She was also a long-time volunteer at Somerville Hospital. She was a member of the First Congregational Church of Somerville – United Church of Christ for over 60 years.  She enjoyed the last thirteen years in the Excel Center for Nursing & Rehabilitation “in the country” in Lexington.


Funeral arrangements are private.  She will be laid to rest with her family at the Woodlawn Cemetery in Everett. The DeVito Funeral Home of Arlington is assisting with arrangements. http://www.devitofuneralhomes.com

Donations in her memory may be made to the First Congregational Church of Somerville, 89 College Avenue, Somerville, MA 02144

http://www.firstchurchsomerville.org


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I actually got out to the movies yesterday! And I liked the film!  

I'm not much for going due to the price and rude people etc. but the Oscar-nominated film, "Spotlight" caught my fancy and I got out to see it at the Kendall Square Cinema yesterday.  I highly recommend it to you!  I was surprised how good it is.  I could see why the Academy and other awards organizations are focusing on it.   The script, the set design, the editing, directing and acting... even the music fit in a subtle way.  WOW.  It reminded me of "All the President's Men."  It was great to see Boston scenes on the big screen, and get the background on how a huge, tragic  story made it to press, a story I followed closely in 2002 and it's still going on.  They do talk frankly about the abuse of children by priests, so if that is a trigger, this one is not for you.  But for me it was so wonderful to see people listening to them and finally doing something about it!  And making it so that could happen all over the world.  I was also touched with how people who were raised to go to church had to stop, and how they talked about it.  

It is the only Oscar-nominated film I could fathom seeing, and it is sticking with me.  I find myself thinking over the facts and figures and the craft of presenting them, of cramming 6 months into 2 hours and so many Boston characters whose names we all know.  The script is based on first-person interviews and you can tell.  The actors got to hang out with the real people and are spookily similar-looking and acting.  Unlike most movies, you can assume most of what they're showing is true.

Take someone with you if at all possible - I needed someone to talk through it afterwards and it was great that the person knew what I was talking about!  

The Boston Globe has a bunch of articles that are a great read:

Ty Burr wrote an insightful review.  He brought up the point that this movie was not Hollywood-ized - it focuses on the story, and how they got it published.  
www.bostonglobe.com/arts/movies/2015/11/03/superb-spotlight-tells-story-journalists-who-investigated-clergy-sex-abuse-scandal/fHKF2YxUGUXcLVl3lfs2MI/story.html

How the movie got made
www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/names/2015/10/30/how-spotlight-movie-got-made/wXVXUiYPkoF3hEP9K4dydP/story.html

The real people the movie is about

http://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/movies/2015/10/28/the-real-people-behind-spotlight-characters/SktMepoMe7ZB2c0cIF90HI/story.html

And my favorite, where the reporters talk about what it's like to have an A-list actor be you in a movie.
www.bostonglobe.com/arts/movies/2014/11/29/spotlightfilm-intro/d8Tp3MQ4Y0OQA3JZgABkeO/story.html

It's rather sad that most of the reporters are not with the Globe anymore, and the heyday of the local newspaper is over.  I glanced at the other work the Spotlight team has done recently - I had not heard of it.  If it doesn't show up on Facebook or the drive-time radio broadcast, I'm unlikely to know about it.  And with them charging for online access (after 5 articles a month), there are many other free sources to tell me news. 

So that's your tip for today!  

-B







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It's my birthday and I'll write if I want to! I am taking the day off from work!  

I am so lucky to have special people in my life to celebrate my birthday!  

It's a beautiful day!  The Facebook messages and texts and emails are rolling in!
 

I started celebrating early!  

Sunday RI Adventure

The weather was perfect - clear with a few high clouds now and then, breezy, 70… it looked like the opening of "The Simpsons!"  The sun made everything look so crisp and beautiful!  It was especially appreciated after the muggy 90's and fierce thunderstorms of Saturday.

N and I made a day of it, heading out on a RI adventure!  I have never seen the roads so empty!  It was glorious to sail down I-93 and Rte 24.  

Lunch at Quito's

We started the day in Bristol with a parking spot right out front of Quito's, a fun seafood restaurant with a covered deck right on the harbor!  We shared a flight of chowders!  We got a great table right at the front looking out over the big boats and beautiful water.  It was great to compare the Manhattan, New England and Rhode Island versions of this classic.  I liked the tomatoey Manhattan more than I thought I might, did not really care for the clear broth briny RI and adore their New England.  N. had the grilled chili lime shrimp which I found tough, dry and hard to get off the skewers.  The stuffed quahog was not great either… the stuffing was packed down and dry even after a liberal dosing of lemon juice.  Our second course was better with crunchy clam fritters and coconut mango shrimp.  N's fish and chips had two huge squares of perfect fish.  

South Beach wading

We motored on along the little roads of Tiverton and Little Compton, past the cow pastures and wineries and beautiful bays to the fantastic secret South Beach.  N. played "I'm All About the Bass" for me until we crossed into the area were there is no cell signal or wifi, so we went off the grid!  They've stopped charging for parking!  We pulled most of the way down and got a beachfront parking spot. I took a bunch of photos and a video!  There were a lot of people in the water, so I decided to be brave.  I rolled up my pant legs, shucked my socks and clogs and waded in!  It was lovely! N. tried it too!  It was a little hairy getting back to the car through the stones and getting our feet cleaned off and back into our shoes, but we managed together.  After a quick look at the peaceful Tuniper Pond across the road, we headed back North. 

Farmstand colors

We pulled in at Walker's Farm Stand.  I hadn't been there before.  It's a quintessential family farm with a mix of their homegrown veggies and stuff from elsewhere, ith some cheeses and milk and goodies for the tourists.  I got a couple ears of corn, then popped in to Wilma's Bakery for walnut pumpkin bread and a fresh lemonade!  The displays in the farm stand were so pretty, I dashed back to the car for my phone and snapped a few photos, then walked down to the fields to look out over the bay and take some more! 

Grinnell's Beach Beauty

They've locked the gate and the bathrooms.  Bleh!  But the views of the little island and the big house and the boats and the water are still spectacular.  


General Store Treats

We went on to Fall River to find the Sky Beverage General Store.  It's a beautiful rehab of an old factory building with a convenience store, frozen yogurt shop, candy store and cigar shop!  We got a few Jelly Belly Beans with odd flavors like "Movie Popcorn" and made use of their strong wifi signal to upload photos.  

Dinner Delights

Then it was time to go back to Tiverton for an incredible dinner overlooking Mount Hope Bay at The Boat House.  We had the corner table overlooking the bay!  Sarah was our waitress.  Not the best we've had but a bubbly geeky enthusiastic server with a passion for a clean table.  We started with their warm sourdough rolls and whipped butter in the cute little paper bag.  N. had their Hall of Fame spicy corn chowder with chorizo, while I tried their clam chowder.  Both are delicious!  We shared the field greens with goat cheese and pecans in a champagne vinaigrette and then splurged on the raw bar sampler with 4 cocktail shrimp, 4 Point Judith Oysters and 4 Little Neck clams.  I gloried in the baked stuffed lobster with bay scallop and shrimp stuffing... so divine!  He had their sirloin steak with fried parmesan gnocchi and the fries. The impossibly young looking manager with the braces stopped by to wish me a happy birthday.  He got a little verkelmpt when we told him this is our "go-to place" for special days.  We watched the sunset over the bay as they brought me a little dessert with a candle - the dark chocolate budino (mousse) with hazelnuts and whipped cream, which was free!  They didn't have hot chocolate so I had an ice cold glass of skim milk.  Such a special place!  

There was heavier traffic going back, but it moved along and managed to "make a pocket" away from most cars most of the way.  We made it home in record time - just 66 minutes!  Whee!
 

I uploaded way too many photos to Facebook.  Please check them out over there.  The sunshine made everything look spectacular! 

This is the life!!!!




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I am living in the future! I got stuck in a detour on Rte 24 - a bridge repair
made them kick us off the exit, down a country road and back on at the
next exit down. We sat completely stopped in a traffic jam for way too long.
I noticed that the car ahead of me had a bumper sticker that read
"beachchairbook.com" so I plugged that into the browser on my smart
phone and got the web site of Janet Spurr, an author who wrote
"Beach Chair Diaries" a collection of essays on her travels to various
beaches. There was an email link, so I sent her a quick note to say

12:01 pm Subject: Traffic jam joys

Sat behind you on Rte 24 in the jam and saw your bumper sticker and
enjoyed reading about your book on my phone. Thanks for helping me
pass the time!

-Beckie
From Cambridge


I wondered if she had a smart phone and would read my email and respond.  I got my answer soon.  

12:09 pm
Cool are you behind me now?


Sent with smiles

Janet Spurr
www.beachchairdiaries.com

We had gone off the highway and were stuck waiting to turn onto the local road
when she raised a sign out her sunroof "I HATE TRAFFIC!"    

So I responded

12:10 PM 2 cars back now - blue mini- van. Love your sign!


This evening, I got another email from her:

6:47 pm You made my day and this great traffic jam story will go in my class!  If you get
a copy of my book and it's not signed let me know I'll send you a signed sticker!

What a wacky way to lighten up being stuck in traffic!  I love the internet and
how it connects me with people under bizarre circumstances.  

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I've never been the philosophical one... not a deep thinker. And especially not now, when my brain is still mushy from all the poisons masquerading as medicines that I've taken in. But it seems important to write down where my head is and keep trying to make some sense of carnage on that sunny day in September 10 years ago. It occurred to me this morning that if I had remembered one person who was killed that day each day since, I would be just about done by now. Boggle.

I could easily just go on with my life today. I have 4 things to do - brunch, matinee, strike, party. And that feels like the best thing to do. Almost defiant.

I could also sit watching TV, remembering, honoring the lives lost, comparing the different perspectives on various channels. But that doesn't seem right anymore. I stopped watching TV over a year ago and won't start up again today.

I am celebrating, thanks to the marvelous work of playwright Christopher Lockheardt, and thinking "Happy Tower Day!" As I do every year, I write to thank him, the actors, director and cake baker who brought his incredible play "Seasons Greetings" to life during a one-acts festival at Theatre@First. It showed how we can be joyous and wacky on this day, glorying in being alive, having survived, having a special day to remember the dead and the joy they brought us, and move on. Those few minutes on the stage got me past the crushing grief and confusion, and carry me through this day every year.

But I know that's odd, even radical. And most people won't understand. I tried to explain it two times this week, and did not get a good reaction. So I will keep it to myself and nod sagely as others remember. Especially since we are still at war over it. And I have a friend in Afghanistan as of last week.

So I will go on with my life and hope for peace in our world and for each of you this sunny September day.

RIP Dad

Feb. 25th, 2011 11:38 am
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The Reverend Richard Dowling Hunter of Arlington, died at the age of 88, on February 25, 2011, of complications from heart failure. A minister of United Church of Christ churches in MI, OH, upstate NY and MA, beloved husband of 60 years of Sara McKenzie Hunter, loving father of Anne and Rebecca of Cambridge, MA and Elizabeth of Arlington, MA, and their spouses: George Young, Neil Marsh and Jason Merrill, and doting grandfather to Alice.

Born in Mt. Vernon, NY in 1922 to Chauncey Depew Hunter and Annabel Dowling Hunter, he was graduate of Columbia College and Union Theological Seminary. He served his country and began his life of Christian Ministry as a Navy Chaplain aboard the USS Mann in the Pacific after WWII. He began serving churches in Manchester, England in 1948, served the Congregational Christian Church of Ravena, NY from 1960-1987, then was interim pastor for churches in upstate NY and Western MA before retiring in 2007.

A celebration of his life will be held Saturday, March 5 at 11 am at the Park Avenue Congregational Church, 50 Paul Revere Rd, Arlington, MA with a collation following in the church hall. The Saville Chapel of DeVito Funeral Home is assisting with arrangements. http://www.devitofuneralhomes.com

Donations in his memory may be made to the Park Avenue Congregational Church in Arlington, or other churches he served.

Remembering

Dec. 1st, 2010 08:36 am
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Hmmm... No mention of World AIDS Day on the home page of Boston.com, NY Times, LA Times or BBC. Not even Facebook.

I remember. There is still work to be done.

Reading Time magazine about a medical mystery. Then seeing it slowly invade my life and steal my friends.

For Doug O. Smith, my assistant for 7 years at the law firm who helped me every day in the office, helped me buy my condo, did AIDS panels with me about boss/employee strategies for employees living with AIDS, and taught me how tough it is to be a health care proxy,

For Derrick, the brilliant sys admin at my first job at the benefits consulting firm, who taught me how to socialize with co-workers, and gave me his mixing bowls when he realized he wouldn't need them much longer.

Gordon Fiedor, brilliant artist and airbrush master at the Boston Herald... whose art graces my walls and my dreams.

and so many others who left us too soon.

And for the children parenting children in S. Africa.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_AIDS_Day
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Fourteen years ago tomorrow [livejournal.com profile] audioboy and I were married on a beautiful, sunny, warm October Saturday at First Church in Somerville in front of 158 of our friends and families. [livejournal.com profile] lillibet was my "Eliminator of Confusion" so you know everything ran smoothly.

Some of you were there. I forget sometimes that all of you weren't there, but then I didn't know you then.

We crafted a marvelous ceremony showcasing the talents of our friends. There was music from classical to folk to modern from our choir, a flutist, a soloist, a folk guitar duo, and we even got the congregation singing a Beethoven hymn - "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee." You can listen to the amazing processional Neil wrote for everyone to stroll up the aisles: http://audioboy.net/audio/mystuff/Neil_Marsh_-_Processional.mid

We had friends read things that meant a lot us including different scriptures that I am betting you've never heard
- Song of Solomon 3:1-4
I sought him whom my soul loves;
I sought him, but found him not;
I called him, but he gave no answer.

"I will rise now and go about the city,
in the streets and in the squares;
I will seek him whom my soul loves."
I sought him, but found him not.

The sentinels found me,
as they went about in the city.
"Have you seen him whom my soul loves?"

Scarcely had I passed them,
when I found him whom my soul loves.
I held him, and would not let him go.

And Romans 12:9-18.

We also had an ancient Greek poem from Sappho, and Winnie the Pooh and Robert Fulgham! And Heather preached a funny and sweet sermon. We wrote our own vows, promising to love, sustain and amuse each other.

We had a low-key reception in the church hall, site of many Theatre@First productions, put on by the church ladies with sushi, shrimp cocktail, Swedish meatballs, finger sandwiches and a cake from Lyndell's with two chocolate computers on top.

We did not abide by most of the wedding standards - no bridesmaids, tuxes, booze, dancing, flower tossing or garter. But we were just as married. I gave my bouquet away to the couple who had been married the longest. Then drove off to Bar Harbor, ME to recover.

We don't usually get to celebrate our anniversary on the day. I've been away at Skate America or visiting family in London, or we've been mired in a theater project. Of our fourteen anniversary nights, we've been able to have dinner together five times. Tomorrow night, Neil will be neck-deep in dress rehearsal (at the Somerville Theater for his latest live radio show, The Big Broadcast of 1946, which opens Thursday. Please go see one of the four shows over the weekend! ) but we will celebrate eventually.

We make a great team. We've done a lot together, and have much more to do. I love you Neil!
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Man, I love the internet. This morning, I am watching people be kind to each other - helping grieving UMMB students.

So often when someone dies, there is often little you can do beyond getting in touch to offer sympathy. Maybe bring food? Go to the wake or funeral? Be there in a week or a month when they need if, it they will let you in. Growing up in the parsonage, I saw the kindness and ingenuity of so many people figuring out more to do. I try to use that whenever I can.

It swells my heart to see all the things people are figuring out to do for these kids, and for the alums across the world who are feeling the "burning hot poker" of grief.

People are making phone calls, emailing, tweeting, posting to FB and LJ and writing articles in the newspaper. They're getting together for lunch with old friends to hug and cry.

In Michigan, the local people who live around the stadium in Ann Arbor came out in droves to cheer for practice last night.

The Cayahoga Falls, Ohio h.s. band moms ("Black Tiger Nation") are talking up people to prep food and crowds w/signs to welcome them. Making phone calls to other h.s. bands to be there.

Memories pour into new FB groups in the form of heartfelt words, slideshows, old photos, old videos, video montages.

There's a great Boston Globe article by a band alum w/ videos of the band from 1982 to last night.
http://www.boston.com/ae/specials/culturedesk/2010/09/thank_you_mr_parks_a_remembran.html?p1=Local_Links

I didn't know Mr. Parks, but wow have I learned a lot about him in 24 hours. My college didn't have a football team. I was never in band or played a mobile instrument, but even I want to stand up and march in perfect formation when I hear him talk.

There is good in this world. And good people. Don't forget it.
bex77: (Default)
I survived jury duty today at the Middlesex Superior Court in Woburn.

I was assigned juror #129 of...wait for it...129 people! Whee!

It was incredibly boring.

This is always an exercise in futility for me, because even if I get to the latter stages of the process, I never get impaneled, thanks to my long tenure with one of the major law firms in New England. Which is fine with me, but makes it an incredibly wasted day. But I try to soak in the details and feel virtuous for doing my civic duty.

They do allow laptops now, but I decided not to lug mine out there. I passed the time by reading. I made it through TV Guide, the Sunday comics, Parade Magazine and The Boston Globe magazine! I also passed time keeping track of what went on when, looking for possible lessons for next time. Don't click unless you have a morbid fascination for the minutiae of jury service in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts...home of the "one day or one trial" system.

Read more... )

So I am off the hook for three years.

Remember for next time.
- Take your laptop! It will make it way less boring.
- Take reading materials also, for when they make you turn stuff off.
- Charge your phone the night before.
- Take LOTS of bottled water. And cough drops. The place is very dry inside.
- Take snacks. No food there other than odd pricy vending machines or 3 shops 1 building over.
- Woburn is not bad other than being 13 miles away - easy to find, right off the hwy, free parking, modern
- Moving your date to a Friday makes the traffic lighter, but still leave 2x more time than Google says
- Yes, they make you get there at 8 am when they won't call anyone until 10 am. That's just the way it is.
- Smile at the court officers and say thank you. It will surprise and delight them.
bex77: (Default)
So you're singing in a church choir in Oceanside, CA. And your choir director finds this music for a very special anthem, "God Shall Wipe Away All Tears" by Jerry Kirk. But it is strange music - chanting, a bunch of different time signatures - so it's tough to tell what it's supposed to sound like. No demo or examples online, not even a random youtube hit. So you plug it into Google and up comes one link - a wedding program where it was sung by a choir. In Massachusetts. Nearly 14 years ago.

Their wedding program online lists their address and phone number. You manage to find that phone number online for a woman with that name, at the same address. So you call and their answering machine says "You've reached Beckie and Neil" - it's them! They are still together, at the same address! Hallelujah!

You leave a message which starts "You don't know me, but" and then ask if maybe, just maybe they recorded their wedding and could send you a demo file or let you listen on the phone or something, just so you'll have some idea of what it sounded like. Oh and you need it before choir rehearsal on Thursday, because they're singing it on Sunday.

You tell the choir director to cross her fingers and she scoffs. LONG SHOT!

Little did you know that the husband is a SOUND GUY, who knows where that wedding video is, still has a working VCR, the tape still plays, and he has the equipment to snag the song! He calls you back to say he is editing the sound file and can email it to you in about 10 minutes. LESS THAN FIVE HOURS after you left the message. God is good! You can't wait to hear it, and see the look on the choir director's face.
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So one of the strange and wonderful songs from our wedding will be sung by a 40-person choir at a church in California this Sunday. Isn't the internet grand?
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