Monday, July 16, 2007


What a great Sunday! Church (I) and cleaning house (Mick) took our morning. Mick was especially busy as he re-grouted the downstairs bathtub in addition to everything else. It was good to come home to Mick’s sweet-smelling and lovingly cleansed dwelling. Our offertory at church was an old (really old!) favorite, William Byrd’s “Teach Me, O Lord”. I was in my element with an interesting second-soprano part to sing.

Mick and I enjoyed a pleasant lunch while we watched “Off the Black”, an intriguing film starring Nick Nolte. His cunningly crafted performance, with his characterization of a 57-year-old baseball referee whose heart is full of love and pain, was transcendent.

I remember seeing him first on a long-forgotten TV mini-series, an adaptation of Grace Metalious’s “Peyton Place” for the small screen. I could be wrong on this but as I recall, Nolte played a young boxer. He was a gilded, perfect young man in looks, rather in the beautiful style of Michael Caine in “Alfie”. Both actors have aged without the aid of surgery or vanity and have offered many wonderful performances. Thanks for this one, Nick!

Melissa came in mid-movie and watched the ending with us, then went about her town chores while Jim and I watched “The Architect”. Anthony LaPaglia and Isabella Rossellini played a complex and troubled couple whose perfect life was as marked with hidden dysfunction and neglect as a low-income building project which LaPaglia’s character had created was, inside its attractive exterior. The film strikingly exposed the difference between who we think we are as we tell ourselves stories and who others think we are, as they live with us and grow to see us in ways we cannot imagine and do not understand.

The screenplay was muddied by its very integrity, as it half-revealed ensemble characters whose luminous portrayals solidified the piece while they surprised and confused the watcher of it. A phrase I have heard a lot lately is TMI – too much information. There was TMI about the minor characters, yet at the same time the mysteries compelled thought. I will remember this film. Its artistic merit is unquestionable. It is a little gem.

The afternoon had fled by during our double feature and we had just enough time to have our bath and do our mat exercises before it was time to leave for our night out at the ballpark. We brought Melissa and met Romi, Carmen and Gary downtown at Slugger Field.

I joined St. Luke’s choir in offering the National Anthem before the game and then Fr. Joe threw out the opening ball, clocked at 54 MPH – not bad for an Episcopal priest of a Certain Age. We choir members found our seats and enjoyed a good game in the breeze of the early evening. The Bats even won!

My one disappointment was the ballpark hot dogs. Since the last time we attended a game, their quality has plummeted from excellent to really, really bad. But hey, enough mustard and the old magic was still there! Gotta have a dog at the ball game!

This game is the first event of my birthday, which is tomorrow. It is a three-day celebration this year, as we dine out the day after my birthday. I do love having another birthday! Frail health has been my lot since birth. Many doctors have told first my parents, when I was a child, and then me as an adult, that I was not long for this world. Well, dear Docs, I will be 64 tomorrow. Nanner, Nanner, Nanner!!! Raspberries to you all!

Mick and I were wired from the good game and relaxed together until well after 11 PM before saying a most fond good night.