Friday, October 26, 2007

Of course, I was in New York - Part 2

Image stolen from Allie. In the picture are, left to right, David, Dennis, Allen, Liz, Joan, and PJ.

Before I move on with the story, I like to do my official homage to the Priest Who Is Mad. Without MadPriest and his blog, "where the lunatics rave", we'd never have met and come to know each other, and I thank him for that. It was a job well done. Again, thanks to Gabe for the place to meet and the setting up, Dennis for organizing the whole affair, Allie for the cutout, That Kaeton Woman for the suggestion of the restaurant. Thanks as well to our own private paparazzi for the great pictures.

I confess that I was a little apprehensive about meeting Les Deux Formidables, Tobias Haller and Elizabeth Kaeton. Tobias seemed formidable because of his learning, his wonderful writing style, and his kind and patient manner with his adversaries, as he totally vanquishes them with his arguments. Then, there are his icons, and his musical compositions. Should any one person have so many gifts? But he graciously gives them away, which is the reason God gives gifts to us.

Elizabeth seemed a force to be reckoned with, and I was a little afraid of her before I met her. She is so strong in her fight for justice and inclusion, and she appears undaunted in the face of opposition, sometimes ugly opposition.

However, I must tell you that these two people are harmless. Neither would hurt a flea. However much this revelation may work to destroy their reputations, I must tell the truth. They are both delightful, witty people, fun to be with, and as down to earth as anyone I know.

After Evensong we all trooped over to Le Grainne which was almost next door. The restaurant had set up three tables for us, but I believe we overwhelmed them a little.

I finally got my wine in the restaurant. It's my medicine, you know. Doctor's orders. One glass of red every day. At our table, we raised a glass to all those who would have wanted to be with us, but could not be. We talked a lot of church politics, what our dioceses were like, how our churches differed. At one point I mentioned that most of the folks in my church are oblivious of the controversies swirling around, that they don't really give a shit. I said, "I wish that I could be like that, out of it. I wish that I didn't give a shit. I'd be a lot better off." And that's the truth of it.

The restaurant was a little noisy, so I talked mainly talked to Tobias, Allie, and Shel. Every now and again, I shouted something to Johnie, and he kept up with the wine, filling the glasses. I thought the food was quite good. I've forgotten what I had, but it was Italian and the same as Tobias' order.

Joan (JerseyJo) met us at the restaurant, (It was good to meet you, Joan.) and Elizabeth finally made her way to join us after we had finished eating. Her late arrival was due to a traffic horror trying to come in from New Jersey, but did she ever stir the pot when she walked in. We were standing up, talking to people we had not been able to talk to during dinner, very much in the way of the wait staff, and I don't know whose idea it was, probably That Kaeton Woman, for her and me to pose for a kiss on the lips picture - a peck, really, as she said, since I am a bird, and wounded, at that. We did, and cameras flashed. Then we had requests for another, so we did it again, but it seems none of the pictures came out, unless someone plans to surprise us down the road - or blackmail us.

David, the Rev Boy, joined us at the restaurant, too, and what a dear he is, and so good-looking. Everyone fell in love with him. I wanted to take him home with me.

Then we had to settle the bill, with each table getting their bill. I have no head for that, so I left it to Johnie to work out. Since I was running out of cash, I wanted, if possible, to put the bill on my credit card, and that's how we worked it out. You see, I don't have an ATM card, because I don't want another damned card. Besides, it seems to me that when you go to take money out of an ATM that you'd just as well have a "Rob me" sign on your back.

Parting is such sweet sorrow, and, sadly, all good things must come to an end, but all's well that ends well. We said our good-byes and gave our hugs, and went our separate ways. Klady and I were headed for the same subway station and Johnieb in the same direction for his train. Liz and Allen very kindly insisted on walking with us to make sure we did not get lost.

Outside the subway station, we bid farewell to Liz and Allen, and Johnie grabbed me and kissed me ON THE LIPS. So there you have it - another kiss on the lips, but without cameras this time. Klady and I took our separate trains, and it was over, but the sweet memories remain.

The next morning I met Dennis and David for a visit to MOMA, which did not happen due to locked doors. Dennis has a wonderful account of our time together at his blog.

I'll write later about my visit to Tobias' church, the exhibit at the Guggenheim, and the wonderful concert by the Winchester Cathedral Choir at St. Thomas Church on Fifth Avenue.


  1. HEY! I didn't get any kiss on the LIPS from Johnie...(sulks away...)

    LOL - I think you've captured the restaurant scene quite accurately. What we needed was a long table to at which could play musical chairs. I didn't get a chance to visit with nearly as many folks as I would have liked.

  2. Maybe we really need round tables? Something to think about for our next gathering?

    Mimi - I think you were the one who described Elizabeth as the Energizer Bunny. So true. She definitely was a catalyst tho perhaps because most of us were finished eating when she arrived.

    I didn't get any kisses but c'est la vie. I work hard at having no angst in my life.

    Feel free to use a photo of the church people on my blog for your next post. I have received a few new photos and will post them shortly. I suspect there are more to come but Windsteam limits my total mail size.


  3. Eileen, as Piskie says, "C'est la vie". Some of us are just lucky.

    Piskie, thanks about the pictures.

    I don't think the "Energizer Bunny" came from me, but I'd like to claim it.

  4. "I work hard at having no angst in my life." LOL! That's a new concept for me, but one well worth trying.

    Truth be told, I really didn't want any kisses from anyone so I'm not sulking about that. As an introverted Northerner (with Danish and German roots, though tainted by at least one disreputable Irishman and a Frenchman), it was all I could do to manage hugs. I could have used some more wine, however. Then who knows......

    [Engergizer Bunny? I'm thinking the line came from Doug -- he who can always be blamed -- but OCICBW]

  5. Oh, Klady, and I hugged you several times. I guess I didn't read the signs. I don't believe that I kissed you. I spared you that.

  6. Oh, Mimi, I didn't really mind -- it's just something I have to think about. My sainted Aunt Barbara who spent most of her adult life in Oklahoma (having grown up in Illinois) went on a campaign in the last years of her life to teach everyone in the family how to hug. She got the idea from Leo Buscaglia. Unfortunately, she died a number of years ago and I've been out of practice, other than with immediate family. I just get terribly self-conscious when I'm around Southerners who may notice that there's a split-second lag time before I can throw my arms around someone. But I suspect with you, it just came naturally, so there was nothing for you to catch.

  7. Klady, we were practicing hugs way before Leo B tried to teach everyone.

    No, I noticed no hesitation.

  8. Johnie KISSED you??? Are you male now?

    Thanks, June, for this wonderful report, especially since I missed so much of it.

    I'm usually shy and retiring, a Very Serious Introvert, but the excitement of meeting all of you simply energized me.

    (And, if you believe that, I've got a bridge to sell you in London.)

    Next time, round tables, fer sure.

    And, kisses from/for absolutely everybody!

  9. Elizabeth, I am now a male lesbian. How about that? You people have ruined me for normal living.

  10. How I wish I could have been there. I hope to attend the next gathering. A Twelfth Night would be appropriate, don't you think?

    Amazing what MP hath wrought. That I would find such a gemütlich group of people that I seem to know well but I have never met is a wonderful and awesome thing.

    How I envy you your chance to meet in the flesh!

    Thank you, Mimi, for your Tale of the Evening. Your Muse is indeed gracious.

    Next year in Jerusalem?

    Aghaveagh the Obscure and Insignificant but still Hopeful

  11. Agha, it was great fun. I hope that if we do it again, you will be able to join us.

    As I have already said, there was no one whom I did not like.

  12. Grandmère I am delighted and insanely jealous that you have all had such a great meeting. Thank you for your tale of events.

  13. TheMe, thank you. I have the sense that it would have been a lot more fun with you there. Next year Newcastle?

  14. You went to my head, Mimi, though I honestly remember it as a sisterly peck on the cheek; perhaps my timing were a little off. Now you may guess why you had no difficulty with an empty glass: heh.

    Still, I'm glad, since it might help advance my claim to disrepute, at least with a few.

    BTW, Pasta Carbonara is what you, Br. Tobias, and I had, (Pancetta is uncured Bacon, not Ham, as I incorrectly said).

    As to you, Ms. Fluffie, you left early, and I sensed your introvert, so you were (temporarily) safe with me.

  15. Johnieb, let me reconstruct the scene for you. You held both cheeks and kissed me smack on the lips. True it was merely a peck on the lips, and I liked it, so it really won't further your claim to disrepute.

    If you'd like we can call in the witnesses, Klady, Liz, and Allen, to settle the question.

    Thanks for the info on on my food. It was very good. I was too overcome with excitement at meeting everyone to remember what I ate.

  16. Ah no, cher, I will not challenge a lady's version of events. However, "grabbed"!? Mimi, forgive my awkwardness; I was overcome at parting, even if it's only au revoir.

  17. Johnieb, thanks for being a gentleman about this and not questioning the word of a lady.

  18. LOL @ Johnieb - it's true!

    I'm friendly, but I have "space" issues. I have to know a guy really well before I let him into my "space"! Even harmless old coots...

    Next time...we'll catch all the kisses on film like it's a wedding!


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