Thursday, October 25, 2007

Of Course, I Was In New York - Part 1

Image stolen from Piskie.

On Tuesday, I set out from my hotel around 3:00 PM, headed for General Theological Seminary. I left early because my subway trip to the Bronx on Sunday was full of tribulation, which made me very late for the service at St. James, where Tobias Haller is the vicar. I got to where I was supposed to go with the help of a nice woman on the subway.

When I got off the subway on Eighth Ave., I had to ask which way was Ninth Ave. and which way was downtown,where I was going. I have no sense of direction. Something is missing in my brain, something that others seem to have that I am lacking. It seems to be genetic, since my two sisters had the same problem. Once I knew the direction of downtown and Ninth Ave., I was good to go, and found my way there easily.

Once on the seminary grounds, I asked directions, but reached several doors, which were not the right doors, and I had to ask directions a few more times before I found the Matthew Lounge. Johnieb, Allie, and maybe Doug were there, along with dear, sweet Gabe, who had reserved the place for us and supplied sherry and other goodies. I'll tell you about Gabe and QFC in my Sunday post. These posts will not be in chronological order.

Johnieb is not the disreputable person that he wants us to believe he is. He is quite respectable looking and acting. He seems nearly normal. I'm joking. He's a very nice man. Allie is such an attractive and smart young woman, that she makes me feel ancient and dull. Doug, of jokes fame, " Don't blame me, blame Doug," is also quite a pleasant man. I had met Doug at St. James on Sunday, so I knew who he was.

Then the others began to come in, Shel (Pseudopiskie), Eileen (The Episcopali-Fem), Dennis (Psychology, Dogs, Politics & Wine) and David (Dennis' better half), Tobias (In a Godward Direction), Dan (Toujoursdan), Jake-Terry (Fr Jake Stops the World) - the mustache guys, who were both instantly recognizable from their pictures, Klady (Lady of Silences), whom I already knew from spending time with her on Sunday, and PJ (PJ's Pointless Blog, whom I did not get to talk to much at the reception, because I did not know who she was (Who knew she was a blond?), Allen (Morningsider) and his wife Liz, and last, but not least, Paul (A) and his lovely wife Catherine. The links for the bloggers are on my sidebar, and lots of them have pictures.

I think that's everyone who was at the reception. I hugged and kissed lotsa folks - you know we southerners hug and kiss a lot. Dennis had brought a bottle of wine, but the other attendees there were quicker to the wine bottle than I was, so I didn't even get a taste of Dennis the winemaster's wine. Boo-hoo!

As I was retying my shoelace on my boot, the lace broke, but I figured out that the long piece would still fit if I restrung it and left the final holes without laces. One of the maintenance workers at the seminary helped me with that, because the holes were very, very small. Allen and Liz insisted on staying with me until I got my boot back on, I suppose worrying that I wouldn't be able to find my way to the chapel. We all made it on time.

The whole crew of us sat on one side behind the rood screen (I'm guessing). It was a formal, quite English-seeming Evensong service. The folks in the choir section were devoutly into the service as were the folks across the aisle from us. It seemed that most of the people there were regulars, since they knew what they were doing.

What with the prayer books and the hymnals and the sheets of paper, I was mostly lost. I would have been contented to listen to the chanting, and say the prayers that I knew, however a nice man from across the aisle kept handing me books which I did not have and sheets which I did not have, and I was able to follow along for a while. Johnie was trying to help me, but he didn't get very far either. After the second or third time the gentleman crossed the aisle to try to help me, I said to him, "Believe it or not, I am an Episcopalian." He smiled.

Do I sound challenged in many ways? Well, I am. My children can't believe that I make it around strange cities and back home again. But most folks, even strangers, are quite kind and helpful.

I don't know if the Evensong services at the seminary are open to the public, but my thought is that if a stranger wandered in off the street - not that that's likely to happen, because you have to pass through the reception area - but if they did, I wonder what they would make of it. Would they think it was the ritual of a strange cult? Our Evensong services are so very much simpler.

Since I seem to be wearing my long-winded lady hat, this will be Part 1 of "Of Course, I Was in New York". More coming.

UPDATE: I'm identifying the people in the photo above. If anyone wants their name off, let me know, and I will delete it.

Front row: PJ, Eileen, David H (photo), Piskie, Allie, Tobias,
Middle row: Klady, Johnie, Catherine, Mimi, Liz, Allen
Back row: David, Dan, Jake, Gabe, Dennis, Doug, and Paul

Whoops! It seems that Liz, Allen's wife, is not in picture above. Here's a photo which includes Liz (next to me) and all of the PhotoShopped presences. I'm sure everyone knows the ID of the old dog on the right.


  1. "Something is missing in my brain, something that others seem to have that I am lacking."

    Dear sweet Grandmère, you simply must not offer the Mad One such opportunities.

    Glad you had a good time and made it back home safely.

    PJ's blond? Did you check the roots, Mimi?

  2. KJ, I did not a chance to check PJ's roots. As for giving the MadPriest ammunition, I've given up. Even when he has nothing, he makes stuff up.

    We did have a lovely time. I wish you could have been there.

    Hey, PJ, what about those roots?

  3. ((((Mimi))))

    It was so great to get to meet you.

    I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

    And I would have gladly given up a glass of wine for you...wish I knew you didn't get some. :-(

  4. The juicy stuff, Ms. June, get to the juicy stuff.

    We all want to know the DISH.

    We've all be way too polite. We are expecting you to give us the low down on everybody there - yes, even me.

    We want to know 'first impressions' because we know you and we trust you, fools that we are.

    Anyway, it's good to know that you are home and safe and writing again, even through a haze of fatigue.

  5. Yea! The waiting is over. You are home safely and recovering. And blogging.

    I might have gone even if you didn't but you certainly provided extra incentive. I had to meet the person with whom I am connected thru MP and ++Katharine. lol. The trip was worth it for that privilege alone. And sitting with you at dinner was special indeed.

    So where will we get together next? Maybe we could volunteer in NO?

  6. Chere G'mere -- as I wrote on Jake's blog, I was delighted to dream of meeting you. The very odd thing is that you seemed the same age as my (deceased) mother and then (even in the dream) realized that you seemed to be the same age as I am. Nice to have co-age people in my life.

  7. Eileen, you are so sweet, and smart, and pretty, that's it's beyond me that you can take to heart any put-downs that anyone lays on you.

    Elizabeth, the funny thing is that I liked all these people. It's amazing.

    At first we were sort of circling around, sizing each other up, being a little quiet. Then, we began to loosen up.

    Some of us had already met at St. James in the Bronx on Sunday, and I'm going to write about that, too.

    It gets a little dishier at the restaurant, as you well know. And I have a few things I'm going to say about you and my impression of you, of you Liza with a "z".

    When this long-winded lady gets done, you will have the official history of the very first meeting of the OCICBW Fan Club.

    Shel, I thought of New Orleans for the reason of giving the economy there a small boost, and, who knows? maybe we could arrange to do a little work there through the Diocese of Louisiana.

    Susan, so I'm the age of both you and your mother. Dreams are amazing, aren't they?

  8. It sounds wonderful! I wish I could have met you all. I would love to go to New York and meet you and some of the MP gang.

    Of course, I would have to bring my dog.

    Because she is the main reason I got on MP's list.

    My dog is spectacular, and beautiful.

    I am quite ordinary.

    Looking forward to more, and yearning for another chance!

  9. I suppose if I'm writing the official history I should get the name of the organization right. That would be the OCICBW Annual North American Fellowship.

    Diane, good to be back in touch. I wish you could have been there, too - with Scout.

  10. Thanks for the news - looking forward to the next installment of As the Mad One's World Turns.

  11. just got home from a long day of travel. I am exhausted.

    Bella seems to be ok. She has three different meds and she has an appointment to get the rest of the tooth out.

    (For those who weren't there, half way through the dinner David and I got a phone call saying that one of our dogs had been chewing on the chain link fence in her run at the boarding kennel and had broken off her tooth. It was traumatic. I think I was outside on that phone call when "the kiss" was happening.)

    Must unpack, and I need sleep.

    What an exciting week.

    Perhaps New Orleans is a great place for the next gathering. Maybe this next one could last a couple of days!

    looking forward to the next installment of your thoughts on the week

    off to bed now.

  12. As the Mad One's World Turns! Ann, that's great.

    Dennis, I'm glad y'all made it home safe and that Bella is OK.

    Good night.
    Sleep tight.
    Don't let the mosquitoes bite.
    Put out the light.
    All right.

    None of the pictures of THE KISS seem to have come out, unless someone has a surprise waiting.

    Perhaps God saw to that.

  13. Oh, you all, I am so very sorry I had to work out of town during the Meetup! Let me add a cancelled flight and a sleepless-but-expensive night in Pittsburgh. Still, by the grace of God I got to meet many new friends on Sunday, and stand amazed in the presence of my pal Mimi, who took New York by storm. My last sight of her was walking like Mother Courage across 9th Avenue toward her hotel in the theatre district, looking for all the world like she owned this place.

    Dear heart, I cant wait for your next post. It was truly lovely for Gabe and I to spend Sunday with you and Klady!

    Peace and joy now and always!


  14. Terry, love, I enjoyed our lunch so. Too bad that you had to work. And then a cancelled flight and an expensive, sleepless night on top of that. Poor baby. Flying ain't no fun any more, is it?

    I hope you noticed what's on my blogroll.

    Blessings to you and Gabe.

  15. Again, it was wonderful to meet you and very much fun to sit across from you at dinner!

    New Orleans would be a great place to have the next meetup!

    Glad you got back safely.

  16. Allie, I enjoyed my time with you, too. Were you or David or Gabe the youngest of our group? Whatever. It was good to have you young'uns there. It was an interesting mix of ages, don't you think?

  17. Glad you got home safely: I was getting anxious about the cybersilence. I hoe Grandpere coped in your absence. You all sound to have had a fantastic time and I, for one, feel a touch envious, so I am now saving up for next time. Count me in.

  18. What a great post! Although I am not part of this circle too much(other than you, Padre M and MP), I had really wanted to come meet you my darling Grandmere Mimi. Sorry that it didn't work out.

    It seems like you had such a great time and what a delightful looking crew.

    Sounds like you had quite the journey.

    Great to read this and I look forward to more!

  19. He seems nearly normal. I'm joking. He's a very nice man

    Well! And me practically ready to kiss and make up!

    "Annual" isn't often enough for some of us, cher Mimi, but finances may mandate otherwise. A two day tout in NO sounds delightful.

  20. I think I'm younger than Gabe... not sure in general though, FWIW, I'm 22 (as of this past April), if anyone else wants to figure it out

  21. Thanks for a great report Mimi. But, what about the kiss?

  22. While you may have left your camera behind, Mimi, I brought mine, but I don't have an active blog to post the nine pictures to. If you want me to email them to you then email me (you have my card) and I'll send them today. (They are large jpg files; if someone else in the group wants to handle them instead please advise.)

  23. DP, how's the doorman business going? Grandpère did fine without me. He still doesn't "get" the idea of the trip, why I would want to meet up with a bunch of strangers I met online.

    Fran, so sorry you couldn't make it. Another time, I hope. NYC is exhausting!

    Oh, Allie, to be 22 again. Knowing what I know now, of course.

    Rowan, which kiss are you talking about? I'll get to it.

  24. I'm willing to post Paul(a.)'s photos and I have DSL so I can handle large files.

  25. Piskie, great.

    Paul, since I have difficulty working with pictures (I don't know what I'm doing), why not send them to Piskie. Her email address is posted on her profile.

  26. Grandmère Mimi, I've lived and worked in and around New York all my life, and I still have to spin around three times in the street when I come up out of the subway before I know which way to go. If possible, I check the position of the sun.

    My hair is my own, KJ!!!!! What, you think Jews can't be blonde? Grrrrrr.

    Seriously, my dad was blonde, both his parents were blonde, and my brother is still blonde (where he's not bald yet, bless him.) I call the color "Strawberry Cossack." :)

  27. Oh and, JohnieB's a sweetie, and handsome as well. (Don't let them gang up on you, JohnieB.)

  28. Mimi,

    Glad you got home safely. It was fun being there and meeting you face to face.

    Your listing of the folks in the pictures is a little off -- it describes Allie's photoshopped picture, not Piskie's picture that you posted above. Liz isn't in the one here and both David and Gabe are.

  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

  30. Mimi, we have a chance for a minimeet, since we are going to the Grave Affair at St John's Cemetery on Sunday evening--me and my wife Kay and granddaughter Isabelle (14 going on 25). Will there be wine?

  31. PJ, your hair is gorgeous. Don't blame me; blame KJ, that nice boy who somehow manages to get his digs in.

    Allen, I know I messed up the names, and I did an update correction, but perhaps the list is still not quite correct. I loved meeting you and Liz, and you were both so kind and helpful.

    Ormonde, it will be great to meet you and your family in Thibodaux at "A Grave Affair". Yes, there will be wine.

    For the curious, "A Grave Affair" is a fund-raiser at our church for the old cemetery on the grounds. Part of the party takes place right in the cemetery. Southern Gothic, you know.

  32. pj, I think the picture at the top of your blog just confused people since it looks so brunettish. But I could be wrong.

  33. "Digs?" I'm wounded.

    PJ, as women become "seasoned", it's usually not dark hair they are attempting to conceal. Not that I've made any assumptions regarding your age, based upon the wisdom and insights of your writings, of course. (heh heh heh)

  34. KJ, as Ronnie Reagan used to say, "There you go again." You dig the hole deeper.

  35. KJ, if I ever track you down you're in deep trouble. Be afraid, KJ, be very afraid.

    And Paul A., you're right. I just like that picture for the lady's expression and for her foaming mug of beer. :)

  36. I think the next move is to photoshop a composite group photo of all the OCICBW animals. Miss Sylvia was very snippy when she heard a dog was in the picture and she wasn't.

  37. Kirk, I'm sorry to have offended Miss Sylvia. I lifted the picture from Clumber's site as is, and, of course, he put himself in the picture.

    Have a go at photoshopping the entire lunatic group. I'd love to see that.

    Here's a link to a picture of Miss Sylvia having a beauty nap. Maybe that will appease her a little.

  38. Grandmère Mimi,

    Glad that you had an uneventful retunr to New orleans.

    It was indeed a pleasure meeting you and all the others this wee!

  39. Doug, it was great to meet the joke man. Thanks for sending the wonderful pictures TWICE - after my accidental deletion.


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