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The Nines of Open Mic
January 28, 2011
by Mardy Seavey

We’re all dressed to the nines tonight.
Its nine years of the Open Mic!
We’re up on cloud nine tonight.
Its nine years of the Open Mic!
We want the whole nine yards tonight.
Its nine years of the Open Mic!
The nine worthies are here tonight,
One for each year of the Open Mic.
So we gotta swing to the nines tonight,
‘Cause its nine years of
Heather Pierson’s great Open Mic!

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I’m a little late in posting this but better late than never. We had a great concert last Sunday from 2 to 3pm at the First Universalist Church of Norway in Norway, Maine. It was musically arranged by Heather Pierson, the cause being the repair of the church belfry. Bernice Martin gave opening and closing words, and seeds were passed out mid-way for replenishing the earth. Heather and Mary Uke Hargreaves were featured performers along with the choir of the church. Heather was totally awesome in her playing and singing of her own music, Mary was totally delightful in singing her creations accompanying herself on the ukulele, and yes, the choir rocked! Here’s a couple pictures, taken by a friend of Heather’s named Eric, of the choir singing Earth Day songs at Heather’s Open Mic the previous evening:

Left to right, Heather Pierson (the director), Rowena Palmer, Nancy Wood, Dolores Farr, Douglas Leathem, Marden Seavey, Bernice Martin, Kevin Farr, Sallie Nealand, Cynthia Seavey

The following quote from John Lennon was included on the program: Imagine all the people living in peace. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be as one.

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More Fun in Church

Fun in church again today. Richard (our minister) created a “Lighter and Brighter” service dedicated to easing any growing winter blahs. This worked! My blahs were definitely eased and it appeared to me from my vantage point in the choir that the blahs of the rest of the congregation were eased as well. In fact Kathy happily lit a candle for the big fat robin she had seen yesterday, and Heather lit one for the amazing shooting star she saw last night on driving home from performing at the White Mountain Hotel. Were these premonitions of the paradigm shift we experienced in church today? Ha Ha Who knows? Speaking of paradigm shifts, Richard arrived in a light tan suit with a yellow tie and proceeded to give us opening words in jumpy jazz rhythm.

He invited Mary Hargreaves, better known as Mary Ukelady, to help us sing away the winter blues, and she was terrific as usual. She and Heather did a great duet together, and also Heather, our choir director, did her amazingly awesome new song, Make It Mine, that she did at the Open Mic on Friday. The choir put on a show of its own with an exciting do-do-wah song which Heather had picked out for it. We had the congregation jumping, yes, almost literally.

Speaking of the Open Mic on Friday, that was terrific too. There may have been upwards of 60 people squeezed into the concert hall in the church basement. Heather, leader of the Open Mic, had to cut the number of songs per performer back to two from three in order to fit everyone in. The choir did “One More Circle” by Peter Mayer, arr. Jim Scott, and I think we really bashed it. Yippeeee!

So what do all these fun and games have to do with bettering the state of the world and the people suffering in it? Are people suffering? Absolutely! But the purpose of our celebration today was to celebrate life, the world, and our amazingly good fortune to be alive in it, to be thankful, ever so thankful that we live, have life and love for this brief time on earth. And every person’s death diminishes us.

How about I close with John Donne’s famous poem?

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manner of thine own
Or of thine friend’s were.
Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

Many years ago at the Arlington Street Church in Boston we did a Vaughn Williams musical arrangement of this poem. Wish I still had it.

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Hey, we had a good day in church today. I always get turned on there. It starts slow. Very few people. You wonder if anyone will show up. We had a full complement of people for the choir. Four women in the front row. Three men and one woman in the back row. This let us do a four part round. It was a little shaky but we got silent clapping from Becky. For introit we did a Jubilate Deo. Great fun to hit that. I enjoyed singing it.

Mind you this is a UU church with Universalist leaning. We’ve added about six or seven people this year. I think there were close to forty people in attendance today, counting the choir. We’re all very informal. Lots of candles lit. I lit one for son Christopher, saying today would have been his 52nd birthday.

There’s a lot more I could say. I could get into the personalities. People are all friendly and enjoy one another during coffee hour, before church, and even during. There were about ten people at the social concerns meeting during coffee hour. I didn’t attend — being treasurer is enough — and chatted with various people.

I’ve decided to learn “One More Circle” by Peter Mayer, arr. Jim Scott, for the Open Mic this Friday. It’ll be the seventh anniversary. Heather started it the end of January 2002. See an earlier post on the fourth anniversary for background. It’s amazing how time flies.

OK, that’s it for now. Over and out.

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Wow, I’m not going to take THAT again . There I was around 3am last Saturday morning, sitting peacefully on the toilet when suddenly I felt violently ill, and the next thing I knew my cheek was hit by a cold bathroom tile. A few seconds later I realized I had passed out. My wife helped me up off the bathroom floor and guided me back to bed.

It seems I had taken a 2mg dosage of the Doxazosin Mesylate (brand name innocuous enough: Cardura) around 10:30pm Friday evening. This was my first time with the stuff and I thought I’d give it a whirl. After all, I had a great time at the Halloween Open Mic Friday evening and particularly enjoyed singing my favorite song, with Heather Pierson’s great piano accompaniment, When the Night Wind Howls out of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Ruddigore. But it turned out it was Cardura that gave me the whirl!

This medication was prescribed for me by a urologist because of its effectiveness in treating benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate). But also it’s a blood pressure medicine, a so-called alpha blocker, and I’m already taking a beta blocker for my hypertension. How many blockers can one tolerate? Too many blockers and blood pressure could in principle go to zero! Not good.

The info sheet on the medication, which I hadn’t read, warns about the dizziness it could produce, due to blood pressure and heart rate drop, so the advice is to take the pill at bedtime. Of course, a person with that benign prostatic hyperplasia, like me, might want to get up to go to the bathroom. End of story.

My fall on the cold bathroom floor caused quite a bruise on the side of the head and also my back and side muscles were badly bruised, so that when I got back in bed I found I couldn’t move without experiencing severe pain. So, off to the emergency room I went on a stretcher. My first ambulance ride. The Doc on call over the weekend has rearranged my hypertension and other meds, and the day after tomorrow I’ll go to my primary care provider and reevaluate the meds.

Maybe I should go off my meds entirely!!! YIPPPEEEEE! Off my meds!! Well, only for a day as a celebration if Obama wins tomorrow! If he doesn’t, maybe I’ll just double up on them and go poof.

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