Monday, October 21, 2013


Hope everyone is doing well.  Our weather was amazing over the weekend.  Made me feel lucky to be in Austin.

Well, last Wednesday night we went to see The Abyssinian Mass at the Long Center.  It's a sort of modern jazz composition which borrows its theme, structure, and style from the hymns and liturgy of traditional Christian church services (particularly those of black, American churches).  The Abyssinian Mass was composed by Wynton Marsalis, and it was performed by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra along with the Chorale Le Chateau 60 member choir.  Wynton Marsalis himself performed as a member of the JLCO, but he kept a low profile, playing with the orchestra, but never putting himself in the spotlight as a soloist or lead instrumentalist (although he did play a few nice solos).
The performance was different and unique.  I enjoyed it.  The choir was expressive and mostly joyful.  The interplay between the gospel music and the jazz instrumentation sort of highlighted the connections between all different sorts of jazz- from bebop to swing to New Orleans dixieland to even some sort of Afro-Cuban sounding stuff. 
And the choir was powerful.  Occasionally they were mournful or solemn, but mostly they sang with joy and energy.  Put me in a good mood.  Both the singing and the instrumental jazz performances were extremely good.
(obviously the Whip In is a
sketchy place to hang out)
On Thursday night Amy and I went to a party celebrating "A Century of Justice" with Danielle and John from my office.  Danielle turned 40 last week, and John turned 60.  They're both prosecutors, thus the "Century of Justice" theme.
We had a good time.  We got together at the Whip In to listen to Gavin's band (Gavin is Danielle's husband) and to have a couple of beers.  Gavin's band was good.  I really enjoyed their music. 
The Whip In is sort of a trippy place.  I used to live in an apartment complex right next to it, and it used to just be a convenience store.  Now they serve Indian food there, they brew their own beer, and they have like a couple of dozen beers on tap and probably 60 other varieties in bottles.  They have outdoor seating and both indoor and outdoor stages. 
But it still basically looks like a convenience store with some bars crammed into the middle of it and a makeshift patio area tacked on outside.  It's weird, but it's fun.  It feels homegrown, random, and funky.  More or less perfect for South Austin.
So that was Thursday night. 

(face painted flowers to celebrate 60 years of rockin'!)
On Friday night Amy and I rolled over to Patsy's Cafe with Mandy for a birthday party for Shirley, another friend from work (Mandy is, of course, a longtime friend and neighbor, and she and Shirley both work together at my office as coordinators).  Shirley was turning 60, so we joined her for some beer and cake and face painting and music.  Shirley's friends, the Therapy Sisters, provided the tunes.  There were a few friends there from work, and we met a few of Shirley's other friends and family as well.  It was a laid back, friendly event, and we had a nice time celebrating Shirley's birthday with her.

(I managed to squeeze in a quick shot with Miguel,
Ruben, and Judge Earle- but Amy was off getting a glass of water
or something)
On Saturday we did a few chores during the day and went for a bike ride.  Amy joined me, and we rode around south Austin, stopping off at Ryan and Jamie's house to say hello.  The weather was beautiful, and I had a really good time riding with Amy.
On Saturday night we went to a wedding ceremony for our friends Ruben and Miguel.  I've been working with Ruben for years now.  I'm proud to say that I was his first court chief when he came to the County Attorney's Office, although he's now a court chief himself.
Anyway, Ruben and Miguel had a really nice ceremony at a place called The Hummingbird House in South Austin.  The weather was really nice, and the setting was idyllic.  The ceremony was poignant and touching and even funny in certain moments.
Ruben and Miguel are travelling to New York next week so they can have a legally binding ceremony in a different state, but the ceremony here in Austin with all of their friends and family in attendance was extremely nice.   We were honored to be invited.  Couldn't be happier for them.

On Sunday we got up and went out for breakfast and ran errands.  We got some shopping done and exercised, and we took Cassidy over for a play date with Mandy's dogs at her house.  Once again, we had beautiful weather.
Sunday night I had band practice with just Reed and Jim.  It was kind of a strange configuration (I'm not much of a lead guitar player), but in true Mono tradition, we managed to plug our way through it and create over an hour's worth of semi-presentable music.

So that was the weekend, mostly. 
We had a nice one.  Hope everyone else did, too!

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