Friday, December 31, 2004

In Memorium

Since June I have been trying to break the Law and Order habit. I was pretty much hooked, watching reruns three and four times, just because I felt a certain comfort with the characters. The show and its spin offs has satifyingly organized plotting, great characters who are revealed slowly over the years and conclusions that are not always victorius for the D.A.
My favorite was Jerry Orbach who played Lenny Briscoe, the wise crack king, recovering alcoholic and alimony crippled older detective. Orbach died on December 28 (my birthday) of prostate cancer, eight months after 'retiring' from the force. His retirement was a surprise when it happened, but I was able to quickly recover knowing that I still had my reruns.

My emotional connection with Lenny is a bit strange. I substituted him for my father. Three years ago on November 28 my real father died. We were not close and I hadn't seen him for over 20 years. My family (except my mother, another 20 year estrangement) all appeared at his funeral which I might say was the most difficult part of the experience. I told my sister at the time that when I thought of my father, I always saw Jerry Orbach in his place. She told me that she substituted Dean Martin instead, which I think my brother does too, since he has a huge Rat Pack poster in his foyer (Trading Spaces--Help!!). When my father died I really didn't feel anything more than dread at having to encounter relatives at the funeral. On the other hand when I heard Terry Gross announce Orbach's death on the radio I felt overcome with grief. Tears welled up and I wondered 'What is wrong with me?'

I guess that the hours and hours I spent watching, knitting or quilting to the sound of the show made me feel that I had a connection to the characters that went deeper than I realized. Lenny Briscoe had a daughter that was killed by a drug dealer, and he had regrets that he never was the kind of father that he should have been to her. My father told my stepmother as he was dying that he had no regrets. Thanks a heap Dad. But hey, I'm not bitter.

I can hardly ever stay awake to watch a current episode but since cable runs the series during the day and at 7pm to whenever at night I manage to see even the most current shows rerun.
Tonight and all day Sunday TNT will broadcast a 12 hour marathon, which I will have on, after I get back from the New Year's Day yarn sale at Sunflower Samplings. Ok, I am hooked on several things...

On another topic, yesterday Dave and I moved everything upstairs to our Winter kitchen and closed down our downstairs-Summer kitchen. This was a satisfying experience to organize and toss out the junk accumulated over the seasons. I decided to buy three Rubbermaid Lazy Susans for my corner cabinets and that makes getting at things so much easier. I also have a huge bin of mismatched stemware and dishes that are going to my live at my brother's house. He has a wonderful Queen Anne china cabinet which he has filled with Ebay purchases like E-flat
baritones, trumpets in various sizes and cornets, none of which he actually plays. These redundant pieces of mine will fit in just fine amongst the brass instruments.
Afterwards I made French Onion soup and put it in the slow cooker (I got the idea from fellow blogger Diane Hock) and then we took off for a movie. We saw Sideways, which was just so much fun. I highly recommend it.

I am meeting the girlfriends for coffee at Panera this morning at 8:30 and I have already drunk an entire pot of Earl Grey, so I am really UP!!



11 comments:

  1. I too felt the same about Jerry....

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  2. NO!!!!!!!!! Oh, Mel, I guess I haven't been watching the news while my family was here because I didn't know. I don't know which was my favorite role, Lumiere or Lenny. Did I ever tell you I saw him filming once when I lived in New York? And I saw Chris Noth too, once on the subway. Anyway. He is one of my all time favorite actors. I rarely watch a movie more than once, but I can watch Law and Order reruns and Columbo over and over and over.

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  3. And WHAT are you going to get at Sunflower samplings? I was going to go, but I've just done too much damage already this week.

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