Still beaming from the surprise wedding 🙂 So, the evening that followed was Christmas eve…I love Christmas eve. That’s the night our family get’s together and cooks a huge meal. Yup, very similar to Thanksgiving only smaller group and it’s held at the home we grew up in instead of my sisters. I used to be in charge of it and always insisted on Roast Beast. That’s my specialty :-). I use the old etectric roaster (same kind my mom used that my grandmother handed down to her until it finally croaked then she got another one and I bought the same kind to have here in Cali) and I add a mix of all the kinds of veggies that go with a roast beast; onions (and lots because my Pop looooves onions), carrots, brussel sprouts, red and white skinned potatoes and sometimes…turnips (though people generally complain they smell funny so I only do it once in a blue moon or when I’m really irritated with em and so do it defiantly ;). Since I lived in Houston for 5 1/2 years I picked up the tradition of using rasberry-chipotle sauce as a side to the beast. And since I’m such a stickler on “this one in particular is what I love” I’ll put in the link to “this one in particular”: http://www.jelly.com/product.php?prod=FWG000036. Good stuff. Seriously.
Anyway, since I moved back to San Diego I haven’t made it back for Christmas so other family members have taken it on. It’s cool. I think it’s good to mix things up but, I do miss cooking the meal so I’m even happier that I’ll be able to make it home for Christmas next year. I’ve already mentally prepared the meal in my head. This year was far and away different. This time it was just Carrie n me at an old Irish pub called Dublin Square. It’s in downtown San Diego which is a bit of a drive but, I was full of energy and I hadn’t been there but, it seemed like the kind of pub I like. Apparently most of its makings were imported from Ireland so it sounded about right. Carrie had been there before and described it as “the boys go to the Field, the men come to Dublin square”. That means no roudy college boys pretending to be Irish and ordering more car bombs than their stomachs can handle. There was live Irish music promised which was something we’ve missed since the old days when Brehon Law was “our band of bands”. They still exist, just not the same group/feeling as back when. But, Ned leads em and they’re fantastic so if you get a chance, go see em play. You’ll love it. Dublin Square did have a nice feel to it. A little dissapointed with the blonde beach bunny servers but, this is So Cal. If you really want authentic, go to Boston or better yet Ireland and get your fill. Being with a Scotsman for so many years sort of locks in the difference between authentic Irish/Scottish/Brit and the plastics. He spoiled me. I’m a downright snob for authentic. Especially when it comes to Guinness. Nothing more irritating than a badly poured Guinness…yup…jaw clenched just thinking of it…I’m not Irish. I don’t pretend to be. I’m an American with a Scot-Irish, French and Bohemian lineage. I guess we lean more toward the celts (what with my mom’s regular cooking of Corned beef n cabbage and mmm blood sausage). One night when my mom was visiting back when I took her to the old Gibs (which was Tom Giblins Irish pub back then). That’s where Brehon Law played Wednesdays and Saturdays and we rarely missed a set. A: they were friends and B: they are really really good. Martina was co-manager and also an Irish. she walked up to us, said hello and asked where my Mom hailed from. It took my mom a while to get it and I explained to Martina but, she cooed and awed and swore she thought my mom was off the boat Irish. Which of course my mom ate up and suddenly/proudly donned the worse fake Irish accent you ever heard. You see her father was Scot-Irish decent and a boozer and a gambler and abandoned her and her brother when her mother died in childbirth. Her French Grandmother took her in and you’d think she’d not want to have any connection to her father but, alas…girls will always love their daddy’s no matter how flawed they are. Steven always swore I was Canadian. We do have French-Canadians hanging from some branches of the family tree so maybe that’s where he gets it’s from. Mainly he just thinks I’m not your average American to which I laugh because I don’t think I’m an average anything (which really sucks when you’re young and trying to fit in but, now…now it’s pretty cool).
Ok, so what does all this have to do with music and walking the walk? It ties in, I swear. Back to the wedding…I had a great conversation with Karyn. Karyn is Serg’s best friend and is tough as nails 99.99% of the time. Every now and then I catch that .01% when she ‘s soft hearted/spoken and those moments are always warm and memorable. We were sitting by the stairs and she asked how I was doing with genuine concern and we talked about the whole ordeal and the expected positive outcome and the amazingness of cyberknife blah blah…then she looked at me and said “what is it like…I mean when you know (your life could be cut short)…how does it change things?”. I thought about it for a moment and then said “well…I tend to tolerate bullshit a lot less…” She laughed and said “oh well, I never do so I ‘m good there”. I smiled. It’s true. She roars like a lion at anyone who even dares to attempt to bs her. She’s quite keen that way. She can smelll a rat or a phoney a mile away. Then I said “you also tend to get a bit braver”. She smiled and acknowledged that would be thing that would change. We all wish we were braver at times. I’m also a lot less angry. I used to get my feathers in a bunch anytime I saw an injustice or discovered I got played. A regular, modern day Joan of Arc I was. Now I just shrug my shoulders, point out that life is too short for that kind of sht, dust myself off and walk away.
So, here’s how that ties in…back at the pub…the musician apologized for it just being him (mandolin/guitar) and a guitarist. The rest of the band had family plans (who couldn’t excuse that?). He/they played really well and were even goodhearted about the annoying request of the Unicorn Song (from a boisterous fellow visiting from Newcastle) which is a widely known fact that Irish bands balk at that request. Ned flat out refuses to play it unless there’s a cute kid in the audience requesting it. He mentioned it was open mic a couple times but, I just turned away from them and took another sip of Guinness. He would call out to us now and then “Did you get the Turkey dinner?…how was it….any requests”. So toward the end of their second set I turned and asked if he could play the Pogues’ “Rainy night in Soho”. He smiled warmly and said “ah, we’d love to but we don’t know that one”. To which I said “Ah, c’mon it’s easy…it’s just G, C, D, G, C, D…”. He laughed and said “you know it? Can you sing it? Wanna come up? ” and I instantly flashed back to that moment with Karyn “a little bit braver…” and before I knew it the words “sure” came out of my mouth and I worked my way up to the little stage. He had us huddle to go over the chord changes and asked me to sing a bit of it and I did but, not before warning them I’m a bit shy but, I’d do my best to shake it off. They smiled and we turned to face the audience. They started the intro and it went on for a bit before I realized they were waiting for me to lead in with some vocals (I have soooo much to learn) so I cracked a smile and then belted out “I’ve been lovin you a looong tiiime…” and so on. And this was the marker…this was the first time I’ve stood up without a guitar to hide behind and leaned into a mic and fell into a song but also made eye contact with the people in the room all the while. A mother stopped in front of us with her two little ones and I felt a twinge when I looked at the boy while I sang “Some of them fell into hell” (I’m so Catholic). He didn’t seem to be bothered by it nor did his mom so I shook it off and kept on with the song. Every now and then looking sideways to my right where the mandolin player stood. We weren’t in sync for the first verse but after that we were a trio and my voice was on its best behavior and the crowd was warm and accepting and it was exactly the feeling I imagined after watching Pete Yorn peform for KRPI at that winery. I did my usual ad lib to the end (they didn’t know the difference 😉 and then I looked back at the guitarist and he said “that’s it?” I smiled and said “yeah…that’s it”. And we closed out to a nice round of applause followed by the mandolin player saying he was now fully in the Christmas spirit which I took as a great compliment :).
Later that evening I got a text from Michele saying she could hardly wait to see me the next day (Christmas) for pajama/brunch/mimosa day and to hear all about my performance. Huh? Then, when I saw her she said Carrie txtd her while I was singing “Ali is getting up on stage at Dublin Square!”. I love my friends. They are so incredibly supportive and encouraging. I love it~
So, yesterday I got the bad news that my WBC bottomed out again. Even with the booster shots so they’re increasing the amount of shots (2 extra days) and I have strict instructions to stay away from: raw fruit, people with colds, crowds, kids, animals and ….spas. So my spa weekend for New Years is a bust. I nearly cried. I don’t why. I could barely afford it as it is (my mom always said I have champagne taste with a beer budget). So, to cheer myself up I’m shopping on line for a kitchen cart. No, really. There’s hardly any counter space in my kitchen and I like to cook, meaning a place for a cutting board to chop veggies etc so this little, virtual shopping exursion is actually cheering me up and is probably a better New Years gift when I think of it.
During my solitary confinement I’m going to get those music compilation CD’s together and mailed out (I know…can’t believe I haven’t yet either). So, that’s my promise is to get my ass in gear, get those done and that should be the first line in next week’s blog that I finally did it or else~. I don’t know why I’m full of excuses when it comes to getting that one done but, time to buck up.
Also, Carrie had asked me while back if I’d play open mic at a cafe in her new neighborhood so I said to remind me when the next open mic was and I would go and she did so now it’s on my Calendar for mid January :). by the end of January I’m hoping do two more up in North County. I feel a strong need to start performing “Dorian Gray”. Get it out there and see if anyone connects to it and also we shall see if Dr. G shows up to any of em…could be interesting…could be not but, mostly could be interesting…
Since I didn’t plan on singing I didn’t think to ask Carrie to take a pic of the event so I found an image of the pub/the two members of the band that were there and ehm…drew a re-inactment 🙂
P.S. Heard from Keen :). His band split so he’s solo again. Looking forward to getting together with him soon to jam and possibly do some collaborating…
Life is good and thanks as always for following along 🙂
PSS. Look at all the countries that came by the website/blog this month. How cool is that?