A fine weekend in Seattle with Glen, David and Jesse

Glen serenades us from the balcony-just glad he didn't fall.
Glen serenades us from the balcony-just glad he didn’t fall.

What incredible talent (NOT the Seahawks but that’s another story) we experienced this weekend in Seattle-AMAZING!  To start off, we were lucky enough to finally get to see Glen Hansard, who was performing at The Moore.  The star of Once (my favorite movie AND Broadway play), Glen is a 45 year old Irish lad who can rock passionately and croon softly.  The sold out crowd of devoted fans sang along, danced in the aisles and enjoyed his banter in the intimate setting.  We didn’t want the night to end…

Falling Softly earned him an Academy Award in 2007 for Best Original Song and was the showpiece song for Once.  However, his music from his new album, Didn’t He Ramble, was addictive and, coupled with his energetic live performance, it made me immediately want to see him perform again.  Seattle should only be so lucky to have another Hansard concert soon.  At the end, he and his bandmate  surprised us when they popped up in the balcony, swung their legs over and serenaded us in a duet to die for:  

Of course, I was hoping nobody ACTUALLY died but it was a close call as Glen was banging on his guitar and swinging his legs high as he perched above the crowd.  Luckily no one was injured and he went on to join his whole band and crew to perform an acapella Irish ballad in his final farewell to the audience that was so sad to see him go.

The next night, another sold out show for us, but this time taking place at the beautiful and spacious Benroya Hall, where we laughed till we cried as David Sedaris read story after story of his tales from picking up trash from the roadside near his home in England (he is known as “Pig Pen” to his neighbors),  sharing his North Carolina vacation home with his dysfunctionally hilarious family and just commentary on life in general from his unique yet twisted perspective.  Of course he has written many books but he read, not from those, but from his New Yorker articles: http://www.newyorker.com/contributors/david-sedaris

Funniest story of the night for me was his tale of having a lipoma (fatty tumors like what Izaac, our Viszla gets all over his body-I call him lumpy in an affectionate way) removed illegally by a fan who took him “across the border” from Texas to New Mexico.  David got his lipoma chopped into small pieces and sealed in a baggie on ice for the journey to his summer home where he intended to feed it to his favorite turtle, who was also disfigured by a tumor, this one on top of his small head.  Unfortunately, the turtle had died recently according to his neighbor. So, dropping the bloody unfrozen tumor bits and pieces to turtles under the bridge near a tourist mall, he was asked by a Southern gentleman what he was feeding them because they were snapping it up mighty fine. “Chicken” declared David to the guy he deemed a red neck yahoo by his tacky t-shirt.  David then thought to himself, who I am to judge?  I am, after all, feeding a turtle parts of my body.   Good point, David.

David also read from his many diary entries, which will comprise his next book.  An avid Fitbit user, he once hit 72,000 steps in a day, which is just impossibly hard to do.  WTF!  I was dying in Amsterdam when I hit 18,000.  But I get it because he explained that his Fitbit was taunting him, luring him, day by day, into more steps with sassy text message challenges.  Mine tells me frequently that I am an “overachiever”. Duh!

When regaling us with his thoughts on politics and specifically the rise of Trump, he didn’t even know where to begin but spoke of his talk to a German fellow who asked David what he thought of the Trumpster.  David likened him to a cartoon character whose Vice President would just have to be…. wait for it…..THE Hamburgler.   Of course, David had to explain to the German what a Hamburgler was in American culture.  Spot on, David.

 

Chatting with Jesse
Chatting with Jesse

I also got a chance to hear Jesse Eisenberg speak at my work on his new book, Beemis gives me hiccups. At Q & A, I told him he appeared to be channeling Woody Allen and asked him what he thought of the great man since he had just worked with Woody on a new movie. His nervous mannerisms, thoroughly NYC attitude (born in Queens) and self-deprecating style was SO Woody.  He strikes me as more of a writer than an actor just from our brief meeting.

Afterward, I researched Jesse and found out he had idolized Woody since high school, sending him screenplays at an early age. Nice to know when Woody dies (as David S. would surely point out) we have a younger version standing in the wings ready to take over Woody’s post as the neurotic New York artist.

My only regret this weekend was that we were not able to see Allen Stone perform in NYC at the Apollo.  I’m sure it was legendary!  Next week we are off to Boise to spend the holidays, where we will continue our date nights and seek out adventure when we are not babysitting the incredible Mia!  Nai Nai is on her way, baby girl!

2 Days, 20,000 steps and 1 Cougar

Holy. Crap.  Yep, I just noticed I am totally and utterly alone in a forest in Canada with not a soul in sight and this sign comes into view, like someone quickly attached it to a post and ran away… Wildcat spotted in area.  Love the pictures to show you the differences between cougars, bobcats and kitties–duh!  If you are that stupid and need a pictorial of the differences between a cougar and a cat, you deserve to get f&*king chewed on like a kibble.  Just saying….

See Cougar Sign..See Melinda Run...Fast
See Cougar Sign..See Melinda Run…Fast

Looking around and, again, seeing nothing but trees, trees and more underbrush where that damn cougar could be hiding, I channeled my inner Hunger Games heroine and picked up an insubstantial branch to defend myself with and took off as fast as possible.  Deep in the forest by a lake in Burnaby, this was my “peaceful” stroll to get in my 10,000 needed steps to make my new Fitbit animate, aka it rattles on my wrist when I hit my goal.  Happy times staying fit and alive.  Eventually, I ran out of the forest into suburbia and found my way back to the hotel in one piece, feeling fit to live another day and vowing to stick to the urban jungle from now on instead of the actual jungle.  The kicker was that my Fitbit wasn’t working right so it didn’t even record my steps including the long climb back up the hill to home.  DAMN!  My calves are aching and telling me I hit that 10,000 step goal so we’ll just go with that unofficial count and charge it up for tomorrow.

Lost in the forest and never finding the lake, running away from a possible cougar...that was my peaceful walk
Lost in the forest and never finding the lake, running away from a possible cougar…that was my peaceful walk

I got my Fitbit for Mother’s Day and am enjoying challenging myself to get out and get walking even more than usual.  Especially when I’m on the road working, it will get me out of the hotel in the evening and onto the streets.  Last night when I got into Vancouver, BC, I immediately took off on the skytrain from Burnaby where I’m staying to downtown Vancouver.  Only taking 20 minutes, it beat driving in traffic.  After a lengthy wait to get through customs due to Victoria Day traffic, I was done with driving.  I wandered through Gastown and enjoyed people watching.  Lots of buskers playing their songs and people eating outside enjoying the warm weather.  I finally settled in at the Water St. café and enjoyed amazing salmon risotto.  Seriously, I almost licked the plate–crazy American that I am.

Salmon risotto rand BC local wine...how Canadian of me
Salmon risotto and BC local wine…how Canadian of me

Washed down with local wine, I was happy, happy to walk back to the skytrain and join the crowds returning home.  Arriving back at the hotel with the Fitbit working, it synced and told me I had about 100 steps left to goal.  Did I run in place and rack up those last few steps???  Oh yeah-BAM!  2 days and 20,000 steps and feeling good… my Type A personality likes hitting goals and my body likes the workout.  Win-Win!