Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Jan 17 2005

Sunday was a great, busy day. I had an appointment…

Sunday was a great, busy day. I had an appointment at a realtor in Xindian in the morning, and the agent took me to three places, two of which were located at ridiculous heights in nearby mountains. “This isn’t quite what I meant when I said ‘within walking distance of an MRT stop’, ” I shouted through the wind as we broke through yet another cloud layer.

“Don’t worry, it’s got a great view; you’ll love it!” he shouted back. He was right about the view; it was nice, but there’s no way I could face that climb every day. Finally we got back to town and looked at some more promising places, but after the last one I had to go get ready for our gig at The Shannon. It was cold so in addition to ze Zuit I wore a long black coat with the optional tommy-gun rack.

I took a cab into the city and arrived at the bar around 3:30 loaded down with trumpet, tub and broomstick, trying not to damage the interior of the cab too much as I exited. The benefit was starting at the unusually early hour of 4 with the Saltwater Crocs playing some nice tunes. I was nursing a rye and ginger ale as well as a headache, and I’m afraid I might have blown off some people I originally didn’t mean to blow off. Or maybe I didn’t blow off people I’d originally intended to blow off; I’m not entirely sure which.

The Incriminators, a mellow Simon-and-Garfunkel-esque duo, were up next. They did a great job, but the crowd wasn’t really responding. It might have been the early hour, the relative sobriety of the guests, or a combination of both. Jez got up and played a few things that got people into the swing of things, and Sandy accompanied on his penny whistle.

By the time the Muddy Basin Ramblers took the stage, it was dark out and the crowd seemed to be in more of a mood to enjoy the show. I did a few songs on washtub bass, and picked up my trumpet occasionally for a solo. On one piece where I was playing horn, I was surprised to hear the tub start up behind me; it was Thumper helping out and providing the bassline. Dana also took a turn at the bass for “St. James Infirmary”, which is one of my favorite things to play on the trumpet.

“Nobody’s Fault but Mine” was a first for us in that each member of the band got to sing one verse solo. If you’d told me a year ago that I’d be singing in front of a crowd without the aid of a Karaoke machine, I’d have projected spittle as I laughed in your face, but there I was, right up at the mic flubbing lyrics when it came my turn. I may not be the best singer in the world (and certainly not the best singer in the band), but it was sure a lot of fun, and soon my headache was forgotten. The crowd seemed to really enjoy the trumpet, and Slim swore feminine undergarments were definitely sent airborn at the time, though I did not witness this phenomenon. I did get some questions about how I could play all those notes with just three buttons afterwards, though.

As we wrapped up, or tried to (we did a couple of encores which resulted in David breaking a couple of strings on his national), the manager of the place came up and stuck a hundred NT dollar bill in David’s pocket, saying he’d donate more money if we’d play another set, but we’d pretty much run our course. Sandman did some freestyle sax to the tub bass, but that was just fooling around.

After we’d packed everything up, I headed next door to Dan Ryan’s, where a bunch of people had gone for dinner. I joined Sandman, Jojo, Maoman, V, and Chung from Forumosa at the table just as a roar went up from the other side of the room. Apparently the rest of the place had been rented out to a group of people intent on being as obnoxious as they could, yelling and screaming every few seconds until well after midnight. I didn’t mind too much as the conversation at the table was a bit too much like an audiobook version of Forumosa.com for my comfort.

We left around 1 a.m. in Jojo’s car, talking about prospective houses as we drove back home. Yeah, that’s right, I said houses. I’m thinking of actually co-buying a house, along with a friend. I’d still be paying monthly, but at least the payments would be going towards my own property, not just vanishing like rent money does. Anyway, we’ll see how that works out.

Work this afternoon was a bit of a bummer after Sunday’s high, but after work Dean and I went to Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse on Minsheng E. Road to use a coupon our friend Katie gave me for helping them out on their Bunun project. Both the food and service were exceptional, I must say (though they should be at those prices). We had bread, salad, soup, steak, lobster, mushrooms, potatoes, crab cakes, and pie. I think Dean had the Mastodon Special, or at least it looked about that much meat on his plate. I know I’ve filled my steak and lobster quotas for the next several years.

There’s always lots of special meals this time of year, wei-ya parties before Chinese New Year. I’ve been to one so far, and I’ve got a couple more to go. Some of the larger parties even have prizes.

I got a letter from my Aunt Eva in Hollywood today. I hadn’t heard from her in a while and was getting a little worried, but it turns out she was just waiting for postage stamps. At 91 years of age, she writes, “everyone slows down a little, whether they want to or not.”

Via my friend Kurrel The Raven’s site: It’s Hong Kong Phooey Jim, but not as we know it.

I’m wondering if I should get into Flickr. It seems convenient, but I’m not entirely comfortable putting photos up there instead of here. Is it easier? Do the photos go away? I have no idea. Not the most earth-shaking of conundrums, to be sure.

posted by Poagao at 5:52 pm  

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