Wednesday, March 31, 2010

An Appointment With The Waterboys

 The Wonderful Waterboys

Satisfying.  This is the paltry sounding word that came to mind...and I was later teased for...while watching The Waterboys make magic with the poems of W.B. Yeats in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin.

I also had the thought that often runs through my head when listening to them on my iPod..."I Effing LOVE THEM!" :)

But I WAS! I was SO satisfied by this concert.  Maybe satiated is a more emotional word?  I was satisfied like having a really amazing meal and the dessert was the encore which included "The Stolen Child," "Don't Bang the Drum," and "The Whole of the Moon."  Delicious.

"An Appointment With Mr. Yeats" was beautiful on so many different levels: musically, visually, energetically. There was so much to absorb!  Jet lag had put me into a mildly fuzzy-headed state so I was oddly observant.  I remember being transfixed by the way the flautist stood on one foot while she played, how all the guys seemed to be wearing pointy-toed shoes (Mike Scott's were black velvet?), Steve Wickham sang along when he wasn't playing his violin and closed his eyes when he was...

In fact, I loved watching Steve Wickham play so much, I found myself looking for him when he wasn't on stage. I suppose my years with the violin makes me partial :)

It's such a gift to watch artists, such as The Waterboys, so IN their music and clearly doing what they were meant to do. It captivates you.

The incredible Mike Scott!*

  The amazing Steve Wickham

The magical W.B. Yeats

This concert was the catalyst for my Ireland getaway. Back in July, when the box office opened, I thought I was slightly out of my mind to even consider purchasing concert tickets for a show in Ireland. After all, I had a two week trip to Scotland coming up!  But the more I thought about it, the more it seemed like the right thing to do (all be it a little crazy). So I bought 3 tickets and was put in row "L.":)

But wait! It gets better! The friend who introduced me to the band was going to take one of those three tickets! So I flew from America to Ireland to meet my English friend who lives in Scotland to see a band with a Scottish leader and an Irish fiddler put the work of W. B. Yeats (an Irish poet) to music.

I was a little frustrated at myself because afterward, jet lag was robbing me of recall!  It was like when I wake up in the morning and know I dreamed but I can't quite clearly remember.  It took me a few days leafing through my Yeats book and the help of a fellow blogger Alison NĂ­ Dhorchaidhe (and her wonderful review) to piece things together. It was a delightful little puzzle. Some of my favorites: The Song of Wandering Aengus, The White Birds, Mad as the Mist and Snow, Sweet Dancer, News for the Delphic Oracle, A Full Moon in March, The Lake Isle of Innisfree, Politics, and a shimmery version of Down by the Salley Gardens.

"An Appointment With Mr. Yeats" keeps getting clearer upon reflection and I realize now that I was really forced to be in the moment during the show...and what wonderful moments!


 *Photo of Mike Scott by Sara (Awesome) Osten

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Long Weekend in Ireland

Behind the "Delta" Sign

I am posting this, the first of my Ireland blogs, on a creative dreams update day because it goes along with this week's assignment quite nicely.

Last week's was to figure out what our dreams were in need of...and mine were to get the heck out of THANK GOODNESS I had my Ireland weekend planned.  Amazingly good timing.

This week we are charged with taking a look at our commitments and asked the following questions:

  • are you committed to living your dreams?
  • can you see a way of becoming even more committed to living your dreams?
  • do you have any commitments that are draining you? 

I'm delighted to say yes to the first and as for the second...I feel I'm doing all I can right now. Third...well there are a lot of things draining me, but I've been shifting things around in my life to simplify and re-establish my priorities. 

The most important thing I've discovered is that I'm fully committed to myself. The Dublin trip helped to refresh my goals and remind me why I love going out to that part of the world so much. I love that everything seems so much closer, after our quick visit. The Guinness tasted so much better at the source!

I gratefully left on Thursday, March 18th to go to Dublin for a Waterboys concert and a weekend away from it all. I spent a wonderfully quiet day packing, doing yoga and thinking about the journey ahead.  It still didn't seem real! Everything felt very right though.  Early in the day my friend and fellow concert-goer, Christina, sent a message that Scotland was going to be playing Ireland in rugby that weekend. Dublin would be full of men in kilts.  What better sign could I have asked for?  :D

To add to the adventure, I took the bus out to the airport!  Normally I get a car but I wanted to save money and take the bus. The stop is literally around the corner from my apartment so it seemed right.

I ended up getting on the wrong bus.

But my inner voice kept saying, "All is well..." and the correct bus was right behind.

Result?  I got to the airport an hour earlier than I had to. No worries...time was good because I had to walk from the bus stop to the correct terminal. I felt very accomplished in the end.  Walking up to the Delta terminal was like approaching a scene from The Jetsons :) and when I walked inside it was total chaos;  people milling about like lost cattle.  I managed to check myself in and drop my bags...totally calm despite the confusion and a madman yelling and screaming over something. Ah, New York...

After I made it through the security check point, I found a little market cafe that sold gourmet sandwiches and beer! So I settled in with some yummy roast beef and a blackberry Sam Adams. All the while texting with my travelling companion, Sara, who was in line behind Jim Gaffigan!  All good signs.

I had been slightly worried about delays since JFK had closed it's main runway for renovations a few weeks before...but after a tipsy call to my Mom (thanks Sam Adams!) our flight boarded on time and we were 3rd on the runway for take-off under a beautiful "Cheshire Cat" Grinning Moon!

It felt like we were there in no time!  I had barely slept but got a short little revitalizing nap on the runway in Dublin.  Our flight got in an hour early and there was no available I put on my chakra cleansing meditation and we were moving the second it ended.

We took a taxi to our hotel and discovered that check-in wasn't until 3:00!  So we deliriously left our bags and headed into town for breakfast before having a surreal walk around (which included a marching band dressed as Leprechauns playing "Eye of the Tiger").

Full Irish Breakfast

Dublin Castle

A Gorgeous Iron Gate

I Was Obsessed With this Iron-Work

The Chester Beatty Library

Temple Bar Area

We managed quite well and then took a little disco nap before dinner and a Guinness (or two...)

In the end we stopped at a bar called "The Purty Kitchen" where there was a band playing covers and mash-ups.  They caught my attention with The Waterboys' "Fisherman's Blues"  (appropriate) and then made us smile when combining "I'm Yours" and "Paparazzi" acoustically.  Genius.

This trip was full of balance and quiet reassurance that I'm making the right choices and that I am committed to change.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Out of Towner

This week's assignment was to check in and see what our dreams are in need of.  It didn't take me more than a minute to know that my dreams needed me to get out of town, and even better, the country.

Lucky for me I had an Ireland getaway in the works! this blog is posting I will be enjoying my Sunday in Dublin and coming down after seeing The Waterboy's live for the first time :)
No laptop, no Twitter or Facebook...just me, my friends (Guinness and Jameson) and Ireland. Only kidding...I'm traveling with actual people too.
It's Spring! New beginnings! I'm stepping into my power and exploring new places (inside and out).


Thursday, March 18, 2010

"Green-Bean Casserole"

It's not just for Thanksgiving anymore!  And you don't have to use the canned onions either.

In my quest to cook healthy meals on a budget...I have created a stove top version of our beloved dish. It also enabled me to try out my newly acquired onion caramelizing skills. Exciting, no?

Caramelize, uncovered, in olive oil and sea salt to get the onions a little crispy:

I cooked one cup of brown rice in 2 cups of water with a bouillon cube (gluten and MSG-free).

In the meantime I simmered about 2 cups of frozen cut green beans in a large skillet with a little butter and water, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, sea salt, and a dash of onion powder.

In the end I mixed everything together with one can of Amy's Organic semi-condensed cream of mushroom soup and about 1/2 cup sliced almonds.

Oh my god.  I was craving turkey and cranberry sauce after the first bite.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

BLT Pizza

This was delicious!  I kicked back with some Brooklyn Brewery Winter Ale...watched some TV and relaxed with this yummy creation a couple weeks ago.

I make my own pizza dough and sauce, but your level of involvement is completely up to you :)

Basic Pizza Dough Recipe

I started the dough early in the day and set it to rise near my kitchen heater. I also cooked a package of bacon on a rack in the oven for about 30 minutes to get it nice and crisp (as well as save the drippings).

I also put the sauce on to simmer:

1 28oz can diced (organic) tomatoes
1 T (organic) tomato paste
1 t Minced Garlic
Onion Powder
Dried Basil
Dried Oregano
Fennel Seeds
Sea Salt

I basically made a bacon pizza (with cheddar cheese) and then topped it with a salad of spring mix and plum tomatoes (dressed with red wine vinegar, warm bacon drippings, onion powder, ground mustard and sea salt).

Heat oven to 400F (if you have a pizza stone, let it heat for 40-45 minutes) and bake pizza for 15-20 minutes or until crust is done and cheese is melted.  I bought a peel especially for pizza's really fun!


*I used the leftover bacon in some savory oatmeal for the next couple days!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Everyday Adventures

This week's assignment: Go on an adventure.

Monday morning I took a different route into the city. I had to go downtown for work related training and I decided to look at it as an adventure. I took the J to Broad Street which entails walking a completely different direction and the train is above ground!  What a nice change! I had the sun warming and blinding me in turn. I purposely didn't listen to my iPod so as to really experience the journey. It almost felt like I was on vacation since I'm so used to walking the same way every morning. As I looked around I noticed that the car was plastered with Jameson Ads, which is appropriate because my next big adventure begins this Thursday...when I fly to Dublin to see Ireland and The Waterboys for the first time!

Sometimes I get so entrenched in my routine that I forget there are other ways of getting somewhere.

I made a point of going on a few little adventures this past week.  I got a new haircut and indulged in a little red wine while at the salon, then randomly picked a little East Village Mexican place to catch up with friends. Then on Saturday I went into Times Square for Alice in Wonderland, got caught in a downpour, dried off and chatted for hours over Scottish Beer and a Salmon BLT.

Good Times.


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Making Room for Energy

 My Woefully Under-Used Yoga Mat

This week's Creative Dreams assignment was to look at our lives and see what dreams we aren't making room for.  I thought about it, and there's no mistake.  I am not making room for being physically fit.  I want there to be a day when I don't have back pain and feel lithe and light and strong.

This won't happen with me collapsing on the couch after work.

How does a person make room for activity when in their downtime they just feel like sleeping or decompressing from a week of subway rides and sitting behind a desk?  Shouldn't I want to move after all that!?  Instead I feel too drained to do much of anything and there are dishes to wash, laundry to to be avoided!!!

Maybe I'm just too used to feeling tired and worn out to let it go?  Like, who would I be if I was full of energy and free of the pain and tenseness???

Hmmm....even all this thinking and my tight neck, back and shoulders hasn't opened up a space for exercise yet.  Thank goodness I have to walk to the train and back every day!  I wouldn't have much activity in my life if I didn't do that.

I dream of getting exercise organically throughout the day or something fun, like dancing.  I took tango classes for about a year and loved the dancing but ended up being drained by the tango scene.

This is going to take more than a week to "fix."  Anyone have a suggestion?


P.S. I also haven't been making much room for blogging lately...and I feel the difference in my energy and I intend to remedy that as well.