It’s rainy and it’s not just a regular Monday, it’s a holiday Monday. Remembrance Day is one of those strange, “sort of” statutory holidays in Canada. In British Columbia some people get a day off, but not everyone. It’s confusing, but I’m just happy that I’m one of the lucky ones. It meant not only did I get away for a couple of days to Seattle for some early Christmas shopping, but I had time for a night out with friends and a catch up day at home.
The shopping trip to Seattle was a huge success – well if you can call buying five (!!) new pairs of boots successful. Spent a couple of hours at Designer Shoe Warehouse and for about a quarter of what I would pay in Canada I’m all set for the winter, well maybe a couple of winters! These little beauties are my new favourites, I figure I am going to wear them every day in New Orleans.
Met up with a friend for dinner, drinks and eventually some music last night. One of my new favourite places is a tiny tapas bar in Gastown, The Sardine Can. Including the bar, maybe 25 seats. Really excellent wine selection and fantastic tapas. A bottle of Tempranillo chased away the cold, along with my favourite, Sardines on Toast. Made with fresh, house smoked sardines it bears no resemblance to those nasty, oily things you get in cans. But the very best, not to be missed, is the Chocolate Terrine with olive oil, sea salt and fresh ground chili. With an Amontillado sherry – well in some cases chocolate just might be better than sex!
Feeling much revived we headed off to Pourhouse for some live jazz, New Orleans style. I’ve wanted to try Pourhouse for some time, isn’t it fantastic when somewhere is better than you expect! A chocolate Porter seemed like just the thing as we lounged in the luxe art deco chairs and enjoyed the intimate, cozy atmosphere and great music. And a rarity these days – not a TV in site. Not a bad Sunday night at all!
So today I’m doing all those things you do when you are really just wasting time, but want to pretend you are being productive. Waste time on Facebook – done. Clean up my emails – done. Write my blog – done, but definitely not a waste of time, this writing is hard work. Making my final bookings for New Orleans for Christmas and New Years – time-consuming but not a waste of time at all! Historic apartment in the French Quarter for two weeks, Old Town Inn in Marigny for the last week, flights booked on points (that one took about an hour all by itself) but heck when it’s free, I can invest some time. Done and done! I’m out of here mid-December, not coming back till it’s 2013.
I’ve got a great project ongoing that is maybe the best “doing nothing but being productive” project ever. Bought myself a photo scanner and I’m scanning in, one by one, ALL of my old family photos. I have taken a lot of pictures over the years and although a few made it into actual albums (remember those?) most are stuffed in boxes in a closet upstairs that no-one ever looks in. So digitize, save in a couple of different places and out go the shoe boxes. Here is today’s favourite scan, because, you know, everyone should take a look back at their weddings pictures from time to time. Check me out as a blushing bride! Truly priceless.
And my very favourite time waster – checking out new and somewhat obscure music. NPR’s All Songs Considered is a great place to spend time hanging out listening to the newest stuff out there, and I love the Tiny Desk concerts. Today’s treasure is a new song from Wanda Jackson singing with Justin Townes Earle. It’s called “Am I Even a Memory” and it’s the sort of twangy, honky-tonk revival, Patsy Cline tear jerker made for rainy days in front of the fire.
Ms. Jackson is a 75-year-old rockabilly pioneer who toured with Elvis in the ’50’s and is still going strong. Last year Jack White produced her record, “The Party Ain’t Over”. Here she is covering Shakin All Over on Letterman with Jack sitting in on guitar. Damn girl, when I’m 75 I want to be you!!
And if you need to waste a bit more time, check out Robert Cray’s Tiny Desk Concert. Blues as it should be sung.
Well I have to go back to something really productive now, I’m prepping for my NOLA trip by re-reading the Sookie Stackhouse novels.