Monday, March 17, 2014

Saint Patrick's Day

As one who derives a great deal of his identity from his Irish heritage, it may sound like apostasy but: I hate Saint Patrick's Day. Well, hate is a strong word. Strongly dislike? Really struggle with? I don't know where to place it, really, but it seems to me that it falls someplace between getting a filling without anesthesia and watching Miley Cyrus twerk on national television.

I didn't always feel this way. When we were kids, the whole month of March was filled with excitement. We were hauled all over Cleveland to perform at senior centers, parish dinners, and grade schools. On Saint Patrick's Day itself, the fife & drum corp would march into Saint Coleman's Church and then, afterward, we'd march in the parade. Once in high school, I started playing at "paying" gigs and would make a few hundred dollars for a day's worth of music.

I haven't performed on Saint Patrick's Day since...2003, I think. It's not necessarily because I didn't want to play. One year I was on a Native American reservation and, when I lived in New York, I wasn't playing with a regular group. My custom over the past eleven years, oddly enough, has been to go to a Mexican restaurant rather than a pub: they are far less crowded, as you can imagine, on 3/17.

My distaste for the public celebrations is certainly not novel: I think it's so weird to see people clad in outlandish green outfits, complete with shamrock antennae and glasses, walking on the street. And while I'm certainly not opposed to have a couple of pints, I'm shocked with this being a total excuse for people to binge drink as though it were a badge of cultural heritage.

That said, I'm actually playing in a pub for the first time in over a decade. A few musicians from my regular Monday night seisiún asked me to join them from 12-4 at the Green Dragon. It's early enough in the day that it shouldn't be too insane and, perhaps, it'll ease back into this type of performance.


I know the blog has been quiet of late. I've been really busy and, to be frank, uninspired to write. There's nothing at all wrong: it's just my focus has been more on metaphysics than on updating! Between school, playing at feiseanna, teaching RCIA, and reading a lot it's hard for me to sit down and write. At least, it's often difficult to "just do it." Sometimes an idea bursts forth, other times it has to be dragged out. It's most certainly a temporary phase!

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