Sudden Death

I woke up  feeling all sorry for myself because all I did was work this week, but by the time I got out of bed, I remembered that’s not true.  I’m such an exaggerator.

In fact, I saw Joseph Arthur perform just two nights ago.  I love Joe – as a musician, a painter and an actual person.  I’ve seen him a number of times, but this show was really a stand-out.  Bobby Bare, Jr. opened up for him and, whoa!, I was instantly smitten – and not just because I’m a big fan of “real” country artists and his dad is, you guessed it, Bobby Bare.  And not just because he has an EP of America and Bread covers, on which, you guessed it, he covers A Horse With No Name.  No.  Because he was really good.

I guess he could have been great by doing A Horse With No Name live, but he did do Sister Golden Hair.  I suppose I forgive this.  It’s not like he knows what that would have meant to me.  Of course I was in the bathroom at that very Sister Golden Hair moment, so I only heard part of it, but it made me wholly happy anyway.

Joe was in perfect form.  And he painted live on stage, which was cool.  I’ll YouTube some of that later.  (My YouTube page is linked here for handy reference.) For now, here is one of my favorite songs in the universe, Honey and the Moon.  

Further proof that I didn’t only work this week:  on Tuesday, I had dinner with a good friend who I never see.  That Adults-in-New-York Syndrome.  After about six months of re-scheduling, we finally got it together and went to one of our favorite restaurants, Periyali.  We both have a penchant for these super delicious gigantic (2″ big!) white beans that they have.  Served on pureed garlic.  Fantastic.

Periyali used to be one of my mother’s and father’s favorite restaurants too, so it gives me that extra level of comfort whenever I go there.  I’m hyper-conscious of connections like this lately.  My dad died nearly 15 years ago, a few days after the Super Bowl.  The Chargers and 49ers were playing.  Miami.  He had ended up in a hospice there a couple of days before the game and my family and I could not find an available hotel room nearby without paying a fortune.

My then-employer did something that no now-employer would ever do:  they booked us a suite, at thousands of dollars a night, for as long as we needed it – and never mentioned it again.  Turns out it was in the same hotel that the players were in.  I’d spend my days in the most emotionally draining and drama filled situations I’ve ever been in and at night, I’d come back to this glitzy tower full of linebackers and swarming press.

Then, everyone checked out and my Dad died.

I hadn’t brought a dress to Florida because that would have jinxed things.  For me, shopping in some cheesy Miami mall for an outfit to wear to my father’s funeral might be the only thing more surreal than waiting  in a hotel chock full of NFL players for my father to die, but there I was, doing both.  I spoke at his service and apparently was extremely moving.  Someone taped it and mailed it to me later, but I’ve never opened the envelope.

The 49ers won by the way.

This year’s Super Bowl is also in Miami.  I’m paying more attention to this game than I have to any since 1995.  I really, really want the Saints to win, for a lot of reasons.  I might even wear my Who Dat Nation sweatshirt every day from now until the big game just to show my support.  I let my beloved Phillies down in October, when I didn’t wear my lucky necklace a couple of days and it’s important I keep my eye on the prize this time.

I hope this doesn’t sound all melancholy; I’m not actually feeling that way.  And, really, get off my sac, at least I didn’t mention kissing again.

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6 Responses to “Sudden Death”

  1. coco Says:

    that was a touching post.

  2. Robert Goolrick Says:

    Just wonderful. In addition to painting, did Joe forget the tune to one of my favorite songs? Go Saints!

  3. R Says:

    wow. dearest herb. wish i could be your friend again. plz don’t block me (like a linebacker). xoxo

  4. creamybuddha Says:

    wow – i stopped breathing from this one. maybe its because i know you a little more now. maybe its because i was mentioned.
    keep it coming.

  5. The biggest hit that ever was « Plants and Birds and Rocks and Things Says:

    […] don’t get me wrong.  I have plenty of poignant and touching memories of my dad, but my musical ones are just […]

  6. ray Says:

    beautiful picture


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