Paddy who?

Posted by on Thursday, March 17th, 2005

Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh, etc, etc. Happy St. Patrick’s Day, all y’all. This day . . .well, my view of this day vacillates. My own connection to the festival and the greater Irish/Celtic community requires me to do a ton of work right around Paddy’s day for the festival, which wears some of the shine off the apple. I love that people spend the day embracing Irish culture, but I want to strangle people who serve dyed Budweiser and call it Irish. I love that, when I was playing out, I had the choice of places to play or dance and sessions to join. And I hate that dozens of people would demand that I sing Danny Boy as if my freckles were some sort of contractual obligation to Paddy-up on demand. Confound it, I hate that song. Same goes for When Irish Eyes are Smiling (when an Irish-American girl is puking, more like) and Tooraloorakillmenowpleeeze. I used to lie and say I’d never heard of any of them. Which got better responses than my standard refusal–I guess people prefer ignorance and/or lying to honest refusal. Anyway. Please, appease me for two more seconds and all my ire will be spent and I’ll be finished with my snobbery. Killian’s is not Irish beer, it’s Coors and thus crappy. Lager need never be dyed green. There is more to Irish culture than stinky green soap and leprechauns (which, I’ll have you know, barely make a blip on the country’s fantastic mythic and folkloric tapestry). And please, for the love of, well, whatever you love, don’t give money to any terrorist shills this year, no matter how much good they tell you it will do and no matter which side they’re shilling for. It only makes everything in the north worse. Right. That’s done.

Please, world, come in and borrow my culture now, have as much soda bread and Guinness and Murphys and corned beef and cabbage (always a puzzler, that product of New York Irish and New York Jews living close together . . . "Hey! You got your cabbage on my corned beef!" ""What? You got your corned beef in my cabbage!" It’s wacky diaspora fun!) as you like, sing along and rattle the floorboards. Hell, even ask me for some free lessons and I’ll teach you some songs or phrases or dance steps. Just clean up when you leave, and don’t blame us for your hangover.

Today will be a good Paddy’s Day, because I get to see my pal’s band Tinsmith play at Jammin Java, which is right close to where I work. Which means that it only makes sense for me to go fabric and/or needle shopping at the dear little places between work and the gig, because I’m teaching my pal Cindy to knit tonight while we hang out with our pal Dana at the Tinsmith merch table. At least two of my pals from the Potomac Celtic Festival to hang with, at least one friend on stage, and at least one delicious beer in my belly with my fine fine dinner. Lovely. Maybe even lovely squared.

Yesterday I stayed home with a cough, hoping that today I would have a voice and that I could avoid spreading this latest plague any further through the office. It seems to have worked. I knitted what should end up being a lovely little felted Manos business card holder, and I swatched a bunch of possible felt-food options. I finished Squarehead’s socks, which I know fit him well because I plain forced him to put one on the other night. And I worked on my ruana, which I had left languishing for some time because it tricked me into using a single strand of yarn that was totally and absolutely wrong intertwined with a lovely pleasing strand of yarn for two rows. I got the bad boy out of there on Saturday and added a couple of inches of width to the ruana yesterday. I love that it’s made entirely of scrap and it’s looking pretty good, but I’m afraid it’s another object that is destined for someone else’s closet. Meh. I’ll live.

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