Monday, March 20

Weekend Wrap-up

Note to self: When eating out, stop at one gin and tonic. It’s strange because the last time we threw a party at our place, I drank more than I ever have in my life I think and I felt fine. Loose, yes. Uninhibited, yes. Affectionate, yes. Sick, no. I don’t know what happened Saturday night, but I had a second gin and tonic, and it really did me in.

Joe and I went to dinner at Ruth’s Chris with P and L for L’s birthday. I don’t think I’d ever been inside Old City Hall before. It’s quite lovely. The meal was great, as one might expect. But I knew as soon as I took two sips of my second gin and tonic that I was in trouble. Actually, I was fine, albeit a bit goofy, through the rest of the dinner. Our plan post-dinner was to attend a party in Cambridge. As soon as I got in the car—no, I wasn’t driving—I began to feel ill.

I think the problem is that when I’m at a restaurant or bar—though I seldom find myself at a bar these days—I tend to drink my first cocktail rather quickly and move on to my second sans hiatus. This is probably not wise, especially on an empty stomach. On Saturday, my first drink was accompanied only by a bowl of lobster bisque, which I split with Joe. I’m sure there are some who will say it’s déclassé to split a bowl of soup at a fancy establishment, but I do not fall into that group.

Anyway, the point is that I had finished my first drink before my entrée had even arrived at the table. When I’m at a party, I tend to nurse my drinks because there are lots of people around, I move around a lot, I might put my drink down and go tend to something—this is especially true when I’m hosting. At a restaurant, sitting at a table, on the other hand, with the glass right in front of me, what else is there to do but drink it down? I guess I have a problem with self-restraint. L will love that one.

I recall that last week before our gig, I had a shot of vodka and a shot of plum brandy, but a) I had two helpings of a very hearty Indian meal beforehand and b) the shots were separated by more than an hour. The effect was that I was relaxed and loose, but not sick.

By the time we got to the party on Saturday, all I wanted to do was go to bed—and not in the good way. The result of my feeling so ill was that I ended up being very anti-social. It takes a real effort for me to mingle in a situation where I don’t know that many people. I’m painfully shy in most situations. I do much better in smaller, more intimate settings where I know people. In fact, in those settings, I’m not shy at all. I’m sure people who know me who might be reading this are saying, “Shy? Sandouri Dean Bey? Are you kidding?” Perhaps they’ve never seen me in a crowd, especially when that crowd consists of gay men I don’t know. I tend to become very intimidated and self-conscious (see number 32 on my list of 69 things about me) On Saturday, I knew very few of the guests. Add to that my very real fear that I might become physically ill, and the result was that I sat on the sofa without saying a word for the short duration of our stay. I felt like a real loser. The hosts are wonderful guys too, and they give nice parties.

Anyway, on Sunday our friend F brought over zeppole for la festa di San Giuseppe, or Saint Joseph’s Day. I always forget Joe’s nameday, but F always seems to remember. Zeppole are a wonderfully rich Italian cream-filled pastry and are the traditional confection associated with Saint Joseph’s Day. F bought them at Modern Pastry in the North End, rather than the more famous Mike’s, because, well, Modern is better and there are no tourists to deal with.

That afternoon, we went to see the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus, which my cousin recently joined. I had never been inside the Cutler Majestic Theater at Emerson. The restoration is impressive. It reminded me that I still haven’t seen the Opera House since its restoration not too long ago. Anyway, the show was nice. Metamorphosis, which filled the second half of the performance, was impressive. I especially enjoyed the dance piece.

After dinner, Outiboy and I played some music together, just the two of us, which we haven’t done in a while. It was nice. We’re trying to do more sandouri-oud duets. In the past, I’ve always wanted Joe to accompany me on the guitar. No, I’m not a diva. But I am a bit of a purist, and the guitar is the traditional accompaniment for sandouri. Lately, we’ve begun to work on arrangements for sandouri-oud-percussion for our threesome—er, trio—with Mike the drummer. There are a couple of Arabic and Turkish classical pieces that we’ll do. I think I’ll want to move away from the folkier stuff for the oud-sandouri duets, because the more danceable the piece, the more I want guitar.

I also find that I’m having an easier time with taxim/improvisation these days. Don’t get me wrong. I still have a long way to go. But I feel as if I’ve crossed a threshold, reached a new place. I think it’s all about learning the vocabulary of taxim—that is, the makams, motifs and licks that form the basis of taxim. As I become more familiar with those elements, I find myself using them with greater ease and confidence.


Blogger Ryan said...

sounds like not a bad weekend food drinks not 2 bad.

8:31 PM  
Blogger Will said...

It's sad that all the media attention went to the Opera House restoration, perhaps because it was far more deteriorated than the Majestic, probably because it had been a political and artistic controversy for so long.

The Majestic restoration is truly glorious and Emerson College deserves a huge amount of credit.

11:25 AM  
Blogger The Persian said...

I detest Gin... Can't even bear to smell it.

12:17 PM  
Blogger Perspective said...

the soloist in metamorphosis is none other than my client peter crosby....

10:39 PM  

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