The remainder of my French Quarter Festival was extremely pleasant. Saw artists I had never seen, got some sun, ate some good food, even had a couple of Pat O'Briens Hurricanes.
Some standouts of the weekend....music-wise: the previously mentioned Lillian Boutte' and Los Hombres Calientes, plus Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Revue (awesome rockabilly style), Paul Sanchez & the Rolling Road Show (damn! Debbie Davis can sing!), The Brass-a-holics, The Renard Poche' Band (damn! Leslie Smith can sing!), and Los Po-Boy-Citos (just plain fun).....food-wise: (my yearly tradition of) beef brisket topped with a sinus clearing horseradish sauce from Tujague's, beef tenderloin with mac & cheese from Crazy Johnnie's, pulled pork sammich from The Joint, roast beef po' boy from Boucherie, and strawberry shortcake from Begue's .
It's hard to beat spending a leisurely weekend by the river with a friendly, music loving crowd eating, drinking, and watching musicians who love what they do. That crowd is such a BIG part of my Fest. I will always find humans to be fascinating creatures and there is not a better place for people watching than FQF. There are happy people everywhere. The Brass Band Stage is the biggest party. People from all walks of life come together for the funky groove. You will see kids, old people, white, black, women in tight-tight shorts, guys in hawaiian shirts, and always lots of gold teeth. It's all there. Everyone you can think of dancing, sweating, and smiling blissfully. Another happy group I witnessed was during a jam band set that I happened to catch. Not really my kind of music but they were funky enough and in the end they kind of converted me by doing the "old school" song "No Parking on the Dance Floor" by Midnight Star. I couldn't take my eyes off the group of hippie kids squirming, jerking, and flailing to the music. There was a hula hoop, a crystal ball, body glitter, unshaved legs & pits, dreadlocks, and B.O. aplenty! It was like watching a strange hybrid of the Manson Family and Austin Powers - creepy and funny at the same time. But hey, they were having a good time and weren't hurting anyone (other than the B.O.). To me, our differences make life interesting.
I was sad to see it all end and to say it was difficult going back to work is an understatement. I like my job and the people I work with but I've been feeling restless lately. Feeling the need to be creative. Feeling like I haven't quite found my "thing" yet. This is something I want to figure out. I remember when, after much indecision, I settled on accounting as a major in college (just to get it over with). My cousin Sherrie said to me, I can't believe you are majoring in accounting, I thought for sure you'd do something artistic." I didn't have an answer for that at the time but now, looking back, I see what she meant. When I was a kid I was the first one to sing into the hair brush and dance in front of the fireplace at family functions. I also had no problem singing and dancing in the doorway of the bar downstairs from our apartment for the old men who put quarters in the jukebox. My favorite song was "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" by Jim Croce and I usually got a Slim Jim or a brown bottle of Birch Beer after my performance. Payment enough. But as I grew older I became riddled with the insecurities that plague most adolescents. I refused the spotlight in the high school choir....the fear of that large crowd overrode any small confidence I may have had in my abilities. And yet, I still loved the thought of singing in a band. I also always enjoyed English, literature, and writing but doubted that I had any particular talent for it. And besides, what was I going to do with an English degree? Teach? That involved being in the spotlight and wasn't for me. I didn't even consider that there were other possibilities. The fear won out. It's sad when you realize that you let self-doubt prevent you from doing something that you might have loved and enjoyed doing. I settled on accounting because it was "practical" and I will always be disappointed that I let myself do that. It went against my natural way of being. Practical is not me. But as they say, you can't rewrite history. The least I can say is that with age came enough wisdom for me to be comfortable being me. I found a place that I love, and since I'm still alive and kickin' there's always the possibility that I will find my "thing".