Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Rites of Passage

When I turned thirty, I was close to the Rockies, in a skiing resort called Panorama. The Streels were on tour, and part of that tour was playing at the Music in the Mountains festival. It was one of those places, like most ski resorts, which make you feel healthier just by being there- fresh mountain air, people jogging in the mornings, expensive outdoor wear for sale... Jon & I revisited the town where we hooked up, and I got a pair of running shoes for my birthday.

That night, the night I became 30, we opened for Doug and the Slugs, a Canadian band that was popular back in the '80s with hits like "Makin' It Work" and "Tomcat Prowl". I was kind of excited to be in the small crowd as night fell... What followed was like Exhibit A of Rock Stars Who Fall Off The Wagon and Drink Themselves Into Bitter Bloated Parodies of Their Former Selves, Mocking the Audience Between Every Song And Making Everyone Feel Uncomfortable. I tell you, it was too, too sad. When I heard of his death a mere 2 months later, I was completely unsurprised. But for that one night, it was a brush with sorta-fame, and I proceeded to get very inebriated and sneak into a hot tub at about 1 in the morning, head spinning with the booze and the heat.

Which I only bring up because I've had some good birthdays in my 30's: Panorama, Whistler (last summer-getting drunk on Bailey's and nearly stumbling straight into a giant bear) and, memorably, the summer before that with Whistler Theatre Project)...
In 3 days I'll be 34, but what will this year bring me in terms of work, joys, griefs, love...? I've just signed up for piano lessons, rented a proper keyboard, about to register for Spanish lessons... Stage One of what I've been jokingly calling the Alison Finishing School. By the time I'm 35, will I be a better musician? A healthier person? Making more money? Smoking or non? Unless it's pouring, I know I'll be celebrating my birthday by... doing a show!

By the way, I've told J that I would very much like an iPod Shuffle for by birthday; that and an iTunes gift card. Because nothing will make me want to go running all the time than a tiny MP3 player that clips to my clothing, and a whole whack of new tunes to hear on it. Let's hope he comes though...

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