Today is May 5th… or better known as Cinco de Mayo. I don’t know why Cinco de Mayo is such a popular day other than the connection to Mexican food and Margaritas. Today a friend showed up at work and mentioned that on the way home he needed to stop by a nearby Mexican restaurant to pick up some chips and queso… and my mouth has been watering ever since!
I gained several pounds over the last year by eating too much “comfort food”… pizza, fries, lots of bread and… Mexican food. On the way home my cravings kept trying to talk me into stopping by and getting a queso… or two, and of course chips, salsa and queso.
I managed to resist the temptation and stopped into the QT (I should never stop there when hungry as it has soooo much junk food), thinking a bottle of flavored water would quench my craving (what was I thinking?). I did pretty well as I ended up with water and two steak taquitos… although I really couldn’t taste any steak in them at all. I would also argue that a steak taquito from a QT really isn’t Mexican food at all!
As I think about the time and energy I have spent today trying to stay away from chips, queso, and my favorite steak fajita nachos (the list gets longer as the day goes on), I am reminded of the power of suggestion. Getting ready for a walk? Someone might say, “it sure looks like rain”… and I might choose a nap instead. Another person might ask if I am feeling ok (while suggesting that I don’t look so good), and while I was feeling ok… now that you mention it I do have a bit of a headache (and my hip pain is starting to flair up a bit!)
I might go out for a ride in a little while, I hear there are some good deals at Taco Bell for Cinco de Mayo… make that a number 1, 2 and 5 please… and extra taco sauce.😉 Happy Cinco de Mayo… now when is hamburger and fries day?!
As I continue to look for more opportunities to play ukulele in 2020 (#moreuke2020 🙂), I have enjoyed a couple of gigs to start the year off. Usually the year starts a bit slow due to the colder weather, so I found it encouraging that I was contacted to play this early in the year.
Early in February, I played at Truett’s Luau for their Father/Daughter event. It was a wonderful event and great to see all of the Dad’s treating their daughters to a special night out. Truett’s Luau is a one-of-a-kind Hawaiian themed Chick-Fil-A located in Fayetteville, GA. The Luau is named after Chick-Fil-A founder Truett Cathy, who had this vision for a specialty Hawaiian-themed restaurant.
There are many things I love about Truett’s Luau the tropical atmosphere, hospitality and... milkshakes! When entering the restaurant, you are greeted by hosts who are friendly and embrace that aloha spirit!
As you look around you will see ukuleles on the wall for customers to play if they like and there are also numerous Hawaiian themed decorations. On one side of the restaurant are booths, tables and a menu that includes Hawaiian flavored food options. On the other side of the restaurant (which includes the traditional Chick-Fil-A menu items), there is a patio (“lanai”) and a beautiful waterfall (a great place to eat during warmer weather).
While we have played at Truett’s Luau in the past as the Parrot Island Band, this was my first time back as a solo uke player. I alternated playing near the entrance where daughters could have their face painted and walking around visiting/playing at individual tables.
My evening at Truett’s Luau was very enjoyable and it looked like everyone (from parents and children to employees alike) had a fun evening. I loved seeing all the smiling faces, dads and daughters together… and hopefully the music I provided helped make the evening a little more festive.
I look forward to playing again at Truett’s Luau soon. It’s a bit of a drive for me – an hour and a half each way - but I always leave wishing this restaurant was in Acworth, where I live. I think I’d have a regular place to play! Thanks to the good folks at the Luau for helping me start the new year off right...
As I continue looking for ways to live out my 2020 theme “More Uke”, today I made a visit to Papayago Parrot Rescue in Marietta, Georgia. I played ukulele for the parrots a few times in 2019 but they moved from a house close to us to a new building about 30 minutes away.
Papayago Rescue House, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization that helps rescue, rehabilitate, retrain and re-home parrots. Papayago houses over 100 parrots from the very smallest to the largest of parrots. The family that runs Papayago has a deep love for these birds and it is obvious that they are concerned for their well-being.
When I entered the Papayago building today, I first saw the African Grey parrots together in an area just to the left. I think African Greys are my favorites as they are very laid back, not very noisy and they make some really interesting sounds! I played my uke for these parrots and they swayed to the music and seemed to remember/enjoy the music that I played for them.
As I wandered around the building and played for the rest of the birds, some would come to the front of their cages while others were a little more cautious. A few always get a bit noisy when I come by… not sure if they are trying to sing along or maybe telling me to keep moving!
Two parrots in particular, Sugar and Sweetness, were trying really hard to tell me something (or maybe requesting a song?). I listened and also tried to respond; they are probably still trying to figure out what I was saying….
Now that I have seen where the new Papayago facility is located, I hope to stop back by occasionally. I usually joke that it is great having a captive audience to play for, but I do hope they enjoy the stimulation a bit.
As many of these parrots have outlived their owners or the circumstances of their families have changed, I am thankful that there are places like this that have a heart to care for such beautiful and intelligent birds. Of the many places that I have played music, a parrot rescue is certainly one of the most unique. Until next time… “More Uke 2020”.
I’ve seen several people online (my wife included) picking a word or a theme for the new year. My theme for this year is “More Uke 2020”. I didn’t play as much in 2019 as I have in recent years and I’ve missed it.
As 2019 draws to a close… I am practicing a few new chords, bought a new ukulele, and I am making plans to make 2020 a year of Uke fun and adventure! I spent a good part of December playing for various senior groups in the area… something that was enjoyable for me and hopefully, those who listened.
While I have always enjoyed getting out and playing Uke gigs, I have been slow to embrace the need for self-promotion and keeping up with social media. I like the gigs… not so much the work it takes to get them!
I have now come to the conclusion that in order to get the gigs, I have to put in the work… so here goes, my last post for 2019… in preparation for many in 2020. I look forward to the many ukulele adventures ahead. If you have an event that needs music that makes people smile, let me know!
I am still in the process of trying to figure out this website🤣 So this is another trial run...
Jeff Holbrook, a friend and talented graphic designer created a new ukulele business card design and I just ordered some! I am hoping that I can beat the bushes (or is that palm trees?) and get some gigs lined up in the coming weeks and months...
In the meantime, if you find this post... and need some relaxing ukulele music🙂 get in touch... all the contact info is right there on the card!
Ukulele State of Mind
I am in the process of creating a new website. While I may stray from ukulele topics from time to time... I hope to use this platform to express my enjoyment of the ukulele and my journey to find more venues to play the ukulele for others. While I have played ukulele as part of the Parrot Island Band for several years now, a variety of circumstances have led me to begin playing as a solo ukulele musician for the time being.