Friday, April 11, 2008

St. Patrick's Day - 2008

From Gibby's St Pa...

Well that went by fast, didn't it? After weeks of preparation, the night whizzed by almost as fast as my wedding night. I won't go into too much detail about THAT night here - at least yet.

Now about St. Patty's Day here at Gibby's...

Last year, those of you with more omega 3 oils in your diet will remember that we ran out of food before we ran out of hungry people. Now, generally, I believe in the old adage -- "you snooze, you lose" -- but in Ann's mind, that was a no-no.

So this year, we were peeling spuds, and cooking off beef, and frosting cupcakes, and...

...did I say we?

Oops. I helped a little, but anyone who's spent time with Ann in the kitchen will tell you it's better to let her be.

But I digress... About the party.

What a great time! Folks showed up fairly early and that helped lower my anxiety. We'd decided to have an "Open Mic Competition" instead of our Trivia Quiz since I had gotten so much grief over the answers last time. Geez, the questions are supposed to be hard!

My brother Alex (Buddy) and I decided we'd put together a few songs and so we spent some time practicing in the weeks before the party. That was a lot of fun and a great excuse to spend more time with my brother... So the night of the party, I was itching to get going.

About 7pm, Ann had the food out. As you'll see in the photos linked below, there was plenty. Shepherd's Pie, Guinness Beef Stew, Irish Sausage Rolls, cupcakes, soda bread, corned beef, cabbage -- even colcannon!

The crowd hit the food hard, and it survived (we had a ton of Shepherd's Pie left - yum!).

About 9pm, we kicked off the Open Mic Competition. Buddy and I tuned up and hit the stage. We had a carefully choreographed set list and even some special sound effects for our first number -- Wish You Were Here. I took the standard Pink Floyd opening -- you know the sound of a radio dial being changed from station to station -- and added some local flavor to it. I added in a bunch of cuts, mostly from TV, including Bozo, Twilight Zone, David Letterman, etc. It came out pretty good, if I don't say so myself.

Ann was in charge of the sound effects. I hit the lights, she hit the button, and off we went. For a couple of rank amateurs, we did pretty good (links to the video here somewhere), or at least the crowd was drunk enough to make us think so. Ann kind of missed her cue at the end of WYWH -- you know, the wind blowing noise -- but eventually we got through it. Then it was off to the next song - Margaritaville. I thought the harmonies were better than it sounded on the video, but hey, I manage computers for a living!

Buddy did a great job on Good Riddance ("Hope You Had The Time of Your Life") and we finished with one of my favorites -- I Wish I Were Back Home In Derry. The Bobby Sands song.

After that, the other contestants hit the stage. Next came Mike Cattrell. He did "The Jolly Tinker" kind of Karaoke style, and nailed it. Of course, it helps he's 100% Irish...

Next came Rick Brown, doing a bit of stand-up and relating the story of the two drunken Irishmen, and the sausage trick for free beer. I'll take the time to post it one of these days.

Then came Tom and Naomi. Naomi acted as Ed McMahon for Tom's Karnak the Magnificent -- huge turban and all. I've got to say Naomi is a natural onstage... Tom's not bad either. The Karnac jokes were great and the crowd had a great laugh.

Finally, we finished with Betsey and Tom Simpson. They started with a great version of Mother by good old Pink Floyd (a trend?), did a wicked rendition of Willin' (I understand one of Betsey's all-time faves), and finished with Brown-Eyed Girl.

I couldn't help myself for jumping in at the end and doing my own impersonation of aging chubby Van Morrison. The crowd chimed in and everyone had a great time.

Then it was time to vote for the best -- and Mike came out the crowd favorite. No arguments there, he did great. He won the first ever Gibby's Cup.

Besides the cast of regulars, my sister Pixie and her husband Buzz came out. They did a great job videotaping the whole shebang as well.

Here's a picture of Pixie standing with Ann behind the bar.

And Buzz talking with Rick (aka Green Monstah) Brown...

Well we had a blast, and I hope you did, too. We're already planning the next get together, so stay tuned!

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