One year ago, on the first Tuesday of November, 2010, I substituted for the inestimable jjfmi as host of what turned out to be the last night of his open mic at AJ’s Music Cafe in Ferndale. The owner had made a contact with someone who would host a mainstream radio show on Tuesday nights using the talent coming to the open mic, with this contact as the host.* This would be only a good thing for the venue, of course. The circumstances of John’s sacking were pretty dishonorable (e.g., I knew before John did, for one ugly example), and it gave me the perfect excuse (as if I ever really needed one) to never darken the door of that venue again. This concluded a multi-year, multi-owner span of attending open mics in that building that frequently left me wondering what the hell I was doing there. John was, at the worst of it, the only reason I went back. When he was no longer there, I had no reason at all to put up with the shenanigans I had been putting up with.
The one thing about this turn of events was, it was pretty much the end of the last involvement I had with any regular open mic night. Trixie’s open mic ended along with the venue a year earlier, in October 2009. I’d made a stab at another one or two places, but didn’t really feel committed to them. From November 2010, I didn’t feel obligated to go anywhere anymore. For the first time since the fall of 1993, I didn’t go out to open mics, except for a handful of times.
Regular readers may remember what happened then, or at least what I said happened. My mother took ill in late October 2010, which really ramped up with a heart attack in early November, which led to bypass surgery in January, which was followed by a long convalescence and a cavalcade of doctor and hospital visits for the following nine months. She has been in good shape since early September, for which I’m very thankful. (Of course, she’s still elderly, but doing OK given that condition.) When the worst of her convalescence had passed, I started seriously taking steps to improve my own health, which explains all this gym stuff I write about sometimes. Add in the day job and my relationship with Dave, along with the need for some quiet time, and you can see how I might not really miss having a regular musical commitment.
Except… that’s not really the whole story, now, is it?
* The show was only a podcast, not broadcast on the air, and ended after a few months.