Tag Archives: Music

Summer Kickoff: Kate Wolf Festival

Tim and friends chill at our Kate Wolf camp in the late afternoon sun

I danced on stage with Los Lobos! (The band – not actual wolves.)

Okay, I know this might not be much of a big deal for many seasoned music show attenders – but hopping up on that stage was a bold move for me. One of those “What the hell, I’m almost 50, what am I holding back for?” moments. And yes, I was fueled by a couple of potent margaritas, and sure the band had invited audience members up on stage while they launched into their encore of Grateful Dead songs, and it’s true I gained courage and inspiration by seeing a couple of close friends up there – but still.

I, Sarah O’Leary, who is usually too shy to go front and center actually hopped up on the big stage and danced with the band. I grabbed my sister’s hand and we ran through the crowd and hoisted ourselves up on the stage. Continue reading

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Welcome To The North!

Hundreds of steps lead up to the temple called Wat Suthep

As the train pulled into Chiang Mai, I glimpsed my friend, Dave waiting patiently just as he’d promised. What a great guy and good friend – picking me up at the station, and whisking me through the city, pointing out some landmarks and sites before pulling up at a favorite restaurant where we ate a delicious breakfast of fresh fruit, yogurt and muesli accompanied by steaming lattes. Now that’s a pleasant arrival. I am blessed indeed!

Dave lives in the Chiang Mai area where he and his Burmese wife, Fai, have bought a condo in the city as well as a house up in the village of Arunothai  that borders Burma. The village dwelling is large enough to house several of her family members who were able make the move into Thailand and try a chance at a better life. A small store in a separate building on the property sells sundries, bringing in some cash for the whole family.

Bonnie and her mother, Fai

But today we were in Chiang Mai, and after breakfast we drove over to their condo which borders the university and I met Fai for the first time and their beautiful and precocious 3-year-old daughter, Bonnie. The child instantly began gabbling to me in a curious mixture of Thai, Chinese and English. Dave explained that they are raising her to be trilingual. Her first language is a Yunnan Chinese that Fai and her Burmese family speak. And of course since she lives in Thailand, she is fairly proficient at Thai, and she is quickly learning English.

“People say if you don’t see the Wat Suthep temple you haven’t seen Chiang Mai,” Dave said. “I thought that would be the place to go today.” I readily agreed and the whole family packed up for an excursion up the mountain to the temple and surrounding environs.

The mountain known as Doi Suthep rises huge and majestic in the haze to the west of the city. One of the first things Dave pointed out is that no matter how lost you get you can look to the mountain, know that it is west, and then orient yourself that way. A good tip for me – the one always getting lost! Continue reading

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Bruce Cockburn Rocks!

I’ve been listening to Bruce Cockburn’s music for more than 20 years, and no matter how many times I’ve heard them, his songs still move and inspire me. His CDs (well now playlists) accompany me on every long drive to San Francisco and singing along keeps me upbeat and moving forward (instead of falling asleep – it’s a LONG drive!)

The Canadian singer/songwriter has played here in Humboldt just a few times over the years, but it had been a several since we last saw an appearance. But my good friend Greg King, who runs the Siskiyou Land Conservancy, managed to snag Bruce to play here in Arcata as a benefit for his nonprofit.

Bruce has traveled into war zones, and witnessed tragedy, joy and the spaces in between. He sings to share his vision of the havoc wreaked on humanity and mother earth, but he also sings love songs that punch you right in that heart chakra. I’m no musician – to me it’s all about the lyrics -  but even I can enjoy his occasional instrumental composition. And I can tell musical talent when I hear it, even if I can’t tell you why it’s good.

In short, Bruce Cockburn is awesome! I recommend anyone who hasn’t  heard his music to check it out here.

Will the real Bruce Cockburn please step forward

And guess what? He even looks like my husband! (Okay, Bruce is second from the right, he’s pictured here with Tim, Greg – another look-alike – and Tim’s sister Mary.) Continue reading

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