I got an email from a friend last night saying she saw my face when she was in Berlin last week. I've been so busy working on a couple of different deadlines, visiting New York City's museums for Fodor's Travel Guides, getting a year older, getting my pup a haircut, and avoiding household duties, that I didn't even notice that I was in Berlin ... but it seems like the perfect explanation for my absence here, so let's go with it.
A few things I would have talked about if I wasn't not at a film festival in Berlin ...
Irish entrepreneur Ashlee Casserly is on a mission to make you the life of the party. A native of Westmeath now living in Washington DC, Casserly was recently successfully funded in her Kickstarter project to bring some authentic Irish culture to the States in the shape of Poitín, the thousand-year-old Irish liquor banned by the British Crown in 1661 (hence the name). Instead of showing up to a party with a bottle of been-there-drank-that Jameson or Baileys, you can soon produce a bottle of Poitín—a drink rooted in Irish tradition, history, and spirit (it may have been banned for three-hundred-years but it was secretly distilled all across Ireland), but appealing to a modern, discerning drinker. By all appearances, 1661 will be the real deal, handcrafted in small batches in an Irish distillery using only local Irish ingredients.
We may have missed the boat on funding the first batch of Poitín (bummer, we also missed out on the cool T-Shirt and our names on the packaging) but I'll stay in touch with the makers and shakers so we can all be ready to swap out our whiskeys, bourbons, and vodkas and shake up our cocktails with this old-but-new rocket fuel. Check out Casserly's recipes for Cucumber Poitini, The Kennedy (a cranberry-Poitín cocktail), and Irish Iced Tea for inspiration and get ready to raise your glass to Irish innovation. Watch this space ...
Stalk 1661 on Facebook
Sinéad O'Connor just released her new album, How About I Be Me (And You Be You)? Rolling Stone Magazine calls it her "strongest album in years." Not sure if that's because it's her first recording in five years, but I just downloaded it and can't wait to decide for myself. I want to love it. Already love that O'Connor told RS that she would have called her album "How About I Be Me (And You Fuck Off)?" but she was worried Walmart wouldn't stock it.
Sinéad is currently touring to promote the album and a review of her El Rey concert on the L.A. Times Music Blog made me wish I could have caught her in action while she was in New York last week:
"As she made her way to the microphone, many were perhaps wondering whether she had endured some sort of breakdown, and if so, how it would manifest itself during the concert. There were probably even a few gawkers in attendance. But as the capacity crowd welcomed her with a collective cheer that seemed filled with compassion, O’Connor flashed a big smile and those dimples shined; her eyes lighted up, and a palpable sense of relief filled the El Rey. She’s OK. Now, can she still sing?
Yes. Holy mother of God, yes... "How about I give the album a listen (and you give it a listen, too)?
Listen to two songs from Sinéad's new album for free on Soundcloud
Download her new album on Amazon ($5.99)
Work Your Angles
I've been dusting off my resume the past week and taking a realistic look at strengths and weaknesses, things I like to do and things I don't like to do, and considering what I bring to the table and what I already want to find at same table (if I must leave my own table at home). I came across this"Hire Me I'm Irish" T-Shirt and was reminded of a time years ago when I was hired because my interviewer's Grandmother had the same surname as my Grandmother. Hey, in this economy, you have to work every angle ...