bravestredhead

Archive for November, 2012|Monthly archive page

Taking a Break for Now

In Uncategorized on November 19, 2012 at 10:43 pm

Hi friends!

Thanks so much for following my  blog! I have several dedicated readers and I really appreciate their support.

This being said, after four years, I think it’s time for me to take a break from blogging, from keeping tally of my life on line.

I hope you won’t mind.  Sometimes I wonder how wise it is to make such private things essentially public.  So, I’m taking the very un-me approach and zipping my lips for a while.

Perhaps you’ll keep in touch with me through my professional web page www.alexpangman.com or visit the web home of my band with Tom, www.americanpour.com

Ciao for now, and thanks for reading! (Let’s see how long I can keep quiet ; )

ADDENDUM:

Before signing off I just want to remind you all that this blog came to you through the courtesy of my kind organ donor. PLEASE sign your organ donor consent and tell your family about your wishes to become a hero. In Ontario it’s www.beadonor.ca or google your province or state policy to BE A HERO!

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Quebec Tour

In Uncategorized on November 15, 2012 at 2:31 am

Well,

That was a lot of driving: 1800 KMs to be specific.

We left last Wednesday morning (the morning after the election) a little bleary eyed, for our  show in Montreal. This was a return visit to the club Upstairs, and my sister Jennifer was able to come to the show. It was nice to have family there because I wasn’t feeling my best.  I actually started back on anti biotics for another chest infection: they seem to come often these days. Anyhow, here I was on the road playing manager, singer, merch girl, and nurse again.  I think we actually did really well, except that it takes several days before anti biotics work, which meant they didn’t improve my breathing on the tour.  My trumpet  player Brigham said, “you hid it well on stage.” Kind of him to say since he is also a professional “breather” for a living.

The next day we drove to Sorel Tracy where I spoke almost totally in French  to the audience (being in the middle of rural Quebec) and we had our first standing ovation of the tour.  It was really fun and the French Canadians were really enthusiastic.  (I only wish I’d had opportunity to try their Poutine… although I did have St. Hubert twice ; )

Third day we drove to Quebec City and stayed at the Chateau Laurier. My room looked over the river, horse drawn carriages and the fort. Pretty sweet. Oh, and there is a wine vending machine in the hotel. How civilized! I gave an interview with the CBC Quebec while in town, and enjoyed our second standing ovation of the tour that night.  Peter got to play the nicest grand piano ever, which really helped. I loved our show at the Palais Montcalm and it reminded me of when Tom and I went skating there in February (and yes, the skating rink was up and running again.)

For the last event of our mini tour we headed back to Ontario, to Ottawa specifically. I was able to shoot a Remembrance Day video for my twitter followers in front of a WW1 memorial. We did taps plus “I’ll be Seeing You”  with just trumpet and voice.  Next we made our way to the Swing Dynamite studios for our evening performance for the community who specialize in teaching fast jitterbug/lindy hop. (They dance way faster than the dancers in Toronto).  They asked us to play live for their “jitterbug competition” & so we did a very brisk version of Shine while 8 couples jumped around and did aerials and hack saws and showed their bloomers.  It was fun! Since the dancers were already standing we didn’t get a standing ovation per say, but they did chant “one more song” until we did an encore.

It was all in all a good trip. We had some lovely musical moments, sold CDs & I proved I could still do it even when feeling challenged. (My band looked after me and I looked after them.) On some nights this meant singing from a stool since dancing around was too challenging (given current infection)  but I still did it, as Brigham said, “you’d never tell.” (Well, I bet my Mother could tell. She’s a keen critic of my condition!)  It was discouraging, yes, to be sick again so soon, especially as this tour has taken hundreds of hours and two grants (both Factor and Canada Council) to make happen.  But it was a success.  At times I felt like I was test driving a new weird car on the race track, but as they say, ‘the show must go on.” And it did. And it was fun.  I do think my favorite show was in Sorel Tracy: a powerful set, people really into it and applauding and cheering, and me, speaking french, perched on my stool wearing my black gloves from my Portugal trip.  One gent said I was “tres sexy”…. even in English I understood that as a compliment!

Singing in Sorel Tracy Quebec.

ELECTION NIGHT!

In Uncategorized on November 7, 2012 at 2:49 am

Four years ago my family & my friends were waiting for me to emerge from the Operating Room.  By this time of night (9:37pm as I write) the transplant surgery was well under way, nearly done, and the American election, nervous good cheer, and a speech of hope and “YES WE CAN” kept them company, nervously diverting their attentions to the television screens for an outcome they really cared less about than that of the operation.  (holy run on sentence!)

Now, my transplant was actually the 4th of November 2008 in Toronto, but it was election night for America then too, as is tonight.

Though my remembrances of waking are foggy I remember just about the first thing I wanted to know was, “Did the surgery happen?!”  One minute I was in a bright OR surrounded by people in hairnets. For me, seemingly the next moment (but fully 8-9 hours and a lifetime or two), I was awaking in a darkened room with a tube down my throat. Yes, it had happened I was reassured. I recall trying to communicate via a note pad. The next question I remember asking was, “Did Obama win?”  Pretty funny, but the election campaign had kept me company during my time on the waiting list.  I tried to ask other things but, I’m told, kept falling asleep mid scrawl!  During that time I remember Tom, my Mom, visited the bedside, then a long night on the breathing machine.  It was a dark room but I felt safe.  I got a bit fussy during that first evening and a nurse came and sang to me…

It has been a wonderful four years! Truly! None of the blessings I’ve enjoyed and shared with you on this blog would have come to myself and my family without the altruism of someone and their family who chose to make something good come for us at the most tragic time imaginable for them. THANK YOU.

To celebrate every day has been my way of life.  It’s not always been easy, and heaven knows what the future holds.  I know I’m heading out on a tour of Quebec tomorrow.  That’s not half bad, eh?!

Love to you all who continue to follow this journey!