Friday, November 03, 2006

Happy Birthday Ryan!

Today my husband turns 28. I have huge feelings of guilt about not planning a hugely special night like he did for my birthday. It's part being mentally and emotionally consumed by some tough stuff these last few weeks, and part my nature to over-plan. I've spent the last week scouring restaurant reviews and travel guides to find the perfect restaurant and ended up with a list too long to be useful. So tonight we're off to Thaifoon, which is a trendy new-Thai restaurant in Scottsdale, but still casual enough to wear fancy jeans, which Ryan would prefer. Then its off to Kazmierz Wine Bar. This is Ryan's favorite wine bar, so I'm sure he'll love it. Depending on how pooped we are, we might try to meet his favorite fire captain out for a few drinks after that. I know, it's a far-cry from T. Cook's, one of the most highly rated restaurants in the whole Phoenix area, but it'll do. Good food, good company, good alcohol. I may take advantage of him later. ;-)

Well I can see that you all were thrilled by my question about one of Ryan's favorite sax players, Branford Marsalis. We saw Branford's brother Wynton last night at the gorgeous new Mesa Arts Center theatre. The Marsalis family in legend in the jazz world. The concert was so amazing, but as I sat there I was writing a blog post in my head about jazz audience ettiquete. Being that this was a large audience, mostly older, mostly white, mostly season ticket holders, and the thing was sponsered by a "Smooooth" jazz radio station, I automatically went on gaurd. They didn't clap at the right times, they clapped ALONG WITH THE MUSIC.... I really was going to devote this whole post to that, then I realized I was being snobby, and who's to say I know any more about jazz then the next cat? And I have to tell you, besides the 10% or so who left at intermission, these people just loved them some Wynton, and Wynton didn't seem to care about anything other then that the people were digging his music. So boo on me for being such a snot. And yahoo for the people of Phoenix for appreciating a truly great musician.

While we're on the topics of jazz and my man, have I ever told you how Ryan and I met? Ryan lived in my apartment complex in Flagstaff when we were going to school. I noticed him immediately, and one weekend, fueled with braveness because my girls were there egging me on, I walked right up to Ryan in the parking lot and introduced myself. Back then he was playing professionally and was on his way to a gig, instruments littering the ground around his feet as he got ready to jump in the car. The next day my girls and I decided to throw a party. I marched right around the corner to his apartment and invited him over, and he came! But it wasn't my boldness that snagged him. It was my jazz...

Two years before that I took, as an elective, the History of Jazz. The class was taught by a totally laid back, relax-eyed, slow-talking trumpeter who is well-known in the valley. This guy used the words 'cat' and 'dig it' and 'yeah man' in the spirit of someone who truly embodies the form. My class was full of jocks looking for a 'cake' class, and I was frequently the only one who could pass the tests where you had to identify the instrument playing in a song (me being a proficient violin player in elementary school and all). At any rate, I couldn't get enough of what I was hearing. They say you either love jazz or hate it, and I fell hard. Every CD Fred told us we should have in our collection I went out and bought and nearly wore out on my CD player in my car.

So, on the night of the party at my apartment Ryan and his roommate came over. The typical Twister and body shots ensued (and the visit by the police) but when the party died down, Ryan asked to look through my CD collection. I think it was a musician test. "Hmmm, will this girl have 3 different renditions of Barbie Girl mixed in with her N'Sync and Shania Twain..." (OK, I had those too, but that's besides the point). But what he found instead was Miles Davis (Kind of Blue) and John Coltrane (Blue Trane), among others. But then he flipped to the next page and said, "You have Coltrane's Newport '63?! I don't even have that!"

So that's it! Don't tell me that school never prepared you for life. I took a class that made me a wife. (Ha! That rhymes!)

Happy birthday husband of mine!


Anonymous suki said...

That is too cute of a story! :) Happy belated birthday to your husband!

8:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the "how you met" story! Super cute!

8:23 AM  

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    I'm Amanda. I'm an engineer in an industry full of men, a professional wedding and family portrait photographer, a firefighter's wife, a traveler, and a dogMa.

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