Friday, August 31, 2007

It's August.
Let me catch you up on the last few months


Saturday, August 04, 2007

And then I met Amy Millan, best known for her work with Canadian bands Stars and Broken Social Scene.

She did a solo tour around Ireland that brought her to the Empire in Belfast.

not only was she fabulous....

But I bought her a whiskey
after the show and had a nice chat about growing up in Toronto and why I should move to Montreal.
This is my final and probably most beautiful outreach team. I led one last YWAM outreach before leaving the base in Closkelt. A team of 7-8 lucious ladies who turned the North of Ireland upside down and rocked it with their genius, creativity, huge hearts and good looks.

Deb and Ali, co-leaders. We only LOOK sweet.

Eman, all the way from Israel, in all her softness and glory.

Sujee, our temp member, making us a gorgeous 8.

Anna with her Californian smoulder-stare.

Elise, our Dutch dutchie.

Korina, American-
ette of many talents.

Shannon, British Columbian biker babe.

We fixed the problem with the van.
This trip, when people stared,
we knew it was 'cause we were inside it.

It's what's inside that counts.
Pooh's secret identity:

Paparazzi photos by Deb Whalen.
Last March, Ana Lucia came up from Portugal, so we met up in Glasgow... .

..and then came back to Northern Ireland
to hang out in my end of Europe.

You can't see it, but we're eating sushi.
Do you know who Duke Special is?

You should. You might not know it, but you definitely WANT to know who he is.

You're not going to find much else like him in the musical world. I saw him in March and I've never seen anything quite like it. Killer covers of Elvis Costello, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Elliot Smith season a line-up of truly original originals.

Leading a band of riff-raff (who make the best musicians -ever heard gypsy jazz?) from his piano at ALMOST centre-stage, the Duke winds his voice through songs like a pied piper, taking all of us kids along with him out of town and into the forest.

I, for one, am happy to live among the vagabonds in the woods with these lullabies and anthems to dance to.
Join the parade.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The ineffable Tim Whalen,

also known as my wee brother,

came for a visit in April.

His visit provided some of the best cocktails I've ever had. Tim's what's known as a mixologist and knows a good drink. He has a book of cocktail recipes from around the world and a bit about the clubs that serve them. There were not just one but TWO of these clubs and their signiature drinks from this book within travelling distance of my humble Irish abode.

First to the Apartment in Belfast...
and then to the SPY in Dublin. Both are highly recommended.

p.s. Does Tim remind anyone else of Douglas Coupland in his prime? dw

This year I managed to play Common Grounds in Belfast...

I sold quite a few cds that night.

And Bradly was there too.

In fact, several months later, I had people stopping me in shops and on the streets of the city doing that celebrity thing... "Hey, sorry to bug you... Are you the girl who played Common Grounds back in... You are? Deb Whalen? God, I bought your cd that night and I LOVE it!"

Made me all giggly.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

If you know me well, you know that I've been waiting to see the Decemberists
live for a good few years now, but distance and timing made it anything but possible.

Well my day finally came last week end.

Me and some friends made it down to Dublin to catch the show which was amazing. In fact, it was so amazing that when we unexpectedly bumped into the band a while after the show (we went to get chips before heading back to our hostel and there they were in front of the theatre as we passed by, right in front of us -talk about timing!!!). they were too tired to be bugged by fans. So we had a breif, friendly two minute chat and bid them farewell and godspeed on the rest of their tour.

It was a brilliant night worth waiting for.


Thursday, December 28, 2006

So I'm at home for Christmas in Toronto. This is a very good thing. As I often do, I went shopping to stock up on treats from home,
which includes Second Cup Coffee.

They are now selling a bean called "Rwandan Cup of Hope", which is an exceptionally misleading title. While the Second Cup DOES seem to take good care of their growers and their farms and communities, they are not officially labled FairTrade as they don't meet the proper requirements. So what I'm left wondering is: how did we come up with such an incredibly -dare I say it- deceitful name? I'm concerned about this because I don't want to stop buying Second Cup coffee. But if this turns out the be the actual rat I'm smelling, I may just have to. No one in the shop could tell me why the coffee is called what it is and the Second Cup's website is reconstructing their coffee section; all you get when you click the tab to try and read about their coffees is a new little window that reads "Coming Soon."

Perhaps they're doing some quick thinking to come up with a good story as to why they've called it the "Rwandan Cup of Hope" blend without any indication that it is serving any supportive function to the nation itself, especially in light of the poverty and genocide of recent years. This had better be good.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Also in Denver,
There was a Hallowe'en party
with FANTASTIC costumes: