Last night Rob G took me out for drinks.
That's a fun thing to get to say.
I wore that peach pink floral cowgirl shirt I wore on the last tour with the long red plaid grunge style maxi skirt from Free People that I also brought on tour.
I have an old cropped black leather jacket that's sort of lumberjack style with a tan fur collar and a warm red lining that's just divine with the long red plaid skirt.
And I wore my Doc Marten platform boots that kind of look like lumberjack boots too.
I love what the Ralph Lauren people are doing right now, revitalizing Ralph's fifty years of pioneer fashion with the double RL ranch stores.
The store in Tokyo follows me on Instagram because of my connection to Japan's Guyatone Guitar Company.
They always like my pictures that show me in my punk cowgirl stuff or long prairie stuff.
Okay, so we went out for drinks in the evening because Nina had made this fantastic spicy Italian sausage and white bean stew so we had all eaten that around six o'clock and then it was too early to go to bed and none of us had a show that night...for once...so Nina decided to stay home and go to bed early, but Rob invited me to go out and get drinks.
We went to a place near Rob's house called The Bungalow Club.
It's a very cozy and crowded place.
We went in to sit at the bar and get a cocktail, because cocktails are where it's at these days I guess.
The bar was nearly full but we were able to get two seats.
Right away when I sat down on my bar stool the people next to me very nicely but excitedly said, "are you Courtney?"
And this began a very fun conversation about how they had seen Rob and I perform as a duo at the Dakota Jazz Club earlier this year.
They had liked our performance very much, thankfully, and we told them we'd just done a lot of new touring and that I had just released a new album.
The bartender then got in on it and wanted to know more as well.
It was nice.
I was happy that they were interested.
The cocktails we ordered were very festive Autumnal creations; mine with Brandy, Rob's with Rum.
Delicious and not too strong.
At the end we found out it was the cute couple's anniversary so when we left after our one round of cocktails I grabbed the new cd for them and one for the bartender and ran back in.
They were all truly happy and excited to receive this gift.
I ran back out to Rob waiting with the car warming up, and I felt a lot of joy.
Then we went to a place called Bar Brigade, not much farther from Rob's house but on the St. Paul side of the Mississippi River.
This place is also cozy and packed with people.
At nine o'clock they begin a happy hour so we arrived in time for this.
As we arrived we ran into the owner just as he was heading out to go home for the night.
We know him well, we were in Paris with him during one of my tours several years ago, when we were the house band for an old roadhouse style chateau in Central France for a weekend and several people we knew from Minneapolis were all convening in Paris and heading down to the roadhouse for the weekend.
He was very glad to see us.
Since those days in France, he has gone on to open several successful restaurants in the Twin Cities.
He told us last night that last year he completed an MBA program as well, and now he has a consulting business to help restaurants improve their profit margins.
This was very interesting to me, as an entrepreneur always seeking to improve my circumstances.
He said that many successful restaurants do a lot of business annually but don't make much of a profit for their owners.
He said that he knows how to make the best changes to help these people run more efficient and profitable restaurants.
I told him that I know songwriters who think you can't make any money being a songwriter.
And I also know, and know of, songwriters who have made tons of money.
At this point we talked about how you really have to be very hands on and very active, daily, in your business.
Rob is very that way with his studio business and he's sustained himself for thirty years successfully this way.
The restauranteur said that he was there tonight for example because he knew they were going to be especially busy with overbooked reservations and that they were going to need his help to make sure everything worked out smoothly which it had because of his help.
I then gave the example of this website and blog of mine.
I told how I initially had someone update a website for me once a month with upcoming shows or other new content.
It was an expensive and sleepy way to do it but I didn't know anything about websites then.
I said that a few years ago I made this website myself that I know how to do and I started this blog and I started updating my website whenever I have anything new, immediately, myself.
And I said that the result of this daily effort has affected my business in a thousand ways, seen and unseen.
He marveled at my ability to write this blog daily and asked me if I had a habit of writing in a journal in the past.
He made me realize that it's a nice habit to have and a discipline that is hard won...and yes I told him I have written a journal daily for most of my adult life...but it's a hell of a lot more fun to write this knowing that someone might read it and enjoy it.
It was fun to talk with him. I got a lot out of the conversation.
He and Rob have known each other maybe ten years longer than I've known him and they were very glad to run into each other as well.
We said good night to him with hugs all around and went in.
We got a sweet little corner table with an old church pew as a banquette and we sat what I think of as French style with both of us shoulder to shoulder facing out into the restaurant together.
I feel that the French do this often in their cafes, inside or out on the sidewalks, sitting together and watching the world go by.
We felt like coconspirators, us against the world, able to speak quietly when everyone else was getting noisy from the fun and the alcohol.
And we could both see the one lady in the leopard coat who was toasting everyone in the bar, and we could both see the two young women who both were wearing black jeans, tan suede heeled booties, and one in a leopard print blouse and the other in a cheetah print sweater.
Oh, and the best outfit of the night, we both got to see the very slender tall young woman with bleached silvery white long hair wearing baggy black leather pants that were cropped above the ankles, slouchy with high heeled black boots, an oversized white t shirt, and a big camouflage army jacket over it all. Damn, it was mostly the hair, the camo, the leather, and the attitude, but she was cool.
At this place, from the small plates late night menu, we ordered the carrots which were just a few beautiful baby carrots with the greens still on, cooked with some kind of lovey candied glaze.
We also got the fingerling potatoes with chevre, also just a few baby potatoes sliced and roasted that you could dip in the sauce much like a sour cream and chive sort of thing.
I had their Viognier, which was crisp and nice, and Rob had the Savignon Blanc.
It was fun to sit there with Rob, much like being on tour in old towns in Europe, but with our own cozy home beaconing just across the river.
After all this we went home and sat with my little dog and ate some caramel corn that Nina had bought.
All in all a great free night. And Rob picked up the tab so I got to just have fun.