steppin' out

My sandalled foot and my red tote.
I'm bringing all 3 - foot, birkies and red bag - with me to taipei

I stepped out of the office at 9pm today. Not too bad. But at some point, I decided - staying in that cubicle and typing away is not going to change anything.

And friends, immediately, I began to live this old wisdom that travel is not really about getting yourself up on a plane to some foreign land (well, most of the time it is!). It can't get more familiar and homely than sitting at our usual Bishan coffeeshop for a late dinner tonight (there, we are friends with another set of hawkers...this time it is Baseball Man who is part of "Chick n Grill", but more about him or the chicks that grill in another post.) Maybe it's just knowing that for the next 10 days I won't have to be maneuvering the intricate passageways of my work - the bureaucracies, the 4million bosses I am ultimately answerable to. Such that even before we even get to Taipei, just over dinner tonight, J and I had a whole lot of ideas about new paintings and new illustrations for 2 stories that have been festering in my head for more than 2 years now...( including that pathetic "series" of rabbit paintings).

There's this song by Michelle Shocked called "Steppin' Out". (no no, I don't think it's a coming out song) Michelle who?

I remember when I was 17, and someone at school (I think it was you, robotJ422) handed me a casette tape - hehe, that's how old I am - by Michelle Shocked called The Texas Campfile Tapes. And I've never heard anything like it before then - the live recording of a little-known singer, strumming her guitar and singing her own songs by, I guess, a campfire. You can hear crickets and the occasional car driving by. This album was recorded in 1987. And she's gone on to have a really varied career...folk, swing, jazz, blues, roots rock, bluegrass, gospel, something indefinable or other.

You can listen to the songs from the album here.

But what's my point again? Yes, "Steppin Out". Tonight made me remember the lyrics to that happy whimsy of a song in Shocked's drawling voice and that hoppety hop guitar:
I'm steppin out - ladeedadee ain't no doubt
I'm steppin out, I wanna sing I wanna shout
I wanna be where the fuss is all about
I'm steppin out
I'm steppin high steppin low
steppin anywhere my footsteps gonna go
First a heel and then a toe
I'm steppin out

Next step. Taipei.

p/s Someone told me there was some documentary about Michelle Shocked becoming a tupperware saleslady at last year's Film Festival. I'm not surprised.


monk said…
have a lovely trip, folks -- if you're so inclined to blog while on vacation, i'd love to hear about the RoC.

in the meantime, we'll miss you!
Anonymous said…
hey jie and j, i'm missing u guys too. do have lotsa fun =P and tell me abt it (ie quirky happenings). i'm "stepping out" of my moody feeling too, cos i'm going for church music prac. music does wonders for my soul.
Tym said…
I remember those early Michelle Shocked days. That's what broke you out of the habit of singing Suzanne Vega's "Tom's Diner" all the time, I think.

Have a great vacation!!
ampulets said…
40caliber, elaine, tym - thanks! It's been pretty good so far! heh. I chose hotels with free internet in the rooms, so will not resist posting stories from Taipei ;P (of course, the hotels just happen to have nice furniture.)

tym - oh yes, suzanne vega:) i think my sis has inherited all my vega CDs.

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