Cafe Gratitude Opening & Meeting My Heroes

On 3/4/11 @ 7 pm, I posted on facebook “I truly don’t think I’ve ever been happier than I am at this exact moment in time. I want to bottle this evening.” Truer words have never been spoken.

Going into this party, which was a celebration for the opening of the Los Angeles location of Café Gratitude, all I knew was that between the combination of artists & musicians, the presence of healthful vegan food so legendary it’s almost a religion in San Francisco, and the abundant free flowing wine- the night was going to be something special.  I was right.

Thirty minutes in, while my brother stood out front smoking (yuck), and my spirit twin Brenda was off on a quest for more wine, I found myself alone and staring the stage, completely oblivious to the fact that I was standing shoulder to shoulder with one of my biggest heroes, Jason Mraz, who also happened to be standing alone.  I took a deep breath, swallowed the last sip of wine in my glass, turned to him, and said something along the lines of “Hi, I really want to congratulate you on your engagement, I love you guys both, I think you’re amazing I love what you’re doing for the world, I’ve been a fan forever, I’m so happy for you two and I can’t wait to see her ring.”  Instead of running or calling security, he smiled, thanked me, and pointed me towards Tristan Prettyman, his glowing fiancée.  At the last minute, in an attempt to distinguish myself from other crazy fans, I threw in “I also live next door to the Makepeace Brothers!” (the band he used to tour with and the headliners of the night’s concert).

When the show was over (I can’t even describe the show in words.  There is no way I could do justice to the series of miraculous, incredible performers) and my mind was sufficiently blown, I decided to approach my hero of heroes, Tristan Prettyman.  As you know from previous posts, I’ve been a huge fan and supporter of TP since her early early days, and her energy, optimism, and grace inspire me daily.  Between the wine and the euphoria, I have no idea how I introduced myself, but I’m pretty sure it was something like “Hi, I wanted to say hello, I discovered you 7 years ago when you opened for Howie Day and then I saw you play in a basement at BU and then I was so excited when you played at the Paradise Rock Club and I was used your song ‘Void’ in a short film in college but stupid Youtube took it down and I tweet you sometimes.  Oh and…I live next door to the Makepeace Brothers.”

Sounds a bit insane when I see it written out, but considering I always imagined our eventual meeting would be somewhat similar to the scene in Notting Hill when Hugh Grant’s character’s nutty sister Honey meets movie star Anna Scott (Julia Roberts), first proclaiming “Holy fuck!” followed by “I’ve always genuinely believed that we could be best friends,” I think I did pretty well. 

When you meet someone whose music you’ve consistently described as the soundtrack of your life, and whose “way of being in the world” (to quote Oprah quoting Maya Angelou) is nothing short of extraordinary, there’s an inevitable moment of panic in which you want to turn away for fear of them brushing you off, thus shattering your view of them.  This was the exact opposite of that.  Brenda and I ended up talking to Tristan for at least half an hour, soaking up her wisdom, lightly discussing veganism, but mostly enjoying and celebrating the moment we were in.

Peace, love, joy and bliss to the recently engaged Tristan Prettyman & Jason Mraz.  If you want to enjoy some of their radness, follow Tristan @tprettyman or here on Tumblr, and Jason @jason_mraz or his blog here.

Photo collage of the night made by Brenda.  Top left: Avasa Love, Tristan Prettyman, Alysse Fischer; Top right: My brother and I; Bottom left: Brenda and I; Bottom Right: Jason Mraz sings in the middle of the Makepeace Brothers.


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  1. treekisser posted this