Celtic Thunder

So Much Has Happened

This past month (heck, these past two weeks) has been one giant roller coaster of emotion. And that’s just in relation to Celtic Thunder.

Back in May I wished all the happiness in the world to Ryan Kelly when he left the group, and earlier this month some crazy/insane/unbelievable/horrible things were done to him by another party that worried Thunderheads around the country/world. While curious me wants to know the details about what happened, I’m just glad Ryan is safe and happy and returning to what he loves–performing. I’m also pretty sure if Thunderheads found out about all that transpired there would be an angry mob wielding pitchforks and torches storming the culprit’s home à la Beauty and the Beast. That’s how much we care about protecting these lads. As it is, the only thing we can do is continue to support Ryan and show him how much we missed him during his absence. There will definitely be a lot more cheering for our beloved “Dark Destroyer” at the shows I’m going to next month (NEXT MONTH!!).

(Photo from here.)

While we got one lad back, another one is off to pursue bigger and better things in L.A. Wee Damian went and won himself  a 7-episode arc on GLEE! Over the summer I watched him compete for this prize on The Glee Project, and I can’t even express how proud of him I am (as are so many others). But then there’s that other part of me that can’t believe I won’t hear him sing “Buachaill ón Éirne” live this fall. I’ve watched him grow up these past few years and it’s hard to believe he’s the next to leave. If anything, I thought it would be Keith next, not Damo.

(Photo from Damian’s Official Facebook page.)

There have been so many changes in the CT lineup since the beginning of the last tour, and I’m coming to terms with the fact that the group I fell in love with in March 2008 won’t exist in the same way for much longer. I’m sure I will continue to love everyone that is a part of it, but I think this will be my last year of going to multiple shows. I’ll definitely go to an NYC show, but I don’t think I will travel to Boston or New Jersey again.  Change is a part of life, but you can’t fault me for not loving and supporting the changes in the same way as the original.

(Photo from here.)

Baking, Celtic Thunder

Well, I Certainly Fell Off the Face of the Earth

What can I say. I completely disappeared and didn’t want to face the world for that last month of school. But it’s over now and the 2011 Summer of Fun has officially begun! I’ve made so many things that I still need to post about, and those will be coming along bit by bit.

But first, I would like to wish all the health and happiness in the world to Ryan Kelly, my beloved Dark Destroyer, who officially left Celtic Thunder on May 12, 2011. I am so happy I was able to meet you in Boston in 2009 and to say hello to you a couple of other times over the past couple of years. Good luck in whatever you choose to pursue next, you have my full love and support.

I think I should move on to happier news now, don’t you think?

I’d like to come back to the blogging world with this fantastic cake recipe. I’m a sucker for doughnut muffins and anything doughnut, so this certainly hit the mark: The Donut Cake! It turned out absolutely wonderfully.

I think the secrets to this cake were the hints of nutmeg and cornmeal in the batter. The strawberries were a nice complement to the cake as well, so I’m glad I had them on hand, even if they were originally frozen.

I couldn’t get enough of this fake doughnut-y goodness. I can’t wait to make it again and again and again. You can have cake for breakfast, right? It has the word doughnut in its title, so that must count for something.

And if I eat it with strawberries or some kind of fruit on the side? Totally a breakfast food. I’m going to tell myself whatever I need to in order to convince myself that this can be eaten for breakfast without guilt. OH! I think I just came up with the winning justification: it doesn’t have chocolate, so it’s nice and light and breakfast-worthy! There we go. Donut cake for breakfast for everyone! Enjoy!

Celtic Thunder

A Coincidence? Three Times? I Think Not.

How far in advance do the songs for each episode of Glee get chosen? Certainly not a year and a half in advance. With that assumption, I believe we have ourselves a Celtic Thunder fan in a high and powerful position (at least in the tv world). It has to be. This is the third time a song that Celtic Thunder has covered has been later sung on Glee (with PLENTY of time having passed since CT released their versions). First “Hello Again” in the season one back nine premiere (George in CT, Schue in Glee), then “Baby It’s Cold Outside” on the Christmas CD (Ryan/Charley Bird, Kurt/Blaine), and now “Sway” will be in the eighth episode this season (Paul, Schue again). These aren’t exactly the most mainstream of all songs that have been done on Glee or that CT has performed, so there’s no doubt about it. Murphy’s TOTALLY a Thunderhead! However, he’s truly testing my loyalties with these songs, because while I absolutely LOVE CT’s versions of them and the lads who sing them, Murphy’s totally playing dirty with his choice of performers and placement within the show (at least for “Home Again”‘s context, which is all I’ve seen so far). All I know is there’s no possible way Schue can top my swanky tenor’s live “Sway” performances. No. Way. So he shouldn’t even try. It’s not gonna happen.

Baking, Celtic Thunder

“It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Au-tumn”

Okay, so Fall started a while ago, but I’m just now getting around to making my famous apple pie. It seems like during the past couple of years I’ve been slacking in the apple-y creations department, and I guess a part of that is that I haven’t gone apple picking and come home with apples go leor (“a lot”). I guess that’s one downside to college life in NYC. I remember only making one pie at Thanksgiving and then another at Christmas last year, and nothing else apple related. I want that to change this year, though. I’m thinking about making an apple crisp sometime soon, as well. Maybe apple turnovers and something else, too. I just need to get my hand on more apples, so it looks like a trip to Trader Joe’s will be in order; if only those little buggers weren’t so heavy once you have more than a couple of them. But I suppose the end results will be yummy enough and worth the hassle of lugging them down here from Union Square.

I’m getting super impatient in waiting for my pie to be ready to take out of the oven. . . . Come on apple pie, bake up faster, le do thoil (“please”), I want to eat youuuuu.

FINALLY. May I present, total deliciousness in a 9-inch pan.

And now on a CT-related note: HAPPY 32ND BIRTHDAY TO MY DARK DESTROYER!! A Ryan, Breithlá Shona Duit!

Baking, Celtic Thunder

Such a Spooky Halloween . . . BOO!!

Where is my Halloween Spirit this year? Oh, I know, it got replaced with Christmas Spirit, thanks to the CT Christmas album that I’ve been listening to in rotation with Ryan’s. Needless to say, I haven’t made any cute Halloween decorations, bought any candy, or watched the 13 Nights of Halloween. Alas. But I did make a spooky ghost cake tonight, since it’ll be my only time with the kitchen for the next couple of days. Oh the joys of living with four other people and their social lives. . . .

I tried out a new recipe for this cake. The title led me to believe dark chocolate would be involved, but it only called for cocoa powder for some reason, and no melted chocolate at all, dark or otherwise. I baked it up in a 9×13 pan and then I attempted to cut it into a cute little ghost shape. It’s somewhat wonky, but cute nonetheless. I just wish I hadn’t accidentally added too much milk to the buttercream–it’s not nearly fluffy or set up enough for my taste; it ran right off the sides and down into the pan. If only I hadn’t run out of powdered sugar. I knew I should have bought more at Trader Joe’s when I went two weeks ago. Oh well, there’s nothing I can do about that now.

Isn’t it a spooky little ghosty?

2:30AM EDIT: Oh yeah, gotta love the joys of living with suitemates with too active and rather disrespectful/unreasonable social lives. At least I already decided I was going to stay up late . . . because it looks like I’m not going to be able to sleep anytime in the near future. . . . It’s not like I was at work from 8am-7pm or anything and wanted to sleep by 3am. . . .

Celtic Thunder

Lots of New Music

Last week I finally received my copy of the Celtic Thunder Christmas CD. One word: ABSO-FREAKING-LUTELY-BEYOND-AMAZING! There are no words to describe my love for these songs. I can’t wait to see and hear this show in person in December. I’m counting down the days (well, not quite yet, but the idea is in the back of my mind).

I’m also insanely excited for the release of the Christmas DVD on November 22nd–just in time for Thanksgiving so I can watch it with a friend when I’m home that week. She’s in agreement with that plan, so it’s happening. It’s also perfect because now I can just have it shipped to my house and I don’t have to pay sales tax; anything to save a buck. At least I’ll have something to keep me happy during break, since reading Moby-Dick isn’t exactly number one on my list of fun things to do.

I can’t wait to see Damo singing “Winter Wonderland” and “Our First Christmas Together”. Nor can I wait to see Keith sing “Last Christmas” and “All I Want for Christmas”, and in that white suit of his *insane squees*. I think my favorite song on the CD is EASILY “Last Christmas”, and with his white suit, I think–no I KNOW– I’m going to be a puddle as soon as I see the DVD and then at the show. I need a big poster of him in that outfit.

Thank you to whoever took these screen shots from the preview video before Amazon took it down.

In other CD release news, Ryan released his solo CD the other day. It was sold out within MINUTES on CDbaby.com. Supposedly they only received 100 copies of his CD in the first shipment. Um, WHAT? Oh Ryan, you should have arranged for MORE in that first batch. He said more were on their way today, but that probably won’t even be enough to satisfy all of the back orders. For the sakes of all the Ryan fans, thank goodness they had MP3 downloads on the site as well. I however, in my poor state, wasn’t going to pay $18.95 for 11 MP3s when the hard copy was only $19.95 plus tax/shipping. I opted to download his CD from iTunes for the time-being for $9.99, and will ask for the hard copy for Christmas. I have this thing about wanting hard copies of CDs/DVDs/books. There’s just something about holding the product in your hands.I think I can also safely say that some of his merchandise will be on my wish-list. It’s gonna be a very Celtic Thunder Christmas, I think, what with all the solo merch being released and thought up.

All I can say about his CD is WOW! He wrote 10 of the 11 songs himself, and all of these songs are phenomenal. So far, I think my favorite is “Go If You Want To”.

All of this new music being released so close together is making it hard to decide what to listen to. Do I want Christmas? Or do I want RYAN? It’s just not a fair choice to have to make.

Celtic Thunder

The Very Belated Celtic Thunder Boston Adventure: Part 2

Written while waiting for my bus back to NYC on 10/9.

After writing the first section while sitting by the pond, I grabbed a hot chocolate at Dunkin Donuts and headed back down to the venue. There were some people waiting by the stage door, but for the time being I chose to enjoy my cocoa away from them. I waited near two other women a bit away from the door, and we started chatting about the lads and the women’s lads.

We soon scooted up towards the other fans because more Thunderheads were arriving. The security guards kindly asked them to stand on the bricks behind the granite curbing, but did they listen? No, they did not. At. All. Talk about unruly invasion of personal space once lads starting coming in and out.

I believe Paul came out first, and as soon as they say him, they literally MOBBED him. I didn’t even want to get near, because it was just crazy. Who knew middle-aged women could be so pushy and invasive. Instead, I took a picture from above and somewhat afar. Yay for being so tall and for the zooming abilities of my camera.


The same thing  happened as each lad came around. It was absolute insanity, and I felt bad for the lads. I really didn’t want to be pushy, so I only managed the Paul picture and one picture of Keith’s profile. Probably the most memorable part of that time of the day was that after Keith went on the bus, he came back out with his longboard (skateboard, not surfboard unfortunately). He stepped out to the sidewalk, got to the street, threw his board onto the street, and FLEW DOWN THE MIDDLE OF STUART STREET, seemingly without a care in the world. My gosh, though, that lad needs to be careful.

My respect/patience during the mob scene paid off in SPADES a little while after. First came George, who chose the quiet time after the insanity to bring Carrie and Sarah out to the bus. There were only a couple of us left, and he took some time to chat, sign, and pose. I only got his autograph again, and I really should have asked for a picture, but I got my autograph and it said “Love George Donaldson, XX” :D. He came out of the bus again later, and I managed to catch his eye, and he WINKED at ME! Love you too, George. I also failed at getting a hug, but oh well. I’m happy with my autograph and wink. I can still picture it in my mind, haha.


Keith went back into the venue after coming back from skateboarding, but he only stuck around for a couple of pictures, none of which were mine. I did manage to say hello to him, though, and he asked how we all were doing.

It was down to just Pierre the security guard and I hanging around the door, and even he disappeared for a bit. I was in the middle of calling my friend, and the last person I was waiting for FINALLY came out. DECLAN! Needless to say, my friend finally picked up as he came out, and I hung up that phone SO fast, without saying anything to her. I asked him if he could sign my picture, and he said he would come back after he put his things away (he WAS carrying a few things which would have made signing somewhat complicated), so I waited patiently for him to come back like he said he would (At least for the time being he had stayed within my eyesight, unlike George at Radio City. Oh goodness, I didn’t even tell Carrie and Sarah on him when I had the opportunity. My memory just goes to bits when I’m around all of them.). In the mean time, I called back my friend after that abrupt hang-up, and she completely understood why I did what I did.

And then . . . DAMO CAME OUT!!!! It was just ME AND HIM, and I asked him to sign my sick friend’s ticket. I told him he was her favorite and about how sad she was to have to miss the show. Maybe I could have also asked him to speak to her on the phone, I bet he would have obliged. He’s so kind like that. He personalized the ticket, which said “To Lexi, Love Damian Mc Ginty”. Most of the time they just sign their name, since they’re usually in a rush or being mobbed, so this was just great for her. She’s going to love it, even though it’s not a surprise anymore because I couldn’t resist telling her about it soon after. Damo asked if I would like him to sign my program (which I was holding at the time), and I said that would be wonderful! Once again, I didn’t get a picture with him. I’m terrible about getting pictures WITH them instead of just OF them. I love that this is the second time that he’s been JUST ME AND DAMO, one-on-one. They’re all so much nicer (I mean, they’re always nice) and more willing to stay and chat if it’s just one or a couple of not crazy people around. Any more and it gets crazy and overwhelming. Damo, I love you for our time together. No, actually, I ❤ you.

And YES, I KNOW his picture looks absolutely wonky. That’s what happens when you try to Photoshop a 17 year old’s face onto his 15 year old body. Nothing is in proportion because the head is too small for the body. Oh Sharon, couldn’t someone have enlarged his head a bit so it wouldn’t be SO noticeable?

After Damo went inside the venue, Declan DISAPPEARED! He had been outside his bus before Damo came out, and now he was GONE. I was so sad. I didn’t know where he went, since he was JUST THERE. Thankfully, he soon reemerged and I was once again thrilled. I asked him to sign the picture of the two of us, and he was more than happy to do it. He recognized it as being outside the very same venue as as being very close to where we happened to be standing. Then he asked if I wanted the front or the back signed, as we looked at each other and both agreed upon the back so he wouldn’t “cover up that wonderful face” of his. Then I giggled. . . . Oh the things that lad makes me say and do *shakes head*. I also didn’t ask for my Declan hug (and it was getting EVEN COLDER) or a new picture with him. Alas. I really need to work on remembering that for the December show. As he was leaving, I told him he was great at Radio City, he said “You were there?”, I said “Yeah”, and then he smiled and went on his way.

That was supposedly the e nd of see ing people, and by that time it was almost time for my friend to meet me at the venue, so I stepped over to the other side of the door to wait. While I was texting my other friend about Damo, RYAN came quickly by and we exchanged hellos. He had seemed grumpy-ish earlier, so I didn’t want to bother him.

All in all, it was a very successful afternoon, but I can’t believe I let it end without a hug from ANYONE. Silly me.  I keep saying “next time”, but really, how many more “next times” am I going to be fortunate enough to have. I can’t keep counting on definitely having them.