January 2, 2013

Juke joint, Japanese new year

Just added up my miles for the month, and my December total was 117.1. Overall, this was a really cruddy running month. With a stupid (my performance) marathon, holiday constant scarfing of sweets instead of three squares, feeling sick with some cold and fever bug and throwing out my back, this was one of my most unfavorite running months of the year. I know you thought I was done whining about all of that stuff, but not quite.

But what all of that means is that I'm super excited about a fresh year, fresh start for running. Heck, I'd even take just a fresh day of running. Or a fresh minute.

To start things off with a bang, I took a rest day on January 1. I had 95% mentally committed to a 5:30 a.m. run, but then New Year's Eve happened. We took a trip to Gip's Place. If you're ever near Birmingham and want to experience a southern juke joint, this is the place.

The quick rundown is that we were up to our ears in blues and dancing all night. My brother-in-law, who is an awesome bassist, got to jam with the band and with Gip. It wasn't pre-planned, but that's just the Gip way. If you are a music maker, Gip is all about having you make that music in his shed out back.

The welcome sticker.
Me, my sister, my bro-in-law
My sis and I trying to get the party started.
My sister, Gip, me
June plays bass with Gip.

Me, my bro, my bro-in-law, my sis
Lisa and Rebecca under the Christmas light glow.

It's also possible that after we left, the four of us ordered a dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts and ate them all in under 10 seconds. Dancing like Tina Fey for hours really builds the appetite. You might really want to follow that link in the previous sentence. Just some sage advice from someone who slept for about five hours total over the past few days.

So the dancing, doughnuts, and staying up an extra few hours after we got home did not bode well for the 5:30 a.m. run. Plus I didn't set my alarm.

That's OK because instead of running, we brought in the new year with some Japanese eats. Tempura and miso soup. My favorites were the avocado (try this right now, it is awesome) and shrimp tempura.

We also tested how many kids we can squeeze around the tiniest table on the market. Also, flashlighting was an option instead of eating.

The prep. Fresh yum-ness. In order from the back to front, it's daikon, sweet potatoes, red peppers, broccoli (plus another little pile of daikon). 

I'm very glad Amory studied the tempura arts so he can replicate the avocado tempura (preferably tomorrow). 

Amory and June


Plus in shopping for this meal, I found and purchased some black fungus dumplings. Is there any way to just call those mushrooms?

What did your New Year eats look like? Any traditional black-eyed peas out there? 

What are you looking forward to starting fresh? 

Have you ever been to (or even heard of!) a juke joint? I thought they didn't exist anymore until I went to Gip's. My grandparents told stories about dancing all night at juke joints, while their six kids slept in the car. Just wow. Not taking many parenting tips from that.


  1. What a GREAT way to spend NYE!! I love the pics! I've heard of juke joints but I don't think they exist in Southern Ontario, ha ha ha. I did much of the same on NYE. Overindulged a bit on the champagne and danced till about 3:00 am. Had 5 hours sleep, got up, still somewhat drunk I think, had a greasy breakfast and headed out to do an 11km tempo run. UGH. The tempo piece didn't happen but at least the run did. Happy New Year! Here's to an awesome 2013!

  2. I think that sounds like a great time! December is meant for a little easing up on the workout front. You're refreshed, like you said, and that's what matters. You'll own January!

  3. Oh my gosh I LOVE the blues!! That looks like a super fun time! Due to an unexpected trip to the ER (my dad - he's doing fine now!) we weren't able to eat our traditional NYE meal of fondue. We were able to go out for a late meal, however, and then got up to run a 5k in chilly temps (5 degrees below zero!!) and gorged ourselves on fondue for New Years Day dinner. It was wonderful!
    Sounds like you are on the mend, refreshed, and ready to tear it up in 2013. Happy New Year to you!

    1. That is not a good way to bring in the new year! But I'm glad your dad is doing better. And that you still got to eat tons of fondue.

  4. I loveittle juke joints Like that!!! Soooooo many of them in New Orleans. We would see awesome live music for free practically every night! Despite your lack of running, seems like your holiday season has been packed with joy! How awesome!

    1. Yes, Nola seems like a place that would be filled with them. I actually think the first time I went to this one, the band playing was from Louisiana.

  5. That looks like a fabulous night out!! I love how you and your sis were dancing away all by yourself, I always so admire girls with guts like that!!!! Happy New Year...here's to a fresh slate!

  6. I love the pictures of you dancing. Good times!

  7. Looks like a party! We just hung out and drank peach flavored champagne and ate burritos. We like to keep it classy around these parts. Your post makes me want to go dancing!

  8. Okay, I have never been to a juke joint. Like Phaedra said, for me growing up in Ontario,Canada I do not think these were around there. However, now I will be trying to find one. Do you think North Carolina has them? What a rocking NYE you had!! Oh, and your shirt is kick a$$!! I love and would like to find a shirt like that. Very retro and funky. Love it!! As always your sister has the best hair too. Anyways, I think I may have to drive down from NC and join you all next year for NYE so my hubby and I can check out a juke joint. My hubby plays guitar and would love that. For our NYE we also indulged a little. Went to a neigbors home with a bunch of other folks and ate some good food + had some drinks. Fun times. Happy New Year!! I hope to somehow get to meet you in the new year. Your state is not too far from mine.:)

    1. Ha! We definitely need to meet. We have some family friends who live in the hills of east NC, and I bet they know of some juke joints. Heck, they might even have a juke joint at their house. But you are welcome at Gip's anytime! It is definitely the real deal.

      And that shirt is vintage! I found it at a thrift store with a matching jacket and pants a long time ago. All three pieces together are very over the top, but one piece at a time, it is manageable.:)

  9. i'm sorry the ending of ur year wasn't wat u would have liked BUT great attitude in ushering in 2013. i hope u're feeling better and i have to say it looked like u guys had a BLAST at that juk joint! :)

  10. This place looks amazing and I would have happily helped you demolish all and any food.

  11. looks so cool! yes-black eyed peas, collard greens, and cornbread. twice in one day. :)

  12. Looks like such a fun place! Those signs are definitely interesting! You and your sis are just the cutest things ever! My NYE consisted of NO food (juice fasting), and just my family.


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