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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

After over a week of having a wildfire just a few miles away, I'm almost getting used to the smoke. The High Park Fire is still putting up a huge smoke plume, which drifts far enough south to make the apartment smell like a campfire every so often, though usually the air-currents around here push the smoke northeast, towards Cheyenne. Sadly, this does not mean we have no smoke here, though. I had a cold when the fire started, so I've been coughing pretty much all day every day since the fire began, every few minutes or so, as the tiny ash particles in the air I am breathing irritate my throat. This is particularly annoying when I am trying to sing along to any of the tracks on my Spotify playlists by folks who regularly use more than one octave in a song. When I am not sick, and once I've warmed up, I seem to have almost the same range as Katherine Jenkins, and while I am sure I sound nowhere near as good, I can usually sing along to almost all of her songs comfortably.

And, for that matter, I can sing the Star Spangled Banner in the key Paul Byrom uses in the last such youtube video I've come across. But, though my cold is gone, I still can only go along with him for a few lines before too much ash settles on my throat. So annoying! I suppose if I was at the game tomorrow where Paul will be singing the anthem, I would not be supposed to sing along anyway, though I have never been to a major sporting event. Does the crown sing the anthem too? Maybe so. Anyway...

In other news, the magnificent Ryan Kelly, of Celtic Thunder fame, is not dead, and not dying. [Warning: Irresponsible speculation only, not to be confused with news. I am not an official or reliable source on Ryan Kelly or Celtic Thunder.]

The Celtic Thunder producer, Sharon Browne, sent out a message stating that he did in fact have a 'serious accident requiring hospitalization', but that he is now 'on the road to recovery'. This was a PR move that should have happened at least a week earlier, really, but the gesture is still much appreciated. Sharon's message said very little, really. We knew already that he was hospitalized, thanks to the apparently unauthorized and short-lived message that appeared online 15-16 days ago. We knew also that his family wanted their privacy, and figured that was why nobody was saying anything at all about Ryan after that message. If Ryan was in any shape to be calling the shots, he could easily have tweeted a message to his fans saying it was nothing too serious, so obviously whatever happened is pretty serious. And, that he is still not tweeting says that while his family allowed Sharon to post an update, Ryan is still in bad shape.

Ryan clearly chose to have a very close and personal relationship with his fans, but his parents and his siblings never decided to make their lives so public. It is no doubt disconcerting for the families of celebrities that so many perfect strangers seem to think they have a right to poke and pry at their lives, so being able to draw a curtain around themselves completely as they help Ryan recover must be particularly nice. They share Ryan with the hordes of women that are his fanbase, knowing that his career depends on those fans, but for the past 2 weeks, they have him almost entirely to themselves.

Celtic Thunder recorded a very nice Father's Day video, clearly before Ryan was hospitalized, since he is in it. In that video clip he looks tired, which he would be just after returning from the US tour he and Neil had just been doing. If that video had been released without any statement about Ryan's condition, many fans would have been upset, so it was no accident that both the video and the update on Ryan came on the same day. And, Sharon's update says Ryan was hospitalized 'a little over a week ago', while the message was posted exactly 2 whole weeks after he was hospitalized. So, the statement was a smart PR move, but there is nothing in the update statement that would indicate that Ryan's condition has necessarily improved this past weekend.

But, what Sharon's message does tell us is that Ryan is not dying, and that as of right now she is still hopeful that he will recover enough to return to the stage with Celtic Thunder. Sharon's message really does not say anything that would justify no longer posting candles, or sending out thoughts and prayers for him, but it does tell all of us fans that we are not being brushed off, and that the fact that we honestly do care about Ryan is appreciated.

My apologies, by the way, if I have any readers who actually see this post and are annoyed. Yes, I know this is not generally the sort of thing I post on this blog. But, I actually have regular readers on my newer tumblr blogs, and among them are several Celtic Thunder fans. If I started talking on tumblr about the PR side of how Ryan's accident is being handled, I would risk starting all sorts of bad rumors and grumblings. As far as I know, though, hardly any Celtic Thunder folks ever look at this blog; considering the number of readers I seem to have on here, I would be very surprised if anything I posted on here made it into the general Internet community. Anyway, please, don't spin any of my above rant into nasty rumors.

And, if you are going to the Phillies game this weekend, do check out the guy singing the anthem. Paul Byrom is really really good.

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