ROCKING THE BOAT: Those of us who drink for a living know that the safest way to spend St. Patrick's Day weekend is to climb inside a box with a case of Jameson's, Harp, Guinness and Bailey's with some air holes punched in the top and some cabbage and potatoes scattered on the floor.
But the world is full of people who ignore our advice, much to the delight of restaurants, bars and other venues that will be packed with ersatz Irishers.
Our pick for the weekend is Shamrock `n' Roll, with a lineup of Celtic pub-rockers, cover bands and traditional Irish folk-rockers taking over the Queen Mary from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday.
The concert area will feature a full bar with, as mandated by law, green beer, plus grab-and-go food items. You get the raucous pub-rockers the Shillaly Brothers, drinking songs and ballads by Dublin Public, Irish band covers by CPO & the Saps and folk punk from the Brick Top Blaggers. Hometowner DJ Dennis Owens will be spinning the appropriate fare on the Verandah Deck throughout the evening.
Tickets are $15 online at www.queenmary.com, or $20 at the door. Parking is $5 with event validation.
O'CTOPUS OFFERINGS: Virtually, maybe even literally, every place in town with a tapper is doing something special for St. Patrick's Day, and it would be unfair of us to single out just one restaurant. Still, our dad always hammered us with the fact that Life Is Not
FIVE BUCKS A CAT: Five dollars for a lousy cat? It used to be there was nothing cheaper than a cat. It was a phrase used to describe things that didn't cost very much: "A 12-pack of Budweiser at Rite-Aid on Super Bowl Sunday is cheaper than kittens." You pay more than a buck and a half for a cat and you're getting fleeced. We can get get you all the cat you can handle for a nickel a pound.
Or you can go to the Seal Beach Animal Care Center's "St. Catrick's Day" adoption event from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday where, for just $5 - which, as it turns out, is actually incredibly cheap - you get a cat already spayed or neutered, micro-chipped and up to speed with vaccinations and flea control. Other times, that's going to run you $350, according to the center.
You will find the Seal Beach Animal Care Center at 1700 Adolfo Lopez Drive in Seal Beach. Check it out at www.sbacc.org.
DOG NEWS: Bark Twice If You Love Long Beach Reads One Book. Did you do it? Did you bark twice at your newspaper? OK, next, go the event of the same name from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday at the sprawling Good Neighbor Park at El Dorado Park, 2800 Studebaker Road.
It's going to be Dogsville all day, with adoption info, LBPD K9 patrol pooches, guide dogs, training demonstration, children's face-painting, animal blessings and more. And "more" includes a four-hour marathon "celebrity" reading of this year's Long Beach Reads One Book book, "The Art of Racing in the Rain." We'll be doing our part of the reading a bit after 1 p.m. before we go back home, exhausted. It's our first marathon.
For more info, go to www.longbeachreadsonebook.com.
FRIDAY PLAYLIST: It's St. Patrick's Day weekend, the easiest time of the year for the nation's playlist builders. Here's ours.