youngraven: (Default)
See, the trouble is that I never can think of anything at all to write about when it's timely. Come to that, I can scarcely think of anything to write about when it isn't. I went for...janey, most of my youth with people telling me I should be a writer. One sort of has to Dig Writing in order to do that, don't you think? I admire all of yez who have made this your calling: you're putting to good use all those words that I can't be arsed to do anything with at all.

Sort of thing. Actually, this is about me surviving St Pat's this year. I know, yeh? The shortest distance right? Ain't no thing. 

I had two gigs this year, which considering I don't work with a regular band anymore, is plenty really. If I were working with one? I think I'd want perhaps two more, but I'd no complaints for what I had (...and actually, I'd a chance at a third one, but for reasons best not gone into publicly, I turned that one down). It used to be that I was convinced that the regular, rehearsed band was the best way to go...and perhaps it still really is if one wants to do amazing things with one's music. Only a handful of years ago I had an experience with a pick-up band that was so phenomenal that it changed the way I approached performing. 

So since I'm not working with a band at all, I'm fairly game for pick-up work, and this has shaped my last few St Pat's experiences. Mostly, I work with two chaps: John and Mike. John is a mainstay in the local Irish scene and is one of the best Irish guitar players going. Mike is a fiddle player who used to live here, but now does dwell in Sunny Portland and makes the trek down to play with John (and myself) in the bars every March. 

With John on guitar, Mike on fiddle, and myself on vox and drum, we've fairly got it sorted.

So this year was much like last year: we played at Fred's and the Bull and Bush. The Bull and Bush is John's signature St Pat's do - everything builds up to that one. Last year, I liked Fred's best, cos it was low-key, casual, and I was fairly just after coming back from Atlanta and blowing rather much dust off the lot of it. I mean, I played in the seisiunna in Atlanta, but hardly performed there (my own choice), so. At any rate, Fred's was grand last year. 

This year...they'd changed the orientation of the stage (and in fact had built a huge new one), and the feel of the place was seriously different. And thus, I was seriously Off. It was...I'm glad there was nobody really paying me much mind, 'cos jaysus bloody mercy. Alright, in my own defence, I could hardly hear myself - which is never terribly good for a singer. I did manage to shush the crowd a bit during one song, so. Hurrah that. I lost them in the bridge, but oh well. We live and learn, don't we though? My mum had nothing critical to say about it, and she surely should have let me know if she thought that goats were blown. 

Once we'd done with Fred's, we decided we'd eff off to the Bull and Bush and sesh for a while in preparation for the next night's gig there. Wasn't that a fine idea? Well it was, truly, and I'm highly in favour of doing it again that way. We had a few punters, a few jars, a few tunes, and the people there got to listen to me singing the same Bob Dylan song Five Times Over. It was brilliant.

So I was well prepared for the next night's do and it went really well. Far better than Fred's had done. It can get quite noisy there during St Pat's, but since most people had done the momentary Irish bit the previous night, the crowd was thinner than usual and more interested in listening to us and interacting with us - and not once were we asked for some daft pub song that we're sick to our guts of doing. So I offered up Bob Dylan and Mumford & Sons, and it all worked rather well.
 
So. I managed a handful of paragraphs, yeh? :D
youngraven: (suffer)
So as of last week, Bríd acquired a sister: Ainé. She's a 12" amber coloured goat. I jokingly remarked to my sister that if I manage to come across a drum with a white rim, I can row them up and make a Tri-colour. Up the Republic, indeed. It occurs to me that doing this might be taking things a bit too far.

So. I think Bríd is a bit jealous, but needn't be, as I fully intend to give both drums their due.

...'cos they're so different like. Bríd is quiet, polite, and mellow - whereas Ainé is shaping up to be a force of nature. Bríd's head seems a bit more susceptible to changes in a room's overall climate than Ainé. Since I've only a case for one drum, I left Ainé out on a table for a week. Bríd's tone would have run the gamut (I believe calfskins simply do this), whereas Ainé stayed steady. 

So that at the outset was interesting - and she only varied the wee-est of bits at sesh last night, and that room can never make its mind up whether it wants to be dry or wet. 

Ainé is never quite so forgiving as is Bríd. Bríd is warm and mellow-sounding enough to hide the occasional dodgy pitch or dropped beat, whereas Ainé calls out 'OHAI! Heard what you did there! Guess what - so did everybody else!!11 XD' 

:|

I really did need the excuse to tighten it all up. Laxity amidst one's mates is all too easy, really. This isn't the first time that I've been manoeuvred into changing up my style by Mr Alfonso's wares. XD


youngraven: (suffer)

Do you believe in love at first sight?



It was the latter days of 1990; I was seventeen and full of the usual sorts of pipedreams and frippery. You were a small drum played in a way that I'd never seen before, and to be quite honest, couldn't quite work out by simply watching. 

But the sound of you. It was deeper than a heartbeat and older than primal. I could liken it to the echoes of the Big Bang and not only would that be grossly florid, everybody knows that the Big Bang remnants sound a bit more like eeeEERRNNNKKkkk (seriously - look it up, it'll set your back teeth vibrating. Ah, the dulcet screech of the creation of everything). 

All silliness aside, I was instantly fascinated and fixated on this thing: I had to get my hands on one to find out what it would do. A few months later, I was afforded my chance. Not long after that, I began spending rather much time in its presence, working out how to give the sound of it that primordial thrum. 

Now I feel strange when it's not somewhere nearby. So much for being a rock star. 
youngraven: (suffer)
So. Here's how it happened: I was in the middle of a gig when a circular patch in my drum's head went slack - never mind that the outer rim of the head surrounding that patch was alarmingly (as in 'take cover, she's going to blow') taut.

I did what any staid and stoic semi pro would do: I panicked. At the break, I raced behind the pub to phone Albert and gibber like a scared wee thing whose drum has just gone thmok when it should have gone something near to a G.

Silently, I did lament to myself how it seems I end up with a drum with a fouled head (although, in honesty Caitrín may have a fine head; I simply don't like the tone she produces). Got to be player error somehow. I'd got used to plastic drum heads that don't require the care and feeding of natural heads.

Since Albert's convinced it can't be a dodgy skin, there are two possibilities that come to my mind barring the skin being wonky:
  • I've been too hard on the head
  • It could be the weather
(I heart bullets, don't you?) 

If I've ballsed up the head. it's for lack of a crossbrace (this is my first ever drum without one, so I could have done). Over the years, I built my playing style round using that crossbrace for leverage. I'd use a crossbrace, 'cos till recently, most drums were too large for me to control without one - I've explained this many's the time before, so. Only I never felt myself pushing that hard, and Albert (who's seen me since then) has never said 'AAAAHWhatAreYouDoing1111!!11Eleven!!BBQ!11' And he would do. In fact, that would be a direct quote, barbecue and all. 

(Sings) Oh, god - could it be the weather? It could be, in fact, the weather. Albert's the first to say that his drums favour a certain level of humidity, and there's still rather a drought. A few times when I fetched her out, it required me using both hands to work the tuning keys. It startled me once; I feared the head would split, and so I began the practise of downtuning her after a night's play. Apparently, that's the very thing Albert had told me not to do for at least six months. I've no recollexion of this, but in my haste to get my hands on her, I could have spaced on that one. I do know, now, without a doubt that I'm bonding to this drum: I was reluctant to have her back to Albert for repair. I mean, I had to make myself hand over the drum, and then I felt weird watching him leave with her. 

I may well see him tonight - whether he's got Bríd all sorted out...I doubt it. I suppose I'll bring Caitrín to the 'work seisiún' and we'll see what I get out of her. Sigh. Or I could bring Grainne - never mind the plastic head and the fact that she doesn't much like me, she still sounds better than Caitrín. 

I'm exing digits. I want my Bríd back. 

Addendum: Albert's just after phoning, and I will have her back tonight. He's not thrilled with the sound she's giving, so it may well be that she goes back home with him tonight for a new head. I really want this drum to be The One, so I'm actually a bit tense about it.  
youngraven: (Default)
 My friend Mark is re-releasing his bodhrán CD. I highly recommend it if you fancy learning to play.
Click me:
kck.st/wk3PNJ
youngraven: (suffer)
...unless she's a boy. Then surely, he's a pretty boy. The manifestation doesn't much matter to me really. What matters to me is whether we can be friends. All of the elements are there: decent head, 12" diametre, rock-solid construction. The only thing that could possibly get in the way of it being a love connexion, Chuck, is myself. 

In which I will go on about certain pastimes... )


Even if I am sick to my guts of the Kesh Jig. 

...ouch

Sep. 30th, 2010 10:39 am
youngraven: (suffer)
In which I whinge about how my instruments do batter me.

I caught cold at Labour Day weekend. Shaddow was visiting, and we'd agreed to help a friend out at Dragon*Con (which is a post for another day or never at all). I'll not say that the commitment was more than I'd expected it would be, 'cos this friend helps us out at A-Kon, and well he knows the sheer wealth of hours we put into that show (fairly all hours from Wednesday to Monday, and a bit of Tuesday as well); this was a great lot fewer. However, there were many more people, and no established place to hide from them. Needless to say, I was never immune to all of them, and come Monday I was fagged beyond belief.

As a result, Shaddow and I didn't make the Monday seisiún at Fadó. ...and then I didn't make the Wednesday night one at the OBD ...and then had to think better of the next Monday's Fadó seisiún - such that I was beginning to pass out of reality and into mythology as far as my seisiún mates were concerned.

Virii aren't a common occurrence for me. Usually when they come rapping at my immunity's door, they're met with a scoff and a vicious dog. It takes rather the determined microscopic organism to wriggle its way past the usual defences. Creme de la natural selection creme, really. It's the especially sprightly ones that tend to do me in for a little while. Since I never wanted to find myself at the quack shack being told what I already knew ('You've caught a virus. Sorry.'), I laid low, and my instruments hung about in their cases, twiddling their tuning pegs).

And...at my age (waaaail), I do really need to handle each one for a little while every day to keep the organic mechanisms from freezing stiff. I

Ouch.

I understand that after a bout of ailment, it can take one a space of time to bounce back. I understand, as well, that my right hand (I know, I'd suspect the left one first myself, but it's assuredly dexter - the one I'm supposed to be keeping loose. Oops.)  feels as though I'm after landing a palm heel strike against something solid - a wall, say.

I have played guitar a bit since then, so my fingertips didn't suffer the same fate, but everything's dusty. I suppose it's a bit dismaying at how little time it took for that much dust to gather, but there you are. Time is marching on whether I give it permission to do or I don't do.

And we were playing rather faster than usual last night, so.

But still. Ouch.

In other related news, a piper I play with is after telling me that I 'need a real guitar'. Ouch again. Dorian (which is a funny name, really, 'cos I'm fairly sure I don't play much in dorian mode), the black Ovation that has been my stringed companion for 21 years now, is quite possibly banjaxed beyond repair. I injured it badly once (1996, I think it was?), which necessitated a stay in Ovation hospital (we can rebuild it; we have the technology), and it did come back good as new. Only in recent years (perhaps two), I've noticed a bit of trouble with the low E. I can tune it up perfectly, but when I attempt to play a note? Sharp - and it isn't as though I can merely down-tune it to compensate, 'cos then it's flat when it's played open - which is rather often, actually. I've had it round one luthier's thus far, and they're after telling me that the space between the nut and the bridge is too short, and that's mucking up the waves coming from the sound hole.

'...the divil?' sez I. The thing didn't come back from hospital with a new top. It simply didn't do - unless they nicked and scratched it in the identical places it'd been nicked and scratched before merely to throw me off. There would be signs in the varnish of the bridge having been shifted. Fullstop. So...unless the neck ended up shorter (which...sure - but why is it only recently become a problem?), I cannot see how this distance could have been shortened over the years. Not that much (yer man at the luthier's suggested adding at least half an inch), I'm sure. However, this luthier's is not an Authorised! Ovation! Shop!TM and anybody who loves them will attest to them being curious beasties. They simply aren't like other guitars, so it really would serve me to have an expert look it over. Fortunately, I've found one (mostly) nearby.

So, we'll see. The thought of a new guitar chokes me a bit. Sigh. Entropy blows goats, dunnit.
youngraven: A shamrock in flames with an instructional message (annoyed)
Dear Visiting Bodhranaí,

Allow me to enlighten you on a few matters, please. Firstly, myself. I understand that you dropped round some months ago - possibly before my arrival. Fair enough - you 'got here first', as it were. However, I'm here now, and it's fairly plain that everybody else in the seisiun, well, knows me. Therefore, I'd call it reasonable to assume that I'm local and to eschew insulting me. My motivation for removing my crossbrace was really to show how the drum had been customised. And...me joking that the crossbrace could then be used in self defence? That wasn't, actually, an invitation for you to have a jab at me, rather to laugh along with me. 'Cos mate, we've all been at the mercy of seisiún players who'd prefer if it we spent the evening listening from a safe distance. We've all been the brunt of the joke - at times (and clearly this was one such time for me), we've told the joke ourselves. 

Play nicey-nice, sir. See, I've actually been playing longer than yourself, and I'd never, ever have a piss like that at somebody I didn't know well. And even then, only if I was well sure that s/he could take it. You didn't ruffle my feathers, so that we're clear, but...you didn't impress me either. 

And speaking of other things that Don't Impress Me Much, Sally's grand, yeh? To my mind, she's all the trappings of becoming a good mate. She's possessed of an attractive presence, a fine clear complexion, and a distinct lack of a ring on her finger. This does not mean she is fair game. This does not mean she's a peach ripe for your picking. For one, sir, you don't lack a ring on your finger - is your vision blurry? Do you want me to hold up your own hand and show it you? What gives you cause to assume she's That Girl and to make with the wooing whilst you're down on business. Jesus, man, what sorts of novels do you read? Film at eleven: she wasn't impressed either. I got an earful about your last visit the moment you were out the door, Don Juan con Cabrito. Behave yourself. It really isn't that difficult. If you've trouble at home, then sort it out; don't go elsewhere and make Secret Messes. Set your house in order; shall I give you a list of reference materials? Sure, jeez.

Here's hoping you don't act the maggot Wednesday night,
G
youngraven: (Mise me fhein)

...is that the business usually proves a bit uncomfortable once one's actually caught it.

So, here's what I'm going round in circles about since...well, it comes and it goes, but it's been on my mind since Wednesday, so it all feels current.

But first of all, the disclaimer: 
As a rule, I keep my tail chasing mostly to myself; the 'shiveringnaked' concept has never seemed to me something that would be to my own benefit. So that this has even seen the light of day is indicative of something: I'm open to  and I'm asking for discourse.

Now then. For those of you who perform, what drives you to do? I'm really tempted here to give a list of possible motivations, but I'm going to stay that urge for the moment.

 

What lies beneath it all: )

 




 

youngraven: (Default)
'I'm just sitting round being foolish when there is work to be done...'

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If I'd any grace at all, I'd offer up something reasonable such as Spiders or Eaten By Tigers. Something not at all sticky, like. Falling down a well in the snow. Acceptable.

Only I've been feeling dangerous and contrary of late, and I know this Isn't the Forum, but occasionally I break my own rules. And circumlocute fit to encircle the globe. Sure jeez.

It's sort of a multi-partite fear, and the best I can describe it is 'fear of obscurity'. All well and good, right? Perhaps even understandable, yeh? Only...it's really very shameful when examined under a microscope. 'Cos who am I to think I deserve anything better than obscurity? What have I done, been, or said that warrants anything but living my life and leaving no trace.

I understand that a great lot of it's cultural, and a sizeable portion of that lies rooted in the faith of my birth. I'm compelled to keep my head down, my voice quiet, and never to allow any sort of compliment paid me to actually stick to me. 'Cos that'd be cheeky. Who the hell do I think I am, at any rate?

Sure, I've Done Things. Things that might make the people round me point to the paragraphs above and respectfully call 'bollox'. They're at their leisure to do - I can't really stop that. They're never in my own head, and they never see what I've got to mentally wriggle past in order to Do the Things that I've Done.

My viscera tells me that when it comes to Success or Failure, that it's the moral and good choice to do neither. To allow the Success to grace the heads of those truly worthy ('cos if it ever should fall upon my head, then surely I've nicked it off somebody else), but never to fail as to become truly wretched.

My intellect tut-tuts that not a whit of this is in the least bit logical. Or responsible. Or terribly brave. Erm...well, perhaps those last bits are my judgement speaking. 'S got rather a loud voice, that one. Innit.

At next weekend, I may well be faced with the chance to rise a bit, but there will be another one there with that chance as well. I don't know whether I should take my chance, or give it over, turn, and walk away from it. I know what my friends would say to me (possibly after boxing my ears a bit), but I reckon it remains to be seen.

...Having said all of that, certain spiders do worry me greatly, and I can think of thousand of things that I'd rather be doing than to be eaten by tigers.
youngraven: (Default)
...that I should rise, and youse should not.

I'm sure this would have all been more poignant had it been written (I almost stopped at 'writ'. Sure, jeez. Hallo, Georgia; good-bye, grammar) at the time, but life intervened, so.

My 'American wake'
I'm for ever at trying to work out what is or isn't proper human behaviour, so when some of my seisiun mates offered to give me a sending off, I said 'no', thinking it would be cheeky of me to allow such a thing. You know, never mind that other people do it all the fecking time. It's grand for them, yeh? It's a mortal bleeding sin when I do it. :P I came to my senses, relented, and stopped arguing.

So, round a fortnight before I (will attempt to finish this sentence without resorting to nautical metaphor) drove away (ah, success), my seisiun mates gave me a send off. There was cake. It had a bodhrán on and it was amaretto flavoured, and had some sort of raspberry sauce in. :D I don't...actually think we finished it up.

:S

But...it was lovely, and they gave me a plaque with my name on (it's sort of an inside joke), and there are photos to be seen off at my Facebook. I'd post a link to them here, but I've got my settings such that they'd not come over. Necessary evil, sort of thing.

We played and drank and ate cake, and...did a bit more of the same after that. Craig was there, and I got to tell him all about meeting his mate, Duncan, here in Atlanta (we really all do know each other) and the stories that Duncan told us about Craig in his teenaged, mountaineering days back in Scotland. Good times.

The next tuesday, I lingered a little while to natter with mishajames and Tyson, then bade them goodnight, and that was that. I think of the lot of them fondly monday nights.

And, no, I didn't offer up 'The Parting Glass'. Snort.
youngraven: (Default)

One might think I'd have little else to do but lurk round in my flat posting journal entries, and yet...

So.

It's been a month and a day since Stillwater, so it's high time I gave it at least a paragraph's worth of my effort, don't you think?

So, Stillwater...
The week before the festival, I played the seisiun at Trinity Hall. Ken did sort of a Jedi mind trick (he really did do - it was at least a 6 on the geek--o-metre - geeker counter? Sure, jeez. Argh.) on shaddowshoes and myself, and we decided that what we needed more than anything else was to run away for the weekend. With my impending slog out to Georgia...we needed time to ourselves, and driving up to Oklahoma for a few days afforded us that.

We left late in the evening Friday, and mostly enjoyed the drive - there were a few foolish traffic jams, but the first one at least afforded us the opportunity to listen to a radio programme, which we were on the cusp of being out of range to hear. It was Together Time. :) We arrived to our hotel at round 1 o-clock in the morning, and it was off to bed with us.

Yawwwn.

The Stillwater festival is...right round three years old, so it's still rather young, and thus still a bit small, but I think it shows promise. The venue is a county fair ground, and the local laws permitted that at least the lower alcohol beer could be served. A regional brewery was there flogging its wares, so I had a go at the Irish red ale. Not bad - I could tell that it wasn't as aggressive as its stronger sister would have been, but drinkable all the same. I wish I could recall the name of the brewery, but I'm fixated on Atlanta's own Sweetwater at the moment, and thus it's gone right out of my head.

You know, if the Celtic Heritage Festival could have found itself a venue such as the one that the Stillwater festival uses, it might well have made it - or at least kept its head above the water. (Incidentally, I've heard rumour of a new festival in Denton - anybody who went out to it, do tell me what you thought of it, please.) But no matter, yeh? What's done is done.

The programming tracks were a bit off and Ken's booth was situated near to a stage (but then, there was a stage in each of the spaces used, so I don't know how that could be avoided), which meant that his idea of stopping at his booth and playing when he hadn't another commitment wasn't going to come to pass. I think we had a reasonable number of people wander by and ask about the retreat, so. I couldn't give an actual number, 'cos I ended up sitting in with a local band during their sets, so there were a few hours in which I wasn't there watching the crowd.

It was lovely when there was time for choonz, however, and I much enjoyed playing with Bill and Patti from Arizona. I'd met them at a Trinity seisiun before, but I think we all had a better time this go. Shaddow and myself stayed at the hotel seisiun till we were faced with 'leave now, or curl up into a corner and go unconcious'. Gone are the days that I could play marathon seisiunna and...well...keep playing. By the end of the weekend, the back of my hand was bruised and a bit blistered. One does suffer, yeh.

Kevin was there as well, and it's also really grand to play with him; he's a fantastic guitarist. He told me that he'd spent rather some time in Vinings (my current neighbourhood), and offered up a few recommendations. The Old Vinings Inn topped his list; I've yet to go there, but perhaps in September when Shaddow and Yo come for a visit.

We lingered sunday till mid afternoon. Shaddow bought some wine from a local winery, and we wandered back home at something of a leisurely pace.

Then, it was back to reality and the last of the packing. What do you do, eh?
youngraven: (Default)

The past few days have gone thusly...

Klaatu verada nicto
Shaddow and I had an impromptu The Day the Earth Stood Still weekend. We saw the original friday night and the remake Sunday afternoon. The first one told the stronger story, I think. Sure, the notion that humanity could Completely Bollox the Planet For Ever is a bit alarming...but it's vague. When the first one was released (1951), Hiroshima and Nagasaki were still very recent events, and...it made more sense for an alien species to be worried about the potential for humanity to leave the planet and attack them. Gort also made more sense as an enforcer, than as...a big thing...made of metal...bees. :\ On the whole, they were both entertaining, and they did also make for conversation afterwards.

Project Peaches
Most of my entries for the next few months will have something to do with Atlanta, so. My office is almost entirely packed. I've been sealling and labelling boxes. It's my tentative plan to actually quit the space Friday and telecommute for the rest of my time. That will allow me a bit more time to pack up what I'm bringing with me. In theory. It might be that I spend most of the time I save playing my drum.

Speaking of my bodhrán...
My, my, my. I've got rusty. It isn't as though I Stopped Playing, 'cos I've never done that. I've...I don't know - I'm too distracted to play well? Is that possible? I know that my meaningful practises have fallen by the wayside with everything else I've got to do, so...I could do with a bit more practise. I mean, I've actually got a blister on the top of my hand where my crossbrace bit me. This is a thing that does not occur when I've been applying myself, so.

Going mobile
My sister in law has lent me her old Treo. I can now send text messages without it taking entire quarter hours to form simple words. I've been playing with it.

Seisiunna
See the bit above about me needing to practise. I really don't want to go into any new seisiunna with this seeming lack of control.

And...I think that's the lot for me. I'd thought I'd have many things to say about many other things, and no.
youngraven: (Default)

The past few days have gone thusly...

Klaatu verada nicto
Shaddow and I had an impromptu The Day the Earth Stood Still weekend. We saw the original friday night and the remake Sunday afternoon. The first one told the stronger story, I think. Sure, the notion that humanity could Completely Bollox the Planet For Ever is a bit alarming...but it's vague. When the first one was released (1951), Hiroshima and Nagasaki were still very recent events, and...it made more sense for an alien species to be worried about the potential for humanity to leave the planet and attack them. Gort also made more sense as an enforcer, than as...a big thing...made of metal...bees. :\ On the whole, they were both entertaining, and they did also make for conversation afterwards.

Project Peaches
Most of my entries for the next few months will have something to do with Atlanta, so. My office is almost entirely packed. I've been sealling and labelling boxes. It's my tentative plan to actually quit the space Friday and telecommute for the rest of my time. That will allow me a bit more time to pack up what I'm bringing with me. In theory. It might be that I spend most of the time I save playing my drum.

Speaking of my bodhrán...
My, my, my. I've got rusty. It isn't as though I Stopped Playing, 'cos I've never done that. I've...I don't know - I'm too distracted to play well? Is that possible? I know that my meaningful practises have fallen by the wayside with everything else I've got to do, so...I could do with a bit more practise. I mean, I've actually got a blister on the top of my hand where my crossbrace bit me. This is a thing that does not occur when I've been applying myself, so.

Going mobile
My sister in law has lent me her old Treo. I can now send text messages without it taking entire quarter hours to form simple words. I've been playing with it.

Seisiunna
See the bit above about me needing to practise. I really don't want to go into any new seisiunna with this seeming lack of control.

And...I think that's the lot for me. I'd thought I'd have many things to say about many other things, and no.
youngraven: (cuppa)
Nosh
Tonight's enchiladas went well enough...I tend to think they were a bit dry, and perhaps I shouldn't have waited to add the sauce. I was a bit worried that I'd scorch it, but...upon further consideration, I don't think I'd have done. Flavour-wise, it all came together well, and there wasn't terribly much assembly involved. I'd do it again. I've got all of the ingredients to make another batch, so it's likely I will do it again, and soon, providing something else doesn't come to my mind to try with it all first. 

Brain
I've got 'The Girl from Ipanema' cycling its way through my grey matter, thanks to being 'kidnapped' to Rio on Facebook. 
Sing it with me:
Dark and tan and 
Young and lovely the
Girl from Ipanema goes walking
And when she passes each one
She passes goes 'Aaaaaaah'. 


Or something to that effect. I could go and look up the proper lyrics to it, but Shan't Do. So. 

Puzzlement
Why does my formatting disappear whenever I do something new to my entry? Seriously. If I change a heading to bold, and then later some text to italics, the bold goes away. It's mad. And a puzzlement. And annoying. 

Aeroplane
I should be packing up for our trek out to Atlanta for the fact-finding phase of Project Peaches. Instead, I'm drinking in the bar and writing journal entries about things I should be doing. I should be doing the washing up as well. 'Cos...I'd rather not leave it as it is for the weekend. It'll take over the house and drive the cars into a tree. The same tree. At the same time. Shaddow and I have bought identical rolling rucksacks for ourselves. They're quite clever, and we're rather pleased. They'll serve as a place to stash clothing and a laptop bag. They're grand. They're blue. 

Peachy
The fellow from Promove wrote to me again. I gave him the short list of places I'm going to have a look at this weekend. Perhaps that'll get him off my back. Ha. I keep re-thinking what I should/shouldn't want to take with me. Nothing I'd want to bring back, I'm thinking. Large things, I mean. Art supplies, clothing, bodhran, that lot - sure, I'll be bringing that back with me. Furniture, on the other hand...Jesus, why do it twice? I had thought that I'd take nothing at all, and find things there via charity shops and Craigslist, now I'm wondering whether I shouldn't bring a few things that Orion Rising could do with replacing (or without altogether). Of course, it isn't as though we couldn't sell or donate those things here... I need to take a decision one way or the other and quickly. By Monday, I'll say. 

Ceol
I've found another seisiun at a place in Douglasville on Wednesday nights. I think this one will be a bit more like the Gilligan's one. I can go and play there, and then go to the Fado one to listen. I'm not terribly keen on showing up to Fado without an invitation. Rick did say that he'd make a long-distance introduction, so...perhaps I needn't worry, and that would mean two seisiunna I could play every week. :D

That would be grand. :D I practised a bit tonight, not my bodhran playing, mind (which at the moment needs the most work, argh. I've hit a wall. There. I've said it - I move past it now), but practise all the same. My voice is squeaky. Much in the way a capybara's might be.
'SQUEAK.'
'Alright, I believe you.'

Sort of thing. 

Orion Rising
Is it mad of me to want to clean the place up spic and span before I go? Seriously? Am I making strife for myself? I'm thinking in the future to the holidays, and when I'll be back, and how I'll never want to have to fuck with it then, and...various and sundry other things, 'cos my time will all be compressed, and the filing's a bit mad - and can you see how frenetic this sentence has become? Sure, right. :| I'll have to make a list, I will. One of things to do and things that I shouldn't be bothering with. Packing should be on that list. Can I tell you how little I wish to take on that task? Seriously? Good God. 


So. There's where it all stands. I suppose I should go and prepare for tomorrow. 

Slan go foill...


youngraven: (Default)
Nosh
Tonight's enchiladas went well enough...I tend to think they were a bit dry, and perhaps I shouldn't have waited to add the sauce. I was a bit worried that I'd scorch it, but...upon further consideration, I don't think I'd have done. Flavour-wise, it all came together well, and there wasn't terribly much assembly involved. I'd do it again. I've got all of the ingredients to make another batch, so it's likely I will do it again, and soon, providing something else doesn't come to my mind to try with it all first. 

Brain
I've got 'The Girl from Ipanema' cycling its way through my grey matter, thanks to being 'kidnapped' to Rio on Facebook. 
Sing it with me:
Dark and tan and 
Young and lovely the
Girl from Ipanema goes walking
And when she passes each one
She passes goes 'Aaaaaaah'. 


Or something to that effect. I could go and look up the proper lyrics to it, but Shan't Do. So. 

Puzzlement
Why does my formatting disappear whenever I do something new to my entry? Seriously. If I change a heading to bold, and then later some text to italics, the bold goes away. It's mad. And a puzzlement. And annoying. 

Aeroplane
I should be packing up for our trek out to Atlanta for the fact-finding phase of Project Peaches. Instead, I'm drinking in the bar and writing journal entries about things I should be doing. I should be doing the washing up as well. 'Cos...I'd rather not leave it as it is for the weekend. It'll take over the house and drive the cars into a tree. The same tree. At the same time. Shaddow and I have bought identical rolling rucksacks for ourselves. They're quite clever, and we're rather pleased. They'll serve as a place to stash clothing and a laptop bag. They're grand. They're blue. 

Peachy
The fellow from Promove wrote to me again. I gave him the short list of places I'm going to have a look at this weekend. Perhaps that'll get him off my back. Ha. I keep re-thinking what I should/shouldn't want to take with me. Nothing I'd want to bring back, I'm thinking. Large things, I mean. Art supplies, clothing, bodhran, that lot - sure, I'll be bringing that back with me. Furniture, on the other hand...Jesus, why do it twice? I had thought that I'd take nothing at all, and find things there via charity shops and Craigslist, now I'm wondering whether I shouldn't bring a few things that Orion Rising could do with replacing (or without altogether). Of course, it isn't as though we couldn't sell or donate those things here... I need to take a decision one way or the other and quickly. By Monday, I'll say. 

Ceol
I've found another seisiun at a place in Douglasville on Wednesday nights. I think this one will be a bit more like the Gilligan's one. I can go and play there, and then go to the Fado one to listen. I'm not terribly keen on showing up to Fado without an invitation. Rick did say that he'd make a long-distance introduction, so...perhaps I needn't worry, and that would mean two seisiunna I could play every week. :D

That would be grand. :D I practised a bit tonight, not my bodhran playing, mind (which at the moment needs the most work, argh. I've hit a wall. There. I've said it - I move past it now), but practise all the same. My voice is squeaky. Much in the way a capybara's might be.
'SQUEAK.'
'Alright, I believe you.'

Sort of thing. 

Orion Rising
Is it mad of me to want to clean the place up spic and span before I go? Seriously? Am I making strife for myself? I'm thinking in the future to the holidays, and when I'll be back, and how I'll never want to have to fuck with it then, and...various and sundry other things, 'cos my time will all be compressed, and the filing's a bit mad - and can you see how frenetic this sentence has become? Sure, right. :| I'll have to make a list, I will. One of things to do and things that I shouldn't be bothering with. Packing should be on that list. Can I tell you how little I wish to take on that task? Seriously? Good God. 


So. There's where it all stands. I suppose I should go and prepare for tomorrow. 

Slan go foill...


youngraven: (Off Centre)
...before I shove off for the evening.

Morning aggro
When I opened my office door this morning, I discovered that somebody had wedged a cart stacked with office detritus behind my chair. I'd been given a message to the effect of 'the area formerly known as Graphics has been cleared out - all of this is yours. Fetch out of the warehouse, please'. Only it never made it there, did it? 'Cos somebody stuffed it into my room.

The punchline? None of it actually belonged to me.

Books
I've read three books recently. One, a blast from the past; one, a waste of my time (largely); and one, about a walk in the woods. The first in the list was The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet by Eleanor Cameron.  When I was younger (I don't recall my actual age - 8? 9?), I was mad for Mushroom Planet books. They are all mostly out of print now and considered collectible. I don't think libraries have them anymore - not when they can fetch hundreds on Amazon.com.

The second in the list was Help Me, I'm Irish by Ray Hamill. The excerpt I'd read was amusing - seriously. I thought I'd stumbled over a gem. And then it arrived, and...well, I realise I'm never to judge a book by its cover, but the instant the thing was out of the box and into my hands I thought 'oh...this is a vanity pressing'. Now then, I've read a vanity pressing book before...and it wasn't terribly well-written as far as its language crafting was concerned. But the story that the woman told (she was a homesteader in Alaska in the 60s) was so unique and fascinating that I ignored the shortcomings. This thing by Ray Hamill? My. Somebody should have stopped you, mate. Seriously. He could have made it a genuine autobiography (rather than inventing a character and hiding behind him), and it would have had more merit. But. He didn't do that, and...he didn't exactly have a story to tell most of the time. And he includes this preface which is lengthy and too explanatory and...he insists upon using 'damn' when it should be 'damned' - and that gets up my nose. Oh, and he writes in eye dialect for his Irish characters. It's a spike to the head. Alright, they're from Dublin, we get it. Sure, jeez.

I'm going to foist the book off on somebody else tonight. Somebody who I suspect will appreciate it far more than myself. :|

The third in the list was A Walk in the Woods (see, told you) by Bill Bryson. In it, he tells the story of the time that he and his mate hiked the Appalachian Trail just for the craic. At the very end of the book, the publisher had a list of his other works, which I plan to read. Highly entertaining, and I learnt that a bear will eat you if you take a Snickers bar into the woods. So don't do that. I recommend it for those of you in need of a bit of non-fiction.

It's even a longer way to Tipperary, now
It's true. The Tipp is shutting. Tim, the chap who took it over from Martin all those years ago, sent round a message to the effect of 'we've had a good run, but'. I'm dismayed. Seriously. The Tipp afforded the local Irish scene a fantastic place to play. People were encouraged to come out for the ceol as well as the craic. Sure, I have spent more time of late at Trinity Hall, but that's largely 'cos I had sort of a regular gig there.

The original Tipperary was my first seisiun and where I met [livejournal.com profile] shaddowshoes . I've seen it through all of its iterations and owners, and we've lost something needful here. It was a noteworthy thing to have played the Tipp. I'm really pleased to say that I have done, and I'm terribly sorry to see it go.

Project Peaches
I've made a few contacts in Atlanta. [livejournal.com profile] shaddowshoes and I are going out to look round in a fortnight. We'll spend our tenth anniversary there, which is a bit bittersweet. I've, sight unseen, decided to look for a flat in Vinings. It's near to the river (one block of flats has got a fishing pier and a place to put in a canoe or kayak - I worry that it's entirely too costly to live there, but I am so intrigued), it seems a cosy place, I like the sound of the name 'Vinings', and it's not so far from the city proper that I'll spend the rest of my days stuck in traffic. I've heard that the traffic in Atlanta is horrid, but it's fairly rotten here as well, so... Who knows, right?

I've made myself a Google map with colour-coded 'pins' in to show where I plan to look. I've also got a list of flats, &c saved to a web site, so I've been doing rather a bit of work on that score. I've yet to begin packing, 'cos... sigh. I don't think that needs explanation, really.

And with that, I'm heading off to seisiun.

Slán go foill...
youngraven: (whack-fol-lol-de-ra)
Blah-fol-lol-de-ra )
youngraven: (mise mé fhein)
What I learnt from last night's practise session: My time is more productive when there is a goal to be reached. In the past, I've avoided goal setting out of fear of stymying any sort of spontenaity, but...I work best when there's a goal and perhaps a wee bit of pressure.

So, how to achieve that when I've no actual deadlines...? Make some? That's one way to go, surely.

Right, so that sounds really obvious, yeh? If you haven't got deadlines, then make some - hallo? Then you'll have deadlines. True. I would do - only I think I work best when there is an actual looming event for which I must be ready.

Such as St Pat's Day. In getting ready for that, I increased my repertory such that I could probably go out and get short gigs on my own now. Such as festivals in which I've got an hour each day with which to work.

So...perhaps that should be my looming event - I can think of three festivals (two out of state and one local) to which I could likely pitch - providing I keep up the work I've been doing (and add to that working on a passable demo recording).

There's really nothing stopping me doing that, and in the spirit of this notion, I've decided to attend Tionol in St Louis this year. I've signed up for Brian O'hAirt's sean nos workshop. Most of my sean nos studies have been autodidactic, and whereas I'd never discount that as valid, his credentials are intriguing, and I think it would do me good. I've a few friends in St Louis and Mark and Albert will be going as well, so it isn't as though I'll be flying off into completely uncharted waters...

...but it is a bit as though I'll be flying off into completely uncharted waters. I've been wrestling with niggling doubts over my worth and future as a performer, and with this, I'm taking action that I feel will be to my benefit. Not surprisingly, I'm feeling those doubts subside a bit.

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