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I was given a week to sort myself out before going back into the office. During that week, I spent entirely too much time and money at the shops, which made me a bit cranky. I'm not really one for 'retail therapy' - there's always the sense that I'm doing something naughty whenever I buy something.

But the fruits of those labours are:
A smartly done-up flat - I chose red and brown for my common area colours and brown, white, and lavender for the bedroom.
A well-stocked fridge and larder, and I've been putting both to grand use. SInce I'm on my own, I'm less inclined to go out to restaurants. There's something about being on my own in a restaurant that whispers 'what, haven't you got friends' in a sneering sort of way. Of course I've got friends, but they're all of them Miles Away from me at the moment, so gerroff my arse, le do thoil.
All of the boxes I brought with me unpacked but one, and I'm deciding whether I'm not going to simply fetch it back home, 'cos it's worked out that I don't actually need it here.
A pub with a seisiun located and visited. This was a need rather than a want. I'd have gone mad without it, or to seed - whichever would come first. I dreaded what I'd do with myself here come tuesday nights when I'm used to being at Gilligans. As it's worked out, I'm still fagged out from the night before, that tuesdays come and go without a pang of longing.

'Cos of course, I'm dreaming about my seisiun mates whilst I'm playing monday nights. I'm missing them in their proper context.

So, I made capital use of my first week here. I've kept the flat at a reasonable level of spic and span, of course...I've feckall else to do most nights, and doing the counters and the floors does keep a bit of the boredom at bay. It is what it is, I never mean to make a moan. I know very few people here, and none of them terribly well (but for ellayn, who's round 50 miles - I believe - east of here). I tend towards the solitary, so it's going to take a little while, am I not the sort to bound up to another person and say 'will you be my friend' (and that tends to go in the opposite way and all). It is what it is. :D

What's left to do: 
Obtain an office chair. I've got my eye on one at Ikea, only It's Big, and my little flat is reached by many steep stairs. So...I'll need some way to drag it.
Find an entryway table or a credenza, or some place to lay my hand bag, keys, and laptop satchel at night. I thought I'd the perfect solution, till it worked out that it would not fit - no how, no way. 
Affix art and photos to walls. I've got a printer, I need to connect it and print things to frame. Strangely, two things I've decided to display are photos that I shot of St Louis. I've also got two long, narrow buddhas that my father made some forty years ago. I'm not sure where they'll end up. I might put them on either side of the mirrored wall in the dining room. I'm really fond of them. 
Practise. I should do that also. My fingernails have got tellingly long, and there are other things I want to be learning. 

I think I'll print photos and practise this evening (well, practising should be every night, but I'll begin with it this evening).


youngraven: (suffer)
I've been looking at bodhran videos on YouTube. At the moment, I'm 'tuned' (if you would) to a woman called Michelle Stewart. Her videos are concise and clear - about the only suggestion I might offer her is to drink a sizeable glass of water before pressing the record button; her voice gets steadily raspier as she talks, and I find I grow desperate for her to clear her throat. I've been in that sort of situation before (in which I'm going all croaky and I can't stop to do anything about it); it's highly frustrating. I feel for her on a very visceral level. :D

I'm in search of practise tips, 'cos I need them. Of all of the instruments in the world that I could become intrinsically attached to, the bodhran was the one that made the last cut, and...I'm becoming a bit disengaged. Sunday was grand - I was in good form despite feeling like hammered shite and longing for a B12 shot. I hate shots; that I craved one is saying something. The Saturday Ken's house...I'd an Off Day. (A good rule to follow: don't shit the lot in front of the boss, yeh?) Sure, we all have them, I know that. This isn't a cry for pity nor a cry for the cat-o-nine.

Rather it's me realising that...well, I'm becoming a bit disengaged. Some times the first way to put it is the best. So I've been practising more. On my own. To Yes and Phil Collins (and Patrick Ourceau) to be exact. It's an idea that came to me as I was studying Stewart Copeland play at the Police concert in 2007. I thought more about it a few months later as I was paying especial attention to Neil Peart at the Rush concert.

Why shouldn't I take cues from rock drummers? Well, I will say that it's a fantastic way to work at keeping in lock-step with another percussion player. Beyond that...I don't know whether I'm getting out of it what I wanted from it, so I'm re-considering it all.

And adding hyphens where they likely don't belong, but no matter that, really. Snort.

The stream of consciousness is a grand place for a paddle, innit?

So, anyways... I've been thinking and thinking about Practise and how to get the most out of it - and it isn't merely for the bodhran, mind. My voice could do with a bit of spit and polish (and my damned third octave back, le do thoil), as could my guitar playing, and...whereas I've decided that I'm likely never going to be a mandolin virtuoso (and this is a mechanical thing, rather than me suspecting I lack the talent), I'm still keen on playing the thing in seisiun - 'cos that's fun (and it serves to help my bodhran playing - see how it all comes back to my bodhran? surrrrre.); which means I'd do well to learn a tune or two.

The vocal bits...I've got vocal runs I can use to practise, and songs that I can learn - so I'm not that worried about that bit (it would be grand to find a teacher, but not now - I'm not feeling it's right now; the same goes for the guitar and mandolin bits. The bodhran...

...over the years, I've got the most out of playing with people. Or with music, rather - it needn't be actual live people - but some sort of musical tapestry (again, if you would) with holes in that I can fill. Only I wonder...does Mark do it that way? Does Albert do it that way? What about Craig? Am I cheating myself out of some sort of basic technique that I know, but I can only describe in the context of everything else?

I read something recently that stated 'maediocrity doesn't concern itself with the basics' or something to that effect. The phrase that followed that was something to the extent of Maediocrity being bored by the basics.

Uh-oh. Well, I don't much care for that, now do I? Seriously, what's the point in me giving the lion's share of my musical expression over to an instrument if I'm only ever going to allow myself Maediocrity? Erm...we're worth more than that. Myself and the drum.

Och. I mean that, too. Every syllable. Since that last bit (above this bit) was written, I've spent round...two hours following link after link. They led me to Mae West. Now I know that she was a supporter of gay and trans-gender rights, but my head is Pounding, and I can't for the life of me recall how I'd planned to end this thing.

You know, beyond saying 'sure, jeez - I should practise more'.

So, we come back to it, don't we do?


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April 2013

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