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Monday, March 17, 2008
Murphy's Law
My laptop has given out on me. Blogging on my dad's laptop. Everything's backed up, but it would have been great if it had lasted through my fieldwork and the conference I'm giving a paper at near the end of March.

Oh well. Updates as technology/time permits.

Peace, Love, and Tunes,

posted by Mac Tíre at 10:08 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Spring Break Travels
Going here:

And then here:


and here:

Peace, Love, and Tunes,

posted by Mac Tíre at 12:37 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
On a Lighter Note
God I'm glad musicians have a sense of humor......

The Chair of the NFA convention's sample model bio:

    Chair's Name, Flute Professor at the (name of university), has studied with no one of note, rarely practices, and indulges in countless hours of video gaming. Past successes include procuring sufficient funds to purchase degrees, giving up fast food, and building the 1,556 piece Lego Imperial Cruiser.

I'm trying to get all of my conference stuff squared away. Too much to do on too little sleep, and worried about all of it getting funded. I Can Has Cheezburger has become a wonderful source of sanity, and I am repeatedly entertained by my recently added playlist that currently houses: Cream, Sequentia, Dolly Parton, Allison Krauss, Several Episodes of Pottercast, Rose Cousins, Judy Collins, Things to learn on guitar for the NFA conference, Rumba music for the Afro-Cuban Ensemble, Melissa Etheridge, The Byrds, Jean Ritchie, Sweeney's Men, and Bob Dylan. Yay for musical schizophrenia!

More on Participant Observation and the Afro-Cuban ensemble later......

Peace, Love, and Tunes,

posted by Mac Tíre at 1:09 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Monday, March 10, 2008
So much hate
You'd think in ten years things would get better.....not worse.

Matthew Shepard: December 1, 1976Octoober 12, 1998

Lawrence King: January 13, 1993 - February 12, 2008

Guess not.
posted by Mac Tíre at 10:22 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Thursday, March 06, 2008
No time for an actual entry
Sorry I haven't been posting as much of late. It's the crazy part of the semester and as usual I've thrown myself into everything humanly imaginable.......including an improv flute thing in a local Afro-cuban ensemble. When you're one of the only non-classical flute players around, you tend to get pulled in for a wide variety of things. My improv skills: not so great. But you'll never get better if you don't put yourself out there.

Also haven't been sleeping well, as earlier posts can prove. And the whole not sleeping thing means that all I really want to do is sleep......a lot. Mostly stress (school and otherwise) related.....and since I haven't been running lately, due to a hip/it band injury that is slowly getting better, most of my normal ways of coping are gone. Anyway.....no time for an actual post so I thought I'd do a meme.

10 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Mac:

  1. I have two favorite cereals: Rice Krispies......and Bran Flakes. I have been obsessed with both of these since I was in elementary school.
  2. I used to whittle a lot before I went to high school (hey I am from Alabama). I have some semi-decent stuff too.
  3. The first instrument I tried to play was the classical violin....when I was about 6.
  4. I took ballet (like all good southern girls), jazz, and tap for several years. I loved jazz and tap, but they wouldn't let me take those two styles without ballet. I actually quit dance because I hated ballet so much that I wouldn't stick it through to deal with the other two styles.
  5. From the time I was in 2nd grade until the time I was a freshman in high school, I was convinced I was going to be a paleontologist (and I shocked the hell out of my elementary school teachers because I called the occupation by it's actual name). After that, I thought I was either going into english or international affairs (I wanted to work for the state department)....and entered college as a triple major: English, International Affairs--Cultural Emphasis, and Music (which I was convinced I would never do anything with).
  6. My favorite mixed drink is a frozen margarita.....consequently I make a pretty awesome margarita. My roommate won me over to gin and tonics that are well made during a Lord Peter Whimsey marathon.
  7. I write a lot of poetry.....journals and journals of it. I've even been published once or twice. The writing helps keep me sane during the craziness of grad school.
  8. I know and have experienced cotillions. 'Nough said.
  9. It took 6 months of continual begging to convince my parents to let me study a martial art.
  10. I have dreams of doing a cover of Janis Joplin's Piece of My Heart.....but I won't do it until I'm sure that I won't sound like a southern white girl from the suburbs. It's all about the scream.
Peace, Love, and Tunes,



posted by Mac Tíre at 2:07 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Monday, March 03, 2008
Books (#2)--Which book would you be?
I think I got my academic work ethic in middle school. I went to Magnet schools 1st grade through 8th. Each Magnet school was geared towards a different skill set-- performing arts, rigorous academics, science & math......my elementary school program was based around creative thinking. Basically this involved giving kids lots of different problems to solve, and rewarding thinking outside of the box. My middle school however was geared towards rigorous academics.

And when I say rigorous academics.....I mean insanely competitive, overly oppressive, regurgitation based, imagination killing indoctrination. At the time I thought it was great, but the more I look back at it, that program was insane. I was on every academic team that school put out, and so I and a lot of the other kids I was friends with were treated like prize horses instead of kids. I had one "academic coach" who had the reputation of driving kids to the point of nervous breakdowns because she wanted them to know every answer to every question that could possibly be asked at a competition. Hell, we were kids, we didn't know how stupid it was to sit around and memorize random facts just so we could beat the hell out of other schools who weren't marshaled around four afternoons (two hours an afternoon) a week. I developed my hatred of formal competition in that place, not only because of what it does to people, but what it brings out in my own personality.

There were some good things: one of my history teachers who spent two months out of a semester doing an extended unit on Islamic history and culture.....and treating the topic with respect and dignity; one of my science teachers, who was one of the best teachers I've ever had, despite the fact that I'm not really a science person; and getting pushed to read different and more difficult literature than I had before (we were reading Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream in sixth grade).

Which brings me to the book du jour.

Before middle school I hadn't had a proper introduction to the genre of Science Fiction. I had already read lots of different fantasy-type novels, and had torn through lots of different versions of the Arthurian legends.....but no sci-fi yet. That is until I read Ray Bradbury's
Fahrenheit 451.

Like a lot of other people I know, I was extremely unpopular in middle school. I had friends, but they didn't always get me. And for being in such an academically rigorous school, it was not the norm to be a geek. It was normal to know stuff, but you weren't supposed to "be a geek about it." Needless to say, the fact that I had my nose in a book perpetually didn't go over well with my peers. Growing up in a fairly small community in a mid-size southern city, I was also convinced that there weren't people out there "like me." Kids who liked folk music, read everything they could get their hands on, were seriously into technology, and liked to learn about everything.......I guess that was the worst part of middle school, high school, and undergrad to an extent--you didn't think there was anyone else your own age interested in the things you were.

Books like Fahrenheit 451, let me realize that there were other people as book obsessed as I was. It also put words to my boredom with memorizing random facts for competitions that ultimately didn't mean anything.

    "Give the people contests they win by remembering the words to more popular songs or the names of state capitals or how much corn Iowa grew last year. Cram them full of non-combustible data, chock them so damned full of 'facts' they feel stuffed, but absolutely 'brilliant' with information. Then they'll feel they're thinking, they'll get a sense of motion without moving."
And I was ultimately captivated with the idea of carrying the books you love within your memories. I think it was the first inkling of how much I would cherish being part of an aural/oral tradition, and feeling responsible for making sure that knowledge is passed on to someone else.

One question I still can't answer?

Which book would you be?
(feel free to answer in the comments if you've got a book you'd be)

Peace, Love, and Tunes,



posted by Mac Tíre at 12:15 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ 1 comments
Sunday, March 02, 2008
Sometimes insomnia really sucks...Do you ever wish there was an off button for your brain?
posted by Mac Tíre at 3:17 AM ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments