<"http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd"> Welcome to the Ceili
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Nothing New
Wish I had something new to report on, but other than settling in nicely, nothing new to report. Every time I think I am done unpacking books.....I find more. They're like tribbles. Anyway, it's supposedly unbelievably hot here in OHC, but I find it fine....a little warm, sure.....but perfectly survivable. I am however, going to go get another fan for the living room. My internet gets here on Thursday afternoon.....I am unbelievably excited to not have to go searching for an internet connection. I am also trying to start up some studio teaching to hopefully make a little extra money. Anyway, I off back home to try and finish unpacking books.

Peace, Love, and Tunes,

posted by Mac Tíre at 3:58 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Sunday, August 16, 2009
New Furniture
I have a couch! Ok.....I have a loveseat....but it fits perfectly in my apartment, and provides a great place to read with a kitty cat in my lap. The apartment is coming along, and I'm hoping to have everything set up by Thursday (when my internet is supposed to be set up). I have discovered that a friend of mine from undergrad (O) has migrated this way, so we met up at the museum of Natural and Cultural history to take a look at the world instruments exhibit her and her husband had helped set up. O also offered to show me around town next week while she was showing one of her friends from high school around as well.

I'm heading to U(rban)C(ity) today to try and find some good tunes (and visit IKEA before the session), but I am planning on heading back to the session tomorrow night to see if there are any new/different faces. Also planning on doing at least one open mic this week, and checking out the beginning running group sponsored by the local running store.

I had my first Skype calls this week. Wow, technology is crazy. And very, very cool. I think once I get a video camera hooked up it will be even crazier.

The weather here has been A-MAZ-ING. Even the cloudy days are beautiful, because I get to wake up, make breakfast, and look at the mist surrounding the Buttes from my kitchen window.

I'm hoping to venture out into the city on the bus next week. My plan is to use the bus to investigate the used bookstores because they're near locations I'll visit frequently (ie school/coffee shops/and hello.....used bookstores).

I'm trying to put myself out there earlier and more than I did in FDP. It's odd because usually I talk myself out of doing things at the last minute (ok....I did that for the open mics I was planning on....but I had unpacked boxes all day and didn't feel like playing). To me, making small talk/meeting lots of new people takes a lot of effort/energy/courage that sometimes I don't feel I have, which usually results in me sitting with my cat on my lap and reading/watching a movie. I am being much better about going out and doing things anyway, and it's something I want to keep doing.

I want to accomplish so many things while I'm here, it's kind of overwhelming: Break into the Singer/Songwriter scene, get my PhD, take my Irish trad playing to the next level, get published, set myself up to get a good job, attempt some sort of recording, etc. Following on the heels of 4 years of grad school, sometimes my to-do list makes me tired and brings out the "what makes you actually think you can do any of that" voice just by looking at it. It's really helpful to have (almost) two months to get a break and set up my apartment, try out some open mics, practice trad flute, get up at 9 am and leisurely cook breakfast, and study for entrance exams without the added pressure of school and teaching.

Anyway, I need to make some more progress on the unpacking front before I try out the session tonight!

Peace, Love, and Tunes,

posted by Mac Tíre at 1:21 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Being able to cook in your apartment makes all the difference
Perhaps my earlier post was a bit too negative. I was still riding the disappointment of the less than adequate session scene. However, I cooked for the first time in my apartment (both dinner and breakfast), and life seems wonderful when you wake up in your own bed, go to the kitchen to make eggs, waffles, and coffee, and can sit a look out of your kitchen window at one of the Buttes here in OHC. My couch comes tomorrow (holy crap why am I not unpacking as we speak), and internet gets hooked up on the 20th.

There are so many things to do here--running groups, coffee clubs, book clubs, co-ops, farmer's markets, used bookstores everywhere, open mics almost every night of the week. It's a little hard to choose, but I'm trying to be adventurous. I'm hoping to go investigate one of the open mics either tonight or tomorrow night. I really want to work on getting a regular paying gig somewhere in town. Since I have absolutely no clue how to go about that, I figure open mics are a great place to start to a) get a feel for the venues, b) get a feel for the crowds, and c) get some (more) performance experience.

The session on Monday was a little friendlier even if the music wasn't much better. There are several sessions in Urban City 2 hrs away, which I also want to check out. The one that seems to be heralded as the better of the two I'm checking out is on Friday and starts at 9pm, which would pose a problem coming back as the session runs till midnight and I don't really fancy getting back at 2 am. There's another one on Sundays that ends around 8pm which would put me back in town at a decent hour. I really do anticipate that the session in OHC will get better once the school year starts, but I'm craving some good tunes before then, so I guess we'll see just how adventurous I get.

I have a coffee table (ok, it was probably a work bench, but it was $5 and now it's a coffee table), and I've decided I'm going to refinish it.....which I've never done before. But it's not like I haven't got a lot of time on my hands.

Well, I'm off to Trader Joe's and then back to the apartment to unpack some more!

Peace, Love, and Tunes,

posted by Mac Tíre at 2:46 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ 1 comments
Monday, August 10, 2009
Holy Crap....I live on the West Coast
Last week I packed up my life, drove 1,900 miles, and now I live on the West Coast. Moving is always hard for me, because I really don't like change. After four years in FDP, I had a routine: where to get coffee, where to park, people to talk to/hang out with, places to eat/get food delivered, etc. Moving to Outdoor Haven City (OHC) introduces not only new places/people but an entirely different approach at life. Parking (as was predicted) is fairly hellish, but luckily the bus stops right outside of my apartment.

As I told several of my friends from FDP, when I opened the door to my apartment, I had the complete panic of, "Oh my God, what the hell have I done?" As I moved my stuff in, that feeling dwindled, and except for another similar feeling at last night's session (discussed further down), it's gone. Finding the Border's the first night in OHC helped, as did getting phone calls/emails from friends already living here, as well as mail from a friend who recently went to Hawaii.

For the first time in my life, I'm going to have a new couch. It'll be delivered sometime this week, which means I need to unpack like a fiend so that there's actually a place to put it. I'm also going to try to sell my papasan, because a) there's not really room and b) it's time to start investing in real furniture. I'm also in the process of getting reliable internet set up in my apartment.

I went to one of the two irish sessions in OHC last night. It was one of the worst sessions I've been to. One guitar, three fiddles, a bones player, mandolin player, octave mandolin, and me. I wasn't really expecting it to be in the same caliber as the FDP session, because frankly, few are outside of Ireland. Most ITMusicians are not professional musicians like those of us in FDP. Two of the musicians were ok--one of the fiddle players could play as long as someone else was playing with him (an habitual occurrence in session only players), and the mandolin player was ok, though he sounded more like a bluegrass picker (he denied it when I asked him). One of the other fiddle players was reading from "The Fiddler's Fake Book" and the other fiddler didn't connect two notes together all night. The vibe was also weird and kind of hard to describe....it was the frantic, "Play a tune, play a tune, play a tune" atmosphere which happens a lot either with beginners or with people who feel they have something to prove (both of which I have been guilty of). There were also very few sets......play one tune 40 times, then stop. Repeat. In addition, most of them were negative about the fact that I didn't know tune names, to which I finally replied: "Tune names are different everywhere you go, so I just stopped worrying about it." In addition, there were some veiled comments about the "frantic" nature of my playing, which I took to mean the guy didn't like that I played my sets at a quicker tempo (although compared to speeds I have played at, they were relatively laid back, and I only set the tempo on the sets I started). I was really irritated and dissapointed by this point, and wanted to go home and blast Planty or Dervish. I'm hoping tonight is better, even marginally, and while the music is bad, I've been in sessions that aren't top shelf musically, but are wonderful in the sense of community they provide. Last night was bad on both counts.

There is at least one world-class ITM in this town, and Urban City is only 2 hrs north of here.....perfectly driveable if they have a good session, so I am by no means out of options. In addition, it's still summer, and many sessions take breaks or at least thin out during the summer. There's still hope that the session will be stronger in a month or so.

More updates and pictures of the apartment as it comes together. For now, I'm off to find a comcast center that can enroll me in internet and unpack so that there's a place to put my couch.

Peace, Love, and Tunes,

posted by Mac Tíre at 3:46 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments