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,