Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Running running...tumbling tumblr....

I'm a little behind in writing. There's several posts in the works, including the write up from my penultimate weekend at PARF. Right now, however, there are 2 quick bits that I posted on my Tumblr.  They are cute and funny and you should got there right now and show my tumblr some love. ;>

Thursday, September 20, 2012

2 bits, minus the shave & haircut

A completely non-NeidFyre related post for y'all...

I should have posted this yesterday, but I got distracted.  I hope everyone had a grand day, avoided scurvy, and enjoyed some rum!

10 years ago today, Firefly premiered. 10 years... damn.  I wonder, how many of you are Browncoats? :D

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

PARF: Pirate Weekend (wknd 7)

Arrrrr, me hearties, this be Pirate Weekend!

OK, I'll stop talking like a pirate now. Although, since it's after midnight and it's September 19, today is the official "Talk like a Pirate Day". Technically, I should talk like a pirate, ye scurvy dogs!

Yeah, I'll stop now.

So, Pirate Weekend. This was only a few days ago, so I have a much better recollection of this weekend. First, let me tell you about the weather. The weather was PERFECT. Low-to-mid 70's. No rain. Warm in the sun, pleasantly cool in the shade. Perfect.Faire.Weather. I would love for the rest of the season at PARF to be like this (or cooler!).

Second, let me tell you about my migraines. There were none. Yeah, you read that right. For the first time all season I didn't have a migraine during the course of the weekend. It was crazy awesome.

Third, let me tell you about my fiddle.  Jimmy is quite the old-man fiddle, and I can't see that all the out-door playing is doing him any good. He's officially (for me) retired to in-door only play Thus, there was a new-to-me fiddle that I had to break in.  The new fiddle is a blondie (which is odd). The fiddle is decidedly male, and to quote my friend Duglas, "it's a teen-age boy".  I'm not sure of the new fiddle's name, but "Thistle" seems prominent. I'll try to get some pics posted by next weekend.

Fourth, let me tell you about pretentious cheese. Pretentious cheese is one of my favourite parts of the day. It's held every weekend (both days) at Up Your Kilt/As You Like It. There is fruit. There are veggies. There is bread. There are pickles. There is (pretentious) cheese. Lordy, is there cheese. This particular weekend, there was also cake, as it was the Mistress of the Shop's birthday. So.Much.Cake. So.Much.Cheese.  This particular weekend was highly amusing, as my sweet daughter trundled into Up Your Kilt/As You Like It at the end of the day with her Papa and said to the Master of the shop, "Is this pretentious cheese?"  Yeah, that's my daughter!

Speaking of my child, she visited me at the Pubsing. I have so much fun playing on stage and watching her. All she wanted to do was come up on the stage with me and the rest of the musicians, but did not. She danced around, sang, and waved at me. She was adorable. Of course, I am hugely biased.

Going back to the weekend, it really was grand.  The shows on the Rose Stage went well, as did my sets at the Gazebo. It felt like the patrons were really drawn to the music this weekend. I can't count the number of children who came up to me, transfixed. There were adults as well, who seemed to be touched by the music. It was quite magical.

The fiddle performed well. I had a grand and impromptu fiddle set with Tim, the "fill in fiddler" from Empty Hats. We've known each other for a year, and this was the first we'd ever played tunes together (not in a group, like the morning Gazebo jam or the Pub sing). It was glorious fun. Tim is a fabu fiddler. He's got great Irish fiddle technique with his bowing and ornamentation. I'm hoping we'll get to play a bit more over the next 2 weekends.

So there you go, a quick recap of the past 3 weekends. This coming weekend is Scottish Weekend. I'm reviewing all my sheep & haggis jokes now.

My girl on Pirate Weekend with her Papa
(Note the Mustache)

PARF: Hero's of the Realm (wknd 6)

Hero's of the Realm weekend. That was several weeks ago. *sigh* Details will be scarce. Hopefully I'll remember more than "It was wet". :grin:

One of the big changes this weekend was my only playing at the Rose instead of playing there and at the Ball & Chain.  I really like playing up at the Ball & Chain, but it was a bit odd being the only non-bawdy act on that stage. It's not like I could even do a bawdy show, because my show was not "asterik'd". I bet you dollars to donuts that if I did anything remotely off colour there would have been fall-out.  I know that most of the audiences I had there understood that I couldn't do a dirty show, and for the most part the audiences seemed to appreciate my humour and the music.

I love the Rose stage. It's a small stage, and makes for a very intimate (but not dirty!) show.  It made me really glad that most of the folks who came to my Ball & Chain show came to my 2p show at the Rose.

For those of you who aren't familiar with PARF, there are quite a few stages.  The larger ones are Swashbuckler, Boar's Head & the Globe. I consider the Ball & Chain, Endgame and O'Malley's the medium size stages, and Jacob's Garden and The Rose the small stages.  There are also different platforms around the grounds, like at the Rusty Scupper, and of course the Gazebo at the front gate. None of the small stages are amplified, which has its pros and cons. While I really like this fact, and have heard nothing but good things from patrons about this, it's a little hard to compete with the medium size stages which are amplified. I bring this up only because at my 2p show I happen to be going head-to-head with the wonderful pipe/drum band Tartanic.

I love Tartanic. They're my neighbors at AZRF. The band members are sweet and fun. I have nothing bad to say about them at all. Really. There is one thing about Tartanic, and that's the fact that they are loud. It's pipes and drums, so it's not like this is a surprise. However, when we have head-to-head shows it's a little hard to hear little ol' me. :grin: After a couple of conversations with the band, I came up with a grand solution to this "problem".  I have yet to employ this solution, so I can't write about it in detail. I wouldn't want to give it away. ;>  Suffice to say, come Scottish Weekend (wknd 8) my plans will come to fruition! Are you curious? Yeah? Come to the 2p show at the Rose! :grin:

I know there were migraines during this weekend. Unhappy, angry, ouchy migraines.

This was the last weekend I played Jimmy, the crotchety old-man fiddle I'd been borrowing from a friend.

So, umm.... yeah... Wknd 6: there was weather, there were migraines, there was a change in stages, and a fantastic idea about how to "compete" with bagpipes & drums.  Onto weekend 7!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

PARF: Children's Fantasy Weekend (wknd 5)

I'm trying to remember back to the beginning of September.

  • It was Children's Fantasy Weekend. 
  • It was wet.
  • Children's Fantasy Weekend is always, and unintentionally, the "bluest" of the themed weekends. I think it's because we all have to be so family friendly that the bawdy just rises to the surface. Mind you, the bawdy is usually in hushed tones and not directed at the patrons, but it's still there. I know I always find the dirtiest jokes to tell on this weekend, and have to bite my tongue so I don't say them out loud.
  • It was wet. (See, now if you're like me you're reading this in a different light. :D )
So yes, Children's Fantasy Weekend. It was wet. There was music. There was merriment. Onto weekend 6!

Musical bullets

Lots of musical things jumble tumbling in my brain.

  • I've 3 weekends to catch up on from PARF, and my short-term memory is completely collapsing in terms of the details. 
  • There was a huge kerfuffle involving Amanda F. Palmer and  "free" musicians.
  • I have new (to me) music books, all involving Gypsy fiddle tunes.
  • Jimmy, the crotchety old man fiddle I've been borrowing for the better part of a year is going to go back to his owner, so I'm breaking in a new, as yet un-named fiddle. All I know about this fiddle is that it's a boy. To be specific, and to quote my friend Duglas, it's a young teen-age boy. 
  • I've only got 2 more weekends at PARF before heading to CRF. 
  • Did I mention the packing & cleaning that needs to get done?

Places where I say things

I keep directing y'all to my Fiddlemama blog at Tumblr., but I also have a tumblr. for things not related to NeidFyre. That place is Free Range Fiddler. Thus ends my shameless self-promotion for the evening. :)

Friday, September 14, 2012


Oh, the blur of time & space. Or the blur of a week filled with ADD moments. This week was a bit of both. Today is Friday. Not just Friday, but OMG IT'S FRIDAY!!!  Today is the get ready to travel to PARF for the weekend day. I'm tired & a little cranky & so no ready to travel yet.

My head feels stuffed, which is not a great feeling. (Stuffed with things to do, not stuffed with sickness.) I'm getting back into the swing of things, and being mostly migraine free this week was a huge help, but the ADD triggers are firing on all cylinders.  CRF is just around the corner and boy is there a lot to do before we leave. UFYH has been a huge help.

Maybe I can catch up on blog posts this weekend... You know, in all my spare time....

Speaking of this weekend, it's Pirate Weekend at PARF!  I'll be sure to look for all the Capt'n Jack Sparrows and give a head count at the end of the weekend. If you're going to PARF please come by my shows and say hi. :)  I'll be tearing it up at the Rose Stage at 2p and 4:30, having fun at opening Gazebo and Pubsing (5:30 at O'Malley's Pour House) and playing in the lanes.

OK, time to pull up my stripey socks (did I mention Pirate weekend?), drink some more coffee & get my tuchas in gear. Go Team Me!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tumble jumble

Lots floating in my brain, including the last 2 weekends at PARF.

We lost a wonderful man from the Ren community last week, and while I didn't know him very well I'm all jumbled about it. 

Hug the ones you love. If they're too far to reach, then write or call them. Let them know you're thinking of them. Play some music. Drink something delicious. Remember that you are loved.

Health to the Company (additional lyrics by Owain Phyfe)
Here's a health to the company
and one to my lass.
Let us drink and be merry
all out of one glass.
Let us drink and be merry
all grief to refrain;
for we may or might never
all meet here again.

Kind friends and companions
come join in my rhyme;
and lift up your voices
in chorus with mine.
Let us drink and be merry
all grief to refrain;
for we may or might never
all meet here again.

Our ship lies at harbor;
she's ready to dock.
I wish her safe landing
without any shock.
And if ever we meet again
on land or on sea,
I will always remember
your kindness to me.

My footsteps may falter
my wit, it might fail.
My course may be challenged
by November gale.
E'er fortune shall prove
to be friend or be foe,
you will always be with me
wherever I go.

Monday, August 27, 2012

PARF: Irish Weekend (wknd 4)

It's officially one month of weekends at PARF. Where did August go? Really, where?

Faire this weekend was a mixed bag for me. Saturday was one of the hardest days at faire that I've ever had due to an incredibly bad migraine. Not only did I sleep a little funny (and not in the ha ha ha kind of way) so my left shoulder was screwy, but it went up into my neck so I had a hard time turning my head. Put the migraine on top of that, and it made for a very unhappy musician.

I was a little nervous about the weather for the weekend. Rain was coming up the coast, and boy did it slam my friends for opening weekend at the Maryland Renaissance Festival.  Thankfully for us in PA, the storm stayed away for most of the day.  Don't get me wrong, I adore a good rain day, but after last season when we suffered through ALL the weather (and I mean ALL the weather), we really needed a break from Mother Nature.

Opening the day at the Gazebo was made even better with Doug, (Miguel from Don Juan & Miguel)  Bob & Jim (the Burly Minstrels).  Don't get me wrong, all the other musicians that were there are grand fun. There's Tilda, Harper Lee, Demitrius T. Musician, Barby Holder and Rowan & the Rose. There's just something about the bass guitar, duck calls and a bladdervarius (I really don't know how to spell that...) that turns something special into extraordinary.  Also, one never really knows they're going to miss these combined sounds until they actually hear them again.

The rest of the day took me from street set to show and back again while trying to hide from the evil burning daystar that was quickly turning my migraine into a thumping band of pain across my eyes. The day is actually a little blurry to recall. The wonderful folks who came to my shows were incredibly sweet and understanding and made being there completely worth it.

Extra fun: there was a feast for a 6 year old and his family. It was a small affair, and my first feast gig of the season. Due to some horrific traffic, the family was late. Due to some freak chance of nature, I was early. It was very odd. I entertained the crew as we waited for the family to appear, and they did, while being escorted by the Queen and her posse. I wasn't sure, given her schedule, how to handle the timing of things, but we worked it out quickly. She would do her thing, I would play quietly as background, and then I'd play something fast, fun & a little gaga as she went to her next engagement.  Oh yes, I played her Royal Majesty off with a little bit of Bad Romance. There is nothing quite so fun as watching the Queen look back over her shoulder at you with a gigantic smile. Have I mentioned how much I love my job?

I've had a couple of friends ask me how I can actually perform with a migraine. The answer is both complicated and not. The not complicated answer is that I'm there to do my job. I'm damn good at my job and I love my job. Unless I can't physically move or am so sick that I look like something out of an Anime creation, I'm going to do my job. I may stumble before and after the show, but that show will be as spot on as I can make it.  The complicated answer is much longer to explain, and quite possibly deserves its own post.

I boogied off the shire as soon as I was able after my last show and relaxed for the rest of the night in the 'Bagel.  DB was incredibly sweet and good and she went to sleep with no fuss, so I ended up just relaxing in the dark for a while. The migraine did go away by the time I went to bed, but damn if it didn't strike back at 5am.  I knew I would have a much harder day if the migraine was as severe as it had been, so I had some caffeine and 2 OTC migraine meds. (Think Excedrin migraine, but not recalled.)  Sweet, luscious, dreamy sleep came back to keep me company, and damn if I didn't sleep until almost 8am. This, of course, brings us full face to Sunday Morning.

Sunday morning was wet. It wasn't hugely, downpouring, OMG get a frelling ARC kind of wet, but it was wet.  That meant one thing - it was going to be a slow morning at faire.  Let me let y'all in on a little faire secret. Weather is a key factor in how busy a day at faire will be. The better the weather, the bigger the day. The worse the weather, the smaller the day.  I'm sure this is a huge surprise to everyone. :crickets:  Yup, y'all already knew that. ;>

Thanks to modern medicine, the migraine of 5am was barely noticeable.  I found out at morning meeting that I'd be at Queen's Court, so I went through tunes in my head. Something lively, upbeat and fun. That ruled out every Irish love song. Instead I decided I'd play Tam Lin.  Gazebo was really wonderful as Rose brought her French horn to gate. When I was in college and I took brass class, my favourite instrument was the French horn, followed by the trombone. There's something about the timbre of the horn that just puts me in a happy place.  We featured her at the beginning of Planxty Fanny Poer and then layered in the rest of the instruments.  I wish someone had been there to video it, because it was lovely and had such a full sound.

Queen's Court was a lot of fun for me.  I so enjoy playing with the court this year. There was my showing deference to the Queen (I ran to her throne and kissed her skirt) and then I made some silly joke about fast tunes and the way the Queen likes her music.  I'm lucky I didn't get sent down the hole. :grin:  It all went very well, and I scampered off stage.

After that was street work, a nifty Gazebo set with Harper Lee, and then my stage show at the Ball & Chain.  This is where my day went from fun and good to crap in 30 seconds. I had something happen at this stage show that I have never had happen before. I'm not sure how to write about it exactly, so I'll just leave it that I was very demoralized. Thankfully the set ended up on a positive note. The family in the stands had a baby with them. He must have been 6 months old, maybe 9, and his name was Joshua.  He was the most serious baby. He watched me with a look that said, "I don't know what to make of you, strange Roma Fiddler!" But when I started to play, he turned into the smile-iest, happiest, dance-iest baby. Every time I stopped, he turned back into serious baby. Every time I played he was happy.

This is one of the reasons that I do what I do. I doubt as that baby grows up that he will remember me. Really remember me. But the music touched him. I'd like to believe that the music will remain with him. I'd like to believe that as he gets older he might develop a fondness for folks in strange costumes and that he will always treasure the sound of music. Again, have I mentioned how much I love my job?

The rest of my shows were quiet affairs. I played, people smiled and laughed and clapped along. My migraine stayed to a low-to-almost non-existent level.  I spent some time with friends and ate some pretentious cheese. It was a good close to the day.

Once my last show was done it was time to get things in high gear so we could leave on time. One of the hard things about the Sunday departures is that I can't pack before I head out for the day.  I suppose the suitcase, but I need to pull clothes for the drive home. I need to wash up. I need to do my accounting. I need to pack any food I'm taking home.  After 4 weeks, my timing is getting better, and we were on the road by 7p. The drive home was uneventful, and we got home way before the witching hour.

Next up, weekend 5, Children's Fantasy Weekend and Labor Day Monday!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Video, say what?

You know, for someone who does what I do, there's not an awful lot of video of me performing. Let me be more specific, there's not a lot of video of me performing recently. That's something I really need to change. Still shots are grand, and I so appreciate all the pics people take and send to me, but vids seem to be more important these days. People want to see and hear what I actually do rather than a still shot of me playing.

In my last post about Chivalry and Romance wknd at PARF I mentioned that I was at Queen's Court.  Thanks to the lovely Michael Russo, there's actual video!  If you have never seen me perform, here's a glimpse into what I do.  If you HAVE seen me perform, well... then you know what I do. ;>

Queen's Court, PARF Chivalry & Romance (wknd 3) 8/18/12

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

PARF: Chivalry & Romance (wknd 3)

Time seems to go by so much quicker when I'm working a faire. Make that a faire where I'm driving back and forth every week and things move into double-time. Since PARF is so close, we're going back and forth every weekend. That means leaving on Friday afternoon and coming back late Sunday night. The time at home never seems quite long enough to get everything done.

SO, third weekend, Chivalry & Romance.  The weather was lovely Saturday. There were breezes and the temperature was lovely.  I was asked to perform at Queen's Court again. It went much smoother this time. My mic didn't go out and I made the audience laugh. Apparently I made the Queen laugh, too. :grin:

Both stage shows were well attended, which was awesome.  The new set-up at the Ball&Chain stage is working really well.  Everyone in the bleachers can see what's going on onstage. The tarp over the bleachers gives some shade. The stage manager is really ontop of things. I'm definitely enjoying performing there more this year. I am still rather amused that I'm one of the only not-bawdy shows there, but it makes for some good jokes. In addition to the 2 stage shows, I've got 2-3 street sets and then play at Pub Sing.  I'm also teaching three students during the day.

Saturday night I had a garb reassessment with the folks at As You Like It/Up Your Kilt. This all backtracks to the "come to Gods" thing that happened at AZRF that I've still got to write about. Anyway, we went through a lot of my summer & lighter weather garb. They are also going to go through the rest of my garb with me before I leave for CRF, which makes me really happy. While I am good at a LOT of things, I'm piss poor at dressing myself well.

Sunday was a slower day.  There was a threat of rain, and that seemed to keep a lot of folks away. The rain never happened, so the day was just rather quiet.  No Queen's Court for me today, and the rest of my shows went smoothly.

One of the coolest things to happen on Sunday involved the Audacious Divas. They are raising money for Breast Cancer research, and their latest endeavour involved a friend of mine named Scott Griffith. Papa Scott looks a little like Santa (a dirty lecherous Santa, but that's part of his charm), including the long fluffy white beard.  If the Diva's could raise over $2000, Papa Scott would shave off his beard.  Through word of mouth and FaceBook, the raising of the funds didn't take too long and Sunday became Shearing Day.  Papa Scott had his beard braided the day before, and on Sunday the Queen got the first cut.  It took a while, but for the first time in (probably) decades, Papa Scott's chin saw the sun.  It was a grand thing, really.  I'm really proud of the people involved. Cancer is a horrible disease, and the sooner a cure is found the better.

The drive home was rather uneventful Sunday night, and I actually made it back before the witching hour. It's so odd that three weeks can travel so quickly. This weekend is Irish Weekend, and several folks from the Sterling Renaissance Festival will be joining us.  I'm so looking forward to the Gazebo jam on Saturday morning. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

A blogging I will go....

I'm going to take a minute, or 15, to stop talking about faire and music and talk about something else.  This is shocking, I know. I'm going to talk about migraines. 

Migraines suck. 

There's no other way around it.  They suck big sulfurous balls of suck. Big painful balls of sulfurous-ness. What sucks more is that I've been having them far more often these days. 

I'm lucky.  My migraines don't make me nauseous, see halos, or make me sound sensitive. What my migraines do is make me hyper-sensitive to light. The medical term for this is photophobia.  There is a reason I call the sun the Evil Burning Daystar (patent pending. ;>).  Light *hurts*.   

I didn't always have migraines, but I have always been sensitive to light. It wasn't until several years ago, when my MiL moved in, that I started having migraines on a daily basis. At that time I ended up having a migraine every day for a year, give-or-take. It was so bad that I had to wear a hat indoors. It was not fun.  The migraines went away and I had them very infrequently until this past December.  I had changed some meds around, and the effect that had gave me migraines every day again. I worked with my doc, and we switched my meds back in January which took care of the everyday occurances. Since then, however, I've had them more often than not.

A friend of mine posted in the last two months (I think) about Splenda, and how it had been shown to cause migraines as well as other issues.  Between coffee and tea, I was using a lot of Splenda. At that point I cut Splenda out of my diet. The effect was tremendous and the number of migraines I'd been having decreased dramatically. Cut to last week. Last week was made of migraine hell.

Last week I had a migraine Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, part of Friday, and then on and off for the weekend. One of my friends is an acupuncture practitioner and we spoke about the possibility of me going for a treatment. Until I could do that, however, she showed me two spots to work that could help.  I tried it, and it was helpful. It didn't get rid of the migraine, but it made Thursday migraine free. Happily there is a community acupuncture clinic in Ithaca, called surprisingly enough, Ithaca Community Acupuncture.  I made an appointment for Monday (ie Today). 

I have had acupuncture once before, when I was pregnant. It worked fantastically well then, and I was hopeful that it would help with the migraines. Cut to today....

Migraine struck about 8am. I got to my appointment at 11:30.  I could go into detail about the office and the procedure, but I won't in the post. I will say that the staff made me feel very at ease and C, the practitioner, was very sweet and knowledgeable.  I picked out a chair to sit in, C talked me through the different spots she was going to put the needles, and it went quickly from there. I fell asleep, which is normal. There were some odd sensations in my wrists and ankle, but nothing painful. I woke up briefly and was cold, and then when I woke up again it was 2.5 hours later.  I was kind of shocked at that, but C told me that it was a natural reaction, and it was a good indication that the acupuncture should help. 

Since 2:30, I have had little-to-no migraine pain. The light sensitivity is still there. I have a follow-up next week.  In addition, I'm doing some research into feverfew.  I believe that feverfew is almost exclusively used in England to treat migraines. I really don't want to take more prescription meds, so I'm hoping that this might be a way around that. 

So that's what's going on with my migraines. I may post a more detailed description of the acupuncture session, but for now I'm going to have some water and watch the rest of Grimm before bed. Here's to hoping the migraine doesn't come back in the morning.

PARF: Time Travelers (wknd 2)

 I meant to write this up last week, but was waylaid by migraines for most of that time which will make for a very short post about the 2nd weekend of the 2012 PA ren faire. 

What a difference the weather can make.  As opposed to opening weekend, the weather for Time Travelers weekend was magnificent. It was still warm, but I didn't feel like I was stewing in my own juices, if ya know what I mean. There was an actual BREEZE, which made everyone enjoy the weekend that much more.

This was the first ever Time Travelers weekend at PARF.  I have seen a lot of folks wear Steampunk garb to faires before, and while it's not my thing for a Renaissance festival, I will admit that I am a Steampunk fan.  Truthfully, I've always been a fan of Victorian garb, and the addition of gears and other things that turn it into Steampunk makes me squee.  I saw some pretty spectacular things this weekend in terms of Steampunk. There are some very creative people out there.  For those of you who didn't know, I'm also a Doctor Who fan from years past. I was tickled to see so many folks decked out as Doctors and Companions. There weren't as many of the older doctors as numbers 10 & 11, and there was at least one number 9.  For those of you who are curious, my Doctor is Tom Baker, followed by Christopher Eccleston.

Sunday was equally lovely weather wise.  Loads of Steampunkers, loads of Doctor's, and it was also Gay Day.   For those of you who have never been to the Finale at PARF, here's a clip from Sunday. It's pretty awesome and I think it capped the day quite nicely.

I feel the need to say how much I love what I do.  While I don't get to see those dearest to me as often as I'd like, I get to meet so many interesting people and see so many amazing places around the country.  I have made friends in nearly all 50 states, as well as different countries around the world.  I've driven across the US more than 6 times now, and am constantly taken back by the beauty I find.  In addition to all of this, I get to bring my daughter with me so she gets to experience these things as well.  There's no way I could do this without the support of so many of you out there.  Thank you all for helping me to continue doing what I love.

Friday, August 17, 2012

PARF - The Grande Arrival

I've been thinking about this for a while, and honestly I've always wanted to do this but I've never had the time or been able to be consistent enough to do this.  What is "This"? Well, it's writing up re-caps of the different shows I'm working. I'm feeling lucky, so lets give it a try, shall we?

There's only one word that I think can accurately describe opening weekend at PARF, and that word is "Wet".

The theme of opening weekend was "The Grande Arrival".  The day started out moist, with high temps and higher humidity. My morning ran pretty smoothly, minus a clock error on my part (being late to the first morning meeting was more than a little embarrassing). Opening day at faire is wonderful. You see all the familiar faces, there are the hugs and smiles and the feeling of being home.

One of the best parts of the day for me at PARF is the morning jam at the Gazebo. It's the first time in a year that most of us shire musicians have seen each other, but once the canon fires it's like we were never apart. The jam really starts my day. It doesn't matter if I've had coffee or tea, the jam wakes me up. I had 2 stage shows (2:30 at the Ball and Chain and 4:30 at the Rose) as well as several street sets, so after the jam I trundled off to say hi to folks before my first street set.

The heat and humidity was oppressive Saturday.  I know I did my best to stay hydrated, and the glass of pickle juice mid-day did wonders as a pick-me-up. I will say that's it's difficult to play the fiddle when your hands are so moist that your fingertips wrinkle up and your hands slide up and down the strings. The crowds, however, completely understood. We were all walking in our own personal sauna's.

My first stage show at the Ball and Chain was fun. The stage has been completely re-worked. Instead of picnic tables as benches, there were "risers" and a mesh tarp gave some cover from the sun.  The dunk tank was removed, and a splash tower stood in its place.  There was a space for the soundboard (the stage is mic'd) and the stage manager really seemed on the ball. Overall, I like the new layout.  The patrons really seemed to have a good time despite the heat. They laughed and participated and that just makes my job so much easier. The weather folks said we might have a storm later in the afternoon, and sure if it didn't get dark and a little breezy just as my show ended.  After the show I was chatting with some patrons when I heard the music playing on the sound system. (When the stages are empty the faire plays music featuring different groups that have been and currently work the show) I don't know when it happened, but I was added to the mix. I was listening to myself on the sound system. I squee'd like a 6-year-old. :grin: Then I started to play the tune that was playing. It was surreal and awesome.

My second stage show was at The Rose stage, and was equally as fun. I always feel like the folks that really seek me out go to that stage.  The humidity kept growing during that show, which made performing a bit tricky. It's hard to play when 1) the fiddle doesn't stay in tune & 2) your fingers are so damp that they slide on the fingerboard. I ended up singing a bit more at that set. :grin:

My last stage show was Pub Sing, which was back at O'Malley's Pour House stage.  Pub Sing is a nice cap for the day for me. I get to play with most of the musicians who were at the morning jam, and it's a very relaxed set. We usually do a round-robin and today was no different.  I think we were all a little punch drunk from the heat and humidity at that point. Some friends from MDRF were there, and gave a huge complement to me that I shared with the others.  They said that it wasn't the kind of pub sing they were expecting (raucous, loud, bawdy) but more of an Irish session. They really enjoyed it.

Pub Sing at PARF hasn't really seemed to find it's niche yet.  It's not the spectacular that Finale is, nor is it the familiar gathering like the Pub Sing at Sterling.  I like the idea that it's more of a Session, and can get people excited for the joust and then the Finale.

The weather was much better in the early part of the day.  Instead of the humidity being in the90's, it was in the 60's.  The temps were still unGodly at 97, but the lower humidity did help.  Also, there was a breeze!  Breezes can make all the difference, let me tell you. :grin:

Gazebo jam was fun. I had to leave just before the end, though, because I was playing Queen's Court. I am still squee-ing about this. :grin: I've never played Queen's Court before.  For the uninitiated, Queen's Court is at the Globe (the largest stage) and most of the morning patrons go there as the first show.  They're introduced to the cast and the storyline, and there are 2 independent's that perform. It gets the word out about shows and performers that the patrons may not already know about.

I got mic'd and waited back stage for my cue.   I have to give huge props to the "MC", who pronounced my name correctly.  A lot of  folks pronounce my name as Need-Fire, which is incorrect.  I was on after The Mud Squad. I'll admit it, my stage fright was kicking in. Me. On the Big Stage. Performing ALONE.  It was a lot of fun. I reveranced. I played "Butterfly". I was funny. I got off stage without falling down. The only problem was that my mic (and the Queen's) went out mid-performance. Ah, technology. Still, I got a lot of complements from the cast and the stage manager.

My show at the Ball & Chain was fun.  I stuck to a similar format from Saturday's show. The audience laughed at most of the jokes, and they seemed to have a lot of fun. The weather started to turn at that point.  It got a little cooler and the sky got a little darker.  The weather held until about 5 minutes into my 4:30 show at The Rose.

It started to rain and I invited the patrons onto the stage before I started.  There's a tarp over the benches, but it' not a solid tarp and the rain drips down.  We put benches on the stage and as the rain started to fall harder everyone came up.  The wind picked up then, and the thunder started. It turned into a full-fledged rain storm.  I started with Butterfly as the rain started to fall sideways.  Lightening, more thunder, more rain, but I kept playing.  At some point someone came by and said that we all needed to stay at a permanent shelter, so my stage fit the bill but standing at the benches under the tarp did not. More people came up. We all got pretty close. :chuckle: I think 2 or 3 inches of rain fell in that 30 minutes.  Everyone had  a good time at the set, I got a lot of hugs and "that was great music" and some folks took home some CDs. This is one of the times where I really do love what I do.  I got to entertain folks, and they were entertained, while the weather railed around us, and no one seemed to mind.

The rain died down after that, and I went over to Pub Sing. The set was really a lot of  fun.  There were only 4 people in the audience, but they were having So.Much.Fun, just sitting in the drizzle and listening to us perform.  It was a soggy and amusing set.

After that set it was time to go back to the 'Bagel and pack up for the drive home. That was my opening weekend, wet and wonderful.  Next weekend: Time Travelers weekend!

My kitchen reeks of Scotland...

And by this, I mean that it reeks of BACON. I can see how this wouldn't make sense to a lot of people, so let me explain.

I always made bacon the traditional way: I put it in a pan and fried it. Mmmmm, crispy fried bacon!

The first time I was in Scotland, I'm not sure for what reason, I put the bacon on a cookie sheet and baked it. Oh Dear Gods. The smell of baking bacon was heavenly. It filled the whole kitchen, and shortly after the flat. It smelled of bacon for *hours*.

After that, when I wasn't in a hurry, I would bake my bacon, and it always reminded me of Scotland.

Last year I was going to make bacon and B suggested that I line the pan with parchment paper. Like many folks, I save the bacon run off. I lined the pan, cooked the bacon, and when I went to drain the run off, it was a much "cleaner" product. All the bits stick to the parchment, leaving just the bacon grease goodness left.

If you are like me, and you enjoy bacon, I heartily recommend cooking it this way.  Seriously, do this. You'll thank me!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Let the blogging begin

My main blog is here, at Blogger. I like it here. It's nice. I know that a lot of folks prefer tumblr, so I started a blog there recently.  It's not a new blog, mind you, but I thought I might link the two and then people could read it wherever they preferred. I'm finding that's not so easy to do. I can't seem to find a way to have the blog here automatically post there, or visa versa. Now I'm not sure what to do.

I could continue to write here and then just put a link up as an entry for my tumblr. I could do the reverse, and have the blog post originate at tumblr. I could be completely crazy an start to use this blog for more personal things and use the one at tumblr for more music related things but that seems a bit much.

I pose the question to you, Hive Mind of the Intarwebs: Do any of you know how I might be able to link the two blogs easily? 

PARF - The Grande Journey

Last weekend was the opening weekend of the 32nd Annual Pennsylvania Renaissance Festival. It's so hard for me to believe that it's August, I mean I only just got back from SLO. Where has the time gone??

Herein lies the story of one musician's journey from NY to VA to PA.

I left last Wednesday to travel to VA to pick up my WinneBagel. The drive down was easy enough, minus the fact that we left 2 hours later than expected. We arrived in VA just as the traffic was getting really interesting. Gotta love VA at rush hour, huh. Oh, wait, I DON'T love VA at rush hour.  We took a slightly modified route that would have taken us around the traffic, except for an accident that put everything at a standstill.  Seriously, what is it about VA and MD and accidents? I have never been anywhere that has as many accidents as VA and MD. Seriously folks, it's not hard to look where you're going and be respectful of the other motorists and motorcyclists on the road. This advice is coming to you from a dyed-in-the-wool LI driver. I know all about tailgating, driving with the pack, speeding & playing tic-tac-toe with lane changes. Be More Careful!!!

Wednesday night and Thursday morning I prepped the 'Bagel and with help got the car attached via the tow-bar.  Therein begins my story. Somehow the two brackets on the car had bent a bit. It didn't worry me too much because when I checked under the car everything looked good. We only left an hour behind schedule, which was a bonus, and we most certainly would miss all the traffic going from VA to PA. The drive itself was smooth. The 'Bagel handles very well, and the tow-bar was doing its job. We got to Manheim and I took a slight detour to get propane. The road to Pinch Pond isn't bad, but it is hilly and there's one tight turn. When I stopped at the bottom of the hill and I made the turn I heard a crunch noise. That never bodes well, so when I got to the campsite a 1/2 mile later I got out to look. The front bumper had a crack in it already, but due to the angle of the tow-bar brackets the crack had expanded.  Still, everything looked like it was holding. That, however, is when the afternoon turned from good to WTF is wrong with my life/Why Can't I Have Nice Things!

The nice folks at Pinch Pond went to fill my propane tank but couldn't because their hose had sprung a leak.  You'd think they'd have noticed the insane amount of hissing and vapour coming from the hose (I certainly did). You'd think they'd have been able to tell me about this an hour prior when I called to make sure that they had propane and would still be open when I go there. Yeah, you'd think that. I left, sans propane, and began the less-than-5-mile drive to PARF. That's when things got funny(er).

At the same stop sign I heard another crunch, and then I could feel the car I was towing. You have to understand, all the other times I've towed anything with the 'Bagel I haven't "felt" the vehicle behind. This was more than a little disconcerting. I slowed down, pissing off all the other drivers behind me, and made it to site. That's when the brackets gave out completely.  3/4 of the way down the path to the campsite there was a crunch and a drag. I now know why tow chains are so important.  Seriously folks, if you're going to tow something make sure you have tow chains!!!

Rennies are wonderful people. I adore my Ren family.  Three of my friends started walking up the hill at the moment I was about to break into tears. They followed me back to my campsite, helped me get the car detached from the completely broken off brackets & tow-bar and even helped me put up my easy-up. My friend Shelli had arrived with her daughter, so she offered to watch DB while I tried to regroup and unpack.  That's when I found out that I had no electric.

On the afternoon of Camp Day, 2 days before the opening of a show, I don't really expect to hear back from an ED after I send a somewhat frantic text about having no electricity.  No electricity is bad. Not only would all the food in my fridge spoil, but with the temperatures being what they were, I think we would have melted.  My ED at PARF is a wonderful person. She texted me back and said she'd send someone over to fix it so I could figure out what to do about the propane.

After several discussions with 4 different RV stores I finally got someone helpful. Apparently when the word "Winnebago" is used it means special parts and special stores and special pricing.  Let me explain. No, it's too long. Let me sum-up.

The 'Bagel's propane tank is attached. If I run out of propane I need to drive my house to somewhere that sells propane and then drive it back to site. Sometimes I'm lucky, and people deliver (Thank goodness that's the case at AZRF!), but most of the time I'm not. My next option was to get a kit so I could attach an external propane tank (like the ones you get for a bbq). There is an amazing RV store 30 minutes from PARF. It has  funny name, and once I remember what it is I'll post it here. The folks there were tremendous. They helped me find exactly what I needed. They were kind. They answered all of my very stupid questions. They were made of awesomesauce.  Now I had the kit, but I had to find a propane tank. Do y'all know that propane tanks are expensive? Yeah.... I didn't know that either. The refill's aren't so bad, but the initial cost was not going to work with my wallet. (I know this because I priced them at 6 different locations.)

 At this point 3 hours had passed. I didn't know if I had electric. I knew I wouldn't have propane until the following week. The car was making funny growling noises. I also hadn't eaten anything since breakfast. Oh yeah, and it was hot out. By hot I mean I thought my flesh was going to start melting off of my bones. I do not do well in the heat.

I was trepidatious in my return to site.  I really didn't know how the evening was going to turn out. It was close to 7:30 when I got back and damn, if my electric wasn't on. It was like a Channukah miracle in August. :D

The rest of the night went by quickly. There was no unpacking. There was awesome BBQ for supper with friends. There was no spoiled food in the fridge (thank the Gods!). There were wonderful people to give me hugs and assure me that this too would pass.  I decided, as I got into my bed while the A/C continued to cool things off in the 'Bagel, that while the afternoon had been fired, the evening was welcome to stay. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

When did it become July?

Finally getting my shit together and I realize that I've not posted here since February. 5 months ago.  This is what happens when I don't have reliable internet & feel like I can't take the time to write.  I had gotten very good at writing several times a week so I'd have things in the hopper to post.  Time to start that again, me'thinks.

Dear Gods, did I just say "me'thinks"? *sigh*  Lets recap and then look to the future....

Arizona was fantastic in a lot of ways and a little sucktastic in some ways.  There was a bit of a "come to Jesus" experience that I'll be writing about later. Suffice to say, there was a lot that I learned at AZRF.

DB and I spent 3 weeks in Texas at 4Winds.  It's a really sweet little faire, key word being little.  The faire has a ton of potential, and I'm hoping that the changes management is making for next year really help it turn the corner. I really enjoyed re-connecting with folks I'd not seen in close to 5 years.  I think DB had fun being able to spend all day, every day, with me.  Big learning experience for me at 4Winds was not having a nanny.  I'd not had my girl with me for a full festival day, while working, in a *long* time.  It was actually a lot harder now that she's older and far more mobile.

After Texas we were at VARF in Spotsylvania, VA. VARF is close enough to Itown that we went back and forth most every weekend. VARF was a blast.  I hadn't worked a full season at VARF since DB was born.  I took what I learned at AZRF, applied it to VARF and things went smashingly well.

Celtic Fling happened after VARF, and it was a BLAST.  Celtic Fling is a huge event at the PARF site, and I was thrilled to be in the company of some amazing bands (Barleyjuice, Tartanic, and Albannach to name a few). Fling is one of the few events I perform at where I'm not in garb, don't have an accent, and am not doing improv in the lanes. It's such an odd feeling for me being there, but I have a terrific time. I'm one of two bands that are listed as "Traditional", and I got a ton of complements from folks who were looking for trad music, not Celtic Rock, Celtic Punk, Celtic Not Traditional. It made me feel pretty good.

Since Fling I've played some private functions and weddings. SLO faire is in 3 weeks, then PARF hits in full force in August. The new show for this year is CRF  in October & November, and then I head to LARF in December.  I may have a few gigs in CT later this month, but I've not got confirmation of them yet.

What else is going on.
Lets see, DB is 3. I'm realizing how much I do not love this age. My sweet, mostly well behaved child, doesn't really have tantrums, doesn't scream or bite daughter is now a pod-person. OK, not really, but this is the first time she is actually being somewhat textbook with her behaviour. I really don't care for it. Seriously, Do.Not.Like.

We are now owned by 2 kitties.  Lyric and Mishka. Lyric, as some of you may know, was born at PARF. She's pudging out a bit, but I think that's because she's eating the "senior" food. Mishka is our new "baby".  After some debate, we think she's about 12. She was a stray found in AZ. She is a pure white Turkish Angora with one green eye and one blue eye.  She was found severely underweight (near skeletal). Through some odd turn of events she ended up with us.  She is an incredibly loving and tolerant kitty.  She and Lyric get along pretty well, and she is a great traveler. We really did luck out in that aspect. With as much traveling as we do, having 2 cats that are good travelers is amazing.

Kickstarter is on a slight hiatus. *sigh* Between my schedule and lack of internet, things are at a standstill.  My hope is to have everything up and running by August. Along that line, I'm shooting to have my Bandcamp up at the same time.  Fingers crossed...

NEW and SHINY, I have an account at Reverbnation  I am learning how to use it, but please check it out. :)  I've also got a new music project in the works, but it's Super Sekret right now!

My friend Hel introduced me to unfuck your habitat and my friend Becca introduced me to nirvanahq. Both sites have been increasingly helpful with managing my ADD. I highly recommend the sites to anyone looking for some help with organisation, ADD is not required. ;> I'm so late to the game with so many things. Today I made an account on Tumblr. I've linked this blog to that one, so now I'm on two platforms. Yeah, I'm technologically slow.

I just looked at the clock. It's way past pumpkin time, and I'm still awake.  Why am I still awake? This does not please me.  OTOH, lookit me making a long-ass blog post, and posting on multiple platforms. Go me.  Go me, right to bed. G'night, Moon.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Placeholder... really...

Yup, just a placeholder.  Why?  'Cause this week is busy as all get out!  

Quick recap: DB and I got to AZRF and survived opening weekend. Survived really isn't a good word.  Opening weekend was made of awesomesauce.  The weather was wonderful, the crowds were really sweet and welcoming, and we had a ton of fun. This week we have student days, followed by a three-day-weekend as we're open on President's day.  Did I mention the being busy as all get out?

Yesterday was Lupercalia/Valentine's/Tuesday.  All in all it was a good day.  There were cards in the mail, food shopping with friends after work, and loads of music and camaraderie as we all played in the rain for most of the Student day.  

As for now, I need to do the last of the unpacking, put the pork chops in the oven, and get ready for our next Student day (tomorrow).

Check this space soon for updates! ;>


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Stuff and Life on the Road

I wrote this on January 2, 2012.  What makes it more relevant now, as opposed to 15 days ago, is that I'm leaving for AZRF in 10 days. 

2011 was an interesting year for me, and don't get me started on how interesting is a terrible descriptor. I know, I know, I know. Moving on, 2011 was definitely interesting. When I was in Arizona last year I found a Winnebago. For those of you new here, I've been a performer on the Renaissance festival circuit for several years, but I went closer to being full time on the road last year. Being on the road this year was eye opening. I worked new shows, met a lot of wonderful people, and had some incredible experiences. In 2011 my daughter and I traveled to Arizona, Virginia, California, Pennsylvania and Louisiana. In 2012 I'm looking to expand our travels to Carolina, Texas, Maryland and Wisconsin.

Going back to the Winnebago, or as I call her, the 'Bagel. Living in a 23 foot RV is a very different experience, especially when you're a pack rat. Oh, and living with a 2 year old and a cat. Space is, in a word, limited.

Most of my friends who live on the road have reached a point where stuff is just stuff, and they really don't need a lot of stuff. I'm not there. Don't get me wrong, I want to be there, I'm just not there yet. I have stuff. I have a LOT of stuff. I did a huge purge of stuff when I moved from Groton to Ithaca last September, but there's still so much left. I've been pretty good about not replacing the stuff I got rid of with new stuff, but the stuff I still have just seems to have increased in size. Stuff that isn't necessarily important or necessary, but it has an emotional attachment. The stuff I need to get rid of doesn't need emotional attachment.

I need to get over this sense of emotional attachment to stuff. Some things are important, like my grandmother's sewing box. Some things are less-so, like the board games I never play. Looking around my house, I see stuff. I see stuff EVERYWHERE! Stuff in crates, tubs/totes and boxes. Part of me wants to take everything that's in boxes or tubs/totes and just bring them to Salvo. Not open them, just bring them. The problem with that is I'd wonder what was in there. Then I'd fret. Then I'd obsess. Then the ADD would really kick in and I'd be forever wondering what it was that I'd gotten rid of. I'd probably go back down to Salvo and try to find my stuff. That leaves the next option of sorting through each tub/tote and box. This option is not fabulous as I get lost in the minutia. Seriously, I can look through 1 tote and hours will by and I still won't be done. Just thinking about this is making me twitchy. Bottom line, whether or not I go full time on the road, the sheer amount of stuff in my life needs to decrease.

One of the folks I met this year was Anika. She is a sweet wonderful person with a ready smile. She's relatively new to life on the road, and she's loving it. She's adapted to it quickly and I think she really gets what it's about. To quote her,and this is from her blog, "When I made the decision to leave, I packed everything I owned into my Jeep.  I got rid of all my nick-nacks, which really serve no purpose but to remind you of fond memories, donated most of my books and clothes to the library and goodwill, and drove to Pennsylvania.  While living there for three months, Kurt and I basically reconstructed my house (a small pop-up trailer) from scratch. I lived in this new house for 7 weeks in Louisiana, and now it travels with me everywhere I go. After living in Oklahoma for a few weeks, I will then be traveling to Arizona and next, Texas. 

It sounds too corny to say that the "home is where the heart is", so how about "home is where my Jeep is"? Every day I am amazed by all the wonderful people I have met and things I have seen that I would not have gotten to otherwise."

Being on the road is amazing. Every place we go we make new friends, new family. There's community. There are things I get to see and show my daughter, that we wouldn't see if we didn't travel. And each time I've gotten rid of things, of clutter, it's been incredibly freeing. It felt good. It definitely soothed some of my ADD triggers. It made life easier.

The next question, what do I really need vs. what do I think I need.   As of January 17, I have 10 days to figure it out.

Monday, January 16, 2012

A little bit of blather

I had a pretty good weekend. It finally felt like Winter for more than a few hours or even for one day. I got some snippets of things written, but nothing really flowed the way I was hoping for.  I think I have too many thoughts bouncing around in my brain for things to really come together.  Iinstead of trying to force the words out I picked Lily up and practiced for an hour. I picked 4 Irish tunes, 2 Cantigas, 2 classical pieces and the Csardas, which I've wanted to work on for years.  I took two hours for a break and then went back to it. I practiced for one more hour and then stopped. Most of what I picked to play had very little shifting, so my wrist didn't ache to much.  I worked on my posture so my right shoulder wasn't too stiff.  After practice I stretched for a while, and all told I feel pretty good  I don't think I can practice for two hours every day, but I can certainly shoot for one hour a few days a week.

The AZRF cross-country trip is looming. LOOMING!  Seriously, I leave in 11 days. What can someone do in 11 days? Well, y'all are about to find out.  Are you ready?  Good!

*long pause*

Well, not right now. Right now I have to eat. Right now I have to work on uploading tunes to my Bandcamp account. Right now I have to stop worrying about leaving for AZRF in 11 days.  Right now...

Cue the VanHagar!

I so miss Pop Up Video.  And in case you don't know the lyrics to "Right Now", here ya go.

Don't wanna wait 'til tomorrow
Why put it off another day?
One by one, little problems
Build up, and stand in our way. Oh

One step ahead, one step behind it
Now ya gotta runt o get even
Make future plans I'll dream about yesterday, hey!
Come on turn, turn this thing around

(Right Now) Hey! It's your tomorrow
(Right Now) Come on, it's everything
(Right Now) Catch your magic moment
Do it right here and now
It means everything

Miss a beat, you lose a rhythm
An nothin' falls into place. No!
Only missed by a fraction
Slipped a little off your pace. Oh!

The more things you get, the more you want
Just trade in one for another
Workin' o hard to make it easy
Whoa, got to turn. Come on, turn this thing around

(Right Now) Hey! It's your tomorrow
(Right Now) Come on, it's everything
(Right Now) Catch your magic moment
Do it right here and now
It means everything

Said a lie to me
Right now
What ar ya waitin' for? Oh! Yeah!
Right Now

(Guitar Solo)

(Right Now) Hey! It's your tomorrow
(Right Now) Come on, it's everything
(Right Now) Catch your magic moment
Do it right here and now
It means everything

It's what's happening
Right here and now
Right now, it's right now
Right now, it's right now
Tell me, what are ya waitin' for?
Turn this thing around

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Music in movies

When they announced Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows I got excited, but not for the reasons you might think. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the eye candy. While I'm not a huge Jude Law fan, I really like his portrayal of Dr. Watson. While I am a huge Robert Downey Jr. fan, it's not because he's rather easy on the eyes. I'm a huge Robert Downey Jr. fan because I think he's an awesome actor. I like that he isn't just Robert Downey Jr. playing a part. I like that when I watch him in movies I see the character he's playing. I really liked the first Sherlock Holmes. I liked the storyline, the pace of the movie, and the music. I think my favourite track was Rocky Road to Dublin, by the Dubliners, like that's any big surprise to any of you.

I saw Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows on Christmas day as part of my traditional Channukah/Christmas celebrations. I was really looking forward to it, and I was not disappointed. I liked the pacing and the story. I liked the new characters. I liked the old characters. Most of all, though, I loved the music. The Roma tunes were... indescribable. I could see them. They made my pulse move, and my fingers itched for my fiddle and bow. Friends took me to see the movie again earlier this week, and I had the same reaction. I need to get this soundtrack, but even more, I need to learn these tunes. I need to play these tunes. Before I head off, let me share this article with you. It's pretty fantastic, and there are some great clips. Make sure you watch all the clips!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Needing a little Help from my Friends

Dear Quackers, Fans, Friends, Y'all who are reading...

I need help!

 With my poor van Serenity being dead, and no real prospects for a new vehicle, I'm looking at putting something up on Kickstarter.  The problem is that I don't know what to offer. This is where YOU come in.  What would YOU like from NeidFyre? What would motivate you to donate to the "Get NeidFyre Back On The Road" fund?

Inquiring minds need to know, 'cause I've got to leave for AZRF at the end of January!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Singing with my Daughter

I sing songs and play fiddle music for DB, and she watches me intently.  When I sing, she stares at my lips with amazing focus and mimics the shapes my mouth is making.  She has learned to sing several of the songs in my regular faire set list, including the Mingulay Boat Song.  Today she floored me.

At naptime she asked for her Lullaby (In a Glade) and as I began she sang it with me. Each verse and chorus.  The song is in Ukrainian.  UKRAINIAN!!

Here's a link to the non-Milla Jovovich version of the song.  FYI, while I love Milla's version, and I sing it about the same tempo she does, I really enjoy this version.

This child is so incredible...

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Winter Wonderwhat?

I'm a freak. I know this isn't a surprise to you, but I thought I'd start out with this fact.

Today's freakiness is brought to you by the words cold, snow and wind chill. I love the winter. There, I said it. I L.O.V.E. The winter. I'd much rather have the temperature cool or cold than hot. Really, I can't stand the heat. Hell, I don't even like it when it's too bright outside.

In my closest circle of friends I'm in the minority. They enjoy the heat. They enjoy the sun. They enjoy the... :shudder: summer. How does one actually enjoy the summer? It's HOT. It's often HUMID. And the light. FFS, it's frelling BRIGHT out. Stupid Evil Burning Daystar what keeps us alive, but is really painful on my eyes and skin. Also, you can only take off so many clothes before you're naked. Once you're naked there's no where left to go. The only saving grace of the hot: A/C. You heard me, Air Conditioning. My parents house had central air. My grandparent's house had a massive wall unit in the den and another in their bedroom. All my friends had A/C. A/C was a way of life, man.

Winter, on the other hand... Winter is delightful. The days are shorter. If you're cold you can put on more layers. Snow is beautiful to look at. It can still be frelling bright out, but there's not much I can do about that. Winter is hot chocolate, the smell of stews and soups, roasts and evergreens. Winter is snuggles and tea. Winter is beautiful. Winter is snow. Winter is brisk. Winter is skiing, tobogganing, and ice skating. Most of all, Winter isn't hot.

The winter this year has been incredibly mild. It was in the 40's and 50's the week of Christmas. 40's and 50's people! WTF? Last night we had a lake effect advisory. The temperature dropped to the single digits, and this morning it was between -5 to 5 depending on the wind chill. There was even snow. Granted, it wasn't a lot of snow, but there was snow!When I went out today I had to wear a hat, scarf, coat and gloves. It was fantastic.

I know that Longest Night has passed, and the nights are getting shorter. I know Spring will be here soon. I know the Evil Burning Daystar will mock me with its glare. Until then, I just want to enjoy the Winter. I don't care that I'm in the minority. Bring on the Winter.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Going through the motions

2012.  I haven't touched my blog since May 2011. (The post prior to this doesn't count, as it's from 4/8/11)  It's been just over 7 months.  It's a new year.  To quote Dr. Horrible, "It's a brand new day..." I'm not a big one for new year's resolutions.  They don't work for me. I am, however, all for working on changing behaviours that need adjusting.  Maybe it's semantics, but I look at like I look at dieting.  Diets don't work.  Changing the patterns of how I eat and what I eat does work. It's a lifestyle change, not a quick fix.

So what do behaviours do I want to change? I think one of the biggest is that I need to let things go and let things out.  I have  bottled up so many things and it does me no good.  I want to do so many things and be creative in so many ways, and I take steps to start but never seem to get over the hump to make these things consistent.  I'd like to change that this year.  As for being creative, I'd like to play more music and write more. With that, I offer you this, my first post of 2012.
I'm curled up on my bed, Lyric is curled up on my body pillow and as I'm typing this I'm watching Grimm for the first time. I was very excited when I heard Grimm and Once Upon A Time were airing. While I really miss having cable, I adore Hulu and Streaming Netflix. In my copious spare time I try to catch up on things, but I'm finding that I have sweet little copious spare time. Being a huge fan of TV, I find this somewhat inconvenient. Who wants to clean the kitchen or put the laundry away when The Big Bang Theory is on, or House, or Sanctuary, or Eureka, or How I Met Your Mother, or Backyardigans... dear Gods.... Backyardigans. :shudder: Now I need to add Grimm to the list.

When I say that I'm a huge fan of TV, I mean a Huge.Fan.Of.TV. I grew up in a house full of TV's. FFS, my grandparents had a small TV in their kitchen. My folks moved us to Fort Salonga when I was in the 3rd grade. It was a ginormous contemporary in the woods. There was a sunken living room, a finished basement that I never went into, and my bedroom had a Dutch door. I had a frelling Dutch Door!!!  Suffice to say, I thought my bedroom was awesome, and it was probably my favourite bedroom of all time. The best part of this, however, was the fact that my brother and I had TV's in our bedrooms. You read that right, I was in the 3rd grade and had a TV in my bedroom.  I believe I was 7 going on 8, but I can't remember. Jeeze, maybe if Snufleupagus and Big Bird were involved I'd remember, but I digress.

So my family had just moved to Fort Salonga and I didn't have a lot of friends.  I made the TV my friend. I talked about TV all the time. I watched TV all the time. To this day, I can tell you about the search for “Mount Snuffleupagus” in fantastic detail.  The fact that I would regale my family with tales of what happened on The New Zoo Review and Sesame Street every single day was probably the first clue to my folks that I was watching too much TV. I know the undiagnosed ADD didn't help with the fact that I could sit down in front of the TV and watch for literally hours and not realize how much time had gone by.

After the whole nearly burning down my bedroom at 5am because of some faulty wiring, but that's another story, my parents decided that I was watching too much TV and took the TV out of my bedroom.  At some point I didn't watch TV at all during the week until I was in high school which led to my love affair with reading, but again that's a different story. After I moved out of my parents house I had cable. I had cable in every apartment and house I lived in. I had cable until about 5 or so years ago because it just got too expensive. I miss it. I miss being able to watch the newest episodes of things when the originally air. I miss being able to watch whatever I want whenever I want. I miss the luxury of it.

Not having cable or watching much TV in the past few years combined with being on the road more has changed my opinion on TV a little. I'm not so married to the idea of having to keep up with my “stories”. I'm ok with not having cable. The time I spent glued to the tube can be spent doing other things, like playing with my daughter, or reading, or cooking, or practicing, or cleaning, or having sex. That doesn't mean that when I have completely free time that I don't plant myself in front of the computer and catch up on things. I do. (Still watching Grimm as I type this out.) It just means I don't get hooked all the time. Or most of the time. Really I need to go to bed, but there's just 2 more episodes before I'm caught up. Did I mention that tomorrow is still part of the holiday weekend?
I wrote that post last night with the full intention of posting it, but I fell asleep watching Grimm.  Right now I've got season 6 of Buffy streaming onto my TV and I just finished watching "Once More With Feeling" as I edited this post.  As for now, I think I'll keep Buffy on, make some tea and start conquering Mt. Washmore.  Seriously, I can turn it off at any time...


POSTDATED- Does anyone know how to postdate posts that were drafts but never got posted?  This is from 4/8/11

Initially I was going to blog about muumuu Friday.  That, of course, was Friday.  Right now it's Monday. It's mostly Monday.  Well, it's 4:11am, that fantastical time when I realize that I haven't gone to bed yet and I'm not tired, and I'm running on and ADD high. Lets go back to Friday.

:insert Scooby Doo Audio and wiggly fingers: Scoodillidoo! Scoodillidoo! Scoodillidoo!
FYI:  I just spent 20 minutes trying to find a video of the Scooby Doo Wiggly Fingers, but found nothing. I suck at finding things on the intarwebs. 
It's Friday. Wait, it's muumuu Friday. Yeah, you heard me, muumuu Friday. Muumuu Friday was not my idea.  Muumuu Friday is a thing that Jessica and the crew at the Arizona Renaissance Festival do. It's pretty much what it sounds like; they all wear muumuu's on Friday. And why not? They're comfy. They flow. They hide those unsightly Hawaiian shirts and plaid shorts. They're forgiving. They're like your sweet Nana who only wants to give you a hug.  Before I left Arizona I stopped at a Saver's and I found myself a muumuu. It's lavender with little butterflies on it.  It has snaps down the front, and it's got pockets. This isn't the greatest picture, but it still shows me in all of my muumuu glory.
Me & My Muumuu


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