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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