dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (cyhmn)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 08:27pm on 2007-06-21 under , ,

I'm bringing the oud to Conterpoint this weekend after all.

Anybody feel like starting a pool for guesses as to when during the weekend my tempoary repair to the head/neck joint will start to fail?

Still not sure about the soprano bowed psaltery (I'm definitely bringing the tenor), or whether I'll have time to replace the broken strings on the Vulcan lyre before tomorrow evening.

P.S.: This means, if you're the one playing the oud at the time the tuning and action start to go to pot (or, worst case, the wood splits), it won't be your fault. If I'm lucky it'll at least last long enough for interested people to try it out. Knock wood.

dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (cyhmn)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 08:24pm on 2007-06-21 under , ,

I'm bringing the oud to Conterpoint this weekend after all.

Anybody feel like starting a pool for guesses as to when during the weekend my tempoary repair to the head/neck joint will start to fail?

Still not sure about the soprano bowed psaltery (I'm definitely bringing the tenor), or whether I'll have time to replace the broken strings on the Vulcan lyre before tomorrow evening.

P.S.: This means, if you're the one playing the oud at the time the tuning and action start to go to pot (or, worst case, the wood splits), it won't be your fault. If I'm lucky it'll at least last long enough for interested people to try it out. Knock wood.

dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 05:26am on 2007-05-28 under ,

"see, maybe that's my problem. maybe i'd have better luck with men if i dressed like a space marine more often." -- [livejournal.com profile] merde, 2007-05-23

dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)

[Edit: Problem solved; guitar already en route to Hunt Valley. Oh, and the concert it's needed for is Saturday at 14:00.]

Whoops. While I'm not scheduled for anything in particular at Balticon[*], I just remembered that I promised my (electric) guitar would be there for someone to borrow. And I'm not sure what day it's needed. So I still need to arrange to get the guitar and an amplifier to the convention, apart from the question of getting myself there. (If I take the light rail as suggested, on a day when I'm feeling well enough to do that, the amplifier will be a bit more than I want to schlep to the bus stop[**] (and there's the whole not-sure-which-day problem).) So ... if it's feasible for someone to grab my axe on their way north and bring it back to my house after the con, that would be appreciated.

[**] Unless the battery rig will suffice, but I think this is for a stage set. And I'd need to go find all the parts again and reassemble it, since it's been pulled apart for other uses for a while.

dglenn: My face, wearing black beret, with guitar neck in corner of frame (pw34)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 06:06pm on 2007-05-24 under , ,

I'd like to go to Balticon: it's a "gathering of my tribe", it's close-ish to my home (well, not really close, since I'm all the way down on the south side of the city), going to Balticon is a normal aspect of my calendar, and there are going to be folks there I don't get to see often ... (and it sounds like it should be a good convention programming-wise) ...

But I haven't budgeted for it or made crash space arrangements, I haven't been told of any gigs I'm booked for there (HCB has performed at Balticon in the past but not every year; if I got booked for anything else -- unlikely -- then somebody forgot to tell me) and after the last four weekends in a row having been marked by stressful attempts to sort out rides (suceeding three times out of the four), I'm having trouble getting my head and heart into the push to find a way to make Balticon happen for me.

So for folks expecting me there, this is a little advance notice that I probably won't be there. If an opportunity to day-trip up there falls in my lap (and I'm feeling well enough to get ready in time), I'll be happy to see a bit of the con and try to catch up with people. (One-day registration is more than I should spend, but if everything else just happens to line up, I'm inclined to splurge that little bit.) But I'm not going to try all that hard despite the fact that not getting there at all will feel a little strange. The repeated ride-hunt has just kinda worn me down, I don't have a committment to fulfill there, and thus I should probably back off, regroup, get back to working on a longer-term personal transportation solution (i.e. get my head back into the car-hunting decisions), and start gathering my energies for Conterpoint next month, for which I do have committments.

So assuming no miracles or surprises happen, sorry to anyone expecting me in Hunt Valley this weekend. And if I do get there for one afternoon somehow, well, it'll be a pleasant surprise, eh?

And yes, this entry is as much an attempt to talk myself out of angsting too much about what I'm missing and second-guessing myself as it is an explanation to others for why I probably won't be there. Maybe I'll let y'all know on Monday whether it worked.

Hey, maybe I'll get around to developing a few rolls of Tri-X this weekend like I've been meaning to for a while...

dglenn: My face, wearing black beret, with guitar neck in corner of frame (pw34)

I've been alternating days of feeling halfway decent other than the usual pain and early fatigue-after-not-having-done-very-much, and barely-get-out-of-bed days -- which I suppose is a pretty normal spell, for me. I made it to Darkover (four performances -- two with HCB and two with pick-up dance bands) but was too wiped out to stick around for the filking either night or to return on Sunday for a day at the con without obligations and schedules. I made it to a rehearsal for a recorder group to see just how rusty my reading has gotten lately, and to 3LF rehearsal (well, about the second half of it). I wasn't in great shape Wednesday but I got where I needed to get to. Saturday I played at a Madrigal Feast where I felt awfully under-rehearsed but things went pretty well in general anyhow. (I think -- I hope -- most of my mistakes were covered up by the rest of the band, especially by the other bass recorder player (I stayed on bass recorder all night), but alas the band as a whole fell apart on one of my favourite tunes, "Riu Riu Chiu". I'm pretty sure the audience did notice that, but it is the nature of audiences of live music to quickly forget the embarrassing train-wrecks if you nail the next couple of tunes.) I'll be doing that again -- same event, different location -- this coming Saturday (last I checked there were still three $65 tickets left ...). They're not feeding the musicians, so we bring sandwiches and stuff to nibble while the actors have long bits to do without us. This coming Saturday, I may wind up playing bowed psaltery on one tune.

There's supposed to be a HCB performance this Wednesday night, but , er, there's something about a leak and six feet of water and the building condemned, or something, and we're still waiting to hear whether that gig will actually be happening or not, and exactly where if so.

As might have been expected, I was pretty useless for anything yesterday. Today I've got a to-do list a kilometer long, but will try to pace myself so that I don't get too tired today to be able to go to 3LF tomorrow and HCB Wednesday if we do turn out to have a place to play. There's always the sheer randomness of fibromyalgia to screw up any care I take in trying to schedule my downtime, but I can at least try to keep the odds tipped my way. I've already decided to punt the to-do items that involve getting dressed and going anywhere today, with the possible exception of a run to a hardware store late to buy new mounting brackets for the railing on the back stair -- since my tumble from the top of that staircase started with the top bracket breaking off, I think I want to replace all three with sturdier ones. [livejournal.com profile] anniemal gave me a new wooden railing to replace the one that broke off so dramatically; it just needs to be cut down a little to fit, and maybe get a coat of paint (and, ideally, get sanded smooth), so all I'll need to buy are the brackets and maybe paint. Picking a day when I have the energy to dive into a hands-on project is the bigger obstacle. Needs to be done though.

So far I've been trying to manage my capable-of-doing-stuff days with only my performance schedule in mind. I haven't even begun to take party announcements/invitations into consideration. I really need to start doing that too, as some social time would do me good. I mostly see people at rehearsals, not random hanging out or parties. So I've been very bad about keeping up face-to-face relationships (for oh, several years now, at least). Wanna fix that.

Today, I'll see how much paperwork I can get through, including scary government forms (scary mostly because they're government forms, and I get twitchy worrying about whether I'm translating from bureaucratese to plainspeech (or Glenn-idiolect) correctly when I run into questions that seem to include unstated assumptions). And practice the bowed psaltery. Later in the week maybe I'll try to deal with OS installation/upgrades on a couple of machines. (I already did battle with Debian's 'apt-get' and 'aptitude' and fought it to ... an inconclusive result, possibly considered a draw but less straightforward than that sounds. It did involve use of a Red Hat rescue CD, and while a current kernel is installed, I cannot boot it (and 'apt-get' seems to be telling me it can't complete configuration of the new kernel because the new kernel isn't configured yet -- huh?); and I have X back, and the terminal program I'd been using, but I was without anything X-related for a while and my menus have been rearranged and my screen resolution changed, so I'm not sure whether I'm ahead or behind on the GUI front. Methinks I'll live with what I've got for a few days and focus on the aforementioned paperwork. And (*sigh*) phone calls.

It did occur to me that I missed an opportunity for a bit of schtick this past Tuesday -- I should have brought the broken-off piece of railing with me and carried it into rehearsal. Then when somebody asked me why I was holding it, I would've explained, "Oh, holding onto this is supposed to prevent my falling down the stairs." Might have gotten a laugh, I dunno.

My mother fell recently too, which I found out when I called her last night. It sounds like she got hurt a lot worse than I did. I'm hoping to get out to visit her sometime this week. I hope my brother who lives with her is being helpful.

I'm a week and a half to two weeks behind on television watching (and that's not counting a few shows I haven't watched any episodes of yet this season, hoping I can find the videocassettes in the right order when I get around to them, such as Gilmore Girls and Veronica Mars); the only things I'm current on are Heroes and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. And I'm only current on the television portion of Heroes; I haven't even looked at the comic book/webcomic/whatever yet -- and is there something about character blogs that I'm missing, too? I'm about two weeks behind on LJ as well and kinda random about recent email -- I've peeked at my 'busy' and 'newsish' filters a few times, but have not really done more than a quick skim each time, so I feel like I'm behind even on those portions of my friendslist. (I did pay enough attention to note the juxtaposition of an entry claiming that "illegal aliens murder 12 Americans daily" almost immediately below an entry linking to an article about how "entirely made-up statistics being quoted all over the place, against immigrants" which starts off by showing the 12-murders-daily statistic is bullshit.

Urk! And I've gotten behind on collecting quotes for my quote of the day; the scheduled quotes run out on Wednesday -- eek! (I do have a bunch of unscheduled-yet quotations in the file, so worst-case I'll just use up a bunch of those. But I was saving some of them for particular holidays, anniversaries, or times when specific topics come up in Congress and the newspapers again -- and some are in the "still deciding whether I really want to use this" category.) Maybe I'll make time for quote-mining my friendslist tonight if my sleep-meds fail again.

I think that's about the right amount of procrastination. Now on to filling out forms.

Mood:: 'awake' awake
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (cyhmn)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 05:40pm on 2006-11-22 under ,

Some of the last-minute aspect of Darkover dance music prep is my fault and some was byond my control; the list of tunes for the Playford dance (all different from last year) has been sorted out, and the tunes are online. Email me (or SMS my cell phone) for the URL unless you remember the URL for last year's music (in which case just change "2005" to "2006"). Let me know if you want to help out adding guitar chords to the Playford tunes that don't have any yet.

Lists of tunes, for musicians who've promised to play or are considering it )

Trying desperately to finish the stuff I need to do before tomorrow, things I need to do before the weekend, and things I need to do before I run out of time to do them, and hoping that my body holds up long enough to do all this without making me too wrecked to deal with extra driving tomorrow -- I'm responsible for getting others to the family Thanksgiving party, so if I'm hurting too badly to get moving tomorrow it'll make other people late, not just myself. Argh. Pressure. Gotta run.

dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (cyhmn)

Though some of y'all will be on your way to Philcon this afternoon, let me take a moment to look ahead a week to Darkover...

There will be two dances at Darkover with live music provided by pick-up bands. I'm recruiting folks for those bands. There will be a Playford dance on Friday and a Regency Ball on Saturday. Musicians, if you're going to be attending Darkover and are up to reading dance tunes without much rehearsal, give me a shout and I'll tell you where to download sheet music (we'll be adding two tunes to the Regency ball music from last year). Also, let me know which dance(s) you plan to play for so I'll have some idea how much I have to worry about getting enough musicians.

(There are two websites for the convention, http://darkovercon.com and http://darkovercon.org/. Where the two sites disagree, I'm not sure which is correct.)

The Playford dance will be Friday, 24 November, from 4PM to 6PM. Unsurprisingly, that's the one I'm most worried about getting enough musicians for. The Regency dance will be on Saturday, 25 November, from 5PM to 7PM (again, if the web info is right).

Also, The Homespun Ceilidh Band will be performing at the convention, as will Clam Chowder, [livejournal.com profile] cellio's band On The Mark, and [livejournal.com profile] maugorn.

dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (cyhmn)

I'm not going to ConCertino this weekend; everyone who does go has to have a good time and make sure my share of the fun doesn't go to waste.

The primary reason is lack of funds, amplified by a bit of a bad spell body-wise this week which a) got in the way of my trying to find a workaround for the lack of funds and b) has me feeling a bit drained-feeling to be enthusiastic about travel right now. I'm always bummed to miss the floating regional filk convention, and this time it's not even because of a conflicting gig to distract me ... but between my finances and my health, these things happen. I hope nobody was counting on borrowing something from the Wall Of Instruments; if so, I apologize.

Yeah, I'd been looking forward to the convention for a year, but I pretty much saw this coming from a couple weeks away, so I've had some time to get the anti-sulking defenses in place. I'll just try that much harder to get to the next one (and to actually have some new songs to perform by then). What city has the honour next year?

In the meantime, it's not as though I lack important and overdue things on my to-do list if my energy level improves over the weekend (as I'm hoping it will).

And maybe one of these years I'll finally manage to make it to OVFF and/or FKO, which I've been wanting to get to for about ten years.

dglenn: My face, wearing black beret, with guitar neck in corner of frame (pw34)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 03:33am on 2006-05-28 under ,

I got to Balticon much later than I'd planned to, after fighting a sinus headache (I guess -- it felt very different from a migraine and was all in the upper half of my face) most of the day. I saw a lot of people I haven't seen in a great many years, as well as folks I just havent seen in many months. I hung out. I had short and long conversations. It was a good day for clothes-watching. I stayed a little later than I should have. I'll go back after I've slept. I'm too tired to write in much more detail right now. Being around so many of My People is an especially good thing for me right now. And [livejournal.com profile] madbodger gave me a DigiComp I (a plastic mechanical digital computer that some of us oldbie geeks remember from childhood -- I remember assembling my first one at the kitchen table with my father when I was a whole lot shorter than I am now). I'm tempted to assemble it at Balticon when I go back there to show it off to the folks who never had one and wonder why some of us speak fondly of this toy, if I feel like making a side trip to buy rubber bands for it when I get moving in the morning. (The ones in the box have long since lost their elasticity.)

A bummer: I noticed that the guitar I carved a new nut for -- which I chose as the one to carry around for the day -- has a cracked brace. :-( Fortunately it's one on the back, nearest the sound hole. Once I figure out how to clamp it, I'll take the strings off and reach in there with a syringe full of either wood glue or epoxy.

dglenn: My face, wearing black beret, with guitar neck in corner of frame (pw34)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 03:23pm on 2006-05-24 under , , ,

Health

After my digestive problems a couple of weeks ago, I was put on a different combo-drug, one with a smaller amount of the component most likely to have been causing me problems. To minimize the risk to my ability to perform, I waited until after my last gig for a while to start taking it -- missing Balticon (see below) would be a bummer, but missing a gig would bother me more. The last problem almost kept me out of the performance at the Green Man Festival, so I didn't want to risk screwing up getting to the Maryland Faerie Festival.

After my last clinic visit, I'd started to wonder whether what I'd thought was a stomach bug made worse by the drug was actually all due to the drug. The way I've felt since yesterday evening provides additional support for that hypothesis. Ugh. I'm keeping food down (but being careful what foods I attempt), but I'm quite uncomfortable and not sure which direction this is going. Feh.

And my knees are hurting very, very badly again. Right on the edge between need-codeine and can-make-do-with-Ultram levels (since I don't need to be very active today, I'm going with the Ultram and limiting my trips up and down the stairs).

Guitar Repair

Repair on the guitar that broke during a gig is progressing slowly. The new nut is shaped and the slots are positioned, but I don't have the slots the right depths yet. It's currently at the stage where the possibility of screwing things up abruptly is greatest: making the tiny adjustments now required without going that wee bit too far is ... making me nervous.

As [livejournal.com profile] maugorn had pointed out, finding tools to cut the slots for the first two strings was a challenge (the exact right tools exist but I don't have them). For the G, D, A, and E slots I could use my needle files, which was easy enough once I got each started in the right place (the low E-string slot isn't quite the right shape but it's close and I think I can fix it). It turns out that the e-string slot in the old nut is the same width as the sharp edge of an X-Acto knife blade (the blade just about everyone has, the one that a new handle usually has in it when you buy it -- I think it's "#11 Classic"?), and the B-string slot is the same width as the back of the same blade. Trying to cut a groove in a piece of bone with an X-Acto knife didn't work very well, so I sacrificed a blade to the cause and turned it into a double-sided saw blade: I used the Dremmel and a cut-off wheel to add serrations to both sides of the X-Acto blade, then used that improvised saw to cut the two narrowest slots in the nut.

(X-Acto does make saw blades as well, which might be thin enough and are certainly cheaper than the precision nut-saws I linked to above, but I got to those slots in the middle of the night and improvising my own tools seemed to make more sense than looking for an all-night craft-supplies store, at the time.)

So now I've got a nut which does hold the strings in place even when I strum very hard, but all six strings are just a teensy bit too high (I can feel it at the first fret, but from the second fret on it feels okay to my fingers), the intonation isn't quite right (the octave harmonic of each string is just a smidgen off from the pitch fretted at the twelfth fret), and the B string buzzes badly (when played open).

Almost done. Almost. Just that little bit of tweaking (a tiny amount of material to remove; a not-so-tiny amount of time to do it right). And one little error will mean starting over from square one.

Stage fright isn't much of a problem for me, but fear of making cuts I can't undo -- whether the material is bone or leather or cloth or stone, whether the project is sewing or carving or modifying a machine -- slows me way down. I'll get past this hesitation and start those final adjustments this afternoon. Let's see how close to perfect I can get the intonation without screwing it all up. I've got the second nut blank handy just in case I do blow it.

Even though it's not finished yet, not right yet, it felt really good to be able to tighten up the strings and let some chords ring out.

Balticon Plans

I can't afford to go to Balticon, really, but I'd hate to miss it entirely. I'm thinking of ghosting the con a couple of days just to catch up with people and maybe make some music, and see whether I can afford a single-day membership for one day of it (it'll be iffy -- money is terribly tight and the day-memberships are a pretty substantial fraction of a full membership, except for Monday) so I can go to the art show (a friend mentioned that she's been working with a new style, and will be displaying art at Balticon) and not feel like a complete cheat.

But whether I get there at all will depend on how I feel, how my gut settles down, how tired I am. It'll also depend on whether I'm starting out from home in Baltimore or from [livejournal.com profile] anniemal's house -- we missed each other at the Maryland Faerie Festival because she was too stiff and sore on Saturday from helping with setup on Friday, and I was too exhausted on Sunday from having been out and active so long on Saturday ... and my plan to go visit last night after Thrir Venstri Foetr rehearsal fell apart when I was feeling too ill to go to rehearsal.

So I may or may not get to Balticon, if I do go I don't know how much of the time I'll be there, and I'll probably just be hanging around the lobby. It'll all be last-minute decisions. I'd like to be there and see folks, but time, money, and health all make it a big Maybe.

I'm really hoping I can get to ConCertino in a few weeks, but that's going to be a much bigger challenge financially, especially since I haven't gotten around to doing any planning for it.

dglenn: My face, wearing black beret, with guitar neck in corner of frame (pw34)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 08:41pm on 2005-11-27 under , ,

Much to write, too tired to do a proper job of it; here are a few highlights:

Made it to Darkover. Felt like crap. Managed not to fall over during the Ball. Played arco a little more than I really should have -- sometimes I quickly realized I was reaching a little beyond my current skill with the bow and switched back to pizzicato, but conversations with dancers and dancemistress later indicated that they didn't hear me suck; need to remember to ask the musicians who sat right in front of me whether trying to use the bow was a net win or not. Felt exteremely wobbly after the ball, and elected to sit in one place for a long while. Was brought food (for which I am quite grateful) and mustered the energy required to consume it; had longer conversations than I usually manage at conventions, with a few folks who stopped to talk, including some I haven't had longer than a drive-by conversation with in way the hell too long; skipped the Clams concert because I didn't really feel good about getting up and going to a more crowded spot.

My thanks to the other musicians who played, both for Regency last night and for Playford on Friday.

After recovering a bit, went and sat out in the lobby for a few hours talking to folks (and getting massaged at one point, which helped), and listened to the traditional poolside Handel performance, made a very brief appearance in the con suite (which was mostly empty when I wandered in), and decided I was steady enough to drive home.

Basically didn't see much of the con (and didn't get a chance to sell copies of the new CD to merchants for them to sell at other conventions, so I hope [livejournal.com profile] justgus37 did) but I did play, and I got to sit and talk to people I really wish I got to see more often, so all in all it was a positive thing.

Woke up today feeling headachy and slow, so did not get back to the convention. Around dusk, [livejournal.com profile] madbodger rang my doorbell with a bunch of surplus hardware that I didn't have room for in my car last night since I was already carrying the double bass. I'm gonna need more entries for my list of names to name computers as I get them configured. First I need to find the file in which I jotted down a bunch of names the last time I decided I needed more. (Yes, I have a naming theme. )

) Reading the manual for the big, intimidating switch now. A little later I'll curl up with a mandolin and Bach. Later still, I'll sort out how to organize my week.

First ibuprofen. Then Bach.

As much as I like the punch of pizz on the bass, I really like having the bowed sounds available as well. There's a certain ... richness there.

dglenn: Lego-ish figure in blue dress, with beard and breasts, holding sword and electric guitar (lego-blue)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 04:34pm on 2005-11-10 under , ,

The Darkover science fiction convention is coming up, Thanksgiving weekend (25-27 November), and there are two dance events during the convention for which we need musicians: a Regency ball on Saturday and a small Playford dance session on Friday.

If you're a musician who'll be at Darkover and think this sounds like fun, please let me know (comment here or send email). Also tell me whether you have the music we used for the Regency ball last year or need me to get a copy to you.

At the moment there's nothing on the convention web site's "Main Programming" page, but in past years both dances have been scheduled for 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM, with the possibility of Friday's running a little longer.

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