jwgh: (Hat)


Maybe I will go out and hang up posters another day. For now: netflix (The Wicker Man) and knitting.
jwgh: (content)
On Friday I left work early, at noon, to go to a dentist's appointment -- I went to the dentist for the first time in many years last month and learned that I had a small cavity. So after a little cleaning I got the cavity filled. This all went fine.

After that, I headed to Fabric Place in Warwick and got some 39-inch #8 circular needles to replace the busted 24-inch ones I broke on Thursday. While I was there, I stopped by the Barnes & Noble and picked up the latest Harry Potter book on tape.

Then I met [livejournal.com profile] chaos_are_me and [livejournal.com profile] fire_truck_yeah for dinner at Rasoi, a fairly new Indian restaurant on Hope Street. I had the chicken chittinad, which was very spicy and excellent. After that, we went over to [livejournal.com profile] plant_geek's house and we all headed to the Rustic Drive-In in North Smithfield for the 8:30 showing of the Simpsons.

pictures )

The Simpsons movie was good -- I agree with other people who have commented that it was more like a long TV show than a movie as such, but it was a very good long TV show, and I had a really good time.

Then it was home and to bed.

Yesterday I slept pretty late and puttered around the house for a bit before packing a sack lunch (almond butter sandwich, peach, almonds, bottle of water) and walking from Wayland Square to Prospect Park, which is a nice little walk. Then I walked back, went home, took a bath, had some dinner, and headed over to the Mediator to see the Providence Wholebellies play. The Wholebellies is a large, amorphous music group centered around Chris Turner and his wife Rachel Maloney (who respectively play harmonica and fiddle, though both also occasionally play other instruments) and featuring a somewhat random group of 5-15 musicians. They play without amplification and there's always a lot of dancing, singing along, and so on. (At this particular show there was another, less common, feature; there were some kids up on the balcony and they started throwing a rubber chicken down into the crowd below.)

Enough people asked me why I didn't bring my accordion that at the first intermission, at 9 pm, I drove home (the Mediator's maybe a 3-5 minute drive away from my apartment) and got it and played for the second set, which went from around 9:15 to 10:30. Partway through the set a friend of Chris and Rachel's from North Carolina (where they used to live) showed up with another accordion; between his and my keyboard accordions, and Wholebellies regular Phil Edmunds's button accordion, there was a lot of accordion-playing going on. Then, for the last song, Rachel switched from fiddle to button accordion.

I had a really good time. Here are a couple of pictures of people doing the Circle Dance:

circle dance )

Then I went home and went to bed.

Today I think I'll pack another sack lunch and head to Wickenden Street. I'll put up posters for Thursday's show at Nick-a-Nees, then have some lunch, then maybe head to Thayer Street for more postering ... maybe I'll bring my guitar and do a little street playing while I'm at it. We'll see how it goes!


Jul. 20th, 2007 09:54 am
jwgh: (interroscarf)
Clearly my last poll was a little controversial. So let's try this again. These things:

[Poll #1024913]

(You can click on the pictures to see larger versions, although the level of detail still isn't that great -- sorry.)
jwgh: (interroscarf)
There is an object that is frequently used in some communities as a symbol of hospitality, to welcome people.

Some examples of the use of this motif )

Last night, at 1 am, in the parking lot of Nick-a-Nees, I overheard part of a discussion about what that object is. I thought both sides made interesting points, so I thought I'd see what you all thought.

[Poll #1024868]

(I include the third option for completeness.)
jwgh: (Van Halen)
have been pretty busy! I have a little lunch break time now, though, so here's a quick description of what's been going on.

Wednesday I went to a show at AS220. Performing there were Providence musical acts The Superchief Trio and The Sentimental Favorites, plus out-of-towner Corn'Mo, who played accordion and keyboard and whose stage manner reminded me a little of [livejournal.com profile] manfire.

Thursday I had a Killdevils show at Nick-a-Nees. Chris and I performed six songs for the first time: 'Barstow', 'Route 66', 'Big River', 'San Francisco Bay Blues', 'Down in the Dumps', and 'Will The Circle Be Unbroken?'. They all went quite well!

Also on this day I got an email from John Fuzek (head of RISA) asking me if I still planned to volunteer to help out at the sustainable living festival on Saturday. I responded saying that I was. He then responded and told me to bring my guitar, as one of the scheduled performers (Mark Cutler) had cancelled. OK!

Friday there was a potluck at [livejournal.com profile] chaos_are_me's new apartment.

While I was cooking up some pasta to take to the potluck my cell phone ring and it was Erminio Pinque, who as it turns out founded and runs Big Nazo, who is a little difficult to describe but is a kind of puppet troupe which is a Providence institution. They play at parties and parades and such, and they have a couple of musicians (a clarinetist and an accordion player) who perform with them in costume. The problem is that these musicians can't always make all the shows that Big Nazo gets booked for. Keith Munslow (of the Superchief Trio) told Erminiio that I play accordion, so Erminio was wondering if I might be interested in doing this sort of thing sometime ... ?

So I'm going to go over and do an audition for him at some point (at a date and time yet to be specified).

After that conversation, I headed over to the potluck and met [livejournal.com profile] chaos_are_me roommates, who probably now think of me as the guy who sings 'Watching Killer Robots Eat Your Head' and 'Cock-Sucking Son of a Bitch', which I guess is fair enough; I am that guy.

I will pause and note that this made three days in a row that I didn't get to bed before 1 am.

Saturday I had volunteered to help out at the Apeiron Sustainable Living Festival in Coventry. I was told to get there at 10 am, but I figured it wouldn't be a bad idea to get there earlier in case I was needed, so I got up at 7 am, packed up all my stuff, drove down at 8 am, got there at 9 am, helped set up a tent for 45 minutes, then helped out at the RISA music tent. It was, of course, pouring, and things were pretty chaotic; by the time the music started, at around 1 am, half of the ground under the tent was covered by a large puddle that was probably three or four inches deep in spots. But it was fun anyway, and I did get to play the guitar, trading songs with Josie Crosby for probably an hour or so. (Josie was wearing rubber galoshes, while my feet were clad in sandals and mud.) The last act of the day (Erica Wheeler) was moved to the main stage, so we got to break everything down early, which I took as an opportunity to go home, as I was pretty tired.

I got home and decided that I would draw myself a bath, take care of a couple of little things, take the bath, call some people, and then either go to bed or (if I felt up to it) go out and do something social. In the event, I drew the bath, decided to lie down for a couple of minutes, and then slept for twelve hours. So, there it is.

Sunday I had practice with CMonti and then went to Massachusetts to visit my father. We had a nice dinner and played some guitar, and then I headed back home.

And that's about it.
jwgh: (TILT)
I walked to the corner market for a sandwich a little while ago, and on the front of the deli counter was a handwritten sign that said: "PLEASE VISIT OUR MYSPACE PAGE: WWW.MYSPACE.COM/TONYSMARKETRI". I'm pretty sure that it wasn't there the last time I got a sandwich at Tony's Market, which was maybe a month ago.
jwgh: (killdevils)
I just got back from the Motif Magazine awards. Not to keep you in suspense, the winner of the Best Local Folk Act category (which the Killdevils was nominated for) was the Atwater-Donnelly Band.

the rest of the results )

Thanks to everyone who voted for us. I think the Phoenix Awards will also be announced this week.
jwgh: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] plorkwort brought this discussion of an article that says that London is starting to eclipse New York, or something to my attention. About halfway down this happens:
cut for length )
Lots of other city-talk in that discussion, which is quite long, for those who are interested!
jwgh: (Default)
*phone rings*

Me: "Hello?"

Young adolescent: "Hello. Is this Jacob?"

Me: "Yes."

YA: "What are you up to?"

Me: "Oh, not much ..."

[longish pause]

Me: "Who is this?"

YA: "This is Nathan."

Me: "Oh."

[longish pause]

Me: "I'm sorry, but where do I know you from?"

YA: "We met at the Stop & Shop the other day." [Note: I haven't been to a Stop & Shop in months.]

Me: "Ah. Clearly we bonded."

YA: "Yeah, we did it."

[longish pause.]

Me: "OK then." [hangs up]
jwgh: (yarn)
food court Indian food:

It was actually pretty good.

[livejournal.com profile] stumpsforhands, [livejournal.com profile] katrinkles, [livejournal.com profile] haineux, and [livejournal.com profile] catherinejulian voted for the food court.

(Also, [livejournal.com profile] restartsmyheart and [livejournal.com profile] oliviazb voted for Cafe Nordstrum, but I ended up running into them at the Indian concession.)

Right now I am eating a snickerdoodle.
jwgh: (head explode)
My home Internet connection was up and down this morning, so I decamped to the mall. I am working from the Borders at Providence Place today.

Which I guess means I'll eat lunch here. But which of the mall's eateries should I go to? So many choices! There seems to be a list here: http://www.providenceplace.com/html/mallattractions.asp

I figured I would turn this into a poll so I could SHARE THE ENNUI![Poll #888740]
I guess I'll go eat in an hour or so, so get your votes in now!
Edit: Maybe I should provide some information about these restaurants, so people who are not familiar with them have a basis for their votes.

Cafe Nordstrom -- I've eaten here a few times. It's one of those places where you take a plastic tray and carry it along past various stations where you can get different kinds of food and then you end up at the cash register where you order your food. They have sandwiches and salads and pizza and stuff.

Dave & Buster's -- D&B is kind of like what Chuck-E-Cheese would be if it were for adults, which is to say, kind of depressing. They incorporate a restaurant with standard american restaurant food: hamburgers, maybe a pasta dish or two, etc.

Fire + Ice -- this is a Mongolian barbecue, although they don't use those words.

Joe's American Bar & Grill -- I'm not sure I've ever been here, but it's a bar and grill, so I imagine it's like every other bar & grill in the world.

Napa Valley Grille -- I've never been here, so I dunno. I think it's kind of expensive, probably to help pay for the 'e' at the end of 'grille'.

Smokey Bones -- Chain barbecue.

The Cheesecake Factory -- I went to one of these in Chicago a while back for some cheesecake, not realizing it was a chain. Apparently they have other food too. Notable because a friend told me a story about how when someone from out of town asked where one should go for Italian food in Providence, one of her coworkers said, "The Cheesecake Factory!" and then, when it was pointed out that this isn't actually an Italian restaurant, said, "But they have everything!"

Uno Chicago Grill -- Remember when this chain was called 'Pizzaria Uno'? I guess that was too limiting.

crappy food court places -- including some generic chinese place, Spike's Junkyard Dogs, Johnny Rockets, I think some kind of generic Indian place, etc. (I know some of these aren't actually crappy restaurants, but they get to be called that anyway because they are, after all, in the food court.)
jwgh: (accordion santa)
Here are some blurry cameraphone pictures I took tonight of large hurdy-gurdies. Both hurdy-gurdies were made by Providence musician Steve Jobe, who also plays violin, viola, and regular-sized hurdy-gurdies.

The occasion tonight was an open rehearsal for a production that's planned for September of 2007, a collaboration with three dancers. As such, they're currently still working on nailing down exactly what they're going to do and how the production is going to work, and after they ran through a piece they would ask the audience if they had any questions, suggestions, or other feedback. It was pretty neat! I was there for about an hour, and would have stayed longer except that I had another social engagement I wanted to go to. (If I didn't have a show tomorrow I would try to go back then, just to see what changed between the two rehearsals.)

Steve Jobe is, as I understand it, the head musician for the production -- he designed and built conceived of most of the instruments (which, apart from the hurdy-gurdies, included some glass bells and a gong-drum, which is sort of like a bass drum whose heads have been replaced by gongs), and he wrote most of the music (although it sounds like some of it is improvised and other of it is emerging somewhat organically over the course of the rehearsals).

One of the hurdy-gurdies is, I believe, the first large hurdy-gurdy that Steve Jobe built. It's basically a drone; unlike other hurdy-gurdies there aren't the buttons that allow you to change the pitches of the strings while the instrument is being played. The body of the instrument is based on half of an oil barrel, and the frame reminded me of a cannon's enclosure or, to a lesser extent, a wheelbarrow. There's a basic hand-crank at one end, which drives a wooden wheel, which agitates the strings, which provides the notes. Here are a couple of pictures of it:

The cart's wheels occasionally squeak loudly as the instrument is wheeled around. The dancers drag it around and crawl over it during the show, and there was a discussion at one point as to how best to avoid getting maimed while they were doing this.

The other hurdy-gurdy is more complex, and unfortunately I didn't get to see it be played. While hurdy-gurdy #1 just has four bass strings and no way of changing the notes, hurdy-gurdy #2 has strings in three different registers and does have a bunch of buttons or stops which can be used to play notes in the top two registers (if I understand its working correctly). Each of the registers has its own hand-crank, so playing this instruments takes three people (one to man the bass crank, another to man the other two cranks, and a third to press the buttons).

On Steve Jobe's website there are some links to videos showing hurdy-gurdy #2 being played. They take a really long time to load, unfortunately, but they are pretty cool. movie #1 movie #2 (I would probably watch the second video first).

The strangest thing to me in watching hurdy-gurdies (of any size) being played is that, because of the way they work, they tend to be at a pretty constant volume -- which means when someone plays one they tend to go along full bore until the end of the piece, when the music abruptly stops as soon as the crank stops being turned. With pretty much every other instrument there tends to be a bit of reverberation or quick diminuendo even after the player stops playing the instrument, but this doesn't seem to be the case with the hurdy-gurdy, and it takes a bit of getting used to.

I signed up for Steve Jobe's mailing list and when the show actually opens I will try to tempt people I think might be interested to come to it. Be warned!
jwgh: (Van Halen)

Click for larger, more legible version.
jwgh: (Van Halen)
Today at 1 pm I go to a hearing at City Hall, at the end of which I should have a piece of paper entitling me to play the guitar and accordion on the streets of Providence.


Sep. 12th, 2006 05:26 pm
jwgh: (head explode)
I just went out and voted in the primary. Here is my ballot.

For some reason, my local city council race was a little crazy.
A burglar broke into the home/office of Jose R. Brito, a Democratic candidate for City Council in Ward 11, on July 31 and stole his campaign records as well as some of his personal valuables.
although Ward 10 has been even crazier (someone tried to torch the car of the campaign manager of one of the Ward 10 candidates).

When I got to the polling place, a few guys had set up a stand pretty close to the door and they tried to give me a piece of paper that replicated a ballot that had been filled out. (It couldn't be confused with an actual official ballot, since it only listed the races that had more than one candidate, but obviously it was intended to show you how to vote.) I declined, and once I was inside I complained about this and the poll workers said they would call the cops. (So if someone douses my car with gasoline, I guess we'll know why!)

(While I was typing this, I got a call from someone asking me if I knew about the Narragansett Indians Casino Amendment and how I was planning to vote. I said, "This will be on the ballot on November?" "Right," she responded. "Well, I'm not going to tell you how I'm going to vote, but thanks for calling." "Sure, that's fine," she said, and hung up. I was kind of hoping that I would stop getting calls related to the elections after today, but I guess that's not going to happen.
jwgh: (Default)
As advertised, there was a street painting festival today. It was located in the ice rink downtown. I took a bunch of pictures. )


jwgh: (Default)
Jacob Haller

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