Saturday, July 04, 2009

Gearing up for Willie Week

Well, it's finally time to depart for a week at the Willie Clancy Summer School in Ireland. If you're like me, you use a big milestone event like this to make yourself polish off some tasks that you've been procrastinating. I suppose I could speculate on why I feel I must complicate things in this way, but very few people would find that interesting. Suffice it to say that my preparations included bizarre things like:
  • ordering a turtle supplies
  • buying a spare power adaptor for my husband's MacBook
  • buying theater tickets for my family to use while I'm away

One project that actually DID have something to do with my trip was the research and purchase of a new mp3 recorder. For at least a year now, I've been meaning to upgrade from the iRiver mp3 player/recorder to something more sophisticated. At the recommendation of one of my ethnomusicologist friends, I called Sweetwater in Fort Wayne, Indiana. They specialize in equipment for musicians and offer personalized sales assistance over the phone. After 45 minutes of discussing my use of the recorder, my level of expertise in such matters, and the sort of sound I hope to achieve when recording, a patient Australian fellow named Stuart helped me select the M-Audio Microtrack II.

Another project was the purchase of a new piece of luggage, a 24" "spinner." With four wheels on the bottom, it rolls in all directions while in an upright position.

Last but not least, I resolved the issue of an Irish cell phone. My Verizon phone is not capable of international service, so I had looked into renting a phone, either here or in Ireland. Discussing that with Lauren, another ethnomusicologist friend, who is living in Ireland right now, she suggested perhaps a mutual friend of ours (another ethnomusicologist) who travels frequently to Ireland would loan me her Irish cell phone. That plan worked, so I now have a way to coordinate with Lauren, who is also attending Willie Week. Lauren and I will are sharing a few big-ticket items like a room and a car. However, she is the main (perhaps the only) driver, and of course we will not always want to do the same things. Being able to text about logistics means we both get to do the things we want to do without imposing on each other.

I leave tonight at 6:30 pm on an Aer Lingus flight from JFK. I will arrive on the West Coast of Ireland at the Shannon Airport at 6 AM on Sunday, July 5. From there I will make my way to Ennis and then on to Milltown Malbay in County Clare, Ireland. Here's a Google map you can play with while I'm flying over the ocean!

View Larger Map

Next begins the adventure of finding internet connectivity in rural Ireland, and perhaps the bigger challenge - finding time!

© 2009, Linda Mason Hood
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