Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Looking Ahead to Pittsburgh

The euphoria of Irish Week is behind me. I'm working like mad in the evenings to catch up with garden stuff. Bless Larry's heart, the man has been cutting up onions for the freezer and has done about 15 quart bags. What a guy. He also washes jars so they're ready for me in the evening.

I thought I'd make more dill pickles tonight, but instead I'm working on my workshop and stories for the Three Rivers Storytelling Festival in Pittsburgh this weekend. I'll be presenting a workshop on ballads, so I'm brushing off my memory, updating handouts and just thinking through the presentation. And wishing I had gone ahead and bought an iPod. I had a Zune and it was awesome but it stopped working, with all my stuff loaded on it. I decided it was too much trouble and didn't replace it, but as I prepare for this workshop I am thinking how simple it would be if everything was just loaded on a little iPod. Maybe by the time I do the workshop again in Kentucky in November I'll be back on the techie track again.

Which sounds weird--ancient ballads and technology. But technology is making the ballads more accessible than ever. Some kind souls with a lot of time on their hands have digitized the 5-volume Child ballads; other old, rare books are also digitized and available for free online. It's a regular smorgasbord for ballad scholars and hobbyists. And juxtaposed against that is the ballad singer, who after research, YouTube and downloads, learns and arranges a ballad and sings it in the traditional, unaccompanied style--just the singer and his or her voice.

I think I'm almost ready. Books and handouts are packed, notes have been read, CDs and player are packed. I just need to figure out what to wear, if the heat will continue through the weekend and find a map to the motel. Then I can relax and look forward to hearing the spell-binding tales of Tim Tingle and others, seeing old friends, and making new ones. Storytelling: it's still old-world in a new-world environment.

6 comments:

Jai Joshi said...

They said that it was going to cool down a little over the weekend but I don't know exactly what they mean by 'cool down'. What's cool in the south in August?

Have fun!

Jai

Granny Sue said...

Well, usually it means 70's and 80's, and in the 50's at night. But this year it's been awful. I don't consider us south because our mountains usually keep us much cooler. This year I think every day in July was near 90, and August hasn't been much better. All those people who hated the winter--this is winter's revenge, I think.

Nance said...

Sue, Sue! I don't know how you get so much done! I can't keep up with you. Or as the old saying goes "you work circles around me!" and Bless Larry's heart. Anyone who cuts up 15 qts of onions deserves a medal -- your Larry and my Lanny! Take care and have fun!

Granny Sue said...

Nance, Larry is my secret weapon. He makes our lifestyle doable. Bless him, he still reeks of onions today, but they're finished. He washes jars and gets things ready for me to can in the evenings, does laundry, helps pack for trips, does the driving for most trips, makes sure there's someone to care for the animals when we're away, even packs food for our travels.

Country Whispers said...

They say it's gonna be a pleasant weekend with no humidity. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they are right.
Have fun in your travels!

nance said...

Lanny does all that for me, Sue (not that I travel and tell stories . . . I just tell stories! lol) But Lanny is half retired and he does the dishes, dusts the furniture, does laundry and runs the vacuum . . . while I work full time yet.

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