Monthly Archives: May 2014

First Time Prayforming in Edinburgh…

Saturday May 31st 2014

Me in my costume.

I woke up at 6am and stayed awake until 8. “I can’t sleep.” I said. “What can I do to help you?” Thoth asked. “It just helps to tell you.” I said. I fell back tosleep until noon. I made breakfast for us and wrote my blog. We started getting ready to perform at 4:30. I tired wearing my hoop skirt, but it had gotten pretty messed up during the flight. I was really frustrated. “Why did I bring it? It takes up a lot of room in my suitcase.” I said. I looked for my silver dancing shoes, but realized I forgot them! I was so frustrated and sad. “I have to dance in my sneakers for 6 months.” I said. “Where are they?” Thoth asked. “I don’t know. Last time I wore them was for the Mad Noise show. I have no idea where I put them after that. I could ask Nana to look for them in the closet, but I don’t know where they are.” I said. “We could order some and have them sent here.” Thoth said. “No. I don’t want to waste money on something I already have.” I said. I was very sad as we left the house.

The Meadows were full of students having BBQ’s. It cheered me up. “Look how everyone’s dressed! Short sleeves! It’s like they think it’s a beautiful sunny day.” I said. “They do. It’s usually not like this.” Thoth said. We walked to the entrance of the University, but the big middle gate was closed. Two gates on the side were open. We went inside. I suddenly felt very scared and alone. We were planning on playing there today. The resonance is really nice, but there’s an incline, which makes it difficult to dance. The car noise from the street was actually pretty obnoxious, too. We both just stood there for a while, wondering what to do. The closed gate blocked people from coming inside and listening to us (and giving us money.) I suddenly got terrified we wouldn’t make any money while we’re here. What would we do then? “We should play. If nothing else, it will break the ice.” Thoth said. “Something opened up for me when I played here 10 years ago.” We set up our violins and played facing the University instead of the street where the gate was. “It’s counterintuitive, but people will come in because they want to see our faces.” Thoth said. We started, and the acoustics made our voices soar, but I was feeling very sad. I saw people coming into listen from the corner of my eyes. People even clapped when we finished. It wasn’t a lot of people, but some. One young man, a student, even bought a CD. The first. “That’s what happens.” Thoth said.

Selfie.

We walked to the Arcade down the street and went in. There’s another really resonant space here. “People will come in.” Thoth said. He had also played here 10 years ago during the Fringe. We played, no one came. Only two people with carriages. They threw us coins. I was really bummed. We stood there and talked. “I’m really spoiled. I don’t like playing to no one.” I said. “Yes, you are spoiled.” Thoth said. We played one more piece and packed up. A man who worked at the restaurant next to us had been watching us. He loved our voices. “People don’t come in here when it’s nice outside. It’s been very slow today. Come back when it’s raining. You’ll do really well.” he said. “We’re getting more information.” Thoth said.

We walked to the Royal Mile and set up at the steps to the church. People started gathering as we set up. I wasn’t expecting anything, but a huge crowd gathered as we played. We got very energetic and theatrical. The acoustics weren’t as good as the University or the Arcade, but there were a lot more people and it was quieter. I’m used to gathering crowds in acoustic places. When we finished, people came forward to tip us. That’s more like it! “I saw you guys in San Diego.” a man said. “My daughter loves you guys. She will go nuts that I saw you.” he said. We played another song and the crowd stayed. People even bought CDs afterwards! I was so happy! I “I’ve seen a lot of buskers on this street, but I’ve never seen anything like you.” a man said. I didn’t know where the rest of the CDs where, so I searched for them in our stuff. A lot of the audience left. We played two more song, and it was harder to gather a crowd. We were exhausted when we finished. A little girl waved at me from across the street. Her and her parents came over. “She saw you from across the street.” her father said. “What’s your name?” I asked the little girl. “Charlotte.” she said. “Do you want to take a picture with her?” her mother asked. I leaned down and took a picture with her. “You’re like her dream.” the father said. “I’m a fairy princess.” I said. “Where are you from?” Thoth asked hearing their American accents. “Brooklyn.” the father said. “We’re from New York, too.” Thoth said. “Oh? Where?” they asked. “Manhattan.” Thoth said. “We play in Central Park.” “Do you guys play under the bridge there?” the wife asked. “Yep. That’s us.” Thoth said. “We recognize you. We see you guys ever so often.” the man said. “They are our neighbors sometime.” they told their daughter. They gave us a donation and said goodbye. I was touched.

Our room in Edinburgh.

As we walked home, two women sitting at a bar stared at us. “Excuse me, can I take a picture with you?” one came up and asked. “I can see no fucks are given.” she said. We took a picture and she asked where we play. “We just finished playing at the Royal Mile.” Thoth said. “Will you be there tomorrow?” she asked. “Yes, not sure what time though. We just got into town.” Thoth said. We gave her a card. “We’ll look you up.” she said. We went to the grocery store and got a few things then walked through The Meadows home. We were both really tired.

Thoth cooking dinner for us.

Thoth made dinner while I counted our money. I took off my costume and we ate dinner. At 10, we both lay in bed and fell asleep. I woke up an hour later and watched “What Dreams May Come” and we went to bed at 2am.

 

Walk through Edinburgh

Friday May 30th 2014

I slept really well but I woke up at 6am thinking it was later. I went back to sleep easily. Thoth was up at his usual time. He got in bed with me when I woke again at noon. We made muffins with jelly and Thoth made tea and I had yogurt. So nice. After I wrote and posted my blog, we got dressed and took a walk.
We walked through The Meadows. There was smoke coming from a group of people in the grass. It was a BBQ! That looks like fun! There were some buskers around the campus. That’s a good sign. “Where are you taking me?” I asked Thoth. “We’re going to the castle.” he said.
I was pretty hot once we got there. We sat down on some stairs and people stared at us. We went in a store where Thoth bought his kilt last time. He tired on a few knee length kilts, but none fit him. “Try downstairs.” the clerk said. Downstairs had a lot more kilts. The clerk suggested he try on a kids size. He tried on 11-12 Boys. It fit! We were so happy. He liked the grey one, but I liked black best on him. He couldn’t find a black in his size. “I’m gonna let this sit in my head for a while. Maybe I’ll find black somewhere else.” he said. We walked to the Royal Mile. There were several buskers. We saw some kids playing a string quartet, a guitarist and a fire performer. People were watching the kids with interest. I was impressed they were so young and out busking. It’s not easy.

Thoth showed me two spots he performed at in 2004, both resonant spaces. Both were available, so we’ll try them tomorrow. It made us very happy. We went into some discount stores and bought towels, a duvet and cover. We started walking home and stopped at a fish and chips shop. I didn’t like it, but Thoth did. He ate mine. I got some frozen yogurt and we walked back through The Meadows. There were tons more people with BBQ’s in the grass. It was such a beautiful, sunny day. “This is probably the most beautiful day they’ve had all year.” Thoth said. Thoth went in the small supermarket next to the house for a beer. “It was 1 pound.” he said.  I was shocked. “Oh right, alcohol in Europe is cheaper.” I said. We were both very happy. We have a few places to try playing tomorrow. I’m excited!

We got home, put Thoth’s duvet on the bed and and I talked to dad and sis on Skype. It’s nice I talk to them so conveniently. Thoth made dinner. It was 10pm by the time it was ready. It’s light out until 10:30 here. We had chicken and mashed potatoes. The mashed potatoes were so amazing. “Did you put garlic in it?” I asked. “Yep.” he said. I started pretend crying it was so good. I cleaned the dishes and put them away. I sat in bed and looked for “Patch Adams,” but couldn’t find it. Instead, I got a free month of Netflix and watched “Jack.” My film finished at midnight, and we went to bed.

Trip to Edinburgh

Wednesday May 28th and Thursday May 29th 2014

As I was resting this morning, I could tell I wouldn’t have to get up so early.  Thoth woke me at noon. “Thank you for letting me sleep.” I said. “We’re leaving in an hour.” Thoth said. The room was all clean. “Good job, Bunny.” I said. I got up, dressed and we got ready to go. Nana drove us to BART at 1pm. “Here.” she said handing us a card. Thoth let me open it. Inside was a 100 euro bank note. “Thank you Nana!” I said hugging her. We got our tickets and went up the elevator and waited for the train to arrive. The trip to SFO was quite long. “I don’t remember doing this in a long time.” I said. We drank our Kombuchas on the way. When we arrived at the airport, we looked for where we should check in. Thoth left me with the bags and went searching. “Excuse me, do you know where Are Lingus is?” I asked some passing police officers. “It’s right there on the board.” they said. I walked over and looked. “4.” I said. “It’s right here.” they said pointing to the long line next to me. Thoth was out of sight. I tried calling to him, but couldn’t hear his bells anymore. “He’s not going to find it.” I said to myself. A few moments later, I heard him. “It’s here.” Thoth said. “I know.” I said. We got in line. People were speaking in Irish accents. I started speaking in a British accent with Thoth. He didn’t bat an eyelash. “So you’re from London?” someone in front of me asked. “Yes.” I said. “Where in London exactly?” he asked. “The center, but we travel all over the place.” I said. He turned away. I don’t think he believed me. The line started moving faster. I was worrying the flight was overbooked. We got our boarding tickets and went to get British Pounds before going through security. I was so pleased with the amount of money we got. “We’re bringing more money into a foreign country than ever before.” I said to Thoth. We went through security and went through our gate. I listened to music with my new Able Planet noise canceling headphones. They sounded wonderful. What a good purchase. I saw a lot of people with Beats headphones. Those things are $300, mine were  $40 at Fry’s. “You should of bought more of them.” Thoth said. “I could ask sis to get them for me.” I said. I was afraid we wouldn’t board the plane on time, but we did.

Thoth and I got two seats together. Me on the aisle and Thoth at the window. That works best for us. Thoth can see the view and I can feel less claustrophobic. We took our vitamin C, some Rescue Remedy, Jet Lag pills and motion sickness pills. It helps me to stay calm. Once the plane was in the air, we ate our salads. We were starving. There was some turbulence for a little while, which got me a bit nervous, but it stopped. We were served dinner and Thoth slept while I watched “Black Swan” and “Gone with the Wind.” The flight was 9 hours, but it was over before we knew it. We were served breakfast and landed at 12:30pm in Dublin. I was worried we would miss our connecting  at 1, but customs and security was a breeze. I’m always afraid customs people are going to hassle us, but they never do. The only time they did was in Switzerland because we didn’t have a round trip ticket. We went on a really small plane this time, but they wouldn’t give us any water, accept for sale. I was pissed. They should always provide water on a plane. A plane is a drying environment. It’s like making you pay to use the toilet. We landed an hour later, so it wasn’t so bad.

We got our suitcases and went to the bus. It was a double decker so we sat upstairs. The ride into the city center was beautiful. Everything is so green here. Edinburgh was full of tourists. “There’s the castle.” Thoth said. I gasped. It was huge! We were dropped at Waverly Station and got a cab to our apartment. I ran the bell to the flat and Ancor showed us in. He carried my bags up the stairs and I helped Thoth carry his. It’s such a clean flat. He made us tea and showed us around. He’s very sweet. After I took a shower and talked to my sister and dad on Skype, we went for a walk to the grocery store. Thoth always knows where he’s going, even when he doesn’t. Thoth got stressed at the grocery store. “I can’t do this.” he said. We were starting to get tired. We made a list on the tape recorder and got the things we needed. We ate chips and humous on our walk home. Our backpacks felt very heavy. We got a little lost, but found our way home eventually. Thoth and I lay in bed a took a nap. We were too tired to cook. We got up and made salmon pasta for dinner. After eating, we cleaned up and got ready for bed. Thoth took a shower and we snuggled together and fell asleep.

Seeing our Friends Before We Leave

Tuesday May 27th 2014

A successful day! We got everything done we needed to!

Sis woke me at 10:30am. Thoth was out back reading. He had gotten songs onto my iPod, but I couldn’t access them. Sis and I drove to Concord while he worked on my iPod. We went to Fry’s electronics to get my Able Planet Noise Canceling Headphones. I had read some horror stories about Fry’s (like the customer service sucks and items aren’t there when they say they are.) We didn’t have any trouble, though. We got asked several times if we needed help and I got my headphones really quickly. I was preparing for a disaster, but we were successful. Sis got a new phone and looked at laptops. I was so happy to get my new headphones! We drove to the bank near home and I did my business there before going home. Thoth wasn’t there when we got back, and Nana had just pulled in with her friend Deborah. “Where’s Thoth?” I asked. “He’s using my car to do errands.” she said. “Great!” I said. Michael had called and left a message so I called and left him one. He called back and Nana gave me the phone. “I have a little free time until 3:30.” he said. “Thoth isn’t here, but come over and he’ll be back. We have to go to lunch with a friend at 3.” I said. “OK, be over soon.” she said. I tried on my headphones. They’re so comfy and sound great! Yay! Sis took a nap and Thoth came home. He had gone to the Apple store and got a travel kit for my computer. I bought one 4 years ago but lost it of course. He bought a few other things for the trip. “Michael’s coming!” I said.

Michael arrived a little bit later and I went and got sissy up. We all four sat out back and talked. I had a lot of questions for him. Mainly I was curious how he can be so playful when he improvises, yet be so steady in his phrasing and rhythm. I don’t think he ever gave me a straight answer, but we had a good talk about it. Sis said it’s because they’re older and have more experience than me. I told Michael I was scared to look at him when we played because I’m so used to just looking at Thoth. Michael stared at me for a while and I looked into his eyes. It made me so red! His partner Andrea called and I asked him another burning question. “Does Andrea not like us?” I said. “No.” he said. “She does like you. But she’s afraid of the freedom that comes with you. She’s probably jealous, too, of how free you are.” he said. “And she’s afraid how much I want be free.” I told him my experience years ago of him, Andrea and their daughter Chiara coming to Nana’s house for Michael to perform with us, and Andrea completely ignored me. Nana came outside with lemonade and Thoth and sis talked about her sugar intake.

At 3:30, we had to leave because Chris was waiting for us at the sushi restaurant. Michael kissed us all on the cheek and hugged us and we left. We got to the sushi place late and Chris was there. His nose and eye was bused up because he fell. The sushi wasn’t that good, but it was nice to see Chris. We drove him to Berkeley and drove sis to BART cause she had an audition in SF. Thoth and I drove home and finished packing up and downloading music on my ipod. Thoth’s ring came, but it still was too big! Our CDs came, too. Sis called at 8:30 and we went to BART and picked her up. At home, I made a tuna melt and sis hugged me for a long time and went home. She didn’t want me to go. She’s extremely attached to me. Thoth was kind of in a bad mood until he finally finished packing. Thoth and Nana ate downstairs and we talked about sissy. After showering  and writing the blog, I took some sleeping pills and got in bed.

Final Prayformance in Golden Gate Park! Goodbye Bay Area!

Monday May 26th 2014

What an amazing stay in the Bay Area! The best we’ve ever experienced! Thank you West Coast friends for making it so magical!

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAI slept and slept and slept this morning. I’m so tired! We got ready and biked to the park. A woman named BJ came all the way from Vallejo to see us! She came and said hello to me while I waited for Thoth. I went into the bushes and two people were talking about us. “I’ve seen them before. They’re amazing.” was all I heard. When Thoth came back, we started. We did three new pieces today. Our new waltz with in C Minor, and it was really beautiful. People don’t know when we’re creating completely new pieces. People sat in the shade mostly today as well as yesterday. I’m actually getting more excited to improvise. It mixes things up and gets me thinking on my feet. John came to see us half way through the prayformance. I’m always happy when he comes to see us. I was surprised and thrilled to see his girlfriend Annie come near the end. She got to see us play 3 pieces. I don’t think she’s ever seen us perform before! It was so nice. When we finished, the battery to the camera was low, but I got a few pictures before it shut off.

Our lovely friends John and Annie. John’s the one we stay with when we’re in San Francisco. He always comes to see us prayform.

We sat with John and Annie in the grass while we packed up. Annie said she had a vision of a wonderful event with us. She wants to put on a Baroque Tribal event with us someday. She loves to put on underground events. We mentioned the lovely tunnels in the Marin Headlands would be a good place to do one. She puts on psychedelic parties. It was very exciting. Me, John, Annie, and Thoth biked home and we packed up to go home. John said he would bike with us towards BART and have dinner with us! How sweet. We convinced Annie to come along.

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAWe all biked The Wiggle. It’s all downhill so it’s really fun. I said “Weeee!” all the way down. Thoth’s backpack fell off at the bottom. John went back to help him while Annie and I decided where to go eat dinner. She though of the opera diner. “It’s just glorified diner food.” she said. We all biked there and locked up our bikes. The place was so cute. There was a pianist playing standards in the corner. I got some honey glazed chicken. Yum. We talked about our travels and where we’d like to go next.

After dinner, we hugged and said goodbye. Thoth and I biked to BART and took it to Rockridge and biked up the steep hill to Nana’s house. She was happy we had a good final weekend. We dropped our things upstairs and Thoth had some champaign with Nana before bed. I tried syncing songs to my iPod, but it wouldn’t work. I wrote my blog, took a shower and collapsed in bed.