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Bad Girl

from Sunday, September20th of the year2009.

Guh, I am the worst blogger! Something happened two weeks ago and I just sort of lost track of my normal strategies for organizing ideas about this space. However, I have made many notes and had many adventures.

First, I went to Ireland. I was invited to Dublin to play a show as part of their wonderful Fringe Festival, which is a multi-disciplinary festival that spans theater (both seated and street “” is there an official word for these polarities?), stand-up, music, etc. I love festivals but I never get to see everything I want to see.

I had arranged to come to Ireland a few days early to stay with a friend in the outskirts of Dublin. He lives in the back rooms of an old, charmingly dilapidated manor house, with a really specific combination of luxury hardware (the AGA stove, obviously, the taxidermy) and plaster crumbling, manic wallpaper ideas from the 80’s, and stray dogs. As I slept, clutching to my hot water bottle and its attendant knit cozy, a wayward beagle trotted into my room and started snorgling through my open bag. It was a beautiful moment.

It also marks the third time this year I’ve arrived somewhere in the evening, and awoken to an unexpected view featuring horses. I think seeing a horse first thing in the morning can be nothing but a good omen.

Another observation: Taxi Drivers? in Ireland? Really, really want to talk to you. I had one who actually had lived for 10 years in a loft space on 27th street in New York City and for only remotely insinuated reasons, “left it all overnight.” At first I thought he was talking about 9/11Never4Get but then he hinted at financial ruin, heartbreak, unexpected pregnancy.

Ô, Dublin! So good! Such a city in transformation. I spent a few days following the ol’ Glutton’s Divining Rod, doing frantic google searches like “best terrine” and “pig’s feet.” I ended up eating alone in a few fabulous restaurants, which is one of my favorite activities of all time. It being Ireland, everybody was supremely accommodating and had a million questions about who I was, did I have any Irish heritage (I do but I have no idea from where), what was that object I was venerating (it’s my kindle! I wisely loaded Books By Irish People on it so I could show that it was friend and not Colonial Foe). Then, after a few days spent calmly alone or in small groups, everybody turned up! Niamh, Felix, Nadia, Helgi Hrafn, Liz! We dominated our Polish-run business efficiency hotel, bought their nips of Bailey’s, overabused our croissant privileges, used the fitness center, teetered home far too late, and generally had a full-on time of it.

The show itself was in one of those Speigeltents, which is essentially a traveling octagonal structure with stained glass and a general air of gypsy caravan meets a catholic church. The show I played was a stripped-down version of how I’m going to be touring in November with Bedroom Communitý; just me, Nadia, and Helgi on stage, playing solo music and then a little depressing interlude from The Reader. Ireland people were super super nice; I am never sure how stage banter will go down abroad. It’s funny: sometimes people come up into my shows with major Classical Music Face on, which is good, but it takes a second to break it down so I can connect during interstices. With some of these electronic pieces, the computer needs a minute to change-over from Thing to Thing; the banter is just a way to cover the seams.

I am in London right now for This Concert.

I wish I had more things to say; this period of time has been marred by real estate anxiety and a huge amount of writing and a lot of circular, directionless thought.


  • I was also in Ireland recently, and can corroborate your claim about the friendly prolixity of the cabdrivers there.

    But your views about seeing horses first thing in the morning as a good omen doesn’t hold water if it happens to be headless and sharing the bed with you.

  • wayward beagles snorkling through your stuff eh, they really love “shopping”

  • Good to see you blogging again. Wish you would come to Chicago again, but I know everyone wishes you would come to such-and-such so I’ll cease pestering you about it. I really should just visit New York and make things easier.

    As to dining out alone, I’ve always sincerely wished I had the courage/motivation. I’ll put that on my to-do list.

  • I’ll hazard a guess that your Irish heritage comes from nowhere other than Ireland. It being an Irish heritage, and all.

  • “Classical Music Face” lol!

  • Glad you’re stopping in Toronto. Am I allowed to ask what’s going to be played?

  • Christian Lilley
    October 5th, 2009 at 9:43 am

    Hmmm. I think what you’re looking for is a seated vs. street theater *dichotomy*. (Although, strictly speaking, a dichotomy requires a whole that’s split into exactly two non-overlapping parts. One could have seated street theater, couldn’t one?)

    Dining alone can be magnificent: meditative and personally indulgent. Sure, who doesn’t like a great meal with good friends? But when you sit down, order a couple glasses of wine, enjoy the view, and ponder the delicacies laid out before you without diversion or distraction, it’s just nourishment for the self.

  • Well, this is late… The Dublin show was FANTASTIC, thanks so much.
    With Irish audiences, quality of banter completely abrogates any need to care about quantity. As long as it’s entertaining, we’ll listen to blather for hours.