annathepiper: (Do the Job)

This past Monday I had my annual mammogram.

This afternoon, Dara alerted me that Evergreen had left me a message on our home answering machine asking me to call them. This is not normal procedure when a mammogram goes well. I got through to them after a couple of tries, and was informed by their staffer that their radiologists want me to come in for an ultrasound of my left side.

Doublechecking my January 2013 posts, I am reminded that this is not the first time I’ve had a questionable mammogram. In 2013, they told me they saw teeny calcifications on the left side, and after they did a biopsy, they told me it was fine.

I am nervous now, four years later, to be informed that they want an ultrasound of that same side. So now I am scheduled to go back in for an ultrasound, on Wednesday of next week, and I get to be nervous about this until then.

I will now be doggedly focusing on trying to be the least amount of nervous I can manage, because goddammit, cancer, I do not have time for your shit. I have writing to do. I have tunes to learn. And I have a fiddle to learn how to play better.

Especially because goddammit I am going to Quebec this summer, for Camp Violon Trad, as I’ve been wanting to do for ages now. Dara and I are beginning a plan for her to meet up with me after the camp is done, for Memoire et Racines, which I’ve been wanting to go back to ever since the brief and awesome time we had there in 2012. We’re discussing the possibility of meeting up with Vicka there, even.

And I have a lot riding on this, you guys. Because not only is Violon Trad run by two of my favorite Quebec musicians–André Brunet and Éric Beaudry, along with their colleague Stéphanie Lépine–this is going to be the 10th anniversary of the camp, which is sure to make it extra epic this year.

Pretty much guaranteeing that it will be epic: ALL FOUR MEMBERS OF LE VENT DU NORD WILL BE GUEST TEACHERS.

Which means, Internets, that I’m going to be at a music camp that will contain André Brunet (from whom I have already had the pleasure of a couple of excellent workshops, now), Éric Beaudry (because BOY HOWDY do I want to spend multiple days learning guitar from this man, YES PLEASE), AND Olivier Demers (who, as y’all may recall, I dubbed the Best Fiddle Player Ever).

I am not remotely ready to tackle playing the fiddle in a full-bore week-long camp like Violon Trad–I’ll be going for the guitar classes, mostly. But I will also be bringing at least some flutes. And now that I actually do own the fiddle I’ve been renting (I bought it because woo! promotion and bonus!), along with a bow that doesn’t suck, I will ALSO be taking that fiddle to try to at least learn SOMETHING.

Because why yes an opportunity to learn tunes from Olivier Demers will make up for how I haven’t seen Le Vent perform in over a year, and I haven’t seen them perform with Olivier for over two years.

I AM DOING THIS AND NO OTHER OUTCOME IS ACCEPTABLE.

Han says NO.

Han says NO.

TAKE THAT, questionable mammogram results. >:|

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Music All Around You)

As I’ve already written about several times on my blog, it’s always a pleasure to hear Le Vent du Nord perform–although this time, it was on a seriously rainy Wednesday night at the Rogue. Yet the loyal fans filled the place nonetheless!

This time too we actually were without Olivier Demers. If you’ve been following my posts and have seen my earlier Le Vent concert posts, you know Olo’s my favorite of all the members of the group! (And I’m not just saying that because he follows me on Facebook and therefore might actually read this. Auquel cas je dois dire SALUT OLO!)

But this time he had to stay home, due to having a death in his family. :( He posted to his Facebook wall that his father had passed away just a couple of days before the show. (And I was simultaneously very sad to hear the news and a bit relieved to have been warned about it in advance, because if I’d shown up without knowing M. Demers wouldn’t be on hand, I would have been even sadder!)

So Le Vent had to pull in Jean-François Gagnon Branchaud as emergency backup fiddler. If you know Quebecois trad, you may well recognize his name as one of the two fiddlers currently playing with La Bottine Souriante, who also sings some lead on La Bottine’s last album. And if you know La Bottine, you know that anybody who plays for them is guaranteed to bring their A game to a stage. Jean-François did not disappoint, and so even though we all missed Olivier, it was still a delightful show!

Let’s get down to the details, shall we?

Read the rest of this entry »

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Aubrey and Maturin Duet)

And now, O Internets, the second to last post of my Victoria and Cumberland vacation series–in which Dara, userinfosiestabear, userinfomaellenkleth, and I all had the supreme pleasure of getting to see Le Vent du Nord play at the Cumberland Hotel!

Previously in this particular adventure, Dara and I saw Le Vent in Victoria! And then we explored a bunch of rocks before Dara sang that night! And then we explored Cumberland and sang some more!

It’s truly fitting that we wound up the trip with one hell of a gig out of les gars. Because don’t get me wrong, you guys–I enjoyed the symphony show immensely, but even after only four shows’ worth of experience, I’m here to tell you that the best way to enjoy Le Vent du Nord is in a tiny, cozy venue. Preferably front row center. With a MAMMOTH.

Read the rest of this entry »

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Blue Hawaii Relaxing)

Sunday the 9th was my and Dara’s day of downtime in Victoria, to give ourselves a bit of breathing space between the Saturday night symphony show and the trip northward to Cumberland. We spent the day on some exploration down to the Mile 0 marker and then along the rocks along the beach, and the evening went to giving Dara a chance to make some music of her own!

But before that happened, while Dara stayed at the room and practiced, I went out on a quest to find soy-based yogurt. Which is easier said than done right now, and I wound up going on quite the hike through downtown Victoria–hitting multiple markets, and eventually wandering several blocks south of our hotel. And given that I was trying to use Google Maps as a reference point without actually using any Internet, this was, shall we say, challenging.

I learned for my troubles that somewhere in the area there had to be a Safeway, since another walker passed me pushing a Safeway cart. I didn’t find that Safeway. And by the time I ducked into market #3, dubious about my chances, Dara finally texted me to ask if I wanted to go look at the Mile 0 marker with her. I said yes, came back to the hotel to meet up with her, and promptly went with her back over many of the same blocks I’d just walked as we headed down through Beacon Hill Park.

Which, it must be said, was quite lovely. There was a great big pond ringed by some flower-strewn slopes, and there was a grove of cherry trees along one stretch of the road we were following, too. There was even a guy out playing his bagpipes.

(Pictures and the rest of the day behind the fold!)

Read the rest of this entry »

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Blue Hawaii Relaxing)

Sunday the 9th was my and Dara’s day of downtime in Victoria, to give ourselves a bit of breathing space between the Saturday night symphony show and the trip northward to Cumberland. We spent the day on some exploration down to the Mile 0 marker and then along the rocks along the beach, and the evening went to giving Dara a chance to make some music of her own!

But before that happened, while Dara stayed at the room and practiced, I went out on a quest to find soy-based yogurt. Which is easier said than done right now, and I wound up going on quite the hike through downtown Victoria–hitting multiple markets, and eventually wandering several blocks south of our hotel. And given that I was trying to use Google Maps as a reference point without actually using any Internet, this was, shall we say, challenging.

I learned for my troubles that somewhere in the area there had to be a Safeway, since another walker passed me pushing a Safeway cart. I didn’t find that Safeway. And by the time I ducked into market #3, dubious about my chances, Dara finally texted me to ask if I wanted to go look at the Mile 0 marker with her. I said yes, came back to the hotel to meet up with her, and promptly went with her back over many of the same blocks I’d just walked as we headed down through Beacon Hill Park.

Which, it must be said, was quite lovely. There was a great big pond ringed by some flower-strewn slopes, and there was a grove of cherry trees along one stretch of the road we were following, too. There was even a guy out playing his bagpipes.

(Pictures and the rest of the day behind the fold!)

Read the rest of this entry »

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Aubrey and Maturin Duet)

And now, to start documenting my and Dara’s recent excellent trip up to Victoria, to see Le Vent du Nord! Saturday the 8th was when the adventure got underway–when we headed up to Victoria in the morning, for the symphony show to take place that night!

Read the rest of this entry »

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Alan YES!)

I made absolutely no secret of how crushed I was, Internets, when I missed Le Vent du Nord’s Oregon show this past November. And I was quite disappointed as well when the symphony show in Vancouver was cancelled.

But tonight, I am thrilled to report that the show at Hermann’s Jazz Club in Victoria, BC, completely and utterly made up for both of these things. It was short but tight, and a truly intimate little show. And OMG YOU GUYS, Dara and I managed to snag a table right smack in front of the stage!

Clickie for the in-depth show report goodness!

Read the rest of this entry »

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Alan YES!)

I made absolutely no secret of how crushed I was, Internets, when I missed Le Vent du Nord’s Oregon show this past November. And I was quite disappointed as well when the symphony show in Vancouver was cancelled.

But tonight, I am thrilled to report that the show at Hermann’s Jazz Club in Victoria, BC, completely and utterly made up for both of these things. It was short but tight, and a truly intimate little show. And OMG YOU GUYS, Dara and I managed to snag a table right smack in front of the stage!

Clickie for the in-depth show report goodness!

Read the rest of this entry »

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

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