Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Night school

When I arrived in Dublin, I decided that it would be a good idea to sign up for a night class. Seeing as I don't really know anyone (except my dad) in Dublin, I figured that it would get me out and maybe even meeting people. Back when we moved to New Zealand, I signed up for a guitar class and that was really a big part of me starting to write songs. Seeing as my music (and everything else) has been on the back-burner for a while, I decided to take a digital music production class this time around. It has been my goal, for a quite a while now, to learn some kind of software that will allow me to work independently. I don't need to be able to do anything fancy, but I would like to be able to just play around with layering some interesting sounds under my acoustic recordings. I have played around with Reason a little bit, but never had enough time to get anywhere. Anyway, I found a cool, artsy collective called Block T that had on offering for a beginners Abelson Live class, so I decided to sign up.

Last night was my first class. The class was fine, nothing much to report. After class though, I had a bit of "fun" getting home. Block T is in an area of Dublin called Smithfield. It's very central, there are lots of businesses there, in fact DH works in Smithfield. But it also has a little edge to it. DH has told me about colleagues of his getting mugged in the parking lot and about encountering some "interesting" people there at night. So at the end of class, I asked if anyone was walking to the underground parking structure, as I was a little nervous going on my own. They all kind of looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language or maybe I had just sprouted two heads. After explaining what I was talking about, a few different ways, one gentleman said he would walk that way with me. We parted ways at the parking structure however, so I headed into that desolate, creepy, underground cavern by myself. That was the part I was actually most nervous about. Needless to say, I was really eager to move as fast as I could, find my car and get out of there.

Firstly, though, I had to prepay my parking ticket. I knew from driving in that the evening had a flat rate of 4 euros. I had a 5 euro bill in hand, ready to go. I find the ticketing machines and AGGGHHH!!!

WTF???? I root through my coin purse, spend more time than I wanted counting out my 10's and 20's and I don't have 4 euros worth. All I have are bills and credit cards! On the walk to the parking structure, I had not noticed anything open where I could maybe get change. My escort was long gone and I didn't see anyone else around (which originally would have been a relief.) I had no idea how far I would have to walk to find a store, but I was not eager to go wandering aimlessly around the neighborhood. So, I ran down the few flights of stairs into the garage, in search of my car, to see if there were any stray coins. (We just bought the car, so I was not that optimistic.) This was not how I had planned to get out as fast as possible. I got to the car and found a few coins in the bottom of a shopping bag. But it was not enough. Ugh. I headed back across the lot and up the stairs instead of the elevator (totally creepy stairs!) and I find a 50 cent coin!!! Oh, the relief. You have no idea. That gets me enough to get out of the lot. So, up the last flight to the machine. Luckily, this adventure was not as exciting as it could be, but my heart was pounding pretty hard.

So, finally, I get in my car and I can't figure out how to lock the door from the inside (this car is new to me remember) and I want to sit there and try to get my navigation set. So, I nervously fumble with my phone while trying to keep my eyes on my surroundings. I can't connect to the network, probably because I am underground, so I just drive out and hope it kicks in once I am outside. Unfortunately, it doesn't kick in until I am maybe half way home. This is my first time driving at night in Dublin, it is raining and it is not a fun city to drive in anyway. The streets are narrow and windey and most of them are one way. The city is, in no way, laid out on a grid. So if you turn down a street, it is not obvious what direction that street will end up taking. I was driving all over the place, not knowing if I was even getting closer to my house and yes, I even managed to turn down a street going the wrong way and not find out until it winds around and there are headlights coming towards me with horns blaring. I had to do a multiple point U-turn, the street was so narrow, while the oncoming traffic backed up. Ugh. I got out of the one-way street in one piece and finally at some point navigation kicks in. I finally made it home safely, questioning whether I really even need to be a musician at all. BTW, does getting your heart rate up while driving count as exercise? I hope so, because I will be in great shape very soon.

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