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Author Topic: My exciting American jaunts!  (Read 24454 times)

jwhouk

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Re: My exciting American jaunts!
« Reply #50 on: 29 Oct 2011, 16:22 »

The Bluebird Cafe on Broadway in Nashville, for one. :D
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Barmymoo

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Re: My exciting American jaunts!
« Reply #51 on: 26 Nov 2011, 13:12 »

You guys! I just booked my ticket home from Indiana for September 18th! I am spending the summer in America! It will cost around 800 in total (as a maximum, not including the cost of fun things while I'm staying with Edith but including the choir tour and travel) and hopefully I'll get a whole load of travel grants and college bursaries to cover at least some of that cost. I wouldn't be able to rent one room in a grotty boarding house for that little. EXCITING.
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Barmymoo

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Re: My exciting American jaunts!
« Reply #52 on: 28 May 2012, 06:31 »

Dear everyone who cares at all, did I ever post my choir schedule here? I know I've put it a couple of places but this seems the logical place. I was just googling the National Cathedral and it is absolutely huge. Rather alarmingly so, actually.

Anyway:

Thursday 12 July   
12:15pm recital in Trinity Church, Copley square, BOSTON MA

Friday 13 July
7:30pm concert in Christ Church, NEW HAVEN CT

Saturday 14 July   
5:00pm Mass in Our Lady of Refuge RC Church, BROOKLYN NY

Sunday 15 July   
11:00am Eucharist in St Thomas 5th Avenue, MANHATTAN
4:00pm Evensong and 5:15pm Recital in Cathedral of St John the Divine, MANHATTAN

Tuesday 17 July   
7:30pm concert in Cathedral of the Nativity, BETHLEHEM PA

Wednesday 18 July
7:30pm concert in Immanuel Highlands Episcopal Church, WILMINGTON DE

Thursday 19 July   
12:15pm recital in Episcopal Cathedral, PHILADELPHIA PA

Sunday 22 July   
9:00am and 11:15am Mass in St Paul's K Street, WASHINGTON DC
4:00pm Evensong in National Cathedral, WASHINGTON DC

I would love for anyone to come along to any of these, and hopefully might be able to hang out with people in between services and concerts, although I don't know what our plans are yet. I'm intending on getting an American mobile phone in Boston, because I'll need one for the rest of the summer. Someone who knows about such things, advise me: can I get a cheap, pay as you go, non-fancy phone that will have the same service coverage and charges in any and all states? And if not, would I be better getting a pay phone card or something for the tour and then getting an Indiana phone later?
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Lines

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Re: My exciting American jaunts!
« Reply #53 on: 28 May 2012, 07:14 »

If you get a prepaid, I would get a Verizon, AT&T, or T-Mobile phone because they seem to have the best coverage nationally. You can probably walk into a store like Target or Walmart (ugh) and buy a phone. Just compare rates and see what's best for you.

I will be on vacation during the earlier performances, but I think the farthest north Michael and I are going is West Virginia. :( But Ft. Wayne isn't too far from where I am, so we'll probably get to see each other more than just at GenCon. I could come up for a visit or maybe you and Eed can come visit for a weekend? Do fun things like go to the zoo or something? I'll have to check with Michael, but I think you guys could probably stay in the guest bedroom if you do!
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Barmymoo

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Re: My exciting American jaunts!
« Reply #54 on: 28 May 2012, 07:22 »

Linds, that would be awesome! Edith is basically in charge of what we're doing because she's got to work most of the time, but I'd love to visit :) You don't by any chance have any contacts at a women's prison or an organisation that works with female offenders, do you? That way I can tie it into the dissertation research I'm meant to be doing!
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Lines

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Re: My exciting American jaunts!
« Reply #55 on: 28 May 2012, 07:29 »

No. :( Most of the contacts I have work with schools or disabled people. I don't really know anyone who works with prisons...but I could ask around, maybe one of my classmates might know.
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Redball

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Re: My exciting American jaunts!
« Reply #56 on: 28 May 2012, 07:59 »

Here's a starting place for the Indiana Dept of Corrections: http://www.in.gov/idoc/2861.htm with a list of facilities and a contact link. A more or less formal request, perhaps to the director's office, might give you a start. Michigan's women's prison is in Ypsilanti, near Ann Arbor. If you find a site in day trip range, I'm close enough and retired enough I'd be pleased to provide transportation.
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Barmymoo

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Re: My exciting American jaunts!
« Reply #57 on: 28 May 2012, 08:19 »

I'm hoping to get across to visit the Indiana Women's Prison, but I'm not sure where to begin contacting them. Writing to the director seems like a start, but I'd almost prefer to ring and have instant feedback - but an informal request seems less likely to get a positive response.

Thanks for the offer about the Michigan women's prison, I'll keep that in mind. I was hoping to go to the Indiana one because it was the first in the country, so would make a good comparison to the prisons built in the UK at the same time and also the more recent ones, but anything would be good!
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Redball

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Re: My exciting American jaunts!
« Reply #58 on: 28 May 2012, 08:34 »

From my experience as a reporter, I'd start with whomever deals with media. At IDOC, according to the contact page, it's this guy: Chief Communications Officer (Media) Douglas Garrison at (317) 232-5780 and email dsgarrison at idoc.in.gov. I left a message on his machine, but also told him I'd pass it on to you. My guess is that the department has some experience dealing with requests from graduate students wanting some kind of access.
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jwhouk

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Re: My exciting American jaunts!
« Reply #59 on: 28 May 2012, 08:48 »

Barmy: you've got mail.
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Barmymoo

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Re: My exciting American jaunts!
« Reply #60 on: 28 May 2012, 11:56 »

Massive thanks both of you, I will definitely follow up on both ideas once my exams are over. I want to make a start now, but I realise that I won't even be writing the dissertation if I don't pass the exams this year...

I'm not actually a graduate student yet, Redball, law is an undergraduate degree here, but hopefully that won't be a problem!
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Redball

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Re: My exciting American jaunts!
« Reply #61 on: 28 May 2012, 12:27 »

OK. Let me know if there's anything I can do to help.
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Barmymoo

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Re: My exciting American jaunts!
« Reply #62 on: 23 Jun 2012, 10:59 »

OK, people, anyone have any ideas how I can get 7-10kg of books from the UK to the USA without it costing a fortune? They won't fit in my luggage allowance (well, they will, if I don't take any clothes with me) and checking another bag would cost 90 which is outrageous. The Royal Mail seem to do a service for sending books but only up to 5kg. I guess I might have to send two parcels, but if anyone knows another way that'd be great.
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Omega Entity

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Re: My exciting American jaunts!
« Reply #63 on: 23 Jun 2012, 11:37 »

Yeah, I was going to say Media Mail is what I use over here in the States. Usually if it's cheap enough, even having to send two packages shouldn't be too bad on cost.
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lepetitfromage

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Re: My exciting American jaunts!
« Reply #64 on: 23 Jun 2012, 13:21 »

I don't know if there's an equivalent in the UK, but if you use the Priority Mail method from the US postal service they will ship anything for a flat rate based on the size of the box. Might not be a bad option for the way back, but hopefully someone else has an idea for getting them here in the first place.
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Redball

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Re: My exciting American jaunts!
« Reply #65 on: 23 Jun 2012, 13:38 »

I'm finding it difficult to get UPS or Fedex rates UK to US, but finding rates west should be easier from there. Only one I saw was Parcelforce Worldwide, and lowest price was 83 for 10kg 30x30x30cm. Depending on the titles, is it possible the books might be more cheaply obtained via Amazon and used, or that forum members have them? Or are they textbooks? In a future year, you'd be using a Kindle or equivalent.
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Redball

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Re: My exciting American jaunts!
« Reply #66 on: 23 Jun 2012, 16:13 »

The Royal Mail seem to do a service for sending books but only up to 5kg. I guess I might have to send two parcels, but if anyone knows another way that'd be great.
For comparison's sake, what's the Royal Mail rate?
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Barmymoo

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Re: My exciting American jaunts!
« Reply #67 on: 24 Jun 2012, 01:14 »

They're textbooks from the college library. I checked the library catalogue at Edith's library but didn't have much hope and I was right - not a lot of textbooks on the English law of trusts in circulation in US libraries.

The Royal Mail rates are 62.88 for 5kg, which is still too much. I don't think I can afford to spend that much - I will have to be selective about which books I take, and attempt to get them into my suitcase. I hadn't realised how expensive this stuff was. Boo.
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Akima

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Re: My exciting American jaunts!
« Reply #68 on: 24 Jun 2012, 05:40 »

I suppose it's a silly question, but are they available in e-book format?
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Barmymoo

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Re: My exciting American jaunts!
« Reply #69 on: 24 Jun 2012, 07:16 »

Sadly not, which is annoying. I bought my contract textbook for Kindle this year, which was published in 2012, but the books I need this summer are all older. I've got them out of the library, so providing I can get them to the USA without it costing a fortune they're free.
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Redball

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Re: My exciting American jaunts!
« Reply #70 on: 24 Jun 2012, 08:25 »

What kind of rates do Ebay sellers in the UK pay to send to the U.S.? Hard to believe it would be as much as Royal Mail. In fact, a power seller might be able to find you a good rate.
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Barmymoo

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Re: My exciting American jaunts!
« Reply #71 on: 24 Jun 2012, 09:04 »

I think I'll probably just reduce the number of books (two or three or entirely non-essential, simply quite interesting) and take them in my suitcase. I had forgotten that I also have hand luggage; if necessary things can go in there too.
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Lines

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Re: My exciting American jaunts!
« Reply #72 on: 24 Jun 2012, 09:50 »

What I would do is pack them this time and then ship them back home when you go back. That way in case you buy anything while you're here, there will be room for it, and then you only have to pay for shipping once. Or just bring an extra bag. :)
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Barmymoo

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Re: My exciting American jaunts!
« Reply #73 on: 24 Jun 2012, 09:52 »

I just packed all my clothes and three books, and weighed the suitcase, and it's come to about 16kg. Bearing in mind that I haven't packed my laptop, any shoes, toiletries or other random things, I think I'll be alright. Phew!
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jwhouk

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Re: My exciting American jaunts!
« Reply #74 on: 03 Jul 2012, 06:25 »

Boy, it's getting to be that time, hey?

Sorry the country's in such a mess. We had this little thing they call a Tropical Storm wander through the East Coast, and the rest of us are just suffering from a horrid heat wave.

We would have tried dusting a bit, but it's a tad difficult, what with it being unbearably hot and all.

Sorry again about the 30-40 degree Celsius temps and the rain/lack of power in some areas. It's not always like this.
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Barmymoo

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Re: My exciting American jaunts!
« Reply #75 on: 03 Jul 2012, 06:39 »

Argh I am more convinced than ever that I am going to die this summer, and that would be a terrible shame because I GOT ACCEPTED ONTO THE DISSERTATION COURSE! I was so convinced that I wouldn't be, and I was preparing myself for having to take the family law paper instead. But I don't have to! I can write about women and prisons and all kinds of things hurrah!
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Redball

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Re: My exciting American jaunts!
« Reply #76 on: 03 Jul 2012, 06:55 »

Congratulations! And no, you won't die. Just as you're getting used to it, you'll go back to college.
« Last Edit: 03 Jul 2012, 08:37 by Redball »
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Barmymoo

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Re: My exciting American jaunts!
« Reply #77 on: 10 Jul 2012, 02:31 »

It just took me seven attempts to activate my travel money card, because I couldn't use the stupid Skype key pad. I realised I could just use my keyboard, and then somehow managed to type the number in wrongly twice. Argh. Anyway, sorted now - I have money, I have almost finished packing, I have my passport, I have travel insurance which covers the duration of the trip (that was a fiasco), I have sun cream, I have a huge hat.
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Re: My exciting American jaunts!
« Reply #78 on: 10 Jul 2012, 03:03 »

Do you have a handgun? Or at least a contact to get one?
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Redball

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Re: My exciting American jaunts!
« Reply #79 on: 10 Jul 2012, 05:23 »

May, does the choir sing for the fun of it? Did you sing on the flight? Do you sing in a restaurant?
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Re: My exciting American jaunts!
« Reply #80 on: 10 Jul 2012, 07:52 »

Do you have a handgun? Or at least a contact to get one?

Not actually neccessary in most parts of America. 
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Re: My exciting American jaunts!
« Reply #81 on: 10 Jul 2012, 10:15 »

bon flight, May. Really bummed I can't make it out to Boston to see you.
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Zingoleb

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Re: My exciting American jaunts!
« Reply #82 on: 10 Jul 2012, 11:55 »

SHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANE
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valley_parade

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Re: My exciting American jaunts!
« Reply #83 on: 11 Jul 2012, 11:49 »

WHAT. WHy do you never text me anymore?
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Zingoleb

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Re: My exciting American jaunts!
« Reply #84 on: 11 Jul 2012, 12:17 »

dude my phone has been missing for like four months now. It's gone, dude, it's gone.

(ps I was going through my notebooks earlier and I found the picture of my penis that I texted you)
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Barmymoo

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Re: My exciting American jaunts!
« Reply #85 on: 12 Jul 2012, 06:07 »

The choir has been doing so much singing lately (6 to 10 hours a day) that we don't even speak for fun any more! At the moment at least a quarter of us are ill at any one time, there's a disgusting cold going round that I'm in the final stages of at the moment - makes singing tricky. And we're still adjusting to the heat and the humidity, which alters our sound. I hope the concert today is worth coming to, we sounded fairly dire at rehearsal yesterday.

Boston is beautiful you guys. And I'm staying with the loveliest host family, they're just great. Tonight we're going to get ice cream, which is apparently different to the ice cream I've had before, and maybe visit Wellesley college.
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Carl-E

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Re: My exciting American jaunts!
« Reply #86 on: 12 Jul 2012, 09:13 »

Saying "It's not like ay ice cream you ever had before" is required of people taking you to a local ice creamery. 

There really isn't that much difference, but it's bound to be quite good! 
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Barmymoo

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Re: My exciting American jaunts!
« Reply #87 on: 12 Jul 2012, 13:44 »

I don't think it's that it's better than any other ice cream, I think it's actually a different type of ice cream. I discovered that what I call custard, and what you guys call custard, are two different substances, so I'm prepared to believe this.
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jwhouk

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Re: My exciting American jaunts!
« Reply #88 on: 12 Jul 2012, 14:27 »

Ah, FROZEN custard. Mmmmmmm.
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Re: My exciting American jaunts!
« Reply #89 on: 12 Jul 2012, 14:38 »

I associated frozen custard with soft ice cream. Wikipedia might shed light on it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frozen_custard
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Re: My exciting American jaunts!
« Reply #90 on: 12 Jul 2012, 21:18 »

Frozen custard, ice cream, soft serve, and frozen yogurt can all be completely different things.

Also May, you HAVE to go here and have a canoli. Trust me. The gelato is also good.
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Re: My exciting American jaunts!
« Reply #91 on: 12 Jul 2012, 22:06 »

Mike's! Yes! Worth the ridiculous queues.
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jwhouk

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Re: My exciting American jaunts!
« Reply #92 on: 13 Jul 2012, 07:35 »

Hopefully her voice survived the concert last night.
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Re: My exciting American jaunts!
« Reply #93 on: 13 Jul 2012, 08:13 »

Mike's has the best cannoli I've ever had. I think I had the Amaretto and Peanut Butter while Michael had the Oreo or Espresso and Chocolate Covered and we split a Chocolate Chip. (This was over the course of a few days, not one trip! :D) So. Freaking. Good.
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Re: My exciting American jaunts!
« Reply #94 on: 16 Jul 2012, 18:05 »

I survived so far! Even managing to cope with the heat - it was about 88F today and I managed. I did have a minor meltdown yesterday after two services and a recital in cassocks and surplices (if anyone doesn't know what they are, it's basically what vicars wear - floor-length black coats with white robes over the top, on top of normal clothes) in a poorly-air conditioned St John the Divine. It was a pretty amazing place to sing but I just was feeling awful. But I got lots of sleep and felt a whole lot better today. NYC is awesome! We had the whole day off to look around, so we went up the Rockerfelle, on the Staten Island ferry, along the high line, round Central Park and all over the place. Lunch in a great restaurant in the Meatpacking district.

Boston was so gorgeous, and I met Leslie! She is even taller than I expected, and also excellent at advising me on purchasing cell phones, opening doors, using libraries etc. Turns out international travel makes me stupid. Sadly lack of internet means I didn't get to Mike's Pastry, but I have had some amazing food - last night's dinner at the italian restuarant oposite St John the Divine was the best pizza I have ever eaten.

Off to Pennsylvania tomorrow, which should be interesting. So far I've stayed with two host families - the first for two nights, and we spent a fair bit of time together, they were lovely. The second we were only there for one night, and only for maybe three hours awake, but I chatted to them before bed and they were really nice too in a different way. My "host family mate" (we're arranged by dietary requirements or something) is a girl I don't really get along with; she's basically the only person in the choir I find it hard to like, which is a pity. Hopefully we'll be changed up a bit for the second half of the trip.

I just checked my email and I've got the go-ahead to visit the prisons for my dissertation, so now I need to contact them directly and ask if I can come. I might need to wait until I'm in Indiana to do that, so that I can talk to Edith about how and when etc. But I'm excited!
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Lines

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Re: My exciting American jaunts!
« Reply #95 on: 16 Jul 2012, 20:11 »

Hooray!

I didn't get to Mike's Pastry

Except for this. So sad. Also the being too hot in robes, which I've experienced before and it is pretty terrible. (Only time I've ever come close to passing out.)
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Zingoleb

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Re: My exciting American jaunts!
« Reply #96 on: 17 Jul 2012, 00:54 »

I met Leslie! She is even taller than I expected

I get this all the time. I was about 6'8" when you met me, with the boots.
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Redball

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Re: My exciting American jaunts!
« Reply #97 on: 17 Jul 2012, 04:00 »

in a poorly-air conditioned St John the Divine. It was a pretty amazing place to sing
Somehow it doesn't surprise me that such a huge space is poorly air conditioned. It's been a-building for most of a century, as I recall, and I wonder about the size of its congregation and finances. I only hear about it for special events, in particular the Winter Solstice concerts staged by Paul Winter, and I have a CD of one of those performances live. I'm interested in the acoustics. Were you amplified? How did you cope with the reverberation? Recorded? I think St. John claims to be larger the National Cathedral, so I'd be curious about your comparison.
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Barmymoo

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Re: My exciting American jaunts!
« Reply #98 on: 18 Jul 2012, 12:09 »

We sang the recital in an ante-chapel so it was a bit smaller but the service was pretty hard to hear. Most of the congregation were near to us, but it was very hard to produce much sound. I'll let you know how the National Cathedral compares when we get there - I think St John is the biggest Anglican cathedral in the world but it's lots of little chapels so that is kind of cheating.
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There's this really handy "other thing" I'm going to write as a footnote to my abstract that I can probably explore these issues in. I think I'll call it my "dissertation."

Elysiana

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Re: My exciting American jaunts!
« Reply #99 on: 18 Jul 2012, 16:56 »

Needless to say, I'm fond of the architecture of the National Cathedral (see: my avatar). It is an absolutely beautiful building. Are you actually singing there, then?
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