Journal 

Questionable Sunflower Seed Pate 

Hello,

Well it’s definitely my turn for a journal entry. Funnily enough I used to be an avid diary-writer as a kid, but apparently it takes more effort these days. Still, I promised my friend Larry I’d write entries more often, and I know I can keep that promise. We’ve been traveling so much recently so there is certainly a lot to tell.

We are in the States right now. We have crossed the border 7 times so far in the last three weeks. This last crossing was particularly strange. I was forced to eat my sunflower seed pate in an isolated glass room before going though security. Because of Mad Cow, he told me. I didn’t realize there was such a relationship between Mad Cow and vegan food these days. I ate two pieces in one sitting because I couldn’t bear to throw it out. I felt a little sick. Then I got thoroughly searched, my baggage and person included. What is it about accordions that appear so menacing?

A slightly challenging journey, but worth it. It’s great to be here. We spent the first few days of this tour in Indianapolis where we showcased twice at the ‘Arts Midwest’ conference. I think it went well. These showcases are only 15 minutes long so even with two of those there was a lot of time to kill. We spent most of it in our hotel, working on the material for the upcoming recording. It’s exciting (and somewhat daunting) to be developing the new tunes. We also explored downtown Indianapolis and discovered a great Mexican restaurant, ‘El Sol’- apparently we didn’t get enough Mexican food in Albuquerque last weekend. It was authentic and delicious and Nicky was once again reunited with her long-lost love, the margarita. We did some window shopping and I got lost in a parkade. We also met up with Grant, our road manager and soundman for this tour, which was very exciting for us because we usually don’t have someone helping out with the lugging and driving when we are on the road (not to mention making us sound good!) and it really does help a lot. Thanks Grant!

Last night we played in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to a very lovely audience and it felt great to play a two-set night again. I think it’s been since before the festival season. We tried out some new material and it felt good. Annabelle felt all warm and fuzzy when she learned that CSPS (the venue/gallery where we played) stood for ‘Czech and Slovak Protection Society’. We all enjoyed the license plate collages that adorned the gallery walls. Stay tuned for silly pictures.

And now we drive…it’s an eight hour trek to Ann arbor and I have a plan. Who says you can’t play banjo in a moving vehicle? I need the practice, and Annabelle is reaching for her mandolin, so at the very least we’ll see how long we can jam it out before we get told to keep it down by our parents in the front seat.

Happy frails,

Ruth