Don’t worry; I’m still here. The fact that I haven’t updated since getting Covid-19 in January is an artifact of laziness/inertia rather than a result of severe illness.
I was ill. But luckily, more than 6 weeks out, I seem to have encountered minimal after-effects. That’s not to say I’m completely out of the woods for long covid: I know that many people start experiencing long-covid-ish symptoms months after exposure and initial recovery. But right now, I’m physically ok.
A few random life things, just so you know what I’ve been up to:
I saw Hamilton in the theatre last night! I originally had plans to see it on March 18th, 2020…but you can guess how that went.
The thing I’m still dealing with is that I’ve had the voices of the original cast recording in my head for years, so while watching it last night, I was constantly comparing the live performers in front of me to the original cast. I think if I had gone in completely ignorant of the actual music, I would have enjoyed it more. As it is, the whole was greater than the sum of its parts, with only a few standout parts matching or exceeding those of the originals – the performers behind Burr, Jefferson, and Mulligan in particular. Unfortunately, I found the performer for Hamilton himself to be underwhelming: a nice-enough voice reciting the lines with very little of the wit or acidity that the role requires.
Pi Day was two days ago, and I am a long-time devotee.This year’s pies were a mix of new (tamale pie) and traditional (Dutch apple). The tamale pie was particularly risky, because I’ve never made one before and I just flew by the seat of my pants rather than follow a particular recipe. Going into the oven, there didn’t appear to be near enough cornbread topping, but it ended up spreading out nicely.
The Dutch apple pie has also turned out wonderfully, but my god, I spent so much time in the kitchen on Tuesday. I had to do my prep in stages to have any hope of pulling things off.
I’m still practicing on the Rav Vast. And in fact, like I threatened in my first post about this new hobby, I did get a second drum after all. I found a person in BC willing to sell the scale I was most interested in, and I got it right before Christmas. This new drum is in the B Rus tuning, which I think sounds really bright and cheerful.
The bonus is that it’s an older model with a different finish, made using a different thickness of steel; the Rav afficionados say the older models have better tone/sustain, and I’m inclined to believe them. The even bigger bonus is that since the seller was Canadian, I didn’t have to worry about currency conversion or import fees, so this second drum cost significantly less than the first.
I’ve finished the beginner’s course on Master the Handpan. Now I’m making my way through the new course with Malte Marten, and I’m (slowly!) getting a grip on basic polyrhythms.
Unfortunately, I think I’ve been bitten by the drumming bug even harder, and now I want a third drum! I’m looking at the wares from Nova Drum, because they make drums with smaller diameters. As someone with small hands and stubby fingers, I approve.
The friend I’ve been sharing my community garden plot with for the past 2 years has decided to bow out from gardening this year due to other commitments. I’m not sure how I feel about doing it alone. I have a tray to start seedlings, and plenty of seeds, but I still need to get off my butt and actually start sowing. I should do that soon, or else it will be too late.
Technically I’m still watching Deep Space 9, but I’ve stalled on the fifth season for about a year. Right now I’m slowly making my way through Columbo instead. The show is both a very satisfying skewering of rich assholes and an intriguing time capsule into 70s-era California – the architecture, the landscapes, the clothing.
My other current pop-culture rabbithole is Australian prog/psychedelic rock band King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. I first started by listening to Flying Microtonal Banana because of this Youtube video about microtonal music. Then I branched out into Nonagon Infinity, Fishing for Fishies, and Ice, Death, Planets, Lungs, Mushrooms and Lava. In fact, I’m listening to “Ice V” as I type this.