Per request, here’s a picture of me donning a homemade mask:
This request came from none other than Brian of Bonnywood, who is encouraging we bloggers to set a good example and show our masked mugs to the world.
Masks are pretty easy to make (I used these instructions, with elastic loops rather than ties). Only I think I’ll use a different fabric for my next one as this design didn’t work out as well as I hoped.
I made the mask because I thought I’d need it to return to work this week. Then I found out the soonest I’d be back in the office is July – meaning another seven weeks of… um… what have I been doing for these last six weeks?!
For one thing, I painted my laundry area and laid new flooring…
It doesn’t show up too well in the photo, but in the before shot (left side) the floor is bare concrete and the wall has a sloppy paint job, like they were just trying to empty a partial can of white paint. I painted the wall turquoise and the shelves white. Husband put up the cabinets to the left of the dryer; they used to be in the kitchen but we had to remove them to make room for a new fridge. Once that was done, I laid the flooring.
As for the ugly sink? That’s concrete. If you Google “how to get rid of a concrete sink,” you’ll find people have really strong opinions on them. Apparently these laundry sinks are considered vintage?
I saw a number of YouTube videos on how to restore it but in the end, I decided it didn’t look so bad for something we mostly only use to clean up paintbrushes. (Though I might consider repainting its stand. Unsure on that.)
Anyway, we’ve turned it from a yucky “ugh-I-have-to-do-laundry” room into a charming “ugh-I-have-to-do-laundry” room, and that was the whole point.
Other than that, I’ve been getting in a lot of clarinet practice. I had a few goals I wanted to accomplish, such as: learn how to growl and how to do a vibrato.
Back to YouTube: there are a surprising number of people offering free lessons on clarinet, including how to growl and do a vibrato. The video I’m going to show you, it’s not that I found his advice all that helpful, it’s just that his accent is sooooo marvelous.
Also, the wrinkled sheet.
I mean, how bad is the view behind him that the wrinkled sheet is an improvement?!
Ain’t it great? (Personally, I could listen to him say “clarinet” all day long.)
I’m here to report that after viewing countless videos and spitting and spurting all over the place, I have accomplished the growl! I also have a good start on my vibrato, so I’ll need to figure out some new goals.
I’m considering trying to figure out the glissando, also called a smear. For that, I’ll be following this guy, who is great fun – and helpful! – in all things clarinet related.
Also, he wears cool glasses.
Another possibility: learn the laughing technique. Here’s another video, this one by a woman who puts more thought into her background than Oleg. Her name is Robin Seletsky and I’m a wee bit obsessed with her.
God, I love her tone. As well as her sweater. (I wonder where she got it?)
Of course, I’m also doing my normal practice, scales and arpeggios and all that.
Maybe in the weeks ahead, I’ll find a way to make peace with B major. He and I, we haven’t gotten along all that well. Maybe it’s time we bury the hatchet.
Moving on, here’s another project I completed — I cleaned and lubed my bicycle! (If you knew how close I came to not bringing her to Minnesota, you’d be shocked.) The fact is, I just wasn’t using her all that much in Phoenix.
But I’m ever so glad I brought her because, aesthetically speaking, she fits in so well here.
For those of you who care about such things, she’s a 1970 Raleigh Robin Hood 3-speed with both hand and coaster brakes. And – you guessed it – there are YouTube videos for restoring old bicycles.
Fortunately my gal was in pretty good shape. Though to get her clean and sparkly, I watched this guy’s video… which was oddly relaxing. In the end, his bike was practically sterilized.
I don’t keep my car that clean! (Then again, his bike probably cost more than my car.)
Now that the weather is warmer (62°!) I’m enjoying riding my bike. Yesterday we went to the park and learned from a man in a shabby red sweatshirt that one of the ducks had eight babies two days prior. So I headed on over to where he last saw them and delighted in their presence.
Nothing makes me smile more than the sight of baby ducks on the water.
Unless it’s a bear in water…
I think by now my secret is out — I’ve been spending (wasting) an extraordinary amount of time on YouTube.
But hey, I’ve also been writing — though as to what it will wind up being, I’m not quite sure yet. Only just look at my writing desk and you can tell I’m up to something, right?
And that pretty much brings us up-to-date on my “COVID-19” projects. If you’ve been working on something of your own, let us know in the comments okay?
Meanwhile, here are some cat pics. Just because.
They clearly know nothing about social distancing. 😉