Showing posts from June, 2020

Day 106, June 30, 2020

Gougères Today's Soundtrack: Miles Davis with John Coltrane, March 21, 1960 Olympia Theater, Paris (Day 2 of stay at home vacation) When I first heard about people losing the sense of taste and smell with the virus, that is the thing I began to fear most. I receive great joy from eating, whether it is bibimbap served in a hot stone bowl, a fresh local salad with heirloom tomatoes and big lump of burrata, or the sinful pleasures of a big bag of Doritos. So far, I have managed to stay healthy and not lost my sense of taste and smell... but something else seems to have happened. I think my memories of taste and smell have become more vivid and prominent than my reality... which leads to a sensation of perpetual disappointment. I finally found a jar of radish kimchee and... it is over ripe and too salty. I've been trying to eat it, but each bite reminds me that this is nothing like the kimchee I ate growing up. We've tried take out at multiple restaurants, mostly establishments

Day 105, 6/29/20

A Little Audio Recording Day one of vacation was mostly about testing equipment. As human beings we are creatures of habit and we learn how to do things one way, and when you have learn a new process, it can take some time to adjust.  I usually record using Digital Performer using a MOTU 896 recording interface connected to a MOTU 8 Pre. For my pandemic recordings I thought I might try the drum loops in GarageBand to build songs on. If I start to enjoy the interface, I might consider springing for Logic (I don't think Digital Performer has drum loops built into it, at least not as simple as Apple's version) but GarageBand didn't seem to detect the 8 Pre hooked up through the 896. Typically, the 8 microphone preamps on the 896 are dedicated to the drum kit and bass amp so my bands can record live, and I use the 8 Pre for the guitar microphones and outboard gear. Since I was testing out some new equipment, I needed to reconfigure things a bit. In the Pandemic, I've mostly

Day 101, June 25, 2020

Imposter Today's Soundtrack: Parliament-Funkadelic 11/6/78 Capitol Theater (Continued since I didn't get all the way through last night and why not get back on the Mothership?) Today in the penultimate day of the Mountain Scholars Institute, we did a freewrite on mentors we've had in our lives. I wrote about Julie Graham. I have been lucky to have several truly influential mentors in my life, but she came to the top of my mind this morning. I wrote about how we met for the first time at Rao's Coffee in Amherst. I had a coffee and she had nothing as she was recovering from throat cancer and the only thing she consumed was nutritional liquid that she fed herself directly to her stomach. She had a raspy voice that belied the trauma her body had gone through, but her intellect and charisma was bright and intact.  I heard rumors that she was very demanding and could be very harsh, so I arrived nervous, and even though I was returning to graduate school as an adult, I was tr

Day 100, June 24, 2020

The Three Minute Song Today's soundtrack: Parliament-Funkadelic, 11/6/78 Capitol Theater  (no 3 min. songs here) The distance between idea and reality. All this week a team of faculty and staff have been doing some of the foundation work for developing the Mountain Scholars Program, a program designed to support students of color at the college with specialized advising, free general education courses, and a team of faculty and staff working to support the students in their entrance to the college. The chickens have allowed this one flower to grow in their octagon pen. We conceived the project pre-pandemic (over 100 days ago), as an evolution of work the Racial Equity and Justice team had been engaged in for the last several years, and a lot of work people at the college have been engaged in before then. And while there is a lot of work that goes into developing something like this conceptually, turning concept into an applied actual physical (or virtual in the pandemic online worl

Day 99, June 23, 2020

Mind, Heart, and Body Today's soundtrack: Dave Brubeck '64/'66 Today before the last meeting of the day at 5:45, we slipped down to the Sawmill River for a quick swim. The water is low and slow, so it made for a nice lolling ride on an inner tube around the bend to where it is deep enough to float freely. One can slip in just beyond a fallen tree and after getting hung up on a few rocks hit a short stretch of open water.  Even on hot days like we've been having, the river is refreshingly, bracingly cold. Not quite Cape Cod cold, but it does take time to get acclimated and you have to ready yourself before jumping fully in. I suppose this could be a metaphor for so many things, but tonight it is late and I've just finished sending my last emails and closed out my last Zoom at 8:30. Soon it will be time for a late summer meal. But for now, I can open the windows and relish the cool night air, listen to Eugene Wright, Joe Morello, Paul Desmond, and Dave Brubeck and ham

Day 98, June 22, 2020

The Tender-footed Chauffer Today's soundtrack: Branford Marsalis: A Love Supreme, live in Amsterdam 2003 (with Jeff Tain Watts on drums)  and the Dizzy Gillespie Quintet: Jazz 625, 1966 Yesterday was Father's Day, a distant one from my kids and my own father. Fatherhood has been a beautiful part of my life, something I don't think I ever anticipated. I wonder if there are people who grow up just waiting to become fathers. Perhaps because of toxic masculinity, all the forces shaping manhood and our visions of what that means and entails, as a man it seems to be a much less frequent vocation. But once it arrives, something changes, and something is forever changed. I remember after the twins were born, I was driving back from Cooley Dickinson Hospital and crossing the Calvin Coolidge Bridge like a newly minted driver. The children were wailing and I struggled keep forward momentum above 25 miles per hour. I could not understand all the honking and impatience. I was transporti