Showing posts from August, 2020

Day 164, August 27, 2020

 The Blackboard Tonight's soundtrack: Herbie Hancock, Headhunter II Little known fact... all through the pandemic, I've been wearing shorts. For the most part, nobody sees me below laptop level, so while I have a nice button down Zoom shirt, and on a rare (for summer) occasion, worn a tie, down below I've rotated between two or three pairs of shorts chosen for a combination of lightness of material, comfort, and not needing a belt, because who wants to sit at their kitchen table all day wearing a belt? Yesterday, the weather turned and I was chilly all day. Today didn't seem any warmer, so I put on jeans, this pair needs a belt, and shockingly, socks. Midway through the day, I even donned a knit hoodie over my Zoom shirt. I guess it really is late August. The summer has slipped away surprisingly fast. It is a little breathtaking to realize the summer is mostly gone and fall is right around the corner. The semester, for all of its complications and challenges, is startin

Day 163, August 26, 2020

Joe Pass Level  Today's soundtrack: Joe Pass, Jazz Baltica 1992 I think I'm a little sick. A few days ago I had a lot of sneezing that felt like allergies. Today, I've had a headache all day long and I'm feeling tired. I don't think it is COVID-19 because I can still taste the balsamic vinegar that was the base of the salad dressing I had for dinner, so hopefully it is just allergies, or a cold. I was writing a welcome back letter to the faculty and staff in my area today and started thinking about how this summer is unlike any summer any of us have ever experienced. It is unique in our lifetimes. I wrote that it is like we are all living in our own personal dystopian novels. Cormac McCarthy's The Road  seemed so much more tolerable, and a certain degree less frightening, a few years ago.  And then, simultaneously it seems like things are getting better. There are moments of normalcy where for a moment it feels like there is no pandemic, that it is another summe

Day 162, August 25, 2020

Professionals of Indeterminancy  Today's soundtrack: Larry Carlton and Robben Ford live in Switzerland 2007 I've been collaborating on a piece of writing with three other people three different continents, one in Great Britain, one in New Zealand, and one in Argentina. It is truly an amazing feat that we have found a common time across all our different timezones that we are all awake and functional, and through Zoom and Google Docs are able to collaborate in real-time. It is so easy in this pandemic era of isolation to just accept this interaction as any other virtual meeting, but when one slows down to really think about it, it is something quite miraculous. Just the amalgamation of all our accents is something to behold.  We are writing about community in the context of an arts organization focused on climate justice. One of the co-authors wrote a phrase, "Artists, contemporary society's professionals of indeterminacy..." which resonated with me. They were writ

Day 161, August 24, 2020

 Beach Reading Tonight's soundtrack: JJ Cale and Leon Russel at the Paradise Studios, LA 1979 I spent a week out in Truro, on Cape Cod. I consumed a copious amount of oysters, and other assorted seafood. I swam in the ocean, body surfed and boogie boarded. I road a bicycle along the national seashore, and hiked through a wetlands park. But perhaps the biggest thing was, for the first time in a long time, I started reading fiction again. On one beach foray I forgot my book, and was able to pull up Tolstoy's  Anna Karenina on my phone and started reading that, and the next day, I remembered to bring Ishiguro's Buried Giant .  It has been a long time since I have been able to immerse myself in fiction, which I think takes a different sort of attention than what one might keep for articles or books I might read for work. In fact, I know it has been about a hundred fifty eight days since I last read fiction, just before the pandemic when the Changing Lives Through Literature rea

Day 150, August 13, 2020

Special Purpose Today's soundtrack: Larry Graham and Graham Central Station, Bataclan Paris, 2014 It is nearly the weekend. And for all the talk of a Groundhog Day existence in reference to that Bill Murray movie, I'm feeling incredibly grateful for the impending weekend, which is also the weekend before a vacation, a last deep gasp of air before diving into the semester. I still have appointments and meetings I'll have to make, but it is more like one a day instead of back to back Zoom meetings, reports, calls, etc. from 8 until 7 on some days. Every day is a vacation for Junebug. I was talking with a friend and collaborator at GCC. She was talking about a great Zoom session she held with come colleagues and students. She mentioned how, for some of her colleagues, it was the kind of thing that is a rare occurrence and that she felt lucky that in our projects we get to experience that kind of excitement and exhilaration fairly frequently (my words, not hers).  It just so h

Day 149, August 12, 2020

The Jolly Boat Today's soundtrack: Shostakovich, Violin Concerto No. 1, David Oistrakh Sometimes you have a vision for something... you can imagine it in your head and, in part through meticulous planning, and in part through fantasy, the vision can become increasingly concrete until this vision, which up until now has been entirely in one's mind, seems completely feasible to manifest in the real physical world.  I think we conceptualize athleticism in this way, and occasionally I've had the opportunity to experience those moments of purity. I used to be a wrestler, and the countless hours of practicing on the mat would culminate in a few short minutes in a match, and when things aligned perfectly, it was almost instinctual, the set up and take down. Everything, every molecule on this planet moved in complementary degrees so that there was a gracefulness to the intentionality and everything happened as it should. But other times, things don't quite happen as one imagine