How have you been doing during quarantine?

When I was first laid off work I was pretty happy. I'm a night owl, but my day job had me getting up at 5:30 in the morning. So when quarantine hit it I started staying up late and taking my dog for walks downtown at 2 in the morning taking shitty pics on my phone. It was great for awhile, but now I've fallen into a rut. I've had no real desire to create. Not sure why, as self isolation is sorta my gig normally.

I read somewhere that creative people are natural procrastinators, but at the point that procrastination threatens to turn to not doing anything at all they start to create. I'm hoping that's kicks in soon. I'm a lazy person that sometimes creates. Ha.
Yo Hines! Sorry to hear that your creative mojo has been pooped out, but I know you will be back in it eventually. I work in spurts sometimes too. When I'm low energy, I can be thoroughly unproductive and feel like a non-artist. Eventually, the light comes and I wind up beating myself up about beating myself up about that. Ha.

You will get back to it, and I know it will be great. Hang in.
I have almost been enjoying the lockdown because my life is normally so hectic. I so seldom get to stay home that I have been blissfully happy to be here and have been doing a little art but not as much as I should be doing because of lack of motivation. :)
I like quarantine, it fits well with my mostly natural hermit ways. I paint or write every day [as per usual] without interruption [not so usual] ... I do kinda miss my students, will be nice to have them back [in June, tentatively], but in the meantime, spring flora and fauna entertains me and a weekly trip to stock up on food helps remind me that the outside world still exists.
Well, as an old flame of mine says of herself, I put the pro in procrastination.

Nothing has really changed for me and my sweetie. She has to work four days a week, which is a bummer, but otherwise we're natural hermits who live in a tiny house with no visible neighbors (the closest is a quarter mile away). We do see friends occasionally but since we moved here five years ago, they're much further away, so not as often.

Usually it's just us, the birds and the critters. We've had quite a few visits from bears, more than usual. This year's raccoon mom, Shake, has been visiting regularly, earlier and earlier in the day. If she has kits, we'll call them Rattle, Roll, Jump and Jive. We hope so, the kits are a total riot when they're small and impossibly cute. We have discovered that raccoons love grapes.

This is last year's mom, Mondego, with three of her kits, Rhythm, Blues and Boogie.


But it's annoying the the library is closed.
We are learning a lot about you Musket. We're seeing a whole different side of you on this forum. The raccoons are cute and I'm sure, fun to watch.
I'm still enjoying the stay at home mode. I get supplies for myself and also for my special needs sister, that I have guardianship of, once a week and that is about the only time I leave the house.
The kits are truly entertaining. They're good at climbing up the stiles to the rails, but not so good at getting down. Raccoons are very smart and competent little beasties and have several super powers. The palms of their hands have seven times the tactile sensitivity of a human's. Their palms are lined with vibrissae that make it possible for them to feel things without even actually touching them. Experiments have shown that they appear to understand the abstract principles behind locking mechanisms. Combine all this, and that's why they can open almost anything. And when climbing headfirst down a tree (or a stile), they can turn their rear feet around completely backwards.


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Oh, there are all kinds of interesting facts about animals and birds, whose lives I generally find more interesting than that of most humans, present company and a select few other people excepted.

A peregrine falcon's eyes are bigger than a human's. If a human's eyes were in the same proportion to body size as a peregrine's, a 170 pound man would have eyes three inches across weighing four pounds each. Imagine what it must be like to have the visual acuity of a hawk or falcon, which is eight times greater than ours. It isn't just that they can see twice as far. They can make any distant object flare into sharp focus instantly.

It's easier for me to imagine that than to imagine having the touch sensitivity of a raccoon.

Unfinished pencil rendering of an immature peregrine, 1964, age fifteen.

1964 Falcon Pencil Study.JPG
My eyeballs are big enough, thanks. I've been made fun of before.

That's really good for that age, Musket. It's good realism. Did you learn or was that raw talent?

I am too embarrassed to show my work at that age and I don't really have the pictures. I may have some drawings I could scan, but it wouldn't be impressive to show them.

I made a book for my mom when I was five or six. I don't even have much memory of making it. But I scanned the whole thing and put it on my website. It's funny and cute rather than impressive. I'm more into making people laugh than trying to make them think I'm cool. I've never been cool. Ha ha.
Excellent for a 15 year old. I did a lot of drawing at 15 but wasn't nearly so accomplished.
No one taught me. I seem to have had an inborn gift for the sensitive handling of tools. Didn't matter if it was a pencil, a calligraphy nib, a fencing saber, a chisel, a brush, a bit or a guitar pick. Once I gained enough facility on guitar, I always played with my eyes closed.

It's the same with sticks for you, no, Arty? Whether you have a gift for it or not, the feel of stick against skin (well, mylar anyway) is very important to drumming, I would think.

This is the reason I can't work anymore. Pain, I can work through. But unlike my raccoon pals, I have almost no touch sensitivity left. I can't get tactile feedback from my tools.

Thank you, sno.
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I am so sorry about your pain Musket. I know you live with a lot of it. I understand what it's like as you know and have been battling it myself. Since I've been off of pain pills, I have to rely on ibuprofen and it doesn't quite cut it. I don't know what you do, but I wish there was something for you so you could at least play a little bit. Not playing music anymore is a sore subject for me. It's hard to talk about, but for me, it's mostly my legs. The endurance and weakness is also a factor, but that part is ...well that part is just as bad I suppose. It makes it so I can't play with others and playing drums alone (for a tiny bit) is no fun.

Can you play a nylon string without a pic by chance, or is that worse? I never knew if you could play classical. That was always my go-to guitar, but just to write. I'm not a guitar player by any stretch. If I closed my eyes, people would run away.

What's the bit about mylar now? I didn't understand that.
Remo drum heads are mylar, no? I assumed that's what you used, not real skins. Whew, I recall selling sticks at the last music store I worked in-- so many different kinds!

I really can't play at all, a much worse bummer than not being able to do art. One of the few regrets of my life is that I never did any recording. I always figured there would be time up the road to lay down some tracks. There is one good thing on a mini-cassette kicking around somewhere and that's all. It ain't a question of the type of string, alas. But you know, I had some really good nights playing, and ain't nothin' like playing live. Which is of course ephemeral. You can't replay your life.

I could play enough classical to be able to evaluate tone. I had good touch and dynamics. But by no stretch of the imagination was I a classical player. I built them, but left the playing to my clients. They almost never come back on the market, but the original owner of this one died last year. They want six times what I got for it. Born too soon.

Anyway I was a blueser, and nine-tenths electric. Fender all the way. At my best I had the magic, but one thing I know about the magic, having chased it most of my life, is that it never lasts. I enjoyed it to the hilt while it did. And the best music scene I was ever in was saved for last. Can't ask for more.
Yes, that is a bummer. I know it! Sorry you can't play at all. I hear your lament, but I also hear your words of much wisdom and it really helps to read them. No, you can't replay your life. Only in memory, which is what makes me feel sad and regret. I shouldn't live with regret. I know it's bad.

There's nothing--no-thing--like playing live. I also really enjoyed recording though. Two very different animals. I was good at both. I did a bit of session work and it was great. When I played with Rickie Lee, that was a treat. I have to say I have more regret with being on the road. I wish it didn't burn me out so badly. It really took a toll on me physically and mentally and I didn't see it coming. I guess that happens to a lot of musicians though. Some take their life over it and I can totally see how.

I did use Remo heads, but on top they were batterheads. I don't know what they make those out of, but they are not real pigskin--I don't imagine. The bottoms were clear, so those would be mylar. I see what you're saying now. You get more volume with a batterhead on top.

I used the shortest sticks they made, which were Phil Collins signature sticks, a bit thicker than a jazz stick. I tended to hold them on the wee bottom of the stick (like you would a hammer) and practically in the palms of my hands at times, so I needed them to be short. It's a weird technique, but after many years, that's how I held them. Hard to explain it. I'd have to show it. I was a hard hitter. I didn't play traditionally, I guess it's called "match stick." I had one teacher that insisted on playing traditional and it was a pain in my ass, but he was one of the most respected teachers in the world and I did what he said, then re-practiced match stick.

I worked very hard to be a good drummer. I took to it easily, I won't lie, but I know I practiced more than probably any guy. I had to. There were hardly any girls then. I only knew of Sheila E in the early days. I met two other girls at Musician's Institute and we were the first of three to ever attend the school. If I wanted to be taken seriously, I had to blow any guy away, not just be good "for a girl." I never wanted to hear that in my life. I'm not kidding when I say I practiced eight hours a day for the first seven years. I skipped school to do this and was absolutely relentless.

Sorry for the long post. I went overboard.

Beautiful guitar by the way!
Batter heads are frosted mylar. That's what almost all the drummers I knew used.

The drum world seems to be even more a boy's game than the guitar world, unless things have changed a lot. Women are making serious inroads into classical guitar. Ana Vidovic is acknowledged as one of the best in the world. And of course there have always been very notable female acoustic players. Pretty fair number of jazz players too, ever since Emily Remler, who I was acquainted with when she was just a teenager, paved the way. Some great female bass players coming along too, spearheaded by Tal Wilkenfeld. But of electric players not as many, and I couldn't name even one young pro female drummer. Or any at all, for that matter, except Sheila E.

However, I don't keep track of the drum world.

Thanx for the props on the guitar.
Enjoying the solitude? Going stir crazy? Depressed? Productive? Please share!
I am new here not sure how to present myself. As far as the pandemic goes, I kind of enjoy it. I like the cleaner air, the city noise is down, more birds. I sleep longer. Because everything has slowed down, I don’t feel so bad having a canvas there that I touch only once in a while with a brush or just sit in front of it for an hour.
What I enjoy most about wearing a mask in public is that I stick out my tongue at irritating people behind my mask and they don’t know. It is a little secret.
I am a loner by nature and feel more normal these days because I don’t need to make excuses not to join some small gathering . Although I would love to remove my mask and gloves to kiss someone madly.