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In Which Ryan No Longer Trusts His Toothbrush

July 2021 | 2:7


Koopa would like it known that he is always this glamorous, and Goomba would like to know what is under the couch.

What's Been Happening

The past month has been a bit of a whirlwind as I try to remember how to do things that do not occur physically inside my apartment. Rather than try to tie all of these experiences into a single cogent theme or thought, I offer the following nuggets:

Outside is often bright and scary. Sunglasses seem to help.

Did you know that if you leave a toothbrush in a travel container for over a year it can mildew?

Things are generally significantly farther away once you go from “it’s in my domicile somewhere” to “it’s on the surface of the planet earth”. This requires much more planning ahead.

Not to give you trust issues, but I recommend looking at your toothbrush before putting it in your mouth. Or smelling it, or… you know what, really we’re just trying to avoid getting to taste as a diagnostic tool here, so whatever other senses you want to use go for it.

One of life’s cruel circular ironies is that by definition whenever you are trying to figure out a new coffee maker, you probably haven’t had coffee in a while.

“Minty mildew” is not a flavor palette that requires any further testing or exploration for the consumer market. You’re welcome, flavor scientists.

The real world doesn’t have a mute button. This seems like an oversight and should be looked into.

Lastly, I can confirm that while I’m glad recording technology is a thing, I’m even more glad to finally hear some wiggly air made directly by humans. I hope that wherever you are things continue to progress and that you can experience some for yourself soon.

May your masks smell pleasant and your packages arrive without incident,


Chart O' The Month

Pithecanthropus ErectusMedium Ensemble
00:00 / 05:51

Despite being a pretty early chart on a piece that’s been arranged ad nauseum, I’m actually really pleased with how this came out. The grooves work well together, there’s variety within it without being distracting, and it’s clearly “Caravan” while still having some original ideas. More than anything else, this makes me miss playing this type of music and the way it physically engages you whether you’re ready or not, so I’ll add that to my list of things to do once live music is back to normal.

Epidendrum 'Pacific Sunset' x 'Pink Rabbit'.JPG

Look, Nature!

If you look really closely, you can see a deer behind the leaf. Don't feel bad if you can't see it, it's hiding very effectively.

Education Notes

As we start to get ready for fall, it seems like all the indications are that we can expect as close to normal as we’re going to get to start the school year which is wonderful. As I experience the transition to normalcy with DCI, I offer a couple observations that can hopefully be of use:

In general, people are more musically prepared than they are emotionally prepared. I’m genuinely surprised by how fast the playing has bounced back, but finally making music together again releases a lot of pent up emotions (joy, anxiety, etc). There’s no need to over-react to that, but giving space for it to happen is important.

Don’t adjust your standards, just your timeline. If it takes longer to do something then fine, but aim for the bullseye.

Don’t assume, good or bad. If you assume something is going to go wrong and tell the students that, you can create a self-fulfilling prophecy. Likewise, if you assume they can do something and never check, you can find out too late to fix it. Instead just make a safe space to try stuff and find out what’s working and what’s not while enjoying that you get to make sounds together again.

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