Self-Isolation Diaries – Week 65

Greetings, Internet! I hope everyone is staying as safe and sane as can be! This week, I got a new laptop (my previous one was seven years old), started practicing a proper short setlist, and watched hella gymnastics. Daily summaries below!

Day Four Hundred and Forty-Nine (6/4/21)

  • Did the FES cycle.
  • “Jackass” is officially on the NPR site!!! Turns out I may have celebrated a bit early yesterday because my submission hadn’t technically been approved yet. But now I can celebrate! Go and have a listen! Speaking of which, the video has already hit over 100 views within its first twenty-four hours or so, which is a record for anything I’ve posted. I’m sure that’s because people at NPR had to vet my video to make sure it qualified for the contest, but still! Hooray!
  • My parents are here! My mother brought ice cream bars.
  • I’m eyeing a bass and I think I’m in love. But also, dang, basses are expensive. I showed the bass to my mother, and her response was, “You’re interested in bass now?” To which I replied, “I’m interested in the whole band.” Except a drum kit. Because I can’t step on any pedals.
  • FaceTimed with my sister and niece! My niece likes hearing me do lip trill glissandos (it’s a vocal warmup exercise). I asked if she wanted to learn how to do them, and she was like, “No.”
  • Total videos from other YTers watched: 12
  • Currently feeling: You know how airlines kind of suck at understanding why they shouldn’t damage wheelchairs? I wish they were actually good with them, because I’m missing a wedding next month. And I think of how, if this wasn’t a concern, I could just fly to California to see my niece. Effing airlines and their disregard for wheelchair users. This article is from 2019, but still, the situation hasn’t improved enough yet to where I feel comfortable traveling alone (i.e. without an able-bodied person to strike fear in the hearts of those who would prefer not to comply with ADA guidelines).
  • Currently looping: Aoife O’Donovan’s cover of Joan Baez’s “Love Song to a Stranger.” Her voice is absolutely gorgeous.

Day Four Hundred and Fifty (6/5/21)

  • Finally fixed the broken armrest pad on my shower chair! And did other things that have been put off for a while.
  • And finally opened my new laptop! Saying goodbye to my previous laptop was a bit more emotional than I thought it would be. That laptop’s been with me through three masters degrees, just as many degree application cycles, and many a late night of work. And I’ve serenaded it oh so many times.
  • Practiced things for my future outdoor performance. It’s amazing how often I forget chords to songs when I have to learn seven at a time.
  • Debated over types of musical equipment to get. This is a bit over budget. Oh gosh, I may have a problem.
  • Total videos from other YTers watched: 3 (setting up my laptop took up a bit of time)
  • Currently feeling: Hooray productivity! And okay, fine, I’m up late because the Mets are on the west coast, but they scored two runs for DeGrom and I’m very happy for them.
  • Currently looping: Sara Jarosz’s “Painted Blue.” Such a gorgeous song.

Day Four Hundred and Fifty-One (6/6/21)

  • Did the FES cycle. Started watching “Little Voice,” because now that I’m trying to figure out how one performs live in NYC, I thought, “Why don’t I watch a show created by one of my favorite artists (yup, Sara Bareilles is behind the show) about an aspiring singer-songwriter trying to perform her original material in NYC?” The main character is gorgeous, her songwriting is earnest, her voice is super pretty, and she has zero confidence in the songs she’s written. So it’s nice to know that Sara Bareilles has bugged my apartment.
  • Attended a Masterclass in which my vocal coach offered feedback to three singers (two of whom wrote original material). I really need to start writing more stuff.
  • Rehearsed my setlist for my upcoming outdoor session. Made a bunch of tiny errors on guitar, but I’m hoping those can be masked by loud enough belting.
  • Watched day two of the women’s nationals gymnastics final. Wow. I mean, we know that Simone Biles is the GOAT, but can we just take a moment to appreciate that Chelsie Memmel came back after having children to compete at an elite level? I mean, holy cow, she won Worlds in 2005. SIXTEEN YEARS AGO. Such an amazing accomplishment. Sure, she didn’t finish her uneven bars routine, but still, the fact that she got there is incredible enough.
  • Total videos watched by other YouTubers: 26. This is because I only watched three yesterday. They pile up if left unattended.
  • Currently feeling: I need to revisit some old melodies I thought up and try to attach some lyrics to them. I suddenly have this urge to have enough original material ready that I can create an Electronic Press Kit (EPK). You know, so that I can pitch my musical self to bars/cafes. I told my vocal instructor about my NPR submission, and her response was, “You’re making things happen!” And I think that’s the plan. Because screw it, thirty years old is a perfectly fine time to reassess your life goals. If academia doesn’t have a job for me by the end of my program, I need contingency plans that I’m passionate about.
  • Currently looping: Jinjer’s live performance of “Pisces” at Wacken Open Air 2019. Tatiana Shmailyuk slays. SLAYS, I TELL YOU.

Day Four Hundred and Fifty-Two (6/7/21)

  • Working on more original material!
  • Music lesson! Performed through some things that I plan to perform outdoors (to get some of the nerves out of the way, we may hope).
  • Started watching “The Wire.” It’s fine so far. But wow, young Michael B. Jordan!
  • I’m not sure I’m going to post anything to the channel this week. Between working on original material and practicing a 7- or 8-song setlist, I haven’t been able to devote the proper amount of time to recording a cover. We shall see if that changes over the next few days.
  • No Mets game today, so, let’s go Nets! (The only basketball I watch willingly is playoff basketball, and I’ve been a Nets fan since they moved to Brooklyn, so no, this isn’t a bandwagon, how dare you.)
  • Total videos watched by other YouTubers: 5. Most people like posting things around the weekend, so Monday’s usually less chaotic (actually, this is particularly less chaos, which means the rest of the week might be more video-filled than usual).
  • Currently feeling: I’ve been eyeing this bass on this one site. She’s beautiful. I may have a name in mind for her already. I should just get her so I can play bass on my demos (which I want to start making). Why is she so expensive?
  • Currently looping: An acoustic (and at-home?) performance of Aurora’s “Runaway.” Just beautiful.

Day Four Hundred and Fifty-Three (6/8/21)

  • Did the FES cycle. Watched another episode of “Little Voice.” The main character sang two lines of one of her songs, had a panic attack and got off the stage, and a delightful guitar player still gave her his number and said he wanted to work with her on stuff. It’s so unrealistic I can’t even. I’m going to keep watching, of course (the songs are amazing), but please don’t give me hope that the sweetest musician ever will ask me to perform with him after thirty seconds of hearing me play.
  • Dear period cramps, I despise you and you ruin my productivity.
  • Worked on a collaboration with another YouTuber. Took a bit of guesswork to work on a flute part, because she transposed the song to a different key, and then changed the key again.
  • Wrote out my writing workshop draft. In a flurry. I’m going to pin that on the period cramps as well.
  • Signed up for metal vocal lessons!
  • Total videos watched from other YouTubers: 0. There were plenty, but I needed a break.
  • Currently feeling: I always find a way to go to bed around 1am. At this point, it’s becoming an accidental skill.
  • Currently looping: Sara Bareilles’ “Coming Back to You.”

Day Four Hundred and Fifty-Four (6/9/21)

  • Watched “Loki.” So far, I’m a fan, but I’m biased because Tom Hiddleston’s Loki is just delightful.
  • Ran through my setlist for this weekend. Only botched one of the songs to the point where I thought, “Yeah…just start over.” With YouTube, I only felt compelled to memorize one song at a time. Now I’m trying to memorize seven or eight to have them as performance-ready as possible. It’s a different sort of challenge.
  • Phone call with my bestie!
  • Recorded flute for a collab with another YouTuber. I’m not sure if it’ll work, but we shall see if she likes it.
  • Total videos watched from other YouTubers: 17. Had to catch up from yesterday. And I should also reply to comments on my own channel.
  • Currently feeling: I’ve been thinking about the future of my YouTube channel now that I have plans to get out there more. I want to start writing more original material so that I can record and perform it, and it’s really difficult to find time to do those when you’re trying to do a one-woman band cover every week (oh, and let’s not forget the physical therapy and dissertation).
  • Currently looping: Within Temptation’s cover of Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill.” I’m really not that familiar with the original, which makes me feel like I’ve missed a key part of my formative “I listen to nothing but female solo artists writing and singing about their feelings” years.

Day Four Hundred and Fifty-Five (6/10/21)

  • Did the FES cycle.
  • My mother’s here! She brought some treats made with an enriched dough recipe.
  • Someone came to have a look at the oven (which, er, has been broken since February and I’m only dealing with it now). Turns out the igniter broke. If all goes well, a new part will be ordered and it’ll be fixed in a week.
  • Therapy! “Are you nervous about performing outside?” “Not yet.” Thank goodness I’ll have moral support.
  • Total videos watched from other YouTubers: 10. (Total for the week: 73. That feels like a lot.)
  • Currently feeling: NPR likes to put together its staff’s favorite submissions to their Tiny Desk Contest thus far. “Jackass” was nowhere to be found. But I still believe in it. Never underestimate an angry song.
  • Currently looping: Beyoncé’s “Don’t Hurt Yourself” featuring Jack White.

Thanks so much for reading! Stay safe, get vaccinated, and be nice to buskers!

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