Horta

For #MOC19, Vance prompted:

If you are in an area that encouraged self-isolation during the pandemic, and were able to self-isolate, how have your daily patterns changed from the beginning of your self-isolation to now? Consider writing about any alterations in your trips for essentials, recreational patterns, or in your day-to-day routines, between the beginning of your lockdown to the present day.

Being New Yorkers, we’ve been self-isolating from the beginning of March. C was delighted to work from home all the time. I, being unemployed, kept doing what I was doing anyway, spending most of my day at my desk job-searching. This being my second unemployment in two years, I’d learned early on the importance of sticking to a schedule and a routine, even when there’s not a lot stopping you from saying, ‘fuck it, I’m just going to sit in the recliner and read this book all day long’.

Changes brought by isolation – well, I’d been going ice-skating a lot and that got shut down. It’s now warm enough to bicycle, but for some reason, I don’t really want to go on bike rides during the week, so I power-walk instead. (not enough) Where I’d go out for lunch or brunch, I now go out to pick up takeout at those same restaurants.

Changes during isolation… well, C and I grocery-shop together now, which is a nice thing, that happens every Wednesday. And I’ve started a piano practice routine which is yielding results.


I got to talk to my friend/neighbor in the hallway this weekend and we each agreed that, although we and our respective family members all have our own spaces in our apartments, we are getting to the point where someone else being where we want to be is unnecessarily irritating. C and I spent a couple of days being chillilly (is that a word?) polite to one another after getting very snappy from a situation where we had to share the kitchen, god forfend. So, yeah, be polite to your loved ones – they are trapped with you just as much as you are trapped with them.

I felt so weird after that, when Facebook went wild with everyone creating new avatars from some app, I went ahead and used a Horta as my profile pic.


Part of why I’ve been feeling discombobulated is I actually had two job interviews last week. Neither one is a particularly good fit, or well, they might be, but not obviously. One is with the mayor’s office and the issue there is this role wears many hats besides business analysis, and 45 minutes of my hour interview were sent on a test scenario and was very much about product management, something I have little direct experience with. The recruiting agency was on me afterward to follow up with a cheery email of ‘I know parts of the interview didn’t go well, but I’m super-eager to learn everything I can and do all I can to help you.’ And I think she could hear the tsunami of no that swamped my brain about that request in my voice, but I did kinda do that afterward. I’m worried that if they do offer it to me, I might have to take it, but I’m reluctant to pull my name from consideration.

The other position actually sounds a lot more in my wheelhouse, but the office location would be a ridiculous commute, so I made it clear right away we’d have to make it telecommuting except for special occasions. I don’t know if that’s a possibility or not. But at least that job is full time. (another caveat, part of what the company does is support the defense industry and I’m not entirely comfortable with, or entirely opposed to, that.)

However, a job floated by my face yesterday that made me jump and put that in my spreadsheet as a priority 1. Not only is it an excellent match for my skills, I’d actually be working on COVID 19 projects! That would be awesome. Not only that, but I got a call from them just an hour or so after I sent in my resume! (It was just a quickie to verify some info.) So maybe that’s a possibility. And that puts me in the weird position of… if one of those other jobs comes through, do I hold them off until this one pans out or not? And how do I do that? Well, good to be prepared, anyway. And nice to have a little hope.


Media consumption: some interesting stuff. We watched Unorthodox: I really loved it. I’ve always been fascinated by (and leery of) Orthodox Jewish culture. (I never would have lasted in it, myself, that’s for sure.) The lead actress is lovely (and she must be about four feet tall, if that). I felt very sad for her when she played piano for her new conservatory buddies and one of them just said flat-out, and accurately, ‘your playing is lovely, but you’re nowhere near ready for the convervatory’. (they do resolve that situation, sort-of, in an interesting way, and I love that they use “An die Musik” as a reference point). Anyway, recommended.

We saw a Bill Condon movie with Helen Mirren and Ian McKellan called The Good Liar, which I don’t remember getting a theatrical release. That was pretty good, and then we watched The Farewell, which is lovely. Awkwafina really is quite a nice actress.

Books: finished Death of an American Beauty, which is fantastic and the best of the series so far. Romances: “Spectred Isle” by KJ Charles (has magic and ghosts) and “Fish Out of Water” by Amy Lane (PI/lawyer thriller). I liked “Fish” so much I went straight into the sequel, “Red Fish, Dead Fish”. And a biography of Domenico Scarlatti which seems very dry and which I may give up on quickly, but it’s going to live in the bathroom, so I’ll read it in small doses.

Speaking of Scarlatti:

I love Scarlatti.

So, the piano routine right now is:

  1. Easy sightreading.
  2. A scale a day, plus an easy piece in the key of that scale.
  3. Bach invention (rotate through a different 3 each week. If a particular one is finished, substitute a Scarlatti)
  4. Big piece.

The big piece now is Haydn’s D major sonata, Hob.XVI:37. I’d done the third movement for a piano jury in college. The second movement is deceptively simple, but is so damn slow I actually had to draw lines in the score to figure out where the beats and subdivisions were to get the rhythms right. Then, as I studied it more, I realized how many finger-sustains there were (hold one finger down to sustain a note while noodling with the others, and you can’t just pedal it) and that made it very complicated. But anyway, here’s them:

And now I can get really working on the first movement, which I’ve always wanted to truly nail down. Expect that in a few weeks.

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