Halfway There

Yay, halfway through this shitshow of a year. Well aware that the pandemic is burning through our country, and the government remains ineffective and led by an amoral broken clown who has somehow gotten to his seventies without ever learning how to take responsibility… and the problems we have with inequality and racism and science denial and sheer dumbassery remain in all their hideous intractability.

But… this solipsistic blog is about me and I actually had a pretty good week! First, the big stuff. The Friday before, I’d had substantive interviews with a particular non-profit for a BA position. I’d already talked on the phone with their HR rep while I was still at my dad’s house – these first real interviews were videoconferences with the head of the BA team (who’d be my supervisor) and his boss, the head of product. They went quite well, I thought. BA head had asked for some sample workflows I’d developed, so I sent him those on Monday. Tuesday, their HR dept reached back out to me and scheduled two more interviews for Thursday (!!!), one with the team I’d be working with and one with the head of development.

(One thing I’d wondered about – if you’re doing interviews from your own home via webcam, are you expected to do full interview drag? On the first round, I’d worn a short-sleeved dress shirt and a tie, and what I wore below the waist is between me and my desk… but when they scheduled this next round, they specifically said “In prep for this interview, our dress code is professional/office casual.” And I was like, ‘which is it? Professional? Or Office Casual?” And then realized they were basically telling me, “Don’t bother wearing a tie, we won’t be either.” OK then.)

So the Thursday interviews went great, and I followed up almost immediately with my ‘thanks for the interview, I’m still very interested’ email, which then crossed paths with the HR rep’s email of ‘we are very excited about your candidacy, please let me know when you’re available for a meeting with me Mon or Tues to go over the role and your job application’. Wow! So anyway, that interview is Monday and I suspect that it will involve either an actual offer or will be the last step before the offer. So… yay!

I’m not going to give any details about the position yet, but it’s a good fit and promises to be less of a pressure cooker and psych lab shock experiment than my last job, so we shall see.


Other things. I forgot to mention that someone had found the driver’s license I lost and mailed it back to me. So I suspect what happened was:

  • When I went to the diner after getting the car, I put the license in my front pocket.
  • When I took my shades out of my front pocket to walk to the drugstore, the license came out with it and fell to the ground without me noticing, because I’m a dumbass.
  • By the time I retraced my steps to look for it, someone had already picked it up.

Anyway, no harm done, and the DMV already sent me a replacement, so now I have two licences.


Friday, I did two zoom calls, one with my brother and one with my dad. The one with Sam was about job huntery – he just lost his job due to funding cuts. So I ran over my process with him to see if there was anything worthwhile extracting for himself, and that went well. Then I did a fairly long session with my dad to continue setting up my Mom’s old laptop to use for Zoom calls. This largely involved removing stuff from the desktop he didn’t need, making sure the only browser visible was the one that launched him straight into Gmail without having to log in, and labeling it “GMail – use this to join a Zoom meeting”. (I should have labeled the Zoom icon something like “Use this only when you want to start a meeting”, to make that clear.) But that was helpful and pleasant. The laptop works fine, but it’s old and slow, so he may end up getting a new one, we’ll see.


Books and media stuff… we’d finished the third season of One Day at a Time on Netflix and had to do research to find out where to find Season 4. Turns out it’s free on PopTV, but with commercials, so that’s annoying. And we’re now caught up with that, except for the latest animated episode. We will have to find another funny half-hour show to fill the gap between whatever hour-long thing we’re watching and Rachel Maddow. (We have a routine.)

For the drama, we are watching Season 2 of “Pose”. I am torn between “isn’t it amazing that this show exists with all these trans actors” and “these scripts are bananas” and “some of these actors just aren’t very good”. But it’s worth watching. The first episode was heavy on AIDS issues and ACT UP and (as I suspected) it was difficult for C to watch, but he did OK, and was fine with continuing on with it. Possibilities for shows coming up, “The Politician”, “Space Force”.

Oh, and “The Mandalorian”. Because we signed up for Disney+ to watch “Hamilton”, like the rest of the world. We were supposed to finally see the show itself on Broadway in May, but it was cancelled (and I did finally get that refund, hurrah). So we watched it last night – and, as I suspected, it was probably a better experience for us seeing it on TV with subtitles that it would have seeing it live surrounded by screaming fans who already know all the words so don’t feel obligated to let you hear them for the first time.

As expected, it was very very good, and also not my cup of tea. I’m not opposed to rap/hip-hop, but it doesn’t actually excite me (usually) and while I think Hamilton’s lyrics are pretty good, there weren’t musical moments that were transcending. The acting was largely excellent, although as C pointed out, Lin-Manuel was somewhat outshone by everyone surrounding him. Dancing was very good, although I thought there was a lot of ‘let’s distract you from how flabby this section is, plotwise, by putting in a lot of jaw-dropping stage movement’. Anyway, I recognize it for being a pivotal masterwork, but I’ll put it alongside other shows that I’m not going to be going back to, myself. (I don’t know even if or when I’ll even get the recording. )

Books: as I was describing to my friend Susan, I really love the historical regency (and other period) m/m romances of Cat Sebastian. A caveat: the titles of her books are ridiculous, but the books themselves are wonderful. My favorite so far has been the second of her “Seducing the Sedgwicks” series, called A Gentleman Never Keeps Score. So, anyway, the third of these, Two Rogues Make a Right, came out finally and I read it last weekend. And… I liked it just fine, but it was nothing but sweet and nice and didn’t seem to have any conflict or plot movement. And that wouldn’t even be disappointing, except that “Score” was so spectacular on all fronts, it set up very high expectations. I wouldn’t put this disappointment level as bad as loving The Empire Strikes Back and then excitedly seeing The Return of the Jedi and realizing it’s all Muppets and teddy bears, but the discord between the expectation of possibility and the reality… oh well.

Speaking of Star Wars, I finally got a mask I ordered.

Also, I’m about halfway through N.K. Jemesin’s Hugo-sweeping Broken Earth trilogy. It’s wonderful, but not an easy read because lots of horrible things happen. It’s also the sort of book that reveals secrets along the way (much like the Harry Potter books) and it’s already clear that when I finish the trilogy, I’m going to have start right back at the beginning so I can understand what’s going on this time.


And memorials. Back in the day when we founded the Philadelphia Freedom Band, it was customary for the smaller bands to reach out to the other East Coast bands for help and extra personnel when giving concerts, which is how I met a lot of DC, Baltimore and New Yorkers. One early summer, PFB and DC’s Different Drummers decided to march together for Pride as a unit, forming one big band instead of two dinky ones. The music director of DC at the time was George Fulginiti-Shakar, who was and continued to be a big name as a theater music director in DC. He stayed with me for one overnight Philly gig, was a real sweetheart, and I know many actors who have worked with him since. I hadn’t seen him in years, but he just passed away, leaving behind a beautiful legacy.

Even closer, I also found out this week that we lost my buddy Jennifer, a beautiful large redheaded lady tuba player who had five times more life in her than anyone I know. Not only was she one of those helpful people coming to Philly to help us out back in those days, she housed me and my cat for my first week in New York City. She taught me a lot about how to be a good host, and a good friend. Here we are, playing together as part of “Der Oompah Frauleins”.

Unfortunately for us New Yorkers, she relocated back to Atlanta to help her mother about a year after I moved to NYC. Charles and I took her out to dinner when we visited there, and I saw her a couple of times since, but it was really just Facebook comments and such for the last few years.

But she was much beloved and I’ll always remember how kind she was to me. Godspeed, Jen!


Finally, I think I forgot to post the A Minor Invention and the last two movements of the Haydn D Major. The invention is not great, but I just wanted it done. (I’m making good progress on some of the others, and might be able to record the F Major this week.) I’m also working on the first movement of the Haydn now. Anyways…

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