🎹 Come on guys, it's not music theory
A musically-rich edition, plus a whole lotta honey, in-person yoga classes, and how to make a rabbit sit still for eyedrops
We’re coming off the heels of a pretty beautiful week, weather-wise. It’s been nice enough to wear shorts for all of my training runs (I will run the Philadelphia marathon this coming weekend) and I got to efficiently get the remainder of our grasses and downed leaves to the curb for village pickup. It’s looking like we’re ready for snow in the east here, but who knows when it’ll arrive? Now, on with the show.
A Tip for the Modern Worker
Surround yourself with the right people. If you’ve worked on a variety of teams, you’ll understand it’s not what you do that makes something special. It’s who you’re doing it with. People make the place. Look at the people around you, at work or at home. As Tim Ferriss says, “You are the average of the five people you most associate with.” If you don’t like those five people, you should make some changes until you do.
I tweeted that out exactly a year ago and it’s part of my Handbook for the Modern Worker. This tip has done so much for me. Personally, I try my best to surround myself with people who don’t sap energy from me. I participate in extracurricular activities that fulfill me. It’s not necessarily about affinity, it’s about deriving satisfaction from the interaction. If you have relationships that consume – rather than restore – your energy, work on them. If you do things solely out of obligation, seek other activities that’ll make your life a little bit better.
I drew this and wrote the accompanying annotation as part of my #365DayDraw project 6 years ago today.
With the storm over, we pulled out our battered compasses to chart a course. Oddly, the needles pointed in different directions
Wow, this dovetails pretty nicely with the remote work tip, doesn’t it? The compass, after all, is a wonderful metaphor for determining if you’re pointed in the correct direction. When our true north differs from those around us, it’s pretty damn stressful. May our needles align more often than they don’t.
I enjoyed singing in a group setting last week. It was my first time since the pandemic started – so yeah, years – and I wondered aloud if I’d still remember how. I held down the bass part on my own and it was like riding a bike. A very wobbly bike, because we’re singing non-traditional holiday tunes, but an upright bike nonetheless.
I really enjoy how music exercises my brain. For the past three or four weeks, I’ve augmented my usual guitar practice by playing the piano. I’ve always been a treble clef kind of guy since I grew up playing the trumpet. I can sing bass and baritone because I have a good sense of relative pitch. Give me a starting note and I’ll be off to the races. But ask me to name a note in the bass clef? Forget about it. So, I’ve been working my way through Yousician for piano in a bid to retrain my brain to read both clefs concurrently. It’s starting to work, too. I’m proud to report that I was able to plunk out the bass notes for my part before rehearsal started, so I didn’t go in totally cold.
Alice, our fearless choral conductor, is confused about why this is so hard for me. I explain the above and how music theory was not part of my high school curriculum, but it’s still confusing. She said, “The bass clef is just a third off,” as if that made things clearer. I wittily replied, “Oh, like it’s on sale?” I’m such a smartass.
Both of my college-aged kids (adults, really) are music theory whizzes. They’re likely amused by my later-in-life work on this, but I really do appreciate the challenge. I’ll leave you with a classic meme that sums it up beautifully.
🍯 Oh, it’s nutrition time here at the Dawson house! We received our latest shipment of Honey Stinger nutrition: chews, waffles, and hydration mix that’ll fuel our running, hiking, and skiing for at least the next 5-6 months.
🧘 Amy and I are really happy to be going back to in-person yoga at Synergy. We’ve really missed Kelly’s energy and the IRL interactions with other yogis. At-home practice is still a frequent occurrence, too.
🏥 We’re really lucky to live near a world-class animal hospital. Phoebe, our rabbit, has a clogged tear duct. The fantastic doctors at Cornell’s Companion Animal Hospital ruled out her teeth being a contributing factor with a CT scan. Now we have to give her anti-inflammatory and antibiotic eyedrops twice daily for two weeks. You’d think it’d be hard to wrangle a rabbit for that, but she’s so chill and handles it well. She sits in her little pet bed while we massage her between the rounds of drops. It can be hard to pry her little strong eyelids open, but we’re getting good at it.
🥣 I used Canva in the past few weeks to make new business cards for Emoticakes and Pottery by Elizabeth. I’m really happy with the quality and ease of creating these cards. Elizabeth will be at the Little Red Wagon Market on Saturday, December 10, so if you’re in the Ithaca area, check it out!