The first night of receiving the vaccine, although I’d massaged my arm at the injection site, my shoulder was developing soreness. This soreness persisted through Friday and Saturday, as well as a barely-noticeable undercurrent of a general malaise. Just enough to make itself known.
My body was working on developing some badass immunity.
I didn’t sleep well Thursday night.
But Friday and Saturday night, the sleep was glorious. That feeling of waking up refreshed: nothing like it.
When Sunday morning arrived, I was feeling fantastic.
My second dose is four weeks after the first dose.
In Utah teachers were prioritized for the vaccine, so that means Reilly was able to get both doses earlier than a lot of us. But as of March 24, anyone over the age of 16 could get vaccinated.
The vaccine isn’t readily available to everyone yet, so scheduling an appointment was a little challenging, but not impossible. I got lucky with finding a place that wasn’t too far away.
The sign at the entrance said not to go inside until 15 minutes before my appointment. The email instructions said not to go in until 5 minutes before. I split the difference and went in 10 minutes prior to the scheduled time. They verified my ID and told me to stand in line.
It was less than a minute of waiting until I was in a chair. The nurse pushed up my left sleeve and rubbed an alcohol swab over my shoulder. She broke out the syringe, pierced my skin with the needle, injected the stuff, and covered the wound with a bandage, all in less than 10 seconds. Super duper quick.
Then I found an empty chair and sat for 15 minutes and massaged the injection site while nurses passed by, making sure no one was having adverse effects to the virus.
I drove home, ate dinner, took an ibuprofen for an approaching headache. Took a bath, tucked in my beautiful child who seems to be feeling much better from this morning. Hung out with Reilly and Frank.
Clarinets have become somewhat of an obsession of mine during the pandemic. Last week I found a nice intermediate model of an A clarinet. According to wikipedia:
In modern times, the most common clarinet is the B♭ clarinet. However, the clarinet in A, pitched a semitone lower, is regularly used in orchestral, chamber and solo music. An orchestral clarinetist must own both a clarinet in A and B♭ since the repertoire is divided fairly evenly between the two.
I’ve noodled around a bit on the A, breaking it in slowly. The tone is really nice. In this photo, the A clarinet is on the left and the B♭ is on the right. You’ll see the A is a little bit bigger–longer body, wider bell. Because the brand is different, the pinky keys are situated a little differently, but the response is just as quick as the B♭.
Practicing Piece 1 of Stravinsky’s Three Pieces has been way fun. Since I’ve been practicing on the B♭ up to now, I’ve gotten used to hearing this work pitched in a particular way. As I’ve been practicing on the A, hearing the music a half-tone lower was a bit weird at first, but i’m getting used to it. I’ll post two different practice sessions here: First the B♭, and then the A. And as I mentioned on Instagram regarding these sessions: Similar tempos. Some different approaches/attacks of notes. Different areas needing smoother transitions between notes. And more dynamics. Still quite a bit of work to do.
Maybe a month into the pandemic (April-ish, 2020), I decided to pick up my clarinet again. The student level model I’ve had since 7th grade. After about 2 months of playing, I bit the bullet and bought an intermediate level clarinet from my local music store.
So I’ve been spending a lot of my inside time recording clarinet ensemble pieces with myself. I like the challenge of keeping time with the metronome and staying in tune with myself. Which is so weird, because different registers on the clarinet can be a little off-tune with the other registers.
But a few weeks ago I broke out some sheet music that I wasn’t very interested in a long time ago. Looked super hard. Stravinsky’s Three Pieces for Clarinet Solo. Like, it didn’t sound pretty. Melodies I didn’t really get. And the notes were high, and I was unfamiliar with those fingerings, and my all-around chops were not up to snuff.
To offset some of the intimidation, I’ve been listening to Annelien van Wauwe’s recording here:
Many other recordings from different artists exist, but I’ve taken to this one for now. I’ve been listening to it every day, psychologically working up to meet a standard I’ve established for myself.
Two weeks ago, I tried tackling the first half of Piece 1:
Got to clean up any transitions that involve that left C#Db pinky. Also need to create phrases to make the piece make sense.
Then this past week I looked at the second half of Piece 1:
A lot of the same criticisms. Overall this needs to be smoother. It would be nice to decide on a tempo, since Stravinsky’s instructions are to “strictly adhere to” metronome markings (quarter note=52), breath marks, and accents.
This is coming along. I’d like to spend another month on this to get it under my fingers. It’s fun.