Piano brain pain, it's a man's world, hooked on Gladwell, and MTB madness.
I hope your corona-tinted summer is going swimmingly given the circumstances. Here in Traipsingville, our garden is growing almost as fast as the voluminous head of hair I'm cultivating (ok ok, it's more like an unkempt jungle).
I'm also enjoying post-ride dips in the frigid Deschutes River, plus eating large amounts of rocky road nice cream. Who needs overseas travel anyway?
It's not all home time. Some local van tripping happening too! (Mt. Hood at sunset in this pic.)
The Solace of Learning to Play Piano
Thanks to a birthday gift of an electric keyboard from Chelsea, I'm finally learning to play the piano. It's excellent fun that also happens to make my brain smoke like an old lawnmower coughing up fumes.
The artist Christoph Niemann captures the brain-pain of learning the instrument in this illustrated piece for NYT Magazine. As he says, "That's when things get insane, because I need to read two different pieces of music at once. One for my right hand and one for my left hand. This sounds and actually is impossible."
Even with learning to read music and yelling at my stubborn left hand for ignoring my commands, I'm enjoying the process. However, the classical song that I'm perfecting hacking my way through (River Flows in You) will forever be linked to COVID.
It's a Man's World...Everywhere
Over the years, Chelsea has taught me about concepts like mental load and unpaid work. Our household roles are far more balanced these days, but I still aspire for even more balance. (Except scooping litter boxes. Ewww. Oliver is her cat.)
A quote from the first one, A World Made for Men: The "default male" is not a modern invention; the world has been designed to fit his needs for centuries. From crash test dummies that save more male lives to COVID temperature tests that don't account for menopausal hot flashes, the series is eye-opening.
Podcast: Revisionist History by Malcolm Gladwell
If you're looking for a fabulous podcast, Malcolm Gladwell's is SO good. While logging dozens of hours working on our garden project (pics someday), I binge-listened to Revisionist History and am only sad I waited this long.
I've read (and loved) all Gladwell's books and he's just as good in podcast form. The way he weaves stories is the work of a master.
Some of my favorites: taking on the stupidity of the LSAT, more on education reform, and a brilliantly balanced take on police shootings.
Side note: if you haven't read Gladwell's latest book, Talking To Strangers, he says it's his best work yet and I agree. It's especially important right now given how divided people are.
Video: Discipline Meets MTB Genius
Some of us are handling coronatime by learning piano, others are binge watching Netflix, and SOME people are creating mind-blowing videos like this one.
Yes, the tricks are insane. I'm almost as impressed with the dedication of Fabio Wibmer to try some tricks hundreds of times. (Watch the "making of" video.)
To me, it's a clear testament to what sets the very best apart from the great. Sure, he's talented/amazing/OMG I wish I could do 10% of that stuff, but he earned it while I spent hours playing Warcraft 2 in junior high! #liferegrets That's it for this edition. Thanks for reading and as always, please send any sites, blogs, articles, podcasts and book recommendations you feel are important my way. I'm all ears and love hearing what you're digging.