2020 Gratitude: January and February

Though 2020 will certainly be remembered for self-isolation and time mostly spent at home, there were two precious (in retrospect!) months this year where life continued as it had before.

I wrote about it briefly in the previous Flight Club entry, but my life before quarantine was very busy. I was going into the office, taking improv lessons, working at the improv theater, training for a marathon, and sprinkling in community service and hangouts with friends in here and there. While it is nice that quarantine has allowed me to slow down, there are definitely times when I miss the hustle and bustle of city life!

I started off the new year running a 10K through Central Park and hanging out with my friends in Central Park.

The next week, my boyfriend and I saw his favorite magician, Shin Lim, perform live. If you’ve never seen a magic show live, I recommend it, as long as you’re willing to let your guard down and suspend your disbelief for a second. (Or, if you’re like us, you can raise your awareness for the whole show and spend the rest of the night thinking, “How did he do that?”)

We also went to see my favorite band, Motion City Soundtrack, on their reunion tour. Looking back, a friend invited me into the mosh pit, and I said no at the time, but now I kind of wish I had accepted – if only because I can’t imagine being in a mosh pit now!

… and later saw Ripe at the same venue, for some more good vibes!

We also saw Cats together, which was a very strange show! That’s all I have to say about that!

After that, we saw Mean Girls, which has now risen up the ranks as one of my favorite Broadway shows. It was incredibly funny, the music was catchy, and the story deviated just enough from the iconic movie that I was still on the edge of my seat for most of the show.

We got a Broadway in Boston membership several months ago, which gave us a “season pass” to see almost all of the touring shows that were coming to town. This was our second season with the pass, and we really enjoyed all the shows that we were able to see – but were looking forward to so many more, and were obviously very disappointed when the entire rest of the season was deferred indefinitely.

I’m glad I was able to experience what I was able to back when I was able to! Sometimes when I get comfortable in quarantine, and not having to see anyone or go anywhere or do anything, I think back to the “before times” and realize that I do miss going out and doing things, as tiring and expensive as they were.

I miss going to New York for a short trip, I miss concerts and shows, and sometimes I even miss going out to bars and clubs with friends (which I didn’t include here, because I do not have pictures, but that’s probably a good thing!). Sitting at home to recharge was nice for a few weeks, sure, but I’d like my life back now, please!

Mini Blog 3/many, In Defense of the Full Album

Since listening to the podcast Dissect, I’ve been making a greater effort to listen to new albums in their entirety.

The rise of MP3 players and music streaming apps have made it very easy to pick and choose which tracks to listen to. In my experience, this eventually turns into, “Oh, I like that artist! I mean, I know their singles! I’ve never actually tried listening to anything else!” This is not necessarily a bad thing – if an artist releases a new single, then chances are it’s a good song that they’re proud of, right? – but it definitely makes it easy to forget that they’ve worked hard on so many more songs. In many cases, artists work hard to make cohesive albums as a singular work of art (as Dissect taught me!), so I’ve recently come to feel that I should consume music the way that the artist intended.

This was especially apparent when I started going to more concerts where I only knew one or two songs – songs that I really liked, sure, but did I like that one song enough to drop money on a concert ticket and clear my entire night to see it live for four minutes? (Honestly, it varies.)

I’m definitely still a long way from the days of listening to CDs on my CD player – make sure you don’t tip it over or it might scratch the disc! – but I definitely like having more variety in my music listening!