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Whelp, I did it. I finally managed to work myself sick. Missed Sunday & Monday b/c I was sleeping all day. Oddest assortment of symptoms, tell you what. Nothing "normal." All that being curled up inflamed my bulging disc, so I was only back to work Wed/Thurs. Got myself painkillers and a chiropractic appt last night which was a GOOD IDEA. After I left the chiropractor, I couldn't stand up on my own.

I was much better this morning but have been basically non-functional all day due to pain meds making my brain swampy. I made the call last night not to go in to work & I'm so glad I did. I have to change position every 45 min and ice 10-15min every hour. No way I could've done that at work. Plus, I'd probably have said or done something bizarre b/c I'm so out of it! 

After my 90min appt at the chiropractor yesterday which included electrical stimulation, laser therapy, 2 adjustments, and enough pain to make me yelp, I felt I earned ice cream. Rin got me the Best Ice Cream Ever (this moment): Ben & Jerry's 7 Layer Coconut Bar. Non-dairy, vegan ice cream.  Never had it before, omicat it is sooooo fabulous.

This morning's chiro appt was much better! I bought a large ice pack (good investment already!). Took a nap today. Had planned to do some online training for work; may still get around to it, we'll see. I'm thankful this didn't happen last week! We were snowed under with studies. I'll definitely be working from home sometime the next few days if I can back off the painkillers.

Good things that happened recently include:
1. Spending a day cleaning up my stepdad's grave site. Photos later, maybe? Very cathartic.
2. Low flute jam session; love those low flutes!
3. Had a mystery "other" line on my paycheck for $75.
4. Played Evolution a lot - very fun even with just 2 players.
5. We were able to score reservations for a brunch in Atchison on Monday to view the solar eclipse in totality! Figured everywhere would've been booked! A friend said that's what they were doing, and when Rin checked, there were still spots available. Tickets included food, parking, eclipse glasses, and viewing spot (behind the building!).

Anyone else have plans to watch the eclipse?
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Prior to day 1, I scoured my kitchen for non-compliant foodstuffs. Those I could part with I donated to a local church program. Those I wanted to keep are stored out of sight, or if in-sight, clearly labeled/segregated so I don't grab them by accident. Did some shopping and food prep last Sunday so I'd have lunches for the week.

Observations/successes from the first week include:

1. Proscuitto is delicious. Why do we even have bacon when we have proscuitto? (Probably $$$. Bless Costco for carrying this in an affordable bulk package, btw.)

2. I FINALLY FIGURED OUT HOW TO MAKE MAYO!!! 100% thanks to Foolproof Homemade Mayo, my long history of failed mayo is OVER. Immersion blender + better egg-oil ratio = NOM NOM NOM. I already have an (ancient) immersion blender, and a large stockpile of that exact size of wide-mouth glass jars.

3. Coconuts are miracle foods. Coconut butter is so damned delicious.

4. I made my own clarified butter - kind of fun, super easy, cost-effective, and a fantastic cooking oil! Never tried it before; last W30 I bought ghee, which was ok but expensive and has its own unique flavor that didn't always work with what I wanted to use it for.

5. Instead of rewarding myself with food, I bought myself some music-related items (stand light, portable multi-instrument stand), a fun nightgown, and a new kitchen gadget to help with my increased cooking! I don't know how others will think this looks, but for me, this is tremendous. I'd buy myself expensive sugary treats without hesitation while actually needed, useful, and/or highly coveted non-food items of lesser value went unpurchased.

Reflections from the first week and expected challenges ahead for the second )

Week 2, here we go!
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Wow, I haven't practiced in 2 weeks, really closer to a whole month. In part due to a finger injury. Mostly due to a headache that will not stop. 3 weeks solid. I've had chiro appts, massages, seen my optometrist, tried several painkillers, ice, heat, it's been relentless!

Monday, I was prescribed a painkiller that actually helped a little! YEAY! Today, I saw my GP, who laid the blame squarely at the feet of muscles-skeleton-tension stuff. I'm badly inflamed. She prescribed an anti-inflammatory, which I am to rotate with the painkiller. Ice, stretching, continued massage/chiropractic.

So, good news: not likely anything terrifying like a tumor or some new sinus-related-horror.

Bad news: I'm soooooo not practiced up for rehearsal Sunday, or our upcoming performances.

I did take the opportunity to have a music theory lesson instead of a playing-the-flute lesson with my flute teacher this week! I learned about stacked chords, what the hell a "minor third" and "diminished fifth" is... VERY COOL! I want to learn more about why music works so I can understand playing better (and playing in an ensemble - now I know what it means when "2nds have the root, basses have the fifth, altos have the 3rd").

Less positive flute choir stuff )
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I have finally succumbed to a head cold severe enough to keep me from work for 3 days. BOO, HISS. Flute practice is out till breathing comes back.

Which is a bummer because I was accepted to perform in the Master Class this weekend! Now i'll be super out of practice. DAMN.

In happier news, our name change has gone through! We are us for real now, IDs and all! [cue endless mountains of paperwork]
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UUUUGH!! My alto flute practicing is not going well! I guess I didn't break the flute, so that's something. Killed some music. :(

My embouchure is LOUSY today. Maybe because my lips are really chapped? Or I've been chewing the insides of my cheeks too much?

My tone is thin & unsteady, intonation non-existent. Still struggling with balance issues; find a good balance, my posture isn't comfortable for fingering on the left hand. Adjust for the hand, then my air gets all screwy. Just a lost cause. Gonna wipe out the flute and turn my efforts to something else.

I am REALLY looking forward to the Chris Potter workshop this summer!
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Today's practicing didn't feel very good. I have a tendency to flub when descending scales. From my last lesson, this is most likely a breath support issue. Gotta keep that push-out of the abdomen, which still feels like some kind of unnatural contortion. Warmed up on The Swan (arr Allred). I hate that piece.

I wonder if I sound like an alto flute, or like a C flute on an alto instead? I don't have any basis for comparison.

Worked on Suite in A minor by Telemann (arr for alto/alto/bass flute trip by Chris Potter). m72-73 in the middle of some 8th notes it shifts from piano to forte. Pretty sure I run out of air before I can make that happen.

Did some repositioning of my head joint to improve the balance of holding the flute. Altos are longer and considerably heavier than C flutes. As a person with short arm, I am trying hard to learn to play with the curved head joint instead of the straight. I like straight better, but long-term use will not be a good choice for shoulder/arm/elbow/wrist health. The curved headjoint is a dire fire ant of a beast to balance easily. I want to balance comfortably enough that I can turn my attention to sound and air support; currently my attention is divided with anxiety of dropping the flute... :/

Spent the rest of my practice time on the Quartet #13 in A minor (arr Allred). Sometimes, I'm playing along just fine and suddenly *dead silence*. No noise coming out! Might be a positioning issue from the tricky balancing. I need to hold still when I play more. Weaving around destroys my balance and positioning, not to mention air direction.

Not all practicing feels like progress, even when it is. I certainly got through the tricky rhythms in 69-90 lot easier than last week! That's something.

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