Reason #1 I haven't been blogging: I've been obsessively practicing mandolin and learning new tunes. Tunes I've learned since the beginning of November:
OK, I confess, I'd played Banish Misfortune before, but not memorized it, so maybe that one's a lie. Still, not bad all told, if I do say so myself. And most of them, I know well enough to play at the local Irish session, without toooo many stumbles. However, the list of commonly played tunes they gave me when I first started attending is sixty tunes long, and it seems like people toss out new ones every week, so this list is a drop in the bucket. I still have a lot of work cut out for me. Fun work, though, for the most part, with the exception of Lark in the Morning Jig. Don't ask me why, but I developed an instant antipathy for that tune. Maybe I'm not as much of a morning person as I thought I was. But I'll beat the Lark yet.
Reason #2 I haven't been blogging: I've been sucked down the e-reader rabbit hole.
Quite a number of family members have obtained Kindles over the past few months and all have been raving about them. And these days, you can borrow library books on them, which knocks down one of the mental barriers I'd set up against them. The selection of library e-books isn't great, but it's growing. And Kindles have come down a lot in price. A few years ago, they were what, $350? Now, they're under a hundred.
I got to play with my sister-in-law's new Kindle Touch for awhile over Christmas, and then when I was at Target on New Year's Eve, they had a returned one marked down to $69. Plus I had a Target gift card. Plus I am weak. It came home with me. Ended up having a bad USB cable, but my phone uses the same cable so I could charge it straight off, and Amazon customer service was happy to send a replacement for the original. Good deal.
I have to say, I'm smitten. There is much to be said for the ability to carry many, many large, heavy books in one bitty package, and the ability to request any classic (and a lot of other stuff) for free at the touch of a coupla buttons, without even getting off the couch. Also, it's lighter and more comfortable to hold than a lot of big books, lays flat, and I can lazily turn pages with one hand whilst eating lunch or what have you. I haven't bought much yet, aside from Mr. Speegle's short story collection, and Life of Pi, which I've been wanting to read for awhile and which I got for a dollar as one of the "special offers." But I've gone through half a dozen library books with more in the queue, plus have a bunch of classics and out-of-print goodies waiting in the wings. (First up, some lighter reading: lotsa PG Wodehouse and a smattering of Mary Roberts Rinehart mysteries.)
It doesn't replace real books by any means. There are still an awful lot of things not available for Kindle, for one thing, and I'm still likely to drag home large stacks of cheap used books, which isn't an option for e-books. Still, I'm seriously pleased with the little thing.
Anyhow, between reading and music, I've barely had time for things like, oh, bathing, let alone blogging. What did I miss? Are we there yet?