remembering the penis on the screen, our first virtual open mike night, and more: day 15

We mentioned it as one of the highlights of our wealth of academic and artistic riches during the pandemic: the musical version of The Odyssey which got stopped briefly because of kids (not MY kids) using the “draw” function on the live feed.

And then it became a legend.

A Penis on the Screen: Playing a Bard During a Plague by Joe Goodkin.

How could Joe Goodkin not become one of our new favorite people? Finding classicists who are accessible and “real” for Claudia has never been easy. She had Tucker. It was a very lucky start.

Then, there was the day not long ago that Claudia saw the TED-x talk by Shelley Haley. And she sat like a statue.

I e-mailed Ms. Haley immediately and we got a reply from her today! So exciting, and Claudia will pick up the gauntlet in keeping the conversation going if at all possible (while Ms. Haley is away from her own resources at the university where she normally teaches, and is, like Tucker, preparing to teach everything by webcam). But honestly, we had so much else going on today…

Béla decided to take advantage of the electric six-string our friend Meg gave us and took a free lesson on

Never has a facial expression more accurately represented a child tuning a guitar.

Meg gives us lots of things. Last night we checked in on each other and she invited the kids to perform at her virtual Open Mike night tonight! Heck yes.

I am so proud of both of them! Béla did his Whispering Queen card trick — live on the internet!

And Claudia — who, of course, because it had been me who had suggested it, had acted like I’d ordered her to dig her own grave rather than invited her to sing and play the ukulele — got very vested in the whole plan at the last minute, pulling her vocal mike down from the third floor, putting on lip gloss and a belt, and, totally, killing it:

The kids stayed on for the whole broadcast, just hanging out — like hanging out at an adult party (probably. I have never been to one). An adult there texted me that people would probably start smoking pot visibly at some point. I said that was not new for the kids to see happening outside of home (or on TV), so they could stay. Tucker ordered them milkshakes as a reward for their performances. Béla got gummy bears and Nutella in his. Disgusting.

And then… people asked to see Marble.

Very well-received.

We have been enjoying so much of the content put out by academics and artists since the quarantine (including, last night, Rufus Wainwright’s beautiful bathrobe rendition of one of our family favorites, “The Art Teacher”). I had made it clear to the kids that I expected them to give back, and while they are at work on a group video project it was extra nice to do this (and to know they were doing it without anyone else right next to them for most of it). We heard singalongs and a lot of laughing. When quarantine is over I’ll just be sending them down to Connie’s Ric-Rac in the evenings.


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