The $3 Musical Instrument
Why a Dollarstore recorder brings me random joy.
I was recently in my neighborhood Dollarama putting together a big craft box for one of my best friend’s kids. I was having a great time filling my basket with crayons, pipe-cleaners and other supplies to entertain them when the adults are “being boring” (aka. we don’t want to hide and seek).
While milling about trying to convince myself that 2 bags of googly eyes are sufficient, I was drawn to a recorder in a plastic wrap bag hanging on the wall.
Even though I played numerous instruments through elementary school and high school, it had been probably 30 years since I held a recorder in my hands. My inner 9 year old got really, really excited. I instantly flashed back to being in Grade 4 and sitting in music class playing the recorder with impassioned childhood gusto.
I pulled it off of the Dollarama wall and saw that it was only $3. I purchased it immediately.
When i got home and started showing my husband what I’d bought for the girls, he proclaimed, “you got a musical instrument for them to use at dinner parties? ” I guffawed and was like, “um no, I got a musical instrument for ME which I suppose could be used at dinner parties after a couple bottles of wine.”
I then spent the next 30 minutes figuring out how to play everything from the theme song for Game of Thrones to The White Lotus. Was I driving both my husband and our Bernedoodle crazy? Yes, yes I was. Did I thoroughly enjoy myself? Why, yes. Yes I did.
Since then we both pick up the recorder from time to time. It sits on our living room side table just begging to be played. (I should note, our household is random like that…we also often make up dances to TV theme songs, but that’s for another day).
I have to say the $3 recorder has brought so much joy to us, although not so much our dog, she is utterly confused by it. It breaks up the flow of the day, the mood, the energy, the vibe. It’s a reset button, sort of like taking a minute to grab a breath of fresh air, go for a walk, refocus and renew. It’s lovely and it inspires not only me as a creative adult, but the inner child in me who is always excited and hoping to play.
Do you have something that’s like my $3 recorder? Something that brings out childhood joy, helps get you out of a funk, or breaks up the monotony of your day? Would love to hear about it! Leave me a comment :)
My Favorite Finds: January 2023
“Stolen Focus” by Johann Hari - This book should be required reading for every human in the “digital age”. It covers how everything from technology and social media, to environmental and social factors, stimulants and habit, have changed our ability to focus and connect. There is definitely a crisis happening for humanity and we all need to wake up to it. This book helps give us a shove.
“The Menu” - Wow, just wow. This is such a well thought out and phenomenally put together movie. I worked in the restaurant industry for two decades and spent a good year of that in fine dining, and this movie is just truly the chef’s kiss (pun intended). For all of you who are loving the show “The Bear”, this is a must watch.
”The Rig” on Amazon Prime - At first glance the poster for this show makes it look like an action/drama. It’s anything but. I don’t want to spoiler you all, just know that if you love sci-fi, this is a great show for you.
”Diary of an Opera Singer” by Rhoslyn Jones - Now I know I might be biased, but my dear friend Rhoslyn Jones has THE BEST blog on the internet. I have been such a huge fan of her writing for years and I am so happy that she has started a Substack and is writing on this platform. She is a professional opera singer and as her logline states, the Diary of an Opera Singer is “A Professional Soprano’s unfiltered tell-all of divas, drama, and the day-to-day”. I want this to be a book and then I want that book to be a movie or a limited Netflix series. I want the world to read, hear, and see her talent. Seriously, the sarcastic and sometimes sardonic, yet grounded way she shares her experiences is so ridiculously powerful, hilarious and refreshing. I wish I could pitch this TV show and have it made right now. THIS POST is a great one to start with.
“Book of the Day” (NPR’s book podcast) - I looooove a book podcast. While “Reading Glasses” with Brea Grant and Mallory O’Meara is my favorite, “Book of the Day” has become a close second. It delivers bite-sized 5-15 minute episodes every day, and focuses on different books in conversation with their authors. I freaking love it.
Veruca Salt “American Thighs” (1994) - Okay, hear me out on this one. Yes, this is an old album, but I’ve been going down a rabbit hole of things I loved in the 90s and I’ve had this album on repeat lately. I feel like so much of the throwback style that’s emerging from newer young artists like Olivia Rodrigo, can be traced back not necessarily directly to Veruca Salt, but for sure their vibe. (And yes, I know Veruca Salt’s influences can be traced back to punk etc… but that’s a much longer conversation.)
If you feel like jumping up and down in your own low-key living room mosh pit, here’s a good album for ya.
Until next time, thank you for joining me here!
Feel free to forward this to anyone else you think might dig this Substack blog for creative inspiration. <3
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