Permission to brag February 17, 2021 8:18 PM   Subscribe

As we all limit human contact to help contain the pandemic, nearly all of us have hobbies and abilities lying fallow or getting very limited use. But, those in this position probably have great past work which will be new to people here and will generate the same sort of delight and interest as much of what's on MeFi. So - what have people done that's great that others can see online? Link and take a bow.

I know MeFi has functionality for claiming credit for own projects, but I'd like to see a sampling of what people experiencing the pandemic now regard as work worth celebrating from the past, independent of field. I'd love to see everything from photography to architecture, music, woodworking, urban exploration, urban gardening, additive manufacturing, robotics, LEGO... it's meant to be open-ended
posted by sindark to MetaFilter-Related at 8:18 PM (54 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

Thank you for this post! I actually painted something that I'm really happy with yesterday:
lookeee :)

(though if anyone has any advice on how to improve the teeth, please let me know. I fucked around with them for hours but the still look strange, and I don't know why)
posted by any_name_in_a_storm at 1:06 AM on February 18 [16 favorites]


Pretty dubious achievement I guess, but I watched like 450 movies in 2020. I began just watching the Criterion Channel's science fiction films of the 70s in January, but so many of them bothered me that I wondered what my own "Hugo nominee ballots" for dramatic presentation might ideally have looked like in the 70s. ~230 movies later, I wrote them up as Film/TV Favorites: SF/F/H 1970-1979 (Letterboxd list). Then, in August, a bunch of silent SF/F films were leaving the Criterion Channel, so I did essentially the same thing for the 20s: Film Favorites: SF/F/H 1920-1929 (Letterboxd list).
posted by cpound at 2:17 AM on February 18 [15 favorites]


Back when frequent board games were possible I played all of the top 100 games from Board Game Geek and wrote about it here.

My blog The Generalist Academy (FPPd back in 2019) turns two years old next week, and I'm still managing to write something on it every single damn day. With the pandemic a perpetual cloud over all our heads, some days that's easier than others.
posted by Paragon at 3:19 AM on February 18 [13 favorites]


Neither performance is recorded or online anywhere as far as I know, but I'm pretty proud of having done Shakespeare in the park in Paris twice. (Appropriately enough, in the Théâtre de Verdure du Jardin Shakespeare in the Bois de Boulogne.) I played the Fool in King Lear and Friar Laurence in Romeo and Juliet.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 3:36 AM on February 18 [16 favorites]


I built the first version of bucketheadland.com back in 1995 or 1996, when it was just four people nerding out about his music, and then transitioning it to the official online home. Part of that was digitizing from VHS and uploading (to that site) the first version of this video of Buckethead playing the Halloween theme.

The site got a new Webmaster in 2001, is in some disrepair now and my musical (and fannish) tastes have changed. But for a few years I had a great time running that site.
posted by Gorgik at 5:14 AM on February 18 [6 favorites]


A few years back I wrote a fun — I may have a skewed definition of fun — functional programming package for Python: pymonad. And then time became scarce and I, basically, completely forgot it existed.

I found out early last year that, in 2015, O'reilly published a book Functional Python Programming with a chapter dedicated to my little library! I haven't actually read it so I don't know if it's any good. But I thought it was pretty neat!

With loads of time during the pandemic I did pretty much a complete re-write and I'm trying to be better at maintaining it.
posted by Mister_Sleight_of_Hand at 5:59 AM on February 18 [9 favorites]


I sold a story.
posted by Segundus at 6:11 AM on February 18 [13 favorites]


I've been into photography since I was a kid, and I'm trying to get back to regularly taking photos and processing them in some sort of a timely fashion. I maintain a Flickr account for all that stuff.

The stats are fun because I learned that a couple of educators have used one of my photos for some of their online course materials.
posted by backseatpilot at 6:34 AM on February 18 [7 favorites]


I've been into photography since I was a kid, and I'm trying to get back to regularly taking photos and processing them in some sort of a timely fashion. I maintain a Flickr account for all that stuff.

Loved looking at the photos of Islay and reliving my own tour of the distilleries (and towns/villages) there years ago.
posted by Dysk at 7:08 AM on February 18 [2 favorites]


Just yesterday I put up a website for all my creative work and put the train page out on Projects.
posted by bondcliff at 7:27 AM on February 18 [12 favorites]


I'm about 27% of the way through the complete list of all the films from the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die" books, and I'm writing about each one over here. (The most recent entry is actually a post that got inspired by the Martin Scorcese FPP, but I think Bridge On The River Kwai might be next....)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:33 AM on February 18 [4 favorites]


It's not online but what the heck...

Here's a background story to put my brag into context: When I was five years old my kindergarten had daily naps and my teacher came up with a masterstroke plan to make it go smoothly. She announced that every week they would give out an award for QUIETEST NAPPER. That the award was just a piece of paper she'd copied and adorned with a gold star sticker was not something we children particularly cared about; it was a fucking award and each of us was determined to win it.

I imagine that by the time the school year was over every kid in that class had probably won the award at least once, but as a method of social manipulation it was unrivaled. Much respect to Mrs. Ollinger at Sunset Elementary in San Bernardino, California. When I finally won the award I brought it home like it was a Super Bowl ring; I tried to get my parents to frame it but I eventually settled on having it stuck to the fridge with a magnet.

What I am trying to say here is that I am easily fluffed by pieces of paper that aren't actually worth anything.

Last night I went to my mailbox and discovered the Red Cross had sent me a certificate declaring I am a HERO FOR BABIES because in 2020 I made five donations of O+ CMV-negative blood. On one hand I recognize that this is not a big deal and it isn't worth anything; it's just a piece of paper. On the other hand... No I don't. Fuck you, world, Parasite Unseen is a HERO FOR BABIES and I have a certificate to fucking prove it.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 8:38 AM on February 18 [78 favorites]


I'm a professional artist working in a range of media with an ecological focus - here's my website!
posted by vegartanipla at 8:39 AM on February 18 [15 favorites]


I'm really proud of my latest book, We Broke the Moon. It was finished during the hard lock down and writing it saved my sanity. It's "hope punk" science fiction, a sort of mix of Becky Chambers and Garth Nix. Portal fantasy set in a deep space generation ship with talking cats and a rogue AI.
posted by Zumbador at 9:10 AM on February 18 [10 favorites]


Parasite Unseen I want to favourite your comment more than once!
posted by Zumbador at 9:13 AM on February 18 [4 favorites]


I wrote a few pieces for Longreads back when they were still around. This one was my favorite.
posted by thivaia at 9:41 AM on February 18 [5 favorites]


Some short stories (The Red Threads and the Green Man, a horror story, was one) and some poems on the sort of websites that have the lifespan of mayflies - Saint Brendan, Becalmed, on the Hellas Sea is at the bottom of my profile.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 10:37 AM on February 18 [4 favorites]


I've been using my Instagram to chronicle long winter walks along the Lachine Canal in Montreal. Mostly shooting with vintage Minolta lenses on a Fuji X-T20.
posted by oulipian at 10:48 AM on February 18 [6 favorites]


Since February 2nd I've been writing about what it was like for me to be growing up Black in America, main Instagram link (they start with the black and white photos) and here's the first post.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:59 AM on February 18 [15 favorites]


Me and my person have been making a funny(?) puppet channel with funny songs and stuff, where I'm Fluffy and she's Blue - Blue The Monster Studios youtube channel. Our latest is a gag song where Princess Blue tells Chewbacca (that's me) that she doesn't want to date him this Valentine's day.
I've been making music as Microvague and made a 4-song ep and a 13-song album. These are youtube playlists, but Microvague is on the streaming services too.
posted by aesop at 11:01 AM on February 18 [4 favorites]


vegartanipla: Do you have a storefront somewhere on the web?
posted by bfranklin at 12:23 PM on February 18 [4 favorites]


This thread is so marvelous! sindark, what a brilliant idea!
posted by mochapickle at 12:26 PM on February 18 [3 favorites]


I've been building a series of musical instruments that are absurdly easy to play.
posted by MrVisible at 12:53 PM on February 18 [17 favorites]


I don't have the code checked in to github yet, but I made a simple Alexa skill for management of my daughter's AWS-hosted minecraft server, so she can ask Alexa which of her friends are online and I can change the weather and smite people like a petty god.
posted by true at 1:52 PM on February 18 [7 favorites]


Sigh, none of my brags are internet browsing enjoyable.
posted by zengargoyle at 3:00 PM on February 18 [1 favorite]


It’s not a hobby, and I want to avoid self linking, but of the things I’ve done that I feel good about, my writing for the Japan Times is the one that’s online. There’s links to a couple series I wrote on my profile page, and I’ve written some other stuff that I haven’t gotten around to linking, including my take on the best burgers in Tokyo, and a two part thing about the effect the pandemic has had on craft beer in Japan this year.
posted by Ghidorah at 3:19 PM on February 18 [5 favorites]


Noob YouTube channel of time lapse acrylic paintings, hoping to do some with voiceover if I can figure that out.
Recently returned to my fave subject - imaginary animals - and trying to post regular-like to Instagram.
posted by Glinn at 3:23 PM on February 18 [4 favorites]


I read about 60 books in 2020.

And that website has been online continuously since 12/31/1995. That has to make it one of the longest running personal websites on the Internet.
posted by COD at 4:00 PM on February 18 [3 favorites]


I'm writing a poem, most days of the week, at my Substack newsletter, Behold The Field. Here's today's, titled Perseverance - in commemoration of the NASA rover landing on Mars

We’re leaving, one day.
I will not stop hoping,
not ever. Not as the skies
fill up with soot, not as turtles
choke on plastic, will I
stop hoping. We have
bounty enough for both,
riches enough for all
to live like pharaohs,
and to heal our home
and build silver ladders
off. One day, we’re leaving,
not all of us, but some
in cryopods and holding paper dolls
that we blue tack to
the racks of genomes, two by two.
One day, wealth
will be a memory alone,
forgotten and quaint
as a handlebar moustache. In the womb
that carried it, hope will grow,
the last sibling, made of
bamboo plates and space elevators.
The bugs will come back
and spatter on our spectacles
as we ride our bikes, laughing and free
and unafraid. Our sisters
will be born in mining ships, and they
will send us sonnets
and collect ancient bottle-caps
and they will ride horses
through the canyons
of Mars.
posted by Mistress at 4:35 PM on February 18 [9 favorites]


I've done VFX for a few independent film projects that I think were pretty cool. the most recent one is a short called Hypernova; it's in the Manhattan short film festival until Feb 24th, the trailer for which can be seen here. (the shots with the woman in the space suit are from Hypernova). It's been tough to get our film out there - just as we were planning to be in a bunch of film festivals, the lockdown happened... sigh. Previous projects are Haphead and Ghosts with Shit Jobs, both are thoughtful sci-fi stories, check out the trailers at those links. Also, if you watch Ghosts - I snuck Metafilter onto someone's computer screen, so keep an eye out for that! (and if you watch the Manhattan Short festival, vote for us! it was a lot of work!)
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 4:56 PM on February 18 [5 favorites]


Paragon: My blog The Generalist Academy (FPPd back in 2019) turns two years old next week,

Your blog is great, I enjoy reading your posts!
posted by dhruva at 6:27 PM on February 18 [2 favorites]


So, 11 years after I left Australia, I finally took out that souvenir returning boomerang that I'd bought on a whim and threw it. It took a few tries, but I managed to get one to come close enough that I could catch it! I am going to brag about this till the end of days.
posted by dhruva at 6:30 PM on February 18 [7 favorites]


bfranklin: It's kind of you to ask! I keep meaning to, but I've not yet actually set up an online shop, no. Here and there people reach out and ask for pricing on reproductions or originals, so I have sold online that way but obviously I could sell a lot more if I make it easier for customers, so one of these days...
posted by vegartanipla at 8:01 PM on February 18


The Bumper Crop Boys is my band. We normally play around Queens. We're a bar band and hopefully it's a little bit like going to good church when you see us. I would not have written that sentence pre-pandemic, but I think it's true? We do not take ourselves seriously, except in that when we're playing together, we are one welcoming weirdo being, and we are serious about that. It is a lot of sung harmony and some accordion and a couple of trumpets and a harmonica and sometimes a kitchen sink. Our guitarist and upright bass player have played with mostly everyone. Sometimes we stop playing instruments and just stomp and clap and sing real loud. Here is an album on Spotify, at any rate. Here is a vimeo our friend Pat made of us with a song that Gene Caprioglio (guitar, lead vocals sometimes) wrote.
posted by lauranesson at 10:18 PM on February 18 [5 favorites]


A few days after lockdown ended a client called to say they had an excavator coming so I had a chance to draw with an excavator - I'm very happy how it's turned out, a memorial space and a future 'archaeology', it'll be planted later this year and then be left to grow.

Mainly doing farm house gardens / landscapes plus industrial 'scapes at moment which is amazing really. Plus a recent small job with NZ's only electric excavator, only 1.5ton, unlike the farm ones at 15 to 40 but a serious tool all the same; we shifted 30 tons in the day and transformed a space - another lawn replaced with native plants.

cpound - I met a woman doing her phd last week, she was investigating the distortion of science in fiction films and having to watch three films a day for the next six weeks to study from!

Wow lauranesson from this far away that sounds like NY straightaway - what a sound you guys make!

So much creation metafilter!
posted by unearthed at 11:59 PM on February 18 [4 favorites]


There are two things about lockdown that are kicking my backside - the first is not being able to see friends. The second is not being able to see friends in a context where we can make music together.

I... am? Was? In a number of bands, but the last one that got to have an outing is the queer punk/noiserock trio I play bass in. We're not like, super polished or professional, or even very good, but we have a lot of fun (and that's what matters!)

Anyway, we played a gig in the city down the road from us in March. It was the only time I left my wee town in 2020. It was a really really great night to have as a last memory to cling on to, and to look forward to being able to do again.

Anyway, somebody filmed half our set instead of all the much better bands and performers and it can be found here.
posted by Dysk at 12:38 AM on February 19 [6 favorites]


Yes to missing making live music!

I sing and dance in a tribute/spoof/cover band called Able Footing. Link is to facebook, short videos of many shows are there.

I also sing along with my husband as he plucks the banjo. We go by Deuce & Robin

Most of my art is not on the internet, but here is a decade old article with some pictures of glass jars, perfume bottles, and turtles I made.
posted by RobinofFrocksley at 6:43 AM on February 19 [3 favorites]


I've spent a lot of time helping my wife make a website for her gardening community. With the long, cold winter in the midwest USA this year, it has been good to have a friendly community showing off plants from warmer climes.
posted by demiurge at 8:01 AM on February 19 [3 favorites]


I sold a story, The Association of Twelve Thousand Flowers. Contains sex work, organizing, elaborate descriptions of hair ribbons, murder, and stacks of crispy pancakes.
posted by yarntheory at 8:20 AM on February 19 [4 favorites]


Most of anything I’ve done in the past is memory hole’d as far as the internet is concerned, but here’s a thing: back in 1995, I was one of three people pushing the early “stop S.314” internet petition against the Communications Decency Act. (I’m the “slowdog” who wrote the petition statement part.) It was ridiculously loose, in that you just had to “sign” it by sending an email; you didn’t even need to include your name. It eventually inspired a much more typical online petition effort headed by the Center for Democracy and Technology, and led to me being in an issue of Rolling Stone.
posted by bixfrankonis at 9:15 AM on February 19 [2 favorites]


Worked on this.
posted by Ideefixe at 10:19 AM on February 19 [3 favorites]


In 2018 I opened an appointment-only store in Toronto (first mentioned in Ask years ago) carrying vinyl records. During the pandemic, I expanded it to carry other things like magazines, autographed books, Freitag bags, refurbished typewriters and furniture -- basically, things I find beautiful that are Not Records.

It's working very well and I've managed to bring in magazines I love (Apartamento, Cereal, Noon, Berlin Quarterly) and sales have been great, especially considering I refuse to ship. Suppliers have reacted very enthusiastically and I've yet to approach any that have declined, which is surprising to me.

I use the same site to host my pictures of Orange Grove Sheds and Utility Boxes and travel photos and writing and though I haven't posted a new project during the pandemic, I am at work on my pet sitting travel diaries for Los Angeles, the Dominican, and Vanuatu, and hope to launch them there in March/April.
posted by dobbs at 6:13 AM on February 20 [8 favorites]


the most recent one is a short called Hypernova; it's in the Manhattan short film festival until Feb 24th,

Y'all, not only is Hypernova excellent, this festival is well worth the $10 (US) ticket price - there's not a clunker in the bunch (a thing I wish I could say about many of the Oscar-nominated short films I've seen over the years.)

Thanks, 5_13_23_42_69_666!
posted by soundguy99 at 9:40 AM on February 20 [2 favorites]


I have a YouTube Channel, Elsewhere with Meatbomb. My travel / expat experiences. I have not posted in a few months but that will be changing very soon.
posted by Meatbomb at 10:40 AM on February 20 [1 favorite]


I have a blog called Mighty Kool Kat that features my two cats, their cousins and their siblings who've gone over the rainbow bridge. It also features random other stuff. I may add baking to it at some point because I have some really good recipes I can share.
posted by kathrynm at 11:36 AM on February 21 [3 favorites]


hey thanks soundguy99 ! so great to hear you enjoyed it!
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 1:49 PM on February 21 [2 favorites]


i have occasionally made beautiful or provocative (rarely both) sequences of linguistic particles.
a short story.

also, chuck d retweeted me once.
posted by 20 year lurk at 8:49 AM on February 22 [2 favorites]


I helped very tangentially with the organisation of this and later helped write the thing where people came to its defence. Might be of interest to folks interested in science and/or police abolition; wanted to post it to the blue earlier but would have run afoul of no friends/self-linking.
posted by busted_crayons at 3:37 PM on February 22 [2 favorites]


Bouncing into this thread late to say: I just got offered some paid acting work! Only a couple days' worth, and the pay is not high-- but it's been a long pandemic-fuelled drought, so anything at all feels like a victory.

Relatedly, I've been doing a bunch of online Early Modern play readings with the good folk at Beyond Shakespeare (who gather to read medieval, Tudor and Jacobean plays that aren't by Shakespeare.) If you like this sort of plays and wish to come and read, details are here. It's free to do. The guy who runs it is very dedicated and runs a good room.

Things I've done with them that I enjoyed:

Doctor Faustus (Robin/Lucifer/Duchess of Vanholt)
Dido, Queen of Carthage (Anna, Dido's sister)
The True Tragedie of Richard III (Richard's page)

... and honestly, there's a whole lot of me making a giant arse of myself over on that site. At least I'm in good company. Enjoy!
posted by Pallas Athena at 4:22 PM on February 22 [5 favorites]


A couple years ago, I finally stopped at the old city cemetery I’ve been driving past for 25 years and discovered it to be a very lovely, peaceful & interesting place to be. I’ve also been rekindling my film hobby and started dragging the camera bag over there, and I’ve made a couple excursions to cemeteries in old towns out in the hill country.

I’ve got the more or less organized by album on Flickr and have begun the process of wading through the Austin History Center’s burial records and linking to them in the gravestones I can match up. I am by no means trying to be comprehensive, as I’m mostly looking for compositions that strike my fancy, but the place is huge, and at 300+ pictures, I’m maybe halfway done.

The black and white has been especially gratifying, but I like to shoot velvia too & boy, do I want a darkroom, which will be a post-pandemic thing.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:00 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]


Also, I’ve managed to finish mixing and do cover art for 5 more Carbon 7 albums since the pandemic started. We haven’t gotten together since late 2019 so I’m running out of stuff to toss up on Bandcamp, but there’s one or two more in the vault that just need art. And they’ve actually been selling! Albeit at a slow pace, but the 300 or so bucks I made from sales last year was the only music income I’ve had since February.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:07 PM on February 22 [2 favorites]


I made a lot of 1/6 scale dioramas.

Plus some that tie in with scenes from my novels on my main website.
posted by Ballad of Peckham Rye at 10:43 AM on February 23 [4 favorites]


I published a book. It's called "The American LGBTQ rights movement: an introduction," and it's available for free download here: https://digitalcommons.humboldt.edu/textbooks/2/

It was written for high school students. Please share!
posted by goofyfoot at 12:16 AM on February 24 [5 favorites]


I can't post a link, but I taught a high school kid how to fly. He'll head for the US Air Force Academy this summer with a pilot certificate in his pocket, and I'm the guy who helped him get there.

I love that.
posted by Thistledown at 11:36 AM on February 24 [6 favorites]


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