Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Our experience has been that the best way to confront, analyze, decipher, and finally defuse, most if not all of our fears, concerns, and questions, is to put them into words. Curiously, they always seem more imposing, even more terrifying, hidden in our minds, than they do once they have been voiced into the air. The earth's atmosphere seems to have a leveling and healing effect on things, which is nice. . . . You may find that will be enough to put the issue into perspective for you.

from Letters to The Zoo Fence

Monday, March 29, 2004

The Linky-est Post I've Ever Written!
(Courtsey of Book Slut and mostly for my own reference).

Larry Lessig's book, Free Culture is avaliable for free right here.

Can't concentrate today.
Don't want to be at work
Would rather be at home, staring out the window and thinking about nothing
(Instead I'm at work, staring out the window. There is some guy rapelling down the building next door. I think he is going to wash the windows, but right now he is just playing with the ropes and dangeling there. His feet keep bouncing off this window, and it looks like he could crash through at any moment. That will be exciting!)

Sign in Front of a Bakery

Adkins is Dead
Eat Bread!

Sunday, March 28, 2004

For the common amusement of all who stop by this week,
Here is Chapter 1 of The Cranberry Tales.

Saturday, March 27, 2004

It is 55 degrees!
It's a misty kind of "camp" morning
Everything's a little bit damp, and it smells wonderful.
(And I got to sleep in this morning, and I had rasin bread for breakfast, and my weekend homework is already half done, and I'm taking my mom to the art museum this afternoon, and have serious ME-TIME planned for tonight!).
It's gonna be a Great Day!

Friday, March 26, 2004

FROM: Tempo Subcommittee on Orchestra Salaries; Howard Reich, chairman
RE: Pay scales

By Howard Reich
Tribune arts critic

March 26, 2004

News reports this week that string players in Germany have sued to be paid more than their colleagues because they "play more notes" inspires us to propose a new pay structure for American orchestral musicians. Rather than the tired old union formula of salaries based upon years of service, musicians heretofore should be paid per note, a much more democratic approach, based on the following formula*:

64th note: 1 cent; this is basically the most fleeting and insignificant note.

32nd note: 1.01 cents; it's hardly different from the 64th note.

16th note: 1.02 cents.

8th note: 1.5 cents; it's slow enough that you actually can hear the thing.

Quarter note: 2 cents, and not a penny more.

Half note: 1 cent; because it's half as easy to play as a quarter.

Whole note: .5 cent; easier still.

Fortissimo: Loud notes earn a .5 multiplier, because they require some effort.

Pianissimo: Soft notes take a negative .5 multiplier; they require less effort and no one hears them anyway.

Staccato: Crisply articulated short notes merit no additional compensation.

Legato: Doesn't matter how you phrase them, notes are notes.

Two notes at once: Played concurrently, paid concurrently. No extra monetary value.

Chords: Ditto.

Rests: Count toward vacation time.

*Musicians are responsible for counting the notes they play. This is an honor system, so remember, mistakes do not count. Follow the score as directed and we won't have to levy fines for playing sharp or flat.

Via ArtsJournal

seven a.m. again
first shift arrives
and as the machinery comes alive I die . . .

day after day I'm working in this factory
night after night I'm tossing in my sleep
prayin' to find that life is more complete
is there life in the factory?

- From Factory Song by Grooters and Beal

Thursday, March 25, 2004


ceremonial deism-a legal term of art for the 'God of the Hallmark cards'

From the Article One Nation, Under Hallmark, Indivisible - Is the God of the Pledge of Allegiance a deity or a greeting card? :

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Equal Pay for Equal Notes
Violinists at a German orchestra are suing for a pay rise on the grounds that they play many more notes per concert than their musical colleagues - a litigation that the orchestra's director yesterday called "absurd".
The 16 violinists at the Beethoven Orchestra, in the former West German capital Bonn argue that they work more than their colleagues who play instruments including the flute, oboe and trombone.

Via ArtsJournal

Sunday, March 21, 2004

Hermes is a doc in the second year of his residency. Here’s a tidbit from something he wrote last July . . .

Years ago, I saw life as a limitless tree of possiblities
branching out in every direction. I took college courses in
everything from philosophy to photography, Latin American
studies to guitar, physics to world literature, French to biochemistry.
Now my life has turned from sycamore to stunted bonsai.

Yeah . . . bonsai
Hermes is a wise, wise boy.
(And he writes well too – do yourself a favor and read the rest of the post)

Once upon a time, I was a mildly interesting person.
If nothing else, I could entertain myself.
But now I am gosh darn boring.

I used to go to the used book store and buy whatever interested me at the moment - - Science, Theology, History, Politics; I used to read the paper each morning, catch the occasional show, and actively read a dozen different e mail listservs; I used to think deep thoughts during the morning commute, play in the symphony at night, send amusing e mails to my friends, and have fabulous late night conversations. This little grad school adventure was supposed to make me more interesting. Instead, I’m drowning in a perpetual rut of arts administrivia.

Don't misunderstand; I like Arts Administration - Great people, great information, and great organizations - but if the “New and Improved” blog seems one dimensional, ("old and dis-improved"?) It is because I currently live a one-dimensional-bonsai-life.

Please hold on dear readers, I promise things will improve. April should be a comparatively light month, with time to sit, and read, and play around, and write amusing little blog entries. Things will get better; but in the meantime, you’ll just have to put up with these random quips and quotes (it's not that bad - - that Turkey Joke was downright hilarious!)

Saturday, March 20, 2004

It's a boy!
Jacob Michael
Stupid people are still being stupid.
They miss out on so much

Thursday, March 18, 2004

I don't fall into trance-like states when someone reads out loud. Guided meditations, poetry readings, sermons, I approach them all with an analytical and focused mind, listening to the words, the use of language, staying firmly in the present. Besides, I don't relax in groups. Then Sister suggests we 'approach the water' and share some word or phrase that best expresses what has arisen in us, what emotion or feeling, during the meditation and singing. 'Oh Shit', I say to myself.

What arises in me is a sudden surging through the barrier reef of my social self, a feeling of despondency, grief and rebelliousness, of wanting to say, 'to hell with all of it!' and light up a cigarette, to chug on a beer, and say the word 'Fuck' really loud.

From Centered Path:

Every Thursday, Landmark Center has a lunchtime recital in one of the courtrooms.
BUT . . . I have to leave (and leave quickly) to get to The Little Academy in time to teach my first class
this means, I never get to stick around for the concert ) -: ) -:

I do get to hear them warm up as I do my YA work.
(Luckily the walls are thin!!)
But it's like they're teasing me, by showing off the stuff that I'm going to miss

Right now, at this very minute, there's this pianist playing something I kinda recognize - But I can't identify it. (I hate it when that happens)
AND a violinist is playing the Bach C Major partita. You have no idea how tempted I am to skip out of the Little Academy and just stay here for the afternoon.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Steps for Boosting Your Creativity

#1 Listen to music by Johann Sebastian Bach. If Bach doesn't make you more creative, you should probably see your doctor - or your brain surgeon.

#7 Don't watch TV. Experiments performed by the JPB Creative Laboratory show that watching TV causes your brain to slowly trickle out your ears and/or nose. It's not pretty, but it happens.

#9 Read as much as you can about everything possible. Books exercise your brain, provide inspiration and fill you with information that allows you to make creative connections easily.

Read more here

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Q: Why did the turkey cross the road?

A: To prove it wasn't chicken

Sunday, March 14, 2004

It has taken every bit of my intelligence, a few favors from my personal tech-support-guru, and almost all afternoon - BUT . . . The Random Quote Generator is finally up and running [applause!]

Saturday, March 13, 2004

CARDS . . .

* from my mother

They say you learn from your most difficult experiences . . .
What a stupid system

* from Papa VW
Never forget how very speical you are.
Never forget how very much you are loved

* from a student
Ms. VW you are god

(To be fair, that was written by a first grader, who probably meant to say I was "good" - and spelled it wrong. BUT . . . "god" it says, so "god" I must be!)
I've always known that the world revolved around me - now I have it in writing! (-:

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Remember Bilandic:

Michael Bilandic was the mayor of Chicago in 1978-79 who famously failed to clear the snow from the Windy City's streets in the bitter winter of 1978-79. He lost his job the next November to Jane Byrne, who ran on a snow-plow ticket promising to clear the streets the next time it snowed.

If you noticed . . . Chicago's Mayor Richard M. Daley [is] everywhere on the tube, personally directing the battle of the snow plows on the streets of Chicago, often from atop a city snow plow himself. He learned.

I lived in chicago for 20 some years.
The moment it started to snow, the plows were out plowing
(If a big storm was predicted, they'd be out plowing before it even started snowing!)
Maybe it's time to move back to chicago.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

The truth will set you free but first it will piss you off
- Gloria Steinim

bah humbug
Three entries into my "new attitude" blog and I'm already a grouch.
There was a freak snow storm yesterday (of course, it ALWAYS snows on March 8) long story short, en route to one job from the other, I got into a car accident (along with 200 other motorists).

SO I had to skip out on work monday afternoon (nice to have time off - but because I'm only part time at the Little Academy, I don't get paid for personal days) and because it was so icy they're calling it "no fault" (which means I have to pay my deducitble). AND my car is going to be in the shop for a while. UGH (and in case you're wondering, they guy who hit me had almost NO Damage to his car - - AND he didn't have a license - - AND the cop who came to the scene was his brother-in-law). UGH

On the bright side - there were 3 other accidents at that same innersection today. One woman in one of those accidents was seriously hurt. So - all things considered I should be grateful (I'm not - grouch grouch grouch)

talk about a rotten birthday )-:

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Tomorrow is the day I celebrate getting old; and being old.
How old are you????? you ask
Well . . .
I'm so old that some of my fellow graduate classmates could have been my students!
I'm so old that some of my former students are now TEACHERS
I'm so old that my WDM kid-os are not longer kid-os (henceforth they will be referred to as the WDM posse). Members of the WDM posse have jobs, driving permits, boyfriends, and juicy live journals! (I'm old!)
I'm so old that some of my current students were not even born when I started teaching!
I'm so old that a little girl asked me if I’d still be alive when she grew up!

And the biggest indicator that I’m old - - sugared cereal is suddenly too sweet! (you know it's all over when Fruit Loops suddenly become disgusting!) (-:

Last year one of my 4th graders asked me how old I was.
Instead of giving him the answer, I told him the year I was born and told him to do the math.
Now, we all know that you are supposed to subtract to get the answer, but this kid ADDED and came to the conclusion that I was 3979! (Which would make me 3980 tomorrow - - I told you I was old!)

Have a Very Merry March 8!

Saturday, March 06, 2004

The Blog is Back!
I'm not sure if I'm going to advertise this fact or not. But I've been thinking about it since - - uh - - December (when I said it would be back) and now I'm going to actually do it!!

I'm not sure if the re-opening of the blog will be advertised to the wide world or not - still thinking on that one.

This is the picture that has brought me back to blog-ness. It is just too pretty to keep to myself.
enjoy -

The Cassini-Huygens spacecraft is still four months and millions of miles from Saturn, but it's already close enough to send a stunning postcard of the ringed giant. It's expected to send weekly snapshots as it nears it's July 1, 2004 arrival date; check this Web site for updates.

Link via How to Save the World