Thursday, July 29, 2004

Queen of Rejection
One of my Young Audiences projects this week was sending out the "Thanks-for-Applying-but-the-position-is-filled" letters to everyone that applied for Kate's job.

Having been the recipiant of DOZENS of those letters (and even for this job myself) I was kinda empathetic, but I also enjoyed being on the sending side of a rejection letter!)

Talk about Bad Karama -  
I got my rejection from the hooity tooity private school gig.  today.
What's worse is that Ms. Christoffersen DID get the job.
Pout )-:

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Someone please answer me this - why are all the women speakers at the DNC so bad? Why do they feel the need to shout into the microphone? Why are their voices so abrasive? (And why are they al l so ugly?) It really disturbs me that the femle orators can't deliver a good speech.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Dear Old Dad discovered that I have a blog.
He said "I've heard of a 'blog' but I thought it was something bad." Then he asked how to get to mine. I donno if he'll remember the address, but I thought I'd give a public HELLO to Dear Old Dad (just in case he happens to stop by) and maybe toss out a link or two .

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Official Julie VW Review of Tonight's MN OrchestraConcert

I love going to the orchestra BUT . . .

There's this one violinist (let's call her "Snake Woman") that drives me crazy. Snake Woman slithers and slimes in her chair. She wiggles and taps her feet and is a hyperactive fool.

She sits in the fisrt violin section and it's impossible to not see her (because she moves like crazy). She's distracting and I wish she'd move on to a different orchestra.

It's not so bad when one has average or crappy seats, but the two times I've gotten good seats she's been VERY visible and very annoying. Tonight durring the Beethoven Overture she was literally jumping out of her seat and bouncing her feet in some kind of weird hemiola-super-subdivision. Snake Woman must die!

The Brahams Concerto was MAGNIFICIANT! I own two different recordings of this one (Issace Stern and Hilliary Hann) but hearing it live is absolutely incredible. Initally the balance seemed off between soloist and orchestra - - but I think that's just adjusting to a live perfomance (compared to a recording miked to accuncuate a soloist).
Wow Wow Wow. Standing ovation and three bows kind of WOW! Super Duper Amazing. (And the soloist stood infront of Snake Woman blocking my view of the wiggle worm- - THANK YOU Mr. Soloist!)

And finally, the New World Symphony (Dvorak). I don't think anyone moved at all durring the second movement - - it was one of those moments where you forget everything and become completely absorbed. Good Good Good Night (Missy and her friends in the Box Office ROCK! Thanks for GREAT tickets!)

* * * *

In other orchestral-type news, I applied for long term (3-4 month) internship with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. (Which concidently, just happens to have a generous FREE TICKETS TO INTERNS policy! My future friends Josh and Bobby also just happen to work with the SPCO!) I know you are all jealous - - so come visit me and I'll pick up a free ticket for you to come with me!

The Only Truth That Mattered
He told our mother he’d worked out a system to ensure that he only got stoned in moderation: He’d lock his baggie of marijuana in a metal box, enclose the key in a stamped, self-addressed envelope, and drop the envelope in the corner mailbox. This way, he couldn’t have access to his stash for at least three days, which was about as long as it took for the post office to deliver the key back to him.

He was fond of systems, and imposed order on an otherwise chaotic household by assigning each chore a point value ranging from one to five (one if he loved the chore, five if he detested it). Washing the dishes, for example, gave him three points, since he neither enjoyed nor hated performing the task. Each day he was required to earn ten points, and the incentives he’d built into his system encouraged him to complete chores he detested and limit the number of chores he preferred. If he vacuumed the living room (five points) and scrubbed the toilet (five points), for example, he could devote the rest of the day to reading, whereas if he made the coffee (one point) and fed the cats (one point) in the morning, and at night fed the cats again (one point), he’d still have seven more points to earn before going to sleep. 

Friday, July 23, 2004

I'm completely in favor of the separation of Church and State.
My idea is that these two institutions screw us up enough on their own,
so both of them together is certain death.
--George Carlin

A True Story
Andy is my brother
Miller is his 2 year old son (which makes him my two year old nephew)
The following conversation is a transcript from last night and has not been altered in any way

Andy: What does a dog say?
Miller: Wolf wolf

Andy: What does a kitty say?
Miller: Meow

Andy: What does a duck say?
Miller: Quack quack

Andy: What does Mommy say?
Miller: I love you Miller

Andy: What does Grandma say?
Miller: HOLY SHIT!

Not only is the child brilliant - he's entertaining too!

Thursday, July 22, 2004

So the other night, I was outside reading when the phone rang. I picked up and was pleasantly surprised to hear Don's voice.

On Sunday, my Aunt Lynnie called out of the blue to say she was in St. Paul and hoping I'd be home so she (and her husband/kids) could stop by (YES!)

And yesterday, Lydia called me at work to waste some time durring a layover at the Minneapolis airport.

In case you lost count, that's THREE completely random phone calls from some of my favorite people! It makes me completely and throughly happy to talk to these folks (and in the midst of that overwhelming happiness I wonder why we don't make a point to talk/visit with more often).

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Quote-O-Rama Day 2
Some believe that there is a danger in playing with science and abstracting its metaphors because after a certain amount of stretch, the mataphors loose their reationship to the tight scientific theories that gave rise to them. But others would argue that all science is meaphor, a hypothetical descritpion of how to think of a reality we can never fully know. In seeking to play with the rich images coming out of new science, I share the sentiments of physicist Frank Oppenheimer: "If one has a new way of thinking, why not apply it wherever one's thought leads to? It is certainly entertaining to let oneself do so, but it is also often very illuminating and capable of leading to new and deep insights."
- Margaret Wheatly from Leadership and the New Science p. 15

Quote-O-Rama Day 2

Go ahead an be a snob. I'm a snob. If you didn't interest me I wouldn't give you the time of day. Being a snob isn't necessarily a bad thing. It can mean being unwilling to walk blindly though life instead of living it fully. Being unwilling to lose a sense of wonder. Being alive is a marvelous, precarious mystery, and few people appreciate it. Go on being a snob, as long as it keep your mind and heart alreat. It doesn't mean that you can't appreciate people who are different from you, or have different interests
- Max from Madeline L'Enlges book A House Like a Lotus
p/ 61

Tuesday, July 20, 2004


The more self-conscious we are – the more fragile our identity – the more we shut down the undermind. As people feel increasingly vulnerable, so their access to, and reliance on, information that is faint or fleeting declines. They become not just pphysically, but also mentally clumsy, losing access to the subtler ways of knowing.
p. 128 from Hare Brain, Tortise Mind by Guy Claxton


Nobody likes making mistakes

When self esteem is at stake, delicate unconscious forms of information and intelligence seem to be disabled or dismissed, and the way we act becomes clumsy and coarse. When w are less ‘on our best behaviour’. The glimmerings of knowledge from the undermind are more available to guide perception and action.

When we treat something as a ‘pure guess’ we do not feel responsible for it in the same way. We are freed to utter things that come to us ‘out of the blue’, because there is no apparent standard of correctness or success against which they, or we, will be judged.

P. 118

From Hare Brain, Tortise Mind by Guy Claxton

When no more urgent need is occupying your attention, it pays to extend your knowledge, and hence your competence and your security, by going out and actively exploring. So useful is this that evolution has installed it in many species as one of their basic drives. Rats who are allowed to become thoroughly familiar with a maze will quickly explore a new section that is added to it, even thought they are being consistently and adequately fed elsewhere. Monkeys kept in a box will spend hours fiddling with mechanical puzzles even thought they receive no reward for doing so. Human being who have volunteered to take part in a ‘sensory deprivation’ experiment, in which all they have to do, to earn forty dollars a day, is to stay in a room with no stimulation, rapidly become desperate for something – anything – to feed their minds, and will repeatedly press a button to hear a voice reading out-of-date stock market quotations
P 19


From the Moosewood Classics Cookbook

Leadership has little to do with title or chain of command. It is a quality that exists within every successful group. Several leaders among us with courage, creativity, self-discipline, principles, and willingness to learn, teach, support and share, have kept us going. Leadership emerges in the unplanned heroism and grace under fire that every one of us has shown at times. Leadership is irrepressible. It gets passed around depending on the task. Collective work doesn't automatically generate equal voices.

(After reading literally hundreds of articles and books on leadership, wouldn't you know that the most brilliant tidbit comes form a COOKBOOK!)

P.S. I love the Moosewood Cookbook.

Monday, July 19, 2004

How can I not feel like saying anything, and simeotaneously want to gab all night long?

* * * *

Life is good.
The YA Arts Camp was good.
The weather is (finally) good.
Summer has been VERY good
My 7th grade Enligh teacher hated the word "good" and tried vigilantly to eliminate it from my writing vocabulary. I didn't much like Mrs. Bafia.

* * * *

I remember reading somewhere about a tribe that thought the act of taking a photograph would steal a person's soul. My Arts Day Camp had a photographer, (and a dancer, an Indian folk artist, a poet, a story teller, a musician, and a science artist). It was a great week -- but somehow writing about it would cheapen the experience (or "steal the soul" if you will). Maybe in a few days . . .

* * *

Consider youself warned -- tomorrow will be a "Quote-O-Rama" kind of day. Bring a comfy chair and snacks if you want to marathon through it!

Transporting a busload of kids to an auditorium and putting on a show only offers a superficial connection to the arts event and in many cases, it only acts to further alienate young audiences from the arts.  Without a context for the experience, the concert, play, or opera is an isolated incident at best and boring at worst - William J. Byrnes 
from Management and the Arts p. 59

Does anyone else smell a thesis topic hiding somewhere in that quote?

Heard on the Radio
by Ann Reed
  Sojurner Truth, Eleanor Roosevelt, Katherine Hepburn, Sally Ride, Susan B. Anthony, Harriet, Tubman, Annie Sullivan, Gertrude Stein, Coretta Scott King, Amelia Earhart, Lillian Hellman, Eartha Kitt, Sacajewea, Ella Fitzgerald, Golda Meir, Dorothy Dix, Louisa May Alcott, Billie Jean King, Emily Dickinson, Lucy Stone, Margaret Sanger, Clara Barton, Billie Holiday, Juliette Low, Elizabeth Blackwell, Rosa Parks, Lena Horne, Beverly Sills, Barbara Jordan, Helen Keller, Indira Gandhi, Agens DeMille, Corazon Aquino, Gloria Steinem, Rachel Carson, Joan of Arc, Babe Zaharias, Marlene Deitrich, Anne Frank, Simone de Beauvoir  

  What can I learn from youIn your lifetime,
In what you've been through
How'd you keep your head up and hold your pride
In an insane world how'd you keep on tryin'
One life can tell the tale
That if you make the effort, you can not fail
By your life you tell me it can be done
By your life's the courage to carry on

Read more at Ann Reed Song Lyrics

Atheists Endorse Kerry The   Godless Americans Political Action Committee has endorsed John Kerry for president.  (I'm greatly amused by the existance of a PAC for a godless America.  Mention of such an endorsement on my site is neither an personal endorsement or dis-endoresement of GAPAC's  organization (or their endoresment of Kerry).  But it made me giggle!

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Give 'em Hell Harry

I don't give them hell, I only tell the truth and they think it's hell. - Harry S. Truman

Saturday, July 10, 2004


Today's project - thesis brainstorming and researching places to do my final internship. (And trying to get excited about it - Ho Hum).

If anyone has a great idea for a thesis topic, please leave a comment below. And if you have a Not-So-Great idea for a thesis topic, leave a comment too ('cause bad ideas sometimes lead to good ideas!)

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Removal of the Central Bridge )-:

The Next Nine Months

You would not believe how much work is involved for the last six credits of this degree. Right now I feel as inadequate and overwhelemed as I did at the begining of this program.

You may recall that I began working on pieces of the thesis last summer.

In the fall, a wild rummor began circulating that people would not be allowed to use work from the summer as a topic for the final thesis. (But I wasn't worried - - The Dean of the program SAID we could double dip on this assingment).

This week that evil rummor was confirmed.
SO . . . I'm searching for a new thesis topic, and basically starting over. [sad face]

I've spoken extensively with my advisor (and tried to act brave, even if the thesis thing scares me silly!) It's just not possible to finish by December -- so I'm going back to my very first original plan (as opposed to the second & third original plans). Graduation should happen in Spring '05 (IF I survive).

This is nice in that it extends my summer break, gives me time to re-coop from the last year (a very crappy year indeed). And schedule-wise will allow me to play in the symphony next fall (YIPPE!)

BUT, it's bad 'cause it means I have to start the whole thesis brainstorming process over again, AND am forced to spend another winter in a frigid climate. (I like Minnesota, and could probably endure the cold, snow, cold and ice IF the streets got plowed)

There are a thousand things more that I want to chat about, but it's time to stop.
Good Night.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Saddam is a Romantic Novelist!

Did 'ya know that Saddam H. is a published author?
For the last eight years, Saddam Hussein has been carving out an alternative career as a writer of romantic and fantasy fiction, full of thinly veiled political allegory, grandiose rhetoric and autobiography. He has published four novels in less than five years - prolific for someone whose day job was, presumably, fairly demanding. [more]

Link via What Happens When You Tell a Lie?

Geeky Ramblings

Traditional "strategic" business planning is a cumbersome process that large enterprises do because, if you're steering a giant unmanoeverable oil tanker, you need to know hours, even days in advance precisely when and how much to turn the wheel or you'll end up catastrophically off course. Natural enterprise needs to plan, of course, but it has the opportunity, and the strategic advantage, of being able to do so quickly, even spontaneously.[more]

YES! Yes yes yes yes! That helps articulate my frustration with project management (and more specifically a certain project manager/officemate). Planning certainly has a place - but so does just "doing" something.
More on this later . . .

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

The Infinate Cat Project

It all began innocently enough when a user on an Apple help forum posted a picture of his cat, Frankie, contemplating the beauty of a flower. Shortly afterwards another user posted a picture of his cat, Sammy, bristling at the image of Frankie on the monitor. I decided this was too much fun and advanced the concept as The Infinite Cat Project, which is, simply, cats regarding cats regarding cats.

Start Here and then click on "Next Cat" in the upper right corner. It will provide at least 5 good minutes of wholesome entertainment!

Monday, July 05, 2004

Morning Giggle!

Q: What do you call a fake noodle?

A: An Im-Pasta

(stop groaning - that's FUNNY!)

Handy Dandy Tip!

No matter how you twist/wiggle/manuver/contort yourself, there's simply not enough room in your standard port-a-potty for a violin AND a person.
Plan Accordingly!

Saturday, July 03, 2004

End of an Era

Once I smoked a Danneman cigar,
I drove my father's car.
Baby that was years ago.
I left it all behind

Had a friend, I heard she died
On a needle she was crucified
Baby that was years ago
I left it all behind . . .
From Cheap Wine by Cold Chisel

While I learned *how* to drive on a cute '86 Fierro in parking lots, most of my actual ROAD learning happend in a black 1990 Ford Ranger Pick Up (nicknamed "Da truck"). All the VW teenagers learned how to drive on the truck.

My parents, in the infinate wisome, purhased this vehicle with teenager-proofing in mind. Small engine, safe, cheap to insure, safe, slow, safe, limited room for passengers, safe, no power, (and did I mention SAFE?)

The truck provided my frist real escape from home and a pseudo-independence-mobile (when I could get permission to drive it). It was the only place I could listen to Cold Chissel (a musically excellent band, but lyrically not something to play around your mother or 6 year old brother).

Back in the day, Andy and I used the truck to haul lawnmowers around town, making REAL money cutting grass for the little old ladies of Mt. Greenwood. (Lawn mowing paid SO MUCH better than baby sitting!) We had two lawnmowers - so Andy and I would both mow, then he would weed-wack while I talked to the little old ladies. Work-wise it was not a fair division of labor, but they always tipped better when I collected the money and talked to them!!)

The truck was Andy's secret smoking place, Kristie's party-mobile, and Jon's House-of-Love. And today, they're selling the truck )-:
With over 200,000 miles, more rust than metal, dents and scratches contributed by all the VW children, and still smellling of smoke they'll get less than $100.

We comfort ourselves by believing that the truck will go to a farm somewhere to chase horses and butterflies in green pastures.
It's a good truck!