Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Take your life in your own
hands and what happens?
A terrible thing: no one to blame.

- Erica Jong

Coming to you LIVE . . .From my very own, BRAND NEW computer!!!
I've named her "Milley".
She is georgeous, and beautiful, and super duper fast!
(hee hee and she's MINE . . . ALL MINE!!)

Monday, August 30, 2004

Pondering CD Mortality

Andrew Druckenbrod is dismayed to learn that his precious CDs may be self-destructing. "Indeed, what does it say that a music box metal disc made 150 years ago or a paper piano roll from the turn of the previous century may outlive a digital product of today? It makes me want to pack a 19th-century survival kit: Dangnabit, where are my lard candles, salt pork and wool undergarments?" [full article]
Via ArtsJournal

Jo is Leaving!

Jo is the Executive Director at Young Audiences of Minnesota.
Can I tell you how terriffic Jo is?

She has taught me so much about me, about life, and about Arts Admin (in that order). She offered me a job (and subsiquent "promotions"). I love Jo. I love the way she leads, I love the way she supervises, and I love the way she works.
But Jo has submitted her 30 day notice.
Sad day. Very sad )-:

Sunday, August 29, 2004

For years I've used the Beg/borrow/steal method to meet all my computing needs. This meant checking e mail at work, borrowing my brother's computer, working in labs, and just making do with word processors/webtv.

For the most part - it's worked dandy. But now Phil's computer is living with him in Pella, complicating things a bit. The Word-Processor/webtv/computer-lab method is really not conducive to Thesis researching or writing, SO I cracked and ordered my very own computer; it should be here early next week (I know, I know "Welcome to the '80s!" What can I say, I'm a looser). New computer is going to have a 17 inch monitor (YIPEE!!) New computer will arrive on Tuesday. Feel free to get excited!

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Please Excuse Me While I Have an Junior-High-esque-Feminist Moment
Girls Rule
Boys Drool!
We now return you to your regularly scheduled programing (-:

Mimas, one of Saturn's moons was photographed by the Cassini telescope last month. Now, I'm a bit behind on my NASA news, so it's possible that you've already seen this picture, but if you haven't . . . check it out. Creepy eh?!

Full Article

Thursday, August 26, 2004

FUN FACT: "Najaf" means "dry river." Of course, there's no way to maneuver "swift boats" in a so-called "dry river". What, then, do swift boats have to do with the important developments taking place in Najaf right this very moment? Oh, wait, wait, wait..."swift boats" have nothing whatsoever to do with Iraq, the U.S. economy, healthcare, the American class system, or other issues pertaining to a race for the presidency of the United States. Hell, swift boats don't even have anything to do with gay marriage or constitutional amendments.
From Low Culture

Playing with my template - - please bear with me -- comment if you see something you like!

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

[insert evil, sinister laugh here]
OK boys and girls, here it is, what you've all been waiting for, the Step by Step Guide to Joining the Forces of Darkness
To begin your evil career you must choose an evil name for yourself. Something that will cause millions to tremble and be forever burned into their fragile minds. A name so horrible and vast that children will weep at its very pronouncement and none will dare say it lest they be cursed throughout the ages. Choose carefully, because this is what the world will know you as, and it's hell getting changed so you won't want to do this twice. . . . Believe it or not, you don't always need a big flash name - it just helps. And should you so choose, your birth name should be just enough to inspire fear in all humanity. Examples include: Bill Gates, Walt Disney, Pat Robertson.

Link Via Reflections in d minor

Monday, August 23, 2004

Once upon a time there was a tube of lipstick that was very, very sad . . But that's not the story I want to tell!

This should be the story where Phil moves into his room in the not-so-beautiful Gaas Hall - but that's not interesting. (The first 2-3 weeks of college are just awkward and lonely and confusing - - memeories I had completely forgotten until I watched Phil try to open his mail box for the first time, and hundreds of freshman lugging boxes up the stairs!)

This is the story of bumping into Dr. Roe and his welcoming me to Central. (Not welcoming me back as an alum, not welcoming me back as an upperclassman, but saying "Welcome" to me as if I were a freshman! I know I'm rather immature and look kinda young, but do I really look like I'm 18??)

This is the story of Sue C. - - Sue gets a paycheck for being the secreatry of the Central College Music Department - - -but she is really the Central College Fairy God Mother. Sue is on the super duper kidney list. If you wanna know what's great about Central, just need to visit with Sue for a while. I love Sue!

This is the story of Charlee - who i didn't get to see this weekend - who is my fiddle buddy. (She plays a mean Bach Double lemme tell you!) A reliable source (Sue) tells me that Charlee has a beautiful baby girl. Geez Ms. Charlee - we need to catch up!

This story is about a couple of crazy 9 year olds that decided they wanted to join the West Des Moines orchestra. These children were unfortunate enough to have *ME* as their first teacher. It's really COOL to play a string instrument when you are in 4th grade - you get to miss class time, play concerts, carry an instrument on the bus, and just be cool!
The problem comes in 5th grade when suddenly orchestra becomes slightly less popular and band becomes the thing for all the cool kids to do. BUT there are always a group of dedicated kids that decide to buck the popularity trend to become orchestra snobs - - They are MY children. (And lemme tell you, they are some of the most amazing kids you'll ever meet. I'm glad they stuck with me, and I'm glad they let me hang out with them ever once in a while. (And even if they didn't play in orchestra, they'd be pretty spiffy!)

This is the story of the Mongolian Grill, My sister (and her big screen high def. television!), ice cream, bookstores, Wilemenia pepermints and Jarrsam's bakery.

This is the story of a very good weekend!!
The End

Daniel Barenboim's West-Eastern Divan Orchestra is a youth ensemble comprised of equal numbers of jews and arabs. "This orchestra cannot perform in Jerusalem, for fear of disruption, or worse, from one set of extremists or another. This orchestra has never performed in any of the countries from which its members are drawn. Last year there was a single, heavily guarded, performance in Rabat in Morocco - the only one to date in an Arab city. Security for these youngsters, as they make their way to and from their homes, is such a problem that on occasion the Spanish government has even provided diplomatic passports. And - most chillingly of all - the concert programme contains no names." [more]

via ArtsJournal

Friday, August 20, 2004

Project Vote Smart has a list of all the canidates for president and VP, as well as important facts (like George Bush's favorite ice cream flavor is Pralines and Cream; and John Kerry has a pet canary named Sunshine)

Naming a yellow canary "sunshine" shows an astounding lack of creativity (as does Pralines and Cream). I'm thinking The National Barking Spider Resurgence Party, wins the creativity contest. That canidate has an "inscrutable pet rock" named Seymour.

Maybe next week I'll have something interesting to say (maybe not).

Thursday, August 19, 2004

The Blogger Bar is Gone! (Ta da! I suddenly feel so technologically competent!) Actually, I'm just as clueless as before. Anyone can pretend to know something about website stuff AND get rid of Blogger Bar by stumbling upon this site. The simple fix is listed in the comments!

The Question Has Been Asked
Why is there so little classical music available on commercial download services? "This is a missed opportunity and it shows the difficulty the downloading revolution has in coping with classical music's enormous back catalogue and the stream of new releases

When the selection seems lacking, though, it's easy to assume that classical downloads simply aren't as financially important to huge record conglomerates. But that's not necessarily true. The market share for downloading classical music is two to three times higher than classical music's normal market share, said Jonathan Gruber, the London-based vice-president for new media for Universal Classics and Jazz International [full article]

I wholeheartedly agree.
It is impossible to find good classical music online - even standard repitoire isn't avaliable ("Pop-Classical Music" (aka Taco Bell Cannon) doesn't count). A classical (and maybe folk) music service (which had "real" music) would do quite well for itself. (at least from me!)
Article via ArtsJournal

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

She stands
before the abortion clinic,
confounded by the lack of choices.
In the Welfare line,
reduced to the pity of handouts.
Ordained in the pulpit, shielded
by the mysteries.
In the operating room,
husbanding life.
In the choir loft,
holding God in her throat.
On lonely street corners,
hawking her body.
In the classroom, loving the
children to understanding.

Centered on the world's stage,
she sings to her loves and beloveds,
to her foes and detractors;
However I am perceived and deceived,
however my ignorance and conceits,
lay aside your fears that I will be undone,

for I shall not be moved.

-Maya Angelou
excerpted from Our Grandmothers

George Bush is speaking here tonight
Just down the street from where I work.
I can understand why there is a massive police presence.
I can understand why there are crowds of people.
I can undersatnd why roads are blocked off.
I can understand why there is a police dog sniffing everything around here.
BUT WHY are the *10* dump trucks full of sand sitting out there?
I'm not making this up - it's a werid werid sight.
(BTW - the bomb sniffing dog looks like he's really tired of this game - - I think he has stoped smelling and is just pretending to make the cop happy. I watched him sniff three of those dumptrucks and by the third one he was just faking it - - if a bomb goes off tonight, you'll know why!)

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

I often fear that I sound like one of Those Parents, boasting incessantly about my child's wit and brilliance while pretending to be modest, thereby causing you, the reader, to want to smack me. As an antidote, this column will be devoted to my fear that I am raising a sociopath.

We are in tantrum hell. On a recent flight, after a delightful visit with Jonathan's family in Los Angeles, as we congratulated ourselves in Dennis-Miller-ish preening self-satisfaction about how easygoing and well behaved our daughter had been for a solid week — which clearly was the case because we are such sensational parents — we experienced the Biggest Chaleria-Fit Ever. It was like watching Naomi Campbell learn that she'd have to share a dressing room.

from Josie and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day(s)

FanFare and General Hoopla Abounds!

I have an internship (-: (-: (-:

(This means I can spend more than 240 hours working for free in a position for which I am overqualified JUST so I can write a really long thesis that three people will read.)

And I am * * THRILLED * * !!!!

The internship will be with VocalEssence - As the name implies it's a choral group. But their education program has a multidisciplinary approach which makes up for the fact that they're all singers (-:

The thesis (which is actually more of an extended research paper) has a working title -
Assessment of Cultural Outreach and Education: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

(Impressive eh?) It is NOT going to be about the importance of arts education (been there done that. Blah blah blah.) Instead, I want to know what makes a good, successful education program. (Hypothesis is that
Good Programs have lots of contact with professional artists, and are focused on processes not products.
Bad Programs are the well intentioned ones that bus kids to a matinee performance of the Nutcracker every December because "Otherwise these kids would never get to see a ballet." (ugh!)
The Ugly Ones are actually marketing gimics cleverly disguised as educational programing. Students are brought to performances with the aim of eventually turning them (and perhaps their parents) into partrons.

There's lot of potiential to do all kinds of grad school things (statistics and such) and I'm excited enough about the topic to not get burned out too quicky. The "Secret Dream in the Back of My Mind" is that perhaps a condensed version of this 'lil book report would be appropriate for an article in Teaching Artist Journal - but that's a premature dream.

And in case you're wondering, VocalEssence has a "Good" educational program. Which (combined with the free parking thing and the fact that Peter Schickele is on their honarary board of directors!) is why I am excited to be a temporary part of their organization!

Monday, August 16, 2004

Bad moods are inversely proportional to the number of orchestra rehearsals/performances that week. (I have anecdotial evidence to prove it - including my current crummy mood of last week which coincided with me not playing at all!)

So I practiced yesterday morning.
And life got better.

Exhibit #1
I currently have one private student - a retired woman who is fulfilling a life long dream to play the violin. She's my first adult student, and I LOVE IT! After eight months, she's already playing the Bach Musette (quite nicely I might add!)

She paid me for the next couple of lessons, plus an extra gift for being a wonderful teacher! I'm rich (in terms of money and self esteem!)

Exhibit #2
Young Audiences bumped me up to 22 hours a week so they could pay 1/2 my health insurance! YIPEE!! (The Little Academy made me pay ALL my health insurance - - It's not so much a "money thing" as it is a respect/value thing - 'ya know?)

Exhibit #3
This morning I sent off an e mail to someone about another internship opportunity. It's with a smaller local organization. It's not exactly what I want (as far as organizational prestige goes) but it *is* what I want in terms of work. Less than 2 hours later the woman e mailed me back to say she'd LOVE to work with me! [insert big sigh of relief here]

*AND* (added bonus) this particular organization has offices in a building with a parking lot. (Yes boys and girls, that means FREE PARKING for my whole entire internship - I am salavating at the mere thought!) I will meet later this week and hopefully this will work out. (Fingers crossed!)

The moral of the story . . . Make Music = Be Happy!

Sunday, August 15, 2004

It's been my policy to view the internet
not as an 'information highway' but as
an electronic asylum filled with babbling loonies
- Mike Royko

And to think, Royko didn't even live to see the advent of blogs. The man was truly a genuis ahead of his time.

Friday, August 13, 2004

No one wants an education intern.
They want a development intern - they want special event interns - they want secretarial interns - - but that's not what I WANT TO DO WITH MY LIFE.

The deadline for SMU registration is Monday, and there's no way I'm gonna have anything by then.
So I donno what's gonna happen.
Maybe they'll let me register late
Maybe they won't
Maybe graduation gets pushed back (again?)
Maybe I just quit and live with 9/10th of a degree
Or maybe I just bite the bullet and do a useless internship in development or data entry (no no no please no!)

I know my advisor will have a million suggestions for things I don't want to do (i.e. development --- someone just shoot me now. It's not funny anymore - I want to do SOMETHING and can't get anything (not a job, not an internship, nothing). People won't even hire me to work FOR FREE!

YES - I'm pouting and feeling sorry for myself. After enduring over two dozen rejections with a fairly sunny disposition, I'm entitled to mope a bit.

The People's Camera
(This one is especially for you Miss Ryan!)
For those who want to explore Mars but can't wait for a spacecraft to take them there, NASA scientists have reformulated a website that lets the general public search data and images from previous missions.

The Article

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Now THAT'S An Efficient Use of Space!

Add a little life to your bathroom with this live aquarium, Aquariass by Oliver Beckert. The fully functioning tank fits American Standard bowls. Custom bowl installation is available. This piece is made to order, so please allow 10-12 weeks for delivery. The Aquariass measures 22" x 14" x 9" deep, 1.6 gpf.(federal standard), 3/8" acrylic tank. Fish and aquarium components sold separately.
(Ordering information avaliable here

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Hot Chocolate in August?
Yes! It 53 degrees here (and very cloudy I might add!)
What happened to summer?
There is actually a tree on my street that has started to change colors (just a little patch - but are trees really allowed to change color in AUGUST?)

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Bill Cosby and Barack Obama are both wrong.

Few people reading this are looking for a treatise on Africian American Education in America. (And most people stoping by right now are more interested in learning about Rev. Dr. Larry Spiceboy than my personal opinions) But this is important, so I'm going to tell you about it, even if you don't care!

98% of my students at The Little Academy were Africian American, and a lot of them were performing below grade level - so I have a bit of experience in this area. But let's put the blame where it belongs - - it's not a race thing - it's a *POVERTY* thing. The problems Bill Cosby and Barak mentioned are not limited to the Africian American community. White and Hispanic cultures have the same issues when there is poverty. Generational Poverty is it's own culture - and the values of that culture are SO different from the values of the middle class. Until "they" understand that, we can not make any kind of effective change.

It's really difficult for your typical middle class person to understand poverty. I've gone to several workshops on it (and worked in the culture for two years) and still fall into the trap of middle class thinking on the issue. There are a lot of differences, but the one most relevant to this conversation is the view on education.

We all know that "Education is the way out." Politicians know it, middle class voters know it, and Africian American parents on welfare know it. But that doesn't mean that those parents want their kids to get a super education. In the culture of Generational Poverty (white poverty, black poverty, hispanic poverty) PEOPLE are most important. Family and friends are important enough to hold on to forever (that's why women won't report abuse or a deadbeat dad - that would betray the PEOPLE). If your kid gets an education, he might leave.

Our current education system is designed for middle and upper class kids. It is created to meet their needs while simeotaneously keeping the poor populatons in exactly the same place. (If you don't believe me, think about the Property Tax system that funds our public schools, and compare the tax base of the ghetto with the glitzy suburb across the tracks).

Until politicians (and police, and teachers, and voters) start to really understand poverty, the achivement gap will continue, because that is what we want. We the middle class folk, don't want to pay a higher tax burden to educate someone else's kid (and create potential competition for your kid). The parents living in poverty don't want out kids to be smart enough to go away.

There's a lot more to the culture of poverty (like fate, forgiveness, community, entertainment, philosophy of spending). But that would take several workshops and a couple of years to explain, and we already know that most people here aren't interested in this - and that makes me kinda sad.

Bill Cosby to Blacks

A Framework for Understanding Poverty by Ruby Payne

PDF summarizing Ruby Payne's work

Saturday, August 07, 2004

The Dakota Valley Symphony's final summer concert is TONIGHT!
If you happen to be in the area,
And happen to have an expendable $15,
And have nothing to do,
You should come!
It's gonna be GREAT! (for 3 reasons)

1. It's inside, so the orchestra can actually HEAR what we're doing
(what a concept)

2. Last night's rehearsal had some scarey bad moments moments
(bad dress = GREAT performance!)

3. The orchestra, chorus, and singers are really enjoying themselves - the concert is going to be FUN for us (which usually means the audience has fun!)

The concert is at Prince of Peace church in Burnsville (right near the hospital - - in fact I drove past it three times last night because I thought it WAS the hospital!)
Admission is $15, doors open at 7:30, repitoire consists of everything from the regular concerts plus 4 more pieces with our guest artists, and a couple of extra tunes.

UPDATE: If you weren't there last night - you missed out. This concert ROCKED! (You didn't know a symphony orchestra could rock did you? Neither did our audience [average age =102]). It was absolutely the BEST concert I've ever gotten to be a part of. WOW!

Thursday, August 05, 2004

hee hee - I know Dr. Larry's last name.
Maybe I should consider a career in the rewarding field of internet stalking.
(No, that would require re-doing my resume again, and I'm just not up for that).

If you are one of the people looking for a hint, try here.
(it's just a hint - be prepared to read a little!)

The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra is not interested in having me as their an education intern )-:
This rejection thing is getting old.

My Theme Song of the Moment - LIFE

How many times have you been pushed around
was anybody there
does anybody care

And how many times have your friends let you down
was anybody there
did anybody stare

How many times have your friends let you down
just open up your heart
just open up your mind

And how many times has your faith slipped away
well is anybody safe
does anybody pray

Life is waiting for you, so messed up but we're alive

Life is waiting for you, it's all messed up but we'll survive

- Life
by Our Lady Peace

This song is brought to you as a part of the Jaggey Bunnet Go-Out-And-Listen-To-These-Songs-Dammit series.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Word Domination
In that world, which is the proper written English: that of the Queen or that of her most loutish of offspring, America?
Is it absolutely necessary that the US exert its will in everything? When it comes to spelling, might the US simply acquiesce?
Americans need not adopt German, French or Cantonese, but rather alter the way a handful of words are spelled (or, perhaps, spelt). It is, after all, the English language, not the American one.

From the Marketing Profs article Which Spelling Should We Use in a Global Neighbourhood?

Last night I dreamed I was pregnant and in labor. This morning cousin Stephie had a baby boy. (Only Stephie is much stronger - she did it in real life without pain meds. My dream required drugs!)

But check this out - Ryan John's birthday (08/03) is going to be the reciprocial of *MY* birthday (03/08). Cool eh?

Monday, August 02, 2004

I've spent way too much time wondering how/why they chose JANEY over me. (Yes I am THAT stuck up and vain). She is a better player but I am a better teacher. I'm more bothered by my lack of graciousness than by not landing the job.