Saturday, October 30, 2004

Oatmeal with Keats
I eat oatmeal for breakfast.
I make it on the hot plate and put skimmed milk on it.
I eat it alone.
I am aware it is not good to eat oatmeal alone.
Its consistency is such that is better for your mental health if somebody eats it with you.
That is why I often think up an imaginary companion to have breakfast with.
Possibly it is even worse to eat oatmeal with an imaginary companion.
Nevertheless, yesterday morning, I ate my oatmeal porridge, as he called it with John Keats.
Keats said I was absolutely right to invite him:

Read the Rest (don't worry it's short!)

Whoo Hoo!
The story of today is so crazy -- you won't believe it!!
It is an exciting story, and things are moving quickly -
VERY quickly!
Stay tuned - the story will continue (conclude?) on Tuesady
And it might even have a wildly happy ending.
I'm not gong to say anything else for fear of jinxing the story
(Stranger things have happened).
Cross your fingers and come back on Tuesday afternoon/evening!

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Are you tired of listening to me whine about YA?
Yeah – me too.
So I'll stop (at least for today!)

Today I will be happy, and write about happy things.
It's actually easy to be happy tonight because Messiah Rehearsals start tonight - YIPEE!!

And now I will bore you all to tears by babbling about Messiah things (I feel like being chatty and this is all I have to chat about at the moment!)

My parents first took me to hear the Messiah when I was in 6th grade. The Grawbergs were singing in the chorus with the Chicago Symphony and they got us cheap tickets. Jenette B. (just back from years and years in the sweltering deserts of Oman) came with us as well. She insisted on wearing a skirt to the concert and almost froze to death walking around in a Chicago winter. Jeanette didn't like the way my father drove in the parking ramps (think roller coasters) and threated to tell his mother! Jeanette really deserves a whole seperate blog entry (maybe someday I'll write about her). There is already a book about her life (and little 'ole me even gets a mention in the intro -- you didn't know I was famous did you?!)

So, that night, I fell in love with the Messiah.
Up until then, i'd been a strictly-Beethoven-kind-of-girl (the metamorphisis to a strictly-Beethoven-and-Messiah-kind-of-girl was hardly life changing!!)

Good night everyone, I'm off to rehearsal!

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

There is a beautiful eclipse happening right this very minute. But you can't tell because of the dumb clouds. (Pout!)

Blog Policy
This blog operates under a "good name policy" -- which means if I write something bad or mean about someone, the name of that person will (usually) be changed.

(The Little Academy is a good example. I will never be referd to by its actual name, it will forever be "The Little Academy").

To maintian the good name policy of this blog, the organization for which I work, will henceforth be refered to only as "YA".

In the next couple of days I hope to go through the arcives from the last few months and replace any mention of "that" organization with the new 'good name policy' of "YA". (Appologies to any RSS readers that will now be forced to re-read old posts - just think of it as an "encore presentation" !!

Monday, October 25, 2004

One Step Forward - Seven Steps Back
Remember that job - -?
(the one where I would be doing some slave grunt work, but also doing the exact things that I wanted to do . . .)
Today I found out the person offering me the job didn’t have the authority to do so.
There is no job and - unless the boss is inclined to find money - there will be no job.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

The Fart Book and Other Things
1. My adult violin student will be starting Wolfhart etudes this morning. [insert evil teacher laugh!] I warned her that horrible awful things were headed her way, but the poor unsuspecting woman said "bring it on!" (If only she knew . . . those of you who do know can be sympahtetic. She'll appriciate it after I torture her with #13!

2. Iowa All State Auditions are today. Iowa All State is a tough gig to land if you live in the Central Region (damn Prucell kids). Miss Ryan (who reffered to the Wolfhart Etudes as "The Fart Book") will be auditioning today. Of course she will play beautifully (6 years of Wolfhart guarentees it!) Anxiously awaiting results!

Friday, October 22, 2004

You can try to think up some elegant sophisticated description for today (dank, dreary, cold & rainy) but the only completely accurate description for today’s weather is “ICKY!”

It’s fun how kids pick up words and assign meaning to them based on their own logic.(If you’ve read the Ramona Quimby books, you might remember Ramona coming to the conclusion that a “dawnzer” is a fancy word for lamp). As a kid, I thought “blasphemous” was word that described icky weather (like today’s). Which brings back a funny memory (funny only in retrospect).

- The scene -

It’s an icky fall day like today. Julie is in Mrs. Homan’s 1st grade class (room 10) and we are having our morning classroom meeting. (In the classroom meeting we would do the calendar, talk about the weather, assign classroom jobs for the day, count to 100, etc.)

On this day (like every other day) Mrs. Homan asked the class about the weather. (She was looking for simple words like “rainy” “cold” or “cloudy.”) 6 year old Julie raises her hand and announces that it is a “blasphemous” day.

Mrs. Homan was an awesome first grade teacher. She didn’t laugh (although she might have smiled) and asked me what that meant. (I felt so smart!) I explained that it meant “cold and kinda rainy without actually raining, and windy and dark – all at the same time.” (I remember it vividly!) Mrs. Homan (being the super first grade teacher she was) suggested we use those words for our weather chart instead of “blasphemous”. Afterwards quietly pulled me aside and said that it wasn’t a very nice word and not to say it (from that point on I thought “blasphemous” was a swear word that described icky weather. It wasn’t until 7th grade that I learned the real definition.) But I like my meaning better.
Today is most definitely a blasphemous today.

(And I don’t like YA - but that's irrelevant and 'ya already know that).

Thursday, October 21, 2004

My Fellow (Non)Americans . . .
My dear, beloved Brits,
I understand the Guardian is sponsoring a service where British citizens write to Americans to advise them on how to vote. Thank heavens! I was adrift in a sea of confusion and you are my beacon of hope!

Feel free to respond to this email with your advice. Please keep in mind that I am something of an anglophile, so this is not confrontational. Please remember, too, that I am merely an American. That means I am not very bright. It means I have no culture or sense of history. It also means that I am barely literate, so please don't use big, fancy words.

More on the Guardian project
More reply letters

Via Arts &Letters Daily

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

It's October 2004 - I feel like quitting my job and stoping the blog. (There's nothing remarkable to wriet about anyway

In October 2003 I quit the blog and tried to leave my job.

In October 2001 I wasn't blogging, but I decided to leave my WDM job (and I did quit WVC).

Maybe it's not me.

Maybe it's October's fault.

Really don't like the YA job right now.
Really really really don't like it.

This really makes me mad. I've never been a single issue voter, but every young, healthy, and not pregnant member of congress that gets a flu shot should be kicked out of office and shiped to Siberria.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004


Christmas is not my favorite holiday.
It isn't even my second, or third favorite holiday.

In fact, if I I were ranking holidays in terms of favorite-ness, Christmas would be in the bottom quartile of holiday-favorite-ness

The one redeming quality of Christmas is Christmas music.
I love Christmas Music (all year round) and can't wait until October when Christmas Music starts to become avaliable!

Today I got my first Christmas CD of the season! (yipee!!)
It's the VocalEssence Welcome Christmas, and it is fabulous!
(Complementary CD's are just as nice as comp. tickets!!)
It's playing as I type. Good stuff!
Highly recomended (if you like Christmas Music or Christmas!)

Monday, October 18, 2004

Bug Me Not.Com great idea!

Sunday, October 17, 2004

The whole wide world is gracefully swimming through life, while I flail, splash, and self conciously convluse on the edge beach.

(OK OK - maybe not the whole world-- there are some practically dead fish flapping on the beach along with hermit crabs, and a grouchy lifeguard- - but they don't count!)

* * *

Until recently, I generally enjoyed working at YA - - there were a few bumps and some stressful deadlines - - but things were mostly good. It was not a job I'd want to keep forever - but it was a nice gig"for now".

Now that Jo is gone, things have gotten consderably less enjoyable.
Suddenly I'm getting lectured for my "attitude" and "inappropriate comments." The person that has taken over as my temporary-supervisor likes to interupt me while I'm talking, and says "You know" at the end of every sentence. 3 different people think they are my boss, and none of them really knows what I'm doing. My opinions no longer matter and the new boaard president is talking about bringing in more volunteers to do the jobs that I usually do.

General morale among my co-workers is also low.
Part of it is just the natural "mourning" from Jo's departure.
Part of it is normal frustrations that come with a growing board of directors.
Part of it is trying to run a 7 person office with 5 people.
This is normal, and almost predictable.
But it still sucks.

It's hard to know where to step without being attacked by a rabbid hermit crab. I don't wanna go to YA tomorrow.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

I should be doing 17 million things right now – all at once.
But I can’t do it all.
So instead I’m ignoring it, and playing here.
Overwhelmed is never good.
Ignoring the problem is a nice solution!

A former student just told me to question authority.
heehee too funny!
I think she wants to vote vicariously through me!
(Don’t mess with my vote Steph).

TK has gone comment happy.
That’s good – I like comments!
He once told me that he doesn’t vote.
(Steph should use him as her vicarious-vote-person)
('Cause she 'aint goona mess with my vote!!!)

Steph is going to homecoming.
With a *senior* (AND he’s a theater guy)
She doesn’t know that I know – but I know.
(Don’t keep secrets from me !)

I have a date this weekend too!
How exciting! It’s with a bank guy.
(Not as exciting as theater guy --- but still exciting!)
I don’t know how long it’s been since my last date - - -
Well….. actually I do know - -

It was a blind date.
And we made the big mistake of talking politics and religion.
Not on purpose - - but he was catholic, it was Friday and it was lent.
So religion came up quite naturally (as I enjoyed a delicious cheeseburger and he had a meat-less salad!)
We tried to change the subject, but somehow started talking politics.
He was very cute – but incredibly closed minded.
It wasn’t pretty
Mr. Landolt stopped being nice to me after that.
(Catholic Fascist Boy was Mr. Landolt’s son)
Mr. Landolt was the PE teacher and my closet of a classroom was right by the gym.
So we kept each other company and were buddies
Until I called his son a closed minded facist
(Maybe not the best move on my part - but I thought humor would diffuse the situation)
No one was happier than me when Mr. Landolt retired.

There is a cello recital today in my building..
Steph plays cello
(I don’t think this is a coincidence!)
I would skip lunch to go listen, but I can't (more on that later)
My portfolio includes the cutest picture of Steph and her cello.
She isn’t playing her cello (of course) but she’s having a lotta fun posing for the camera!

Steph’s buddy Ryan is also a former student.
Ryan is auditioning for All State Next weekend.
I don’t know if she will make All State,
But I do know she is going to play a great audition.
Send warm fuzzy thoughts to Ryan.
I hate auditions.
No one claps for you, and people count your mistakes.
Music should not be about counting mistakes.

That’s all I have.
Have a lovely day.
Stay warm.
The End.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004


Most of 'ya don't live close enough to care - - but this is an important website, so I'm posting it. Besides, I like the T-shirt.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004


President Bush talks about how hard it is to make the decision to send soldiers into harm’s way, although he says it has to be done when our values are at stake. Meanwhile, he says abortion is simply wrong. Through this statement, he is trivializing the hard decision that women sometimes feel they have to make in order to preserve the things of value in their lives and the lives of children. Most women would prefer any other type of birth control to abortion– like war, it is viewed as a last resort, in a time when values are dangerously threatened.
The fact is that war and abortion are both equally necessary, at times . . .

The rest of Marijo's very eloquent post is here

Monday, October 11, 2004

We can always rationalize
why we lie to our enemies.
Why do we lie to our children.
We give peave a chance
when we give thruth a chance

J. Otis Powell

Story Time
Back in the day (about 6 months ago), when I taught at The Little Academy I had a couple of songs that the kids LOVED.
One of which was a Billy Jonas tune called "Old St. Helen"

(Note to all general music and elementary classroom teachers - YOU MUST pick up this Billy Jonas CD - lots of good songs that will be more helpful than you can imagine!)

"Old St. Helen" is a great song for two reasons
1. It is easy to learn (every other line is "Old St. Helen")
2. After every verse there is a wild and racuous section where kids can yell "RUMBLE" and clap (or pound on drums) until they wear themsleves out!

It's a great song

Once upond a time, I had one particularily pious child who decided it was a sin to sing "HELLen" and began changing the lyrics to "Old St. Heaven." Her classmates caught on and by the third verse the entire class was sining her way.

After steping out in the hallway to laugh with the second grade teacher, I gently explained to my kid-os that "Helen" was a girl's name and had nothing to do with a naughty word. 90% of the class accecpted this, but the rest continued to sing "St. Heaven."

So now . . . everytime Mout St. Helen is mentioned on the news, that song pops into my head (and then I start to giggle).
Billy Jonas has put an mp3 of the song on the front page of his website -- just so you can download it and experience the fun!

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Gone GeoCashing
I've been wanting to try geocaching for forever. Today was the day!
Mother dear is the only person I know with a GPS unit, so I invited her to come with me on the treasure hunt. It took a little longer than expected (an required more math than I remembered) but we were sucessful! Go Team!

Saturday, October 09, 2004

What I Want to Do
I want to teach without becoming a cog on the educational conveyor belt.
I want to have a small part in changing "awful schools" into "Incredible schools."
I want to bring education to the arts and arts to education

I want to live with open minded people that "get it".
I want to live with people that are individuals.
I want to live with people that care about things.
I want to live with people that are diverse - - and that is not limited to ethnicicity -- diversity can happen with age, gender, economics, policitcs, sex, families, and oh so many other ways.

I want to be around intelligent people that can teach me things.
I want to have long meals with interesting people.
I want to travel.
I want to have animals in my home.
I want to have kids in my home.

I want to live in area that is culturally rich.
I want to participate, play, run, do . . . but also watch from the sidelines.
I want to be a part of something.

I want to grow food -- and eat more homegrown food.
I want to learn how to can fruits and vegetables.
I want a lake to splash around in, a fireplace to sit around, and a clear sky to see the stars.

I want to learn more about
brain reasearch, and

I want to read more literature,
Play more music,
Become a better writer,
Memorize more poetry,
Learn to ride a horse,
And take a ballet class.
I want to learn so much more.

I want go to bed exhausted, and to wake up rested.
I want to have time to relax, and play.
I want to do things that are sometimes scarey and out of my comfort zone.
I want to expand my comfort zone.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Aaaahhhhh . . . life is good.
Yesterday, I went to a juvenille correctional center to talk with their teachers about bringing some of my artists [*My*Artists*] in to work with thier students.

Today, I met with three Minneapolis Public School teachers to figure out which of *My*Artists* would best work with their curriculum and goals.

Next week I have a meeting with one of *My*Artists* to do some lesson planning teaching practice.

And as I was driving home tonight, I realized, "Dammit, THIS is what I've wanted to do all along! THIS is it!"

I Love working with teachers,
I love working with artists,
and I love helping them come together.
Thankfully, VocalEssence is letting me do just that (which is gosh darn cool!)

So, in case you're wondering. I've decided to accecpt their job offer. There might be some adjustments to my "Master Plan" (like puching back the MA another 6 monhts, maybe quitting YA for VE, or perhaps an unexpected nervous breakdown - - who knows).
We'll see what happens.
Right now, I'm just feeling . . . happy!

Wow! The Oregon Symphony just got a whole lot cooler (musicians and management!)

Monday, October 04, 2004


Second in a continuting series

This months topic - Books!

1. Anything by Chaim Potok - This man is one of my ultimate heros. He understands me better than people that actually know me.
Chaim has a unique style of story telling which can initially seem tedious, but once you get over the need for plot and fall in love with the themes and charcters - it's all good.

My Chaim favorites are The Promise and The Gift of Asher Lev. (However, bother of those books are sequals, so you'd need to start with The Chosen or My Name is Asher Lev to really understand).

2.Anything by Mark Salzman. Everyting by Mark is amazing. (*AND* he's friends with Yo-yo Ma!!) If you're in the mood for Funny, try Lost in Place, Growing up Absurd in Suburbia. For something more serious there's Lying Awake or True Notebooks. (But everything he writes is wrothwhile!)

Next months recomendation - FOOD!

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Ugh . . .Tonight was the first of two DVS concerts. It was AWFUL. I'm quite sure the conductor got lost at least once (possibly twice) and we just weren't playing well. crash and burn

Random Political Thoughts Part 1
The US has a responsibility to re-built Iraq.
It doesn't matter how you feel about the war, or Kerry, or Bush, anything else. The citizens of Iraq have the right to a long term political and social stablility.

The US has re-built a lot of countries. Sometimes it works nicely (i.e. West Germany) and sometimes it doesn't (i.e. Cuba).

Did Germany work out because we poured money into the country (over $17 billion). Did Germany work out because we kept US troops there long after the war? Did Germany work out because the Germany people were tired of 20 years of crappy governments? Did Germany work out because we realized that World War II was the result of the half-assed job we did reconstructing Germany after World War I?

I am so sick of the Kerry's "a plan to win the peace" soundbite. But it seems to me that a "plan to win the peace" is going to mean a long long long long term comittment to Iraq. There is no easy withdrawal plan - and doing it wrong will undoubtedly lead to bigger probelms later. (Part of the reason we're in Iraq *now* is due to the fact that we didn't establish a stable government in 1991).

How do you turn it into a long-term-Germany-style-comittment and not a long term Vietnamn-style-mess? I don't have the coveted "Plan for Peace" and no answers - - just thoughts & questions. Mostly I'm thinking out loud . . . everyone else is doing political blogging so i can too!

Friday, October 01, 2004

Rachel Barton is awesome.
I feel in love with her back when she won the Young Performers Competiton and played with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (I remember staying up late to watch the entire thing - it was a big big deal for a 4th grader to stay up until 10:00!!)

When she started playing Metalica and U2 at the Q101 studios, I fell even more in love - she just gets it! (I love Rachel Barton!)
ArtsJournal links to an article about my girl. And if you don't already own all of her CD's, come to my house and we'll have a Storming the Citadel listening party (with cinnamon bread and chai tea!)