Monday, May 30, 2005

Oh what a beautiful day,

La la la lala la laaaaa la
Something some some some something

There's a bright golden haze on the meadow,
There's a bright golden haze on the meadow,
The corn is as high as an elephant's eye,
And it looks like its climbin' clear up to the sky.

*OK, OK , the corn is barely poking out of the ground; but grant me some artistic license! It is a very beautiful morning and I'm singing (even if I dont' know all the words!)

* They predicted rain for today, but, as I've already said, it is GEORGEOUS outside. (It's the kind of a beautiful day normally reserved for when your stuck inside doing something terribly unpleasant!) Alas, the people who live with me have decided it's a good day to posion the poor danelions (sad face).

* A new set of robins moved into the empty nest outside my window (Smiley Face!)
They have two eggs in the nest now (but momma bird is acting weird, so I'm wonering if she's laying more right now!)

* Yesterday I bicycled the entire 32 mile course for the big race next month. (whew!) Nothing is terribly sore this morning, which is good. (This training "thing" must be working!) I think the secret is magical nighttime baths

* The last few days have been spent in an obsessive compulsive cleaning spree, and eating chocolate/graham cracker sandwhiches. (Obviously this training regimin does not yet include a nutritional component!)

* Chocolate/Graham cracker sandwhiches are yummy (they make for good sulking food!)

* This morning it was warm enough to eat breakfast (Oatmeal plus two Chocolate/Graham cracker sandwhiches) outside, on the porch, in the sunshine!

* And now, I'm going to waste this beautiful morning by shampooing the carpet in my basement (because an obscenely clean house needs a basement with clean carpet). Besides, I need to avoid the danelion massacare happening in the yard (posion=bad), and it's a good excuse to eat the last of my Chocolate/Graham Cracker sandwhiches!

Chocolate/Graham Cracker Sandwhich

1 cup milk
1/2 c. plain yogurt
1/2 c. peanut butter
1 pkg. instant chocolate pudding
15 graham crackers

Use a mixer to combine the milk, yogurt, peanut butter, and pudding.
Mix on low for 2 minutes and let stand for 5 minutes.
Spread pudding mixture on 15 grahamcracker halves, and top with other half
Freeze until firm.
Share with Julie!

Friday, May 27, 2005

A brief period of sulking will now commence

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

The current small-talk-conversation-topic-of-choice begins with the question "What are you doing this summer?"

I have a list!
(On Planet Julie, there is always a list!)

The Will Do List . . .
Work - VocalEssence would like me to stay through June to help with the transition of the new Education Director, and I'm THRILLED to do that. (The new Ed. Dir. is amazing and I'm ready to absorb everything she has to offer!) I imagine I'll be working fewer hours (because there's less work to do in the summer, and there will be an E.D. around to do most of what I have been doing). But there won't be any "official" vacation this summer.

Bicycle - My little town is holding a big riding event this summer and I want to participate (and enjoy the experience - so I'm training (and feeling very sore) with the hope that I won't be sore while pedaling 40 miles around my hilly little town!

Papa VW's Birthday Party - He's turning 80 in July, and we're having a huge party for him in Chicago. It'll be great to celebrate Papa, but I'm more looking forward to seeing extended family at a happy event (instead of a funeral). I'd love to drive down to middle Illinois to visit some friends (and maybe trek over to Indiana!) but that might be a little overly ambitious.

Girl Scout Weekend - It's like camp for grown ups! Of course there will be a lot of cutsey wootsey crafty annoying mothers running people around. (And I'll spend most of my time getting that bloody CPR cert). But I'll get to spend a few nights in my long neglected tent, walk through the woods, sit around a fire, AND see Ann Reed in concert!

The Symphony! - The Dakota Valley Summer Pops Symphony will be presenting several concerts this summer, and I get to play with them almost all summer (but not the concert that's on Papa VW's birthday - I do have priorities!)

Enjoy Myself - Take time to sit with friends, send emails, have a few small parties, visit my grandmother, read on the porch, talk, play with the dog, and stuff like that. (The stuff that makes life enjoyable, but that I forget to do!)

The Want To List . . .
Brain Gym Class - If I can convince myself to spend the money (and take time off work) I'll be spend a few days learning about the Brain Gym philosophy and program. (For no other reason other than I'm interested and want to learn!)

Find a REAL Job - or at least figure out a way to be a weight bearing member of society. (I could write a lot more about this, but will spare you!)

Grant Reviewer - I submitted an application to be a peer reviewer for the U.S. Dept. of Ed.'s "Arts in Education Model Development and Disimination" program. If selected, I will be a part of distributing $3.9 million of your hard earned tax dollars to schools creating arts programs. (Cool eh?) But they don't know how many grant reviewers are needed until all the grant applications have been submitted. (hopefully I'll hear something next week).

Walnut Grove - The first book I stayed up all night to read was one of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books. (It was the summer before 5th grade). And while Anne Shirley has replaced Laura Ingalls as my "old fashioned" heroine, she still has a special place in my heart. Laura lived in a lot of places, one of which was Walnut Groove. Walnut Grove is only a few hours from here, and I'd love to take a day visiting the Ingalls museums and absorbing the ghosts of Larua. I'm kind of surprised at myself for not having already done this.

Your turn! (Because small talk is a two way street!)
What are you doing this summer?
Feel free to answer in your head, on your own site, or in the commments below!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

can you hear me now?
Blogger says my site doesn't exist
And I'm feeling existentially Blah.

And today was Kela's last day at VE
(sniff sniff)

and I wanna talk -- but I have nothing to talk about
And by the way --- blah
bah humbug

Comes via a flash video from Delfi.
It made me smile - and maybe it'll make you smile too!

Monday, May 23, 2005

This song was on the radio today.
It's been a long time since I've heard that song
I'd forgotten about it

But I really needed to hear those words today.
That is all.

Sunday, May 22, 2005


Part I
I spent most of the weekend working through on-line trainings for Girl Scout Leaders (yipee!), and filling out paperwork to attend a summer training event. (Oh Joy!)

Actually, I'm not as scarcastic as that sounds.
Ann Reed is going to be singing at this summer event (for those of you with short memories, Ann Reed is the singer of my current favorite song).
PLUS, they're offering 1st Aid/CPR certs for super cheap at this event. (Like for less than 1/7 of what the Red Cross charges for CPR and first aid

[Insert your own rant about the ridiculous-ness of charging $140 for something that should be free]

Part II
I (unsucessfully) went shoe shopping this weekend.
You may remember that last fall I got a great pair of running shoes. They are the best fitting, most comfortable, absolutely incredible athleticly-inclined shoes I've ever owned . . . . And now I can't seem to find anything even close to the amazing-ness of these shoes. Methinks I've gotten spoiled.

Part III
The weekend was rounded out by baking Ukrainian Poppy Seed Cake - which is quite tastey and very pretty to look at. Someday, internet technology will let me share a slice with my dear readers. Until then I'll just have to eat it myself!


My personal theological conclusion is that God must be a Buddhist, notwithstanding the fact that Buddhism doesn’t believe in a personal God (if the Christian right can make outrageous leaps of religious logic, so can I). For evidently God has blessed the predominantly Buddhist nation of South Korea with the leading world expert on cloning human embryos to treat and study disease, Hwang Woo-suk of Seoul National University.

“I want to give humans a gift of healing knowledge,” I picture God saying. . . . “But the United States is filled with too many closed-minded Christians to make wise use of it. So I’ll send a breakthrough in therapeutic cloning to a Buddhist country instead. I love those Buddhists; they don’t try to confine my will within imaginary bounds of their own making.”

More and more it looks like the United States will be getting health care advances from South Korea, consumer items from China, and information technology from India. It kind of makes you want to convert to Buddhism, Taoism, or Hinduism, since fundamentalist Christianity is becoming a foe of modern progress, just like fundamentalist Islam and fundamentalist Judaism.

Carl Sagan warned some time ago that the demons are beginning to stir. He was right. Now the demons are becoming more active. They have to be defeated. Take a stand: don’t go to church tomorrow. Read a copy of Scientific American instead.

Full Post via Church of the Churchless

Thursday, May 19, 2005

(part 2 of a continuting series to provide you with extra information about spiffy people!)

Today's contestant is the Princess of Long Denim Skirts . . . Peripatetic Polar Bear! [Insert Applause!]

I planed to write about someone else, but this afternoon, the Polar Bear jumped ahead of everyone and became the spotlighted blog. (I know it's not fair, she has literally *just* been added to the blogroll while other folks have lived there for ages. In a perfect world she'd have to do some serious time on the sidebar and go through a miserable hazing ritual before getting the coveted asterisk next to her name. . . But what can I say? It's not a perfect world, and Princess Polar Bear made me laugh twice in two days - which is reason enough to bump her up on the blog heirachary!

The Discovery Process: My brilliant camp buddy "O" has a relatively new blog. "O" links to the blog of a Camp Buddy I've Never Met. Peripatetic Polar Bear commented on the site of this Camp Buddy I've Never Met. and the rest . . . is history.

About: Actually, I know very little about the Polar Bear. Methinks she lives out east - but that's just a guess. We also know that she's a life guard, teacher, camp volunteer, part-time chaplain, and a career counselor (or something like that). We also know she loves the Indigo Girls, has a degree in music, and is owned by two cats.

Memorable Post: Long Denim Skirts and Princess made me giggle, But The Writer is officially knighted as the PPB'S MOST memorable posts - it makes me smile and feel fuzzy!)

Thanks Ms. Polar Bear.
Tune in next time for another exciting addition of BLOGROLL EXPANDED!

1. Baby birds sleep almost as much as human babies. I think they've slept 90% of the last two weeks!

2. BUT, in the last day or so, they've been WAY more active (with mama and papa bird staying in the nest and wiggley squirmy birds poking their heads out). I'm thinking they're going to jump out of the nest any moment now! (Alas, I'm at work, and won't be able to see the momentous event - unless mom and dad put it off until I get home (wouldn't that be nice of them!)

3. According to my web research, once the birds jump out of the nest, they stay out of the nest. (Birds generally sleep in trees, not nests. Did you know that nests are more like baby cradles than houses?)

4. Nesting robins are spiffy. I could watch them all day long. (I know I know - I sound so old and boring! But I don't feel old and boring, I feel fascinated by these little critters!)

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

One hot Minnesota day, in late July, of 1992, writer John Edgar Wideman visited the Twin Cities. I conducted a radio interview with him and went to a raeding of his then newly published book of short stories. We started with a thought expressed in his collection of his short stories, the notion that "all stories are true." A notion he found in an Ibo proverb. "It's a proverb that to me makes a lot of sense," he said, ". . . because the more I write, the less it makes sense to distinguish between what's fictional and what's documentary. I know that it [the proverb] means a lot, but I don't know exactly what it means."

All stories are true. I've been attached to that notion, since that humid day I spent in the company of a man I consider a modern day savant, because there are so many lost and censored stories. Officially sanctioned stories don't hold enough of my memories to feed my starving soul, they don't swirl with the music my heart longs to feel. I write because my story is missing. I imagine a future that grows out of stories that haven't been told.

- J. Otis Powell
From the Session Report Summary of the 2003 Artist & Educator Institute

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

As you may recall from the January's tirade, My Girl Scout troops didn't have enough adult support to support one troop let alone two. You may also recall that the staff member working with us was under major pressure to stop (thus reducing the number of adults to . . . ME - which would mean the end of our troops). This made me very angry and I felt the need to fight for my kidos.

To some extent, we worked it out.
The council found a HS troop to assist with the older group while I took the younger kids. While it was not perfect, it worked for March and April. In May, we combined the groups again (ugh!) to finish out the year with me and a staff person.

Last night was our last meeting
Mission Accomplished!

I am exhausted
Completely wore out from all of this
Superwoman is dead.
And I wonder "Was it worth it?"

(I donno)

From here????
There is a volutneer interested in joining us.
So, the new volunteer and I are going to keep meeting with the older group through the summer.
The younger group is officially on hiatus for summer, but that is just pushing back the inevetable; Come fall, there will not be enough volunteers, and the younger troop will fold. )-:

AND . . . Now that a staff person is no longer working with the troop, I've gone from Assistnat to LEADER - gulp! This means I need to update my CPR/1st Aid Certs, and take a few classes, and turn in reams of paperwork, and, and, and, and . . . AAAAGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH. (I thought being the cookie coordinator was a lot of work!) I'm nervous.

BUT . . . We'll see what happens, and take it as it comes.
I want Girl Scouts to be fun again (The last few weeks have just been stressful). Hopefully this new volunteer will be awesome, decide to co-leader with me (please please please please?) and take over some of the overwhelmed-ness.

Fingers crossed.

Note: I still owe you Girl Scout Accolades to balance out the January Tirade. It is coming. Girl Scouts is a great organization, and many a praise will be sung sometime soon!)

Monday, May 16, 2005

Here's what I learned yesterday at the VE concert.

When the Tate Modem had their grand opening, they invited some poets to walk through the galleries, find a painting they liked, and write a poem based on the piece they selected. (The result was a beautiful book featuring prints of the artwork and the poems inspired by the work).

In 1987, VocalEssence commissioned Carrey John Franklin to write a choral composition based on the poems that came out of the Tate Modem project.

(Did you follow that, it's a song, based on a poem, based on a painting?).

Yesterday they sang the piece, With a Poet's Eye by Cary John Franklin. It was cool.

I don't have a recording of the song, but through the miracle of the internet, and program notes, I can share the picture, and the poem. Enjoy!
The Uncertainty of the Poet
I am a poet.
I am very fond of bananas.

I am bananas.
I am very fond of a poet.

I am a poet of bananas.
I am very fond.

A fond poet of 'I am, I am'-
Very bananas.

Fond of 'Am I bananas?
Am I?'-a very poet.

Bananas of a poet!
Am I fond? Am I very?

Poet bananas! I am.
I am fond of a 'very.'

I am of very fond bananas.
Am I a poet?

- Wendy Cope

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Do not say, "God is in my heart," but rather,
"I am in the heart of God"

Kahlil Gibran
The Prophet p. 13

Saturday, May 14, 2005

My newest private student learned Mary Had a Little Lamb this past week
He played it for me today at m.m.=440

So I told him the FULL story of Mary (We all know the first part of the story . . . Mary had a little lamb whose fleece was white as snow, and everywhere that Mary went the lamb was sure to go. And they were very happy

That's where most adults stop.
Call me a conspiracy theorist, but I think grown-ups are afraid to tell kids the TRUTH about Mary. So I told my student that this was the next part of the story - which contains violence and other horrid things that the adults wouldn't like . . .

One day, Mary was out playing at the park with her little lamb (whose fleece was white as snow). They were playing on the slide together when all the sudden the lamb fell off and hit the ground with a great big CRACK of broken bones and such. There was blood everywhere. And the lamb cried, and Mary cried. And they were very sad.

And then, after he finished laughing at me, I taught my student how to play F naturals to turn our song into a Sad Mary tune with a minor key. We talked about going slowly (because sad and slow go together like peanut butter and jelly you see) and making occassional sobbing noises in the rests.

And he did an awesome, fabulous, marveous, job! (F naturals are quite difficult to do - and playing slowly is gosh darn impossible for a 6 year old!)

And then I told him about the happy ending (The lamb gets a cast and has a doctor's note that gets him out of PE for a couple of months - which is always good. PLUS the lamb doesn't have to practice violin while he's casted up - which means he has more time to watch tv! The lamb recovers and lives Happily Ever After with Mary [cue Happy Mary, really fast and with F sharps!]

Now, my new student does not know this yet - but next week I'll ask him to make up his own sad story. (Past students have had lambs getting lost in dark movie theaters, being run over by semi-trucks, being eating by a crocidile, and freezing to death in snow banks).

I'm not sure what it says about my personailty - but Sad Mary Tragedies are my most favorite part of teaching beginners. (maybe I wouldn't laugh if it were *MY* pet lamb being captured by clowns and shot out of a circus cannon, but it's gosh darn fun to hear about Mary's lamb flying though the stratosphere!)

My students only play in a minor key (with those beautiful F naturals) after a lamb diaster - that's about as much music theory as they can handel. But theory geeks and I have pondered the appropriate modes -- maybe Phrygian or Locrian for something truly tragic (like Little Lamb going to the slaughter house and being turned into dinner). Or Dorian for medium-awful events (like being kidnapped with a ransom note requiring Mary to eat lima beans). But to be really fun, you really need to have a paino (and have consumed a few tastey adult beverages!)

It's a Free Frosty weekend. If you haven't already, go get your frosty!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Before I moved to Minnesota I’d never even heard of a “fishing opener”.
My first year here, I just thought it was a slow news day.
I have since learned that “fishing opener” is a big deal.
Ho Hum

As a kid, my family had an occasional “fishing” ritual – but that was more about throwing sticks into the water, running around the forest preserve, and playing with worms than it was about fishing. (And “fishing” might be an overly generous word. The truth is that it was actually more of worm drowning than anything else).

At the risk of sounding overly girly – I had a great fishing hat.
I loved that hat – and wore it everywhere (not just on the family worm downing expeditions)
But my dad bought it for me in the fishing section of Kmart – wherefore it was always called a fishing hat.

Anyway, VocalEssence has re-written a popular tune to celebrate this year’s fishing opener. WCCO is using it for their promos, the ensemble is singing it at the baseball game tomorrow, and by exclusive exclusivity, I have it here
(“You betcha!”)

(Tune by G.F. Handel)
(Lyrics by P. Brunelle)

UPDATE: Read all about it on the sports page of today's paper! (Really, how many music groups are featured in the sports section?!)

login: jvwspam pass: 123456

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The meanest girl I ever met
Is Mary Ellen Wright,
And if a lion came along and
Ate her with one bite,
I cry and cry and cry and cry
(But just to be polite)

- Judith Viorst

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

If you grew up in a midwestern RCA (or CRC) household,
Or if you just know a bit about those pesky Dutch Reformed Calvinists,
Maybe you'll enjoy a little giggle with me . . .

Holland Michigan has a 616 area code!

If you believe that Satan speaks through area codes — and you should — then Grand Rapids, Michigan, just got a whole lot more evil. A newly discovered fragment of the Book of Revelation challenges the conventional belief that the Antichrist's mark is 666, indicating instead that it is 616. Expert classicists used multi-spectral imaging to get a better view of the text, which is written in archaic Greek and dates to the late third century.

Via Book Slut

I have an idea for a new series of posts.
It is going to be sort of a BlogRoll Commentary.
Wouldn't it be nice to know something about the people I link to? Wouldn't it be fun to read about the first impressions I had, or discover how I came across certain sites? Wouldn't you love to un-strand my tangeled portion of the world wide web?
Enter "BLOG ROLL EXPANDED" where I talk about my internet friends!

To some extend it has already been done. I've written about Delfi and Ryan - but I want to touch on everyone and write about everyone -- AND THEN I'll put an asterisk on the blog roll for easy reference.

Let the fun begin!
(It will take a while to get to everyone - so be patient)

Today's BLOG ROLL EXPANDED contestant is . . . Katherine of Not for Sheep. [insert applause]

I first stumbled across her site after looking for sites that mentioned Flight Risk -- I wanted to find other kindred spirits that enjoyed Isabell's story as much as I did (regardless of whether or not it was "for real" -- which is what most people were worrying about).

Katherine is most defiantly a kindred spirit. She writes beautifully and has great stories to tell. She's also smart, living in a situation similar to mine, has profound thoughts on religion, and is just gosh darn fun to read -- Life in NotforSheep-Land has not worked out exactly as she liked, she survives and makes the most of it.

Memorable Post - Wave if You Have to PEE is a classic! (Although commentary on liturgical dancers always makes me smile too!)

Katherine has also introduced me to several other fabulous sites - but I'll tell you about them when it's their turn to play BLOGROLL EXPANDED!

Monday, May 09, 2005

The only learning which significantly influences behaviour is self-discovered, self-appropriated learning. As soon as an individual tries to communicate such experience directly, often with a quite natural enthusiasm, it becomes teaching, and its results are either unimportant or damaging.
-Carl Rogers
via HtStW

NaNoWriMo is shor for "National Novel Writing Month" which happens in November and is a chance for you to write your Great American Novel (or a Great Irish Novel, or Great Cambodian Novel, or Great Whatever-Country Novel).

The idea behind the project is that misery loves company.
And the Minser of writing a novel is easier when you know thousands of other people are suffering and writing along with you.

You can read all about it at the NaNoWriMo website.

I am planing to participate this November (so is Steph, and you should consider doing it too!) BUT I need an idea (It's OK to think/outline before November - but no one is allowed to actually start writing until Nov. 1 - that's a rule!)

Right now, I'm thinking of writing a historical novel loosely based on the life of Cecila Payne, Hildegard, or someone other obscure historical figure. I don't know enough about any of these people yet (Cecila was a scientist, Hildegard was an abbess). But this seems like a good excuse to research some phenomial people, and maybe find a story (or at least the possibility of a story) for my novella.

So -- in the next month of so, I'll be posting short bios of these folks -- don't be alarmed, no need to panic -- but if you see a story line, or have ideas you'd be willing to share with me, just say so.

That's all - I have to go back to work.

Sunday, May 08, 2005


Left Brain: Wow, it's almost 11:00 - time to go to bed

Right Brain: I'm not tired yet. I don't wanna go to bed.

LB: Well, what do you want to do

RB: I want to talk

LB: OK - what do you want to talk about?

RB: I donno, why don't you start and I'll just listen

LB: OK - let's talk about how you have to go to work tomorrow, and how tired you're going to be, and how cranky that is going to make you

RB: But I'm not tired! I can't go to bed when I'm not tired!

LB: Then you think of something to talk about

RB: Let's go play online - there's always someone talking there

LB: OK - where should we go

RB: hhhhhmmmmm it seems no one is here. And none of the blogs have been updated since the last time you checked. And none of the groups have anything new to say . . . let's look people up on google --- that'll be fun!

LB: Who should we look up

RB: hhhhhmmmmmmmmmmm how about A.K.

LB: A.K.??? Why are you googling A.K.?? What even made you think ok A.K.

R.B. I heard he got ordained and moved out east

L.B. OK - but what does that have to do with anything? And why do you care, you haven't seen or heard from A.K. since 6th grade

R.B. Actually it was 7th grade. And I saw his mom and Grandma VW's funeral --

L.B. I don't understand you.

R.B. I love google - look there he is -- wow the boy is a Fundy Extrodinare!

L.B. If you'd thought logically you could have guessed that - just look at where he went to college. Now what?

R.B. And look - he has a wife and a daughter -- A.K. is way too immature to have a kid. I can't believe it!

L.B. You have no idea how mature A.K. is. You haven't seen him in over 15 years. This is pathetic and I'm bored. What's next?

R.B. I could blog about A.K.

L.B. Who would want to read a blog post about A.K. - you don't even have any good stories about him. This is just dumb.

R.B. You can tell that he went to [college name] because he doesn't write very well.

L.B. Moving right along . . .

R.B. I'm thirsty. Let's get some lemmonade

L.B. We don't have sugar free lemonade

R.B. Then we'll have regular lemonade

L.B. But it's almost 11:00 - you can't have sugarly lemonade or you'll never sleep

R.B. But I'm not tired - so it's ok!

L.B. [in a stern voice] Step away from the pink lemonade!

R.B. Look - I'll put extra ice in it and water it down. See? there's almost no sugar left, just that yummy artificial pink lemonade taste.

L.B. You'll never become a lemonade snob like this - what will people think??

R.B. yummmmm......tastey artificial lemonade -- and now we're not going to die of dehydration in our sleep!

L.B. Are you sleepy yet?

R.B. Nope!

L.B. So what are you going to do now?

R.B. Play with my blog

L.B. good idea - what should we write about -- There were some quotes in the Gilbran book . . . or maybe you could write about NaNoWriMo and get ideas for that . . . or . . .

R.B. I want to write about A.K.

L.B. You'd have to find an awfully creative angle to write about A.K. -- and what is there to write about "Once upon a time there was a kid named A.K. and now he has a daughter???"

R.B. Maybe I should send him an email

L.B. what would it say?? "Hi? Remember me?"

R.B. I could flame him - or send left-wing, fundy-bashing, liberal propaganda. That'd be fun!

L.B. No. No it wouldn't. What about the blog?

R.B. I need more lemonade

L.B. You need to go to bed.

R.B. What do you think about chicken with barbeque sauce for dinner tomorrow night?

L.B. Does this sudden random-ness indicate that you're getting sleepy?

R.B. No. Just being PRACTICAL and LOGICAL (especially for you) and thinking about dinner more than 30 minutes ahead of time.

L.B. Impressive - there are green bean in the freezer - that would taste good with BBQ chicken

R.B. And Tater Tots -- oh that sounds yummy. I'm hungry

L.B. For the love of god woman - brush your teeth and go to bed.

R.B. I can't brush my teeth, I just had lemonade - it would taste funny

L.B. (silence)

R.B. Maybe I should write an email to Mrs. Battles

L.B. Why would you want to write an email to the 8th grade English teacher you hated?

R.B. Because I can - wouldn't it be a nice surprise for her to get an email from me! She might not remember me, but it'd be a really nice thing to do.

L.B. yeah - sure - lovely. So what are you going to say to Mrs. Battles

R.B. I don't know that I'd do it - but I could say - "HI MRS. BATTLES! Remember me - the kid that hated writing in your 8th grade English class? Remember how I played Mrs. Carstairs in the 8th grade play and you told me I should go into drama. HA HA Well I didn't act in any plays after that - and I still hate writing!"

L.B. So . . . you're obviously not hoping to get invited back to Nathan Hale Middle School as a motivational alumni speaker?

R.B. No - they'd never have me anyway.

L.B. (silence)

R.B. Ho Hum

L.B. (silence)

R.B. We can talk about . . .

L.B. Teeth Brushing???

R.B. aaawwwwwww

L.B. Sweetie, you need to go to bed -- if you're not tired just rest and read . . ok??

R.B. - OK -- just let me do one little blog post . . .

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW - Revised and Updated
Years and years ago, I read King Soloon's Ring which was written by Konrad Lorenz, a fella that literally lived with animals. It's a great story with some fabulously interesting information. It changed the way I watched the birds, squirles, dogs, and my cat.

When I moved here there were robins nesting outside the window - last summer I had robins and starlings (plus the duck family that lives in the pond) all congregating my my backyard. BUT the robin's eggs have never ever hatched (outside my window is probably not the best place to have a nest - it's a pretty high traffic area).

BUT THIS YEAR window disturbances were kept to a minnimum and at least two of the four eggs has hatched! Momma Robin has been acting weird all afternoon (yes, I've been "wasting time" watching a nesting bird - Konrad Lorenze would approve even if you don't!) AND . . . I just saw the papa robin bring a worm to the nest and two little beaks poked up from the nest to eat the worm!

Horray! Happy Mother's day to Momma Robin!

Everthing you need to know about baby robins
Watching these birds is spifferific - the parent birds just keep brining them worms, and they keep eating (I've even seen the poop sack - oddly fascinating!)

Saturday, May 07, 2005


via the amazing Delfi

They call it "clean up day"
But in reality it is "trade junk with your neighbors day"
Today only, everyone in my little town can put an almost unlimited amount of trash out - including things like tires, mattresses, electronic equipment and the stuff you normally can't put in the garbage.

This means my lovely neighbors have been cleaning up and tossing out.
This means that the curb is filled with all kinds of spiffy things - bicycles, bookcases, couches, filing cabinets, and such.
This means that every idiot with a pickup truck is out hunting for treasure.

Treasure Hunting Idiots with Pickups are watching the curb;
They are watching their junk in the back of the truck;
They are not watching the road

It makes me angry
Keep your kids inside on clean up day - it's danerous out thre.

Friday, May 06, 2005

But at least that explains the headaches - right?
And at least that's a good excuse to buy new glasses - right?

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Don't take the word of the past, no matter how great a past.
Ancestor worship does not make for a healthy nation or a healthy art. God hlep u is the younger generation ever stops being the dispair of its grandparents, or turns out no music of which its spiritual ancestors would have thoroughly approved.

-Deems Taylor
Of Men and Music p. 102

Some people have asked
So here goes . . .

I like being Interim Education Director.
I love the connections I've made and the experience I've gotten.
I feel VERY LUCKY to have landed in the right place at the right time

The original plan was to hire a "real" (full time) education director by the end of March.

It's now May, and VocalEssence does not yet have an Ed. Dir. (Which has been lucky for me!) Right now, it doesn't look like they'll have anyone in place until June! (this is very good news!)

Alas, contract work as an interim education director barely pays the (already cheap) rent and it definatly does not pay the insurance. (Not to mention, June is just around the corner).

AND SO, in the words of Harry Smith, "Now What?" **

I've had several long long long talk with myself about life, my future, jobs, love, location, money, and careers. After some serious contemplation I've come to the following conclusions.

1. I like Minnesota - this is a fabulous place to live (although I wish they'd PLOW the streets when it snows!)

2. Starting over again in a new place is not appealing to me. In the past I've been willing (and excited) to re-locate. But I'm really not feeling excited about moving this time. I have friends, connections, and family here. This is truly the best place I've ever lived, and I'm not ready to leave!

3. Minnesota Teacher Licensure will cost $500, (Even though my current license is good in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, and 7 other states, Minnesota does not recognize it. I had a temporary license the first two years I lived here -but they won't give me another temporary license unless I take $500 worth of tests to prove that I can read and do long division.

4. I would love to be a fine arts coordinator in the schools - I might even be willing to teach 50% if I could fine arts coordinate 50%.

5. I would love to be an education director and coordinate education activities for a cultural organization.

6. I would love to write curriculum for an organization that has an educational component (museums, retreat centers, professional development for teachers, student leadership, mentorship, girl scouts, etc.)

7. I would probably feel differently about moving if I landed the right job.

8. I donno the answer to "Now What?", AND SO . . . I'm applying for any job that sounds interesting (near or far, with a range of organizations/interests - including that position with Clear Channel which I didn't get.

9. A job would be really really nice!

** Harry Smith is a Central grad and gave a commencement speech titled "Now What" at my college graduation. The only reason I remember this is because there was a little kid that was just learning to talk sitting near me. This kid caught onto the phrase "Now What" and repeated it over and over while Harry was doing his spiel.
"Now What Now What Now What Now What Now What Now What"

I don't remember much of what Harry said. But I do remember the two year old kid sitting behind me!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005


May is Take a Friend to the Orchestra Month!

This is not really the orchestra, and I'm not really bringing anyone, but in the spirit of TAFTO . . . .

I have two tickets to the VocalEssence May 15 concert featuring Bernstein's Chichesters Psalms and the world premiere of Cary John Franklin's Gloria. (4:00 at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis)

I will be using one of those tickets for myself, but the other is open to you (provided you commnet/email me before anyone else!) I'll be working before, after, and a little bit durring the concert and thusly will be a less-than-attentive concert companion - but if you're interested in hearing some Bernstein - lemme know!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005


1791 : Mozart's last year surprisingly boring
by Landon, Howard Chandler Robbins, 1926-
Call#: 927 M87

Ansel Adams : America's photographer ; a biography for young people
by Gherman, Beverly, 1934-
Call#: J927.7 Ad1

Autobiography and other writings /
by Franklin, Benjamin, 1706-1790., Silverman, Kenneth, 1936-
Call#: 923.2 F85

Ballet class for beginners
by Howard, David., Kraft, Lee.
Call#: VC 792.8 B21

Creative storytelling : building community, changing livesFABULOUS BOOK!!
by Zipes, Jack David.
Call#: 372.642 ZI

The deerslayer
by Cooper, James Fenimore, 1789-1851., Wyeth, N. C. (Newell Convers), 1882-1945,
Call#: Fic C78

Emotional intelligence
by Goleman, Daniel, 1946-
Call#: 152.4 G58

by Cleary, Beverly, 1916-
Call#: Juv C58

The four agreements : a practical guide to personal freedom
by Ruiz, Miguel, 1952-
Call#: 299.792 R85

by Heinlein, Robert A. (Robert Anson), 1907-1988.
Call#: SF H36

The handmaid's tale
by Atwood, Margaret Eleanor, 1939-
Call#: SF At9

I am the clay
by Potok, Chaim, 1929-2002
Call#: Fic P84

Leaving the fold Interesting - much to think about
by Winell, Marlene.
Call#: 230.046 W72

Life of Pi - OK, not worth the hype
by Martel, Yann, 1963-
Call#: Fic M36

Messengers of God : Biblical portraits and legends
by Wiesel, Elie, 1928-
Call#: 221.9 W63

My first 79 years
by Stern, Isaac, 1920-2001, Potok, Chaim, 1929-2002
Call#: 927.8 St4

My own two feet : a memoir
by Cleary, Beverly, 1916-
Call#: J928.1 C58

One year off : leaving it all behind for a round-the-world journey with our children
by Cohen, David Elliot, 1955-
Call#: 910.41 C66

The panda's thumb; more reflections in natural history.
by Gould, Stephen Jay, 1941-2002
Call#: 575.016 G73

The prophet Interesting little book. Read again!
by Gibran, Kahlil, 1883-1931.
Call#: 811.52 G35

Ramona's world
by Cleary, Beverly, 1916-, Channing, Stockard, 1944-
Call#: RC Juv C58

The secret life of germs : observations and lessons from a microbe hunter
by Tierno, Philip M.
Call#: 616.01 T44

The seven storey mountain Written entirely in passive voice. UGH!
by Merton, Thomas, 1915-1968
Call#: 922.2 M55

Silent spring Good Read, a little redundant
by Carson, Rachel, 1907-1964.
Call#: 632.9 C23

Wanderings; Chaim Potok's history of the Jews.
by Potok, Chaim, 1929-2002
Call#: 909.049 Pot

The Saint Louis Symphony has its very own blog - too cool!
(MN orch had one for a while on artsjournal - but it only lasted for the length of their tour - too bad!)

Part 5 in a continuing series

Keen Sandals are fabulous.
I bought a pair last fall, after seeing three other people wear them all summer (each of my three people swore that they were the best shoes they've ever owned!)
As a child I hurt my toes MANY times by wearing sandals in the summer (either droping things on my feet, or running into thing) BUT Keen sandals have a "toe protector" that prevent such tragedies.
Highly Recomended!

You can also read part 1, 2, 3, and 4 of the "Recomended" Series!

Monday, May 02, 2005

Go here and type in your name.
You are fabulous!

Sunday, May 01, 2005

7th Grade sex ed., taught by Ms. Armstrong, was a fiarly painful experience. Mrs. Armstrong was 7 million years old - and slightly (rightly) disgruntled. Her field of experitse was Home Ec. The powers that be, however, decided sex education would be a part of the home ec, curriculum!

After giving the required spiel on abstinace, STDs, pregnancy, etc., she veered from the pre-packaged script and editoralized, "If teenagers were supposed to have sex or get pregnant, Adam and Eve would have been teenagers."

This point was lost on my heathan classmates-- and while I would have LOVED to argue that logic with her, I did not give teachers trouble. (The path of least resistance was my preffered way of enduring school).

But Mrs. Armstrong's logic scares me.
She was teaching in the public schools, and could not "Preach" to studnets - but her occasional snide coments make me quite certain tha she was one of those republician christians that are out to legislate morality.
Thinks Juile - If god didn't want teenagers to get pregnant, puberty would start at 21 instead of 12

Most adults think that teens are stupid.
But they aren't.
They might not always think in mature ways - but they aren't stupid
Teenagers are very capable of making decisions - they do it all the time.
(They're just smart enough not to tell you!)

Thinks Julie - If Ms. Armstrong and the Flordia Legislature could, they would make a law saying that 13 year old are too young to deal with menstration. After all, puberty causes pregnancy!

L.G. is a 13 year old in Florida
You've probably read about how the state has blocked her abortion because she's not "mature" enough to make a decision.
Teenagers aren't stupid
Teenagers CAN think for themselves

Thinks Julie - Didn't athletes in the former Soviet Union take drugs/anti-hormones to keep their bodies young until after they won olympic gold?

There aren't enough facts out there to have a truly informed opinion
We don't know the circumstances of LG's case/life.
We don't know why she ran away from the shelter
We don't know if the state has a good reason to think she's immature

BUT . . . kids aren't dumb.
And L.G. isn't dumb
I hope she gets a very lucritive book/movie deal out of this experience (when she is "mature" enough to sign the agreements!)

Sometimes, I really really hate the world.

(and my shrubs are dying!)

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Via Reflections in d minor