Thursday, June 30, 2005

Today is the three year anniversary of my move here
I was going to write something sappy and reflective, but I’m not in a sappy/reflective mood.
Ah well.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

My new boss is truly amazing
She is smart; She has a Ph.D.; She's been published and is finishing her book; She's beautiful (former Miss Indiana!); She's graceful and elegant; She is totally in love with her husband (who absolutely adores her), is articulate, well connected, drives a manual transmission, serves as an active volunteer, and she is not perfect (and her "not-perfect-ness is probably the thing that I love the most about her!)

For Example: Her car is even messier than mine; she slouches when she types; she gets impatient with people, and sometimes says things that aren't appropriate. She wastes electricity, spends too much money, sometimes her perfect clothes just don't fit right, and today I even saw her her slip her clutch (gasp!)

Having struggled with perfectionism for as long as I can remember, it's lovely seeing someone as accomplished, talented, and amazing as her be not-perfect. (Whoda thunk that a beauty queen would ocasionaly sucum to bad posture?!)

Monday, June 27, 2005

I think I fixed the font problem
Except for now the color has gone strange

And, I got another rejection letter today
(If you're keeping track that's two rejection letters in the last two business days)
This means I have no outstanding resumes at the moment

So much has happened this week
There are many stories to tell
like the one about my 3 year old nephew,
and about the bicycle race,
and about the grant pannel,
and about the sunburn,
and the garden,
and my new sandals
and my denim shorts from High School.
I'm tired and feeling talkative
I could completely overwhelm you with stuff . . .

But I won't. Instead I'll go to bed.
It'll be best for us all.

Good Night, Sleep Tight
And maybe tomorrow I'll say something that's not just babbling!

Friday, June 24, 2005

Thursday, June 23, 2005


Why has my font gone weird?
Arial, please come back -- Times Roman begone

I don't like it like this

Oh Jonathan . . . are you reading this?
Please help.


Andrew Taylor has some great tidbits on his site today. He's talking to an audience of artists and arts administrators, but I think teachers, politicians, bosses, and principals should take a peak as well.

Tidbit 1
We've grown used to the "lecture," the assumption that we know what is good and valuable, that we have the wisdom society so desperately needs, and that our job is to talk until they understand. . .

Tidbit 2
Speaking is necessary, of course, for without it there would be little in the Dialogue to explore. But the actual process of exploration takes place during listening -- not only to others but to oneself. Suspension involves exposing your reactions, impulses, feelings and opinions in such a way that they can be seen and felt within your own psyche and also be reflected back by others in the group. . .

Tidbit 3
A Dialogue is essentially a conversation between equals. Any controlling authority, no matter how carefully or sensitively applied, will tend to hinder and inhibit the free play of thought and the often delicate and subtle feelings that would otherwise be shared. Dialogue is vulnerable to being manipulated, but its spirit is not consistent with this. Hierarchy has no place in Dialogue.

Full Post

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Actually, it's all bad news.
Monday night, I missed orchestra rehearsal
At 7:15 I said to myself, "You have to leave in 5 minutes"
And then my mind blanked out

And then . . . my grant pannel (which originally promised daytime-only meetings)
Needs to meet durring next Monday's rehearsal
SO . . . [gulp]. . . No orchestra for me this summer

(Missing one rehearsal is bad enough, missing two is unaccecptable,)
Missing two rehearsals plus the concert on Papa's birthday . . .
[hangs head in shame]

On a brighter side, I'm going to take my nephew to one of the concerts
Three years old is exactly the right age for a pops concert in the park
If I were playing the concerts, I obviusly wouldn't be able to take him

And, another bright spot, the grant reviewing thing is going quite well.
It pays SO MUCH MORE than I thought.
And the experience is fabulous.
Definately worth doing

But I'm sad that orchestra always falls to the bottom of my priorities

Sunday, June 19, 2005

It's going to be wonderfully busy around here this week.

I am up to my ears in grant proposals that need to be read, reviewed, and rated. It's a great gig (interesting work, great pay, and fabulous experience) but it will soak up a lot of time this week.

The boss at "Real Job" (if it actually constitutes a real job) loves the fact that I'm on a national pannel, and is VERY flexible regarding my schedule. Instead of taking the week off, (which would be the sane way of doing things) I'm going to squeeze some hours in as I can (before/after normal business hours).

AND . . . I have a few orchestra rehearsas this week, PLUS the big bicycle race is Saturday. With so much to do, and so much going on, things might get a little quiet on the blog - don't panic, just smile and know that I'm completely and throughly enjoying my summer!

Saturday, June 18, 2005

ROOM FOR ALL . . . random thoughts

1. Here's a little theological/reflection exercise. Fill in the blank "God accepts all persons regardless of ____________."
(You can post your ideas in the comments, if you'd like)

2. The Rev. Dr. Norman Kansfield has been suspended from the Reformed Church in America. ((NY Times Article)
I'm not surprised. Those Dutch Reformers are not exactly the most open and accepting bunch of people. But the optomistic side of me hoped it'd be ok. (silly Julie).

3. "Kansfield seems to be saying that God accepts all persons regardless of their continued engagement in sinful behavior," said the propaganda. (Emphasis mine, don't get me started . . . gggggrrrrrrrrrrr).

4. My favorite quote, comes from William Rupp, "[The Reformed Church in America] has also spoken against using Styrofoam cups. Ever use a Styrofoam cup? The General Synod has spoken against SUVs. I saw a few of those in the parking lot." [Full Article]

5. Did you know that Norm was a Mt. Greenwood baby? (Just like me!)

6. It is funny to listen to T.V. reports where the reporters mis-pronounce SYNOD (one chick pronounced it sigh-noid!)

Thursday, June 16, 2005


Right now, I'm waiting on hold for a really big conference call.
It's an orientation for the U.S. Dept. of Ed. Grant reviewing thing.
I got a big packet of information yesterday.

I can't talk about it much (due to confidentiality agreements).
But this is going to be fabulousl!
(I know I'm supposed to act all calm, cool, and professional - but every time I stop and realize that *I* am a grant reviewer for the Department of Education it makes me happy and smiley!

Let's just say that one more time - just for fun!
I am a grant reviewer for the Deparment of Education !!!!!!!!
(-: (-: (-: (-:


My amazing grandmother married my "biological" grandfather just after WWII. Two years after their daughter (my mom) was born, "Biological Grandfather" contracted polio. The after effects where pretty miserable, he was unable to stand and sometimes had to be in an iron lung.

So, few years into her marriage, my Amazing Grandmother had a 2 year old daughter, and a very sick (crippled) husband who could not work. AND, a mother that was dying of cancer and staying with them.

Grandma doesn't tell these stories - but other people do.
Once the organizers of a church picnic thought it would be fun to have a ladies nail pounding contest. They kindly started a row of nails in a 2x4, put the ladies in front of the wood with hammers, and said that the first woman to have her nail all way down would win. They signaled to start and the women started tapping their nails.
Except my Grandma. She hit it twice and won the contest seconds after it started!

If you look at photographs of her from this era, you'll notice that she's always wearing sleeveless dresses. I'm told it's because her arm muscles were too big to fit into the standard femininely small sleeves of the time period.

Once her brother-in-law saw her changing the oil in her car. Uncle Al was embarrassed that she was doing it, and told her to stop. He even offered to do it for her.
But Grandma said, "No."
Not because she was an aspiring and bitter feminist that refused any manly help. She told him, "If I don't do it this time, I'll forget how it's done, and won't be able to do it the next time."

I've already written about my aversion to automotive maintenance. The daughter of a mechanic can not be expected to do these things.

On top of that, the Mechanic's Daughter has not been a responsible car owner.
I'll spare you the shocking details -
But if the mechanic knew how lax I've been . . . [shudder]
BUT after a certain dealer tried to scam me, I'm not anxious to go back there.

YES, I could go to a local independent shop.
In fact, my former neighbor just opened his own garage.
And I'm told there's a nice place right next to where I work.
But . . . I've been busy . . . lazy . . . and avoiding it.
Change is bad.
Ignoring the problem might make it go away . . . right???
Besides the mechanic's daughter is bad at taking automotive initiative.
She just doesn't do car stuff - - - Until today!
Brother Jon is going to teach me to change my own oil!

After work I'm going to go buy a filter (Jon told me where to look and what to do - not that it's necessary because a cute blonde can't walk 10 feet into an auto supply store without being accosted by a salesman offering help!) Then (while my car's still hot) Jon and I are going to change the oil!

I already feel Empowered!

UPDATE #1 (So much for empowerment)
I overdrove the ramp.
It was rather scary to hear my car fall (THUMP!)
I'm freaked out
Ramp driving is too much - baby steps.
I'm waiting for Dear 'ole Dad to come over and help with getting the car on the ramp.
THEN . . . then Jon will teach me to change the oil
(and maybe I'll stop shaking - it's really scarey to drive a car off a ramp!)

UPDATE #2 - I did it! I did it! I did it!
I'm never ever going to try to get up on those ramps again - but the actual oil change was rather enjoyable!! Jon is a good teacher. Horray for Jon and Horray me!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

1. Baby robins (round 2) hatching (any day now!)
2. Getting my grant reviewer orientation packet (hopefully that will come today!)
3. Finishing Silent Spring (and crossing it off the list!)
4. Watching three former classmates present their thesises (or is it thesi?)
5. Volunteering for the Stone Arch Arts Festival this weekend
6. Beautiful black fleece going on clearnace this Friday (I'm going to try and make a fleece jacket!)

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The Dakota Valley Symphony has announced the music for the summer season:

The March from 1941: John Williams
A Salute to the Big Bands arr Calvin Custer
The Music of MGM (A Medley)
From Sea To Shining Sea
Victory at Sea: Richard Rodgers
Star Wars Episode 1: John Williams Star Wars Medley: (A New Hope): John Williams

Dates/Times/Locations of concerts are listed Way Back Here.

"People can't even talk about this issue--where we disagree or why we disagree--and that's why we need a trial," said Kansfield. "If I am going to be charged, then I deserve to have that adjudicated. A trial will be the way we talk to each other."
- Rev. Dr. Norm Kansfield

Norm Kansfield is the fella that got kicked out of New Brunswick Theological Seminary for "supporting his daughter on her wedding day.

The Reformed Church of American will be deciding what to do with him on Friday.
Now, the RCA and I have sort of a love/hate relationship. As an ex-commnicated RCA-er, with no thological education, and heretical tendencies, my opinion hardly matters - but I wish Norm nd his family the very best. May open minds (on both sides) and fruitful dialog somehow prevail.

Monday, June 13, 2005

I sent out resumes for a few more jobs today, but won't bore you with details about them. Instead, I'll bore you with details about the job that I really really want and have staked all future happiness upon. I humbly offer my list of

Location, Location, Location - This job is located in a small-ish "walking friendly" town. (It would be possible to walk/bicycle to work on most days!) Rent is cheap. And there are lots of arts and cultural activities. Plus there is a fair bit of ethnic diversity (at least by Minnesota-standards!) AND . . . it is not too far from where I live now (so it'd be possible for me to not abandon my poor Girl Scouts!)

Benefits - Besides all the normal (boring) benefits, this employer has a Tuition Assistance Program; I could take classes (including violin lessons) through the local college for FREE!

$$$$$ - If a short commute, cheap housing, medical/dental insurance, and free classes weren't enough . . . this job will pay actual money! (What a concept!!!!)

The Job - The job itself is mucho-coolo. It involves some teaching, some research, some work in the Arts, and supervising a small staff of teenage-techno-computer geeks. I'd be on the cutting edge of arts education technologies working with teachers, students, and two other staff members.

There are drawbacks - I'd probably have to quit the Symphony. I'd be even further away from The Cities and probably living by myself. I'd have to invest in a fairly substantial wardrobe upgrade and dress in dressy clothes more often. And I fear my techno-geek skills are not quite enough. But . . . Fingers Remain Crossed!

Sunday, June 12, 2005


A shallow mind is a sin against God
- Chaim Potok from In the Beginning

Saturday, June 11, 2005

My Grandmother left this morning at 7:43.
I bawled at 7:44 - I'm so going to miss having her around.
It was SO NICE to have her here for a week!
I wish she lived closer

I applied for an amazing job this week
It's for a fabulous organization in a great location
And combines lottsa interests into one neat package
Alas, I'm not the "perefect" canidate,
And lots of folks have applied for this gig
But my fingers are crossed (very tightly crossed)
I want this WAY TOO MUCH!

Tonight is Girl Scout Night at one of the local sports teams
I have three girls going
And the volunteer I was hopeful about helping me with the troop . . . She has a criminal record . . . and . . .

So I found another adult to come with me
I have some really terriffic girls,
Maybe hoping for really terriffic co-volunters is asking for too much.

In case you hadn't noticed - I'm feeling very BLAH today
Tonight will be better
My kidos get to dress up in mini-mascot costumes and do goofy mascott things on the field
And we're all going to get hot dogs and baseball caps
Plus a speical patch
It'll be fun!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

The Imperial Orchestra
This is good
Click now
Hurry Up!

My old water bottle is lost.
Poof! Gone!
So, I've been using an ugly orange nalgene.
Because everyone talks about how unbreakable/wonderful they are.
Except I'm apparently not coordinated enough to have a hip/cool water bottle, because in the last four days I've spilled on myself at least six times. (Not just a little spill - big, drenching spills down the front of my shirt).
It's rather embarrassing.
I need to find my old (sippy-cup style-esque) water bottle.
The End.

I told you it was a boring story

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

I'm in I'm in I'm in I'm in I'm in! Yes kids, I have a voicemail from the folks at the U.S. Dept. of Education who want ME to serve on their Grant Review Pannel! (never mind that they were suppose to announce the panel a week ago, and I'm probably among their 3rd or 4th set of choices) I'M IN!!!

I have to call back today for more details, but the phone message indicated that the panel will be meeting the same time as the Brain Gym Class I wanted to take. (darn!) Cross Brain Gym off the list)
AND . . . I'll need to take a week off of work to be on this pannel (but I'm telling myself that the experience and the extra sparkle it will give my resume is worth going without a little tiny paycheck for a week . . . right?)

Heeheeheee Happy Dance all the way around!

Monday, June 06, 2005

Two men who stole copies of the new Harry Potter book due out later this summer and tried to sell them to newspaper reporters have been arrested. When one reporter tried to recover the book from the men for police, shots were fired...
Full Story
via ArtsJournal

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Grandma says, "Why do you want picture of your back? And put your hat on!"
But isn't the hood is so cool!
(And aren't the funny hats funny?)
I think the extra little bit on the sleeves is pretty spiffy too!
This is my favorite picture of the day . . .

And this is grandma's favorite picture. (Not because she's in it, but because I put the the silly hat back on and am posing with the diploma folder --- never mind that the hood is collapsing against my neck!!!!)

Saturday, June 04, 2005

RANDOM THOUGHTS THAT A BRAIN THINKS WHILE DRIVING (and driving and driving and driving)

Olives are associated (at least in my mind) with the country of Greece.
Yet olive garden is supposed to be Italian - what's up with that?
Are Italian Olives different from Greek Olives?

Do olives really grown in gardens?
They seem like more of a "tree" kind of produce?
Or at least a "bush" sort of thing
I should look that up.
If they do grow on trees - Olive Garden should change the name to "Olive Orchard"
It's just more honest

I use to believe that "You are known by the company you keep
And so . . . I tried to be around the people like me
(Or at least around people I wanted to be like)
There's something very wrong about that

My grandmother is spiffy
Papa VW is cool
I need to be around "old people" more often.
MLE Quote (paraphrased) "Age segregation is the worst sin of all"

I wish I could grow a cinnamon tree in my yard.
How could would it be to have a cinnamon scented back yard?

While I loved my WDM apartment (and thought living alone was great) I don't think I want to do that again. Severly introverted people feel better about life when they live with other people (because we can always find ways to be alone - but we aren't quite so good at finding human contact).

Pretending like it's not a big deal
Turns it into a big deal

I love being a granddaughter!
I love being an aunt!
Sometimes I get frustrated with myself, but honestly truly (in almost everyway) I am in the perfect place for myself right now!

Everyone is creative - some people are just braver about it
What if we're all equally creative (and just not equally brave about sharing "silly" ideas?)

I love my I-PASS

Friday, June 03, 2005

It's been a really long time since I've woken up early and watched the day begin.
I've forgotten how much I enjoy the early morning
I'm off to Chicago, have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 02, 2005


And if my logs are telling me the truth, I have about 12 heads reading this (unless some of you have two heads - which is possible because there are a few of you that are complete and total strangers --- like the person from 3M that drops by every once in a while -- now I doubt that the mysterious 3M person has two heads, but it IS possible!)

Because all your heads are valuable - I'm going to talk outloud a bit about this job search thing - please don't feel obligated to read - but if you do, maybe you'll have clarifying questions, ideas, comments, or leads to help me out. Feel free to jump in with any thoughts (comment anonymously if you like!)

Because this post was so long and rambling - and probably not of interest to you, I've moved the rest of it here.

1. Today is the day that the U.S. Dept. of Education is supposed to inform us all if I get to be a grant reviewer this summer. I'm thinking it isn't going to happen - but fingers are still crossed. We do not know if they inform by phone or email (so I'm glued to my desk and checking my email every two minutes in anxious anticipation!)

2. I'm seriously concerned about job things. Last month I passed up some full time gigs because they weren't the direction I wanted to go -- but maybe this isn't the right economy to be picky about direction. With that in mind, I've decided to apply for a (gasp) teaching position in Wisconsin.

The nice thing about it, (besides a full time paycheck!) is that it's a start up program. AND Wisconsin would honor my Iowa teaching license. It's also close enough to the cities that I could regularily attend events and things
The not nice thing about it is --- everything else.
I'd be too far away to keep being a leader for my G.S. Troop (and, after teaching kids all day long, I don't think I'd want to do G.S. too). I'd have to quit the Symphony (again) and probably search for a new place to play. I'd have to drop my two private students . . . AND I'd be contacted to this job for a year (so if the perfect opportunity came along in November, I'd be stuck in a teaching through June).
BUT I'm going to apply anyway - there's no guarentee that I'll even get the job - and it's not like I have to accecpt if they offered it to me.

3. Sunday is the big day - the day I go from being a mere mortal, to being knighted as a MASTER mere mortal (Yep - Graduation!)

Tomorrow I'm driving to Chicago,(and maybe stoping by Mr. Mark's shop for a pair of really good running shoes!)
Saturday I'm driving back to Minnesota with my Grandmother (Yes kids, that's 7 hours of lovely grandma time all to myself!)
Sunday Morning I open the magical suprise of wonder, iron the polyester cap and gown, smile, pose for pictures, get my hood!, smile, more pictures, reception, smile, congradulations, etc.
(And my grandmother is going to hang out around here for a week or two aftewards!)

4. Just in case you're curious - Mamma Bird was out of the nest this morning - so I peaked, and there are FOUR eggs!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

I'm not linking to Steph's Top Ten Orchestra Innudendos because I still pretend to be a responsible grown-up around my former students. Responsible grown-ups do not condone cello sex puns. Responsible grown ups look sternly at the young hoodlums, hold back the laughter, and try to remember the one about "shifting to higher positions."

One does not need to be very clever, however, to find a link to Steph's site somewhere around here - so if one were really inclinded to go searching for such things, one could find it. (And it might be worth the search - some of Steph's list is mighty funny!)