Friday, June 30, 2006


1. Book Seven will (likley) be published next year!
2. J.K. Rowling is playing "who-will-die" mind games with her readers again.

Read All About It

Thursday, June 29, 2006

I have an apartment.
A seemingly beautiful, quiet, little place with easy access to the highway and a nicely wooded area.
(We'll see if it's still nice after I've lived there a bit).

I also have a roommate.
Because roommates equal a nicer apartment for cheaper.
It also means I can't move in as soon as I'd like,
and we have all the normal roommate "issues" to work out.

I also have a new address and phone number.
Those of you who need to know will be told in the next week or two.
Those of you who are internet strangers can stick with the email addresses.

That's all folks

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

John Birge just announced that Joe Carter passed away yesterday

Joe had the most amazing voice (the kind of voice that could keep a person mesmerized just by reciting the phone book). He told some of the most fascinating stories I’ve ever heard, and was a gentle spirit, a marvelous collegue, and an amazing person).
Joe was one of my artists, and I'm privelaged to have worked with him.

You can listen to Joe tell some stories on an old Speaking of Faith Episode (I have it on good authority that this episode will be re-broadcast in the very near future).

In other news, my cousin Stephie had a baby yesterday.
I'm feeling like the beginning of the Lighting Crashes song

lightning crashes, a new mother cries
her placenta falls to the floor
the angel opens her eyes
the confusion sets in
before the doctor can even close the door

lightning crashes, an old mother dies
her intentions fall to the floor
the angel closes her eyes
the confusion that was hers
belongs now, to the baby down the hall



Really, it's only worth a half-giggle, but half-giggle is the best I can do right now, and really, it takes a special person to find half-giggle humor in graduation rates

via Eduwonk

Monday, June 26, 2006


Great Grams tomotaoes (inspired by the Dr. Charles Tomato Contest)
My HS Chemistry teacher (also inspired by Dr. Charles)
My Blogroll expanded people
My new apartment
Why do I think I need a second (third?) job
The wonders and miracles of public libraries
My afternoon with KW and how she inspires me
The miracle of roommates/why I shouldn't live alone
The importance of July 11, 2006
My plan to fix the world (music and poetry)

Alas, I'm too lazy to write right now.
Maybe tomorrow.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

From the Parade Supplement

How a male in the U.S. House of Representatives votes on bills involving women's safety and reproductive reights may depend on how many daughters he has. Ebonya Washinton, a Yale ecomomist, found that legislators with just girls - or more girls than noys- takes more liberal position on issues wush as aborition and access to birth control. This held for Republicans as well as Democrats

I did a bit of research and found a blog summary/editorial of the report at Mahablog - definately worth a read. (I think this will prompt some interesting conversation with Dear 'ole Dad and his daughters!)

Thursday, June 22, 2006

From Ten Fun Things to do Before You Die by Karol Jackowski

1. Cultivate a diverse group of friends
“What better way to make yourself interesting than to surround yourself with those different from, and more interesting than you?”

“Associating with you our kind . . . always brings out our worst features, or worst selves, and every hidden tendency we have to feel ourselves better than anyone else.”

2. Do your lifes work

3.Educate yourself
Read, travel volunteer, see art and plays, spend time in museums, mediate, do something!

4. Take sides
"Taking sides gives the interesting person an even more interesting edge. Not only does taking sides make you exceptionally interesting, but it too can actually help save the world. (p. 89).

“Take sides. Neutrally helps the oppressor never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor never the tormented.” – Elie Wiesel

"The most interesting, admirable and enjoyable ones are always those brace enough to take sides. The most boring, deceptive and sneaky ones usually are those who believe their divinely appointed role in life is to keep the peace" (p. 91)

("Make yourself more interesting" is the #7 fun thing to do. Stay tuned for others!)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


Girl Scouts
* Take my older girls on a weekend camping trip
* Take my younger girls to a summer symphony concert
* Go camping with another GS troop who needs an extra adult

* Find the perfect apartment
* Pack (ugh)
* Move
* Unpack (ugh)

Extraneous Fun
* Take newphew to the zoo (to see sea lions)
* Pay off that darn Stafford/Ford Loan
* Work parties (which include theater, jet sking, and a dinner cruise!)
* Full Time Employment (!!!!!!!)
* Mountain bike adventure
* Go shoping for new bread machine
* Find a few private students for fall

* See Body Worlds exhibit
* Write diversity statement
* Storytelling workshop
* Yoga workshop
* Franklin Covey workshop (???)
* Think about stuff for fall (class/workshop/etc.)
* Think about getting published

Book List
* Beloved
* Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes
* Spells of Enchantment : the Wondrous Fairy Tales of Western Culture
* The hero project : 2 teens, 1 notebook, 13 extraordinary interviews

Movie List
* Firefly
* Posession
* The Language You Cry In

Sunday, June 18, 2006


I thought I was way too old for myspace.
But if Itzhak Perlman has an account, maybe I should too.

A thousand crowns to which ever one of you young teenage whippersnappers can make me "friends" with Perlman!

Saturday, June 17, 2006


Readers usually grossly underestimate their own importance. If a reader cannot create a book along with the writer, the book will never come to life.

Creative involvement: that's the difference between reading a book and watching TV.
In watching TV, we are passive-sponges; we do nothing. In reading we must become creators, imagining the setting of the story, seeing the facial expressions, hearing the inflection of the voices. The author and the reader "know" each other; they meet on the bridge of words.

- Madeline L'Engle
Walking on Water, p. 34

Friday, June 16, 2006


When I was a kid, Dear ‘ole Dad would frequently refer to his family as “The Entourage.”

Most of the time people laughed – which made dad happy (and embarrassed us!)

There were a lot of VW kids.
But we were generally fairly well behaved (most of the time).

Sometimes, on wonderfully rare occasions, Dear ‘ole Dad would “release” us from best behavior.
And those were glorious moments!

Once upon a time we were on a family vacation,
And Dear ‘ole Dad reserved a hotel room one day in advance.
When we got to town, Dear ‘ole Dad discovered that the hotel was a dump.

The hotel had a weird cancelation policy,
So Dear ‘ole Dad brought his delightful Entourage into the roach hotel lobby and released us.

[Insert Evil Laugh]

While Dear ‘ole Dad and Mother Dear talked to the fella at the front desk,
One VW child went over to look at every single magazine on the rack.
Other VW children wandered over to the television
Two of us invented a bouncing game to play on the couch.
And of course, we all helped ourselves to the candy dish!

We weren’t being naughty,
but there were a lot of kids,
and we were all over the place.
Which tends to make people nervous.

Dear ‘ole Dad asked the roach hotel clerk we could see the room,
At which point the sibling bickering began

“Wow, this is big.”

“No, It's SMALL.”

“I was being scarcastic."

"Compared to houses in India this is big”

“This isn't India”

“I never said this was India – if it were India we wouldn’t have hamburgers for dinner”

“Mommy, where is India?”

"We had hamburgers for lunch - can we have something else for dinner?"

"We had cheese sandwhices for lunch - yesterday was hamburgers."

"I need to go potty!"

Roach Hotel owner was happy to cancel the reservation, and the VW family found a slightly less dumpy hotel, where the VW children spent the night doing schoolwork, and lived happily ever after.


Thursday, June 15, 2006

Charles Peguy

God Speaks:
I don't like the man who doesn't sleep, says God.
I am talking about those who work and don’t sleep.
I pity them. I have it against the. A little.
They won’t trust me.
They have the courage to work.
They lack the courage to be idle.
To stretch out. To rest. To sleep.
Poor people, they don’t know what’s good.
Those who don’t sleep are unfaithful to hope.
They look after their business very well during the day.
But they haven’t enough confidence in me
To let me look after it during the night
As if I wasn’t capable of looking after it
During one night
Human wisdom says,
Don’t put off until tomorrow
What can be done the very same day.
And I tell you:
Put off until tomorrow
Those worried and those trouble gnawing at you today ...
Put off until tomorrow
Those tears which fill your eyes and your head,
Flooding you, rolling down your cheeks,
Those tears which stream down your cheeks
Because between now and tomorrow, Maybe I, God,
Will have passed your way.
Blessed is the one who puts of until tomorrow
That is to say, blessed is the one who hopes
And who sleeps.

Sunday, June 11, 2006


My site is the number two result for Anne Shirley's Meyer's Brigg Type on Yahoo! Canada
(And I'm number one on google!)

Of couse, an honor such as this comes with responsibilities,
And since I am an Anne of Green Gables scholar,
(By "scholar" I mean "freakin' fanatic")
It seems only right that I should write a post declaring Anne's MBTI - type

Anne Shirley is most definately an ENFP.

Saturday, June 10, 2006


The results of my personality defect test:

You are the Spiteful Loner, the personality type that is most likely to go on a shooting rampage. In high school, you were probably that kid who wore all black and who sat alone in a corner of the lunch room, drawing pictures of dead babies. You are a rational person and tend to hold emotions in very low-esteem; not only that, but you are also rather introverted, meaning you probably bury any emotions you feel deep inside yourself, like all of the bodies in your backyard. Combine these traits with your dislike of others and your brutality, and it seems that you would be quite likely to shoot innocent people in a rampage. Most likely, you also have low self-esteem. Hell, I get low self-esteem just looking at you. This is only yet one more incentive to go on a shooting rampage, because you wouldn't care if you died as a result. Granted, you probably haven't gone on a shooting rampage and probably never will, but all the motivations are there. All you need is for someone to push you over the edge, calling you names and belittling you. Like me. But don't shoot me. . . In conclusion, your personality is defective because you are too introverted, brutal, insecure, and rather unemotional. No wonder no one hangs around you, you morbid, cold-hearted freak!

Via Lynn

Thursday, June 08, 2006


Last January I made cinnamon swirl bread with whole wheat flour.
At the time I didn’t think it turned out so well
So I ate one loaf - and tossed the other in the freezer for later.

Skip to this morning.
I was craving bread.
Real bread – not the stuff you get from the grocery store.
Alas, the bread machine is broken.
So . . . I pulled out my whole wheat cinnamon swirl bread and made a sandwich.

Just so you know - Toasted Whole Wheat Cinnamon Swirl Bread with turkey and swiss is absolutely fabulous!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


I heard the camp episode of This American Life when it first aired in 1998. Because of job search things (and personal issues with the so-called "leadership") I hadn't camp counselored the previous summer.

If you are a "camp person" you don't even need to listen. You already know everything they say (but you'll probably enjoy listening!) If you aren't a camp person, you'll probably be bored and say.

Direct links aren't possible, but if you go to the TAL website and do a search for "camp" it will come up. (Alternately, you could just look for Episode 109 in the 1998 archives).

I'm not Ira Glass - but I am a camp-person in need of a camp fix.
And so, I humbly present thoughts/memories in my own blog-version of "Notes on Camp"

Note 1: Homesickness
Yes, I admit it - as a camper, I was a homesick-o
Worse than that, I was the type who didn't talk about it
and wallowed in silent misery.

Once I got over the homesickness thing (not until High School) and became a counselor (durring college) camp became great fun! (Forget all that sap about being "all for the kids" in my mind, I agree with the person who said Camp is for Counselors!!)

Note 2: Songs
I love the part in the show where a girl says, "This is a very sing-y camp."
I'm a crummy singer.(My theory teacher use to joke that I had a range of a dimished minor second!)
But at camp I sang with reckless abandon.
It's easy to sing (even solo) at camp.

The great thing about camp songs is how tightly we cling to our version. There is no grace in camp songs and I've seen (participated) in lyric arguments which rival the intensity of serious academic/political debates.

(And for the record, The Princess Pat did not "live in a tree." The correct words are "light infantry." Also, it is "three chartreuse buzzards," not "three sharp toothed buzzards").

Note 3: Menstruation
Apologies to the guys who are already squirming, but one cannot truly reflect on camp without mentioning the poor girls who get their first period at camp. Most of the time health class (and moms) do their job, and the kid has enough information to understand what's happening. However, there's always one poor girl who somehow missed out on all that. And while you feel sorry for the poor kid (and which ever counselor is stuck explaining things) it makes for some really funny stories afterwards.

Note 4: Little Stories and Inside Jokes:
Yeah, off the top of my head . . .
There's the Ja-ja Game?
(And the resulting Ja-ja-java beatnik night!)
And Gulliver's note to the camp nurse,
The damn ducks,
And Clay's "ugly" scream

Note 5: Camp Sense of Clean
There's something about camp that alters one's sense of cleanness. "Camp clean" is a little different from "normal-person clean." (One of the things I most miss about camp in my real life is being able to wear mis-matched, less-than-clean, clothes without anyone even noticing/caring).

The other thing about "camp clean" is how amazing good "real clean" feels when you do take a shower and put on a clean t-shirt. Being clean feels so much better when you've been dirty for a week.

Note 6: Scarey Stories
Can't comment
I don't do scary stories. Never-Ever.
Not even at camp.
(Ask a tent-mate, they'll tell you I've covered my ears to avoid their ghost stories)

Note 7: Night
Night at camp is the coolest thing in the world.
Fireflies in the forest are amazing
You can see shooting stars
There are nice little fires
And sunsets
And the swamp smells pretty
And the frogs are singing
Camp is cool!

Monday, June 05, 2006

courtsey of my famous brother

Q: What do you call a dehydrated alligator

A: An insta-gator!

Sunday, June 04, 2006


It was one this day in 1919 that the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, giving women the right to vote, was passed by the United States Congress. Women across America voted in their first national election in November of 1920, though there was still some resistance to the idea. Some cities instituted a rule that voters would have to state their age in order to vote, with the hope that women would be discouraged enough to stay home—but it didn't seem to work.

Thursday, June 01, 2006


The Worst President in History? in Rolling Stone

via Dr. Charles


As some of you already know, in 2003 I resigned from an awesome teaching position in West Des Moines to pursue a new adventure. My not-so-secret-dream was to get a masters degree in arts administration, combine it with my education background, and become the education director for a symphony orchestra (or Yo-yo Ma’s Silk Road Project). And so, on July 1, 2003, I packed all my earthly possessions, and moved to the northern tundra of Minnesota.

My grandfather was dying.
I had no job.
My living situation was less-than-ideal.
But I was determined to do this.

Those of you who have been following along at home know that I finished the master’s program last year, and have been doing part-time contract work while bemoaning my lack of a gainful employment. (And I was gosh darn picky! I wasn’t going to take a job at Starbucks or Target because I wanted a gig in the realm of education - without having to go back into teaching).

And that has (FINALLY) happened!

I have landed a job as the Education and Community Programs Coordinator with a mid-sized (and growing) performing arts organization. It is a new position and I’ll be in charge of growing several educational initiatives and managing existing programs. ‘Tis a lovely job, with a lovely organization, and I’m happy happy happy.

The word of the day is PACKING!
The gig begins in July - and I'm on the lookout for a cute little apartment.

Happiness abounds.

(As I said the other day, life is good!)