Monday, February 19, 2007

Scales, Etudes, and Auditions

One among you, dear readers, has a big scary audition coming up this weekend. (And not to name names, but she has confessed to letting the scales slide, because of a rummor that they rarely ask for scales).

One among you is starting to get a little nervous and worry that maybe ignoring the scales to concentrate on the Bach may have been a bad idea.

For you, dear nameles one who is playing for big scarey Northwestern faculty this weekend, I share this classic violin lesson with a musical master. (Pay particular attention the breathing - maybe it's something you want to emulate!)

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Garrison and Bart
Whoda'thunk the Simpsons would land a place on the Writer's Alamac?!

It's the birthday of cartoonist Matt Groening, born in Portland, Oregon (1954). He decided to move to Los Angels after college to try to make it as a writer. He lived in a neighborhood full of drug dealers and thieves, and got a job ghostwriting the memoirs of an 88-year-old filmmaker. After that, he worked at a convalescent home, a waste treatment plant, and a graveyard.

He started writing a comic strip based on his daily troubles called "Life in Hell." When a television producer asked Groening to create a TV show, Groening decided to invent a cartoon family that would be the exact opposite of all the fictional families that had ever been on American television. He named the parents after his own parents, Homer and Marge, and he named the two sisters after his own sisters, Lisa and Maggie. He chose the name Bart for the only son because it was an anagram of the word "brat."

Critics immediately praised The Simpsons, because it was in some ways more realistic than any other American sitcom. Homer was fat, bald, and stupid; he drank a lot, worked at a nuclear power plant, and occasionally strangled his son. His wife, Marge, was an obsessive-compulsive housewife with a blue beehive hairdo. The characters were frequently selfish, rude, and mean to one another, and the show often took on dark subjects like suicide, adultery, and environmental disaster. The Simpsons went on to become the most popular and longest-running sitcom in America.

Matt Groening said, "Teachers, principals, clergymen, politicians — for the Simpsons, they're all goofballs, and I think that's a great message for kids.


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentines Day
Once upon a time, I was an anti-valentines day person.
Because there's all this hoopla about mushy love and silly romance

But as I get older, Valentines day becomes more fun (even without all the kissing). It's only 7:30, and I've already gotten THREE surprises today (Yes, socks count as a surprise, even if we all knew they were coming!)

And, I have a few surprises of my own being delivered!
(But that's all I'm saying)

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Fun Excerpt

Puck flung a white fruit on the ground.
Peter and Rosemary scrambled back, expecting it to splatter.
The furit bounced, changing color as it hit, swiriling like an oil slick on water.
The swirls shook as Puck bounced the ball again.

"What is that?" asked Peter.

"An idea - the fruit of an idea tree." Puck ginned.

"Ideas grown on trees?" asked Rosemary.

"Where else would they be?" said Puck. "Tis a shame they are not more common."

From The Unwritten Girl by James Bow

Saturday, February 10, 2007


I could write about this week, and why I'm stressed, and such.
But it's much more fun to share the random amusing tidbits
Yes, I'm an easily amused dork - but that's part of my charm!

1.This week it was cold enough for my favorite mitten trick - When it it really really really cold out (like 40 below) and you're wearing your really thick mittens, breathe into them for a few minutes. This does two things. One, you aren't breathing the super cold air. Two, when you stop breathing into your mitten, and hold it out infront of yourself, it'll look like it's steaming!!

2. En route to work on Wednesday the I Know and Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly song got stuck in my head. All day long I was humming "I don't know why she swallowed that fly; I guess she'll die." You would think I would get sick of it, but for some reason it entertained me all day long!

3.Finally, I got to meet my new Girl Scout troop. These girls are all in second grade (7-8 years old). Before the meeting started they were talking about their mom's purses. One girl said, "My mom has had her purse since before I was born. It's from the 20th century!" (How's that for making you feel old!)

Friday, February 02, 2007


I just got a promo postcard about that conference.
(Which is an unpleasant reminder that I need to get cracking a dynamite presentation - yikes!)

The postcard lists keynote speakers, quotes from past participants, featured presentations and such. Most of this stuff has been on their website for ages, but there is one new addition . . .

Should I be excited or concerned that Sesame Street Muppet Characters will be at this conference?

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Wake Up Call

My building recently had a 4 a.m. fire drill. (Actually, it was more of a false alarm than a drill).

I threw on jeans and a sweatshirt (plus mis-matched socks and shoes) found my coat, hat, mittens, scarf, grabbed Kitty and left my warm apartment.

Once of the first things you learn in public school is that Fire Alarm = Evacuate

You do not get your coat
Or grab your backpack
Or even stop for the violin

You leave and you Don't Talk.

But this is Minnesota - it is superduper cold outside
(And Mrs. Bloomquist is not here to yell at me)
So I felt no guilt in (quickly) putting on warm clothes and taking kitty with me.

A lot of my neighbors hoever, were standing outside in pajamas. (Crazy people - Perhpaps their Mrs. Bloomquist did a better job of teaching fire drill rules - except they were all TALKING!)
One lady in particular just kept babbling on and on.

As soon as the fire trucks showed up (yes, it was "that" kind of fire drill). Kitty and I went to one of the other buildings and cat-napped in the lobby.

Then the fire truck left; kitty and I went back to my warm bed, and wasn't able to fall back asleep.