Thursday, March 29, 2007

Back in the olden days (when I was growing up) there was no such thing as children's church.

Kids were expected to sit with the parents for the whole service. The first half of church was easy (songs, offering, more songs, standing, sitting, reciting, reading). But the sermon half was long and rather boring. I entertained myself by drawing on the bultien, imagining what it would be like to climb in the rafters, watching the celling fans spin, eating Starbursts, and making oragami creations out of the Starburst wrappers. (Starburst wrappers are ideal for church oragmi because they don't make crinkle noises like paper!)

Until I was about 10, church was mostly about learning to sit still and quietly entertain myself. I didn't actually listen to a sermon until the Sunday that Rev. DeJong preached.

Rev. DeJong came as a guest/pulpit supply preacher. He had retired and was doing the guest preaching circut. He didn't yell into the micropone like all the other old preachers. He seemed happy, even friendly - not to mention INTERESTING!

He probably preached at our church a hundred times before I noticed him (too busy making paper hats out of starburst wrappers). But once I became aware of Rev. DeJong I really looked forward to the few times a year that he came to preach. He told great stories and talked like a normal person.

* * * *

A while back I wrote the story of how I ended up becoming the "Ministry Supervisor" for a local seminary student. We finished the project last month, and now I have to fill out a final evaluation.

The eval form is designed for people doing traditional internships, in churches, with professional preachers as supervisors. Since this "internship" was all about creating an arts education experience and did not involve any bibles, hymns, or theological questioning, a lot of questions on the evaluation form are Not Applicable.

But reading through the evaluation questions about preaching made me think of Rev. DeJong. So I googled him - just to see what came up. (I realize that a fella who retired in the '80s would be VERY old, and kinda expected to find an obituary - and then feel sad). But a teeny tiny little part of me hoped that he would have a website or a blog. Or maybe some church would have a schedule that listed him as a guest preacher.

Alas, no website, BUT He has a book!
And the library down the street even has a copy!
How cool is that?!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Yes, the comments are not working.
No, I don't know why

Reblogger is the greatest commenting system ever!
Spammers have to work to post a comment
And people don't have to mess with logging into an account, or complicated word verificition.

BUT - every once in a while the server goes down.
But I can't complain.
Reblogger is very good to me.
(Besides, I think the server is in the basement of some fella in Canada, and I think he hosts comments just for the sheer pleasure of it).
Reblogger is cool!

Monday, March 26, 2007

You may recall that last summer, I paid off my William D. Ford Direct Loan
And this morning, I mailed the last payment for my Perkins loan
(15 months ahead of schedule!)

I am officially DEBT FREE and the proud owner of my education!

Friday, March 23, 2007


Oh me oh my - the weather tonight is absolutely beee-yoou-teee-ful!
Native Minnesotans are jogging in shorts and t-shirts. (Not me, I'm in a wool sweater and jeans, but the windows are WIDE OPEN tonight).

It's be a good night to go camping
Not cabin-camping or even tent camping
I want to be outside breathing fesh air all night long

And tomorrow - we're going to get a warm spring rain (which will wash away the last of the snow piles and maybe disolve a layer or two of salt off my car).

But for now - I'm going for another walk
The End

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

String Fever
Cello playing like you've never seen before

Monday, March 19, 2007

Poetic justice is not so easily meted out, as a distinguished gaggle of lawyers and psychiatrists found out when gathered on Thursday night to consider the sanity of Hamlet.

After two hours of mock-trial arguments at the Kennedy Center -- presided over by no less a jurist than Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy -- a jury of Washingtonians deliberated over whether Hamlet was in his right mind when he stabbed Polonius to death. In elegant tribute to Shakespeare's enigmatic masterpiece, the jurors deadlocked, 6 to 6.

Full Article via ArtsJournal

Sunday, March 18, 2007

SCONES - for Ryan
2 C. Flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 Tbsp. Sugar
4 1/2 Tbsp. cold butter
1/3 C. choc chips
1/3 C. dried cranberries
2/3 C. Milk

Preheat oven to 375.
Sift together flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and sugar.
Rub in butter until evenly distributed and the size of peas.
Add choc. chips and crasins.
Make a well in the center, pour in milk and quickly mix it all up, forming a very soft dough.

Knead once of twice on floured surface. (I use a plate)
Shape into a 3/4 inch deep round.
Make Six pizza shaped slices and put on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake for 18 minutes

Adapted from the 1999-2000 Jordan Creek Elementary Cookbook. The original recipe (submitted by Eleanor Albaugh, Kindergarten) calls for a pinch of salt, omits the crasins, and uses half-and-half instead of milk.


Saturday, March 17, 2007

* Today is a family birthday party day at my mom's house - yipee!

* Last month I got a new boss. We are getting along beautifully. This makes me happy

* I'm so tired of people stereotyping me (even when they do it with good intentions). I'm also tired of people stereotyping other people. This just needs to stop.

* Springtime makes me happy!

* I made cranberry chocolate chip scones for breakfast this morning. (Yummy!)

* I have to work next weekend.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Cloud Appreciation Society Once the last of my student loans are paid off, I might have to spring the £3.00 + postage to become a member!

Via Sweet Familiar Dissonance

Monday, March 12, 2007

I went to a conference (that conference) last week.
The presentation went well enough. (I'd hoped for more people, and a little glitch in the scheduling system did not help any). But I got to talk to people, eat a lotta food and even learn a litte. I came home exhausted - but it was good.

Highlights . . .
* Question - what if instead of the Pledge of Alligence, we had students recite the Preamble to the Constitution. (I think it's a great idea - much more democratic!)

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

* Interesting Factoid - Teens who watched Sesame Steet as children have better grades in high school, read more books, placed higher value on academic achievement, and are less aggressive than those who didn't watch Sesame Street! (Because I was the oldest of a small horde of offspring, and because my parents had strict television rules - Sesame Street was my "afterschool television" until I started high school).

* Crazy Idea - I should re-work the presenation into a journal article and submit it for publication. (This idea has come up before with other projects, but writing is HARD WORK and I was too lazy to follow through). Further consideration/research is necessary.

* Free Stuff - Books, catalogs, maps, journals, magnets, pens, cards, buttons, cds, dvds, passes to the science museum and more! (Most of it is junk - but it's fun to sort through my loot!) As a thank you gift, I also got two pint glasses from the group that sponsored the conference!

* Deep Discussions - Who should create educational standards? How specific/flexible should they be? (Private schools can ignore standards to take advantage of opportunities that public schools can't because standards get in the way). What about racial/gender inequality? Everything you ever wanted to know about the Middle East conflict. Presidential Signing Statements. And more.

The hotel was excessively smokey, which starting bugging me towards the end (and made me a little bit cranky). But overall I'd say it was a good experience. (And best of all, I can now add "Presenter" to my resume!)

Sunday, March 11, 2007


Part of my job involves scheduling educational workshops for out-of-town guests. When the guests arrive, I get to drive these guests to and from the workshops.

During one of the weeks that my blog was locked up in the spam vault, I got to play chaffeur to a Brillant Famous Composer. (Like presidential recognition and GRAMMY award kind of famous). But unlike what you might expect from a famous person, this fella was very personable and happy to talk to anyone/everyone that I put in front of him, and I often had to drag him away from one workshop so we could get to the next.

It was an amazing week. I learned so much from being with him, listening to his workshops, and talking with him during the car rides. On Sunday, I attended a performance of one of his pieces. Wowie Zowie! If you ever want to have an amazing experience, hang out with a composer for a week, listening to him lecture on his work and then go see it performed. Amazing!

I was kinda sad when he left.
I didn’t get to say goodbye, because I was in the middle of a program and could not slip away. We had some nifty adventures and accomplishments together (and I hope I get to work with him again soon!)

Accomplishemnt - Due to confidentialy issues, I can’t say much about this, but at one point in the week, Famous Composer really connected with a student who had a troubled past. I was able to get the kid sprung from prision for an afternoon so he could attend the Sunday concert, and come backstage as a special guest.

Adventure - I am not the only driver for out-of-town guests. My co-workers also drive folks to various appointments/events. After a late-night radio interview, my boss took Famous Composer to a grocery store to pick up snacks-n-things. The next day, he asked me to take him back to that grocery store. (because he wanted grapes!) Alas, I don’t know that part of town as well as my boss, and had no idea how to get to the particular store. “No problem,” said Famous Composer, “If you can get us back to the hotel, I think I can remember and figure it out!” Teamwork is an amazing thing, and we were indeed able to find the grocery store (and even navigate back to the hotel!) That was not the only time we got lost this week - but that’s the only Navagation Story I’m sharing.

Accomplishment - Famous Composer visited a suburban school and jammed with a 6th grade band student. The kid started out very tenatively and nervous (can you blame him?) But after a few minutes he let loose and magic happened. (I get goosebumps just thinking about it).

Adventures - Sitting near him at rehearsal. Watching him at the performance. Getting a hug and kiss the day after the performance. Talking about the review (which he refused to read, and didn't want to hear about!)

Accomplishment - Both of us being awake for an early morning workshop hours after a late night radio interview.

Living composers are gosh darn cool!
(And tomorrow, we have Another Famous Composer coming to town! Yipeeee!!!)

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Shocking Truth About Sex and Violas
A UK music magazine recently commissioned a study on the sex lives of classical musicians. What everyone wants to know is, in which section of the orchestra will you find the most promiscuous sorts?
(Answer: It’s the viola section, of course.)
Full Story

Friday, March 09, 2007


A Blogger Robot decided that my site was spam and took it down.
(Really, do I look like a spammer?)

And so, I had to appeal to the higher blogger powers (and beg and pleased) to have a real person look at the site, and restore it. (Thank you Real Live Blogger People!)

It took a while -
And, of course, a lot of blogworthy material happened when things were down.
I'll post some catch-up entries to bring you all back in the loop
(unless you all gave up on me and left - that would be sad).