Sunday, November 19, 2006

dueling fiddles and pakistani rugs......

Yesterday afternoon, Graham was such a gentleman and rode down to my class with me in Lincoln Square. I am really digging on this class. It is a level 3 improv class. We are learning some different fingering patterns, and using the pentatonic scale to improv with some blues riffs right now. One of my favorite parts is the fiddle duels. We split up into groups of two and do a play and response kind of thing. The man I played with yesterday was one of the best violinists I have had the pleasure of working with so far in a class - and he sounded amazing. I was a little worried I would not be able to keep up with him, but managed to hold my own pretty well. Good times.

I have been in touch with the violin teacher at the local community college now. She is going to work with me starting in January. It is classical violin, so quite a change from what I have been doing. I am excited. I am also looking into joining the DuPage Chorale class, as it is non-audition and I think might be a nice way to meet some people and be a part of making some beautiful music. They do mainly classical vocal pieces - which I loved doing when I was in high school. I will get credit for both things towards the AFA. I am excited that this process of starting an AFA is rolling. Now, I just have to figure out how the hell I am going to pay for it. hmm. This is the hard part.

Last night we finally tracked down the movie Strangers on a Train. The classic Hitchcock film has been quite elusive since I have been looking to watch it. We went to 4 different video stores by the time we found it. It was pretty good - though the end with the out of control merry-go-round was a bit much. I was like !&^#!@&^%#^%$??? what?? This is ridiculous! Tonight is Crispin Glover! WOO!

Went to church this morning and they had a guest from a fair trade organization that works with Mennonite Churches in the USA and villages in Pakistan, offering the most beautiful rugs, I have ever seen, at fair trade prices. This fair trade model supports artisans, families and villages in Pakistan. They are also working on a project, where the earthquake a couple years ago devistated countless villages in the mountains. This project through Ten Thousand Villages and MCC is helping villages to rebuild and create sustainable living conditions in a very harsh, and still unsteady, environment It was really wonderful to hear about the work they are doing, and see the photos. I would LOVE to be able to buy one of those rugs - but they are very expensive, and justly so. One rug can take a number of people 4-6 months to complete!! Some have 1200 knots of yarn per inch! They are absolutely exquisite!! Someday I hope to be able to have one, and have it passed down through the family.

http://rugs.tenthousandvillages.com/

Speaking of passed down - my mom is preparing to move from St. Louis to rural New York for her retirement. While her selling the house I have lived in for a good half of my life is going to be sad, I know she is making the right move and her new life in New York promises to be peaceful and abundant. She is planning on getting rid of most of her posessions and has said, "anything you want? let me know...." Well, the desk that belonged to my great grandfather is amazing, and I don't want that to leave the family. So, I will likely hold on to that. But, I am hoping she will let us have her piano. It is a lovely upright and would be such a joy to have in our apartment. Ok, so we don't have room....we'd MAKE room!! The cost of getting it here could be a lot - so it might not happen.....but? fingers crossed...... :)

Alright - clean.....read.....violin.....and then off to the city to pick up my pal and see Crispin! yes!!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

crispin!




Oh oh oh! I am going to see Crispin Glover this weekend......he is doing his slideshow presentation and then screening one of his whacked out movies at the Musicbox Theatre down on Southport. When I was in high school I LOVED his record and I have always wanted to see him do his performance thing. eee! I am going with my friend Rocky, and we are both psyched. It will be nice to get out with a friend and do something. It's been a long time. I don't think I have gone out to a concert or a movie since I saw Dead Can Dance over a year ago. Wow. Borat is also on my list.......

I have now blogged two days in a row. I think it may be a record. However, I tend to blog when I am procrastinating other things. I wanted to spend an hour on the violin tonight and an hour reading for exams. I have done neither and it is 10pm. Oops! I did get 20 min in on the exercise bike and my knee feels great. I also did the exercises the PT wants me to do. We had to make a run to the grocery store which took up a good chunk of the evening.

I spoke with the guy in charge of individual instruction at the local comm college tonight, and I will be speaking to the violin teacher tomorrow. I got officially accepted today, via mail.....but it's not like I expected anything different. Still, it is nice to get things in the mail that say, "yes! we will have you!" :) I hope that the teacher will take me on with hour classes instead of 30 min ones. I don't even know if I can afford that, but I am hopeful.

Work was.....well....work. Not much to report on. It's been a pretty slow week. I had a number of fires to put out last week regarding international shipments and other things which sound boring, and are boring.......*yawn* Tomorrow we are having a pre-Thanksgiving potluck brunch at our morning meeting. This was planned by a woman I work with, who will do anything to keep from actually doing work......this includes making sign up sheets with pictures of turkeys on them - the day before the meal. *shrug* She is a dear woman and her heart is in the right place, but I struggle sometimes with her.

I really want the weekend to be here......and then, just a few more days until a 5 day weekend for me! wow!

Okay - I am going to go do something productive.......goodnight

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

here it is.....


.....this is the house I drive past every night on my way home from work. There is no way we can afford it and I am coveting it something wicked. It is quite small, but has a spaceous and lovely backyard. Every night I sigh a breath of relief to see the for sale sign still in front of it......the price dropped again today.......I am not holding out for a miracle.....yet? I am.

Also, I could ride my bike to work.....even walk.....

since the last time I blogged......

- I started working at InterVarsity Press handling International accounts and the continuity book programs.

- the Cardinals won the World Series

- Democrats took back the congress

- I decided to finish my MA

- I decided to go back to comm college and get my AFA in Music (violin)

- I am in a new fiddle class at Old Town School - it is nice to be back in Lincoln Square. It is an improv class and it is fantastic.

- I found an itty bitty house I want to buy (but can't afford)

- I got a message from an old friend saying, "I haven't read your blog in awhile" and I thought...."wow, I haven't blogged in awhile."

- oh yes! I had knee surgery about 2 weeks ago! I am recouping nicely. I still have an ACL tear, but I am doing PT to try and compensate for it and live the rest of my life without one. They took out a lot of damaged cartilage and I am feeling pretty good!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

liza jane and john wilkes booth making an appearance......

This Wednesday I will be emerging from my Hobbit hole as my fiddle class will be performing as part of an evening of Old Town School classes doing some rockin old timey music at the Hungry Brain @ Belmont & Western Ave.

It starts at 8pm....my group is only doing two songs and two of my favorites - Liza Jane and Booth Shot Lincoln.....but with all the other groups, it should be a nice evening of amateur music.

Hope to see some friendly faces there! :)

Hungry Brain
2319 W Belmont Ave
Chicago, IL 60618

Thursday, July 13, 2006



Well.....I just felt like posting another picture of Mark Buehrle, is there a problem? I am getting a little edgy with the All Star break going right now.

In other news...... I got a call back to Intervarsity Press AND with the news that they will be creating a full time position. If the pay is enough to keep our heads above water, I will take it in a heartbeat. I am quite ready to part company with my current job. My job itself isn't bad - but there are a few things that are really eating away at me at work and I am not sure much can be done to tackle the problem. IVP is closer and the job would have health insurance which I so desperately need. It's odd, but I have been mentally preparing myself for closure at my current job, but I don't even have this other one yet. I hope I am not setting myself up for a big letdown. I have this next interview on Tuesday the 18th.

We made the move! We are now Glen Ellyn residents, though for all intensive purposes we pretty much live in Lombard. I take the Metra into work every day and love having that time to read on the train. It is not a bad commute and is about the same time as taking the CTA to work from Rogers Park. I have been planting flowers, which has been a joy.



This is a picture from before they were all done. I have since planted seeds that are now sprouting! It is such a treat to walk outside every morning and see how much further they have grown overnight. Even the flowers which I re-potted are really growing fast!

I have been reading like mad and picked up a pile of books from the Borders sale table as well as a few used ones from amazon....

Into the Wild - Jon Krakauer (finished)
Under the Banner of Heaven - Krakauer (almost finished)
Bird by Bird - Anne Lamott
Assasination Vacation - Sarah Vowell
Long Way Down - Nick Hornby
To Own a Dragon - Donald Miller (half way finished)
Jesus in the Margins : Finding God in the Places We Ignore - Rick McKinley
Enormous Changes at the Last Minute - Grace Paley
The Irresistable Revolution: Living as an Ordinay Radical - Shane Claiborne

Emily has made new friends and enjoys being able to come and go as she likes from the apartment. We have a pool here and we have many creature comforts we didn't have in the city. Emily leaves for 2 weeks of overnight camp next Monday. I know she is going to have a blast, but I am going to miss her something wicked. I haven't been away from her for this long since I was in England many years ago. If anyone would like to send her a card or note, please let me know and I will forward you the camp address. I know she will love to get mail. I plan on mailing something at least every other day, if not every day! Graham and I are planning on a long weekend in St. Louis while she is at camp. I can't wait to dote on Callie's kids and mak a trip to Ted Drewes for frozen custard and to Imo's for some St. Louis style pizza. Graham and I haven't travelled alone together that far since our honeymoon, and it will be so nice. We travel so well together and he is just such a delight to be with.

Graham is still looking for work, but has been exercising like mad and that has put him in high spirits. It is nice to see him smile so much and he has been more affectionate than usual, which is hard to do seeing as he is such a sweetheart.

Well.....this kid has got to get some sleep. Come back again now, y'hear?

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

....and for your pleasure......

a photo of Mark Buerhle kickin is flava flav styleee.....



We went to see the Sox play the Rangers on Sunday - and I finally got to see this man pitch in person! It seems Contreras pitches everytime we go. Sadly, Buehrle got burned as did we sitting out, baking in the June sun. Graham and I both got sunburned pretty badly, and add that to the fact we both have had really bad colds - it made us two very sad cases. This afternoon out was to mark our 2 year dating anniversary. Our first date was to Busch Stadium. My first trip to see the Sox was on our 1 year date. So, the tradition continues.....though this time around, we saw a loss. Eh, you can't win em all - but I definitely won one with the husband I ended up with!

it's official......

I have been rejected by the Baseball Hall of Fame Museum. I was also told by a reliable source that the job had basically already been filled before they even listed it on their website. What a sham.....ahhhh well. Well, it was a fleeting dream that sounded like a lot of fun!

In other news, it looks like I will get an interview with Intervarsity Press, a Christian publishing house. Ruth worked for them as an editor for many years and it seems like a nice place to work. It is only part time work, but I hope it will fit with my new work schedule. I will be moving down to working longer days 3 days a week, instead of the 2/3 days I work now 4 days a week. I am looking forward to this. The commute is the only thing about my job that I don't like.

I had applied for a really good full time position at work, which I think I was pretty sure to nail.....but I withdrew my name from consideration after some things happened which I don't need to mention further.

The White Sox beat the Tigers last night after an Alex Cintron 3 run homer.....finally, some clutch hitting - something the Sox have been lacking as of late. And as I write this, I just witnessed Scott Podsednik hit a triple!

We move to the burbs in almost 2 weeks. I am having very mixed feelings about this. I am looking forward to living on the ground floor, having some gardening space, a parking space, cool air, etc but I will miss having the El 1 block from our house and I will really miss my Saturday morning ritual going to fiddle class at the Old Town School down in Lincoln Park.

I have signed up for two fiddle classes for next session - I am retaking fiddle 2 and moving on to fiddle 3. They are back to back, so it will be a fiddle filled Saturday afternoon. I figure, if I am going to drive all that way I might as well make it worth my while. I am really loving my class. Oh, and I was informed last week that in lieu of our last class we will be having a public performance in some bar - let's just hope everyone has had a lot to drink before we play! ouch!

This last weekend on exiting the OTS, I stopped into their shop to play with the mandolins. I couldn't resist and was a proud mandolin owner by the end of the day. I sold off all of my Sopranos and Six Feet Under DVDs on Amazon.com to pay for it. It was worth it. I really enjoy it, but am much more of a fiddle fan. I just have never been good with guitars and similar stringed instruments.

I plowed through the latest Anne Lamott book which was a pleasure to read. It is nice to read essays by progressive, lefty Christians who face similar issues that I do. It makes you feel a little less alone within the human race! I am now FINALLY finishing up her book Blue Shoe which I started reading while out of commission with the knee problems. I can't believe I keep putting it on hold. It is such a delicious book. I should be finished with it by the week's end and then back to C.S. Lewis - Screwtape Letters which I am reading after a reccommendation from Emily's dad. I have been poking through the latest Al Franken book as well, which I got as a gift from Ruth for Mother's Day.

I have been working on my knitting project and it is coming along nicely - though I am far from finished. I want to finish this one up for Mercedes so I can make one for my grandmother who has been recently diagnosed with cancer. She is doing well right now and her prospects are good. She is 94 years old, so the prospects are as good as they can be for someone her age. We will be seeing her soon as we venture to Kansas in a couple weeks for a wedding.

Tommy is doing well, though had to go back to the doctor as he had not been able to defeat his bladder infection. He is on the mend now, though has accidents here and there.

Well, I believe that is all the news that is fit to print.....

Monday, May 29, 2006

some like it hot......

but not I.....wow, the heat has hit Chicago with a vengeance. There were beautiful cool breezes wafting through out apartment just a couple days ago. Now, I am camped in front of the leaky, sad excuse for an air conditioner in the living room. The rest of the apartment feels like an oven. whew! It is supposed to cool off by mid week.

I have had a lovely weekend and while I have enjoyed the quiet time, tending to the animals and relaxing I am very excited about the return of my family this evening.



Last night Edie and I hit the Green Mill for the cabaret jazz stylings of The Weird Sisters and the Strange Bros. Edie's husband Scott plays drums in the band. The poetry slam was a riot and I am not sure when the last time I laughed so hard was.... After the show, we had a Mexican meal next door with the band and the guy who runs the slam. An enjoyable time was had by all. The Green Mill may be the coolest bar in Chicago, if not in the US.....what great digs! I know where I will be returning sometime soon.....

I continue to work on my current knitting project while listening to an audiobook of The Lovely Bones. I have started working on a project knitting prayer shawls. It is something I read about in a Mennonite USA women's newsletter. The one I am currently working on is for my dear friend Mercedes, who I work with. She slipped and fell at work and has been having intense back problems. Here is a site talking about this ministry/work. It is not just a Mennonite project, but something that is happening throughout many denominations. I will post a picture of this project when I am finished.

I had a nice time trekking down to Borders on Saturday night on the El. I picked up a new Anne Lamott book as well, which I am enjoying. It was nice to get out of the house. I got a yummy espresso drink and perused the shelves and kicked back with a few books, reading bits here and there. It was very nice and something I need to do more often.



I picked up the violin today after almost a week of not practicing....it is amazing how rusty one gets after only a week!

I managed to do a good job with Tommy's IV drip yesterday, but stored the drip bag in the fridge all day and went back later to find it empty! It leaked all over! I need to run out tonight when Graham gets home with the car to get another. Tommy seems to be doing well, though is still pretty lethargic. But, this is nothing new for my 15 pound beast of a car....Sir Thomas of Tubbington will prevail! He has proven to be quite a fighter.

Sox are killing the Cleveland Indians right now, which is enjoyable to watch. 10-0!

Well, back to books, yarn and violin.....I want to get my last bit of quiet, meditative, time in before the troops return. I also need to take the dog out....but man, it is SO HOT!