Monday, March 28, 2005

Recital Announcement

A little over a month away. I'm going to try out my newly acquired marketing and PR skills (from this last doctoral project I'm doing perhaps ever- not counting exams and dissertations). I checked out darn near the entire library today. Titles like, Standing Room Only; Strategies for Marketing the Performing Arts, and High Performance Grantwriting. I love leaving with piles of books so tall people stare. And it's FREE!!!

Here's the 411:

Viola and Piano Recital
Friday, April 29th at 6pm
Program to include music of
Rebecca Clarke and J.S. Bach
First Unitarian Society of Madison

900 University Bay Drive
(just up the hill off University across from Whole Foods)

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Good Friday

Yesterday I played an annual Good Friday service at another E-V free church. It was a combo-service including 3 (I think) other area churches. I have to say, the music... wasn't my cup of wine. There were a few moments, but overall- WAYYYY too much windchime/ key change/ schmaltz songs for me.

There's that one song where I feel like I'm swearing:
Lord have mercy,
Christ have mercy.

Sorry to admit, it's slow and boring and I keep putting exclamations in my mind after 'Lord' and 'Christ'. Just can't get with that song- don't worry though, in the service I concentrate on playing a run or something harmonically fancy there so I won't think that way.

The main speaker yesterday was great. He spoke about the events of the crucifixion and went through them slowly, trying to let us imagine what the day was really about. His style was much more gospel than our current church & I liked it alot.

In thinking about the crucifixion I get as far as the hands, and that's all I can do. That is horrible enough- imagining past it, to the crown, the scourge- some little heretic part of me thinks, did they really? Did he really? But the hands, I believe.

Here's an article by Dr. Paul Brand and Phil Yancey. Dr. Brand is a world-renowned hand surgeon who also treated and made lives for modern lepers (can't remember the kosher name for leprocy). Yancey just plain rocks and writes excellent stuff plus has a sort of afro going. It's a good article.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Dinner for 6

Oh MAN was that ever cool!!!!

Tiffany & Josh, Ben & Betsy & Chloe came over and having such interesting people all in one room... I wanted to just sit and talk all night. Now those are people I would go camping with. Or on a cruise (am I cruise people? not sure on that) or take on a rafting trip if I knew how. We talked and laughed and I acted doofy and they laughed. We had wine & caviar! Just like adults.

Here's some of the menu:

The Chicken Pot Pies are from Bon Appetit and you can see the recipe by clicking here. (God bless the folks at It was a very fun recipe. I loved dismantling the chicken- like some kind of a science show, even if I had no desire to eat any of it.

Baked Artichoke Dip
5 tablespoons grated Romano (about 1 ounce)
3 tablespoons light mayo
3 tablespoons light sour cream
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram (I didn't have any- I think I put in some Oregano)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts in water, well drained & chopped into 1/4 inch pieces

Whisk up everything but the artichokes. Mix in the arties. Transfer to ramekins. (You can make this a day ahead. Love that.)
Bake at 375 until heated through (20-30 minutes, depending how cold it was to start.)
If you wanna be real fancy, top with a little more romano and a dash of Paprika and stick it under the broiler for a couple minutes.

Lemon Cream Phyllo Tartlets (Tartlet!!)
1 cup lemon curd (sounds fancy, but you can almost always find it in the jelly section)
7 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
3 teaspoons grated lemon peel (I used mineola peel for color. Also it's what I had, people.)
1/2 cup whipping cream

box of 15 1 1/2 inch frozen phyllo shells

Combine all the soft stuff except the whipping cream and whisk until just about smooth. Beat the cream until stiff peaks form. (God also bless the folks who invented the Kitchenaid whisk attachment.) Fold the whipped cream into the lemon mix. (You can do all this a day ahead, cover tightly & friggerate.)

Spoon lemon cream into phyllo shells. I think next time I'll pop the shells in the toaster oven for a few minutes first, just to get them nice & crispy. If you wanted to be SUPER fancy, you could top them with a little star of whipped cream from your handy dandy frosting bag cake decorator thingy.

But to do that, you'd have to be wearing an apron and a beehive. Next time...sigh.

Comments, please!

I've changed the comments portion of this blog because blogger just doesn't work too good.

So now's your chance. Please, if you've been "lurking"- that is, reading but not commenting, why not comment so I can see how the new system works.

"The Irish gave the bagpipes to the Scotts as a joke, but the Scotts haven't seen the joke yet." Oliver Herford

"Only one thing is impossible for God: To find any sense in any copyright law on the planet." Mark Twain

"A good sermon should be like a woman's skirt: short enough to arouse interest but long enough to cover the essentials." Ronald Knox

"Sometimes I lie awake at night, and I ask, 'Where have I gone wrong?' Then a voice says to me, 'This is going to take more than one night.'." Charlie Brown

"All I ask is the chance to prove that money can't make me happy." Spike Milligan

Monday, March 21, 2005

I Dream a Highway Back to You

And here's the Gillian Welch song that makes me cry and I'm not even sure exactly why... if you haven't heard it, go to i-tunes and at least listen to the little sample. Or splurge the whole 99 cents and buy it. I'll pay you back if you don't like it...

Oh I dream a highway back to you love
A winding ribbon with a band of gold
A silver vision come and rest my soul
I dream a highway back to you

John he's kicking out the footlights
The Grand Ole Opry's got a brand new band
Lord, let me die with a hammer in my hand
I dream a highway back to you.

I think I'll move down into Memphis
And thank the hatchet man who forked my tongue
I lie and wait until the wagons come
And dream a highway back to you.

The getaway kicking up cinders
An empty wagon full of rattling bones
Moon in the mirror on a three-hour jones,
I dream a highway back to you.

Oh I dream a highway back to you love
A winding ribbon with a band of gold
A silver vison come arrest my soul
I dream a highway back to you.

Which lover are you, Jack of Diamonds?
Now you be Emmylou and I'll be Gram
I send a letter, don't know who I am
I dream a highway back to you.

I'm an indisguisable shade of twilight
Any second now I'm gonna turn myself on
In the blue display of the cool cathode ray
I dream a highway back to you.

I wish you knew me, Jack of Diamonds
Fire-riding, wheeling when I lead em up
Drank whisky with my water, sugar in my tea
My sails in rags with the staggers and the jags
I dream a highway back to you.

Oh I dream a highway back to you love
A winding ribbon with a band of gold
A silver vision come molest my soul
I dream a highway back to you.

Now give me some of what you're having
I'll take you as a viper into my head
A knife into my bed, arsenic when I'm fed
I dream a highway back to you.

Hang overhead from all directions
Radiation from the porcelain light
Blind and blistered by the morning white
I dream a highway back to you.

Sunday morning at the diner
Hollywood trembles on the verge of tears
I watched the waitress for a thousand years
Saw a wheel within a wheel, heard a call within a call
I dreamed a highway back to you.

Oh I dream a highway back to you love
A winding ribbon with a band of gold
A silver vision come molest my soul
I dream a highway back to you.

Step into the light, poor Lazarus
Don't lie alone behind the window shade
Let me see the mark death made
I dream a highway back to you.
I dream a highway back to you.

What will sustain us through the winter?
Where did last years lessons go?
Walk me out into the rain and snow
I dream a highway back to you.

Oh I dream a highway back to you love
A winding ribbon with a band of gold
A silver vision come and bless my soul
I dream a highway back to you
I dream a highway back to you

Oh I dream a highway back to you love
A winding ribbon with a band of gold
A silver vision come and bless my soul
I dream a highway back to you

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Take 1 bowl, 3 times/day to treat goatliness

Best lyrics awards:

Here's a sample of J.S. Bach's Coffee Cantata, written for his weekly Friday night jam at Zimmerman's, a popular coffee-house in Leipzig. At the time (early 1700's), coffee was a new drug-of-choice and people were divided on whether to love it or fear it. Yeah, so much has changed. In case you've not spent more than ten minutes with him, I'll warn you that my Dad's a committed fan. I believe he'd own stock in SB if they weren't such political wack jobs.

Father, don't be so severe!
If I can't drink my bowl of coffee three times daily,
then in my torment I will shrivel up like a piece of roast goat.

(now, I get goat hairs, random little guys that grow on my chin in a friendly way and have to be plucked every few weeks. Does that count?)

Mm! how sweet the coffee tastes,
more delicious than a thousand kisses,
mellower than muscatel wine.
Coffee, coffee I must have,
and if someone wishes to give me a treat,
ah, then pour me out some coffee!

The concerts were fun with the Bach musicians tonight and last night- I'm so excited about gutting out my old viola. (You can tell I'm gonna buy this Ruth I'm looking at since I now refer to the Lee as old.) I'll put gut strings on, take off the fine tuner and get a baroque bow. This stuff is so lively, and like lots of former classical-only players, the intimacy and required chamberiness of the concerts is attractive to me. Funny that an older music can feel more immediate.

The women's duet in Cantata 4 is sublime. I loved our vocalists, too. Wonder if the Mezzo would do Brahms with me...hmmmm.

Here's her lyrics to Erbarme dich:

Have mercy, my God, for my tears’ sake.
Look hither, heart and eyes weep bitterly before Thee.
Erbarme dich, mein Gott, um meiner Zähren willen!
Schaue hier, Herz und Auge weint vor dir Bitterlich.

So cool to see C. Wildberry & her lovely husband there- I have friends in the blogosphere!! Wonder how cool it would be to speak German well and listen to Bach. Now I have Bach and Rilke to study German for. I know some key-words, most from playing Masses. It's really kind of sad that I can graduate with a doctorate in music without being passable in German... but don't tell THE UNIVERSITY because I don't want to take any more classes.

Monday, March 14, 2005


More than half my students right now are Mormons. Honestly, I feel bad for them, because I can only assume they don't know the foundational beliefs and history of their faith. They, like most other Mormons you and I have met, are the greatest families. The type who never miss lessons, whose kids practice every week and like learning.

I hope I'm as good at parenting as they are.

But how can they persist in a faith created by such a crazy character? Yes, I know. Jesus was nutty, too. But he didn't dress all in black and claim to use necromancy in order to receive revelations written on metal plates no one else could see. I mean, would you trust a new religion brought forward by a guy who made a habit of making up languages and tales? Do Mormons know that Smith told an 11-year-old girl that God said she should marry him, or that he sold his skills as a skrier with both the stones (like the ones he later used to "translate" the plates) and one of those forked stick-thingies for finding water long before he, uh, met the angel Moroni? Uh. huh...

You can find some interesting things on the internet both by looking up Mormon Exit Letters (letters written by folks who want to leave the faith- like my father-in-law's family) and by checking out this site. It has good explanations of the differences between Christianity and Mormonism.

For example, "Mormonism teaches that God was once a man and men can become Gods, Jesus and Satan are "spirit brothers," God married the virgin Mary, Jesus was married, etc." just to name a few. Another thing that always freaks me out is their belief that we were once on the same level as God and Jesus, but are now here on earth to progress toward godliness. (We're in the remedial school known as earth.)

Studying this after reading Under the Banner of Heaven and talking to some Mormons who came to our door (bet they put a big black "x" on our address for all future missionaries) has absolutely convicted and inspired me to delve into my own Christian faith. What I know for sure is that God exists, the Bible is true, and at some point I had to make a decision about how that Truth would affect my life. Now I am making that decision- the working out of my faith- on a daily basis. I need to understand well the basis of it and to be capable of defending my beliefs.

At some point I would love to support the Child Protection Project, which helps children raised in fundamental Mormon sects.

Pianist wanted. Real bad.

Dude, I have been re-jected by Eli, Vince, Dan, Martha, and Tom. For those of you not hep to the Madison accompanist scene, that's just about everyone I can think of. The recital is now just two weeks away.

Perhaps we'll end up with music-minus-one. In all the jokes I've heard thought, it's the violist who's missing...

Bach Society March 18th & 19th

We're playing some cool stuff this next week.

If you're a fan of baroque or haven't heard it yet, you might check out Trevor's site. I don't have a baroque bow yet, but have dutifully removed the chinrest and tuned to A 415 (basically A-flat). My viola resonates beautifully at that pitch, and I'm enjoying playing with these folks.

Just thought I'd let you know, internet.

Also, if you're down with it, I'll hook you up with the sweet cheap tixx.

work! Posted by Hello

This is the post that goes with the "work!" picture. Dangit!!!

Winter should be finished now. And... now. NOW NOW NOW! Posted by Hello

Don't anyone tell my sister that I'm complaining. But DUDE! Madison is not anywhere near Fairbanks, Alaska and yet they are 2 degrees warmer today. InSANE. Something must be done. Something... dramatic. (I nominate me.)

Driving west. Posted by Hello

Okay, I'm clearly not a blogger prodigy. It took more than a few tries to get this to work. Hoping it will stay up after I add this paragraph. The others were frightened away as soon as I edited the posts.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

They're gettin' hitched today in Baraboo

Now, our wedding was pretty amazing, but how cool would it be to be able to say you were married in Baraboo? Sounds like something from Rudyard Kipling.

Off to shoot J's first fully professional wedding. He just walked into the living room carrying 2 cameras to add to the other 2 already in bags on the couch.

-Happy. I have four cameras.

As if just having that assemblage makes "happiness" a predetermined condition.

Baraboo. aboo.. boo...

Friday, March 11, 2005

Posted by Hello
Paradise by the dashboard lights...
Here's us driving West. This week I feel like I'm starting to feel maybe we could stick around Wisconsin for a while. This weekend we drove to small little towns around Madison- Monroe and Monticello, specifically. Beautiful Stephen-Kinglike towns...

We ate lunch of grease and bread and walked around in the sun on the hills.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

The study.

We are loving it. This whole precepts thing's working well for me. It's easy enough that I can get through it every day and makes enough connections and includes enough Greek word studies that it's worthwhile.

Here's some things I want to research more:

Is the sermon on the mount (specifically we talked about the Beatitudes- blessed are the so-an-so's, etc.) addressed to believers only?

Is it eschatological (referring to the end times only)?

How do we know when we're doing well? Will we always see "fruits of the spirit"?

I looked up swearing the other day. I've been feeling conflicted, so I found some interesting info on the web- post forthcoming.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Ready, set... May 29th.

Hey ho's, let's go!

The Mad City Marathon is on its way. I did the 10k two years ago with my hot boyfriend, then the next May we were gettin' hitched and traveling to Iceland and stuff like that. This year seems like the perfect time for a half marathon. It'll help me get ready for the 'real' triathlon I want to do.

This fall we did the Devil's Challenge Triathlon, which is a short distance "sprint" tri. It was way more fun than I expected it to be. To be honest, I sort of signed up just hoping the training would help me stay on track with my weight and keep me at the gym out of good old fear. But something about the race- especially the bike leg- really brought out part of me that enjoyed the sensation of grinding away in the sun over the hills.

Soooo, for this May race Mandy turned me on to Hal Higdon's training program. It looks good- I'm on all of day 3.

Wish Mom was here to go to the gym with me! Dad, too, although he's too fast.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

What was said...

J says he did not quite say that I could "use his money", and that it makes him sound bad. He said I could use the money he makes. Since he knows I'll make money and he'll spend it, too, then all's well. All clear? 'Kay. {Generosity and an urge to reassure are never bad things. I don't give a fig what I'm "supposed" to think as a modern woman.}

Here's some other funny things:::

My mom is one of the most creative linguists ever invented. Here's a little sampling of her work from last week alone:
At a used CD shop- "Do you have any...Nittly... Nitty grit...NITTY GRITTY DIRT BAG?"
"That Shania Twang does some good songs."
Out in the yard showing me her rhubarb- "I put some steer maneuver on it. Seems to help."
About cassette tapes she said- "they've sort of fallen out of flavor, haven't they?"

Now, lest she feel I'm being harsh on her I'll tell you, internet, that yesterday while talking to someone ON MY CELL PHONE I said I couldn't FIND MY CELL PHONE to get a number for them. Duh...uh...uhhhh. I covered really well (mmm hmmm) by saying, 'I mean I need my other cell to get that for you'. And there are many more... but we must pace ourselves, no?