Tuesday, December 25, 2007

All I want for Christmas is...

... a defibrillator.

The wee child's present to his mama in celebration of the birth of the Savior? Two heart attacks in one morning!

Scariness the first: I hear a clatter and then the dreaded wailing cry. He rode his little plastic car down three tile steps onto a hardwood floor. "Rode" is generous, since he pretty much flew over the brightly colored handlebars and landed sprawled and stuck with his car resting squarely atop his posterior.

Second terribleness: He can climb out of Grandma's pack-n-play in which he sleeps. He did it yesterday and we thought it was because he had grabbed the corner of a table and pulled himself out. But no. This morning, J heard some noises while Toby supposedly napped and came around the corner to see him standing outside the door of his room, at the top of the wood staircase.

Just when you think you've got the situation under control, they go and learn a new thing. No wonder the tree of knowledge was dangerous.

Merry Christmas!


Monday, December 24, 2007

Absence makes the blog grow idle...

Sorry, blog.
We're in Montana.
Merry Christmas- I might post soon, or not.

Love to you all!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


It's like the universe thought and thought and finally came up with the perfect holiday surprise for a husband who loves film making and a wife who plays viola and drinks wine when un-knocked up. And neither are offended by directors paid to do a little product schilling. Much.

Click here to see what happens when a violist becomes a secret agent man. I like how much his viola participates in the tremolo sections.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


This morning we went to the Indoor Play Park at our community center. It blows Toby's mind every time- he starts running around with his hand up and knees high, alot like the kid in all those Maurice Sendak stories. For $1.50 and some extra taxes, I think this place is a steal.

I walk in and feel like a good parent. I can see how great my kid is when he's playing there. I feel that way at book babies and when I take him for leisurely walks, too. We need to do that stuff more often, and I hope I remember that when there are two of them.

It's funny how deeply my feelings about myself still affect my behavior. I guess I always thought that I would automatically be more secure in these things as an adult. When I've been practicing regularly I feel like a great violist and I play better. I'm not talking about being better prepared- I mean I concentrate and expect more of myself even thought I might play all the notes either way. When I feel good about my body I take the best care of it, and if I think I'm a good wife then I'm able to let go of all the multitude of annoying things J does. Ha! Just kidding, sweetums, you light up my life. Let's have another discussion about copyright and THE LAW (echooo echoooooo), shall we?

There is a thought and a post brewing on gratitude, anxiety, God and my daily outlook on life. You'll be the first to know if anything solidifies in the muck of my mind.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Today was my last gig until after Christmas. A free week in the middle of December isn't part of a normal freelancer's lineup. Usually January and July tend to be the least active months, and December is packed with a whole raft of sell-out gigs (noisy faux-luxe office parties, blasphemous church gigs, frightening choir concerts) and a few good things like the Nutcracker or Messiah. In Japan they played a lot of Beethoven 9 around the end of the year, which always feels like an accomplishment.

The gig today was musically horrifying, but the other ringers were friendly and one violinist was also pregnant. We bonded after complaining that the long and cliched homily had us both wishing we could at least stand up and stretch a bit. I hate when the dungeon masters maestros make us stay up on stage for the message because invariably I have to yawn like thirty times or my eyes randomly decide to water or I accidentally get slain in the spirit. There's always the pesky question of who to hand the instrument to when you're about to be filled with the Holy Ghost and feel the need to flop around on the altar in ecstasy.

Lucky for me I didn't have to bother too much about the instrument today because I was playing violin. I have never studied anything but viola but I can play the wanna-be toy shrillness well enough to gig and to teach. For this gig (Christmas carols and a couple of those made-for-the-protties choral works by Rutter and Clydesdale) it was actually kind of fun. Viola parts in that genre are weepingly dull, so at least I got a few runs and a melody or two out of the deal. Plus I had to concentrate in order to play the right strings and avoid shifting out past my right ear, what with that darned imitation fingerboard being so short.

It's nice to have that vacation feeling early this year.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Claude's Holiday Cheer

The colour of my soul is iron-grey and sad bats wheel about the steeple of my dreams.
~Claude Debussy

In my viola-piano duo we do a Debussy Nocturne and it's been in my head all day. It's very impression-y and I feel there should be some tutued nymphs (are sylphs a thing or am I making that up?) flitting about to properly represent where my head's at. I've been trying to pay attention to the new guy kicking and such, so I don't miss it and kick myself later. My mind wandered around and finally slunk up on a realization: I haven't been thinking of him as an actual person yet at all. Excitement is tempered by parenting-career anxiety and by physical discomfort at this point. I'm getting there, little guy- good thing you people bake for such a long time. Gives me a chance to look beyond my own navel and remember you are on the way.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Like a human word scramble. riaMim!

So, I know I'm not the most logical gal on the block of late.

Last night J and I were messing around with some photos he took and I started to get all tense and snotty about the recent lack of picture-taking happening in our home despite the expensive piles of photographic equipment lying around.

Thing is, here's what I tend to do when J tries to innocently capture my image for art or posterity:

The only pictures I like either don't contain me or allow me to peek cheekily from behind something large. I can't wait for this pregnancy to be done with so I can try to scrabble myself back into shape. Then again I am clearly underqualified for ownership of the kid we already acquired (see yesterday's post), so what am I are we thinking releasing another? At the very least, I'd like to have just one chin and am not impressed with my ability to simulate a pterodactyl's wingspan with my underarm flab, thank you very much. (And when I say, "you", I mean Nestle's tub of toaster-oven-able dough and Eggnog flavored Coffeemate. You high-quality baby making nutrients, you.)

I am once again reduced to a weepy jumble. Noodle #2 must be working on a brain-part or a hormone gland or somesuch frivolous indulgence. Brat. I hope he at least has the courtesy to grow some Momentous Cheeks of Great Kissiness, in the tradition of Toby before him:

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Take note, Mr. Man.

Dear Mr. Tobias,

We hope that yesterday's incident with your mother in the Winco parking lot is not indicative of a behavioral trend. While hauling off and whalloping the bridge of her nose with your metal matchbox car in the midst of hugging and giggling was ingenious timing in a Wes Craven kind of way, it does nothing for your campaign to be dubbed "A Very Good Boy".

Had this been an isolated incident, we may not have experienced this level of concern.

Today's similar attack on cute defenseless twee baby girl Natalie has led us to take action. In addition to the instant trip to nap-land while your idol Audrey continued to play downstairs, a note has been placed in your personnel file and will be forwarded to the head of your local franchise (A.K.A. Gra-gra has been notified).

We trust you will take immediate steps to curtail this unfortunate experimentation with all things naughty.

The Management

Child labor on the farm.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Thanks for dinner, sweetheart.

Behold, a quiche I made for dinner.

Sadly, it tasted like dirt. Not figuratively. What would make a spinach/mushroom/onion quiche taste like dirt? I don't know if it was the spices (they were all the dried variety and are probably real real old) or some terrible mishap at the cheap frozen spinach plant. I'm just hoping none of us end up on House or Medical Incredible.

Also, note the time on our handy stove clock. We are finished eating a good bit before J was usually even home from his previous job. Shall we celebrate with some mud pie?

Thursday, December 06, 2007

With my arm (I will slap thee.)

This week's conductor is annoying the crap out of me.

I'm at a gig out of townish, and you know how much I hate to complain (snort), but these are extraordinary circumstances.

He appears to have gone to the let-your-mouth-do-the-talking school of baton technique. He is constantly picking, giving advice while we are playing, after he's stopped us for the thirty second time in a comparatively polished sounding passage, before we play a note, as we're walking away, ALWAYS. And fyi, conductor-types: WE CANNOT ALL HEAR YOUR BRILLIANT COMMENTS WHILE WE ARE PLAYING. Also, and perhaps more importantly, NEVER choose speaking over showing if your beat suffers while you form the sentences. You are probably not as witty as you feel, though your condescention does indeed shine through.

In fact, he went to Juilliard. How do I know this? Because he stopped us in the middle of rehearsing to tell us, of course. We were apparently playing too loud for his taste- might have had something to do with his body being at the front edge of the podium so that his hand pattern came across as high and wide as an airbus, but what do I know? I guess reacting to what the conductor shows me is outdated.

It wouldn't be so bad if his advice was consistent. Or funny. Or made me not want to whip out my iPod and drown him out with something- Kenny G maybe? Celine Dion? A podcast of somebody taking a bandsaw to some marble while jackhammering steel i-beams??...

If you were this guy's wife, here's what you'd hear after dinner.

That pasta was fantastic, dear, reminds me of the time I ate at that famous place in New York with my famous friends. It was cooked just right. Except maybe it was a little gummy. Next time cook it longer but shorter. Make it shorter, but take up the same amount of time. As though it were set to a higher temperature, but without making that obvious to the diner. See? You just have to be with me on this.

In the face of this deluge of artistry, am I really to be judged unprofessional for getting the rolling-eyed giggles every time I look at my stand partner? I think not. But maybe so. It should be obvious. Just watch the conductor.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

What's in a name?

As we dicker back and forth about the name for our new kid, it's become clear that names have just as much weight and meaning for us as they do for the rest of the world.

A story came across my radar today made me wonder, though.

There is a reality show centered around a person called Miriam.

See, she's a looker, right? Girls you want to be like her, boys you want to own her? Her milkshakes bring all the etc. etc.? Six frat-looking guys are supposed to woo her, a-la The Bachelorette. Except! (Um, why do these contestants never learn there is a butt? (sic- you'll see why) She is a HE (see?)! A preoperative transexual tragically born devoid of any sense of empathy. The guys were all given large settlements after they sued the show's producers and the buzz around this show in Britain centers around whether the reality show genre has finally become too cruel. If they mean cruel to the hapless viewer, I vote yes yes a thousand times YES already. Stop making them- maybe we can get somebody to ban them or something?

Why did her name have to be Miriam- good old wholesome octagenarian feathered easter hat-wearing Miriam?

I mean, in reality, shouldn't it have been Pat, Tracy, Chris or Kelly?

National Blog Posting Month!

I did it! I am a shining light in the blog world, a coil of piercing bright understanding and wit.

Last year I think I had missed a day (cheater time-stamp post) but met more people and left lots of comments.

This year I posted faithfully but made no friends. (eating worms... and now)

I have some other streaks in the works, and will let you know if any become reality. So far my "ice cream every day" plan is coming together nicely.