Saturday, July 18, 2009

Twitter is the friend with benefits. Blogging is a relationship. Come on, you all know what I mean. Twitter is the booty call for attention. Blogging...well, you do stuff (fall through decking), write about it, and slowly, people stop by and read it.
Sometimes they comment.
Sometimes they commit to following...
Sometimes they read, snigger and think "Omigod, I'm SO glad my life is more interesting than that. And I'm SO much more co-ordinated. Look, I can walk all over my house without falling down!"
I'm so jealous.
And then they hop onto one of the other and incomparably more awesome blogs I like to follow and forget all about my tawdry little efforts.

Oh well.

Another Saturday morning of teaching, and the hole in the deck is temporarily patched so pugs can't fall through. NO, my leg isn't THAT fat, I only went through one board (and a bit), but this was clearly the only patch handy.

And this is my lunchbreak reading material.

Excitingly: As of 2009-07-17, you now have $4.17 in Kiva Credit in your account.

Thanks Jesús López Sánchez in Mexico for starting to repay the loan you took out to help with you son's educational expenses! Can I have another $20.83 so I can reloan? Oh, the buzz....

My leg's still very sore.
Don't fall through decking.

Friday, July 17, 2009


So this very clever colleague of my husband THINKS about things. Introspection is a good thing, even more so when it's turned upon the everyday and facebook and privacy.

Being part of the generation that not only wants everyone to watch them (look at me! I'm so awesome! ME! ME! MEEEEEE!) but thinks everyone IS watching them and CARES to some degree about what we do in our tiny, mundane hours, we are fine with this 'faceless' crowd of people who check out all our stuff.

We'd actually be horrified if they weren't interested in our minutiae.


I agree completely. It's a little weird knowing how much people can know about you...but can't that also be incentive to live a "good" life (for your given value/definition of "good")?

Clearly this is my own pure, blameless and entirely selfless motivation. Hmmmm.

Week 1 of term has been mostly good. Thursday (being my surrogate mummy day) was challenging and happy-making. It's joyful to see new faces coming to Little Stars (and some oldies returning). It's exciting to see O progress and test his limits (because every day there are new abilities, and therefore new ceilings to hit). I'm grateful for the parenting apprenticeship.

Our house is now home to a Death Star (O, Lego, why do you invent such COOL stuff that our existence would be meaningless without?) and QLD Nanna's ESP must be working because Australia Post brought me a parcel of goodies yesterday too. The new pekingese is called Tickle. I think it's an improvement on Choongy II (Yes, there was a Choongy I... and before that, Boots.)
I'm feeling more normal by the minute.

Actually, scrap that. Our house is ALSO home to a hole in the back deck. Yes, we knew it needed replacing. Yes, we've budgeted to replace it. I just didn't expect to fall through it first. It all happened..... when A. rolled into my driveway and ended her phonecall with "I'm in your driveway."
Why, so you are, I thought, and because any reasonably intelligent person would, at this point, open the front door and wave to the other half of their brain idling in the driveway, I INSTEAD went out the back door to wave in an entertaining fashion from the back decking.
This involved a little enthusiastic jumping up and down while waving...which was when my left foot suddenly discovered more space UNDER the decking. My leg is very sore now. And, (to add insult to injury) my fat ballet calves broke the board NEXT to the weak one.
Did I mention my leg's black now? NOT terribly happy. Teaching ballet with a leg that hurts every time you take a step is really not very fun.

Lesson: Do not fall through decking.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The end of another Wednesday

Off to Sorrento bright and early this morning. Ok. Early. Mood not terribly improved by all the drifters (it would be nice if you were unpacking at 8.30. Oh, look, 8.47 and you're just rolling in...) so I made a fair point of what time I EXPECT them to arrive. There may be a tiara for the first student in next week.

Today really proved that Winter Festival (three holiday mornings @ Frankston High) was worth it. The kids who attended that not only had the benefit of the three days' classes and activities, they were motivated to practice throughout the holidays and their parents were motivated (no doubt partly by their financial investment, and I'm FINE with that) to practice WITH them. The Sorrento kids are looking pretty good :).

Tomorrow is the day to float my new concert idea. I'm thinking that to develop solo performance ability and to work in with my two-week absence this term (Japan! Hooray!) next concert will be a split - maybe twelvish solos and four/five group items, a piece from each book that EVERYONE can play. That way we don't lose the WOW element of ensemble playing (which is starting to sound really fantastic) but it will help the kids get the idea of polishing and developing a piece for performance.

If they want to play a solo, parents will have to take their child to two rehearsals (so this also requires time and investment of effort on parents' part rather than "Go on! OF COURSE you want to play a solo!") Uh yes...but do you really want to do the running around as well? I have some great parents and undoubtedly they will understand while this effort is necessary.
Hence group items will also cater to those less fortunate kids whose parent can't or won't get them to an accompanist rehearsal.
And now? tea and the couch are calling. And my lovely husband, who has patiently spent quality time with HIS mac while I faff. (Necessary faffing, but still...) Oh, and the pug. She's waiting rather less patiently. Onwards to Thursday!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Small children on sugar highs should come with a warning. In fact, they do: a slightly manic glint of eye; a somewhat hyperactive turn of phrase.... and a predilection for cully-cully (cuddles with mom). E's lesson this morning was not so productive as last week, but I was impressed by his ability to focus- and to stop and improve a particular skill. Once we got going it was all ok.

Humorously, mum asked me to play "Song of the Wind" (I wrote fingers in her book last week so she can begin to learn it and practise at home). I was a little surprised, thinking "Surely she must have heard it, it's THIRD on their cd!" but all was made clear...just the way she was playing it didn't sound anything like the cd :)

Sometimes I forget just how marvellously clever children are that they can imitate and decide for themselves if the way they're playing is 'correct' or appropriate to the sound they're approximating. I think as adults we forget learning is a process of successive approximations and instead expect our way of doing is correct....until someone shows us the evolutionary steps.

Tonight: back to ballet. I've been scraping the bottom of the barrel for inspiration over te past few days, and it looks like jazz classes will be participating in an MJ tribute, Frankie Wants Out is coming to the rescue for the older tap kids and there'll be a bit of Hilltop Hoods (with deletions) for the senior jazz kids. I even have some vintage Fatboy Slim to bail me out if it's all horribly wrong.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Term 3 begins....

With a delightful lesson with A, 4 and her lovely mum. A was happy to play just with me today, not needing mum to play along too - hoorah! A big step.
Her fingers are working very nicely and we played BBSS with focus on bow placement. String crossing is fine, just a little tendencey to wander down to the fingerboard - which was quickly and easily corrected. Twinkle was a nice segue into crossing strings precisely - at the tip as well as at the frog - and I think that might fix the random bow circles that keep popping in!
Oh, and Lightly Row? We can sing ALL the words, thank you very much :) and I think she'll be playing the beginning next week.
Mum and I had a lovely lesson learning about bow control - how to surrender the bow to the string... and finding nice tone. Great intonation :) Must be all that listening (who knew?!).

And now to recap the weekend....Saturday was geeking out day at Magic's tenth edition prerelease tournament. I soundly spanked all the boys and made it to the top table...where my until-then-consistent deck spectacularly malfunctioned and I lost the round in two straight games. Bleah. We sojourned to The Chocolatte Hub for amazingly good hot chocolate (chilli and cinnamon and dark swiss mmmmmm) and some post-mortem games, before heading to a trivia night in honor of gaelic football. (What an amazingly random life I lead...)

On Sunday I headed for the city while the boys (aka gluttons for punishment) went back for more Magic. Spent a little time at a 'boutique' (read TINY) meeting of SSers at Melbourne Central, finally bought self a pair of red leather gloves (from Dangerfield - divine!) and coveted a leather-wrapped much that I made myself one when I got home.

The finished product - sparkly buckle and all

Process goes something like this:
Take one black leather skirt and dissect along seams.
Take notebook and fold leather around book in rough approximation of coveted covers seen previously.
Get out sewing machine and think "Gee, will this be ok sewing LEATHER?"
Decide it will be fine.

Realise have no way of keeping cover wrapped and closed around book.
Rummage in button jar and find wonderful salvaged buckle.
Fiddle with elastic to attach to cover, attach salvaged strap, VOILA!
I'm so awesome. I think that's going to be my little mantra today.

In other news...nothing doing on my Kiva loans but remain hopeful! I want the $ back so I can reloan it, dammit!