Saturday, December 31, 2005

Last Post of the Year

I have so much to write. Will I ever find time to write it all down? Hopefully, though I've had time for neither "A Sort of Notebook" nor "A Sort of Blog" lately.

I'm going to start posting my piano-practice times and reports again, when I can. George collected a lot of dust last semester, and I'm determined to give him more attention this year (a New Year's resolution?). Practiced last night for about an hour. The B-minor sinfonia (which I started last summer, then set aside after a couple of weeks, then picked up again a couple of weeks ago) is fun. It's so different from the G-minor sinfonia, but it's a treasure in itself. I'm also excited about starting the Liszt in January. I haven't played much Liszt, so it'll be fun to explore something new.

I'm so glad I still take piano. I love having the chance to learn all of these beautiful pieces that I've always wanted to play. Sure, I could teach them to myself, but I like having a teacher who will guide me and push me beyond my own standards.

Hope everyone has a happy new year! We'll be celebrating with friends, but I can't party too hard ... school starts back on Monday.

More to come!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Life Lately

At the request of my mom, and practically everyone I saw when I was back home in the Gret Stet of Loo-zee-ana, I'm trying to blog more often, even if just to update my loved ones on my life.

It's quiet here. I like that. :)

Christmas: We had a nice Christmas in Louisiana. I was a little reluctant to come back to the frigid North of the North Carolina mountains (when you grow up in south Louisiana, everything north of Shreveport is "up north." Heck, even Shreveport is "up north," now that I think about it.) We've been back for a few days, and I've been very busy cleaning house, practicing piano when I can, and planning for next semester. I've been so busy, in fact, that I am only just now downloading tunes for the newest member of the family, my iPod nano.

Louisiana: I wanted to go to New Orleans and see some of the damage with my own eyes, but it was not to be. I picked the Hubster up at the New Orleans airport, but I had a lunch date with friends back in Baton Rouge, and we didn't have time to go down there. I was disappointed, but somehow I doubt it will be much changed when I go back down to visit this summer.

Friends: I got to visit a number of friends in the week that I was down there. Had lunch with my IEM friends Staci and John, but unfortunately didn't get to see Weaz, Kim, Becky, and a few others I'd hoped to see. On Christmas Eve, I got to visit briefly with Brad, a.k.a. Sojourner. Christmas night, Hubster and I met my high school friends Erv, Jan, Andye, and Mary at a bar in Baton Rouge and had a great time visiting with them. I must say, my high-school friends are looking pretty good. They don't seem to have aged a bit. Really. And they're all so successful. I an a very proud friend. The next day, I had lunch with my old friend Kris and got to see pictures of her little ones.

On our way home, Hubster and I stopped in Jackson to visit/meet my long-lost Cousin Stacey. She and I have e-mailed and followed each other's blogs for over a year now, but we'd never met in person before. We also got to meet her husband, Drew. Too bad Aunt Donna and Jennifer couldn't get to Jackson in time, 'cause we had to head to NC and missed seeing them.

Piano: Because my life wasn't stuffed full of work-related tasks, I was able to practice piano a few times while at home, and practiced a good hour today. As a result, I had the best piano lesson today that I've had in months. It wasn't great, but it wasn't bad. I've resumed work on Bach's B-minor Sinfonia (#15), and I "completed" the G-minor Sinfonia after months of 40 minutes per week of practice time. Slow progress is ... progress, if nothing else. We're going to add a short piece for me to work on during next semester; both Deborah and I are leaning toward Liszt's gorgeous transcription of Schubert's "Standchen." It's not too hard and will be something good to work on when I have so little time for practicing.

iPod: You would not believe what I'm downloading tonight. Dance mixes. Club mixes. Whatever you call them. Disco and eighties music with a drum machine beat to it. Not my cup of tea, usually, but it's the perfect music for working out on Stairmaster or the elliptical machine. And cleaning house. Two of my annual New Year's resolutions are to (1) work out more, and (2) be a better housekeeper, so who knows, maybe club mixes are just the thing I need to get me going.

Teaching: They've added a fifth class to my teaching load: SAT Prep. I'm not particularly stressed about it. I was looking through the materials today and was amazed at how many vocabulary words I knew. When did I learn them? How did I get so smart? I amaze myself. Seriously, the class that's requiring the most preparation is composition. But before I begin rambling about school ... I'll just promise a school-only post a little later, either tomorrow or early next week.

School begins in four days. So enjoy this lengthy post while you can. :)

Hubster: I'm madly in love with him--still, after these 2+ years of wedded bliss. Amazing, isn't it!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

I Can Now Satisfy That Craving ...

Ah, I'm happy to announce that one of my lifelong cravings can now be satisfied with the mere touch of a screen.

Santa brought me an iPod. I didn't even ask for one. How cool is that?

Anyway, I occasionally get the strangest cravings to hear "Stars and Stripes Forever." I know. It's strange. Other march music, too: Radetzky March, Anchors Aweigh, etc. Even the "Grand March" from Aida. I generally have to satisfy my craving by humming the music in my head. Marching tunes among the best of hummed tunes for hiking, in my opinion.

So. You can probably guess which selections were the first to be downloaded onto my iPod.

I'm a sick, sick woman. I'm going to listen to "Pomp and Circumstance" now.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Not Exactly Clamoring

People aren't exactly clamoring for me to start blogging again, but when I checked my e-mail today for the first time in nearly a week, I had quite a few e-mails from people I don't even know, saying that they really love my blog and wish I wouldn't quit blogging. Why, even Coturnix says he'd like to see me blogging again.

So. Not exactly clamoring, but giving me a pleasant little ego-trip all the same. (Thanks, by the way!)

If I'm online more next semester, I'll blog more. I promise. I guess I'm just an all-or-nothing kind of person, though. If I can't be a good blogger, and if my blog can't be educational and insightful, then I'd rather not blog at all. I don't want to blog the minutiae of my everyday life, day in and day out. Some bloggers do just that and have good blogs, but it wouldn't be a good blog if I were to do it.

I've been writing in my Sort-of Blog, but it's becoming infested with lesson plans. Christmas holidays have been good, but I'm feeling pressure to plan for next semester. It's very frustrating because of the roadblocks that have been put in my way (no English class on Fridays, seniors gone five weeks of second semester, etc.). Oh, and another class (SAT Prep) has been added to my schedule. That means that this first-year teacher now has five classes to plan and teach next semester. Sigh. I feel like I'm going to have a panic attack, just thinking about it.

I owe e-mails to many of you, dear readers, and I'm sorry I haven't written. As has been the case for the last few months, I'm not online much and have never been good about returning e-mails anyway. I'm also feeling very electronically antisocial.

I'm home in Plaquemine for the holidays and enjoying being with family. That's part of why I haven't had much time for the computer lately.

Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

My Notebook

I bought a real, live notebook. No, not one of those electronic gadgets they call "notebooks." I bought a notebook. A spiral-bound, one subject, 100-page, college-ruled notebook with a red cover and a pocket folder in the front.

It's my new journal. My new real-life journal.

Whenever I buy a new notebook for a journal, I give it a title. I always give these titles a lot of thought. After about four seconds of deep deliberation, I titled my new journal "A Sort of Blog."

Heh ... just had to share that for the fifteen of you who still visit each day!

And now I slip back into blobscurity ...