spiralflames: (sweet)
today, i told a student, "better start practicing!"

he responded, without missing a beat, "or what...you going to put me in your oven?"

bwahahahahahahahaha....never been called an old witch to my face before! this kid is 8, cute as a button, and funny and involved and so sincere he breaks my heart.

brr4...wright co, MN (fx3), originally uploaded by spiralflmz.

in other t'ching news, i have 8 kiddos at GGM, my new teaching job up in andover. they're ALL boys..and..i kid not..FOUR of them are named jacob. 2 new jakes today..both of them serious Young Men, one of whom i really had to work to get to smile. this job has really become pleasant to me. all righty then!

the day

Nov. 29th, 2009 10:39 pm
spiralflames: (freedom)
it was a lovely birthday- too much sugar consumed, much silliness, new insight, new resolve, surprising greetings from musicians on facebook and friends here and there..and a happy b-day text from my DENTIST. life continues to have surprises.
moron-quote-of-the-day: the server at don pablo's: "wow, it's nice to see a woman actually HAPPY about her birthday!" i looked at her (i mean, HOW many kinds of WRONG is that statement? let me show you them) and said, "well, i guess when you've been close to losing it, any celebration of life is a good thing."
but friday was a "party"- haven't been to one in ages, with lots of people and food and women in Spangly Shoes. looking forward with immense pleasure to *TWO WEEKS OFF* over the Holiday. if there's any possible way i can afford it, i'd like to drive somewhere for a few nights and just remove myself from speaking to anyone i know. with all the crap that went down this summer at my former place of employment, i didn't get any summer break- i haven't had ONE WEEK WITHOUT STUDENTS since LAST CHRISTMAS. no WONDER i'm about ready to spit nails.
had an opportunity to meet a new man last week, but he did 2 things that pissed me off- i gave him my cell number, and he CALLED ME AT 7:30- *A.M.*. huh? even bill collectors don't call before 9. then, when i DID call him back and suggested we get together for coffee, he said "or maybe i could just stop over to your place." huh? um, NO. for what? contemplation of my Depression Glass collection? i laughed and said "nnooooo." and he responded "oh, that's OK. i'm not angry or anything."
HUH? angry? because i'm telling you you can't come over for SEX when i've never MET YOU??? why SHOULD you possibly be ANGRY?
people. no loss, there.
got into a Serious Conv w/friend wendy at the fri nite party. we were talking about men and she said "when it hurts more to be alone than it hurts to have a relationship go bad, i'll put myself out there again." i thought that was pretty well-wrought.
this should be a good week. wishing you the same.

spiralflames: (lifeguard)
dad wore his warm-up pants too and from swimming tonight. i had to give him a tutorial on putting them on..."over your feet and up your legs FIRST." it's so funny to realize that this 84 yr old man has never worn soft slacks, but then i forget that women/girls grow up doing horrible things like pantyhose/tights.

dear man. it's so sweet to see him walking laps in the pool, and walking into the pool area w/ his skinny long legs, which haven't seen the light of day since...hmmmm 1965?? life is good.
teaching yesterday at GGM..pleasant kiddos. oldest boy, about 13, is going to be a bit difficult- he reads incredibly poorly and his fingerings is awful, and he's too old to put up w/ going back to the beginning, which is really what he should be doing. oh well. we'll see. pleasant kids, tho. and i got my first paycheck. in my mailbox. on time. without pageant. all righty then.
in other years, i cowarded out- a pleasant man, divorced, grown kids, lives a few hrs south of me. Expressing Interest. somehow the thought of Starting All Over With Someone New just seemed to be waaaay too much work to consider. which means, of course, he wasn't the right one- i wouldn't have thought twice, had it been. sigh.

after rain1, originally uploaded by spiralflmz.


Nov. 16th, 2009 11:55 pm
spiralflames: (goddess)
PSA's: 1) if this is news to you, run, do NOT walk to: http://sourceforge.net/projects/ljarchive/
and back up your LJ. this is amazing- it prints comments, fonts, icons, everything. it's your journal, you might as well keep it.
2) Evidently, soon cell phone numbers are to be released to telemarketers. run, do NOT walk, to the do-not-call registry: 888.382.1222. there was much publicity about this number when it first came out, and i think people mostly applied it to "home" phones, thinking their mobiles were always safe. not for long, evidently.
i am on the trail of being able to make photo cards- sooner or later, a printer will be mine- right now, affixing prints on pre-existing blank cards seems to be the ticket. quite a few folk on my facebook have seemed interested in purchasing cards. i looked into having them printed- $2 apiece, too expensive (too much $$ up front for me.) right now i just want to make xmas cards, and then we'll see from there.
i bought 2 new items of CLOTHING: (photos here mainly so i can keep track) from: http://stores.ebay.com/lotusinthemoonlight

i'm especially excited about the black asymmetrical top- i've accumulated a few lovely kimono/duster type things over the years, but not had anything to wear UNDER them. this might be the deal. love beautiful, flowing fabric!! it's been AGES since i've had anything new.
weds back to my new teaching gig. looking fwd to hanging in the coffee shop near there.
now to bed, a little ST:NG rerun, pleasant dreams. wishing you the same.

landscape near northfield MN, originally uploaded by spiralflmz.

spiralflames: (path)

above: part of an abandoned military barracks, fort snelling upper post, mpls MN, which is currently undergoing renovation.

had my first day of teaching at GoodGuy Music. i like it- teaching is teaching, and it's all a luck-of-the-draw thing, but the situation seems really excellent. it's a small store- they sell instruments, some music, and they have about 10 teaching studios. i think that's the problem with too many of these independent studios- they have fantasies of grandeur, and they over-build and over-spend, and they just can't keep up- hire too many teachers, piss them off by not having enough students, blah blah. i did a little arithmetic and realized that the Studio would have needed *850* students weekly to break even. ridiculous.

but this new place seems to be small and simple. i think i was the only piano teacher there on weds. and the new kiddos are truly sweet- the first bunch is a group of 3 brothers, all w/names that start with J (why?)..and after the first one's lesson, smallest J said "i LIKE you! i don't WANT to go!"

life is good.

today, did a bunch of dad-work..errands, taking his car (a 2002 grand prix w/ 28,000 miles on it, oh yes) in for service, etc etc..when we were going swimming tonight, he said to me "when i'm with you, it's the only time i feel young."

life is REALLY good.

ohhh..and sunday i have to give him a tutorial- how to put on warm-up pants! i'd gotten him sweats and a hoodie for swimming, and he said he'd hurt his back putting the pants on. huh?? then i realized he's never WORN sweats before, and doesn't know how to DO soft pants- he'd stepped into them like dress pants and p-u-l-l-l-l-l-l-l-l-l-e-d til they went up..bwaha! that's the type of thing that every woman- or every guy 10 yrs old who's worn sweats- knows how to do. my dad breaks my heart. for sweet.

below: the end of fall color. it's going to be sad, now that everything will be brown, white and blue (trees, snow, sky) for the next..sigh...FIVE months...

crimson afternoon8, mpls MN, originally uploaded by spiralflmz.


Nov. 4th, 2009 09:25 pm
spiralflames: (wise_words)

above photo: a barn which becomes more transparent (or less apparent?) every time i drive by it. this was the first time it seems that only the front wall is still standing. there's something natural, perhaps even a bit noble, about these wooden structures returning to the earth like so many fallen trees.
photo below: street in my neighborhood. although i love alaska and adored all the black spruces, which seem to weather every meteorological insult possible, i do love the canopy of deciduous trees here.

i seem to have picked up a new little teaching gig today..we'll see. new studio up in andover, about 35 miles north of here. i meet w/their manager monday, and i don't appear drunk and/or drooling, will probably start there next wednesday. i wasn't meant to have wednesdays off..haven't for the past 20 years!
feeling small tendrils of energy reaching out. this is good.


Nov. 2nd, 2009 01:01 am
spiralflames: (girlfriends)

drop7 detailed detail!, originally uploaded by spiralflmz.

in a drop of water. you can see an entire tree inside :-D
wednesday i have a meet-n-greet for a teaching job at a new studio- seems a handful of the old Studio teachers have migrated there, as well as the evening receptionist. the studio owner seems...chirpy. but i'm never one to turn down an opportunity, so we'll see. i'll go in, sporting resume', Positive Attitude, and brahms. 1 out of 3 of them will be somewhat fake...muahahaha!
pleasant day of photog today, capturing the end of the autumn colors...
practicality seems to reign, a bit. LifePassion needs a bit of an up-tick, but perhaps i, like the rest of this part of the earth, am just going into a bit of Protective mode, waiting to see what Winter will bring.


Oct. 29th, 2009 04:42 pm
spiralflames: (the_soul)

surrounded by kids in costumes- insanely cute..and so glad they're other peoples'.
got a call from one of the russian former-studio teachers, still crying and hysterical and talking about old business. i was completely detached- that 'closure' ritual i had WORKED. wrote a note to another studio where a handful of the teachers re-located, so see if they needed anyone, but i think they're wanting people who have students to bring with them.
one of my students is 'auditioning' teachers currently. they have a 22 yr old kid coming to their house who "didn't have much to say." uh huh. and kiddo says she's had 7 teachers in the past 3 years. convenience uber alles, i guess. sad for the kid.
tomorrow i send out a bunch of "your free lessons are finished, this is what it costs to study privately." we'll see. amazing nobody's thought to THANK me for the FREE LESSONS i've given them so far- they seem to think they're 'entitled'. i realize i should have handled this differently- told them i'd give them their lessons *IF* they signed to study with me thereafter. on the other hand, if they don't want to be there and don't care, better off without them.
i need to do a relationship house-cleaning in my life.
spiralflames: (scenery)

do have a photo of my back yard after yesterday's snow...

ok, not really. i did upload about 100 (not kidding) alaska photos from last summer that i'd decided weren't good enough to post..which was before i discovered the Flickr.com editing software. viola! (sp intended) i'm going to go thru ALL my alaska pics and re-edit. such amazing beauty.
next saturday, i'm calling an emergency Crone meeting. the church where i teach has a fire pit outside. i decided i want about 5 people to participate in a Closure ritual. (i'm choosing the Studio, of course) i want everyone to write a page about something they need to be rid of- old job, relationship, situation, you decide- and bring one small representation of the experience, or just use the paper they're reading from. read what they're getting rid of and why, and put it in the flame. and watch it burn.

i have a t-shirt from the Studio. buh-bye.

it's good to be a Crone.
spiralflames: (trees)

have a few fallish photos from last week, when it was sunny, 80 and lovely. since then, it's been 40, raining and grim. welcome to october!

today, i had my first day of Studio students woven into my basic schedule. this gives me 9 students on saturdays, which doesn't thrill me- but on the other hand, if i have to work, i might as well make a day of it. 4 of them today- the other 6 on monday, which makes monday an insane 12-student day. arrgh! but as i groan, i am also EXTREMELY thankful to get all of these students scheduled. the one who might bail is coming at 8:30 PM- i purposely scheduled her AFTER i had given all the good times away. i'll be happy after monday, when everyone's found the place, come in the correct door, and feels comfortable. then on with biznis as usual.

i had a bit of anger today when i realized i screwed over my summer for the BigBoob and his failing business. it seems odd to have parted so abruptly with colleagues i've seen for ten years. suddenly- no more. i'm good at 'closure.' i LIKE closure. i'm not good at having a rug- nay, an entire wall-to-wall fricken carpet- ripped out from under me.

but, there are always good things, and i will NEVER lose sight of that.

country roads4, wright co MN, originally uploaded by spiralflmz.


Sep. 2nd, 2009 12:01 am
spiralflames: (goddess)

the above photo got chosen "photo of the week" in the Flickr group "clouds and trees." i'm chuffed.
organizing fall sched. put notices out in buffalo..i could use a few more students out there.
there's definitely a touch of fall in the air, in the light (light gone by 7:30) and in the first touches of red in the trees. i'll miss my Golden Summer.
got a gig for january to perform the poulenc trio at one of the schubert club's "courtroom concerts" at the landmark center in st paul. i've been stalking this gig for ages- that'll really get me off my pianistic ass. woo!
i like being able to keep up with Studio's email on my own time rather than having people annoyed because they haven't gotten answers to time-sensitive Q's. i felt like i'd been given a major gift today when i didn't have to go into work this morning!
i think i shall set my sights on meeting someone new this year. not quite sure in what capacity- friend, amour, traveling companion...you're out there. c'mon over.


Aug. 26th, 2009 11:44 pm
spiralflames: (obscure)

if i were to get caught in an anomaly in the time/space continuum tomorrow, i can say that tonight, i saw the most amazing sunset ever. i took over a hundred photos. usually i keep 6 or so..i kept 30. i couldn't give them up. many people sat on the bank of the lake and watched in silence. what an honor.
oncologist appointment this morning. having a GYN appt at 8:30 in the AM. ouch. all the way around. BUT..the good news? my CA-125 number, the number that measures ovarian cancer, is holding stabe at 4point5. that's FOUR-POINT-FIVE. "normal" is between 0-33. mine's four. take THAT, you FUCKING, scurrilous, gut-wrenching, life-stripping, heart-breaking, hero-taking disease.
next week i start practicing piano. hours for the Day Job at the Studio- only weds and thurs. my tues hours i will be doing AT HOME at my convenience, checking email, internetting and (such a hardship) updating the Studio's facebook page. i also got a handful of new students there, and the one i was worried about being a bratlet, seemed controllable and was able to focus. life is good.
friday i drive 400 miles again to bring ann to master jim at spring forest qigong. she says her one qigong session has made her feel much better. brilliant!
i love my life, despite occasional rumors to the contrary ;-D


Aug. 23rd, 2009 11:08 pm
spiralflames: (heart)

more detail later- just a bit worn out.

2 topic sentences.

1) faculty meeting last friday. WE GOT PAID. he's now almost caught up with me. he owes me $200 or so, but has paid enough that i feel i haven't wasted my summer. tomorrow, the fall term starts. life will be interesting when people realize their kids aren't getting lessons if they haven't PAID. muahaha!

2) had bloods drawn fri for quarterly cancer-check. i get results weds. pray for good things. every 3 months i go without a CA recurrence gets me --------> much closer to safest.

3)adoring my new camera. insane numbers of photos uploaded to flickr.

4) i treasure my friends here.

spiralflames: (question)

i guess i'm just going to have to trust that karma will reward me on this one.

at the end of spring, one of the teachers here at the Studio announced he was moving out of state, and did anyone want his 6 private students, who happened to live in my neighborhood? well, of course i jumped on this action, and have been happily teaching 6 delightful germans- he taught at the german immersion school in st paul. well? he's ba-a-a-a-a-a-c-k-...new job fell through, and CAN HE HAVE HIS STUDENTS BACK?

i was crushed- this was literally my hope for not being so damn financially strapped next year. he's back teaching at the Studio, and most of his students will come back to him, since he's the only jazzer on staff. i sort of decided that psychologically, i'd give him back the family of 3- i'd really only had a handful of lessons with them, and he'd had them since the beginning. had i really bonded over a year, got them through contest/recital, and they loved me, i would have said forget it- not my fault your job opportunity fucked up. BUT that's not the situation- and, had he said, i'm gone for the summer, would you take over my students til fall? i would've been grateful for the summer income and been done with it.

teaching is so incredibly weird- you HAVE to care, because it's such an unfair relationship-- you are giving 95% to their 5% for years, and if you don't care about the students as people, it's just a ridiculous way to make money. but then, they dump you- disappear without a trace (like a family i'd worked with for a few years, call them after a 2 week summer break, phone disconnected, no forwarding number- never heard from them again. ???)

so psychologically, i'm splitting the students- i'm keeping the elegant german lawyer who does like me, and the other family of 2 who live closer to me- but he can have his other 3 back. i don't want negativity to follow me, nor do i want us to be uncomfortable around one another in the Studio. so- one way or another, it'll come back to me, and it was the right thing to do.
spiralflames: (goddess)

made a phonecall to http://www.pathwaysminneapolis.org today. they put out their brochure of classes and services 6x a year, and in casual reading, i always find at least a dozen typi or misspellings. so i volunteered to proof their copy before it goes to print. they accepted immediately and didn't ask what my qualifications were..but i suppose they can always reject my corrections if they want. i've been taking classes at *P for 3 years now, so i felt i owed them some kind of volunteer work. they really provide amazing services, and all free of charge.
i also talked to the associate director about offering a class there this next year- marilyn and T and i would like to give a class called "the practical goddess- bringing the Crone into the world"- and guide people through the process we went through when we planned our Crone ritual. 3 sessions- 1) archetypes (maiden, mother, crone) 2)writing your Statements and planning ritual and 3)croning ceremony where each woman reads her statement, takes her Goddess name, and speaks as a Crone. could be pretty powerful.
am doing some teaching in august. usually, i take it off, but since i'm working at the Studio and don't seem to have any real vacation, decided i might as well teach those who were interested, which was a surprisingly large amount. i have to figure out how to get some piano practice back into this Nan's life..my studio work has taken my mornings out, and it's too brain-frying to do it at night...but it must be done... not going to lose my Skillz now...
a bit melancholy. i'd like to get PAID so i know my giving up my summer's free time hasn't been for naught. but generally? there are sunsets. life is good.


Jun. 3rd, 2009 11:58 pm
spiralflames: (wise_words)

it's been a LONG time since i've had an office job. i don't quite know what to think about the whole situation. first, the cynical part of me worries that the BiBo wants to get all my ideas, use my marketing and PR skills, and then say "thanks so much, but we don't need you any more." i've decided to be OK with that. he's having serious problems with the business of running the Studio- still hasn't made the last payroll. he's trying to start (START!) marketing..hello? where have you been since TWO THOUSAND THREE? he gave me access to the Studio's email. there are inquiries for lessons there from MARCH. aiie.
i took my first long, drawn-out, combusting Mommy (mom of a Studio student) call today. let her vent, gave her what she wanted, which totally took the wind out of her sails. it's no fun screaming when someone's agreeing with you. "oh my! that IS awful!" it's oddly not stressful when someone's yelling- but it's not at ME personally, and it's not about my teaching or my students.
the whole business of dealing with Business People. it's so alien to me.
i feel sorry for the young, earnest "account executives" (i.e. salespeople) who wander into the office wanting to sell services. they're too cheery, too sincere. casual and not dressed in suits would really be better.
and tomorrow is SWIMMING. i've missed a couple weeks for various reasons. i feel better physically, spiritually, psychologically (heeee! mis-typed "psychotically") when i go.
but life is hopeful. wishing you the same.
spiralflames: (OvCa)
well, i'm above-ground, so they're ALL the best day, but this one's been right up there.

first, started new office job at the Studio today. went excellently. life is pretty mellow there in the summer, so perfect time to learn their byzantine accounting/registration programs. the BiBo's office is separated by a (usually always open) door, so he's 6 feet away from the main reception desk. he'd slide his chair into the entry and listen every time i answered the phone. "i never realized, it makes sense to have an instructor answering the phone, you know everything about how things work around here!" well, uh, yeah. i spent most of the time trying to rescue one of his computers from death, partially succeeded. he seemed pleased. he's asked me to work on an info packet for new students. fun! i'll bring my laptop so i can keep a Word doc going without occupying his computer's space. life is good.

but now, the reason that LITERALLY it's the best day of my life so far: meeting (can't even call it 'check-up' w/ dr weinshel, my hem/on. (hematologist/oncologist.) my CA-125 number? FOUR POINT EIGHT, bitches. (this is the marker for ovarian cancer.) normal is 0-33. i'm UNDER FIVE. my pre-surgery number? ONE THOUSAND TWENTY SEVEN. die, you motherfucking disease. DIE.

four years cancer-free.

and after a coffee and a lovely salad, i found 2 historical cemeteries to take spooky pictures of.

damn. i am richly blessed.

wishing you the same.

happy blue spring, originally uploaded by spiralflmz.


spiralflames: (Default)

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