Sunday, September 29, 2002

Busy day yesterday. From 10 to 3 I was at the second training session for the literacy tutors. I talked with one of the coordinators and what I'm going to start out doing is volunteering in the computer lab for a couple hours on Wednesday evenings. They've got various programs for people learning English or learning to read there and they need volunteers to help teach people how to use them. So that will be a good thing to do.

After that, I went down to Santa Cruz for Jim's birthday and music party. That was fun -- I needed a good music fix. I played for about 5 hours, and even though I kept switching to progressively less painful instruments (mandolin to banjo to fiddle) my hands were feeling pretty battered by the time I was done. Even now, the tips of my fingers are complaining about typing. But it was worth it. I did a lot of Irish tunes and a couple really fun Cape Breton sets with Jim on piano.

Friday, September 27, 2002

Today was my last day at Verifia. Part of me is glad to be done, but part of me is nervous, of course. I just have to hope that this is a good move and everything will work out. A few people from work took me out to lunch before I left. I was hoping for something auspicious in my fortune cookie, but all I got was "Ignorance never settles arguments." Oh well.

Thursday, September 26, 2002

My student for tonight had to reschedule so I'm not doing that tonight. Speaking of students, though, I've lost a couple recently. My mandolin student had to stop because life was taking over her music time (which is usually less fun than the reverse) and one of my new theory students decided to cancel when she realized how far Palo Alto is from Oakland. So that's too bad. I'm having a nice night at home, though. I'm listening to my Talisman CDs that I haven't heard for a while and I'm writing some thank you letters to give to a few people at work, since it'll be my last day tomorrow. I'm also working on typing up my piano composition from last quarter, which is kind of tricky, since there are some funny notation thing in it. But maybe I'll get that done and put it up here with my other compositions.

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Happy Birthday Jim!

Wednesday, September 25, 2002

The Menlo Park library has a literacy tutoring program that I've been wanting to join for a while. Every few months they have a series of three training sessions that are required for volunteers and one started tonight. So I went to the first one to see what it's like. I'm a little leery of committing to something like this right now, since I don't know what's going to be happening with me job-wise. But I would like to do it at some point, so I figured I could at least go to the training sessions. They said, though, that right now they don't have a lot of students available, so I guess it might be a little while before I could start anyway. So we'll see what works out.

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

I just got back from the freshman orientation a cappella concert. No, I'm not trying to be a freshman again, but I have some friends in Testimony who invited me to hear them sing. (Awesome solo, Kari! Excellent directing, Tina! Well sung, everyone!) It was all extremely fun. I hadn't heard much of the a cappella groups at Stanford for a while, and I had forgotten how much I enjoyed it. All the groups look so different now, from the way I remember them. That's the problem with student groups, I guess -- the people keep changing. But they all sounded good. Talisman is definitely the one I would have auditioned for as a freshman, if I could sing or something. Fleet Street was last and did their same "Pray to the God of Partial Credit" routine that I remember from my freshman year -- that was really fun to see again.

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Happy Birthday Gia! Happy Birthday Jac! Neither of you are probably reading this, but oh well. Happy birthday anyway.

Sunday, September 22, 2002

Well, I guess there are a few things to catch up on here....

Thursday: One good music theory lesson, the other one rescheduled to tonight.

Friday: Another lesson in the afternoon, then later on a night-time walk through the Stanford Arboretum. That's a great place, with all sorts of cool trees, a mausoleum, some statues and a cactus garden. The moon was beautiful, and one day away from full. I stayed up a bit too late, though.

Saturday: Went up to Mom's place in Berkeley and also saw Quena, who came down from Davis to visit. We went to the Berkeley waltz night, where I particularly enjoyed some of the cross-step waltzes and polkas.

Today: Came back from Berkeley, still somewhat sleep deprived. I've got that other music lesson to teach tonight, then I'll probably just veg out and go to bed early.

Wednesday, September 18, 2002

There's been a sudden surge of interest recently in my music theory lessons, of all things. I hadn't expected to get many responses to those ads, compared to lessons on actual instruments, but three people have contacted me about it this week. So I'm seeing two of them on Thursday, and one on Friday. I'm doing a mandolin lesson tonight, too, so it's a busy week.

Tuesday, September 17, 2002

Starlite Ballroom has a job opening for a dance instructor. Hmmm....

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Last MND of the summer last night, though of course it'll keep going through the year. More people are starting to come back to campus now. It's nice to see them, of course, and there are a lot of people that I'll be really glad to have around again, but in a way I'll also miss just having our little summer group of dancers. It's been a good bunch of people.

Monday, September 16, 2002

The movies were a lot of fun yesterday: Top Hat and Swing Time. Typical plots, some funny lines and the usual great dancing. For the first movie we had both Tinas, Erin, and Evan there, but we were also joined later by George, Donia, Alex., Joan, Annaka and Heraldo. I was amused by Alex.'s comment after I had introduced Tina to several people, when he said to me "Yes, but who are you?" (He hadn't seen my haircut yet :-) Anyway, a bunch of us went out for Thai food afterwards and overall it was a very nice time. George took some photos.

Sunday, September 15, 2002

Great contra dance last night, with the Hillbillies from Mars playing. Particularly nice last waltz. Tina, Karl and Felix all came, so we're gradually raising the proportion of Stanford people there. Erin was silly and off doing her laundry or something. This afternoon: double feature Fred & Ginger movies at the Stanford Theatre with the summer dance crew.

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I got to make my own Thai iced tea today! Yum. That's become my favorite drink recently. Thanks, Mom, for sending me some.

Saturday, September 14, 2002

I love libraries.

Some things I have checked out now: Letters of Lewis Carroll, Treasury of the World's Great Letters, Alarms and Diversions by James Thurber, Harry Potter book 1 in Spanish and English, The Joy of Music by Leonard Bernstein, two Marx Brothers videos, CDs of classical piano, Irish fiddle and Tuvan throat singing, and more.

Things I passed on because I know I won't even finish what I've got: Journal of H.D. Thoreau, Letters of Virginia Woolf, and Jesus and Buddha as Brothers by Thich Nhat Hanh.

Thursday, September 12, 2002

Okay, here is the official job update:

Short Version: I will be staying at Verifia until the end of September. After that -- no clue.

Long Version: For those who don't know, this has been a part-time/temp job, but I was recently given two offers to make it permanent -- one for part time, one for full time. Unfortunately, while I like the company and the people I work with, I've been feeling more and more that this is not really the sort of thing I want to keep doing with my life. So it wouldn't really be fair to either me or the company to accept a permanent job. I still don't know what I do want to do (a common lament from these last several years) but I figure that if there's any time in my life when I should be trying out various kinds of jobs, it's now. I'd like to maybe look for something with a non-profit organization. Or anything where I could take a shot at dealing a little more with people than with computers. But I have no idea what I might end up finding. For those of you who worry about money things, I've got enough saved up to last me 2 or 3 months, and my expenses these days are probably as low as they'll ever be, so I have a little flexibility. I do feel kind of bad because I'm leaving a good place. If I knew I wanted to keep working in a technology company, this would be a great place to stay. And it's not like job offers have ever just been falling out of the sky for me. But I've realized by now that I can't really stay here, and I needed to get a fixed cut-off date, whether or not I have something lined up for afterwards. My change-resistant personality needs a bit of a jumpstart like that. So anyway, that's the current situation with all that. Hopefully everything will work out well. It usually does, somehow.

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

Betty Lue asked me yesterday how 9/11 has affected my life over the last year. On a day-to-day level, it really hasn't, but I think it's affected my overall thoughts and reactions to things. I don't know if there's more anger or sadness in the world now than a year ago, or if I'm just noticing more, but every time I hear of terrorists, or guns in schools, or couples breaking up or people just being unhappy, I think back to this time last year and wonder if the world is just going completely downhill. It's as if there's a general sickness in the planet, of which 9/11 was just one of the more noticeable symptoms. But I suppose my perspective is less optimistic than it used to be, since it's been a bit of a rough year for me, personally. I think the trick will be to not get overwhelmed by a world that seems to go crazy sometimes, but just to remember that the best thing we can all do is to keep our own lives happy and meaningful, and then try to work up from there. We can't change the world from the top down.

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Dad and Betty Lue and I all went to Rossmoor for dinner with Grandpa Marsh and Grandma Jackie yesterday. It was good to see everybody. Pictures are here. Something I want to remember from the conversation: People who spend their lives giving to others also need to learn to receive. That can be harder than it sounds, but a good reminder for some of us.

Tuesday, September 10, 2002

I sent in our Camp Harmony registration today! Yay Harmony! Only 108 days to go! Think I'm looking forward to it? Nah....

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Well, at least my day got better yesterday after losing the dumb CalTrain ticket. Erin, TINA and tina invited all the MND people (which turned out to be me, Neal and Evan) over to their apartment for a movie before dancing. We saw "An American in Paris." Somewhat silly movie, but good dancing. Makes me want to start learning tap again. I liked the piano concerto daydream scene, too. I have daydreams like that :-)

Monday, September 09, 2002

I think I've lost my CalTrain pass. Phooey. And it's not even very far into the month yet.

Sunday, September 08, 2002

Today was personal-history-day for me, I think. I spent a lot of time going through old journals, photo albums and letters. I figure that knowing where my life has been is the best start towards deciding where it's going, but sometimes I just don't know what to do with the information. Lots of good memories in there, though.

Saturday, September 07, 2002

I randomly heard about a "Small Animal Adoption Fair" that was happening today, so just for fun I went to check it out and play with all the baby rats. I miss having pet rats.

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FNW was fun. I need to remember polka redowa more often. I'm always looking for more polka variations but I always forget that one. Joan had taught zweifachers in the lesson before hand, so there were some good ones.

Friday, September 06, 2002

Tina's blog inspired me to create one of my own, so here it is. I added in some past entries so it wouldn't have to start out all empty.

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Friday Night Waltz tonight! Yay!

Thursday, September 05, 2002

Tina brought her guitar over tonight and we played a few tunes. We also watched a Victor Borge video - I know some of those routines by heart but I never get tired of them. Laughs are always good.

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I got something interesting in the mail today from the Stanford Alumni Association. At some freshman orientation event 5 years ago, they had us write down a personal policy that we would commit ourselves to for building community at Stanford. Then we sealed them in envelopes and now they've been sent back to us. I had forgotten all about it. Mine said: "Honesty in all things and the cultivation of happiness in myself and others."

Tuesday, September 03, 2002

I went to the library today and checked out "Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal." Seems like a fun way to try to resurrect my poor neglected Spanish skills. I'm enjoying it, but so far it's harder than I thought it would be.

Monday, September 02, 2002

I visited Quena and family over Labor Day weekend. It was my first time at Hollygate Ranch and I had a great time. Lots of love and hugs, which I needed. Thank you, Quena! You're wonderful. See pictures.

Sunday, September 01, 2002

I've decided to try to start teaching music lessons. So far I've had two students. Gentaro came over last night to try to decide what instrument he wants to play. Catherine had her first mandolin lesson tonight and will be coming back each week, hopefully. I like teaching.