In case you were wondering.

I’ve just been busy doing other stuff, and not being at home enough to feel like blogging when I am. I wouldn’t even be doing it now as I SHOULD be practicing but my thumb feels funny and I thought an evening off would be wise. Lots of time tomorrow for that, and catching up on other stuff. (Nervous laughter).

It’s hard to know where to start, so I’m just going to caption some photos and then you’ll feel all caught up, right? Apologies to those who follow me on instagram for some repeats, but I’ll tell you more here. Probably. Maybe. Maybe not.

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Cake at Citygarden. Was downtown having lunch with a friend who was doing his civic duty sitting around for two days waiting fruitlessly to be called for a jury.  That was a hot day.

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I took my car in for a repair and had the brilliant idea to bike there and pick it up. My brilliant idea involved having a bigger car or knowing how to take my bike apart. At some point I must have wiped my face. Ultimately I was able to get the front wheel off and the bike in the back seat, but it was touch and go for a few minutes.

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April and I at a fundraiser for Safe Connections. They had a photo booth.

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Kitty!

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Pondering my beer at my friend’s Fourth of July BBQ. It was actually on the 5th of July and the weather was phenomenal. This summer has had some hot days, but overall it’s been amazing and I just can’t complain. I’ve been getting back to running 3 times a week, and it’s been pretty easy with this weather.

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Leslie sent me this picture. I can’t imagine why this product is on sale.IMG_9696

I went to see Union Avenue Opera play La Traviata. I rarely go to the opera—I play a lot of them, but I don’t attend much. My main thought had to do with how silly the plot was and how so many problems could be avoided if the characters communicated better.

This past weekend was spent in “tech rehearsals” for my band. Our Chicago trip is this weekend.

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I probably should not ALWAYS be bending backwards.

I will likely be on STL TV tomorrow promoting my upcoming Perseid String Quartet concert. I’ll share the link with you later if it’s not too embarrassing! (Ha!)

How is it Friday again? I have been keeping busy and not in the mood to write…today I have a day off so I thought I had NO excuse not to blog a bit.

It’s been a good week. I played at a retirement home on Tuesday night with my good friend and wonderful pianist Jennifer, and we had a blast. We’d been working on some music for awhile for a concert in October (it would have been earlier, but Jen got diagnosed with cancer this year and she’s been busy dealing with that. Things are going great now and we are all looking to a wonderful future!) and this was our first “concert” putting a few things together. Brahms and Prokofiev Sonatas might not be the most excellent choice for a retirement home, but we figured there wasn’t any reason NOT to play them, and hopefully people would enjoy it. I think I heard one person say, during the Prokofiev Sonata, “This isn’t music!” but it IS and it’s a delightful piece to play. We did the whole “talk about the music” before you play it that is the norm these days. I think it’s important to give the audience some background on the composer, the piece, and sometimes a bit of personal information about why you chose the piece and what you love about it. People like to moan and groan about how classical music is dying, but if you look back, people have been moaning and groaning about that for nearly 100 years or more, and we’re still here. If classical music is so dead, why are there so many people pursuing careers in it? I say it is alive and well and we just need to expand our audience by getting other people to love music as much as we do!

As much as I hate when people tell me I am so lucky to have such a “talent”, I do feel lucky that I get to make money doing fun stuff like playing sonatas with a friend, and bringing joy to other people. I don’t feel as lucky when I look at all the (unpaid) hours and years of hard work I have done and have yet to do. It’s a mixed bag sometimes, but Tuesday was fun, last week’s quartet concert was fun, and I’m looking forward to many more performances in the future. In between there is a lot of work and rehearsals!

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I played at a student’s wedding the other week. We even played a short piece together, which was kind of awesome. (This was an adult student, not a child.)Jerry & Rick's Wedding 104_fhdr

I have to figure out what to do differently with my teaching next summer. Keeping track of my schedule has been a very time consuming challenge. During the year I have a very regular schedule with teaching, each student has a time on a day each week, but in the summer I’ve needed to be more flexible, but this has led to a few double booking problems, people forgetting, and generally spending way too much time emailing, calling, or texting in order to make sure the week is in order. I don’t know quite how to fix it—teachers, what do you do in the summer? Is there a way to make this easier yet still continue to teach, or should I just take a month off each year? Suggestions are more than welcome.

There’s been plenty of time for fun though. And plenty more cakes being found and still more yet to come.IMG_9636 IMG_9635 IMG_9616

That last picture was actually for a gig, not “fun” but whatever. I go all over the place playing weddings, and more often than not there’s a cake at the location, ha!

What’s on the docket for the weekend? Work tomorrow of course, but Sunday is a DAY OFF. I guess it’s possible that my busiest time of year is finally over and July will be a bit more relaxed, at least as far as working goes. I’ll have plenty to do, don’t worry, and my band is going to be playing in Chicago in July…and a quartet concert in August, and opera coming up too…so wait, maybe I should just appreciate today and Sunday and really try to catch up on my inbox, my voicemail, and cleaning. And practicing.

I’m doing something a little crazy and thinking about playing a Bach Solo Sonata on a recital in October which means I’m working on that…nothing scares me more than the word “fugue” and I thought that was a good reason to do it! We’ll see if I change my mind as it gets closer, but for now it’s a great challenge. I spent many years only playing orchestra music and I have to say, I’m enjoying playing chamber music and solo works for awhile now. Of course I miss orchestra, but if the symphony isn’t going to be calling (evidently they won’t be, rumor has it, even though they deigned to put me on the sub list based on audition…)I’m not going to just sit around. I feel like I have a lot to offer the world with my playing and my teaching, and I’m tired of sitting around feeling like a loser because I don’t play precisely in the manner that a committee would like me to. If I sound bitter, you’re obviously an orchestral musician ;) If I sound determined and hopeful, that’s what I’m going for.

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I leave you with this cat in a sink. It’s Leslie’s cat—they have been having major plumbing repairs. Evidently it doesn’t matter WHERE the sink is, a cat will still sit in it.

You guys. I’ve been busy and haven’t gotten to tell you anything that  I’ve been up to since my birthday!

Highlights (since I’m in a hurry still today but I wanted to share!):

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Finished a 5k. Actually finished 2 and I will tell you more. One went well, one went less well, but both were fun.

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Played a concert with my quartet. I meant to blog about it more  beforehand but I forgot. Sometimes I even forgot I had a blog.

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I went biking on Grant’s Trail today. I wore the wrong sort of shots for biking, but it was fun anyway. I am getting LESS excited about seeing cakes everywhere, but it is still pretty fun.

Had a bon voyage party for my friend April who is going to Africa for two weeks. Missing her but wishing her well!

I’m off to practice and play a wedding. Hope you are having a wonderful summer so far! I promise I’ll check back in soon as I know you are all SOOOO worried and curious about what I’ve been doing.

In honor of tomorrow being my birthday (on which I run a 5k and then play for two weddings…) I’m taking today off. I’ll probably do some practicing in a bit as I have a ton of music I’m working on, but for now…I slept in (glorious! especially after waking up initially at 4 am to take a friend to the airport) and am currently still in my pajamas. Life of a musician: not so bad sometimes.

My mom shared some photos from my sister Carrie’s graduation weekend the other week. It’s hard to believe she is all grown up!

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Me and Carrie

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Me and my mom

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My dad and Carrie

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My mom and Carrie

What we failed to do was ask anyone around us to take a picture of all four of us! Oh well, you can juxtaposition all these photos together if you like. Oberlin is a beautiful campus and we lucked out and were there on what was probably the only beautiful weekend in Ohio! I recall spring in Ohio being the best time…after about 7 months of winter that nice day you got was just GLORIOUS. Then the heat and humidity set in, and while that wasn’t so bad compared to other places I’ve lived, the difference is that I never had an apartment with air conditioning in Ohio so you felt every bit of the humidity. Then (if memory serves correctly) it was winter again, with perhaps a small bit of fall, aka the rainy season where we were just thankful it wasn’t snow yet. Which it usually just was.

All that being said, yes, of course, I miss Ohio. I loved it there overall…I have moved enough times in my life that I don’t really feel attached to any one place, (this is something I’ve thought a bit about lately!)–

for instance:

Clemson, SC 5 years

Clinton, SC 11 years (2 different houses)

Cleveland, OH 11 years (5 different places)

Charlotte, NC 2 years

St Louis, MO 6 years (3 places)

It’s no wonder I don’t have that feeling of “home” anywhere at this point in my life. I mean, home is where my stuff and my cat is, but to me it’s crazy when I meet people who hang out and have known each other since they were kids! And no, I suppose I haven’t really lived anywhere terribly EXCITING (not like Carrie, who is going to NYC for grad school now) but each place I’ve lived gives me a unique perspective on life.

But I digress.

Oh, and since tomorrow is my birthday:

My brother Jesse holding me…he looks pretty uncomfortable here.

He’d gotten better by now—this is the proper way to hold a baby…choke hold! Note how tan we are—I was probably only in the sun for about an hour for this level of tan.

This seems to be my first birthday and the pie is out of reach! WHY WOULDN’T THEY GIVE ME MY PIE?

Just like today, sometimes I just got very tired

Having some tummy time (I hear that’s what all the moms today call it.) This one is labeled “new baby Hannah” so I’m guessing I was pretty little here.

This is my 4th birthday (I remember this!). I still love pizza for birthdays today :)

I just like this one. Leslie had the world’s largest baby cheeks, and I don’t seem to be having that hard of a time holding her…

I look pretty cozy there, don’t I! Hard to imagine I was ever that tiny :) but what a great head of hair!

And here’s where it all began? My mom, Leslie, and I playing violin together. My mom has picked it up again in retirement as a hobby. I hope Leslie’s posture has improved since this photo, and you can tell I am totally rocking the world’s longest T-shirt there…I was PROBABLY wearing shorts underneath.

Well, no, not really.

But today I only have teaching in the MORNING and then the rest of the day free!

Summer teaching is a mess. During the year I have a regular schedule and students show up every week. During the summer…I’m rescheduling all the time. I am okay with this because the options are either to have no students at all in the summer…or to be really flexible and let them come when they can. Obviously the second option is best for my studio, both financially and musically. So each day is a little bit different, and I have been spending hours of time trying to figure out schedules and communicating with parents, and honestly, I think I’ve basically got June worked out, except for a few days. Well, I think I have this week figured out at least.

I also think I generally have my summer worked out. Teaching, a few concerts, an opera, a recording session, a bit of vacation (destination still nebulous, but the time is set!) and a lot of work around the house. I played for approximately 9 hours of weddings over the weekend and this thought occurred to me: much of the winter is spent scheduling and filling weekends for the spring and summer. That’s the fun part…dreaming about the paychecks and having your bills covered during the hard months. But then you get down to the actual work required to get those checks, and WOW it can be a lot. This weekend was pretty crazy…people ask how was my weekend, and I just look at them blankly. What, it’s Tuesday already?

I took a little trip out of town last week to see my youngest sister Carrie graduate from college and visit with family. It was nice to get out of town!

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The proud graduate standing in between my parents. Next stop: New York City! (Well that’s not entirely true as I believe there are many stops in between, but come fall she’ll be in New York.)

I’m having photo trouble today so that’s all you get. I’ll get some more up later :) I know, I know, needs more cat too.

I’ve been getting back into the swing of running again lately. It feels great! Yes, I still hem and haw about it, and I’m still a run/walker, but I’m running MORE and walking LESS and feeling better during and after, so I’m pretty pleased with myself. My fitness is doing well, thanks for asking :)

With that said, let’s remind you of a few upcoming events:

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This Saturday, CDM Mind and Body 5k and Fitness Event.

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June 7: My birthday AND the Creve Coeur Heart to Heart Run (link goes to a giveaway, which is closed, thanks to all you who entered! but also includes all kinds of great information about the event.)

And June 15 I’m doing the Go All-American 5K and hoping to get a better time than I have in a long time. My goal is to run the whole way…I think I’m putting myself in good shape to do that?

It looks to be a busy month of running, and I’m excited! I’m trying to get myself used to the heat and the sun, by, you know, being out in it. So far it’s working…I’d better keep it up though.

I’ve learned a few things about myself: I really do generally need to get my workout done earlier in the day or I don’t want to do it. Today I thought I’d go for a run after a rehearsal and before teaching, but I got on the phone, and then had a stack of things to take care of and didn’t have time.

Oh, AND teaching from home has been THE BEST. I used to look forward to the end of school with a vengeance, and now I’m surprised by it, because I’m just not as worn out. I’m so happy I’m teaching private students at home, because it just doesn’t even feel that much like working (oh, how much difference windows make) and I’m just loving it. I’m so glad this is working out well, and I hope it continues to in the future, as it’s been the best thing that I’ve done for my career :) Not that I didn’t like the school I taught at before, because I did, and I miss some of those kids a bunch, but it’s just easier and more comfortable having everything I need at hand and not having to commute.