Category Archives: Deep Thoughts

Back to work

I think I need a three to four week work vacation every winter!  Usually by the time January rolls around I am completely burnt out from holiday traveling, and somehow muster through the next five months, uninspired and tired.  (And as a violin teacher, uninspired is just no good.) 

But since I had approximately a month off, I am refreshed, excited, and ready to get back to teaching!  The only traveling I had to do was for our honeymoon and instead our friends and family came to us!  This is HUGE.  I love the years I don’t have to travel.  (Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy traveling, just not at the same time as everybody else in the world, and I don’t like coming back from vacation more tired than when I left.)

Technically I was back to work yesterday, but today is my first full day back, and my first day back at the school.  I just spent an hour organizing paperwork and writing a couple of thank you notes.  Now it’ll be practice time!


Remember, children, more drinks like this makes Hannah a happy and relaxed woman!  Also note the pink fingernails.  These were not conducive to violin playing, or anything really.

Let’s talk about  my performances for the spring because I’ve got some cool stuff happening.

Next weekend we start rehearsing for Winter Opera’s performance of Ariadne—performances are Friday, January 27 at 8 pm and Sunday, January 29th at 3 pm.  Then we play La Boheme at the beginning of March.

With Chamber Project St Louis I am performing a concert on March 23 at the Wine Press, April 13 at the Chapel, and maybe something else here and there.  They are performing this Saturday, January 21 as well—I’m not playing but I’ll be attending.

And the most fun:  My sister Leslie and I are performing Bach’s Concerto in D Minor for Two Violins with the Presbyterian College Orchestra in our hometown of Clinton, South Carolina at the beginning of April—April 3 to be exact.  We will be doing a masterclass  the day before for the students.  If you are from the area and want to come to the concert, I can give you more information!  (Or talk to my mom, she’ll know).

I feel like I used too many dashes in this blog post—maybe I need to work on my grammar? 

Last note:  a tornado siren woke us up last night!  Living in St Louis is crazy…I thought the spring was tornado season, not January.



Do you think I’m funny?

My sister Leslie is very funny.  Well, at least I think so.  And when we get together, the humor increases exponentially.

Well, most people think so.  Not Chris though.  We were just talking about this the other day.  When Leslie was coming to visit in August, Chris said, "well, I don’t think Leslie is very funny."  I tol him that most people think she is very funny, almost as funny as I am.

He said he didn’t think I was that funny either.


Evidently I think HE is funny.

He did admit this week that he just doesn’t want us to get big heads.  Better to say we aren’t funny that get overconfident.

Chris has told me that I am not as funny as I think I am.  That might be true, because I think I am very funny!  Maybe I’m not THAT funny.

Honestly sometimes the pressure is too much.  If people don’t laugh, I often dig in deeper, and this can result in a disaster…I will find something for people to laugh at, and occasionally I go too far.  Oops.  Listen people, just laugh, okay?  It’s not that hard.  Trust me, it’s easier that way.


(Pictures from our most excellent wedding photographer Sarah Crowder!  I bought the digital proofs finally, and have lots of projects planned, but being able to use them all on the blog is part of it.)

Do you think you are funny?  Is that important to you in a partner or a friend?

Flashback Friday

I feel like my blog has been sort of, well, BORING lately.  So let’s mix it up.  I’m going to do a flashback post from my old blog. 

Before that—would anybody like to guest blog for me?  A lot of the blogs I read have guest bloggers, and I think it would be fun!  Let me know via email or whatnot if you are interested.  Topics are pretty open—you see them in the header!  Life is a pretty broad topic.  Hannahviolin at gmail dot com.

Anyway…here’s something I wrote for my old blog shortly before I moved to St Louis.  We moved here on August 25, 2008, to put things in perspective.  I was more than ready to go.  I don’t regret leaving Cleveland, I don’t regret leaving Charlotte, I don’t regret moving here.  (I have made mistakes in life, but I’m not going to sit around with regrets.  My life is what I have made it, for better or worse.)   It’s just really interesting to look back and see how far I have come…and how much I have stayed exactly the same.  Here you go:


Written on July 28, 2008, 2:42 AM

It’s a post-cruise world

So I decided too much time has gone by to actually finish my cruise blogging. To sum it up…I cannot wait to cruise again! For those of you who say, oh I would never go on a cruise, it’s so touristy, all you do is you I will say…yes, and so? It’s a great way to relax, feel totally pampered, and have a wonderful out of this world time. Remember the popularity of the water bed? Picture sleeping on a real bed, but ON THE WATER. That’s a cruise for you. I am furiously planning my next cruise though I have no idea when that will be, as I am quickly bearing down on the end of my employment as I know it.
Now, granted, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. My employment, as I know it, is of the sort where I don’t make much money, and when I am making a lot of money, it’s because I’m working hours such as 7 am to 11 pm (counting leaving the house to coming home) 5 days in a row. I think I actually did that in May for a week. It was horrible. But it did enable me to pay for my cruise and other stuff too. Summer is a different story for musicians of course, in that we basically have occasional pops concerts, a few trusty (and dedicated) students, and lots of weddings.

Speaking of weddings…I think the main reason not so many of my friends have gotten married (and yes, I’m totally talking out of my ass at this point) is because we have attended too many wedding ceremonies already to feel that getting married is anything special. Kudos to all of you that think your big day is going to be unique. We know better. You know all those readings you pick out? Yes, been there, done that, heard it already. Special song you choose? It’s already been done 100 plus times this summer. Special meaningful vows? Yup. We’re bored already. But my least favorite is…naturally…that passage from what is it, Ephesians? about the women submitting to their husbands? A wedding I played recently made a big deal about that. Okay, I’ve heard plenty of sermons about this subject (my sister and I used to play at a church that went into great detail about it) and it does seem that in a perfect world a man wouldn’t ask his wife to "submit" to anything that wasn’t already something she would think best. But in light of certain scary books I’ve read recently (American Theocracy for one) this sort of thing is scaring the hell out of me. As women’s rights are being constantly threatened in our current political situation, I am frightened to think of an existence for myself where I might actually have to submit to a man. This was not the woman I was raised to be.

This particular preacher talked about how each partner in the marriage would have to "die on the inside" to become the "one" in marriage. I’m sure that’s all fine and well for some people, but truly I would not want my husband to have to "die on the inside" in order for our marriage to work, any more than I would wish for my individuality to die. I think that would be very boring, and more importantly, I would lose respect for any man who was willing to "die" to make my marriage work. In no way am I an expert on relationships (I’ll perhaps look to my grandparents here, over 60 years of marriage–I’d say they have a better claim on that) as I’ve only been with my current boyfriend for a little over nine years, but I certainly hope that, despite jokes, neither of us have died on the inside. We’ve spent a lot of time together just the two of us, particularly this summer, when most of our friends have been out of town and we are preparing for our new adventures in St. Louis, but I still hope we maintain our individuality. And I will never "submit" to him. I will "compromise."

But I digress. What do I hope for in my new employment? Well, I hope for some great students. By great I don’t necessarily mean "talented" or even "hard-working" because anyone who teaches knows that isn’t what you look for in a student. You look for a student who has a wonderful personality, who says things that surprise you and make you laugh (or cry), and who looks to you for some guidance in this crazy world of violin playing/life. I will truly miss some of my students! I’ve had some of them for five years now, and they have grown up before my eyes. It’s like being a surrogate parent–you get to watch them learn and grow up but you don’t have to clean up vomit or pay for anything (I have my cat for those things). I’m sure my mother would disagree.

I’m excited about the next phase of my life here–I came back to Cleveland after two years in Charlotte and built this "empire" of teaching/gigging here, now it’s time to shut down, and try again. Maybe I’ll work less. Maybe I’ll buy less books. Maybe I’ll let Chris pay for more stuff (wink to Chris). Maybe I’ll work a lot so I don’t have to ask permission to buy shoes. That would suck. Five years here and it’s definitely time to move on. Perhaps in St. Louis I can substitute with the orchestra? At least I can take the sub audition–at least they will actually have one and not cancel two days beforehand and then hire whoever they want, regardless of who might actually do a good job. And it won’t snow as much, that’s a bonus. Who knows what will happen next? All I figure is, if stuff has worked out so far, it should work out again. That’s my faith, I suppose, and the advantage of having led a somewhat charmed life. You always figure that in the end stuff will be just fine. Or maybe it’s because I’m smarter than most of you, that I know there’s always something I’ll be able to do better. (wink?)

For a final note for tonight. What did I do with my economic stimulus check from the government. I just got mine last week. I ended up putting it back into my savings account, as I had taken some money out of savings earlier to cover expenses. So now I’m back to where I was before. And for the summer as a musician, if you break even, that’s good enough.


Chris is back!  Though I had a great time while he was gone, I am (of course) super excited that he has returned.  He had a wonderful time as well and wants to go back next year…with me.  I told him we’d talk.  He hasn’t show me his pictures yet, and I’m SURE it’s absolutely gorgeous and fun there.  But I have two reservations:  one being that I am not a summer festival person.  The other being that…well, I really loved my Hannah time, and we do see so MUCH of each other during the year that it just might not be a bad thing to have some time apart (I may have been on the verge of strangling him during the month leading up to the festival, though wedding planning is stressful).  He said he wouldn’t go back without me though…we’ll see.  He said that before we moved to St Louis, and that was a good move for us.  We don’t have to decide anything at this time.  Am I being silly?  Should a married couple do everything together (as by then we will be married) or is some (a month?) time apart a good thing?  Keep in mind I could also arrange to visit him mid-festival. 

He brought me fantastic gifts.


Awesome earrings and…yes, the t-shirt is made of technical fabric.  Appropriate for wearing to the gym.  You know I’ll wear that all the time.


Got my "blog" business cards in the mail today.  I debated coloring out the phone number, but meh, it’s easy enough to find online anyway.  Privacy is a sticky thing, huh?  I have to just hope I don’t have stalkers, because my personal and business lives are so blurred.  Basically I always try to be aware of my surroundings, both at night and during the day, and stand talk and look confident.  I think often my height alone would detract any potential attacker…and I ALWAYS lock my doors, and lock my belongings up and all that good stuff.  I’ve been robbed several times but never physically hurt, and I hope that I can continue to say that my whole life. 

And to any would-be attacker, I am marrying into an Italian Crime Family.  Just to put that out there 😉

Or not.  Who is to say? 

That reminds me, when Chris and I first started dating, I had recently watched the Godfather.  I remember we were drinking coffee at Arabica (this was a coffee shop he worked at, conveniently located directly across the street from our school) and we were in that "getting to know one another" phase.  (Sadly, most of what I learned then I have since forgotten.)  He was talking about his family and that they are from Sicily, yada yada.  I looked at him, and coyly asked, "So, when you get older, are you going to the Godfather?"  He paused, looked down, waited a LONG time, and finally said, "Probably not."


Hmm…I think I went off topic.  I was just thinking about another blog post I just read that was about safety and privacy and so it got on my mind.  I think the thing is this:  no matter what, there is no way to ensure your safety.  If somebody is intent on hurting you, unless you are a trained ninja or something, they probably will be able to.  But you can do your best to remain alert, vigilant, all that good stuff.  And it’s not like having a man around makes you safer:  men get mugged too.  Basically people suck, and accidents happen, and there are no guarantees in life. 

Oh my goodness I’m getting even MORE off topic.  Soon I’ll be sobbing into my keyboard, lamenting the fact that bad things do indeed happen to good people…

How do I wrap this up?


Seriously I’m okay.  Do NOT call the people in the white jackets. 


I got home from the Harry Potter movie last night and was full of emotions. (for the record, yes, good movie, NOT great movie.  And the feel-good ending bothers me in the book as well.)  I did what I usually do, sign onto facebook (I’m so addicted) and learned that one of my friends had been in a horrible car accident.

I won’t go into too many details here, because most of you won’t know her and it’s not my place anyway.  We went to school (CIM) together, and she is a fellow violinist and Suzuki teacher.  I had dinner with her in March, and we are both engaged to be married.  She was in the car with her fiancé.  Right now it is just a matter of waiting to see what happens, and they are both in intensive care. 

How many miles do we all spend on the road each day/week/month?  I was trying to think of how many miles I have driven in my life—probably about 250,000 if recall the mileage on the various vehicles I’ve owned.  And that doesn’t count the miles I’ve ridden with other people.  We are all lucky every day when nothing horrible happens. 

I am often haunted by a vision from my childhood while on a car trip to visit family for the holidays.  We were stuck in bad traffic due to an accident, and when we finally passed the accident scene (vehicles at this point, not people) there were Christmas presents scattered about in the median.  I don’t know how much of that memory is true and how much has been distorted, but I know how I felt.

One of my friends tweeted this last night– "Please send prayers, happy thoughts to my friend and her fiance who were in a serious crash today. Then hug your loved ones."

It feels so helpless to be sitting on the sidelines wondering what will happen.  Life is short.  We all spend so much time worrying about piddling details.  In the end none of that matters. 

All we can do is be the best person we can be for the time we are given, right?  I know I try to do that, but I don’t do a very good job of it.  Then again, I don’t know.  Maybe I’m a far better friend than I give myself credit for.