Category Archives: Deep Thoughts

Happy St Patrick’s Day

I’m in a bit of a mood, and I’m just not going to go much into the horrific details of today’s St Patrick’s Day race.  Suffice it to say that I am not good at learning lessons or learning from my mistakes, and I continually forget that I cannot do deadlifts in a workout and then run two days later.  I can’t, I just can’t.  My hamstrings just won’t cooperate.  I tried.  I ran as much as I could without wanting to die, but the up hills were the worst.


A promising start.  I’d been worried about my ability to run since the day before when my hamstrings started being sore.  I foam rolled, I stretched, I took copious amounts of Advil (well, that’s just par for the course, unrelated.). I woke up, ready to go, and had a wonderful outfit picked out—that is some serious green happening.



It was pretty foggy.  And, I told Jen if she wanted to make that face for THE BLOG then that was her right.  I felt that Steve and Jen failed at being remotely festive.  I’m thinking of uninviting them to the 80’s 5k if that’s the best that can do.  A themed race has two parts:  one is running, the other is dressing awesome.  I’m pretty disappointed in my friends on part 2.  They kicked my butt on part 1, but like I said, two parts.  I expect more in the future from everybody.

Why did Steve have a different colored tag?  We’re assuming somebody made a mistake.  While he is an excellent runner in his own right, he is probably not fast enough to be considered an elite runner.  The orange tags were for the people who were starting in the very front and most likely to win.  Steve decided to start back with the common folk anyway.




The Non-competitive start.  And the Old Courthouse.  It was really foggy!

Anyway, the race sucked.  I was in so much pain, at one point I considered giving up and finding the short way home.  That seemed really lame though, so I figured I’d finish.  58:34.  I felt like I walked the whole damn race.  Boo.

After the race I was super grumpy and nearly had a meltdown at Rue Lafayette (our first idea for brunch)—I had some trouble figuring out what was happening on the menu and was just really thirsty and wanted eggs.  Luckily I have nice friends and then we made our way to Uncle Bill’s.  I whined the whole way there too, and then we came up with the ever so most brilliant idea that maybe I should be doing my deadlifts earlier in the week, so they stop interfering with my runs.  I wrote Mike a note to that effect in my food diary (right next to the bacon, sausage, one pancake and eggs entry) so I won’t be complaining again.  See!  I can learn!

(I just searched my blog for hamstrings and found way too many posts with me complaining how I couldn’t run because of my sore hamstrings, including the one where I had a mini breakdown and ended up yelling at Mike later for laughing at me for complaining. Oops.  What’s especially funny is that that is the day I referenced in my previous post bragging about how awesome my recent deadlifts were… )

Okay, I’m back to practicing.  Or not, actually.  I need to watch it, I’ve already put in a whole hour today and I’m not feeling very pain-free.

Must be my March/April depression time…hmmm…just like last year.  What is the common thread??

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” –J.R.R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring)

(link goes to a blog post I wrote about a year ago, somehow it feels promising and relevant right now, minus the bits about wedding planning.)

The Shaved Duck and Helicopter Parenting

I was teaching tonight and wasn’t going to get home until 9:30 or 10:00.  I was (not really) looking forward to a salad/sandwich dinner (though we recently got a panini press and that has been QUITE delightful.)  I texted Chris and asked where he was going for dinner with our friend Kyle—he had a little chamber music rehearsal and they were going out for dinner afterwards.  He said, The Shaved Duck.  Which is somewhere we had been talking about going…so I jokingly said, well, bring something home for me! 

He did!  Pulled beef brisket sandwich with a side of green bean casserole.  I fell in love all over again 😉

It was delicious, and I can’t wait to go eat at the restaurant next time.  Takeout is tasty, but most food tastes better in the restaurant, I think.


I listened to an interesting show on the way home (NPR) about "French" parenting versus "American" parenting.  I’m always interested in that sort of thing.  I think it’s a bit ridiculous to characterize different countries in that way (generalize much?) but I do get to observe a lot of parenting styles in my teaching.  My biggest pet peeve is when parents let their children quit violin lessons after a few bad lessons or during a busy month.  It’s one thing if the child has been dreading violin lessons for months or most of a semester (or years) but some of my best students have gone through short periods of time where they hate me, their parents, the violin, you name it.  Part of parenting (in my opinion, and don’t shoot me, I’m not a parent, but I do deal with children a lot!) is teaching them NOT to give up just when something gets difficult.  If you quit your violin lessons when a piece becomes challenging, or when you are having a bit less fun (again, usually due to a difficulty or frustration) how will you deal with anything else in life? 

See, there I go, on my soapbox.  If I have a child of my own I’m sure things will be different (just like they are now that I’m married…oh wait…) but you can guarantee I won’t be letting my child quit something just because it got challenging.  And your child isn’t your best friend…and your mom isn’t your best friend either, she’s your mom.  if your mom is your best friend, you really need work on some issues!  Okay, the show wasn’t even about that, but I just started thinking about some people I know and other people and one thing led to another in my mind…ultimately I start thinking about Gilmore Girls and how often Lorelei and Rory spoke and how ridiculous their eating habits are for how skinny they are…but suffice it to say I firmly believe a parent’s job is to raise the child to be their own person as an adult so that they can make decisions on their own and function in society. 

*delicately steps off soapbox*

*dusts self off*

Anybody still reading?  I guess the program touched a nerve!  I’m sure you’re all just happy to be reading a non-wedding recap blog post, right?  Even though it’s an angry tirade against helicopter parenting?

Did you guys see my new blog heading?  I wanted to include a more recent photo of me so I changed it up a bit.

Picnik collage

I’ll include a link to an article on NPR a friend just posted on facebook about helicopter parenting…

Thoughts?  Am I old-fashioned to think it is ridiculous for an adult to be "relying on their parents" for advice?  Am I the last of our society to be told, growing up, that "children should be seen and not heard?"  Is there a connection? 

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.