Category Archives: Grand Ideas

Polar Vortex

Today was supposed to be my second day back at teaching, but we’ve gotten a bit of snow…so so far I haven’t taught anyone yet. I’ve got a few who are still thinking about coming later today, so maybe I’ll have to work…and maybe I won’t. It’s kind of nice delaying the inevitable, though bills must be paid and getting back to teaching would be helpful!

I didn’t do any New Year’s Resolution posts, or year in review, or any of that jazz. And I’m fine with that. I’m hoping that 2014 will be a better year than 2013, but I’d hate to throw out the baby with the bathwater and discount the good stuff that happened in 2013…meanwhile, the older I get, the more I realize a new year is just another year, and the best thing to do is to focus on the positive, and realize that negative stuff will happen, and it’s all about your approach to it.

I have a few New Year’s Resolutions, of course, but they are pretty generic and the same everybody has. I want to get back into shape, I’m running the Go St Louis Half in April and training officially starts next week. I want to get back into weight lifting as I’ve been on hiatus, but I’m definitely working on my fitness at home—I have decided I really want to get better at pushups…I’m so awful at them (and I’m talking from my knees) and I think with some actual dedication I could really improve.

Beyond fitness, my resolutions involve stuff like, trying to be a better friend to my friends. This past year I learned a lot about myself, and I also learned that I am a very lucky person with wonderful friends that I don’t feel I deserve. This year I want to feel like I deserve them, and I also want to pay it forward and be that sort of friend to them. Heavy stuff, eh?

Otherwise, I’m just trucking along. Trying to make more money doing this whole music thing, and also trying to find satisfaction from my career and from my life. You know, the usual stuff everybody wants.


Meeting family at the airport on the way home for Christmas.

My parents on their 45th wedding anniversary. We went out for lunch and a movie.


A beautiful wedding ceremony on Saturday for a friend and colleague.


Lots of this guy, who I fear is gaining the weight back to my guilt feeding for being out of town and gone so much.


There are usually stairs in front there. But doesn’t snow make everything more beautiful?!


I will say I have greatly enjoyed my winter break, but I’m ready to get back to work. And I’m REALLY ready for warm weather and spring to be here. I fear we have a few more cold months ahead of us though…that’s what fuzzy fleece blankets and warm cats are for I suppose.

The Best is STILL Yet to Come

I know everybody is the same, but I hate taking down the tree and the Christmas decorations.  We have to dispose of the tree today and I spent what seemed like forever (15 minutes, omg!) taking the ornaments off and lovingly putting them away (wrapping a few in tissue paper, piling the rest haphazardly in the box) for next year.  I used to get really sad about Christmas being over, but this year I’m not feeling that.  I’m excited for the next few months, excited for our upcoming anniversary and anniversary trip, and nervous about the hard work I’ll be putting in the next few months, both work wise (lots of violin about to start happening), marathon training, and of course, blogging.


(more self portraits at gigs?)

In other words, I’m looking forward to the New Year and am taking today easy to regroup, pack, and mentally prepare myself for what is ahead.


(And watching some Indiana Jones!)

I haven’t made any resolutions as I’m already pretty awesome, but that doesn’t mean I’m not continually trying to better myself.


(I am already pretty awesome though!  And I spent about 20 to 30 minutes on my hair for once and loved it.  I still had a few bobby pins in my head this morning.)

My friends are awesome too—and BEAUTIFUL.  We girls decided to dress up all fancy-like for the party (that’s why the women are pictured but not necessarily the men, who were primarily wearing jeans and button down shirts.)

Stephanie—a fantastic hostess for the party last night, me, Jennedy—who just got engaged, and of course, the one, the only, Vanessa.

New friends and old!  Carrie, Michelle, Vanessa, me, and Christy.

With Michelle, just about to officially toast the New Year!


I cut my foot with my other shoe heel.  It looks worse than it felt.  I love these shoes though!

Photo: Chris Tantillo is very serious about his gin.

Chris doesn’t like to take normal pictures, but he’s happy to make a ridiculous pose!


Case in point!  That’s Bryan, Chris, Jessica, and Kyle (who just got engaged to Jennedy, pictured above.)

Oh—and we’ve got this bit of cake on top of the fridge thawing.  Wonder how it’s going to taste, one year later 😉


I was rereading this post from last year “The Best is Yet to Come.”  I think the title continues to ring true.  I hope I never get to the point where I feel my best stuff is behind me.

Les Miserables Video

Here’s the video I helped with last week.  Since the movie comes out today, I thought it was fitting that I share it. 

Photography and video by Sarah Crowder.  Sarah asked if I was available to help her out—basically I was her gopher and held reflectors and stuff like that.  It was easy and fun, and I hope I can help her out again, because I love working with her in pretty much all capacities.  The school I teach at is owned by the same people who own St Louis Ocarina—my boss, Dennis, totally freaked out when he saw me there.  I think he thought I was crashing the shoot.  He was totally confused!

Here’s some “behind the scenes” shots I took…

image image_1


Are you going to see Les Miserables?  I’m not a huge “musical” fan, other than the Sound of Music.  I always think of this quote from “Sabrina”:

Mack: Buff? The most difficult tickets to get will be for a Broadway musical.
Linus Larrabee: [distractedly] Okay.
Mack: That means that the performers will periodically dance about and burst into song.


I love when I can inspire people.  Generally I {hope} I inspire my students to be better at the violin.  I inspire my blog readers to run and eat more oatmeal.  I inspire people to be funnier and taller…and today I finally successfully inspired  Sarah Crowder to start a blog.  (Of course if you take the number of people that I have tried to get to start a blog versus the number I have actually inspired to start one…it’s a very low percentage.  Then again, I haven’t written about my oatmeal lately either.  I am running today, does that count?  You should go run too.)

I love that Sarah mentioned me as part of her inspiration though.  And posted my favorite picture. I think her blog has the potential to be really great, and will certainly have great pictures!

Speaking of photos.  Yesterday Chris and I went to a variety of breweries to taste a variety of beers.  At one point I thought it would be fun to take a self portrait and text it to a few friends, and no less than three people told me the picture was creepy.  What are your thoughts?


Creepy or not creepy?  Please vote in the comments.


10 in 100

I had my own "retreat" this past week at Suzuki Institute, so I hadn’t worried much about the Virtual Summer Retreat.  However, last night I was just relaxing and unwinding and I figured I’d better see what was going on!

The most recent assignment:

creating a list of self-improvement/work goals may come naturally to many of us, but what about . . . the rest of life? 100 days from today is october 1, 2011 [in my mind, the real beginning of fall]. can you think of 10 enjoyable/fun things you would like to accomplish between now and then? 

Hmm…10 fun things…some of these are already planned but nonetheless haven’t happened yet so still count as they are going to be enjoyable.  And I believe I get until October 4 as I am a few days behind here.

1.  Go to Chicago and visit Karen.

2.  Have a 4th of July BBQ at my house.

3.  Go shopping with my sisters Leslie and Carrie.

4.  Wedding cake tasting with Chris.

5.  See the new Harry Potter movie.

6.  Visit the St Louis Zoo.

7.  Visit MOBOT, not while playing a wedding.  The extreme tree houses exhibit looks very interesting.

8.  Run a half-marathon, and PR.

9.  Attend another blogger meet up of sorts.

10.  Go to another festival of sorts.  Lots of options, I’m sure.

Okay, that’s the plan.  Can I do it?  Some of those activities are definitely already in my calendar, and others…well I will have to make time! 

If it isn’t posted on the internet, has it really happened?

I feel that’s the updated version of the old "If a tree falls in the forest and nobody hears it, does make a sound?" 

Today I am going facebook-free.  I am NOT going internet-free.  I am NOT quitting facebook, because I am determined to do something in moderation, plus facebook is too awesome for that.  I simply mean I will not be checking facebook until after I get to Kansas (next weekend). 

Why?  Well, a few things have inspired me, and I woke up this morning and realized that a facebook vacation would be helpful.  Two recent blog posts triggered this idea:

"Comparison Shopping" by Eden’s Eats was one I read yesterday that really spoke to me.  I am terribly guilty of comparing my life and myself to other people and naturally I assume that I come up lacking.  I recall when I first joined facebook I would look at other people’s pictures and see how much more fun they were having than me, or read their statuses and see how much better their careers were, or people traveling to exotic locations while I sat at home with my cat.  It doesn’t help that so many of my friends DO have wonderful fantastic lives.  And while I am {generally} happy for my REAL LIFE friends who have wonderful lives, perhaps I can’t quite bring that same feeling to my so-called "facebook" friends.  And I try.  And the thing that KILLS me is that deep down I know I actually have a pretty freaking awesome life.  Which will in no way be improved if I lose 10 more pounds.  Because then I’ll just want to lose 10 MORE pounds.  (Though I DO want to lose ten more pounds, because that would make my thighs less jiggly looking and then I would look more awesome in facebook photos for the world to see, right?)

The other blog post was the one by the Shubox for the Virtual Retreat, "Taking a Break."  She has been going through some issues and has been feeling down for some time, but still manages to do all kinds of wonderful things for herself and others (including the virtual retreat!).  This week she decided to go "unplugged" and not look at blogs, the internet, or facebook for the whole week.  She is still checking email though (when people truly go "unplugged" I do wonder how they manage with work!) of course.  I am simply taking a facebook break, blogs and twitter and such are okay for me at this time.

(Oh, just to let you know, I will still be PUBLICIZING my blog on facebook, because that is different than being ON facebook or obsessively checking to see if anybody commented on my status update or photos.  I get most of my readers through facebook links and since I am not taking a blog vacation, I will continue to do that.  It’s not a double standard.  I am nothing if not practical.)

Okay, I just spent 5 minutes doing a google image search, and this the best I have for you this morning:

image image


So for this week, my life will not be posted on the internet.  Okay, sure I’m cheating a little, as I have a blog and a twitter (come follow me @hannahviolin) but STILL.  Really it’s more that I won’t be reading about YOUR life anymore.  And then when I return, well, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Maybe I’ll do a texting vacation next.  (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!  No seriously that’s another problem I have.)