Posted by: anneghormley | November 10, 2010

Today so far

Spill a dot of make-up on my shirt as I’m getting ready this morning.  Use my Tide-to-go pen to clean it up.  About to leave the apartment, shirt is still wet from Tide.  Use hair dryer to speed the drying process, and manage to scorch my shirt.  Dang it, I liked that shirt.  Change into another shirt.  Walk to work at Zion.

Walk home from Zion.  Love the fall weather we’re FINALLY getting!

Vacuum my apartment since Zion folks are having a meeting here tonight.  I left a pitcher of water on my coffee table earlier this week (not my best move ever), and the vacuum cord catches the pitcher and knocks it over.  DANG it.  I mop up the water from the table and floor, and now I have a huge damp spot on the carpet.

Start to go over and wash the dishes, and it occurs to me that I have a lot of my music (books and sheet music) stored inside the coffee table.  I run over and open the coffee table, and find a bunch of soaked music.  Most is damaged pretty badly, much of it will be salvageable, but a few things I’ll probably have to toss.  DANG IT.

I’m sure (*fingers crossed*) that the rest of today will go better…

Posted by: anneghormley | October 9, 2010

I have the best job.

I see 55 different students for private music lessons each week, and many of them are still at a young enough age that they’re silly.  Sometimes on purpose, sometimes not so much.  I just have to share a sample of the moments I get to experience daily:

– I give students a sticker for each song they pass, and I let them choose from one of two sticker sheets (this one has smiley faces, or circus animals, or stars, etc.).  This week, I happened to have a sticker sheet with rainbows in various designs, as well as a sticker sheet with sports balls on it.  My first student of the day, a 5-year-old boy, would barely even touch the rainbow sheet.  SPORTS ONLY for him.  A couple of students later, another 5-year-old boy saw the sticker choices and said, “I love rainbow hearts!!”

– One of my students this week was convinced that I kept messing up my violin bow direction, because we weren’t matching each other as we played through the piece together.  She kept saying, “I think you changed the bowing in that measure!”  Um, it wasn’t me.  :)

– I have a pre-school aged student who is not only learning how to play the piano during our lessons, but we’re working on life skills including: right hand vs. left hand, how to write the numbers 1-5, how to sit on a piano bench without sliding off, and more.  Every day is an adventure with her!

– One of my students was unpacking her instrument at the beginning of the lesson, and she said, “You always wear outfits that are part of a theme!”  I asked her what she meant, and she said, “Your clothes and your earrings always match!”

– Before our lesson began, one of my little boy students was telling me that he liked to play video games.  I mentioned to him that I have two brothers who also like to play video games.  At the very end of the lesson, as he was packing up his books, he said, “What video games do your brothers like to play?”  I’m pretty sure he was thinking about that during our entire lesson!

– After a job well done on one of her piano pieces, I said to my student, “Great job! Would you like a sticker?”  She said, “I don’t know… what’s in it for me?”  And then I said, “…A sticker?…”  (She’s one of those funny-on-purpose students, by the way.)

– In the piano method books I teach from, there are certain technique exercises the students must do where they play a pattern, then move their hand down to a lower position, then play the pattern again, then move their hand down again, etc.  One of my younger students was doing this, but she was not only moving her hand, she was scooting her whole body down as well.  I was about to interrupt her and tell her it wasn’t necessary to scoot herself, when she scooted right off the edge of the bench.  (She was fine.)

Posted by: anneghormley | July 28, 2010

G.K.

“Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, ‘Do it again’; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, ‘Do it again’ to the sun; and every evening, ‘Do it again’ to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.”

-G. K. Chesterton

Posted by: anneghormley | July 27, 2010

I’d probably watch it.

I’m moving this weekend, and as I’ve been going through my things, I’m finding some really funny stuff.  (See this post.)

This is an assignment I wrote for my 9th grade English class.  We had to write a letter of some sort and include certain punctuation (2 different reasons for a period, quotation marks, a semicolon, etc.).  Here’s mine:

9-4-97

Dear Mr. Smith:

Please allow me to introduce myself.  My name is Anne Ghormley, and I have a fabulous idea for a new television show.  I have based some of my ideas off of the Mary Tyler Moore show.  I took some of the personalities of the characters on that show, and moved them to people with new roles at a Health Club in the ’90s.  The club is called “A Sure Hit,” (because of the tennis attraction) as is the title of the show.  Some possible characters for this show could be: the grumpy owner, always trying to pay the bills, an extremely health-conscious woman who is the aerobics leader, the tennis pro who plays at the club, the “dumb jock” life-guard, and a guest star every so often.  I had imagined the role of the tennis pro being somewhat like Ted Baxter on the Mary Tyler Moore show.  He could always be saying “helpful” things to other players, like, “I’ll show you how to hit a beautiful serve!”  I realize that this show also needs a sympathetic character that, I guess you could say, holds things together.  I think that a desk clerk would work nicely in that role.

Thank you for taking time out to read my letter.  I hope you enjoyed my ideas; I trust you’ll get back to me about them.

Sincerely,

Anne Ghormley

Posted by: anneghormley | July 24, 2010

I’ll give you some cross words…

My cheap crossword puzzle book is totally ridiculous.  Here are some examples of the level we’re working on, all of which require some sort of *facepalm* or *headdesk* when you see the answer.  Keep in mind – these are not advertised as beginner or easy crossword puzzles.  In fact, the front of the book says “Many challenging puzzles!”  So.

– Clue: “Tender loving care,”  3 letters.  Answer: “TLC.”  (There are tons of these clues – they give you a phrase or organization name, you just take the first letter of each for your answer.)

– Clue: “Extension (abbr.),” 3 letters.  Answer: “EXT.”  (There are also a bunch of these clues – abbreviation for the actual word given.  Duh!)

– Clue: “Novelist Jane,” 6 letters.  Answer: “Austin.”  (Yes, they misspelled Austen.  TWICE.)

– Clue: “Beep’s cousin,” 4 letters.  Answer: “Wasp.”  (…oh, they meant “bee.”)

Posted by: anneghormley | July 13, 2010

It drives me crazy (oh, oh)

Maybe it was Benjamin Franklin, maybe it was Albert Einstein (Google hasn’t really made up its mind on who should get the credit)… but someone once said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Technology seems to be an exception to this rule.  You do the same thing over and over again, and you GET different results… ironically, it drives you insane.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I love technology.  (Still.)  But I defy anyone to explain these phenomena to my satisfaction.

I’m in charge of making weekly Power Point presentations for our worship service at Zion.  I tend to get a little OCD about font sizes and line spacing and punctuation.  I want the presentation to be an aid, not a distraction, for the congregation as they worship.  And also, for whatever reason, this is one of the few areas in my life where I turn into a perfectionist.  So why is it that sometimes when I cut and paste the Power Point slides from this file into that other file, all of a sudden the text is yellow?  It wasn’t yellow before.  None of the text in my new presentation is yellow.  Why would it become yellow?  And even more disconcerting – why is it yellow SOMETIMES, but not all the time?  I swear I’m doing the exact same thing every time.  And why, when it does happen to change colors, is it ALWAYS yellow?  It never randomly turns blue, or red, or anything else.

Another example.  Several weeks ago, the computer and projector at Zion (randomly?) started disagreeing about screen resolution.  Now, sometimes the edges of some Power Point lines are cut off.  Or the projector goes blank for a second or two and then flashes back on with an “auto-corrected” resolution.  (So much for not being a distraction.)  Okay, WHY?  Why did it just start doing this?  What changed?  Why, if the text is centered, does one edge of the line get cut off but not the other?  Why doesn’t the projector just PROJECT what it’s attached to?

Okay, fine – I can click the little “use source formatting” button after I paste slides into a presentation, and they go back to the way they should be.  And I can format the slides ahead of time so that they don’t go all the way to the edge of the screen, thus not cutting off any words or letters.  They’re easy solutions, in the grand scheme of things.

But I shouldn’t have to do that.

It should work.

Why doesn’t it work?

The inexplicable-ness of both of these scenarios gets me fired up.

Posted by: anneghormley | July 12, 2010

Yearbook Messages: Best Of

I’m moving to a new apartment at the end of this month, so I’ve been cleaning out, sorting, throwing away, packing, cleaning, etc.  Today, I grabbed my high school yearbooks and I thought, “Well, I can just kind of glance through them really quick before I pack them up.”

…2 hours later…

I’ve been laughing out loud at some of the messages.  Many of my friends included some inside jokes that I no longer understand (“let’s play some ‘bee!’), but some of them made me laugh as I remembered stuff I haven’t thought of in… 10 years (“we should start our own caribou farm safe from Wally’s hoof disease”).  Some of them are too good not to share, so I’ve transcribed some of the finer messages which do not require insider knowledge.  They’re just funny (most of them intentionally, others not so much).

SOPHOMORE YEAR

From a friend/cellist:  “Anne, for a viola player, you’re almost normal.”

JUNIOR YEAR

From the teacher I had a crush on:  “Anne, it was a true pleasure teaching.  You were my best student ever.”  [Swoon]

From the popular jock boy in my French class:  “Anne, you have sat next to me for a whole semester, and when I asked you for answers you would not give them to me.  Instead you helped me understand how to do it myself.  Thank you so much for believing in me this whole time.  You have helped me the most in high school and that really means a lot to me.  I know I probably didn’t thank you enough so THANK YOU for everything that you have done for me.”  [Cue the after-school special music]

From a guy in Swing Choir:  “Anne (Kate) – Sorry about all the times that I called you by your sister’s name.”  [Sadly, he was not the only person who wrote this message.]

From a good friend:  “Anne!  Let me just tell you!  Stay in school!  Wahoo! It’s really too bad we didn’t drop out with 20 days left.  Then we could have roamed the streets of Toronto and washed people’s windows.”  [Still kind of sounds like a decent idea]

From the ADHD girl in the drama department:  “Hello Anne, no wait I can do better, HELLO ANNE (better), So how r u?  Instead of boring you w/ the same old stuff that everyone writes ’cause we all know you will have a great summer, we all know you will be fine next year (maybe) so I am just going to tell you that you are great and hope we can hang out in the summer.  Shine w/ a smile!  Meowys, [name]”  […Yikes.]

SENIOR YEAR

From a good friend:  “We have a lot in common.  It’s weird.  In case you forget what a great person you are I’ll tell you.  You’re pretty great. …My pants are falling down.  Do you have a belt?  You’re the kind of person that would carry around a belt.  That’s what’s so great about you.  That’s why I always come over to your house.  You have stuff.  You give it to me.  That is why we will ALWAYS be friends.  I hate going out to lunch with you but this summer we can have lunch.  Let’s never stop having lunch.  Years from now let’s have lunch.  Forever lunch.  Forever friends.”   [Would you believe it?  We still have lunch together occasionally.]

Posted by: anneghormley | January 10, 2010

“Dr. Grant, I’ve grown accustomed to your face…”

I’ve finally made it.  I’m in Jurassic Park: The Musical: The Documentary: The Trailer.

I absolutely can’t wait to see the whole thing.

Posted by: anneghormley | September 11, 2009

TV shows I’ve been watching: Spring-Summer 2009 edition

Most of these shows (all but “Mad Men” and “Flight of the Conchords”) are brought to me by hulu.com.

madmen2Mad Men” (season one) – Never before have I seen a TV show that relies so completely on *style* for its existence. This is a beautiful show to look at; great colors, beautiful costumes, just an all-around high production value. There is a lot of winking and nudging from behind the camera. “See what we did there? The pregnant woman is drinking alcohol and smoking… because it’s the ’60s, and she didn’t know any better! Get it??” As I’ve watched, I’ve felt a sense of pessimism (despair?) from the writers. All TV characters are allowed to be (and should be) damaged — no one’s perfect. But these characters are beyond all hope, and we never see any redemption. Everyone is having an affair, or they want to have an affair, or they’re disrespectful, or just plain stupid.  As I sit and watch, I wonder, who am I supposed to be rooting for? Don Draper? Maybe, but he (and everyone else) is kind of a jerk.

jimmyfallonLate Night with Jimmy Fallon” – I love this show. Jimmy is so fun to watch. He tries a lot of new ideas, and encourages feedback from the fans. I love the “reality” series they put together over the summer (7th Floor West – a spoof of The Hills). Jimmy seems like such a normal guy, and he is good at *hosting.* He works to make his guests feel comfortable, is polite and funny (but at his own expense, not at the guest’s), and he’s not afraid to stop performing and simply listen to what the guests have to say (as opposed to some other hosts, who cling to their control over each interview). Also, I’m enjoying the Roots. They add a unique flavor to the show – a departure from the usual style you hear from a talk show band. Jimmy says over and over that they’re the “best band in late night,” and it’s true. They sound tighter, they’re more creative with music selection, they’re having a good time.  And so are we.  Thanks, Roots.

conanThe Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien” – Conan is a force to be reckoned with. He’s a hilarious fellow, but tends to be a bit mean-spirited. He’s at his best when he’s playing off of Andy Richter. I’ve definitely seen enough of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog (never been funny, IMO), and I’d be really happy if Max Weinberg and the Tonight Show Band would add a few new songs to their repertoire (I have HAD it with their “sexy actress” music cue they play all the time). Overall, I enjoy the show, but I find it pretty easy to go without watching.

conchordsFlight of the Conchords” (season one) – Hands down, the best show in recent memory whose subject is the third most popular novelty band to come out of New Zealand. Wow, these guys are funny. Amazingly clever music and lyrics, great script, very watchable. I could do with a bit less innuendo, but on the whole, their jokes are fresh and funny (take, for example, Bret’s “hair helmet…”).

deadlikemeDead Like Me” – Yes, I know it’s been years since this show was on TV, but it’s the first time I’ve watched it, so it counts as a show I can mention on this list. So. Okay, who here likes George as a main character, raise your hand. Anyone? Anyone? Correct, she is not very likable… she’s kind of whiny, in fact. Okay, next question. Who here saw some examples of HORRIBLE PARENTING done by George’s mom? Oh, wow – everyone raised their hand that time. Despite these problems (and other persistent problems like them), I made it all the way through both seasons of Dead Like Me. The concept of the show was pretty compelling (it’s about a group of grim reapers who must remove souls from bodies before accidental deaths occur – so that the victims will feel no pain as they die – then they must lead the soul into the unknown “beyond”). I really appreciated the tenderness and seriousness all of the reapers had as they approached their jobs. Though dead themselves, they never seemed completely desensitized to death. They considered each death with an understanding that this is not how things are supposed to be.

glee2Glee” – I watched the pilot episode last spring, and then I saw the second episode earlier this week. I kind of feel like I’m the only person in the world who DOES NOT LIKE this show. I can imagine the brainstorming scene now, as a Fox executive says at his big important meeting, “Hey, gang! Let’s put together a show about a group of larger than life stereotypical misfits who must overcome the overwhelming odds against them!” I am exhausted by this show. I can’t figure out who the network folks think will watch this. The demographic who will watch a show about a high school glee club has to be pretty limited. The singing and dancing is SO INCREDIBLY UNBELIEVABLE (as in – it’s too good for high schoolers to be producing this level of talent, especially in the limited prep time the plot gives them to do it). Also, a huge percentage of this show’s time is wasted on musical numbers. (And I’m saying that as a person who loves musicals!) I found myself in both episodes just wishing the singing and dancing would end. There’s too much sexual humor, and so much of the whole experience feels like it’s been recycled from every other show you’ve ever seen. There’s nothing new here. Not funny, not fresh. Yuck. I just don’t understand why so many friends (on Facebook, anyway) are so excited about Glee. It’s not very good, despite the money Fox has spent, hyping the heck out of it.  (Phew, end of rant.  Sorry, everyone.)  I will give Glee props for its use of the Swingle Singers in their soundtrack, that’s a nice touch.

mysocalledlifeMy So-Called Life” – I made it through about two and half episodes before I gave up. So much angst, so much ’90s. I hate watching bad parenting, unreasonable characters (and please don’t say, “They’re teenagers! They’re supposed to be unreasonable!”), and so much plot written to fit the preachy agenda of the show’s makers. I’ll pass.

spacedSpaced” – Love it. A quirky British comedy about a young man and a young woman who, both having been recently broken up with, pretend to be a couple so they can get a nicer apartment. The writing is snappy (but already, in a few places, feels slightly dated – they make a lot of pop culture references that will soon be lost to viewers), and the characters and plots are more creative than your typical 30-minute sitcom.

And there you have it, folks. Proof that I watch way too much TV.

Posted by: anneghormley | June 29, 2009

Bad ways to start a conversation

Scene: Anne is home alone, mid-day, mid-week. Doorbell rings. Two high-school-ish aged folks are standing on the doorstep. Well, actually, the girl was on the doorstep, and the guy was, like, 10 feet behind her on the sidewalk.

Anne: Yes?

Girl: Oh, you must be the busy mom!

Anne (already not warming up to this conversation): Um, no… I live here with roommates.

Girl: Oh. Well, I’m [name] and this is my vicious bodyguard, [name]. We’re doing a survey on all families in the area with elementary school-aged children.

Anne: Well, uh… we don’t have any.

Girl: So you guys are college students, huh?

Anne (argh!): Nope, we’re college grads.

Girl: …Oh… cool.

Girl proceeds to ask Anne if she knows which houses in the neighborhood have kids. Anne attempts to be kind and help her out.

Girl: Well, thanks. And one more thing – would you mind if I got some water from you? [Girl presents her near-empty water bottle to Anne].

Anne: O…kay, just a sec.
—————————–
Thanks for letting me share, blogworld. I thought that was a strange encounter… and I can’t quite figure out how to convey the extreme awkwardness of this situation. It was weird.

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