Kidz Bop, Classical Music, NPR, and Me

Today, I discovered that not only does Kidz Bop still exist, but that I dislike pop songs even more when they cover them. I had become so convinced that it wouldn’t be possible to hate LMFAO any more than I already do.

However, everyone in my house is on a major classical music kick, so it was nice to come home to a house where Bach was being blasted in the kitchen.

(I reject out of hand the notion that classical music should only be played quietly. When you go to the symphony, you don’t find yourself wishing for a hearing aid to help you distinguish the first violin, and I have no desire to make my house sound like a doctor’s waiting room with the radio turned to some bad classical music station.)

In the spirit of sharing good music, please enjoy these amazing NPR Tiny Desk Concerts.

Hilary Hahn (This one is my favorite, and her CDs were the whole reason I played violin as a child.):

Charlie Siem (I must admit that I spent most of this video looking at the pink nail polish on his left pinky and admiring his amazing left-handed pizzicato.):

Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile And Stuart Duncan (I would listen to Yo-Yo Ma tuning his cello, he’s that amazing.):

Gil Shaham (I love Gil Shaman’s facial expressions and the obvious joy with which he plays–it’s infectious!):

In other news, I spent most of today in complete astonishment of how tired I was. Then, I discovered that at some point last night, I woke up and wrote well over a thousand words of what appears to be a very incoherent recollection of playing in the Hippo Park on New York’s Upper West Side at the age of three. I have no memory of doing this. However, judging by the number of times Max leapt out of bed to try to capture a very annoying moth (which I killed this morning by throwing a ball at the ceiling), I’m not surprised that I was apparently woken up for several hours. And writing is certainly preferable to sending people very long and strange text messages or deciding to take a shower and instead falling asleep on the bathmat (something I seem to do at least once a week). I also feel it is necessary to point out that none of these things were done under the influence. I neither drink nor imbibe any caffeine other than what is found in chocolate.

In other, other news, I got to spend the afternoon reading the names of Crayola crayon colors to an adorable three-year-old. We had a very interesting discussion about different hues and exactly what asparagus is (and yes, I did squash my initial impulse to say that while the tips are nice, the stalk is the spawn of the devil). Then, we pretended to be dogs and had a puppy freeze-dance party. Have I recently mentioned how much I love children? Because I do. So much.

As always, you can also find me on tumblr at, if, you know, you’re into that kind of thing.

Ella and Virginia

This weekend, I drive south.

I’m not sure what it is about rural Virginia that attracts me, but it does, and I find myself missing it all the time.

There were county fairs as a child, riding tired ponies in a circle for five minutes while parents snapped photographs, big slices of ham to eat, watching the very odd spectacle of sheep-showing, and tiny pieces of hay stuck in my hair. We visited battlefields, famous houses, cemeteries, farms, antique fairs, and restaurants. Dad gave history lessons.

Pippa threw up on me in the car.

I threw up in a parking lot after eating a hamburger.

Once, we spent a day going to the Route 11 potato chip factory where I ate my weight in fried chicken flavored chips. I discovered barbecue and hush puppies and there was no turning back.

Of course, there were the hikes up mountains, catching the Appalachian trail for ten miles or so, and defiantly sitting down on logs and refusing to budge another inch, only to get back up and march uphill for another two miles looking as sullen as possible.

I began my first in-depth study of regional accents.

And then it was gone.

We moved and weekends spent exploring life outside of the city were over.

Sure, we go back from time to time. A year and a half ago, I spent a week working with my church in true Appalachia, repairing trailers (This was the time when I fell through the floor, but that’s another story for another day.), which was amazing, but not the same as the luxury of frequent trips into the area.

But for three days, I’ll get to feel a little bit like nothing has changed, that I’m just on another weekend excursion into one of my favorite corners of the world, and that will be wonderful.

In other news, my ability to make typos is particularly embarrassing when it is in a post about teaching. In my defense, however, I’d like to point out that I was extraordinarily tired at the time and wasn’t fully mentally present.

As always, you can also find me on tumblr at, if, you know, you’re into that kind of thing.