Monthly Archives: April 2014

The Anti-Bucket List

BUCKET LISTToday I am reblogging a great post from another blogger whom I follow: thoughtsandrantsinjoggingpants. For you senior citizens out there, allow me to translate: thoughts and rants in jogging pants. Better? I’m reblogging for the following reasons:

1. It’s really funny and you should check out his blog site

2. I’m lazy

Enjoy The Anti-Bucket List…


The greatest thing just happened to my writers block! I have to confess to you faithful readers that sometimes even I have absolutely nothing to say to anyone about anything. In the mornings when I sit here with my coffee, I manage to come up with something as I become more awake. In the evenings when I sit here with my wine, it just doesn’t come easy. So tonight, (and this isn’t the first time I tried this) I went to google to try to find generic blog ideas that I could effectively steal, and make my own for the sake of fulfilling this dreaded self imposed blog quota of one per week. You would be amazed to find out how completely useless this exercise is. It’s bloggers giving other bloggers ideas, but they’re not really ideas, they’re just a shitty set of suggestions about how to blog like….”Write about…

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Lesson Learned: Don’t Trust The Emoji…


TOOTHLESS EMOJIWell, we’re heading into the home-stretch of the school year now and it’s hard to believe my youngest is almost finished with her first year of college. In preparation for the upcoming final exams, I received a message from the University of Iowa that a Care Package filled with healthy snacks (or not so healthy, depending on how much you love your child) can be ordered to help them get through that grueling week of final exams.

Let me just say right here that I have always been a person overflowing with good intentions… Over the course of four children,  ten years of college (so far),  and a grand total (so far) of twenty-five Final Exam Weeks, I know I sent a Care Package at least once. Maybe twice. Possibly three times, but probably not.  So last fall, when I received the same email notification, I thought, “Wouldn’t that be a nice little surprise for Mary Kate?”  But of course, time got the best of me and I suddenly realized that the deadline to order had arrived. In my haste, I hurriedly filled out the online form from my cell phone and clicked, “Submit.” YES!!! I did it! I have to say, I was quite proud of myself and  smiled thinking how happy and surprised she’d be to get such a fun, special delivery. I was riding high, but my state of euphoria was soon  squelched when I received another email that changed everything. It went something like this. Well, actually, it went EXACTLY like this:

Steven D., Extended Services Director

Hello Marilyn,

I am the Extended Services Director for the Associated Residence Halls Board of Directors. I just wanted to let you know that your Care Package order did not go through and the reason was due to the use of an emoji in the order form. Please feel free to try and order again, however, without the use of an emoji. Let me know if you run into any other troubles.


An emoji??? ARE YOU KIDDING ME???  I admit to, probably, an over-use of emojis in my text messages, but how the heck did an emoji sneak into my order form? And, more importantly, WHICH emoji was sent?  I’ll never know. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with emoji, they are  those cute little smiley faces which often accompany a text message or Facebook status. Besides the smiley faces, there are a myriad of other little symbols that seem to perfectly punctuate most of my text messages. Upon reading of my failure to successfully order a Care Package,  I was so deflated that I decided I couldn’t go through the emotional trauma of attempting another order. So, once again, my kid had to somehow get through finals without healthy snacks to fortify her. I later learned that she only had one final since, as a music major,  most of her final grades were based on various performances.  But now, as another finals week approaches, I am grappling with the dilemma of Care Package? Or no?  Dare I? Mary Kate did ask if I could give it another try,” however, without the use of an emoji.”  I’ll let you know how that works out…

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Hey Music, What Have You Done For Me Lately?



Why would anyone study music? I know these words have been uttered countless times by miserable high schoolers, forced to take a Music Appreciation class or participate in Band. I would venture to say that most kids who make up the various bands in school do so because:

1.  Mom and Dad are making them do it.

2. They have an interest in playing an instrument but have no plans to pursue music, because…HELLO… they plan to actually make money.

3. It’s a social outlet. These kids, by the way, are the thorns in the sides of band directors everywhere and the few kids (like my own) who take it seriously, because they NEVER practice. And…

4. They love music and want to live a life in music.

To those who fall into category #4, the following is not only understood, it is fully embraced. But it is to the rest of the school band population, as well as the population at large, who often question the sanity of someone who would choose to study music, that the following is addressed. Hopefully,  they will come to appreciate the complexity of music and, perhaps, understand the wonderfully rewarding answer my musician son gives when asked the question he’s heard over and over again: What are you going to do with that degree? Answer? “I’m going to be happy for the rest of my life.”




It is exact, specific; and it demands exact acoustics. A conductor’s full score is a chart, a graph which indicates frequencies, intensities, volume changes, melody, and harmony all at once and with the most exact control of time.


It is rhythmically based on the subdivisions of time into fractions which must be done instantaneously, not worked out on paper.


Most of the terms are in Italian, German, or French; and the notation is certainly not English but a highly developed kind of shorthand that uses symbols to represent ideas. The semantics of music is the most complete and universal language.


It requires fantastic coordination of fingers, hands, arms, lip, cheek, and facial muscles, in addition to extraordinary control of the abdominal, back, stomach, and chest muscles which respond instantly to the sound the ear hears and the mind interprets.


It allows a human being to take all these dry, technically boring to some (but difficult) techniques and use them to create emotion. That is one thing science cannot duplicate: humanism, feeling, emotion – call it what you will.


Not because we expect you to major in music.

Not because we expect you to play or sing all your life (though you certainly can!)

Not so you can relax.

Not so you can have fun.

But so you will be human; so you will recognize beauty; so you will be sensitive; so you will be closer to an infinite beyond this world; so you will have something to cling to; so you will have more love, more compassion, more gentleness, more good – in short, more life.

Of what value will it be to make a prosperous living, unless you know how to live?




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