lovely daughter art & weird emails


My daughter, Sarah, returned from New York with a bunch of pastels (?) that my other daughter, Elizabeth, had set aside for Eileen and me.

I got up and scanned several. But my new stupid printer made them all one huge tiff file that I can’t seem to easily edit down into separate pictures (besides the one above) even though it asked for a new file name after each scan.  I now have five or six huge files of the same size of all the scans and am unable to access them separately. Technology. Sigh.

Anyway, I love the work of both daughters and wanted to share. Now I’m out of time for scanning. I’ll try to put a few more up in the future.

I had a weird series of emails from the good people at Grand Haven High School. I have been helping out with their pit orchestras for their musicals ever since Greg Maynard came there to be the band director.

Last year Greg hinted that he was being pushed out politically and that it might be his last musical.

Sure enough that turns out to be the case.

This summer the choir director contracted me to play for the auditions for the musical this fall.  Re-reading her emails I see that she was “hoping” to work with me in the fall.

Unfortunately, every year, Greg would email me far in advance with dates and remuneration information.  This year I received no emails from him.

At the same time I noticed that I never really had a full vacation to recuperate this summer. I entered into the fall schedule realizing that I couldn’t really add another commitment even if I wanted to. If Greg emailed me at any time, I was prepared to not take on the work this year.

The new director contacted me this week. The performance is in six weeks and apparently they have already begun rehearsing.  She and the choir director were both surprised that I wasn’t committed to helping them this year in Greg’s absence.

I find this oddly naive. Greg was really the reason I kept doing this even though it strained my energies and time commitment (the school is a half hour drive away). The remuneration was just barely worth the work. Without Greg, I don’t think it would be worth it. Part of my satisfaction was working with this fine musician and inspiring teacher.

For the other teachers to be complicit or abetting in his removal is very distasteful to me.

I tried to tactfully explain why I did not consider myself already hired for this gig this year. The choir director finally gave up attempting to change my mind and seems to blame Greg for not making it clearer to them that they needed to contract with me (Can’t help but wonder about the other adult professionals that Greg would hire to supplement the weaknesses of the current crop of student musicians. Maybe they will just be available at the last minute?).

It was no fun trying to keep myself extricated from such a messy and apparently unethical situation and at the same time write reasonable and calm emails. Sheesh.


Chris Hedges: The Rev. Jeremiah Wright Recalls Obama’s Fall From Grace – Chris Hedges’ Columns – Truthdig

Haven’t read this yet. But also haven’t entirely forgiven Obama for ditching Wright.


Saudi Monarch Grants Women Right to Vote –

What next? The right to drive? Will wonders ever cease?


Mexican Teachers Push Back Against Gangs’ Extortion Attempt –

Extortion apparently is rampant in Mexico. I am horrified by this report. It makes me grateful to live in a society with more constraints on criminal behavior.


For Russia’s Liberals, Putin Announcement Stokes Woes –

Cynical stuff in Russia. Putin stays on. Sooprise, sooprise. Ron Susskind writes in his book The Way of the World how Bush refused to suspect Putin of lying and would not allow his people to use bugs that were already in place to monitor him. Good grief. Putin is obviously a person determined to hold onto power.


Church Rebuilds After 2008 Election Night Arson –

This is a hopeful little story about one triumph over hate and racism. I especially found it moving to read about many other religious organizations chipping in with time and money to rebuild.


Companies Get Gay-Rights Heat Over Christian Donations –

Freedom of purchase versus your purchase is your vote.


An Indefensible Punishment –

Until we abolish capital punishment, I will always see us as unable to restrain this barbaric aspect of our country.


Why the Antichrist Matters in Politics –

A little history and analysis on this idea.


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