Thursday, September 15, 2011

Hey, Mr. Producer!

Mr. Vietti and his violin can speak for themselves, thank you very much. They don't need hip hop or rap to grab attention. They can do that all by themselves!

We first saw Josh Vietti on Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade. He was one of the street music acts one evening and we came away with an appreciation for his showmanship and a CD (Modern Symphony 2010 )Josh Vietti's music appeals to all of us: Stubble the heavy metal headbanger, Bearded One the jazz aficionado, and me - the hip hop/rap, country, folk, rock'n'roll, classical loving "older" person who skews the curve.

His latest, "Street Violin", was downloaded over the weekend and we all agree that it is another winner...we really enjoy it. We just all agree that the experience would be just fine without the "vocal enhancements" that are included on Street Violin.

Josh Vietti plays a mean violin with a heavy and energetic backbeat.  "Modern Symphony" includes versions of Fur Elise and Canon in D, arranged by Josh.  "Street Violin" includes no "mainstream" classics, rearranged or otherwise but is still a wonderful listen.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Little Things

Sometimes it is making sure that the two granola bars are supplemented with an apple and a bag of wheat thins - and a "Don't forget your snack!" as she heads off to her evening English class.

Sometimes it is staying up to watch the Miss Universe pageant with her even though it is past your way too early bedtime.

Sometimes it is cutting up a bowl of fruit to supplement the previous "snack" before you head off to bed.

It is doing these things instead of offering the hugs that you really want to supply.

Friday, September 2, 2011


Students! Or, more accurately, Student Workers! The are a blessing in that we couldn't get our jobs done without them. They are a curse in that the are Students FIRST!

You can't manage them the way that you would an ordinary worker. When a student worker is scheduled for 2 hours per day on Tuesday and Thursday, and doesn't show up you have to assume that there is a study session or a test the next day. You can't just say, "You weren't here. You're fired." That tactic would leave you struggling on alone with no help at all.

When the absent worker appears on FRIDAY morning - you have to look at it as if they are keeping their part of the bargain. They promised that they would give you 4 hours and you are getting 4 hours - it just isn't on YOUR time table.

This morning I was expecting to train two new workers. I had set aside time in my day to spend in the lab with them. I would be teaching them something new. Something that they will need to be able to do alone in a few weeks.

I get to the lab this morning. Tuesday/Thursday's missing worker is on task - doing the job that had been set aside for the expected Friday workers. She already knows how to do this task and she is doing it correctly and efficiently. The other two do not know how to do this task. By the time they get here it will be done. When they need to do this in the future, I may not have the time in the lab that I can dedicate to them exclusively.

As soon as I finish writing this I will spend the next little time at my desk trying to figure out something for the two new workers to do that will teach them something that will make them more productive, independant workers in the future...


What Kind Am I?

I write about my kids (both birth and foster) but I'm not a "Mommy Blogger".
I do not write for my family.
I write about my job occasionally but I'm not an "Education Blogger".
I muse philosophically or (hopefully) humorously from time to time.
I tell stories from my past occasionally.
I write about our cats, but I'm not a member of the "Cat Blogosphere".
Mostly, lately, I seem to be telling of our (troublesome) raccoons:
I guess that makes me a "Raccoon Blogger".
Is there a category for that?