Mips: frivolous notes of the Skyylark


Sink or Swim

Change: it's about as certain as death and taxes. Sometimes it's bad, sometimes it's good, and sometimes it takes a long time to really decipher whether it's bad or good. Bad or good, it gets you out of your comfort zone and either you can swim with it or sink with it. Change has happened. And in result, I have a lot of extra time on my hands. Which, on a positive side, gives me a chance to update this blog:) But on the down side, if I do nothing special with this time, I start to sink. So here's what I propose: I need a project!

These are ideas that I've toyed with for a long time, but never really got off the ground since my energies were focused elsewhere. There's three of them, and I can't seem to decide which is most worth my time, or (let's be realistic here) which I'll actually be able to pull off. I'm going to list them off, along with their positives and negatives. Perhaps this will help me funnel my thoughts, strap my water wings on, and finally be able to get at least a good doggie paddle going.

Missy's Crazy Ideas (or Crazy Missy's Ideas)

1. Perform...Again

Positives - I've been dying to sing on stage again. Singing will always be a great love of mine and I'd give anything to enjoy it again.
Negatives - I'm too picky about projects. I surf craigslist daily for the perfect opportunity to get back in the scene, but not too far in the scene. I want to perform but not too often, with a small group but not too small, in a group not too old but not too young, etc. This all leads me to believe that my pickyness may just be me trying to avoid it all together, since my last experience with performing was quite a messy one. And in result, I honestly don't think I could enjoy performing like I once did...

2. Write a Curriculum Book

Positives - I have so many ideas for curriculum in my field, and I use them a lot for my work. And actually, there are very little curriculum materials to be found for this particular age group. There's a big ol' gap in Early Childhood Music Education and I feel it needs to be explored, so there:b
Negatives - How the hell do you get things published? Haha.

3. Make a Children's Album
Positives - Move over Raffi, Missy's a comin'! Yes, this has been done before. Sometimes very successfully, and sometimes... (well, let's just say there's a LOT of bad children's music out there. But that's a whole blog post on it's own.) Anyway, once again, I've found a another gap. There's children's music that teaches math, reading, spelling, even science. But there's very little children's music that teaches the basic musical concepts. You'd think there would be music that teaches about music, but there's not. I've already written a few songs that I do with my kids. And I know a lot of local musicians who could help me out with this.
Negatives - How do you market stuff like that? Yes, I could get it made, but I have no head for business and wouldn't know what to do with it after it's done. Obviously my audience would be music teachers and preschool/kindergarten teachers. How would I get it into the classrooms?

So those are my crazy ideas. I'd really like some feedback, if possible. Which do you think could swim the best? And even if nothing big comes out of one of these projects, I'll still be better off having accomplished something besides eating ice cream and watching the Olympics. Tootles!


Ladies and Gentlemen: the Great Missini!

Balance. It's a hard thing to achieve. Balancing the family with the friends, with the love-life, with the band, with the financial obligations, with the career, with the home/self-maintenance, with the extra-curricular, with medical concerns, with religion and politics, with world events, with the me time... And many of these intersect, which makes things all the more confusing. And I must confess, I really don't have as many elements to prioritize as most people do. I have yet to achieve balance, and quite honestly, the people that appear to have it scare the shit out of me. But I don't believe I can begin to have balance until some sort of constancy occurs in my life.

However, when you really think about it, isn't imbalance one of the crucial ingredients to keeping life interesting and fresh? I think the reason that seemingly balanced, perfect people frighten me so, is that I imagine how awfully boring their lives must be. No surprises and no true attachments to one or two focused areas, just routine, unchanging fairness and stability. Bleh. Does balance mean boredom?

So what am I getting at; if it isn't truly balance that I seek, than what is going to rescue me from this crooked merry-go-round of options I continually jump on? Trying seat after seat, seeing which one suits me best. Is there a right seat? Maybe I need to ditch the merry-go-round altogether.
Perhaps the key to achieving balance and avoiding boredom is surrounding yourself with people/things/endeavors that you love and that keep things sparky and interesting. 'Cause I do believe that there are people on this earth and endeavors to pursue that I will never grow tired of. I know it's a very Hallmark conclusion to the mad rantings of a woman who's seen too much snow in one winter, but it's true. I have yet to accomplish the task of fully immersing myself with these people/things, but I think I have a damn good start.


"It's never too late to have a happy childhood."

Well, the weather is absolutely horrid, and I'm stuck at home sipping a glass of cheap wine. It seems only natural to try and spew up a couple of meaningful or amusing observations. So, for the first time ever, I have a career that I absolutely adore. I teach music to very little children, and this job not only makes me look forward to going to work everyday, it also has renewed my excitement in having my own child/children someday, (no time in the near future, I assure you). The kids at my work inspire and crack me up on a daily basis, and I continue to marvel at the funny social norms that occur when one hangs out with young children. What an odd and wonderful world it would be if adults never ditched these social norms as we grew older. My own childhood chronologically creeps further and further from me, though not spiritually. And being around individuals who have only had a few years of experience on this earth helps me remember how exciting seemingly mundane elements of life can be. So here's my list:

5 Things You Can Only Do When You're 3-years-old:

1. Wear snow-boots all day long...inside doors...in the summertime, and still have lots of friends.

Stand on your head with your butt in the air in public when you get bored or annoyed with a person or situation.

3. Start running for no reason in particular.

4. Say, "My Dad drives a truck" to a complete stranger.

5. Yell, "I went poop!", and everybody cheers for you.



Year Done, Lessons Learned

Dear readers, a lot happened in 2007 for your little blogger Missy. While I'll spare you all the details (good and bad) I came away from the past year with a few nuggets of wisdom. Well, I wouldn't use the word "wisdom", more like steps forward from where I stood a year ago. And so, I'm going to share this list with my lovely readers today, some you may have discovered already, some that may come as no surprise, and hopefully, something new to share.

5 Things Missy's Learned in the Past Year

1. In the world of education, you are NEVER going to make everyone happy. And the sooner any new teacher recognizes this, the better they're going to sleep at night. Whether it be fellow staff, administration, students, or parents, there's always going to be someone that disapproves of how you do things. Usually at least one from ev
ery of the 4 categories. You can have the best intentions around, and spend day-in and day-out trying to find new ways to make everything work, and you'll still have someone treat you like you're not trying in the least. Recognize this, don't take it personally, and just be comforted by the fact that you are doing your best, and that you're a positive force in your students' lives.

2. Anxiety/Stress and it's effects on the body CAN be funneled and even controlled. Well, ok, MY anxiety can be funneled and controlled. Over the years, I've grown a bit more anxious compared to the carefree days of my youth. I also come from a long line of very lovely, but very anxious females. A few car accidents, a couple broken hearts, and some injuries later (physical and emotional), naturally one grows a bit more cautious, compulsive, and stressed. And the effects of this anxiety effected me in ways that changed the way I looked at my daily life. I've since learned to face this anxiety and to talk myself out of it. The way I look at it, reacting immediately over uncomfortable situations hinders ones quality of life, and restricts one from exploring things that may otherwise turn out to be positive experiences. I'm still working on it:)

3. The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all. Ok, I stole that from Disney's Mulan. (I really like that movie, I'm not ashamed.) But I'm constantly drawn to people who fit this description, and they end up being the most intriguing and rewarding people to know.

4. Anyone who drives a new Mini Cooper is a CRAZY driver. Well, that's a pretty harsh generalization. But it seems like EVERY person I've seen drive one of these is all over the road. Some may say I'm a crazy driver. I won't deny this. Let's just say I've really learned my lesson;)

5. The music business is as dirty as the art of music is pure. Does this make sense? Anyway, this is something I'm learning and coming to terms with more and more. It's too bad.

Well, I hope the average reader as come away with something from this, even if it's just a little head shake and a chuckle. Any lessons you guys have learned???


...the greatest good that mortals know, and all of heaven we have below.

To all those who poo-poo music education:
"Music Lessons Pay Off in Higher Pay."
Funny, students of music education end up earning major cash, while the music teachers themselves make diddley squat and get their program funding cut. Go fig.


They're All Gonna Laugh at You!

Well, Halloween is tomorrow, and surprisingly, it continues to be one of my favorite holidays. Most of the horror movies made these days don't really scare me all that much; I find myself giggling at most of them. Plus, the majority of them are just bad remakes of previously made or Japanese films. It's the creepy films of the 60's and 70's that get me. Maybe it's because these older movies are more subtle in their scariness. They didn't have the technology to create huge monsters and realistic special effects, so they had to be more creative in their effectiveness. So in the spirit of Scary Day, I've constructed the following list:

Missy's Top 5 Favorite Scary Movies!

1. Carrie
In all honesty, it's not Carrie who frightens me most in this movie. Mainly, it's the crazy mother and the brutality of her peers. Probably because these concepts (an extremely religious parent, getting picked on at school, etc) happen all the time in real life, opposed to a person moving things with their mind. But the part that gets me every time is the dream sequence at the very end. I won't give the ending away, but I think it's the music in this scene that creeps me out to no end!

2. The Shining
This isn't just some dumb, gory, gross-out horror flick. This is a well-constructed, tension-building story with complex characters, an amazing isoundtrack, and creative camera shots. My favorite scenes are when the kid is riding through the empty halls on his big-wheel, and when Jack is hallucinating in the ballroom. Oh, and when Wendy finally reads the novel Jack's been writing.

3. Wait Until Dark
"Wait Until Dark" is wonderfully suspenseful and genuinely scary without showing a drop of blood. Audrey Hepburn plays a blind woman who is home alone as three thugs attempt to trick and threaten her into letting them into her apartment to obtain a doll stuffed with heroin. The tension builds to a huge plateau as Audrey Hepburn knocks out all the lights in her apartment to get the upper-hand on the men who are trying to kill her and take the doll. Alan Arkin scares the shit of of me in this one.

4. Halloween
Did anyone know that the mask worn by the character 'Micheal' was a deformed and worn William Shatner mask? I love that little bit of useless knowledge. The scariest parts for me are when Micheal is stalking the girls throughout the beginning of the movie.

5. The Sixth Sense
I admit it: I didn't predict the ending. M. Night Shyamalan got me: hook, line and sinker. This movie is not only makes you jump out of your seat, but you really learn to feel for the characters throughout the movie, good and bad.

Please feel free to share your own top choices, everyone has different things that scare and intrigue them. Happy Halloween!


Back in the game with a bang!

I'm back!