Saturday, February 23, 2019

     Reviews are in. I can hold my head up high. Yesterday’s Rachmaninov program went beautifully, and I am so thrilled. The house was full, and the audience was wonderful. I don’t know how it happens, but somehow, I found myself in “the zone.” That is the place where all the hard work takes over and caresses me into a relaxed flow. The narrative was the best I’ve ever delivered, and despite a less-than-bright-sounding piano, the music appeared to move people. One woman said, “I was transported.” I told her that was the best compliment anyone could ever give me.

     What have I learned? I have learned that a little bit of talent and a great deal of hard work, focus and dedication will yield positive results. I have learned that breathing is essential. I have learned that most audiences are more forgiving than critical. I have learned that I can accomplish more than my expectations, if I’m willing to pay the price, and there is always a price.

      What haven’t I done because I have been practicing, rehearsing, researching for the past 8 months? Not really anything, but I have had my program, my music, on my mind 24/7. The downside of performing is that we are always on stage in our minds, so totally focusing on anything else is difficult. The result is that it takes a great deal of energy to juggle the daily demands of “real life” with those of the next show. 

     I have learned so much about performing and performers over the past five years. I know firsthand now just how much actors, musicians, performers of any kind have to work, focus and sacrifice for their craft. I have ten times more respect for these people than ever. I listen to a concert pianist in awe now because I know how many hours they must spend, and how many setbacks can threaten to make them quit. I admire their stamina, their incredible discipline and their courage to put themselves musically and emotionally naked before hundreds of people year round. I have learned that performing a one-person show is even more daunting than being in a group or a cast. I have done it all, and even though you can’t hide in a group, you can “wing it” much easier than if you’re all alone on the stage.

     Only two more performances in the classroom, and I will be human for a month or two. I must admit, I’m looking forward to time to clean the fridge and read a good book with no pressure to “hurry-up-I-have-to-practice.” 

Rehearsing in the car. 

Reviews: 2/22/19

You were wonderful!
Susan Goldfarb, Executive Director, Longboat Key Education Center

We’re still raving about your Rachmaninov program today at the LBK Education center. I feel like you truly are Marietta. So convincing. 
Thank you for your presentation today. You have all the necessary skill and talent to make it believable. 
Pat Nelson

You should totally relax and luxuriate in the feeling of accomplishment with another successful presentation. Both Ralph and I thoroughly enjoyed everything and felt we had learned a lot! 
Ralph and Donna Serio

You were wonderful and the audience just ate you up.
Your efforts and talent were appreciated and loved by all.
Susan Samelson

Friday, February 22, 2019

     I am thinking today about what has changed since I began writing this blog going on five years ago. What is new in all the categories of my life which impact my daily thoughts, plans, attitudes? 

      Things I’ve lost:

a.  collagen
b.  muscle tone
c.  tolerance for morons, bullies, posturers, narcissists

       Things I’ve found:

a.  more inner peace
b.  new friends
c.  acceptance
d.  the true value of friendship
        e.  letting more things go

       Things I’ve learned:

    a.  How to set up and use a Powerpoint
    b.  How to set up and manage a website
            c.  How to create a small business
            d.  How to market the business
            e.  How to pace myself
            f.   How to use meditation to manage stress
            g.  How to deal with loud mouths
            h.  How to walk away from toxic people
             i.  Humility and kindness are the most valuable traits
             j.  Judgment serves no good purpose

       Things I’ve celebrated:
    a.  Every single healthy day
            b.  Old age
            c.  Creativity
            d.  My children (this is not new—just reenforced)
            e.  25 years with mr. Wonderful

        Things I’ve regretted:
    a.   Not taking better care of my skin when young
            b.   Not thanking special people in my life before they died
            c.   Not appreciating things when I was young
    d.   Not keeping in touch with students from my very first class

         Things I’m happy I did:

     a.  Traveled widely
     b.  Enjoyed a marvelous career as a teacher
       c.  Kept in touch with many former students
     d.  Risked greatly
             e.  Spent quality time with my daughters
             f.   Spent quality time with my father
             g.  Learned the value of self-awareness and self-disicipline
             h.  Learned how to recognize toxic people
             i.   Learned that mistakes don’t define you; they guide you
             j.   Learned that the “cool” people are not always the “quality” people
             k.  Learned the incredible value of empathy
             l.   Never gave up my music

  So WITFY? (What’s In This For YOU?)

     What do you care what I’ve lost, learned, celebrated, regretted? You may not care, but if you ask yourself this question:  What is different and has had impact in my life the past five years? maybe you will discover something that still needs attention. Maybe you will realize that you are way ahead of me. Maybe you will realize that someone who needs thanking in your life is still alive, so it’s not too late. Maybe you are going through something, and you’re thinking that it defines you, but it really doesn’t. Maybe you will remember to take better care of yourself so you won’t have regrets five more years from now. Just maybe.


Wednesday, February 20, 2019

     I get very irritated when people get in my face about any social issue. I am not moved by your rage, your disgust, your party preference, your religious convictions. They are yours to wear as a badge or act on as a responsibile, mature adult. If you want to change my mind about something, model the behavior that comes from that belief. Then maybe, I will pay attention.

     A week or so ago, I was "socially accosted" by an angry man who decided that I was his evening's whipping post to vent about all that was wrong with American due to people with beliefs different from his. He got beads of sweat on his forehead raging about the Americans who have deceived him. How can they be so stupid, so ignorant, and he quoted scientific facts (who knows if they were facts), gasped at the ignorance of people who disagreed with him, and on and on. I finally said to him, "You know what's wrong with America? We don't listen to each other. We're too busy bullying one another into believing the other person's opinion."

     There's also another kind of bully I have encountered this week:  the device bully. These are people who don't believe something you say, so they whip out their cell phones to Google the "correct" answer. Are you effen kidding me? Do you have to be so obvious about your distrust that you have to sit at a dinner party and dial up the correct answer? WTF?

    And then there are the people who think you've never taken photos of your perfect vacation, so they have to bring out their phones to show you every shot they took of wherever they went. We are too polite to say what we really think, "Are you effen kidding me? And why would I want to see them while I'm trying to eat my dinner?"

     People are so weird, and technology, as wonderful as I truly believe it is for so many reasons, often adds to the dysfunction of people who are constantly posturing and trying to one-up their friends and acquaintances. Is this the behavior of a mature adult? I thought we left this in third grade.

     Am I blog-bullying? Maybe. My opinions and my beliefs are my own. I formed them over time with facts, experience and common sense. I don't mind if you don't agree, and I don't flaunt them in your face. That is how I model my philosophy of life. If you are my friend, I respect your right to believe what is right for you. I don't need to bully you into coming over to my side. Can't we be full grown adults and just leave each other alone?

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Why would you care?

I have lots to say, but nothing of note
that you interrupt the time you devote
to your daily plan and list of to do(s)
to read my agenda, it’s quite boring news.

We’ll go to a lecture and learn shit to share
we hope the guy’s good once we get there
some speakers are boring, some thrill to the core
we hope this guy’s good and doesn’t just bore.

We’ll have lunch somewhere with friends from afar
we’re on the same page, so no need to spar
we’ll enjoy the day’s weather, fresh air and soft breeze
hoping Mr. Wonderful won’t give way to sneeze.

Red Tide is still lingering out there and beyond
I’d rather sit quietly and stare at our pond
beach time is compromised, sad but it’s true
not going to the beach makes us quite blue.

Hope your day’s joyful with lives you can touch
pay for a friend instead of going “Dutch”
tell one you love her, hug once or twice
life’s very fragile, it’s a roll of the dice.

Monday, February 18, 2019


     This week, I will model my activities based on the wonder of nature. I will seek refuge in blue skies and gentle winds. I will thank God for the ebb and flow of streams and the wonder of nature’s natural cycles. I will smell the fresh blossoms as I follow my path. I will breathe.

      I will be grateful for sunshine, humbled by the wonder of the stars and warmed by the sunsets of my days. I will climb the grassy slopes of the hills nearby and marvel at the view at the top as birds fly gracefully above lily pads.

     I will acknowledge a passing storm as just that, passing. I will welcome clouds to remind me that life isn’t always sunny, but that the sun’s warm rays are just hiding for the moment. 

I will know that if I let gentle nature guide my steps this week, that I will get to Saturday whole, calm, and centered. 

Saturday, February 16, 2019

The week was not stellar, I certainly can’t brag
VD was a bust, my cheeks are in sag
My spirits are waning, I’m working quite hard
to regain my balance, who cares ‘bout a shard?

Sometimes I expect what never will be
expectations are dangerous, it’s so hard to see
taking the blow, dusting myself clean
I soldier on, sisters, you know what I mean.

We’re all under pressure, day after day
I work out and focus, and often I pray
We do what we can to manage our piles
sometimes it’s painful to eek out those smiles.

I’ll not let a setback define who I am
I’ll be just like Scarlet, “I don’t give a damn!”
Embracing the splinters, the scrapes and the tears
I’ll look back and know well “shit happens” some years.

You can’t break my spirit, no matter your excuse
 Hurt won’t define me, despite the obtuse
My value’s inherent, my soul is pure gold
I know who I am now that I’m old.

To my sisters, “I love you, “ you know who you are
You’re those who just “get it!” You’re near and you’re far.
When you’re down for the count, face covered with dust
just remember we’re there, the ones you can trust!

Thursday, February 14, 2019

     I am going to start an “EXTENSIONS” app. Yes, “EXTENSIONS” will offer extensions on many necessary products, services, especially for women. Here is my first unedited list:

  1. Collagen options:  5-years, 10-years, forever
  2. Cartilage:  20 years
  3. Firm buttocks:  until death
  4. Boobs firm and perky:  lifetime
  5. Patience with fools and morons:  lifetime
  6. Gum life:  lifetime
  7. Liver life:  forever (the vines keep growing)
  8. Eyelash thickness and length:  indefinitely
  9. Natural hair color:  indefinitely
  10. Memory:  forever

      All you need do is get the free app, and your life will be richer, sexier, and less anxiety-provoking. 

     At what age do you think people would apply for this free app? Do you think I could be a millionaire if I charged someone for this ingenious idea? 

     This is where my mind goes after the first . . .  cuppa. . . .cuppa what?

   At first, I thought the second photo was a pair of hula skirts:)