Monday, December 2, 2013

Time Capsule

Kickin' it Old Skool Day Two, and I am having a lot of fun with this. Today's prompt has us capture  this moment in time.

What are you reading?
I haven't figured out a way for me to carve out time to read on a regular basis. Long commutes are great for reading, but my city life right now doesn't include that. Don't get me wrong, I don't miss long rides on crowded subways but I do miss having an excuse to read. My bad habit: I have trouble finishing books. Last week I had a longish trip and not having to drive gave me a chance to dig into Vocal River, the Skill and Spirit of Improvisation (by Rhiannon). I have followed Rhiannon for years, and she is such a completely satisfying and magical artist, weaving together impromptu music and words. She is also a master teacher, and I've had the opportunity to be in several workshops over the years. I grabbed this book as soon as I could, knowing that her life's work and wisdom would be here. It has moved me to tears several times already, something I didn't expect. I'm halfway through this book, and I do intend to finish it.

What are you watching?
I've been catching up on Disney animations I missed as a child. I recently watched The AristoCats and Cinderella, and Snow White is on her way. My television guilty pleasures are Dancing With The Stars and Long Island Medium. I love seeing the stars' growth and learning, cheering them on from my couch as they create and express more and more fully each week. I've been watching Long Island Medium thanks to Netflix instant play, and she and her family make me laugh (I was born and raised on the island) and I also get the welcome reminder that there's more to this life than what we can see.

What are you listening to?
As we are a two-musician household there's always a large variety of music on the stereo: jazz, contemporary classical, tango, singer songwriter, classic R&B, classical, folk, world, and just weird music that defies genre labels. At this moment, however, I'm listening to my guy work out some more creative arrangements of Christmas tunes he'll be playing at a gig tonight.

What are you loving?
I'm loving the spaciousness of my life this week. I just came off a month and a half of solid creative work and practicing music, and I'm enjoying a little break and some time to tune into what it is that I want to create next. Plus my brother and family are in town and I'm happy to spend time with them and my little toddler niece.

What are you wearing?
Today is a dress down day, jeans and a tee-shirt with a monkey on it. I do love getting dressed up too, for tango or for dinner.

What are you creating?
I'm in the middle of knitting a sweater for myself, based on a Craftsy class: The Perfect Fit Seamless Crazy Lace Cardigan. In the past couple of years I've become a knitting addict, and I'm not happy if there isn't a project on the needles. But I've also slowed down, and it seems like this sweater is taking forever. I'm looking forward to having a sweater I'll wear a lot, in a very practical everyday color. Gray. Ha!

What are you looking forward to?
I'm looking forward to getting more deeply into creating music for solo violin and electronics, but also to whatever new collaborations and inspirations may pop up. Also, I'm hoping that this holiday season is more relaxed and spacious, giving me a chance to savor and enjoy more, and also dream about what I want to create next year.

And now for the teensy bit of writing:


Long and tall,
you sit on the formica counter
countering all hipness.
Our hips balanced on round vinyl buttons
held high on twisty chrome stands.
My short legs dangle from the red stool,
thighs sticking to unbreathing faux hide,
shorts too short to stop sweat from merging with seat.
The tug of gravity pinches sticky skin.
The pull of your high, cool pile,
sweet colors and textures
stacked in fluted, gleaming glass.


  1. Best wishes finishing your sounds delightful!

    1. Vocal improv circles might not be so different from drum circles!

  2. I love that you are treating yourself to animated film that was produced during our childhood and either seeing them for the first time or reliving the moments!

  3. Did you like Aristocats? I never saw it while growing up. My daughter just told me that she didn't like it.

    1. It was not up to the level of Cinderella, but mildly "cute." I have mixed feelings about the messages these old stories convey. I can enjoy them critically now as an adult as works of beauty but ones that also carry messages of their time (and unfortunately too often, old ideas that still hold us in outdated patterns).

  4. I always wished I could have played aan instrument well. I love singing along but have never written music. I crochet rather than knit and nothing as detailed as a sweater. I'm spoiled now because I can finally read so much more. Great getting to know more about you

  5. Oh oh oh, I loooooooooooove the pink plaid and the line "countering all hipness" -- musical even in your language and clothing :) Looking forward to Kickin' It with you this whole month...and thanks for stopping by my place already. Will we get to hear any of your music as this month unfolds? No pressure... just wondering! :0

  6. I miss reading on the subway too, I didn't realize for years that not commuting was the reason I wasn't reading! I've worked at building up my reading habits but they are still a bit wonky.

    This year I feel like people are really enjoying Christmas music! What a lovely trend-reversal, I might have to start early at enjoying it too!

    YAY for knitting sweaters! I got totally stunted on the last one I did and now I'm doing some smaller projects, but I should really finish that on.

    So much fun to see a time capsule into your life Helen :)

  7. Love catching up on Disney movies at times. Wonderful to read about all your musical plans!