Angel Note

Angel Note
"If Music be the food of Love, Play on!" -- Wm. Shakespeare, Twelfth Night

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

First Snows of the New Winter

I was in the Northern part of the State earlier, and saw this. Just thought I'd capture the image. Sorry, the image is not as good as what my nephew takes, but it's still a nice view!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


This is one of the best High School Women's Choirs I've EVER heard. Leave it to the State of TEXAS to come up with this! Enjoy!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Spicin' Things Up a Bit

While chatting with my siblings, the suggestion was made (alright, I was the one who made it) that I should spice up my blog a bit. Well, here goes!

Mr. Giggles' Breath-Stealing Picante Sauce

5 Quarts Stewed Tomatoes
30 Jalapeno Peppers, Chopped
30 Serrano Peppers, Chopped
1 Bundle Green Onions, Chopped
1/4 Cup Fresh Cilantro, Chopped
1 TBSP Crushed or Minced Garlic
3 TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar
3 Limes, Juiced

LIGHTLY toast Peppers on a cookie sheet, to activate heat.
Blend Tomatoes in a blender for about 1-3 seconds to reach desired chunk size.
Combine all ingredients in a LARGE POT (big enough to hold it all....), making sure to add in the order listed above. By adding the Lime juice last, you not only add the flavor, but the citric acid will help clean the pepper juice from your fingers.

Cook over Low Heat, stirring constantly, for THREE HOURS, or until the sauce reaches the desired consistency. Pour into bottles. Don't bother sealing the bottles. Give two or three of them away, and the remaining bottles will disappear before you can blink. Serve while still warm, refrigerate everything else AFTER the bottles have cooled (set them on a towel and cover them with a towel).

This recipe will give you a picante sauce that some people will enjoy, and others will not be able to eat and breathe at the same time. If it gets too hot, just eat some more. It will only be hot when you STOP eating! Enjoy! Bwahahahahahaha

Friday, September 25, 2009

A Hero Comes to Town

Dr. James Jordan, Senior Conductor at Westminster Choir College, of Ryder University in Princeton, will be directing our All-State Choir this year. Dr. Jordan is one of those who inspired the changes I made in myself a few years back while in graduate school. I quoted him in my Master's paper. He is the author of The Musician's Soul, The Musicians' Spirit, and The Musician's Walk, a trio of books that he claims are not really meant to be a trilogy, but have guided and comforted me and my colleagues for several years now.

My oldest daughter is representing our school as a soprano in that choir, along with three other students who are the first to go to All-State from our school in over 15 years. I am more excited about watching Dr. Jordan work with the students than they are to sing in the choir. I am also a bit jealous, because I never got to sing with him. 

When I was in High School, one of my directors auditioned for the position Dr. Jordan now holds, but was turned down because he did not have his Master's degree. He was an amazing director. I am not saying that Dr. Jordan should not be where he is by any means, but that he is there because he is amazinger! (Yes, I know that's not a word, I'm just having fun)

For my siblings out there who are musically minded, I wholly recommend Dr. Jordan's books, which can be purchased online, published by GIA. If you are not fully immersed in the world of choral music, some parts of the books will not be understood, but they are truly wonderful works.
I know I sound like an info-mercial host right now, so I will not continue, but I am still more excited than words can completely express!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Our New Musical

We just finished tryouts for "Footloose" at our high school. We had one of the best turn-outs we've ever had before. Many of them were dancers who don't really want to sing, but the show has tons of choreography and one of their dance teachers is choreographing some of the show.

I was EXTREMELY against this particular show from the beginning, but I am warming up to it now. Some of the new songs are a bit hick, and some of the songs from the original movie are worthless, but I am liking some of the things I am hearing, so I will reserve final judgment for now. I mean, I can actually play the Kevin Bacon game, but this isn't on my Top 10 Films of All Time list.

The best news, though, is that there are two female leads in the show, and my daughters were cast in those parts (no, I didn't make the decision). They are both VERY excited, and I hope they can deal with the boys who are playing opposite them.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Every Man, by Choral Responses, 1988

For Every Man who sleeps,
Ten thousand lie awake.
For Every Man who gives,
There are hundreds more who take.

For Every Man who tells the truth,
There are millions telling lies.
For Every Man who Lives,
There's another man who dies.

"With which am I numbered,"
I ask myself, "the many or the few?"
I'd like to say, "I'm the Every Man."
Which one, I ask, are you?

Saturday, September 19, 2009


So I hear that there is a phenomenon in Utah that does not exist in any other state. It is called the "Utah Poof." This is where a girl "poofs" her hair in the back to create a weird sort of helmet shape. I don't quite understand the appeal. I mean, there was a similar look in "Battlefield: Earth," and I guess the crystal skull in the final Indiana Jones movie had a shape very much like this particular Utah style, but do we really want our females attracting aliens? Is this meant to lure them into abductions? If so, why? Did Marge Simpson start this? How does this sort of . . . well, to be honest . . . butt-headed look . . . start? Mankind may never know. I ask those of my two or three readers out there: Have you seen this "Beam-me-up" style anywhere else in the world?
Of course, with the guys looking like their crotches and butts are hanging around their knees, perhaps we shouldn't worry. I mean, it's only fair. The guys make it look like their butts are at their knees, and the gals respond by putting theirs on the back of their heads. Hmmm . . . . either one is better than guaging their ears. I wonder what they'll come up with next.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Smelling the Reality

Inklings left a comment recently on one of my posts, in which she pointed out that most of our family has either written a book, is in the process, or at least want to write one.  I finished 12 or 13 chapters of mine before I realized that I couldn't even get my own daughters to read my book, not even the one who reads things besides the Twilight series.

Since that realization, I have not touched that book in any creative way. It is true that it was also about that time that I got the internet, and started logging into both Facebook and Blogger, but I was still considerably discouraged. How could I hope to sell a book to a publisher that my own children, who fit into the target audience, avoid reading?

Then I realized that even though the numbers are going higher on my blog Site Meter, most of those numbers are most likely my own peeks at whether or not I have received any comments. If this were happening in person, I would take a sniff to see if my B.O. is too strong, or pop a mint into my mouth.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Wearing Stripes

I've been thinking about various types of stripes. Okay, not really, but it sounded alright, and was a decent lead-in. And technically, the inmates I work with don't wear stripes, nor do they see all that much striped sunlight, but you get the idea.
Some new fellows joined our population over the weekend. mostly gang members and lifers. One boasted that he would not be at our prison very long, because he would see to it that he was sent back to maximum security. Others are Latino or White-Supremacists. One has only a small amount of face showing through the tattoos.
This has me thinking that one of the things wrong with our nation exists in the extremes. The amount of our citizenry that actually live at the fringes is so small, but the only way anyone can be heard is by screaming from the furthest boundary. I happen to agree with many of the things that are said, but find that my opinion sometimes resides more toward the center of the discussion.
Liberal, conservative, black, white, rich, or poor, there doesn't seem to be a middle ground anymore. Even economically, the "middle class" is so far above the truly poor, while still do far below the rich, that they seem to exist in their own world. Unfortunately, that world is still run by the rich or powerful who reside at the fringe.
So many people try to be irreligious, not because they don't necessarily believe, but to make a statement that has not been made before. Those who go to extremes with facial or body piercing, or tattooing, are not necessarily sharing in a beautiful art form as much as they are simply trying to shock the "normal people." Gangs used to be about "turf," or "pride." Those things were shocking back then. Long hair was shocking back then. Bare ankles was shocking back then. Now, gangs have to resort to greater and greater acts of thievery or violence in order to crest the summit of what has come before.
Depravity exists in the world. This is a fact. the problem, is that in order to achieve the same results, deeper and more insidious acts of depravity are being perpetrated in order to overcome the background noise of the perversions that have been filling our world with their static.
And the results of all this? the rich get richer, the poor get poorer; the violent prey on the meek; those in power corrupt the innocent. And the chasm that separates the average citizen from those at the far sides of the issue becomes wider and wider as those who are creating the gap push and stretch to widen it further, until finally, we who are in the middle will find ourselves on an ever-shrinking island of normality as the fringe-dwellers merrily sail over the edge of the world, leaving us to fend for ourselves in a world they have stripped of all possibility or advantage. Perhaps if the gap widens enough, they will meet on the flip-side.
What can we do? Who can say? Stay the course, fight the good fight. Get involved. Get educated. I know I, alone, can do little more than brighten my small corner of the island, but, perhaps, together, we may illuminate enough of our world to see the solution. Then maybe those wearing stripes -- whether the prison uniform or the pinstripe variety, will begin to settle down enough to allow us to breathe and take the future into our own hands. Perhaps.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

You Might Be in Our Family....

1. If you blame inappropriate humor on a particular bloodline.
2. If  you've ever sung, "It's time to go-o, it's time to go-o. I hear those silv'ry tru-umpets blo-ow, it's ...."
3. If  you've ever been fishing for 5 days in a row with nothing to show for it.
4. If  the most camping you do is in a front / side yard right in town.
5. If you receive family letters written in "the order I made my notes."
6. If you ever asked what was for dinner and were asked, "How do you want your hamburger?"
7. If  you've ever been the only person in church NOT singing the melody line of a hymn.
8. If  you've ever been part of a min-van caravan (or a Caravan caravan...).
9 If  you brake for Yard Sales.
10. If you look for Christmas presents that don't hang on a wall or sit on a shelf.
11. If you swam in the river as a kid, but won't let your own kids do it.
12. If you walked to church during summer vacation because it was faster than driving.  
13. If you thought six kids was a normal-sized family.
14. If the sight of a 3/4 ton camper shell gives you chills.
15. If you agonize all year about one meal you will cook in the summer.
16. If sleeping on the couch is the better choice.
17. If you ever made a movie about waiting to go to the bathroom.
18. If you have to hide cards to play solitaire.
19. If you have been in a parade for a town you don't live in.
20. If your parade costume is older than your parents.
21. If you or a relative have ever made up rap songs about how boring the town is.
22. If the sound of "Good morning to you!" woke you at six in the morning.
23. If a highlight of the week is visiting the D. U. P. museum.
24. If you have to go to the Indian store at least once in a summer.
25. If the playground is more dangerous than playing football.
26. If the only exercise you get is walking to the post office at 10:00 a.m.
27. If you wait to go to the post office until Price is Right is over.
28. If three bags of cereal is not enough.
29. If you ever crashed a sled to avoid barbed wire.
30. I church attendance triples when you visit family.
31. If you get 30 people ready for church with only one shower.
32. If the Rock Shop is a major destination.
33. If you've ever hiked to the dump.
34. If you have to drive the dips at least once a year.
35. If you had to walk around town just to discuss Harry Potter 6.
36. If the closest internet connection is 15 miles away in a library.

Feel free to submit more....

Saturday, September 12, 2009

In Honorem

I stood, transfixed, as the newscasts that morning showed the planes crashing , over and over, into the Twin Towers. I drove to school and turned the TV in my classroom to the news. I told my students that day that their world would never be the same again. I wept with the rest of the nation at this senseless loss of life, and for the families of those who died as a result of this cowardly act. We still weep now. May we never find the need to do so again. God  bless all those who still have empty rooms and hollow memories. 9/11/01 -- never forget.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Pink Mountains

Just a quick note here. Many things say "home" to me, but nothing says "family" quite like this.

Have a Sip

Okay, so we just got back from a football game--yet another loss. One thing we noticed while there, is that, once again, our team seems to be just a bit smaller than the other. This begs the question: What are they putting in the water in our town that keeps the kids so small? Our basketball team, football team, volleyball team, etc., are ALL small compared to the teams we meet from other schools. We won't talk about attitudes, but I hesitate every time I take a drink. Of course, the smell of either sulfur or chlorine (depending on the time of year) makes me hesitate anyway, and the fact that almost everyone here gets their gall bladders removed sooner or later contributes to the paranoia. Evian anyone?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Why Johnny Can't Write

Delirious sent us on a quest to read a blog post from Euripides. After perusing that post, I found this one: The De-Educating of America  and couldn't control my pounding heart as he clearly stated the very things I have been thinking for quite some time now. My hat is off to you, sir! I only hope that one day we can say there is absolutely nothing wrong with the US educational system.

Mad as Heck

I love working with kids, but there is one thing I've come to get very upset about. Irrational Parents. Irrational parents who make unthinking, uncaring, down right stupid accusations without ever consulting me first. If you have a problem, bring it to me, I will try to fix it. If I can't fix it, I will help you cope with the fact that I can't fix it, and look for alternate solutions, or bring in someone else who can possibly fix it. If all you want to do it b**** about it, then maybe you should go to the kennel.
Don't get me wrong. There have been dozens and dozens of parents over the years who I have greatly appreciated and admired. There have been many who I still consider friends. Then there are those who can't come to me directly, but have to p*** and moan behind my back like the gossips that populate the back streets of little burghs like this one.
For any of you who may have had problems with a teacher, or in a class. GO TALK TO THE TEACHER FIRST!!!!!!!! Don't just go straight to the principal, or school board, or whoever you think can hold something over their head. COMMUNICATE!!!!! I am so sick to DEATH of ingrates who can only find fault, but never offer anything positive in return. They can't do better, so they'll just make things worse instead.
No, you can't control me, so get the h*** out of my face!
Thank you. This has been brought to you by the "Would-You-Like-Some-Cheese-With-That-WHINE Foundation."

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Cloudburst, by Eric Whitacre

I saw the BYU Singers perform this. This is conducted by the composer. Enjoy.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Time to Step Up


I finally read the text for Pres. Obama's speech to school children tomorrow. I have to admit, my mind is put at ease, if this is the totality of his words. I don't really think there is anything wrong with the text that was released. 
I think the true issue is not that Pres. Obama, or Bush, or whomever you may name has talked or will talk to school children. One issue is that nobody knew what was going to be said to the children. One issue is that the text was not released until 24 hours before the speech was to take place. As a teacher, and as a parent, I would rather know more in advance. That, for me is not the crux of the full issue.
The true issue is that as a rule, though none of us want to take their place, politicians, as a species have become so totally untrustworthy that we dare not allow ourselves the luxury of relaxing when they open their mouths. We know that too many politicians have become drunk with power, and have not conducted themselves in moral manners. 
Our nation was founded on the principles of honor and integrity. It would be nice if those values were reflected in the political lives of our leaders! I have often wished that my kids could have an interview session with some of the prison inmates I work with, but I would be hesitant to allow them to do the same thing with some of our nations leaders!
I have come to realize that I have a fairly dogmatic view of the world. So be it. If that means that the things I believe strongly in today will be the things I believe strongly in tomorrow, then let it be so. If that means My children grow up realizing that homosexuality is a life-style choice, and not an excuse for celebrity, then so be it. If it means that I start telling smokers to keep their cancer away from me and my family, then everyone else can deal with it! 
This is not a political discussion, it is a moral discussion. I have not always been the most moral person in the world. I have learned from my mistakes. I have learned from failure. I ask the leaders of our country: What have YOU learned? Cigarette smoke kills more people than texting while driving and assault rifles put together, and second hand smoke is even worse. But some of our leaders smoke, and others are lining their pockets with funding from tobacco companies. Alcohol companies do the same thing, I'm sure.
I am not suggesting that they should be more than human, and I know we all make mistakes. I know I've made my fair share. I am suggesting that the political leaders of our nation should step forward! Be LEADERS! Be Role-models! Stop allowing our country to wallow in the degradation that is encouraged by the actions of its "Ruling Class." Be someone we can TRUST again!
No, I am not so naive as to believe that any of this will change any time soon, nor do I believe that this blog post will ever have any effect on the rules of the establishment, but I feel a little better already!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Fanfare for the Common Man, by Aaron Copland

Just for you, Inklings! Everyone else can enjoy too!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

My Life is Up in Smoke

So, for the past week, there have been numerous fires around the state, adding to the smoke coming in from California.The result has at times looked like we were half in a smoker's lounge, and half in a nuclear winter. Needless to say, I (and others) have been having difficulty breathing. It makes me wonder how smokers can even make it through a day, let alone a week, month, year, lifetime of inhaling stuff that kills people every day.
And then I thought of a solution--the answer is in Australia. That's right, little koalas have, in their diet the solution to some of our problems. All the government has to do is seed all those thousands of acres of wilderness with Eucalyptus trees! Then when there is a forest fire, at least we will be inhaling MENTHOLS!