7th - i am blessed to have students that roll with my punches. it's no surprise that i have an unorthodox teaching style, one that compares automatic technique to michael jordan nailing the shot over craig ehlo and treating triplets equally like divvying up cat food for my three kittens. my students give me that polite laughter (which i'll gladly accept) and stick with me while i explain musical concepts in my own way. and the reward? we get through this stuff together.
8th - we recently refinanced our house and the lawyer that signed off on the paperwork is really into supporting the arts. he supports music by both attending stuff and putting his money where his mouth is. us musicians need folks in the audience, people who want to be moved with our artistry and view it as an essential element in society. i think we spend way too much time complaining about what's not happening while failing to recognize what is happening. so thanks to that guy, whose name (ironically enough) escapes me.
9th - i was once asked about what i liked best about teaching at iowa state, and i told the college newspaper journalist that i dug having my own practice space, good speakers, free internet, and a nice window view of the lake. my official answer to that question is the opportunity to work alongside such talented colleagues, be supported by a fabulous administration, and help mold the futures of our dynamic students. but now you know ... the rest of the story.
10th - the stars. we live on the outskirts of town and, on clear nights, share a crystal silence with our neighbors.
11th - sweaters. i don't know whose idea it was to start making these things, but boy are they comfy. i have become a fabric snob, willing to lie down in traffic for a cashmere sweater. they feel so great, are toasty, can dress up a pair of jeans in a hurry, and are dirt cheap when i buy them in april. i also really love this song.
12th - my folks are great people, and have thankfully shown me a myriad of ways to live a life full of love and joy. they are always chipper and optimistic, were tough as nails as parents, and are the recent recipients of the "volunteer of the year" award in their community. they turned me on to cardinal baseball, taught me to take pride in what i do, showed me the value of the hard-earned dollar dollar bill y'all, and brought home the first jazz record i ever heard.