I was reviewing financial aid on AVC’s website and it said I had an award of $644 per semester for 4 years. I was super excited and was planning to use part of it to take some Spanish classes.
But after looking into it more, there’s a host of reasons I won’t be receiving it that I can’t do anything about unless I lie my ass off about my intentions for my education.
It’s so fucking frustrating that education is so damned expensive in the United States. We can all benefit so much from it but most of us can’t get it.
Then I discovered that AVC offers payment plans for class fees… But they require a $25 fee plus interest, which brings my $250 class up to about $300 not counting books. That’s not an option either.
I checked with the adult school and they offer ESL but not Spanish courses.
The last thing I can think of is to look for private lessons, and see what’s affordable relative to a semi-regular meet-up…
And can I add onto this to make my financial situation a little uglier? My laptop died and I needed to replace it. I didn’t order what I really wanted, but I ordered what would do what I need it to at a minimum of expense.
The good thing about a new laptop, is I’ll hopefully have a good little machine that I can design all sorts of great new patterns on, and maybe I’ll go back to doing some minor graphic design.
I’ve noticed when I add a new item to my etsy shop, I usually get a few small sales over the next week. Maybe adding a new item once a week is the way to go?
This morning I was up super early (it was still dark out- blergh!) and had to take FIL to two Dr’s appointments. That was easy enough though I really wanted to stay home and snuggle with Sashi, and then he asked that we drive over to Palmdale for Tommy’s… Home of the Cat Food Pate’ Chili everything. I ordered my burger “no chili,” thanks. He gave me a few bucks for gas and I dropped him off and went home.
Dinner tonight was a big pot of chili. My second time making edible chili, and I made a few changes to the recipe. I added a shredded bell pepper and a bunch of Tapatio. It was better, but I think next time I will add some fresh chopped tomatoes, more cumin, and maybe some different kinds of beans to mix it up a bit more. It was good though, better than last time, and we’ll be eating the leftovers tomorrow over Fritos.
I was supposed to have a violin lesson today too but she cancelled last minute and rescheduled for Friday. My bass lesson is Friday too, so apparently it will be a day for music. Last night I went to uke club and took my concert uke, which I played some but mostly I just sang. It was just what I wanted to do. 🙂
Very little knitting got done today.
It’s been a while since I posted, so I guess it’s time.
I’m still practicing my violin and going to lessons every two weeks, and I feel like I’m progressing with it pretty well. Each time I see my teacher, we move into something more difficult, which is both challenging and exciting. My current homework is to play a somewhat random string of notes across all four open strings. Each time I play it is a bit better, but it’s not quite perfect yet.
The pawn shop where my friends works for a cello in that I desperately want, but I only have $65 I can spend, and they don’t take sewing machines so the only thing of value I could pawn (my serger I never use) is a no go. Of course this led me to a new problem.
I thought for sure that I wanted an f-style mandolin for Christmas but after trying several of them, I decided it doesn’t call to me and I’d rather save for a cello. Of course that’s a much more expensive instrument so it may take a while to actually get.
This afternoon at 3:30pm, I met with Faustina at Tapp’s Music for my first lesson. I was nervous, especially after I looked her up on The Book of Faces and realized she might not even be 18 years old and is likely ridiculously brilliant. After expressing my worries to some sympathetic ears who basically told me a hundred times that she has likely practiced 10,000 hours or more to get to that point, I felt like my head was in the right place, it was time to go, and I went.
Faustina was friendly and professional from the beginning of our meeting. She took the time to go over the anatomy of the violin, run over some very basic music theory, how to tune it, and show me over and over again how to hold it and the bow. Holding the bow I got okay but the actual violin is another story. That will take some practice.
I had to buy a copy of the book she teaches out of, which was fine, and it was only $6, so that was a plus. And she gave me some homework- practice playing a progression of notes on one string (D – E – F# – F# – E – D) smoothly and with an even tempo. One of the things besides proper form that I will really need to work on is applying even pressure with the bow, not too much but not too little, to get a nice sound without mashing all the strings.
The entire time she was so patient with me and she never made me feel inferior in any way. I’m really glad I gave her the call and set up the lesson and I’m looking forward to meeting again in two weeks when hopefully I can actually play the thing she set me to, and maybe a bit more.
So I made the mistake of rediscovering the Shop Goodwill website. Not only are there bargains to be found, there are some pretty crazy things listed if you take the time to look. And it combines my love of auctions with my love of thrifting.
Mattie’s paying me back, but I won him 2 big lots of mixed Legos (about 30 pounds of them total) for about $150. We got the first lot of them yesterday and holy cow! Check it out.
The box is slightly longer then wide and about as tall as it is wide- and he had already taken some Legos out of it. Lots of good pieces of all different shapes and sizes, though there were a few random Duplo blocks and a couple Legos that had been damaged- some were burnt? Weird. The other two boxes I won him are about 1.4 times this amount total, so he’s going to be sorting them for a while.
On Saturday evening, I checked to see what was listed at Integrity Public Auction, a local auction house. Sometimes they do internet only auctions, and sometimes they allow absentee bidding for live auctions. The current auction when I had a peek was for absentee bidding, and I saw something I couldn’t resist and had to bid on. I ended up winning this little beauty for $20 and picked it up on Sunday afternoon.
Its a little soprano and maybe even brighter in color in person. It sounds a little plinky but I still like it. I’m having some trouble not muting the strings a bit with my forearm when playing it- its teensy size is really throwing me off! I wasn’t supposed to buy another uke because I actually have one from Goodwill on its way to me now. It should be arriving on Wednesday- another soprano.
One last auction find for today. Here’s some history. I have always loved violin and fiddle music. They make me happy. But its a notoriously difficult instrument and also expensive. I’ve been looking though and I found what I hoped would be a great deal on eBay. I bought it and I spent about a week freaking out that it would be destroyed in the mail.
Finally, yesterday, I received this box. It took me about ten minutes to get the end of it open, but it was definitely packed securely and the inside was lined with chunks of Styrofoam and wadded up plastic.
This was what I felt like I had been waiting half my life for.
I finally got it out of the box and opened the case. I was so worried that maybe it got trashed in the mail, but nope, its perfect.
I then took it over to Tapp’s Music and asked them to give it a once over and tell me if anything was wrong with it and if it was a suitable beginner’s instrument. It passed muster, so then I asked for contacts for instructors to teach me how to play. I left with two business cards, one for someone who teaches classical violin and one who teaches violin and fiddle. I called the fiddle lady when I got home and set up for my first lesson this Friday. I’m super excited!