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I live in Brooklyn, NY and I love it here.  I came here for my career in 2009 and haven't once looked back. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

To do lists and the rest of my weekend...

There's nothing more satisfying than ticking things off a to-do list. Well, I suppose I could think of a few more things that would be more satisfying. Anyway, I opted not to take my regular 4pm yoga class today so that I could stay home and work on that to-do list, most of which was either errands or music-related tasks. The first thing was to splice together a minute and a half long reel of music for the new website; the idea being to showcase my ability to write music for commercials and television. It's posted right now under the VO narration demo on the sidebar of the front page.

And speaking of narration, I took the extra time skipping yoga afforded me to apply to another VO gig on voice123.com. Unfortunately, there was really only one that I felt I was right for out of the projects from the past week that were still open. I applied anyway even though there were some 30 auditions already submitted by other VO talents. This is going to be a hard road. My unofficial mentor told me (and I suppose this goes for just about any and every job in NYC) that the trick is to be among the first people to submit. Difficult for me because sometimes these projects are posted in the middle of the night or when I'm otherwise indisposed and I can't always jump on them immediately. Imagine my frustration when I was on my vacation and away from my equipment, getting some 30 emails a day. Monday afternoons when I'm most available, there will be anywhere from 2-5 projects posted. So, I've been having a heck of a time finding enough time to actually push forward on this.

After that, I began to work on the project for Mohammad. I have audio of the subway sounds and a call to prayer that I'm working into the mix and my goal today was to work on the drumline for the end when it segues into the film from the opening animated timeline. I got some cool sounds and experimented with the timing of everything but not much more. I'm still waiting to get my hands on an Oud so I can learn to play it enough to feel comfortable writing for it. Half of me just wants to learn to play it so I can play it on the recording myself. What can I say, collaborating is fun, but it's so much more efficient to work alone.

Anyway, the morning after my last blog entry, I got to go with my brother, after breakfast, to visit the house I was born in.

As my brother and I wandered up onto the property, I was slightly nervous we'd be seen by the current occupants of the house and be confronted by them. Paul continuously reassured me that we'd be fine and finally mentioned that my mother had called and given them a heads up. They were, after all, in Stanfordville before I was Friday and had even had time to go to the old swimming hole we used to refer to as "the Rec" (short for recreational area, I guess). No one did come out of the house the whole time we stood by the creek but as we were leaving the driveway, the owner came rolling into the driveway in his truck. My parents had mentioned it was an Irish couple but I had assumed that meant "of Irish descent." When he rolled down his window he said, "You must be da two bois that was barn heeeer." Love it! He was kind enough to, in fact, excited enough to, let us in the house and show us around. At this point, I felt much more excitement. I have been back to the house before since I left in 1984 as a bumbling 3 year old but never at an age where it could have meant as much to me as it did on this visit. Just seeing those rooms, small as they seem in my giantness, brought back floods of memories that the outside only hinted at. And it even put those memories in a very wide perspective. To think, that was 27, 28 years ago and the place, despite they're renovations and additions to the outside of the house (the most notable of which was an in-ground pool), was so vividly familiar to me. The wood of the counters in the kitchen, worn down from the years, the island where my mom would prepare meals, the railing of the balcony upstairs, the front porch outside, all of it spoke to me as though it remembered me. I couldn't really look into the room where I was born because Sean, the owner's wife was still asleep. But I did get a good chance with my brother to look around and chat with the guy about what had changed and what we still remembered.

After we parted with them we walked back over to Patty and Greg's house and said our goodbyes, packing the car up and getting ready to head up to Albany for the memorial. The memorial itself was very moving and I was surprised (although not too terribly surprised) that my uncle drew such a crowd. People were standing along the sides of the room and all that was up front was a series of wreaths and bouquets and a podium where people, from the hospice chaplain to my uncle and whoever felt moved to speak, stod. Gary had chosen to be cremated and my aunt had chosen not to to display the ashes.

I cried a good bit but, as had been predicted, the tears slowly subsided, for everyone, into laughter. Especially when Gary's number one rule of fishing kept coming up in conversation: "Don't hook Uncle Gary!" I imagined the way the man's ghost might have responded had he been in the room (he probably was). And that just about made me lose it. When we were all done sharing our thoughts and memories of Uncle Gary, my dad played two songs on the stereo, one by John Denver and another by the Doobie Brothers. So Uncle Gary. And we were all invited to sing along if we felt moved to. If had known the words, I might have.

After the service I got to mingle a little more with my aunts. Yvonne, Marie and Yvette were all sitting directly behind me, and as usual, kissing everybody on the cheek and bragging about their ages (87, 89, and 90 respectively, I believe). The reception was at a Hibernian clubhouse just down the road (at which I arrived slightly late so that my Uncle Flip could drive Aunt Cheryl by the house where she had grown up in Latham, NY). There, I got to mingle with my first and second cousins and talk with Aunt Suzy a little.

After the reception died down and we had cleaned up all the leftover food, we all headed down toward Athens to land at Aunt Suzy's where I was staying the night. I was glad for this extra time to visit and ended up staying up watching SNL with Suzy, Cheryl, Flip and my cousin Katrina. The following afternoon, Katrina's brother Anthony came by with his girlfriend on their way to D.C. and we all visited just a little more before heading back to NYC.

Final parting words: avoid the Holland Tunnel. That is all for now.

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