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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, October 30, 2012

Aftermath 2...

Well, I'm home.  Had the smoothest cab ride and only a little trouble finding said cab ride.  Once I got in, I dropped everything and started filling Katrina in as I raided the fridge for something to eat.  I basically just threw a bunch of stuff in an omelette and made some toast.  I also finished off the bottle of wine from Sunday night.  Then I used the toilet which I did not have to manually flush and immediately jumped in the shower.   Hot (and then gradually lukewarm) water never felt so good.

Funny, I thought, how I'm making like it was such a big deal to be without power and running water for what amounts to slightly more than a day, something that can really be totally bearable if you have the right mindset...also if you're prepared for it.  I was not.  That made all the difference I think.  It's all about comfort levels really.  People go camping after all, on purpose, and expose themselves to a lack of hot water and amenities, after all, and they do this for fun.  I think the worst part of it was not knowing what kind of food I was going to have access to.  I could have survived a couple of days longer but I was coming down with a cold and moving back here was really the best option.  To sort of regroup and recuperate a little.  After all, since I'm pulling overtime tomorrow I'm working for six days straight now.  I'm going to need the rest. 

I don't know how I should prepare for tomorrow's shift.  I don't think I want to bike in, because I'd be biking back in the dark (remember there's no power in Manhattan still, read: no traffic lights) without a light on my bike.  But the bus service doesn't make sense and there's no efficient route into the city as none of the buses go over the Brooklyn or Manhattan Bridges I don't think.  Plus, there's no way to heat up food at work so I can't justify bringing food in and will just have to be at the mercy of what kind of food they can get us.  

Still if this the most of my worries I'm probably fine. I keep watching the news and realizing so many people have it so much worse.  This is always the case in just every day life and I'm the kind of person who never takes for granted the good fortune I've had in my life.  Of course, one always needs  perspective and sometimes you can get caught up in your own problems but the truth of the matter is, I dodged a huge bullet with this storm that others did not dodge.  There are 50 homes destroyed by fire in Breezy Point Queens, major flooding and homes destroyed in Staten Island, widespread destruction from wind and flooding all over the city and 18 deaths confirmed in the city already.  The New York City subway system suffered the worst catastrophe in its history and millions of people are without power.  And this is only here in New York City.  Don't forget, this is a storm that was 2,000 miles long and probably affected countless people.  So, my heart goes out to everyone and I found myself earlier today wishing I could help out in some way.  I guess for now all I have time to do is keep helping with the news coverage.  I'm sure I'll find some way.

For now, I have to gather my thoughts and figure out how to get back to work tomorrow, bike or not.  I could buy a light perhaps but when will I have time.  I'm not going to bother packing more than snack food because I can't heat anything up at work anyway.  The microwaves are not hooked to generator power.

Either way, as more news comes in and as the subway system comes back online, I'll keep you all updated on the return to normalcy.    

Aftermath 1...

I woke up to gurgling noise from the bathroom.  We still have no water at the Dream Hotel and I just couldn't sleep anymore, my head buzzing with what I need to do.  I knew I was going to come here at some point and get some news (yes, without power, I still have the option of walking into the TV news station even if I can't turn on the TV).  And also food.  But I also had this to think about: without power, the situation at the hotel could only deteriorate.  Maybe they'd offer free food to the guests at the hotel as it all might spoil anyway, or maybe they wouldn't and I'd be forced to come in to work and hang around waiting for food to miraculously arrive.  Also, I need to assess what I'm going to do the next few days, get clothes, shower, and quite frankly, I don't want to have to continue to manually flush the toilet here at the station, nor do I want to keep climbing stairs as I go back and forth from the Dream to the Chelsea Market.  8 flights on one side, 6 on the other. 

I left my room after packing everything up and took only my camera.  Peering out the peep hole I realized that the lights were on.  Apparently, they do have emergency lighting in the hallway working...odd that they have it on now in the daylight and didn't last night. Whoever's managing this hotel should be smacked.  Even the stairwell was lit and I passed a few guests on the way down.  Some seemed to be checking out. 

When I got to the lobby there were tons of people sitting around digging on the continental breakfast piled on the bar...I thought about checking to see if it was being given away or if it was the same deal, $22, but I thought better of it.  Emergency lights were flashing on the alarms and a buzzer was going off.  It seems moronic that they wouldn't try to shut that off for the sake of the people holed up in the lobby.  I walked out on the street to the sound of sirens and some lingering heavy drizzle that came in waves.  Seeing people with shopping bags from the nearby Western Beef, I assumed it was probably open so I made my way there, not knowing what the situation at NY1 would be.  I wandered in not even having any idea what I would buy, more just curious what I would see...and smell.  There was distinct spoiled food tang in the air around the deli and produce sections.  They did have some refrigeration running but not much.  It seemed warm.  I left. 

Having left everything in my room this time except for the camera, I walked down to the river to shoot some photos where I was yesterday morning.  Luckily, the flood waters are receding.  Unfortunately, the debris they kicked up did not.  Judging by what I saw, the water almost certainly came up over the West Side Highway.

Aftermath


I wandered back to the station, called my dad on the way, snapped a few more photos (which I'll be posting as soon as I can get them off my camera) and now I'm at NY1.   There was a hell of a spread of food in the conference room, thank God.  Mostly snacks from the grocery store but also some McDonald's, Dunkin Donuts coffee, and, of course, pizza.  The four food groups of breaking news. 

I'm debating cabbing it or hiking (if I have to) back to Brooklyn after I charge my phone and call a few of you.  I'm probably going to give my room to someone else here who might need it, grab my bags and try to get back to BK sometime today. I've been offered an overtime shift tomorrow and I probably will take it because, let's face it, I need the money and they need the bodies here.  But it wouldn't be until tomorrow evening.  So there's a slight pull to keep the room and stay here but I'm not sure how much longer I can manually flush toilets without the water pumps running in these buildings and go without a hot shower or clean clothes, which I'm running out of.  I still have enough socks and underwear where I could manage but it's pretty compelling to try and get home and resync.  I can bike back here for sure but then I don't want to bike back late at night.  There's murmors about us getting reimbursed for all cab fare.  I'm thinking what an expense this must be for the company, putting us all up and feeding us and getting us transportation in to work. 

I'll update again when I decide what I'm doing and if I manage to get home somehow today.  Wish me luck.

Storm 7, Power Outage...

I was lying on my bed watching an episode of The Universe on my laptop, considering one last attempt at a nap when the power went out. This was around a quarter to nine. I noticed my phone showed a message from my sister asking if I was okay because they had turned off the power in Lower Manhattan. At that point, I almost got up to turn the TV back on to see what I could see. I heard a noise of wind outside that banged something over again and then, almost as if in response to the noise, the lights went off. "Oh shit. Now it's getting serious" is what immediately ran through my mind. I started frantically grabbing things (not sure why I was so frantic) and throwing them in my bag, mostly valuables, leaving only my clothes there. On some level I must've realized that the locks on the door might not work without the power and if I was going to be here at the station all night, I had better not leave anything that might get stolen. I'm not even sure this thought had time to run through my mind. All I was thinking was I'd better just get to the station where there's bound to be power.

A voice came on the intercom and just kept repeating, "may I have your attention please?" Out in the hallway it was dark except for the exit signs, the emergency lights the hotel promised never having come on. I breezed past the elevator bank to the stairwell, using the flashlight app on my phone to see in the pitch dark stairwell. A few floors down I was passed by hotel workers with flashlights who directed me to go down to the lobby. At the bottom, eight flights later, was another hotel employee directing me out of the stairwell into the lobby. It was quite busy with activity. Diners at the restaurant had their flashlights and phones out and people were milling about. I saw some of the employees checking out the electrical panels. I assume they were trying to get generators up or something. I thought about waiting in the lobby but decided against it.
Upon leaving the hotel, I could see there was no power in many of the buildings except for emergency lighting in stairwells and things like that. The wind howled and rain fell sideways though not as hard as it had done earlier. I jogged across the street, picking up the pace when I heard something rather large sliding down the street behind me, unsure what the wind had picked up and not wanting to find out. I slid into the entrance of the building where the security guard asked me where I was headed and directed me to a stairwell I've never had to use. On the way up I ran into two of the news assistants I work with carrying camera equipment up the six flights of stairs, having just come from shooting footage outside the market. They looked exhausted. The air was quite tense in the newsroom. At that point, I don't think we were on the air, but we were on backup generators for the essentials. Unfortunately, the essentials did not seem to include refrigerators holding all the leftover food they fed us today. The rumor is there will be no food delivery tomorrow. What we have is what we have. Hopefully, things won't be nearly as crazy and we'll be able to get some food here.

My boss told me not to clock in yet and conserve my energy for the long overnight shift ahead. But I couldn't relax. There's too much excitement. I took some pics out the window of the blackout and sat for a while watching all the activity outside, listening to the wind howling and to things shifting on rooftops and down side streets.

Police cars were riding down 9th Avenue with their lights on and there were people walking around with flashlights. I heard someone say there was a group of people stealing sand bags from the front of the Chelsea Market and loading them into a minivan. I sat in the breakroom looking out that window for a while with the security guard who has been here all day. There was so much happening out there and we were straining to hear what the wind was doing and to see where the lights we were seeing were coming from. I've had goose bumps all night long from all the excitement. I tried to take something of a nap in the dark of the break room but did not succeed. When I finally did clock in, it was about 10:15. One of the first things I wanted to do was see a lot of the video that's been coming in all day. It's all pretty harrowing. As my coworkers read me in, I sifted through them all and found one that just blew my mind. This explosion happened at a Con Ed power substation on 14th street near the FDR. For context, we are on 15th street on the West side of Manhattan. The FDR snakes up along the east side. Check it out.



 I saw another video later of a substation four blocks from my apartment in South Slope doing the same thing. I texted Katrina to make sure she was okay. We still have power but I think she heard the emergency vehicles. So this is getting a little crazy now and I'm hearing that power might not be restored for a week. What does that mean for public transit? I don't know. The subway tunnels are flooded, the outer boroughs and beaches are flooded. I don't have any idea when things will be back to normal. I'm going to try and sleep the day away in the hotel tomorrow and maybe try to make my way home somehow. I need reliable access to food and can't count on that here. I was lucky today that I was able to get food. I'll try to keep the updates coming. Good night for now. Four more hours and I can leave. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Storm 6, Noises Outside and Press Conferences...

I fell asleep for a few hours and woke up to near pandemonium.   I woke prematurely, having intended to nap until 7pm but I just lay in bed for a while.  What prompted me to get out of bed though was a loud bang from outside.  I rushed over to the window to try and see what had happened but was unable to see much beyond all the people on the opposite wing of the building peeking out their windows onto their balconies.  So whatever it was must have come from my my wing of the building.  The wind seems to be pretty fierce outside now.   I'm not even sure how high the water has gotten but I'm going to check soon.  Before I came back from work, someone said something about them expecting the water to rise high enough to reach 9th Avenue.  For reference, to those who don't know much about the area I'm in, 9th Avenue is the avenue I have to cross to get from the Dream Hotel to work.  Let's hope I can actually cross it later on tonight.

I read something on Facebook about a construction crane dangling near Columbus Circle and now I'm waiting for the press conference which is starting imminently.   The pictures look pretty crazy.  We have a tower cam at Columbus Circle aimed at the crane.  So far Bloomberg isn't talking about it yet.  Just general storm stuff.  I'll update more as soon as I see what it's doing outside.  I need to get dinner somehow.

Storm 5, The Flooding Begins...

Just got back from a jaunt along the Hudson River with my camera.  It's crazy out there.  The water level is higher than I've ever seen it...which isn't saying much because I've only ever seen it at normal levels before.  It's basically up to the bottom of the piers and spilling over onto the sidewalk.  It's eerie how slowly it rises as the waves come in.  Of course, I wasn't the only one with the idea to go down to the river to see the flooding.  Lots of people who I assume live in the W. Village were out there.  Kids were jumping in the water as it slid across the pavement, carrying with it years and years of debris and detritus.  I've posted the pics on Picasa here:

Hurricane Sandy, First Flooding Pics


Additionally, here are some pre storm photos from yesterday in Greenwich Village

Hurricane Sandy Pre Storm 2


and pics of my room last night!

Dream Hotel, Best shots


I remembered that the Media Ingest department here has USB adapters for compact flash cards so I was able to transfer the pics onto my laptop and upload.  I even sent a few to the assignment desk to see if they'd put them on the air.  More updates to come.  It's raining sideways now.  Glad I'm back inside!

Storm 4, Dream hotel...

I didn't get into much detail last night about the amenities here.  This place is incredible.  The rooms are quirky with neat little fixtures all around and push button controls for all the lights in the room.  The lights which always dim slowly when you turn them off.  The hotel's circular windows are probably the most noticeable thing about the building from the outside and the theme of circular things seems to permeate throughout the room.  In the two cabinet-like closets there are little notes telling you what you can use and alerting you that the mini bar is equipped with a touch sensitive device that will be able to tell if you remove anything for more than 60 seconds, at which point you basically bought it.

The bathroom.  Wow.  Never mind the fact that Con Edison shut off the steam to the city and we have no hot water, it's pretty luxurious in there.   They're pretty big on water conservation here so the toilet has one of those two button flush options.  The sink is stainless steel and the shower curtain is made of a fine chain-like material.  I'll really have to upload pics.  There's no slot on my Macbook for the data card from my Canon camera so I'll need to find a mini USB cable somewhere.

The TV was on when I walked in with a message addressed to me, welcoming me to the room.  Techno pop was playing on a loop.  My co workers and I navigated the menus listing all the hotel amenities, joking that we were going to find the one free thing and take advantage of it.  What was it?  Ice. But you have to call someone.  You can't just go down the hall and fill a bucket.

Anyway, turning the TV on this morning and checking my messages was how I found out about Con Edison shutting off the steam.  The sent a message to everyone's inbox with that information and an apology, saying they have no time frame for when it will be back up.  I bravely took a cold shower and now I'm watching, of all things, NY1, as I type this.  It's time for me to get out into the storm.  I think it's okay to take the umbrella in the cabinet to use.  The note only says it's $35 if you want to take it home with you.  I'll update once I see what it's actually doing outside.  May see if anything is open for breakfast that isn't going to bankrupt me like the restaurant downstairs might.  Wish me luck!  They just said this might be the worst storm in the city since 1938.  Let me go see what the hub-bub is about.

Storm 3...

This place is insane and I really wish I could show pictures now.  You'd see the ridiculously comfortable bed, the ridiculous amount of luxury added at a premium.  They have my credit card so I'm afraid to touch anything.  Two of my co workers came to my room and, lucky they did, because, if they hadn't told me, I wouldn't have known not to even touch anything in the mini bar or closet.  Touch the even robe hanging in the closet and they'll know and charge you $100.  At least, that's the rumor I heard.  I didn't want to find out.

I just got back from chatting with two Puerto Rican guests in the bar and am ready to just crash.  As expected, the storm isn't doing much yet.  I felt a few tiny rain drops on me outside briefly about a half hour ago but nothing more. For now, it's time to sleep.  I'll check back in tomorrow at the height of the storm if I can.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Storm 2...

The air was tense when I got here and it hasn't let up since.  Been watching the influx of my fellow employees with their suitcases, most of us preparing to hunker down in the Dream Hotel across the street.  I get out of here in just under an hour and I don't have to be back until 11pm tomorrow night for the overnight shift.  I had the presence of mind to buy a bottle of wine and an opener at the wine store downstairs just before they closed, so I'm prepared to stay up late partying with my co workers.  Should be a blast but I don't intend to drink nearly as much as I did at the gala the other night. 

The prognosis for this storm is sounding worse and worse, at least last I checked.  It seems the storm surge is the worst part of it for us, since we have high tide and the full moon making it potentially worse.  Plus, it's going to come in from the Verrazano straight and from Long Island sound into the harbor at the same time.  So it could get dicey. I'm not worried about my apartment in Brooklyn or this part of Manhattan but it might make for some good photos tomorrow. Unfortunately, I don't have any way of getting them off my camera unless I can get home.  Which I don't plan on doing.  I'll update more tomorrow morning or afternoon. 

Storm 1...

Getting prepared to leave my apartment for what could be a couple of days.  It's now just under 6 hours until the MTA is going to shut down the entire system in order to get the trains to safety and the tunnels clear in case of flooding.  It's almost certain that I'll be staying in a hotel in the city tonight if not cabbing it home on the company's dime.  I just ran home to take care of a few things, not the least being the cat.  Also, it occurred to me in case the windows leak like the mushroom apartment last year, I'll want my guitar cases, which usually line the window wall next to my bed, out of the way.  Microphones and electronics too.  It also occurred to me to pack more food in addition to the several changes of clothes.  I work overnight Monday into Tuesday during the worst of it so I've been told for sure I'll have a hotel room after I get done Tuesday morning (possibly not until 8am!).

At any rate, it occurred to me that if I do end up stuck in the city, I'll have time to kill and not much to do (granted I'll have my lap top).  So, I'm bringing my camera and plan on documenting some things.  So watch up here for pics of what I see.  For now, that's all.  I'm going to give myself a little extra time to get into work in case there's a panic and the trains are running slow.  This should be exciting.  Meanwhile, here are some pics of the foreboding calm this morning from my kitchen window. 

Hurricane Sandy pre storm

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Calm before the storm...

The weather was gorgeous today.  Warm but mostly overcast.  There's something about the light on a day like today that makes the yellowing leaves on some of the trees seem to radiate their own light.  It was a peaceful walk to Prospect Park as such, and hard to believe as early as tomorrow we'll be in the thick of it.  Apparently this crazy hybrid storm is heading right for us and the city is expected to have to shut down mass transit.  So NY1 is preparing by putting us all up in a hotel across the street (either the Maritime or the Dream, don't know which yet) so we can make it to work the next day.  I have to work an overnight shift that night (just my luck that the first one in months lands on the night of the biggest storm we've seen all summer) so my worry is in getting back home after my shift is over at 7am.

It'll be nice to not have to worry about that.  NY1 really does take care of us sometimes.  They also throw one hell of a party.  The station is turning 20 this year and there have been all manner of commemorative activities taking place.  They lit the Empire State Building one night a few weeks back in our colors and had a ceremony in the lobby of the building.   They also got that Cake Boss guy to make us a huge cake for a party at work and the mayor even declared the day of our anniversary, the 11th of October, NY1 Day.



But last night was the huge blowout gala at Gotham Hall that is kind of replacing our Christmas Party.  It was such a blast and everyone turned out dressed to the nines.  I totally rocked the tuxedo even.

I brought Alexa as my date and we arrived right at 7pm as it was starting.  Funny enough, the one other person whom I knew in advance would be wearing a tuxedo (the husband of one our reporters) was walking in right behind us.  Upon entering the hall we were greeted with trays of cocktails and fancy hors d'oeuvres.  The hors d'oeuvres looked amazing but I unfortunately couldn't eat any of them because almost all of them had something bread-like or otherwise wheat containing.  I did get safe food though for the main meal and also drank a lot.  Someone in front of me at the bar ordered a martini and I though, "that actually might be nice," so I fell into a pattern of ordering them all night to the point where people were calling me James Bond.  I don't think James Bond ever break danced though.

After they abruptly cut the music off, I walked Alexa to the train and headed over to the after party at a nearby pub.  Ultimately, I stayed out until 2am and took a cab home, waking up this morning at 9am with a splitting headache and some nice, yet vague memories.  Half the reason I took that walk to Prospect Park is because I wanted to do something physical since I skipped yoga.  But I realized I was moving about 9 times slower than I usually do, probably due to general exhaustion.

Anyway, in preparation for the storm that's coming I actually did buy jugs of water and whatever else we didn't have enough of.  I was pulling a shift at the co-op on Friday afternoon and there seemed to be a general sense of urgency amongst the shoppers crowding the floor and at one point the line wrapped all the way around the store back to the produce section where I was stocking potatoes and listening to the conversations.  Most people were talking about the storm and citing it for the reason for being there.  The co-op is probably more likely to shut down than a regular grocery store because most of the workers are members who would be unable to get to the store in the case of a big storm like this.

So, it's getting a bit exciting.  I just got confirmation that I'll probably have a hotel room for both nights (Sunday and Monday, technically Tuesday morning).  I may have to basically relocate to Manhattan for the next few days so that'll be interesting.  They'll probably feed us dinner too.

On the music and VO front, the news this week is that I've met with lawyers at VLA and decided to sign this contract with the licensing agency after all.  It's all pretty solid when it comes down to it and just for good measure I spoke with them on the phone to clarify a few things.  They explained it all enough to satisfy me so I said I would sign.  At the moment, I don't have any offerings ready for them so it'll be a few weeks to a month before I actually submit the music.

VO is nothing new.  Still trying to get in touch with that agent and looking for others to solicit.  I'm not sure when I'll get a chance to do all that with this storm coming and putting a damper on things for a few days.

For now, I'm at work and watching weather coverage and waiting.  It's funny how I always start to think back on the last 10 years of working in news and dealing with weather coverage from the back end.  All the hurricanes and snowstorms I've been in the studio for start to come back to me and I have to laugh at the way nothing has changed.  The "tap dancing" on air when there's nothing happening or nothing yet to talk about, the egg on their faces when nothing ends up happening, the dire warnings, the obvious suggestions for how to prepare (I just heard some guys say to get batteries because when the power goes out you'll need those flashlights in the dark), and the hilarious you tube gems of reporters getting too close to the storm and getting knocked over by the winds.  It's all entertaining and especially so since I've been behind the scenes all this time and know what goes down.   The next few day should be interesting to say the least.  I'll update more as the storm gets closer.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Get an Agent...

Sitting in the park, watching the cruise ships (an inordinate number of them actually) passing by down the Hudson River and enjoying the free wifi...also enjoying the fact that my wireless airport card works now.  It was funny referring to it as an "airport"to non-Mac people when I would talk about my issues with it over the past few weeks. I've been trying to find ways to say it where it wouldn't sound like I was Richard Branson and I had my own airport.

But, I digress.  The important part is the return of convenience and productivity.  I just spent the last half hour out here surfing the web, compiling and adding to my list of voice over agents to contact.  While most people are referring to next month as "No Shave Novemeber," I'm calling it "Get an Agent Novemeber."  Granted, not quite as catchy or easy to remember but I realized that I don't need to stop short at my friend's agent.  I've been taking short and halting steps with this process for the past month but now I think it's time to get a little proactive.  Or a lot.

If I'm going to bet on myself why not go all out, right?  After all, I didn't move up here to take baby steps.  Thinking back to my depression in 2004 when I was still married and living in Su-boring-burbia and wondering how I'd ever get anywhere in my career, the problem was I sat and waited a lot.  Daydreamed, but never really converted that wild imagination into action.  Thoughts of success were always followed by thoughts of doubt in my ability or about the lack of potential my then-situation afforded me for moving toward my goals.  I had to fight those notions but it wasn't until I had the epiphany that a lot of that negativity was coming from my ex-wife, that I was able to stand up and say, no, I can do this.

What characterized the next year after that was exponential growth in my career potential.  Because I was believing in my ability to compose.  The first semester I was back in graduate school, I composed three new chamber pieces, scored three student films, got my first paid commission to write music for a TV show and hatched the brilliant plan to move to New York City when I graduated.  That alone should be proof to me that I should be betting on myself, continuously.  And not waiting for situations to be right.  Things can happen now if I just put myself out there like I've been doing.

So here's to that.  Being proactive and not letting any negative thoughts dictate my actions or inactions. It's especially helpful to examine where the negativity comes from and if I find that it comes internally, I deal with it right away.  In most scenarios, I find that it's the only thing standing in my way, the internal stuff.  And it usually has very little basis in reality.   Just worried thoughts that I'm not going to be good enough for some reason.  But I don't need that.  It's not helpful.  It's comfortable sometimes but I don't need that either.  I need progress.  So here's to that and to getting an agent.  Soon.



Monday, October 15, 2012

Creative clutter...

That's what my girlfriend calls it.  And I've actually started to embrace the amount of crap cluttering up my desk and my room in general.  I've never seen myself look so fondly upon a stack of wound up ethernet cables and bills sitting on my desk before.  What's come over me? 

I think I really just need things to happen right now and I can't spend any of my valuable time filing bills or restowing ethernet cables underneath my bed or just generally tidying up, dust be damned.  Why are there ethernet cables on my desk anyway?  Oh right, that's left over from the massive week long troubleshooting session to figure out what was wrong with my Macbook.  That's an interesting story. 

I just got it back from the Apple Store and it turns out what I had assumed was the almost worst case scenario, a fried airport card (worst would have been a fried logic board), turned out to only be a fried airport card cable.  The culprit.  Olives.  A few weeks ago, right before this wifi always cutting out and airport card not being recognized business, Alexa and I were at the Tippler eating an over large bowl of olives that we just couldn't finish.  One can only handle so many olives.  I just get thriftier around her perhaps and wasn't willing to send them back to the kitchen, though, to get trashed, so I asked if they had any kind of container I could carry them out in.  They produced, eventually, one of those plastic take out containers that you usually save because they're sturdy enough.  I mean, these things are supposed to snap tightly shut and everything.  But, no.  Olive oil leaked in my bag and some of it soaked into the neoprene case that I keep my laptop in inside my shoulder bag.  When I had the thing open the other day, I learned a little about the anatomy of the interior and located the airport card, cable and antenna.  Only the next day did it dawn on me that that was the exact corner of the laptop that was probably sitting in olive oil the whole ride home that night. 

At any rate, it only cost me $10 for the part and $40 for the labor.  And one OS reinstall that has set me back while I sit here and wait for all my files to be copied back over to my Macbook from my PC.  That's going to take all night and then I have to reinstall all of my audio software and that's going to take all day tomorrow.  With any luck by Wednesday, I'll be back at full operating status and going strong again.  And someday maybe I'll clean up this clutter...but it sort of becomes my state of mind right now. I don't need clean right now, I need focused.  But I also need, yes, sleep.  Eyes = Heavy. 


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Setbacks...

Well, I've determined, mostly beyond a shadow of a doubt, that my airport wireless card on my Macbook is fried.  I finally had a chance to reinstall the OS today since I had the genius idea the other night to backup the data on my Macbook on my PC.  The PC has a pretty big hard drive and the network proved to be the best way to transfer files.  I just left it going for a few hours and when I woke up this morning it was all safe on the PC. 

Reinstalling the OS did not help my situation however.  Now, there isn't even a message saying no airport card installed.  The wireless icon doesn't even appear on the information bar at the top of the screen.  So, that's that and I've made an appointment at the Apple Store on 14th Street for tomorrow afternoon. 

I really can't wait to have this situation taken care of.  It's hopefully going to be just a minor setback when all's said and done.  A minor setback that actually gave me some good perspective.  I've been trying to do too much lately.  Knowing that I would have less time to work in the next few days to weeks with my Macbook not fully functioning, I had to reexamine what was necessary to do right now and what could wait. 

The PSA music, the tracks I'm working on for the licensing agency...I was trying to push forward on these but I coudln't make any progress spending most of my free time trying to diagnose what was getting to be a bigger and bigger problem.  I wanted to finish the PSA within the week and also be able to submit as many as 20 tracks for licensing (when I really only have about 5 fully ready). by the end of November.  Neither of these things is going to happen now.   But knowing I couldn't possibly manage that made me reconsider what was absolutely necessary to do.  The deadline for the PSA is far off and I probably don't need to submit so much music for the initial offering to the agency. 

In fact, thinking about that number made me realize that not only is it not likely to be necessary to submit so much, submitting fewer pieces and not trying to make them so complex is going to pretty much guarantee a higher quality output. 

In the meantime, until I'm back up, what can I focus on now?  Voice Over.  I do that on my PC almost exclusively.  I only ever use the Macbook for it if I'm here at work and there's a job I absolutely have to audition for.  And that's rare.  So, unhindered there, I submitted to about 7 more auditions this week.  I've been highly selective but also I've been direct invited to two auditions by the same producer.  I'm not entirely sure what that means but perhaps it's a good thing. 

In addition, I've had a friend send off my demo to her agent and also followed up with an email.  I plan to call on Monday.  So, that's exciting, too.

Another thing I can focus on now, while my Macbook gets fixed tomorrow, is the excitement of potentially performing live with Lacy soon.   I know we'll be doing an open mic this Wednesday perhaps but now that she's officially a Brooklynite, we're talking about shows for November.  Updates on that shall ensue.

For now, I'm going to get back to the Walking Dead marathon on AMC.   

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Inversions...

Been thinking a lot lately about my inversion practices in yoga class and how they relate to my life as a whole. The headstand, the hand stand, forearm stand, tripod handstand...I always feel like I'm right at the point where I could leave the support of having the wall behind me when I kick up and actually practice them in the middle of the room.  But then I start to settle in to the safety of the wall as a support and a backup and I'll spend months not advancing at all with any one particular pose.  For example, I may have gotten to where I can balance for a few seconds in a handstand but, without the wall there behind me, I can't come up without risking toppling over on my way up. In headstand I've grasped and put into practice the concept of using my core strength to lift myself up versus using momentum from kicking up but lately, though I can get up, I haven't been able to stay up for very long for fear of, once again, toppling over. Either way, with any of the poses, I always hit a wall. And I don't advance until I sit back and examine what I need to do to get to the next level.

As with music and voice over, I feel as though I get to one point and can't get any further until I fully examine the nature of my obstacles.  Regrouping and examining my methods and their results is key at these points.

Having this insight from yoga is great, too, because I can apply what that practice teaches me across the board.  Which is this:  I find that, in yoga class, and lately, especially with headstand, it's most effective for me to not feel bad if I have to come out of the pose for fear of losing my balance.  I just allow myself to make several attempts at it before accepting that I've tried hard enough for today, no matter how far I've gotten.  I also avoid looking around the room at the damn yogi rock stars that are up and balancing the whole time.  It's not about competition.  Even if the voice over and music stuff can be at times, it's still helpful to import this line of thinking into that arena.  After all, I have to acknowledge with both that I can only do so much and that there are only so many hours in a day.  The important thing is that I try and I'm not idle.  If I try something and it doesn't work, I keep going and I try the next thing. And when I've had enough: rest in child's pose. 

That having been said, I am definitely making strides with both but there's never an uninterrupted stream of progress.  I must always contend with obstacles.  Trying not to let this discourage me is the trick. 

And the amazing thing is that, with both areas of my life, I will often pass a milestone in a very noticeable way.  That feeling of weightlessness when you can balance in handstand even for a second equates with that amazing feeling when someone hears my music or my voice and likes what they hear enough to hire me and I realize that the hard work has paid off to some degree.  It's that "hey, wait.  Maybe I can do this."  feeling that's so amazing.  And it really does feel like, despite all of the slips and falls and awkward landings, I can balance, at least a little.

So I should keep it going, right?  I started this blog sitting at Barb├Ęs and typing on my phone while listening to Slavic Soul Party.  It's a Tuesday night which means it's my Friday and I wanted to cut loose a little so I headed over there after dinner with my girlfriend in the Village.  Work at NY1 has been hectic and I'm really feeling the weight of all the balls I have up in the air right now (At the moment, I'm looking for legal help with the contract from the licensing agency and have several emails out to talent agents and production companies with my voice over demos attached.) and occasionally, it gets a little frustrating waiting for them to land.  Though, I'm happy right now that I have lots of work, even if not the paid kind, just yet.  I'm finishing a ton of pieces to send off to this licensing agency once I finish looking over the contract and am satisfied.  I'm doing some pro bono work for a friend who was helping produce a short PSA and needs music.  I'm also auditioning for voice over stuff on an almost daily basis.  On top of it all, I got a little bit of a nice pay off from all the hard work I've already done this year when a director I worked with sent me a link to the finished film that I scored.  I'm a little unsure about posting it just yet because it was a password protected link but PM me if you wish to hear/see it.  It's a 13 minute Sci-fi short titled, "The Feed."  You may have heard me talk about it a good bit back in April, May and June if you read this blog at all. 

Now, I'm afraid it's time for me to go to sleep for a change.  Wish me luck with all of the above, headstands and handstands notwithstanding.