The month of June has been frantic to say the least. I managed to work 3 part time jobs (Music Director at the church, Voice Lessons, and SBUX) and attend class from 1130a to 830p for 4 days a week. As I am giving more thought to grad school (jury's still out deciding between Conducting and Composition - though I've been leaning more towards Conducting....) so, I decided it was time to finish my undergrad. Why not?!
So, I signed up for Sociology, Psychology of Religion and Holocaust in Film. Hilariously, no one informed me that hardly anyone signs up for more than 2 summer courses in the first session because they are so intense. And I managed to get into one of the most intense classes offered in Summer Session 1: Psychology of Religion. I decided to brave it out.
I counted 64 pages of returned material and I just emailed the fourth and final paper for my exams. Bringing my final total to 80+ pages in 4 weeks. Holy - mother - of - god. And in the midst of this and the jobs I also managed to speak to the New York Methodists (seriously...all of them) about inclusion of gays. And thanks to a friend at the Metropolitan Museum of Art I got to play the OLDEST PIANO IN THE WORLD!!! WTF?!
The month has had its ups and downs. But, it has been major in many, many ways.
I'm excited because tomorrow is PRIDE. My church is marching (as per usual) and I'm attending service at St. Paul and St. Andrew's on the UWS, singing in the choir there, and playing 4-hand piano duets with a friend for the postlude and prelude. Very exciting.
Monday - I am off to MS for the first time in at least 3 years....possibly more. My friend from high school is getting married and I'm singing at her wedding (McCartney's "Maybe I'm Amazed"). I also just found out that my buddy from SLC (Ned '04) is gonna be able to come with me. ROAD TRIP!!!!!!!
Hopefully, while I'm away I can finish my latest piece for Flute, Piano, and Trombone. And get some other things started. Long Live Summer....
I hope my buddy Chris Miller is enjoying a moonwalk with Micheal Jackson - much love.
Oh, man. The month of June was a crazy plan.
Mon to Thurs - 445a to 830p
(yep. thats pretty much straight through. I try to get ahead with readings during any breaks.)
Friday - Homework
Saturday - Starbucks
Sunday - Church Job in the AM / Read in the PM
Various Voice Lessons, meetings and gym 3xs a week just for good measure thrown in.
So far, so good. In Psychology of Religion papers are graded on a scale of 1 to 5. So far, I've gotten a 5 and a 5 1/2 (word.) In Holocaust in Film papers are graded on a scale of 1 to 10. I got an 8 1/2, so I'm less happy about that. Sociology is going ok. My notes are Grade A for sure.
There's a chance that I may end up with my BA from Sarah Lawrence (Liberal Arts) with a Minor in Jewish Studies from City College. I'm not sure that makes any sense but, thats the track I'm on and LOVING it.
OK - that was my break from reading. My iTunes went from Bernstein to Berg to Weill to Music to Bat Boy. I'm a very happy guy! And now Stevie!
Watching old episodes of Seinfeld I wondered at how difficult life was in NYC without a cell phone. It also seemed so romantic - making plans, expecting people to follow through...though it rarely ended well for Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer.
Then today - my phone died.
So, now I have a big decision to make:
1) Upgrade to G1 (and accept the monthly increase.)
2) Upgrade to G1 (and fight to keep my ridiculously inexpensive plan)
3) Acquire an unlocked iPhone (voiding warranty and despite my already having an iPod Touch)
4) Hope for an ability to get another Sidekick and not change my plan
oh yeah....and my contract is up - so T-mobile wants me to resign, I know.
anyway - email me. don't call.
Tonight, I saw a Broadway play, Mary Stuart, and was home less than 15 minutes later.
Using public transportation.
I know this seems really trivial, it seemed it to me....until I checked the time on my iPod. Then I noticed how fast I was getting home and suddenly had a flashback to my first visit to NYC more than 13 years ago. I remembered being amazed at everything and I marveled at how wonderful it would be to live here.
And now I do.
In other news - it rained at the beginning of the second act of Mary Stuart. On stage. Heavy, pouring, actor-soaking rained. And the stage was magically dry 15 minutes later. No black out. No dragging a mop across the stage. It just dried. I found this amazing.
I love theater.
I have almost grown completely accustomed to working the opening shift. I constantly wake up about 15 minutes before my alarm goes off, which is annoying at 400a but useful. And I'm totally ok going back to sleep for my last 15 minutes of much needed beauty rest. So, thanks to that I made it to work at 515a on Saturday morning. Despite a few minor issues (people calling out, correcting the work from the night before, usual stuff) the shift went amazingly well. Especially considering I broke my glasses the day before. I'm not sure if I should just wear my glasses less and let my eyes go back to compensating for their lack of sight or rush over to spend money on new ones and possibly a back up pair.
I finished work at 1015a and headed to the grocery store. I pretty much have grocery shopping down to a science and I was home by 1115a. Groceries were put away just in time for the gym with my workout partner (and lyricist and bookwriter) Ross. So, I'm still working towards my goal of Triathlon in 2010. I did some research and this is NOT an Ironman (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike followed by a Marathon, 26.2 miles). The Olympic Marathon is .93 mile swim, 24.8 mile bike, and 6.2 mile run. This is doable. Ironmans are ridiculous. To prep for this I am planning to join the Tritons, a LGBT triathlon training group mainly for help with the swimming. But, they have been swimming on Thursdays which is when I am in Westchester for many hours for choir rehearsals.
Step 1 or the Tritathlon Prep has been just going to the gym 3 times a week. So far, so good. IThere was one week where I went twice but, I try to go 4 or 5 times a week when I can. Step 2 is to run in a 5k. (I have no clue how man steps there are by the way). A 5k is 3.1 miles. So far Ross and I are running 2.25 miles (the cool down gets us to 2.54) My goal is to officially register for a 5k by the end of May.
After the gym I ran home, sat on the couch for a few minutes and chatted with Ross. Then I showered and rushed down to the New World Stages to see the new musical - Rooms, a rock romance, because a friend was helping the theater fill up the weekend shows and had free tix. The only thing that I knew about this was that it was a two person musical. I've never really been THAT big a fan of musicals that small so, I was skeptical from the start. With my low expectations - it was not bad. I got my money's worth for sure. There were a few flashes of brilliance - a few grimaces - but, all in all I left underwhelmed. But - I had been up since before 5a and it kept me awake.....
I hung out with a friend in the Times Square area for a drink, scooted home, made the worlds fastest dinner - I had 11 minutes - and caught the 537p? train to Bronxville to take a cab to St. John the Baptist in Yonkers, NY to sing in an Easter Vigil. Liturgically, the 730p Easter Vigil Service is very, very confusing to me but, thats another post. I got to sing some good music - I switch hit up to the Tenor part for Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus" from Messiah. I cannot sing a high A but, when there's a large organ and a big, blasting choir I can get a couple of G's out and F#'s are no problem. Not bad.
Following the service I went to the rectory to hang out with the organist, priests, etc....All said there were maybe 10 or 12 people. In the hour I was there I heard at least 8 bottles of wine, champagne or sambuca being opened. Oh Easter......One of the people there was a Chemical Engineer at Columbia University who was recently interviewed in the New York Times. He was AWESOME. And almost had me convinced that I understood how to release methane gas from the coasts of the world. Why my friend John Buckel likes to bring me around to these events I have no idea. I sing for him at most High Holy Days and Choral Concerts and I've been commissioned to compose a piece for his "new" organ which is about 25% done. I've gotten to know the congregation really well. Its actually a lot of fun. I've never really known much about Catholicism...as if I need MORE religion in my life.
After the rectory gathering....back to NYC and to Hell's Kitchen and the gay bar, Barrage. It was a party for John's room mate's birthday and wow....it was packed with very, very beautiful men. (That's right, I went straight from the rectory to a gay bar - that's how I roll.) It was fun but drinks were half priced from 11p to 12a. Between the gays and the priests - I had a great night. (That sentence seems quite wrong but, I'm sticking with it.)
Snowfall on the first day of Spring. Thank you, NYC.
(and of course this after a relatively warm week)
So far in my Latin and Greek Etymology Course I have an 101 average. Woo! I turned in my first paper for Greek Mythology. Hooray! And prepping the 2nd. School is so much easier when all I have is 4 jobs and a couple of composing gigs to worry about.
I'm thinking of taking a Music Theory Course before I make the final decision on Grad School for Conducting. Though it has made my life very happy recently. (Well, conducting and composing for the Pipe Organ....yeah, good times.)
I hope I can really do this.
Morning: Gounod "O Divine Redeemer"(Baritone)
Afternoon: Paul Bowles, Bolcon, Herbert Kingsley (Pianist)
Evening: Radio Theater (Composer/Conductor)
Friday: Radio Theater (Composer/Conductor/Pianist)
Sunday: Church (Organist/Conductor/Pianist/Composer)
(debuting my first Prelude and Postlude composed for Organ - Hooray!)
At some point I need to write a paper, read the last 100 pages of The Odyssey (I'm reading the Lattimore translation this time, so its a lot more fun) and figure out how I'm going to take classes this summer.
Eleven years ago, when I decided I was going to move to NY, this is almost what I had in mind. Getting there, getting there...
I hope Spring helps.
830a to 1130p - I am booked solid. I even have a phone conversation scheduled during a car ride. This will be intense. But, I think I can do it.....I think I can. I think I can.
Is that Spring I smell?
Yesterday kicked my ass... just a little bit.
There was church, a meeting at Starbucks, a meeting with one of the Private Ear Audio Theater writers, followed by a voice lesson, followed by more church, ending with an all character probing episode of Big Love. I made it to work at 445a today but, everything else was pretty much cancelled thanks to old man winter.
No complaints from me.
Nehemiah Special Congrats to Dustin Lance Black, Heath Ledger, and Sean Penn. I didn't see Slumdog Millionaire - The Academy thinks I should. I attempted to study Latin and watch simultaneously. This would have worked had I not also decided to chat with my buddy, Ned, down in Texas. It was well worth it.
The Apartment overhaul is going well - going to look at color swatches on Tuesday.
To sleep I say. Quality Weekend.
PS: I rented Pineapple Express. Why was I not warned of its sub-par-ocity? Welcome back, Tiger!