NEWS FROM MY LIFE
May 9, 2010
Sooner or Later
The previous blog entry notwithstanding, a lot has changed sinced I last typed an actual entry. Kieran was born, learned to crawl, learned to walk, turned 1, learned to talk, learned his ABCs, learned to count, turned 2, and now is the most awesome little 2 1/2 year old I know.
Our jobs have remained the same for these past few years, except that Pen Ying's church is about to complete it's long, slow march toward closing its doors in only a few weeks. Public school teaching, while never known to bring about fame and glory, has become much less respected and appealing as a career, now that NJ's new governor has launched a campaign to dismantle the current school system. I'm grateful that music has not been at the top of the chop-list in my district, but only time will tell how this ends.
We still live happily in our modest home, here at the crossroads of NJ's major roadways. Life is quite good and we are content.
Not one to be satisfied with mere contentment, I do expect big changes in job, living, and family situations for us in the coming years. That isn't meant to be cryptic, just to point to our long-term goals, and the inevitability of change. Sooner or later, even perfect little toddlers become crazy teenagers!
November 1, 2008
Me: Will I ever continue this blog?
Myself: Is there a point to keeping it going, or does NOT posting just show that I actually have better things to do with my time?
I: Well, does following the Election coverage on every major TV and internet news source "count" as something better than blogging?
Pen Ying: I can't wait until the election is over!
October 6, 2007
8 Weeks left till our baby arrives!
We are excited and anxious, and ready to finally see him.
We've been doing a lot of speculating about his personality, and what he'll look like,
so here's a list of what we've decided he'll be like, based (of course) on what WE'RE like.
As I've learned from my 5 years of teaching, the apple never falls far from the tree...
He'll be a cute, dark-haired, hyperactive, agressive-driving, big-footed, foul-mouthed musician with bad gas.
I guess that about sums it up!
July 17, 2007
Summer and Winter
Several big things have transpired since I updated this last.
I'm actually going to harp on the smallest of these three things,
but that just means that you'll have to call me to find out more about the other two!
Biggest news first... Pen Ying is pregnant and we're expecting a little boy.
We're very happy, and although our life is already starting to change,
it's pretty much for the better (ie. We don't go to Starbucks every day anymore. Hooray!)
The Baby is due on November 28th.
Next, Pen Ying had a 'short' (month-long) stint in Florence, Italy,
playing for a summer opera workshop with some folks she knows.
Be sure to see her million pictures, and ask her how much she likes procsuitto and melon now.
Finally, I had the pleasure of taking a short 2-week trip to Argentina and Uruguay
with a choral group from NYC. The most important part of this story is that
while it was the balmy peak of SUMMER here, it was the frigid peak of WINTER there....
Aaaaaah, let's just skip the story!
THE MORAL IS:
ALWAYS wear warm clothes when you travel to a winter destination.
BECAUSE, your luggage WILL get lost!
Some interesting facts I learned about Argentina and Uruguay:
1. Hello is simply "Buen Dia."
2. You can walk anywhere in Buenos Aires, as long as the sidewalk isn't completely disintigrated.
3. The great Pampas (grasslands) of Argentina have a full 5-7 feet of topsoil! (Compared to our 1' at most)
4. Uruguayans actually believe that Tango was born there.
5. There are 10 times as many cows as people in Uruguay. (ie. 30 mil cows)
6. Uruguayans are happy to accept any currency, regardless of the country. But they LOVE U.S. Dollars!
7. Everyone in North, Central, and South America considers himself to be "an American."
8. Although it rarely snows there, winter is STILL winter, and you should NOT WEAR SHORTS!
December 31, 2006
What do you really want to do with your life?
Is this a list of New Year's resolutions? Not really.
Pipe dreams? Maybe. Life goals? Sort of.
Mostly it's just the "things I want" -- the things that define me and what I do.
I might get to some of them, or all eventually, but regardless,
these are things the motivate and excite me, and would give me great
satisfaction and pride... were I to do them. So, unlike a "resolution" that must be
maintained or completed to be successful, I don't HAVE to do ANY of these.
But if I do, I'll certainly be happy!
1. I want to play in a professional orchestra.
2. I want to go hang gliding.
3. I want to hold a political office.
4. I want to inspire kids.
5. I want to be the life of the party.
6. I want to build my own house.
7. I want to be a professional jazz musician.
8. I want to tango.
9. I want to visit every country in the world.
10. I want to speak a dozen languages.
11. I want to be a skilled investor (and get rich!).
12. I want to have a successful internet business.
13. I want to research my family history.
14. I want to compose and publish music.
15. I want to get a master's degree.
16. I want to own my own music store.
17. I want to have kids.
18. I want to excercise regularly.
19. I want to party.
November 18, 2006
Now that I'm at the very unexciting age of 27, I find that there's too much that
I want to do and no time to really accomplish anything! I'm a tenured teacher now,
which is a plus, but that doesn't make the demands of teaching any less. My hobbies
(in a nutshell: music, computers, and several languages...) have grown into epic quests
with no end in sight. For instance, how do you become fluent into a foreign language
while working full time, fixing up your new home, and spending most other waking hours on the NJ Turnpike?!
Personal dilemnas aside, we have lots going on these days, between concerts, parties, Rutgers football games,
and a growing addiction to Starbucks. We also managed to move a baby grand piano into our house last week,
after a full year of telling the previous owners we were going to take it.
In a final twist of comedic fate, we're getting ready to make 2 Thanksgiving dinners
this week -- one for 10 people, the other for 20 -- and our refrigerator just died.
That's right, it just quit 'cold turkey.'
July 30, 2006
We closed on our new home on June 7th, and moved in about a week later.
(It's the same house pictured in my March news below.)It's just amazing
to have so much more space (about 2.5X more). Plus, we can do whatever
we want to it, unlike an apartment, so we intend to. We knew we'd want
to paint most of it, but we didn't expect to go to all the trouble we did.
For example, we remodeled our master bathroom and in doing so
had to deal with tile, plumbing, drywall, and lights -- all new to us.
All in all, we're very happy and enjoying life back in New Brunswick.
Living on a corner at an intersection makes it all the more interesting.
Between police, fire, and ICE-CREAM trucks, we must hear 30 sirens
driving by every day. I had forgotten about that from my college days here.
Yep, soon it'll feel like we never left!
March 26, 2006
Buying the First House
Well, we have decided to purchase a particular townhouse that we like,
and are slowly discovering how annoying buying a home can be.
Without elaborating on all the details of it, let me just say that
it better be worth it in the end! I think the process involves too
many 'cooks in the kitchen.' You know -- 'spoiling the pot.'
We're patient, and we're flexible, but why does it have to be so
troublesome to buy a home! (Yes I know -- they're EXPENSIVE.)
Sellers, lawyers, realtors, inspectors, mortgage agents,
and a partridge in a pear tree!
February 22, 2006
Is Winter Over Yet?
Just to highlight the main things I've been up to over the past
few months, there was Chinese new year (January 29), when we had
some of Pen Ying's family over for a big dinner,... there was my 6th Grade
Band Winter Concert (February 2),...
And finally, a set of performances of "Voices of Light,"
a modern soundtrack to a 1920's silent movie, "The Passion of Joan of Arc."
The best part about it was the location: the Winter Garden atrium
of the World Financial Center in NYC, right across the street from
Ground Zero. The music was alright, although quite boring for us singers.
But the MOVIE was amazing. It's now one of my favorite movies of all time.
Go rent it on Netflix!
So that's it. I've been working, teaching, singing, and taking a
German conversation class again -- that class is a nice change of pace
each Thursday night. Lastly, Pen Ying and I have been house-hunting
for a few months now and are eager to find the right place and MOVE!
December 3, 2005
Here comes Concert Season!
December is always full of performances, and this year
is no exception. Here's a list of my upcoming performances...
December 9 - New Amsterdam Singers in Up-East Manhattan
A Christmas choral concert. I have several solos in one big piece.
Group website: www.nasingers.org
December 11 - New Amsterdam Singers in Up-East Manhattan
Ditto above (note: at Imm. Luth. Church on 88th and Lexington)
December 15 - my Middle School's Winter Concert
I'll be conducting my 8th grade Wind Ensemble.
December 16 - Christmas concert at Diamond Hill Methodist Church (North Jersey)
I'm in a men's vocal quartet for this one.
December 17 - "Canopus" Concert in Up-West Manhattan
This is a chamber singing group that's sings South American Christmas music!
December 18 - "Canopus" Concert in Up-West Manhattan
Ditto the above description...
That's it so far! Lots of singing, huh?
November 5, 2005
Well, We've been going through our regular school-year routines.
Wake up early, work most of the day, come home, go back out to teach, come home,
go to bed, repeat. Luckily our weekends have more interesting things going on...
Rutgers homecoming game was last weekend -- the most interesting
thing about it is that they won!
We still go into NYC on Tuesdays for rehearsals of the 'New Amsterdam Singers,'
a choral group that Pen Ying plays for and I now sing with.
(I have solos in the upcoming winter concerts!)
Also, my birthday's this week - 26. I still remember turning 13 (a teenager!)
Now I've lived to that point TWICE.
I'm also taking a German conversation class 1 night a week in Princeton.
It's great to get back into learning the language after a few years.
Ich kann immer besser sprechen.
With Thanksgiving coming up, we're hosting a dinner-party with a group of friends
from Rutgers, and then our parents for the real turkey-day. Gobble-gobble.
September 24, 2005
It's back to work for me!
I have a full schedule, between school, my private students,
and a show that Pen Ying and I are playing for the next few weeks.
See "www.actorsnetbucks.org" for more information on the show.
August 31, 2005
Our California trip is HISTORY.
We were gone from August 11th to September 1,
and visited most of the big cities/sights in Cali.
You can see some of the pictures online, at Photobucket: California
To see our where we planned on going
(we made it everywhere except Yosemite -- maybe next time!),
go to: California Dreamin'