24 November 2012 § Leave a Comment
I like the routine of writing a birthday post. It’s too late for me to write real substance now, but, especially since my birthday always falls around Thanksgiving, I really appreciate the chance to thank everyone in my life on this occasion.
Thank you—thank you—if you’ve been a part of my life in the last year. It has been a great year in many ways, and a very challenging year in many ways. I have so much to give thanks for, and so many people to thank. All the happiness I’ve ever experienced is thanks to someone, or many people, and I never forget it. I can’t do justice, in writing once a year, to what all of you do for me, so I only hope I mostly succeed in showing my profound gratitude and love through (most or all of) the year.
30 September 2012 § Leave a Comment
Hace mucho que no escribo aquí…
It’s been a long time since I’ve written here. For those who don’t know (it’s hard to tell what readership this site has that extends beyond the circle of people I see and email with), I moved back to New York a few months ago. I’m starting a new job tomorrow, working with Youth Organizing to Save Our Streets, a project of the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center. (To read more about YO S.O.S., scroll to the bottom of the black “How It Works” box on the center of the page.)
I plan to start writing regularly again, so please check back or subscribe by email using the “Follow” button in the bottom right corner of this page.
13 February 2012 § Leave a Comment
9 February 2012 § Leave a Comment
I spent much of the last two weeks in a recording studio. I wasn’t cutting an album (I’m not this guy), just recording voice tracks for a CD and software that will accompany an English textbook, but I still think that’s pretty cool. An American friend of mine, who did the female voices, and I recorded a combined 2,500 tracks—some as short as “one,” “two,” “three,” etc.; some as long as multiple paragraphs—and 40 dialogues for animated scenes that will be online for kids to watch. In addition to reading 1,200 phrases, I played the parts of Michael, a kid, and Waca, a robot, in the animated scenes. Those of you who have heard me speak anytime in the last eight or nine years can imagine how absurd it was that I had to try to sound like a pre-pubescent kid, and you can imagine my relief when, after a couple days of struggling through that, the sound technician (who usually records music, not spoken vocal performances) decided to play around with running my voice through his machines and raising it a few octaves. In the end, Michael and Waca sounded nothing like me, which is how I wanted it. Anyway, I had a really good time through the experience. Here’s a snapshot:
13 January 2012 § Leave a Comment
Isa and I left for vacation on December 14 and returned Wednesday. I’ll have a post or several up eventually about our vacations. This post is just to say: I’m glad to be home—even though my standard for what is “home” is slipping these days. We’re “home” in that we’re in Bogotá, although we’re sleeping on a mattress in an empty room in the house of family friends of Isa’s. But the mattress, and the fact that we’ll be here for at least a week or two, mean we can sleep well and settle in a bit.
I did the math today: From the night of December 13 to tonight, January 13, Isa and I will have slept in 15 different places, including five apartments and houses, seven hostels and hotels, a tent, a pair of hammocks, and benches in an airport. Over that month, we will have spent a full two weeks on/in a combination of air mattresses, hammocks, and sleeping bags.
Anyway, it’s good to be “home.”
24 November 2011 § 2 Comments
I turned 23 today. It was a very normal (but nice) day: Two students didn’t show up to class, I had another class, I went climbing, and Isa treated me to a perfect pizza dinner.
Almost a flashback of last year.
This was my second (and second consecutive) birthday I didn’t spend with my family. It was the first time that my birthday fell on Thanksgiving and I wasn’t with my family to celebrate the dually special day. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to be with them; it would have been really nice to be in New York.
But I had maybe the greatest phone call of my life, a video chat with all the family and friends gathered at my parents’ place. My cousins, especially, are awesome, and it was so special to see so many of them at once, even via video stream.
Last year I marveled at how much had changed in my life over one year: From 21 to 22 I spent a semester in college, graduated, spent a summer in New York, moved to a new country, started my professional life, made a whole new cast of friends, and started the relationship that would soon change my life.
From 22 to 23, much smaller things changed. I changed apartments, have made some new friends, and have sought and found new kinds of work. Luckily I haven’t lost any friends, or let too many fade too far.
But the life I began building from September to November of last year continued this year. Isa moved in with me one week before my last birthday; we’ve now been living together for a year and a week. My English teaching took me to editing, then to writing, then to journalism. My Spanish has improved a lot. I’ve embraced my life—here in Colombia, as a freelancer in a range of related fields, as a devoted boyfriend and an attentive friend—not as an adventure, but as real life, with the good and bad that comes with that. It’s been overwhelmingly good.
All this comes down to: thanks. If you’re reading this, you’re probably one of the people who has made my life so far what it is. It’s a joy. It’s more joy than anyone deserves. A lot of people who deserve joy like this don’t get it. I’m painfully aware of that, and I’m equally aware that so much of my happiness is due to things outside my control, due to the kindness of good people with great hearts.
Thanks to all of you: my perfect parents, my irreplaceable sister, my dream of a girlfriend, my rock of an extended family, all of my friends without whom I honestly couldn’t get through each day, and the army of people who have believed in and encouraged me every day of my life. I stand on your shoulders whenever I do anything, and I try to reflect and honor your love every day.