Reminiscing on 2013

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I will remember 2013. Mostly for good reasons I suppose. A couple of highlights would have to include being father to Joelle and Corinne and seeing their continued success in school – Corinne is quite athletic and has recently showed some interest in soccer, but we’ll have to see how that goes as she is a little intimidated to start. Joelle is starting to feel more confident in math and continues to strive for evermore ambitious art projects, be it origami, making bracelets or drawing.

Deanne, who I still love and adore, has been working hard to grow her company Stemetrix. She has partnered with our dear friend Dwayne Irvin and they are off to a good start. I am hopeful for her new project and looking forward to her continued success as well. We are still hoping to make it out to Costa Rica one of these days – will 2014 be our year?! I think so!

My brother has relocated to Twain Harte in Northern California and is quite happy there with his young family. They have some property and are settled in very nicely. I am hoping to visit him in the new year, maybe over the Spring break. Marianne as been hard at work in Asheville and is the resident expert in her field – along with comes the respect and safety of being gainfully employed! I am so proud of her. The nieces are both teenagers now, and I have my hopes and fears for each of them – it is safe to say that they are both strong willed women and full of potential. Please continue to make good decisions and be honest with yourselves.

As for myself, I am enjoying working from home again (although I still do not have an office of my own). It is enough to be able to have breakfast with my wife and daughters and then be productive in the work place for the best company in the world, Avanade. I am grateful for extremely intelligent colleagues, so many I can’t event start to name them all.  I thoroughly enjoy my work and am starting regain the wonder I had with IT when it first came to me in my lat 20’s. SharePoint is just the beginning of my IT adventure as I am branching out into DPM, HyperV and F5.

As for music, this year was the first year I played a Stick Night with Emmett Chapman, Kevin Keith and Dale Ladouceur. In fact, I played 2 Stick Nights with them (UnUrban and The Guitar Merchant). I also reconnected with my first beloved Stick teacher Don Schiff who is a fantastic musician and mentor.

I have rekindled my love of music and of the Chapman Stick, putting my PM skills to the test with the inception of the Free Hands Academy. Over the course of 3 days, we hosted 19 students and 6 teachers this last Summer and our 2014 offering is looking to be spectacular with the biggest names in the Chapman Stick world. The event was a dream come true and I am hopeful for the continued growth of the project. I will be planning my second FHA Stick Night on Monday, January 24 at the Packing District in Anaheim during the 2014 NAMM show which will feature Steve Adelson and Emmett Chapman. There may be more special guests – I have one more up my sleeve that I cannot disclose at this time!

I have met a fantastic percussionist / vocalist / producer named Gina Ferrera who is based right near where I live – which has been a miracle. She is very good with Ableton and appreciative of my songwriting / arranging skills. We are having a great time growing our musical repertoire and expanding her existing set of songs. We are both moving in the same musical direction and hopefully, we’ll have a set to play come Friday, January 24 at the FHA Stick Night in Anaheim. I am hopeful to rekindle playing out as a soloist again, perhaps at the Lorimar Winery where my dear friend David Cohen has made an introduction for me, what a blessing of an opportunity!

I have been reacquainted with some great old friends this past year including Miles Tackett, Ian Voyagis and Marco Paul. Marco and FangFang had their first child, a daughter. What a beautiful thing, I am so happy for them. Some other babies that were born this year would include Caleb and Whitney’s beautiful little boy – so happy for them too! My brother in law Scott and his wife Chantel had their first babies as well – twin girls!! They are fantastic each in their own right. How lovely it is to have babies int he family again, I look forward to seeing them each time we meet which is never enough.

There is still much more to write, but it might take another year to do so. I am grateful for so much and looking forward to 2014 with hope and eyes wide open.

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