Monday, May 26, 2008

Moving to Oakland

The house is about 2/3 packed up at this point. What an incredible undertaking to pack a full house after living here for 9 years. It's definitely been a great cleansing of both the soul and all the clutter I've accumulated over the years. Yesterday I had a garage sale and half of the house was out on my driveway and lawns. After it was over it didn't look as though I had sold hardly anything! But in actuality I got rid of a lot of stuff. Now today I pack up my car and take the rest down to Goodwill and donate it to charity. Hopefully the things I donate will land in the hands of people who will truly appreciate and need those items.

Saturday I performed in a "Battle of the Bands" type competition that was sponsored by Burger King--"Tu Ciudad, Tu Musica". What a funny thing to do, but fun nevertheless. I was invited by the event organizer to compete. We were the only latin jazz group. There were 5 bands "competing"; us--the latin jazz group consisting of myself, Murray Low, Mary Fettig, David Belove and David Flores, a merengue group, a latin rock group, another 70's sounding latin rock group, and a latin hip-hop group. Needless to say the hip-hoppers won the competition. But no matter. It was a fun experience and a great way to expose my music to a new audience. People seemed to really enjoy the music and I made a really good contact for booking in Chicago. Every experience is a great opportunity to learn more and meet new people and this was definitely one of those moments for me.

So two weeks left of teaching the children at the school where I work and then I pack up a U-Haul van and move myself up to Oakland. I am going to be living in an apartment/house near Piedmont and am very excited about the change. My new landlady--whose name is Cat!!--is a really great person and her house is beautiful. It is going to be such an adventure learning about my new surroundings and acclimating myself to the new environment. The prospect has me both scared and thrilled simultaneously. I'm really hoping that this change will spark more creativity in me and help me to connect more to the musical community of the Bay Area. Life is an adventure and I love it!!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Change Is Good

I'm in the process of packing up my house. This is a truly daunting task for me as I have lived here for a little over 9 years and have accumulated too many things. I constantly find myself reminiscing about this or that as I go through drawers, cupboards, closets, etc. My goal is to simplify my life and possessions and to clean out/throw away the things I no longer need or use. If I think clearly enough about this there really isn't a whole lot that I NEED to keep. But I am sentimental and so this cleansing process is somewhat painful for me. My oldest son Pat is also struggling with my readying to move. This is his safe haven and he doesn't want to lose his comfort zone. But I think the change will do us both some good. And besides, wherever I live he is always welcome!

My goal is to have everything packed up by the end of this month. I need to rent my house out and then find a place for myself in either the East Bay or in San Francisco. I really think I would like living in SF but for the parking challenges. I have been combing through trying to find the ideal location that allows for dogs and cats, has parking, is safe, and is located in an area with easy walking access to stores, cafes, etc. I know this is a tall order, but there are definitely some possibilities out there. Now the question is when to commit to a new place and how much I will be able to afford.

Change. I need change. I need to be in a place where the atmosphere is more vibrant and the music pulses with a stronger beat than here in San Jose. I need/want/desire/hope to be nearer to fellow musicians with whom I can work and play. And hopefully a change will spark more creativity within me. I feel that living in San Jose has begun to make me complacent and I hate feeling like this. But staying in the Bay Area for now is important for my career--at least for now...