by 13 Stoploss
I've been listening to a lot of Shostakovich lately, and I heard this piece on "From the Top" tonight featuring some kids playing the 3rd String Quartet, Movement 3 by Dmitri Shostakovich. I couldn't find the audio in our nifty audio player, so you'll have to make dow ith the YouTube video. While the audio on this video doesn't capture the head banging depth of the piece, the video shows just how hardcore it is to play. Not sure I've ever seen 8th graders kick more ass than they are in this video...
This is my next CD purchase, SACD if possible.
I started this blog as an outlet for transition. The goal has always been to document the change in a soldier’s life from being a rigid and structured machine of obeisance to an educated and freethinking do-gooder with a unique history. It’s been a while since I “DX’d” my rucksack for a nifty REI backpack but I still find myself attached to the world I’ve left behind. No matter how many times I try to bury the past, I find myself digging the same hole, as a crutch or lean-to for support, in conversations and writings because it is what I know and what I am familiar with. What I’ve never wanted to be has suddenly become the thing I am (was). I accept that it is inescapable as the truth because it is the truth. And now, what else is there? I want to build a new future disconnected from the past and I think it’s going to start somewhere in here.
This is my semi-reflective rant on the year finished, but truthfully, it’s been a pretty damned-good year. I finished my last semester at the Community College with a 3.64 transferrable GPA and received an Associates Degree in Arts, Cum Laude. I was also accepted into UC Irvine to study Literary Journalism. In terms of prestige, UCI is one of the better schools on the west coast and is only shadowed by giants like UC Berkley, UC Los Angeles, and USC and Stanford. I finished my first quarter with two A’s and one B.
In the past year, my art photography has really taken off. I’ve jumped from “good beginner” to “serious amateur” in a world where there is no line or distinction to denote “professional.” My protest photos have appeared in online magazines and newspapers, and my first exhibition (not solo) was a success. I now feel like I have the confidence to submit my portfolio to journals and galleries across the country. Everyday with a camera is a learning experience and I successfully shot two weddings and two engagement shoots during the summer. Unfortunately for my wallet, the collection bug has bit me and I now have a plethora of interesting and useable, albeit expensive, cameras lying around the house.
In 2009, I celebrated eight wonderful years of marriage to my best friend. She’s so cool, she bought me a Rolleiflex… We also welcomed a beautiful young lady into the world and it has been such a joy to experience fatherhood with her that I missed with my son.
In the blog world, it seems that I’m kind of a source for the whole stop loss thing. I’ve gotten tons of emails and blog comments on the compensation back pay issue, and was also interviewed by the New York Times concerning the same. On the Post-9/11 GI Bill, I was interviewed by a reporter for the Associated Press and have documented the issues and shortcomings of the Veterans Administration from an interesting perspective. At school, I had my first article published in the school paper, and it received a warm response.
On a personal level, I paid off the wife’s 4Runner and bowled a 289 in Wii Sports. I also took my family on our first vacation—a drive to the Pacific Northwest to visit two sets of old Army friends.
In 2010, I want to shoot more film, and get paid more for my work. In the next few weeks, I’ll be working with a Broadway singer who is readying his first solo project (with new music by Schwartz and Sondheim, among others). I’m also readying my family portfolio to become the exclusive photographer for my wife’s OB/GYN. Next summer, I’m going to concentrate more on getting my work submitted for review by other galleries and publications. In words, I have a few projects that are slowly moving forward, such as “Chasing War.” Maybe Suspect and I will get something going on that project we wanted to make some cash on… School starts again tomorrow, and I have five successive Quarters of Espanol to dread before graduation sometime in early ’11. Let’s hope the Post-9/11 GI Bill and that Stoploss back pay compensation go smoothly from here out!
To do list and resolutions:
- Stop losing weight
- Sleep better sleep without the alcohol
- Start the VA paperwork...