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Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

Subject:Writer's Block: Back to School
Time:8:11 pm.
What fictional high school—from tv, film, or a book—would you most like to attend? Or would you rather never go near high school again, fictional or otherwise?
West Beverly High School
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Thursday, January 1st, 2009

Subject:On Vox: Catching up with Brad
Time:3:24 pm.
View Star Cat’s Blog

The realization that I hadn't blogged publicly in a while is almost annoying. It's not hat I haven't had the urge to, but between work being hectic and the fact that every time I read my last blog so I...

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Sunday, August 24th, 2008

Subject:On Vox: All things life interrupted
Time:11:08 am.

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My last blog was a little disinheriting.
I lost my Mika. I keep saying to myself that she is now running around
with her sister and two uncles, but this weekend I lost it. I guess I
never had the chance to process it. I kept myself busy as much as
possible. I went to work the next day and dove in and focused, and the
weekend I stayed as busy as possible. Kim processed last weekend. I
knew she needed her alone time but I guess I wasn't ready. This weekend
she is at work, so I am by myself. I woke up yesterday and looked over at
her night stand and her box is there. I didn't even realize that Kim went
and picked up her ashes. As soon as I saw it, I lost it. Tears
filled my eyes, and all I could remember was the weeks after picking her up
from the cattery 14 years ago.

Mika was so beautiful when we picked her up at 10 weeks. She was so tiny
I put her in my shirt pocket. She would find me every night and fall
asleep on my chest. After a week when she didn't seem to grow, we took
her to the vet and found she was harboring two parasites. We nursed her
back to health and she started growing like a weed. Unfortunately, she
was traumatized by us giving her medicine so she never did sleep on my chest
again. She became this skittish cat that would only be petted when she
wanted comforting. She did get better as the years went on, but she
remained tightly wound until she knew you. She loved her sister Mali
though. Any chance, she got she would curl up next to her. Mali would
tolerate it for a while, but then she would usually take off. Mali was
the alpha and knew it.

A few weeks ago, Mali started losing weight. She didn't act any
differently other than staying in her box a little longer than usual. We
did see her eat, but I noticed when she would come on the bed for her
nightly TLC I could feel her ribs. That was how we diagnosed Mali with
cancer, so I of course was frightened. Kim took her to the vet and we
found out she lost a tooth and had the roots just hanging out in her
mouth. They became infected, and the vet put her on antibiotics prior to
surgery. It went just as expected. The medication extinguished the
infection and the surgery capped the hole in her mouth. She began to eat
like a horse and she took her medicine without any issues. She even
started playing with her little brother.

On Wednesday, August 13 she went to the beauty parlor, the groomer, and
according to Doug, her stylist, she did not act any different than usual.
Just to give some background, Doug is the only known person I know that was
able to pick her up without her crying for help. She really loved him and
he was fond of her. On this day, everything was going well, so we
thought. This groomer was highly investigated prior to us using
them. We do that with vets, and groomers. (This should be no
surprise since we do not have children. Our cats are our children.)
The pets are individually checked on every 10-15 minutes. I guess Doug
went to check on Mika and she was flopped over on her side. She usually
does not do this at the groomer so he was a little concerned so he opened up
the cage and she wasn't breathing. He picked her up and ran her over to
the animal hospital a couple of blocks away. Another associate
immediately called Kim and told her and of course she dropped everything and
high-tailed it over to the animal hospital, and actually got stopped by a cop
on the way. (No ticket, the cop understood.)

At the animal hospital they intubated her and brought her back. She
looked to be fine, and then she coded again. Kim called me and I also
sped to the animal hospital as well from Brandon. They brought her back a
second time, but she was brain dead. Kim wanted me to be able to say goodbye,
but when she coded the third and last time, she told them to let her go.
I didn't make it. I got there in record time, but when I rushed into the
room she was covered in a towel. Kim was holding her and petting
her. She was gone. I completely lost it. She was getting
better and then suddenly she was gone. I didn't know what to do, I just
picked her lifeless body up from the table and held her.

She was my Mika, the one who would only get her TLC if I was on the
bed. The one who cried at the door of our condo in DC when I was left for
training, or when I got sent here. She slept in my shoes when I wasn't
around. I am just as lost as last April when Mali's light was extinguished.
My heart hurts, my appetite is next to nothing and the only thing that brings
me out of it is work.

Anyway, so that's the story. I am not sure any of you actually wanted to
read about it, but of course I do not do this for other people. Well not
most of the time.

Love, Life, Peace and Success!!

"Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in heaven where the
love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they
are happy." - Eskimo Proverb


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Thursday, August 14th, 2008

Subject:On Vox: And then there were two
Time:2:58 am.
View Star Cat’s Blog

I can't believe she's gone.Mika MinusJune 26, 1994 - August 13, 2008I will miss you. I know you are now with your sister and that is a good thing.I love you.

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Sunday, July 6th, 2008

Subject:On Vox: A Fairy Tale
Time:11:24 am.
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Once upon a time...isn't that how all fairy tales should start? Well, I was witness to one of the most beautiful and heart warming fairy tales this past weekend. I was honored with the privilege to stand up at my cousin's wedding. Now by standing up, it usually means a best man or one of the groomsmen right? Well, my cousin being the unique member of the family he is, decided that all seven of the groomsmen had the official title of Best Man or Best Men as it were. I asked him how he came up with that idea, he told me that everyone of the guys were very important in his life at one point or another. He couldn't decide. However, as the one and only family member actually standing up I was put in the position in the ceremony as best man, but we all new that was the only reason. The wedding weekend had three events, the rehearsal dinner, the actual wedding and Sunday Morning Brunch. The rehearsal dinner was more of a roasting. The poor bride got roasted something awful but her friends and family, but she also got a lot of praise. We started with a quick rehearsal and then got down to business. I also was privileged to be the MC of the affair which was a pure blast. I called up the speakers, roasted my cousin a little, told some off the wall jokes while awaiting technical difficulties with a DVD presentation and just plain had a great time. The food was amazing and everyone was smiling and laughing. It was held at a place called Pinstripes in Northbrook, Illinois and it had Bocce ball. Don't ask me what Bocce ball is, we were having too much fun to even think about it. Basically I found that my Aunt and Uncle know how to pull off a great party. The next day was the wedding and when I look back at the experience all I can say is WOW!! As one of the 'Best Men', I arrived a couple hours early for pictures. (Yes, in a Jewish Wedding, it does not matter that the bride and groom see each other prior.) The crew at Chicago Botanic Gardens were putting the Chupa together and the bride, Lisa, looked incredible and Eric, the groom, looked as happy as I have ever seen him. Smiles from ear to ear. They started taking pictures and a thunderstorm came in and rocked the tent. The crew had to move all the chairs and the chupa with lightning speed and I saw the wedding planner turn white with worry. I tried to calm her down by telling her it was actually a good thing that it was raining. It was luck for the marriage. Yeah, it didn't help. It cleared up for a while and we took some amazing shots around the gardens against backdrops of water and different types of foliage. The two photographers were a lot of fun. Still, thunderstorms kept passing through and between that and all of the different pictures this was the only time I saw Lisa get a little frazzled, but when it was over and we all went inside for the signing of the Ketubah she was all smiles again. The Ketubah signing was wonderful with the Rabbi all smiles and educating us on the history of the Jewish marriage contract. The Bride and Groom sign, of course, the parents and two witnesses. Then it is framed and put on an asile under the chupa for the ceremony. When it was time to line up for the ceremony, we noticed, the wind died down, the sun came out and scene for the wedding was, well....perfect. The guests were seated on cushioned chairs, the flowers on the chupa were highlighted in sunlight and everyone just looked radiant. We all walked out so proud and ecstatic Eric and Lisa were joining together that the smiles were involuntary. Six of the guys were out side of the chupa on stage right and I was underneath along with my aunt and uncle. Lisa's sisters were underneath stage left with her parents and the other five women just outside the chupa. Obviously, the Rabbi was center underneath upstage of the alter (table with candles and stuff), and the Bride and Groom were underneath downstage the alter. The Rabbi did the normal prayers we here at most weddings but he really did a nice job when he went into his speech about what marriage was like and how it should effect the couple. He used analogies that were personalized to Eric and Lisa. Eric and Lisa both do marathons and triathlons and travel. Lisa loves Dancing with the Stars and the Rabbi effectively used all of it., so much that she had a hard time not giggling, but it was very cute. After the ceremony was complete, we had cocktail hour in one of the gardens which was great. The bride and groom came out and walked around which took the place of the receiving line. That....was a great idea. The wait staff came around with amazing Hors d'ourvers like scallops, crab cakes, sushi, and mini cheeseburgers. Usually, wedding appetizers are real crap but I swear these were delicious or maybe they were better because there were three full bars around the garden with all the good liquor and wine. They had Grey Goose, so that's all I needed. When we finally went back to the tent the tables and the band were setup. The tables were square which was perfect, and the plates were those beautiful Japanese style square plates. The food was amazing, prime rib and a blackened salmon with an a gratin potatoes and steamed squash. It was delicious. The cake, actually...it wasn’t a wedding cake but a tree of cupcakes from their favorite bakery. What an awesome idea. Different kinds too, like banana chocolate chip, chocolate, vanilla, carrot, and a few other frosting and cake mixes. The whole thing was set-up so the bride and groom could actually enjoy themselves. We danced a few numbers between each course and after the parents made speeches and the bride and groom said a few words, it turned into just a huge party. The ten piece band was amazing and we just rocked out. After a little while of dancing and sweating Kim and I took a little stroll by the water and just listened and out of the corner of my eye I saw the wait staff carrying trays again. I wouldn't believe it if I didn't see it. They had this miniature ice cream cones with waffle cones and they were good. I never saw that before and then I was trumped again. They came around with flutes of milk and warm chocolate chip cookies. Have you ever even heard of that? So, as you can tell, it was amazing and it was a fairy tale. On our way home, it thunder stormed again. Yeah, that is right...it stopped raining long enough for the wedding and it started as we all were departing. I think the wedding was made to happen. Something or someone bigger than all of had this wedding in mind. The brunch was very sweet. Grandma Phyllis did a wonderful job and everyone came. It just was an amazing weekend. The next episode I hope to put up some photos of the first couple of photo shoots I have done. Till then.....Love, Life, Happiness and Success!!!

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Sunday, May 18th, 2008

Subject:On Vox: The Spanish Panic
Time:11:32 am.
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I was honored to be in the chorus of "Los Gavilanos" at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center last night. I witnessed an amazing ensemble of talent brought together for one performance of an art form that, for all things considered, is dead here in America. It is labeled a Zarzuela and I can only define it as a Spanish Opera. What I do love about it is that it is very positive. No one ever dies, and it always has a happy ending. While it might be trite, simple and might seem to be irrelevant, the music and lyrics are amazing. The company brought in the two leads, Raphael and Ilyia who had voices that made me cringe with envy. They both have traveled the world singing and have CDs and live a very good life doing what they life. Of course there were other incredible talents as well, Noemi as the ingénue, Anna and my partner Rosemary as the sisters, Tara as the friend, Renee, Roberto, and of course the spectacular Jorge as the town leaders. These were all extremely memorable performances. Noemi has a voice that will move your heart in ways that could never be understood. The most interesting story comes from the Tenor of this story. A contract went out a year ago for this performance to a professional out of Mexico; Leonardo. Well, when he showed up he was a little unprepared which due to the extremely condensed rehearsal process really unnerved some of us. Three days before the performance the producers of the show decided to replace him with a Humberto which we were hoping was going to happen because you haven't heard a tenor until you have heard Humberto sing. He took this role he learned in three days and turned it into the most spectacular display of emotion and music of I have witnessed from back stage. Humberto literally brought tears to my eyes during a scene when he is pleading with Noemi to elope and run away with him to escape her being sold to a loveless marriage. It was an experience and a half for me. I was in the chorus, a narrator and a featured dancer but still very minor, and it was totally worth it. Prior to this performance I was honored to be a part of a cabaret at Maestro's also at TBPAC. It was basically a fundraiser and a replacement show for Gigi which could not be done because it became too expensive for the company. So they did an afternoon lunch for their season ticket holders. They called it "April in Paris" and it was a set of songs with French origination. A couple of numbers in French and Spanish but the rest were in English from Les Miz and Phantom and of course Gigi. It was fun, but unfortunately I was the weak link in the ensemble. I don't know what it is. I can jump out of a plane, be stuck in a war zone, lead a team of people through an extremely difficult project, be completely naked on stage, but for some reason I can not gain any confidence in singing solo in front of an audience. When I sing at home, I swear to you, it sounds good and sometimes really good. I just have this inferiority complex about my singing and I cannot seem to get rid of it. I know if I can just relax it would sound just as good as anyone in that ensemble, with the exception of Humberto, and well, Jill. I am not exaggerating I swear. I know how I gained confidence in my acting, I did a lot of it. Unfortunately, you have to be good to be in a musical or a cabaret but to get good I have to perform more and be prepared to fail. Who is going to hire someone that needs the experience? And Karaoke…forget about it. I could sing with a piano no problem, but tracks on a karaoke machine throw me. Does anyone have any ideas? I think that should do it for this episode. Remember to tell your friends and love ones that you love them. It will mean a lot to them and you, because life is short. Don't let the obstacles of life stop you from what you want to do. Love, Life, Happiness and Success!! -Brad “Our ultimate freedom is the right and power to decide how anybody or anything outside ourselves will affect us.” - Stephen Covey

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Saturday, April 19th, 2008

Subject:On Vox: Life can be too short
Time:11:38 pm.
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I woke up pretty excited today. The plan was to hang out at the Outback Pro-am and be outside and hang out with some friends. I was finishing some emails and playing with Mogwai, who turned 1 today, when I got a phone call from my friend Carl. After a bit of yammering and catching up he then dropped the bomb that changed something internally. Basically, a brother of good friend that we have in common, lost his wife on Tuesday. When the news spilled out of the phone into my ear I literally lost my footing and hit the ground. Talk about a shock. Then the aftershock. This didn't happen because of an auto accident, or an illness that could possibly of been forecasted. She literally sat in a chair, had a heart attack and died. Twenty-nine years old with no history or family history of heart problems. Nothing to indicate that this could happen. My friend was at his parents’ house and couldn't seem to contact her, and of course just thought she was busy, but when five o'clock rolled around with no phone call and no email, he headed home. He contacted his neighbor who had to jump a fence and break into the house, called 911 but it was too late. Three thoughts came across my mind. 1) How is he and what is his state of mind? 2) Where is he and who is with him? and 3) I am glad I am not him. I felt guilty about the third thought and that it came so quickly. I was assured it was normal, but it really didn't make me feel better. I cannot even fathom what he is going through. After a couple of texts and voicemails to his brother, my friend, I was told the story and where everyone was. So, we showered and left. Three hours later we walked into a crowded house in Vero Beach where the mood was light, but somber. I saw my friend who I haven't seen since he and his wife and son left for Chicago. Carl and family and the rest of this clan, but no sign of my friends brother. Later on he walked in and I hugged him. I gave him every last bit of healing energy I could. "If I could take your pain away", I thought, "I would." We hung out and just enjoyed the company. I felt good he had so many people around that cared for him and wife so much. I just don't feel good for him next week, when everyone goes back to work and he has to spend so much time with nothing but his thoughts. It really made me think though. It is so important to tell the people we love how much we care for them, and how much they mean to us. All of them, from you significant other, all the way to the person you work with that you tend to connect with. Then, it's time to get affairs in order. Who would it affect if you died tomorrow? How would your bills get paid? Who would end up being responsible for them? Is there someone you wish to take care of in the event of your death? How do you want your body dispositioned? Do you want to donate organs? What if you were determined to be in a coma and the outcome is bleak that you will ever come out? Do you want the expenses to pile up on your loved ones or do you wish to be terminated? All these things sound morbid, but they are very important. My family has a lot of longevity. I have blood relatives who are over 90 and still golf eighteen holes three to four times a week. My family has buried more centurions than I can count. This being the case I always thought I had time, to figure a lot of things out. Mary dying the way she did, shows me there are a lot of friends I need to talk to and a lot of affairs I need to get in order. Wow...I am just still in shock. Mogwai turned one year old today. Tomorrow is the first anniversary of Jamali's death. Today I mourned with my friends for a family member. Tomorrow I sing at TBPAC. If that isn't the epitome of an emotional roller coaster I don't know what is. Do me a favor, please? Hug your significant other. Tell your parents you love them. Mention how much your friends mean to you. You never know if you will ever get the chance again. Life is too short. LOVE, LIFE, HAPPINESS & SUCCESS!! -Brad

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Monday, April 14th, 2008

Subject:On Vox: Quick Blog before work
Time:7:08 am.
View Star Cat’s Blog

The blogs are going to get more frequent I hope. Just to catch you up. We went to Andy and Jesse's wedding last weekend. It was a blast. We shared a room with Craig and Erin which was a first. We got a long great, we ate well, and saw an amazing ceremony. It even took me back to Fiddler since Jesse did circles around Andy. Of course she claimed it would get her too dizzy so Andrew split the seven circles with her. Yeah it was quite entertaining. They both got up and sang at the reception and we all know what a wonderful singer Andy is but who knew that Jesse had a pair of pipes as well. She was great!!! So bar a few transportation problems the wedding weekend was really nice. Work has been extremely busy and challenging of which I am still really having a good time. I am back in rehearsal for a couple of concerts. I am singing a couple of solos for a benefit at TBPAC and singing in a the chorus for a Spanish Opera called Los Giliantos. I am putting my phonetic skills to the test. Now the big challenge: everyone knows I have problems following through on things I do myself. If other people are involved or its work related this problem is non-existent, but when it comes to me, I let myself down more often than not. So, I am challenging myself for 90 days. I started a home workout program called P90X and it is just as tough as any workout I did in the military. I am just working so much right now that I am not getting in any exercise so I started yesterday with the first workout about noon, and this morning was the second at 5. This is when I start thinking about quitting because I am so sore. If I can just get through the next two weeks I will not be as sore after each workout and the dizziness and nausea will subside. So I figure if I let you all know what I am doing, then maybe Ill trick myself into thinking I need to follow up because I am staying accountable to you. I just feel old right now. I go to work, I come home, or maybe rehearsal I go to bed. That's my life and on the weekends, I watch movies and do household crap. I am tired of it. I want to start living again. So, here is where I start. Maybe it will work maybe it won’t. SO TODAY: Plyometrics - its basically a lot lateral jumping and a lot of squats and lunges mixed in. VERY TOUGH. I made it all the way through except for the last set where I was starting to feel dizzy and sick. So I stopped. No problems next week Ill do the whole hour. Yesterday - Chest, Back and Abs. Made it through all of the chest and back, but really felt sick about 3/4s the way through abs. Just the first couple of days. Next week I wont have that excuse. Ok, so have a wonderful day and week everyone. LOVE, HEALTH, HAPPINESS and SUCCESS!!! -Brad

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Thursday, March 6th, 2008

Subject:On Vox: An amazing revelation
Time:9:02 pm.
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When was the last time you can remember actually being excited about going to work? Can you remember? Has it ever happened that you wake up prior to the alarm going off wondering if you were going to be TOO EARLY? I have to tell you that for the last four weeks, I have been in awe of the motivation and pure focus that has engulfed me.I started this position with an open mind, but I have to be honest it was a little bit of a salary cut, so I considered using it as a stumbling block. That, ladies and gentlemen, has completely been washed by the pure excitement I have for this position. Are there stressful days, long hours and situations I would rather not be in? Of course, but it's challenging and the people I work with are amazing. Let me give you some background. First of all, I have the title of Program Manager of the client facing team for the Infrastructure Consolidation Program at JP Morgan Chase. I know, I know the first thing your probably wondering is, what the hell does that mean? In simple terms, I manage a staff of four team leads who each have a team of eight project managers. We have the responsibility of migrating over eight hundred clients from older, legacy platforms to upgraded and more secure systems. I not only have the responsibility to make sure that all of our resources are taken care of but I only interface with technology, product and sales teams in order to move the clients within a specific time frame. Basically, all of the clients are my responsibilty to be transitioned over the course of the project. It is a huge challange and with also helping to lead the technology team to create a tracking tool that specifially meets the need of the program the challanges just keep getting more plentiful. And you know....I am happier than I have been in a long time at work. It's not that I haven't enjoyed my other projects, but it has been a really long time since I have been this happy at work.So, it finally answers the question, can a huge paycheck make you happy? Is financial security worth being miserable 10-12 hours a day, no matter how long the project is? Sure, I am not making the amount I was making in New York, but I am happy and it's worth it. There is only one more thing that would make the way my life is more complete. To be back on stage again. To go from being excited at work to a rehearsal and acting again, well that would be....hmmm....I don't know if I can put that into words. Maybe I can....I would say it can be defined as.....ORGASMIC!!!!Love, life, peace and success!!!-Brad

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Saturday, February 9th, 2008

Subject:On Vox: Interesting Opinions
Time:6:06 pm.
View Star Cat’s Blog

Things have been kind of quiet on the "Brad Front" lately. Unfortunately, it gives me time to ponder, and that, my friends, is never good. With the new presidential election on the home front, the war still taking place and...

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Sunday, January 27th, 2008

Subject:On Vox: Coming Clean
Time:4:01 pm.
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Interesting experiences have been intruding on my life for the past 6 weeks and it is obvious I have not blogged or have had the ability to mention it to a lot of people. I think I bottled it up because I really didn't think it could happen and in a way I am still trying to process everything that has happened. So, here is my attempt to look at it from another viewpoint and in the process put it out there. I perceive that sometimes if I do not write it, then maybe it isn't real. So here goes. In our last episode, (why not start with comic relief), I broadcasted I got a new job in New Jersey right near the city and it was supposedly the best thing that could have happened. Well, I was so excited about the company making good decisions quick and the did. When I walked in the door the first day, I was handed a laptop, a badge, and all the accesses I needed. I thought to myself, "this is incredible; I usually have to wait up to two weeks to get everything I needed". So my perceptions were correct, this was a company that had it's act together. Within the next week, I had a project that needed to be started and I had the resources to get the initial project charter off the ground. I thought things were wonderful, except for the fact that this was more of a swing shift company. I would walk in to the office around 8:30 every morning and the lights were still off. Most of the workers did not walk in until 10am, but they would work until 8pm regularly. This was the downfall. I knew as long as I held this position I would not be performing. I accepted it and thought, "ok I'll do this for a year and get everything paid for and squared away and just look for something else, of which would allow me to perform. The coming weeks were not fun, the environment was productive but cramped. The glass conference room I was interviewed in was the reception mirage, but the rest of the working spaces were like sardine cans. This company was very big on meetings face to face, but for 350 employees they had 5 conference rooms so it was very hard to hold meetings. I improvised by using lobbies, and restaurants and the hotel next door. Things were going really well.. I rented a condo in Hackensack, that had never been lived in. So, new appliances, new house smell, plenty of windows and it measured around 1600 square feet which is pretty much the size of my house in Tampa. I was really excited. I rented furniture and got hooked up with Verizon Fios and even had the ability to work from home occasionally. Right before Christmas, I was able to get my project charter approved and I was finishing the risk assessments and preparing to assign resources when I was introduced to the resource manager for the east coast region. Nice guy, Sergio was his name. He pulled me into a conference room and right after a little chit-chat he then went on to tell me the company made a decision that for the new calendar year they needed to alleviate some capital so they were downsizing 10% of all the consultants across the globe which would free up close to 10 billion dollars. Well, I was last in so I would be first out. The first thing that came into my head and out my mouth was, "Hey, do you realize that they hired me knowing I was making a huge move from Tampa? That I just invested 15 thousand dollars on the move?" He said he was sorry, that this was the first time he had to do this and he would have to do it 35 more times before the end of the following week. I really was flabbergasted. I didn't know how to react. I was torn between relief and despair. I really wasn't crazy about the environment and I couldn't perform no matter what, but this was my break, a chance to get out of debt and put some money away. Then there was the fact there were going to be 35 more people that were going to experience this exact situation. So, I headed home to Tampa, and I just couldn't tell anyone. I was ashamed. I shouldn't have been, it was my fault but I felt like I made it the city and then failed, AGAIN!! I went about everyday looking for new opportunities, but letting everyone believe I was working from home. I didn't even tell my Dad until after the holidays. Good news was, I was able to perform on the tour of Best Little Whorehouse in Texas with Spanish Lyric Theater and while I thought the show was less than perfect I still enjoyed being on stage, dancing and singing. It really was a blast to do. We were in Miami, Kings court, and Ocala and witht the exception of Miami, all of the audiences were really appreciative. Standing Ovations followed every show(again with the exceptions of Miami). So, it was a lot of fun. I also. started skydiving again. I completed the first round of 8 in the Advanced Freefall course. I took my first dive, without a tandem on my back, but with instructors on both sides. They let go when I pulled the cord to open the parachute and I had to pilot it back down to the Drop Zone. I cannot possibly explain the euphoria that hits when you jump out of a perfectly good airplane. It is a rush beyond all rushes. During AFF, which is 7 jumps, there are specific requirements that have to be accomplished. I can only imagine what it is like to jump out on my own and just relax and enjoy the ride. I will continue through all 25 jumps and get my license. Unfortunately, I have not been back up yet. I hope to really soon, but with the tour and finding a job and not to mention, I hit a little hard on my first landing, because I didn't listen to the radio my instructor was guiding me with, so I twisted something. I hope to get back up there this weekend or the following weekend. Speaking of looking for a job, this is what is killing me. I actually started working for JP Morgan Chase on Thursday as a program manager. This is a step up in career progression, but since it is here in Tampa, it does not make nearly the money I was making in NYC. Well, I am also waiting on an offer from Ernst & Young and if that happens I will be back up in NYC. Just in case I needed to take this job here. Problem is, I like it. Yes the project ends in October, but there are so many avenues after that can be followed within Chase that it is hard to think about leaving. Plus, I hate leaving so quickly after taking the job. Ernst and Young are offering more than double and it help, but who is to say what happened at NYK wouldn't happen at E & Y? So, I am torn. I determined to wait until I have a written offer from E & Y before I even think about it. It is just easier said than done. Other than that, things are status quo. The cats are great, Kim is doing well. She hates her job, but I think we took care of that today in a discussion over breakfast. Now the only thing is to make this decision, if there is one to be made, and move on to a performing project if I can find one. I will put a video of my AFF jump up sometime soon. Love, Life, Happiness and Success!!!! "You see, in life, lots of people know what to do, but few people actually do what they know. Knowing is not enough! You must take action.” - Anthony Robbins

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Sunday, November 11th, 2007

Subject:On Vox: A Whirlwind of Life Changes....OMG!!!
Time:12:49 pm.
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So, I'll start this the same way I told my friend Kelly. "Who is the last person in the world you thought would move to NYC?" Yeah, that's right ME!!!! It happened so quickly I thought I was in a...

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Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

Subject:On Vox: Everything Changes
Time:8:02 am.
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Here it is again, almost two months since I publically blogged. I swear every day I have experiences that I want to share and in my head the words are there and the inkling to share them. Of course something comes up the words leave and nothing is written. So, what happens, I am finally bursting at the seems with information overload and I end up writing these 5 page blogs, or I sit down to write and everything I want to share refuses to come back to me. Well, let's just see if I can get everything I want down this time. First, let's catch up with Brad and see what he is up to: Not a lot! That is the status and to tell you the truth, IT IS KILLING ME!! I need an performance project so bad. I can feel the skills leaving me by the day. I haven't performed since Cabaret and it is the longest break in three years. That's right....I haven't been out of rehearsal or performance since August of 2004 and now I have been without a project for 6 weeks. I am dying here friends. If you know of a project let me know please cuz I really need something. It must be an addiction.. I never really thought of myself as having an addictive personality, but I am starting to wonder now. Maybe I am addicted to the theatre, I guess there could be worse things. Anyway, the break did give me an opportunity to actually get certified in Project Management. Remember last time I mentioned going to DC for a class that Northrop Grumman sent me to? Well, I took the class studied my little ass off and passed the test. This turned out to be one of the greatest academic achievements of my life. I never was a good student either in high school nor college. Pretty mediocre. This time, with only a four day review class and 3 weeks of passive studying and three days of intensive I actually passed a test that only 38% of the people who take it pass on the first time. AND I did it ON MY OWN!! To a lot of you, well probably most of you, this isn't the most groundbreaking achievement, but to me it was huge...HUGE! So now I am Brad Minus, PMP. Project Management Professional. Oh, just to give you how much this means in my corporate life. I immediately put it on my resume and put it out on Monster and I am literally getting 5-10 opportunities sent to me per day and all with a 50% pay raise. I am a happy happy person. Speaking of work, let me tell you the gifts I got after coming into work the day after the test and everyone finding out I passed. I received massive praise from my team. The emails that came through were all so heartfelt, my customer even gave me a huge hug with is unlike her, everyone was just wonderful. Then there was my boss. He doesn't have his certification and we have different methodologies about handling this project. He brought me into a conference room, told me congratulations and then removed all responsibility from me. So, now I am a highly certified, highly educated, highly experienced Administrative Assistant. Not in title mind you, but in duties. It took a week or so, but I finally got the point where I just say yes sir, no sir and only do an eight hour day. Meanwhile, I am being submitted for jobs with a hefty pay raise, my own office, responsibility for my own team and budget and most of them are a lot closer. Hopefully things will happen here in the next couple of weeks. I will keep you posted. Leah and Sammy were in town for a week and I only got to see them for a few minutes, but they both look amazing. Leah, got to perform her dream role in Joseph which you can catch on You Tube. She was amazing. Sammy is now doing a show where he playing both and Elvis Impersonator and a John Denver Impersonator. I wish I could see it, because I think he is going to be hilarious. Wendy sent me a pic yesterday and he looks very funny. I wish them both the best of luck. I can only imagine after spending a summer performing as much as they did that they couldn't help but get so much better. Can you imagine doing two equity runs in just the course of a summer? Heaven, just heaven!!! I just wish the theatre would compensate them a little more for all the work they are putting in. I just want to say a quick thank you to all that made it to the bash we had here for Kim. She was amazed at the amount of people that showed up. I am so incredibly grateful to all of our friends who care so much about her that they would find the time to come out and celebrate her birthday and her new job. She started by the way and I think she just may enjoy it. Speaking of friends...I might have gone on about this in some of my earlier blogs, but I feel like I need to re-iterate a little. There is nothing like cast mates. I mean truly. You get so close to people in shows, because you have to give yourself to them in order for them to trust you. When I am on stage I have to know that my fellow cast members have my back and me theirs. Well, the benefit to gaining that trust is close relationships. Even if I haven't been in a show with that person for years I still hurt when they hurt, get angry at things that may happen to them and of course am ecstatic when good things happen. I would do anything for my friends and when situations change for the worse I want to be there for them. Now, I do not know if people feel the same way I do. There are definitely actors I have been in shows with that don't care about me that way, but it's not the love you receive in this world that will make the difference it is the love you give. To all of you (and you know who you are) I love you. My friends are my life and I am here for you no matter what. I wish I had more contact with a bunch of you, but know that if you need someone from the infinitesimal amount to the extreme I will try my damnedest to give everything I can. Okay enough of the soap box. Yesterday was a tough day. It was Jamali's Birthday and the first one I celebrated without her here on earth. It was kind of interesting, she brought something out in me I just didn't know was there. I never thought that I could be connected to a presence as I am to her. I grabbed a picture, her ashes and lit a candle and just stared and thought about her for a long while. She had more of an effect on me than a lot of humans. Well, I gave a treat to my cats, 9 lives wet food...yeah they love it. And then I found myself pulling out paper plates and putting down wet food for the feral cats we have in the backyard. I wasn't even thinking, I just started doing it. It was like I was on autopilot giving tribute to Jamali by giving everyone food she loved. Then of course we treated ourselves to Kentucky Fried Chicken which of course, she loved. She used to sit in back of us just waiting for us to tear off pieces of chicken and hand it to her. She could smell it as soon as it was brought home. So now, two days a year we make it a point to have KFC. September 21st, her birthday, and April 20th the day she passed. If you ever would like to share these days with us, everyone is welcome. Just let us know so we know how much to pick up. Mogwai and Mogley are doing great and Mika is having the time of her life with the boys. She still complains a little but deep down I think she likes them both. Mogwai is actually starting to channel Mali I think. He just has some quirks where he acts extremely similar to her at that age. Maybe there is something to this reincarnation. I mean he was born on April 19th and she passed just after midnight of the 20th. Hmmmm. Or maybe I am just imagining it. So, that is about it. If anyone has a performance project they need help on let me know I need something soon. The Jocker has not started yet due to some space issues and I screwed myself by not going to auditions because I thought that the minute I found something rehearsals would start. Well, now I guess I have to take my chances because I really need something. Love, health, happiness and Success!!!

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Saturday, May 19th, 2007

Subject:On Vox: More New Experiences
Time:11:04 am.
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The last couple of weeks have been charged with new experiences. If you know me, then you know, that is my drug of choice. New experiences, whether it be pleasant or not, allow me to feel alive.

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Sunday, April 29th, 2007

Subject:On Vox: AGYG
Time:7:44 pm.
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Tis' the end of another show. "Annie Get Your Gun", was an amazing experience. It looked at times that we were not going to pull it off, but by the sure fire will of the director, the production team and the cast we did it. I have to say we did a great show and the audiences looked as though they had a wonderful time, which in the end, is all that matters.

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Saturday, April 28th, 2007

Subject:On Vox: Overwhelmed
Time:3:25 pm.
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I usually pride myself on my ability to deal with stress. Not that I do not stress, but my ability to compartmentalize and use it to my advantage. Lately, I am having a hard time dealing with it all. My new job, Mali's death, the show, the upcoming shows, my personality inadequacies, financial obligations, etcetera, etcetera. How is it that all of the sudden my emotions are not in check? They are always controlled and only used at my disposal. Now, they are peaking at the most inopportune and unnecessary moments. I was watching a ludicrous, mindless, teeny bopper movie, "The Ten Things I Hate About You" and all the sudden I am overcome with emotions. I am feeling Kat's pain and Cameron and Patrick's desperation. What the hell? After all I am a guy right?

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Friday, April 20th, 2007

Subject:On Vox: Jamali
Time:11:47 pm.
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Jamali MinusSeptember 21, 1991 - April 20, 2007

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Saturday, February 17th, 2007

Subject:On Vox: Hopes, dreams, fears and success
Time:12:15 am.
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Happenings

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Monday, February 5th, 2007

Subject:On Vox: 2007 - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
Time:1:32 pm.

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2007 is coming in like a lion. Not a nice, sedate, lick-your-face
lion. A ferocious beast with no control of the desire for
hunger. He hungers for my throat right now.


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Tuesday, October 24th, 2006

Subject:sensitivity
Time:11:10 am.
Mood: creative.

The weekend shows went off without a hitch.  We had a couple of good audiences and I didn't get anything but great compliments about the show and my performance.  I am very happy with where the show is heading.  My friends Larry and Alex came last night and they were pleasantly surprised out how good the show really is.  So, obviously that made me happy.

A funny thing did come out in the Watermark News.  An article was written about the theatre and I was quoted all over the article.  The weird thing was I didn't remember talking to anyone.  I mentioned how I felt during the opening night gala, but the words that were quoted were just too choice for something coming out of my mouth spontaneously.  The more I looked at the quotes the more they were familiar to me.  Then it hit me.  It was my blog!! (see Twilight Underground)  This author copied and pasted quotes from my blog and used them as if I spoke the words right to him.  Crazy huh?  An even funnier reference was that he said and I quote, "'Sincerity can be tricky,' said Bradley (who doesn't us his last name professionally)..."  Isn't that a riot?  Not only do I use my last name all the time, but I never use Brad-LEY for anything except legal signatures.  This was in the printed version of the paper.  I always like to archive the digital editions for my own memoirs, so when I pulled up the website he version was different.  He used "Bradley Minus" which still is wrong, but at least it wasn't totally incorrect.  My next question, was how would even think my name was ever "Bradley"?  Like I said other than legal documents I never use it.  Then I looked at the blog again, and my dearest Kelly left a comment and in the most heartfelt comment she kiddingly used my full name.  So, not only did this reporter copy my blog, but also used a friend's comment to assume my real name.  What is going on in the world these days?  Are people getting this lazy?  If you want to read it Click Here.

Sensitivity is something guys really do not like to admit to.  I am empathetic and sensitive and sometimes it gets me into some trouble.  Well, I felt a little drop in energy during some scenes with a co-star of mine, so I wanted to talk to her about it, because I thought maybe I was doing something wrong, or maybe my sexually charged personality had offended her in some way.  I emailed her basically describing what I felt. I told her I really like her as a person and I thought we had become good friends during the course of the run and I really like working with her.  Then I professed my concerns.  Well, she basically said that I in the evolution of the show that my inflection was changing on some parts and that I was getting more touchy feely with her and it was throwing her off.  She also admitted to not being as good, because of lack of experience and that she hasn't gotten to the point where she could just roll with the changes.  So, I made an appointment with her to talk about it so she could be more comfortable.  If I could just give her what I was thinking as the character maybe she could deal with the evolution a little better and she would be more comfortable.  Well, she came in late because of work, which is fine.  Unfortunately, in the tense moments of getting ready for the show, she didn't even say a word to me.  I really thought I did something wrong again.  So, during the show, I kept my same intent and intensity but I just didn't touch her as much, because that is what I thought was throwing her off.  Little did I know, because this was yet another change, she went into a tirade during intermission.  We had an extremely intense disagreement, but luckily being the passionate artists we are we worked it out.  We hugged and made up and now I think we understand a little more where we are both coming from.  This was a new experience for me.  I have never, ever had drama during a production before and I damn well wasn't going to let it happen this time.  I am just happy we were both mature enough to get it out and not let it spoil the rest of the show.  I really love working with her, and I hope to do it again in the future.

I have some other news, but it is going to have to wait.  I am not ready to divulge it yet and I have to get going because I am meeting my cousin Ali and her husband for lunch.  It will be wonderful to see them. 

I hope everyone is enjoying their week.  Don't forget to come see Twilight of the Golds at Gypsy.  Click here for details.

Love and peace to all.

The office of drama is to exercise, possibly to exhaust, human emotions. The purpose of comedy is to tickle those emotions into an expression of light relief; of tragedy, to wound them and bring the relief of tears. Disgust and terror are the other points of the compass. - Laurence Olivier

 

 

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