Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Letting the days go by...

It's April already, eh? Kirsten is enjoying her second quarter at the UW. I've shed a few pounds over the Winter of '06 (now I hover around 165 lbs.). I travelled a bit over the winter, to Shell Beach, CA to see my cousin and his family and to San Juan, PR, on a business trip for SELECT. On both trips I had the opportunity to connect with members and branches of my family in ways that I'd not been able to previously, though not to the extent I would have preferred. The Puerto Rico trip, specifically, was all business...my days and nights were consumed with SELECT mentoring visits. My colleague Russell and I visited SELECT research sites in San Juan to observe how they conduct the SELECT clinical trial and to discuss the trial with them, answering questions, probing for potential issues they might have, etc.

Well, maybe "all business" is a bit of an exaggeration...I did take an evening walk from the Caribe Hilton (where Russell and I stayed) up to Old San Juan. I walked past the US State Park for
El Morro, in the evening just as the park was closing. I did get to have a criollo lunch with Russell in Urb Altamira...these things were nice, but I know that I need to get back to the island, that I need to stay for more than four days and that I need to learn how to speak Spanish!

It was exciting to hear the language everywhere and sobering to realize that I know so little of it. I could catch pieces of conversations here and there...to really carry a conversation I'm going to have to finally learn to conjugate verbs, something I completely resisted during my high school and college Spanish studies. For many years I've used the excuse that I couldn't learn the language because I've never really had to depend on it...this may be true, but I'll be 34 this July. I feel that every year I wait I'm making it more difficult for myself. Maybe I'm taking this too seriously...maybe not. Anyway, I need to go back to the island, and I need to learn some Spanish so I can talk to the Franquiz and Cruz family members who still live there. My aunts and cousins who've travelled to San Juan have told me about them...for my next trip I'm going to bring Kirsten and, hopefully, some actual Spanish fluency.

Right now I'm nervous, on edge, excited...a couple weeks ago I recorded location audio on an actual film set, muah ha ha! I served as sound recordist for my friend Jason Ryan, an independent director in Seattle. Over the final four days of March we shot some of the first scenes of Jason's forthcoming romantic comedy, "
Ugly". This recording was not the very first time I'd used a boom mic and Nagra tape machine...it was the first time I'd been on a set with grips, a director of photography, assistants running back and forth, dolly shots, etc. It was very exciting...I am scheduling some time with the Northwest Film Forum next week to transfer our audio tape reels to disk via Final Cut Pro. I'll work to keep you updated more often, blog audience...

I have to dash back to work but I wanted to let you know I haven't completely disappeared. I'm still doin' the day-job, still listening to
podcasts like Ken's Last Ever Radio Extravaganza, still enjoying being married, not playing bass as much as I'd like...some things are different, some things aren't. I hope that you're all enjoying the Spring, global warming and all. :) I'll try to post to this thing more often. Take care!