|Posted on July 14, 2010 at 1:14 PM|
Well, I've been recollecting on some of my fondest memories of the last 25 years, and then some. A friend of mine pointed out an interesting idea last year when I turned 24. He said, "The day has 24 hours in it. So, on your 24th birthday, you have to try and remember something that happened in that year of your life corresponding to the clock. So when it's 12 in the afternoon, you have to remember something that happened when you were 12." So, I compiled as much as I could remember a year ago some time after he mentioned this. And now I thought I'd share some of it here with y'all. There are of course so many more things that I didn't write about in this recollection list, either because of time, because of space, because of lack of memory, or just for personal reasons... But one thing is for certain: A quarter of a century has gone by, and I'm still as old as my teeth and as young as my gums.
Born July 15th, 1985 in Good Samaritan Hospital of San Jose, California
1 Brother was born on October 5th. Too far back to remember anything else.
2 Too far back to remember anything.
3 Too far back to remember anything
Achiever Preschool, San Jose, California 1989-1990
4 Preschool: Vague memories of learning shapes and colors and playing on the school playground. Nap times in school, taking giant sized Waffle Blocks and building them around another kid in school. Watching “Star Wars, Episode 6: Return of the Jedi”, and being terrified by the scene where the monster eats one of Jaba the Hut's dancing girls and attempts to eat Luke Skywalker. At this age or one of my following ages, I began to play the piano by imitating whatever my dad would play. He doesn't read music, but he would always play these 4 or 5 simple tunes, like “The Pink Panther“ or the theme to the movie “Exodus.” Whenever that was, I also remember at this age or one of the following ones composing a simple little piece on the piano and my dad taking me to his friend's house who had a notation program that I could play his midi keyboard and it would put the notes down as I played.
Dove Hill Elementary School, San Jose, California 1990-94
5 Kinder garden: Vague memories of learning shapes and colors and playing on the school playground.
6 1st Grade: Vague memories of my classroom and dressing up as a ninja turtle for Halloween.
7 2nd Grade: Vague memories of my classroom and playing dodge ball on the playground. Also of flying off the swing and onto the
tanbark on the playground.
8 3rd Grade: Vague memories of my classroom and going to the school library. Watching lots of “Reading Rainbow,” “Transformers,” “Ninja Turtles,” “The Magic School Bus,” “Star Trek,” etc. and many other shows.
Valley Vista Elementary School, San Jose, CA 1994-95
9 4th Grade: Got a bible from a Methodist Church we attended at the time
Foothill Middle School, San Jose, California 1995-97
10 5th Grade: Began learning the Trombone because I wanted to learn the instrument that Commander Riker played in a few episodes of “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” Sang in the school glee club and had a featured part in the song “Joshua Fit The Battle Of Jericho.” I remember coming to school so sick one day that school year and I had taken some medicine. I got permission to go to the school nurse, but just as I was making my way out of class, I threw up onto the carpet. YUCK!! This was the first year my brother and I became exposed and influenced by the music of “Weird Al” Yankovic and began collecting all the music we could of his. He had just come out with his “Bad Hair Day” album, which featured the song “Amish Paradise” that was a parody of “Gangsta's Paradise” by Coolio. Started attending a nice church in Campbell, California, where my family then attended for the next 15 years.
11 6th Grade: Played street and roller hockey a lot. Sang “Bedrock Anthem” by “Weird Al” Yankovic in a school talent show.
August Boeger Junior High, San Jose, California 1997-98
12 7th Grade: Not too much exciting happened this year. I was in Boy Scouts and went to Boy Scout Camp that year. There, I learned “The Gumby,” which is a pretty cool trick with a hiking stick and met a guy who wrote a book about his adventures with God in lands far away from his home. I came back with lots of Mosquito bites. Met my best friend Josh this year in church.
Piedmont Middle School/ Junior High, San Jose, California 1998-99
13 8th Grade: Got a Trombone for my birthday (my very first one). A girl asked me to my first school dance!!!
Independence High School, San Jose, California 1999-2003
14 Freshman Year of High School: First year of High School, both in school and in Church. In English Class, we read “To Kill A Mockingbird” and “Romeo And Juliet.” I remember watching the movies for both. We watched the old movie of “Romeo And Juliet” as well as the more recent one with Leonardo DiCaprio. Watching the first one was funny because there's a scene where Romeo gets out of bed and all you see is his bare bum. I joined the High School Marching Band, which ran only in the first half of the school year from mid summer through December. The theme that year was George Gershwin since he had passed away around that time, I think.
15 Sophomore Year of High School: I began learning the Guitar this year and listened to lots of groups like Metallica, Led Zeppelin, Tool, Radiohead and Incubus. This year, my Grandmother passed away and I played Trombone in her memorial service to the tune, “There Is A Balm In Gilead,” which was her favorite Hymn. In English class, we read “Like Water For Chocolate,” “12 Angry Men,” “The Lord Of The Flies,” ”The Joy Luck Club” and some others. In Marching Band, our theme was Saturday Morning Cartoons like “Animaniacs,” “Looney Tunes,” “Merry Melodies,” etc.
16 Junior Year of High School: my favorite year of high school. This year I began to learn German and enjoyed every moment of it. In my English class we read lots of good books like “Of Mice AndMen,” “The Scarlet Letter,” “The Great Gatsby,” “The Adventures Of Huckleberry Fin,” “A Street Car Named Desire,” “Animal Farm” and maybe one other I can't remember. In Marching Band, our theme was Super Heroes. A friend and I performed "Faceless Man" by Creed in an end of the year talent show in school; he sang and I played acoustic guitar. The High School Musical this year was “Pippin,” in which I played Guitar. I got my first Electric Guitar this year with a Fender 25 watt amp and some cool effects pedals. Was early to school and sitting in my English class working on homework before school started when I first heard the news of the World Trade Center being hit. This was my High School band director's last year teaching and then he retired. I can't remember if it was this year or the next that I switched from Trombone to Guitar for the school Jazz Band. In the previous years, I played Trombone in the jazz band as well as in the school symphonic band and symphonic orchestra (busy, busy). One of these years of High School I also began playing Guitar and Trombone in church.
17 Senior Year of High School: This year I took my second year of German and applied for a scholarship to go to Germany for 9 months as an exchange student, which would take place the following year. Didn't get it however and tried to join the Army, but that didn't work either. I wrote a blues song for a German class project, which had to do with 5 points of interest in Munich, Bavaria. In Marching Band, our theme was Big Band Swing. I took Jazz Dance this year as an alternative to a second year of P.E.. We danced to Michael Jackson's "Thriller" and to "Cool" from West Side Story. The High School Musical this year was Grease, in which I played electric Guitar. This was the first year I became intrigued by the concept of composition. I began to listen to composers like Gustav Holst and Igor Stravinsky more than others.
West Valley Community College, Saratoga, California 2003 - 05
18 First Year of College: Began driving. Started attending college group at church. Went with my church college group to a Farm/Orphanage/Church community in Baja California, Mexico in January of 2004 to help with some simple labor projects and spend time with the folks there. I chose in college to be a music major, and the first Semester I focused on Trombone. I didn't like that so much and switched to a focus on music composition in the second semester. My first composition assignment was for the flute and my Ear Training teacher, being a professional flutist, worked on playing the piece and made a professional recording of it. She also gave me, as a gift, a copy of the score to Igor Stravinsky's “The Rite Of Spring” because I was always talking about Stravinsky. I think this was the year my grandfather on my father's side passed away.
19 Second Year of College: I went back to the Farm/Orphanage/Church community in Mexico with my church Youth Group in August of 2004 and then once more in January of 2005. I continued my second year of college as a composition major. I had a job in an ice cream store for 8 months from October of 2004 through May of 2005, but got fired because I just couldn't work fast enough. We always had to work alone because they couldn't afford having 2 people work at once. But at least that meant we got to keep all the tips. This was the year my Grandfather on my mother's side passed away.
Herrnhut, Germany 2005 – Present Day
20 On my birthday, I got to play 3rd Trombone in a big band that my Jazz band director put together specifically to record some of his jazz compositions that he wanted to send to a publisher. I didn't tell him it was my birthday, but he needed someone to cover the part and asked me about a week before. The band was pretty much comprised of local professionals. We sight read through everything one time, “to check for wrong notes” as my jazz director put it, and then played through everything a second time while we recorded. So, it was all done in one afternoon. I moved to Germany in September to a town called Herrnhut. Took a trip with some friends from Herrnhut to Israel and made lots of new friends there too. Spent June in Nuremberg during the World Cup of 2006.
21 When you turn 21 in the USA, then you're allowed to start drinking alcohol. So, I was in Germany on my 21st birthday and 5 of my friends surprised me after midnight and took me to my favorite spot in the forest and we drank Pepsi mixed with Brandy. That year, I went back to Israel with friends again. After returning to California for about a month from March through April of 2007, I returned to Herrnhut and brought my Trombones with me, the older of which I gave to an 11 year old daughter of a befriended family in Herrnhut, to whom I also began giving trombone lessons for a while until they moved to Dresden.
22 I spent 3 months back in California from the end of September through the end of December. This time was also spent translating the book “Mehr als Millionen” from German into English. The book is a biography of the life of Sabine Ball, who passed away a couple years later in 2009 in her 90s. On June 5th of 2008, I was able to give a nice concert of my own compositions for some friends. I had also began teaching music.
23 I landed in California right on my birthday from a flight to come see my mother who was sick in the hospital with the last stages of breast cancer and she passed away on August 1st, 2008. The memorial service was later that week, for which I wrote and performed a special song with two others who were friends of the family. I returned to Germany and began to take conducting lessons and led my first choir for a Christmas Market concert. I went to Israel for my 3rd time in January of 2009. Made some interesting friends in Herrnhut that were all musicians. On July 3rd, I performed a song that I wrote for a friend's wedding.
24 A couple of my students and I put on a Jazz Trio concert on August 28th just before I then returned to California for a visit home. Got my first cell phone ever. Began my first website ever, www.venturvane.com. Began to seriously seek out a publisher for my scores, but to no avail. However, I found lulu.com, which is a site that prints anything you give them to do so in the form of books, music, DVDs, etc. allowing me to become my own publisher. Had an article written about me in the Sächsische Zeitung newspaper on February 25th, 2010, in prelude to a concert given in Löbau, Sachsen the next day. This was the year of my life, in which Michael Jackson died. That unfortunately meant "Weird Al" Yankovic wouldn't have any new material from this "Prince of Pop" to parody.
25 Excited to see what this year brings.