Je bekijkt de reis...
Reisverslag New Amazing Stories!
25 februari 2007
New Amazing Stories!
It has been a long time since I posted something on this site. A lot happened since, so I’ll write a little chronological story about my adventures of the past two months.
Let’s start with the annoying stuff…
In December, I had to do some more annoying things concerning my “file”; I applied for a Social Security Number for the 2nd time, after I had my I-94 document fixed, which was a fight against bureaucracy… Anyway, when I applied, the lady that helped me said that my date of birth in their system didn’t correspond with the one in my passport… How funny is that? First you have to do all this work to get something fixed, then you apply again and they discover another mistake… All this after waiting 3 hours in a waiting room, by the way. But she said they would try to fix it… After my visit to the Social Security Office I wanted to make sure that my file status would be corrected before I left the U.S.A. for winter break… So, I went to the airport to check my file, and there my data seemed to be correct. What the F? Anyway, I also had to get a “travel signature” on my DS-2019 form to be able to re-enter the U.S.A.. Although I was really late with that request, I got my documents back on time.
Oh, by the way, I received my Social Security Number in January… So that chapter of bureaucracy is over! Yes!~
Enough about these stupit matters. Time for some other stories.
I had to play for a jury in order to proceed to this (spring) semester. I had to prepare a tune and play it for them. All the Mason Gross (my school) jazz-faculty was there. That was kind of nice: I played “in your own sweet way” with Victor Lewis on drums, Stanley Cowell on piano and Matt Skversky on bass (he’s a student but really good..). Anyway, I ‘passed the test’; I got all A’s (highest degree). The only comment I got is that I should extend my range of playing (work on my high register). I succeeded in all courses; my degree-list of last semester (fall semester) consisted only of A’s… Vince is happy!
My winter break was all nice, as you probably will know. I spent my time in the Netherlands with my dear family, friends and girlfriend Afke. I had a great time, and lots of fun. Afke & me had a little new years party, which was also very nice.. plus the hangover.
I wrote a big-band chart over winter break, and finished it when I got back in the U.S.A., on January 14th. It is an arrangement of a tune of mine, called “Sonority”. Writing this big-band arrangement was an assignment, but also meant to be played. Which we did, of course. The “Mason Gross Big Band 1”, in which I play, performed my piece in a concert last Tuesday, Feb. 20. This was a nice concert that featured Edward Simon, a great jazz-piano player from Venezuela. The second half of the concert featured his group, including jazz-icons such as Seamus Blake and Adam Cruz. I got very positive response on my chart, everybody in the band liked the tune, and also the band director, Ralph Bowen. A couple of people came up to me and said “hey man, you should publish that tune, and I’ll play it with the high school band I’m conducting” and stuff like that. I am donating this tune to the StageBand, back in Groningen. I also want to see if I can have a lesson with Jim McNeely, and bring my arrangement(s) in. I’m going to send him an email soon.
They put me in ‘combo 1’ this semester, which means playing with Jonathan Blake on drums, which kicks ass of course. He plays with the Mingus big band on a regular basis, and has been playing with guys like Tom Harrell, John Scofield, Russell Malone, etc etc… heavy dude. He knows how to swing… Anyway that band is a really nice learning experience, all the players are good. We already had a little concert in the student center, that was quite nice.
In January, I spend a saturday in Manhattan with Gareth and Erin, just barhopping. That was kind of nice. Manhattan has a lot of cool places to go drink or just chill. Check out the picture made on Times Square. It was kind of cold that day. Oh – it’s still kind of cold: last week we had some days with -5 celcius during the day and -14 celcius during the night. Mix that with some wind and you get a freeeezing cocktail…
My roommate moved out two weeks ago, which is kind of nice, because I have the whole living room for myself. So I cleaned the house, and turned the living room from a disgusting venue into a place where you can hang out with friends and have fun. It was quite some work, but the result is quite nice. I got a TV from Matt, a real Zenith from 1981! And it still works! No remote control, unfortunately. This kind of sucks, because American TV channels have commercials every 5 minutes… no wonder they invented ‘zapping’ here. I thought that making my living room look nice was a nice occasion to throw in a party, which I did. Although there were not so many people, it was kind of nice. Check out the pictures of that stuff.
Another great thing was that Afke came to visit me in the States, last week (Feb. 17-23). We had a great time together, and made two nice trips to Manhattan. She also saw the concert on February 20th, and went with me and some friends to a real American bar… How exciting!
We had some Hoegaarden’ (the Americans pronounce this in a really funny way – in Dutch: “Hookujden”) whatever. It was MardiGras last week, so whenever you saw a drunk girl you would give her a necklace and she would show her boobs, hopefully. Something typically American. Luckily we didn’t ran into such girls that night. I would have been shocked, of course.
Well, That’s sort of it for now, I don’t really have other stuff to tell… I have to go to Manhattan more often, and visit concerts and clubs. I’ll try; but I have a lot to do here, practice, practice, practice. I need to catch up with my work; last week Afke was here, and the week before I was really ill; just lying in bed all the time.
Right now I feel better, I got a lot of energy again. So I need to put that into productive work!
All right folks, thank you for reading my stuff.
Sorry for my American writing style. Wazzup bro?
Take care everybody, keep it cool!
Oh yeah - don't forget to check out the new photos!
25 februari 2007 21:35 | Door: pietje bell
25 februari 2007 21:37 | Door: heintje
Hee vincent! wat een leuk verhaaltje zeg, Deksels!
26 februari 2007 13:12 | Door: Jolien
hee Vet leuk om ff weer van je te horen. Je foto's zijn echt mooi!! Hier in Wageningen ist weer mooi rustig. Lustrum was super goed verlopen! Ik ga volgende week weer sinds maanden vakken volgen. Dus heb daar wel weer zin in. Veel Liefs Jolien
9 maart 2007 18:28 | Door: Gertjan
eey vince klinkt allemaal nog goed en nice pica's! hoop dat je je nog goed vermaakt! kheb eerste week er ook opzitten op stage.. allemaal priiima te doen! woon erg relaxt. ey have fun. Spreek je groeten!
21 maart 2007 21:11 | Door: Rüdiger
Hi Vince, we met recently in NY at the Blue Note recording session of Conrad Herwig. Unfortunately you an Dave had to reach your train, so we only had time for a short beer at the belgian beer house. Your site is quite nice, looks cool. So have a great time in Brunswick and enjoy your stay to the full and stay alive and kicking, cu Rüdiger