Sunday, April 24, 2016

Father Time, Mother Nature

I just got back from a short trip home to Rhode Island, a trip that was supposed to serve as a little getaway in the midst of moving and too much chaos in my life in NYC. 

My trip home had been planned for weeks, after learning of my mother's recent diagnosis of dementia last month. I could've told you it was happening, but somehow I was still completely blindsided when my mother called to tell me. 

A scary dream involving my oldest sister caused me to call her this week before the trip. The worst of my fears had been confirmed during our chat; my mother's dementia is proving to be extremely progressive. I wasn't ready to hear that my father is also not doing well, having a bad fall in the shower a couple weeks ago, which left him there for hours until my mother called 911.

On Friday, I got into an accident in the parking lot of somewhere I hadn't even intended being. The accident caused my one of my backlights to get ripped out and completely non-functioning. The loss of light delayed my trip as I couldn't drive at night without the light. I took it as a sign that I needed to sit still for a bit, though I kept running errands and getting work done until almost 11:30 pm. I have yet to find my off switch. 

I finally arrived home in Rhode Island on Saturday after making my way through four hours of traffic. My visit was rushed, but I made the most of every moment. I went home to face my mother in this new chapter.

I have always wanted my parents' love and admiration, their approval and affection. But it has taken me most of my life to understand that's just not how they're built. This trip home, I went out of love instead of for love. Miraculously, I felt the most love from my parents almost ever. I was thankful for the time spent.


Much of my life has been spent trying to avoid becoming like my mother (mentally ill). I can honestly say that I have exhausted a great deal of time and energy in this regard. As my parents are now closer to the end of their lives than the beginning, my perspective has begun to shift. I just want to cherish every moment. With each passing day, I thank God for my Father, who I still have time with, and my mother, whose nature is irrelevant to the love I have for her.

Cherish your parents. Sometimes we put people so far up on an impossible pedastal that we don't appreciate them until they're gone. Don't wait that long. 

Monday, January 4, 2016

The Way Things Work

So I'm in the middle of reading "Timbaland: The Emperor of Sound" and he starts by talking about his childhood. He wasn't doing well in school and his father is telling him that music is just a hobby and that he needs to focus more on his studies. I could write a whole other blog on that, but some other time perhaps. 

Timbaland goes on to start talking about Thomas Edison & Benjamin Franklin as they were both recognized as doing poorly in school despite their life's great achievements. Thomas Edison, a notorious daydreamer, went on to invent the lightbulb, the motion picture camera, and the phonograph, which led me to another thought. I have two Masters degrees and couldn't tell you anything about how any of those things work. We get into cars everyday, with no real understanding of how any of those mechanics work (unless, of course, you're a mechanic) and drive without the slightest notion of how we're accelerating, braking, and so on. 

We have grown so technologically dependant (phones, GPS, etc.) and yet, I bet most of us couldn't tell you how any of the things in our lives actually work. We just use them without question, which I'm sure is hurting us more than helping us. 

We don't question any of it; we simply consume without informing ourselves. Now, I know what you might say, "How do I have time to inform myself how all this stuff works? I have to work, go to school, etc." And that's true, yes. But think about ALL of the things we simply accept in our lives, without question.

I say all that to say this. Maybe if we took more time to understand how things work, we would also be more mindful to understand how people work. In a time when people seem more hateful and judgmental than ever, perhaps a lesson in how and why things work would lead us to question the same about people. And perhaps, just maybe, if we took some time to get a better understanding of people, we would practice a deeper level of compassion and understanding. 

Perhaps the reason people are so divided lately is because most people are simply blindly accepting what is instead of questioning why it is what it is or what made it that way. Maybe we're getting closer to a time that in order to keep going, we have to start understanding the way things work. 

Friday, December 25, 2015

Thursday, December 3, 2015

If You Can Make It Here...

We all know the saying here in New York, "If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere." And do you know why that is? I've learned that almost every system in New York is set up for you to lose. What's more frustrating is that you'll lose even doing the right thing.

Over the last few years, I've had quite a few problems with the management company of my apartment, including a full two months of no heat in my apartment the first winter I lived here.

If you drive in NYC, you know the costs associated with driving reach far beyond gas, insurance, repairs, etc. Driving in NYC also includes risking getting exorbitant tickets that far outreach the violation. Accordingly, I pay to secure a spot in a lot since the average cost in tickets surpasses the cost of the parking spot.

I came home a little after midnight tonight and found someone parked in my spot inside my gated driveway. After a little deliberation, I decided to first call a tow company. Even if they couldn't help me immediately, they could lead me in the right direction. 

I also called the local precinct, which doesn't allow you to speak to anyone directly. I redirected myself several times through the automated messages and finally hung up. The tow truck driver had explained I had to get a summons on the car before he could tow it. They couldn't tow it without it. 

I called 311 as I was instructed on the precinct's automated message and reported what was happening. The operator assured that I was taking the correct measures by calling 311 to initiate getting the car towed. He took all the information and told me the precinct would be notified.

So I waited. And waited. And waited some more. I fell asleep for a bit in my car and was awakened by my neighbor who was leaving for work. He said cars have been being parked in his spot, too. I felt frustrated that this has been happening on a regular basis to people who are paying good money to be able to freely park. 

The police finally called me about 4 and a half hours after I reported the incident and arrived about a half hour later. When I explained I had my lease to prove it's my spot, they said that they couldn't give a summons because it's on private property. I asked them if they could offer me any other solutions. They said I could take a picture of the car parked in my spot and take then to small claims court. 
My management company has no towing company information in the lot and no emergency number to reach them. This system, in particular, is designed for good people to lose despite their best efforts to do otherwise. 

After living in two other states and having some perspective outside of my life in New York City, I can honestly say that New York is designed in such a way that the odds are simply against you. Look at the cost of living in relation to the rate of pay; many are living at the poverty level despite working hard at good jobs.

I look around often and wonder why people stay. I wonder why they struggle and endure the coldness of NYC. Last night I saw a homeless man covered in a blue tarp as he slept in the rain in the west village. I wondered why he would go through that here. But then I remembered my own experience being in transition without a place to stay, but still staying in my car to hold on to my dream. New York has a magnetism that many have experienced, but perhaps only a few can truly explain. Maybe they just stay so they can say they made it. 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Journey of a GemInEye

Wow, it's been 2 years, almost three. I had to dust off my blog and check in. A recent conversation about my blog got me to realize how much people enjoyed my blog when I was writing. But much like the title of my blog, "life is what happens while you're busy making other plans." Tis true!

I haven't been neglecting the blog for no reason however. All good things have kept me the completion of my very first full length album, "Journey of a GemInEye!" The album is available through all major MP3 retailers and physical copies are available by sending $15 and your email address via paypal to

In other news, I will be making my debut in TEXAS this March for SXSW in Austin, Texas. If you're unfamiliar with this festival, it's one of the biggest music and film festivals in the US. I'll have more news on this soon.

October proved to be a super busy month for me going into November. I started November off with a live television performance for the Bronx BETA Awards, where I took home the honor of the Encore Awards thanks to the studio audience. I've attached a link to catch some of the behind the scenes footage before my performance.

I'd like to get back into the habit of posting once a week/ every other week. We'll see what my schedule allows, but I know the importance of sharing my journey, my story.

Thank you to everyone who has taken so many steps with me. We're a long way from where we began and we've only just begun.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Guess Who's Bizack?

Hey y'all! I hope this blog posts finds you well. It's been a long, long time, but after a recent interview with Coco of Just Gimme the Mic at BronxNet TV, I was reminded that people actually read my blog! :)

When I first began blogging, it was more like a public journal than anything else. The truth is that I love to write and I really need an outlet. As much as I love the stage, writing can be even more cathartic at times. I've also learned just how much sharing my experiences has helped others.

It's hard to know where to start so I guess I'll just give a brief update on the latest and hopefully my writing juices will get back flowing once I start. I often tell others that it doesn't matter when or how you only matters that you start. So here we go..

I guess I've been writing less as a result of reading more. Yesterday, I finished reading "Amy, My Daughter" by Mitch Winehouse. It was akin to watching The Titanic, where you know the ending, but go along for the ride and the love story. As I closed the book, my heart hurt. Reading her father's account of her addiction to heroine, crack cocaine, and alcohol (...and Blake) was like watching someone ride the most painful roller coaster of a lifetime. As my family has their own history with drugs and alcohol, I couldn't help, but feel thankful that that our journey was never that tumultuous or painful. I still couldn't help but feel selfish and wanting more music from my muse as I finished the book. How could I be so selfish? The artist-fan relationship is complex and dependent. I've learned some of these complexities along my own journey with my music and artistry. None of it's easy.

The book inspired me to start planning a fourth Amy Winehouse tribute show, this time on her birthday in September, as opposed to Halloween or the anniversary of her death, which is approaching in July. I feel so compelled to sing the music she can no longer sing, the music that I truly believe pained her to sing at certain points. The thing about being a song writer is that your life is mostly your inspiration. When your life is riddled with addiction and heartbreak, it can be challenging to get up on a stage and relive those moments over and over again, as cathartic as it may have been to originally write the song.

I'm currently working on my upcoming project, "Journey of a GemInEye," which is all about the dichotomy of my personality...the contradictory, emotional, and confused parts of my journey. I attribute much of this struggle to the duality of being a gemini, but the truth is that I think that it's just part of being human. We make mistakes, hopefully learn and grow, and sometimes turn around and do it all over again. My song, "Back With You" depicts that very struggle of the definition of insanity, going back for more despite knowing better. All we can do is wake up each morning thankful for another chance to get it right...or at least "righter."

I'm ten minutes away from a Skype meeting with Act Won, a talented producer from Chicago, who's been wanting to work together for quite some time. Gigs, recording sessions, and just plain life have kept us from working together for a long time. I'm hoping that I'll be able to channel some of this energy and inspiration from my recent musings over my musical inspiration into this meeting and forthcoming music. I guess time will tell. Until then...
 Photo Credit: 3rd Rail Studios 
(Amy Winehouse Tribute Show 2012 at Funkadelic Studios)