Contract Work

Monday, January 2, 2006

It’s only the second post and I’ve already upset my New Year’s Resolution to make this a truly daily journal. Ack.

So, anyway. I’m actually writing this post on Janaury 4th. But it’s all about Monday, January 2nd — the most 9-to-5-ish workday I’ve had since moving to New York for school.

My first semester out here, I chose to avoid getting too entangled with for-pay projects. I’d saved enough money from working at BMC in Austin to coast through until the end of the year without any worries. I’ve still got a reasonably healthy bank account these days, but I feel settled in enough to be able to pick up a few contracts without losing out on my experiences with ITP or the city. Especially during the winter break.

So this morning at 11 I had my third meeting with Jack Gottlieb, an older composer of Jewish liturgical music, choruses, classical music, and musical comedies. Dan Shiffman, one of the ITP faculty, mentioned to me a couple of weeks ago that Jack needed some web assistance, so we hooked up and I’ve been helping him spruce up his site and put some audio clips online (at, if you’re interested). Nothing major, but it’s been neat talking to him and seeing his large Upper West Side apartment just a few blocks from the Natural History Museum. After we met the first time last week I walked along Riverside Park up to 112th Street to grab a late lunch at Tom’s Restaurant (famous both as “Monk’s” from Seinfeld and “Tom’s Diner” from the Suzanne Vega song). Tom’s is just a normal diner. Nothing special, other than all of the Senfeld memorabilia on the walls. But good enough. Afterwards I dipped my head into the largest cathedral in the world, just down 112th — St. John the Divine’s. (This sightseeing occurred last week. Today I went directly to my next appointment in Alphabet City.)

My second appointment of the day was with Michael Jascz, a friend of Adam Asarnow, another ITP student. Michael runs a small web-based business selling books and recordings by spiritual-sexuality mentor David Deida. We chatted for a couple of hours, brainstorming ideas for helping the visibility of his website ( and just talking about improving the whole thing in general. So we’ll see where that leads.

Anyway, I’m happy to be in school and concentrating on my own learning for a couple of years, but switching back into old web-contractor-businessman mode for the day was fun. Hopefully I can keep a steady stream of work coming through during the semester…