Christmas was tough. I'm so tired of being away from my wife and daughter. It friggin sucks.
The only way I got through yesterday was playing flash games and watching Emily, Amelia, and the Rices (and Molly) open gifts. For some reason, it all hit me today. The sadness and lonliness. I'm pretty good at pushing my feelings down and away so I don't have to deal with them, but today was hard. I mean, I cried while watching "Roll Bounce".... Really?
Funny thing about that movie is it shares, albeit vaguely, some characteristics of my life. The lead character lost him mom (mine ditched when I was 9 or so). He and his little sister (I had my little brother) were raised by his dad who lost himself in the memory of his wife (she died, but mine left). The characters were also avid rollerskaters. I could cut up the rink pretty good when I was about 11-12 back in Huntington, WVa. I used to LOVE going to the rink and breaking a sweat while jumping up and down with Kriss Kross. I smile fondly as I look back.
Anyhow, just saying I'm down today. Can't wait to get back to my best friend and wife. She knows how to level me out and I'm in desperate need. I'd also like to chat with my squawky little wiggleworm too. She loves to shriek for no reason nowadays. Not sure what all that's about.
I put the "decks" away for a few days but I plan on working on a new mix soon. Hopefully less use of the 'cut' effect and more focus on seamless mixing. Gotta ease up on the hard cuts.
Cheers and Love for now -
Some words on it:
(1) I feel like I used the "cut" effect too much in this mix.
(2) The volume on the track is a bit high
(3) I feel like I killed the EQs a bit too much so will try to vary killing and gradually bringing them in and taking them out.
Aside from that, I'd really love feedback. If you like, say so! I you hate it...say so - but please say why so I can get better.
DJRedsamick 16 December Mix House and Electro by DJRedsamick
First, thanks to Maria (http://riasrhetoric.blogspot.com/) and her third grade class for all of the wonderful Christmas cards! They are awesome! I've posted them all around the office to help spread Christmas cheer to all of my Soldiers and interpreters who work on the ECP. All of your students have exceptional artistic skill. I wish to thank you and your students for their beautiful cards - especially to the kid who called me "Papa." :)
Emily put up some wonderful new photos of Amelia yesterday in her new bear snowsuit. She is so stinking cute! I'm sure she's like wtf, mate, what's all this getting dressed up about. But she is just...well, my cute daughter. Sometimes I look at pictures of her and study her features. I remember being home with her and Emily when AJ was born, but she's just grown so much already that I hardly recognize her. The last time I was with her, she weighed around 7 lbs. Now she weighs over 15! It's wild. I'm itching so bad to get home and be with both of them.
I also look at photos of Em and recall what it feels like to touch her face and look her in the eyes. I miss her so much. I can't WAIT to get back home and be with my best friend. We have so much to catch up on!
Right now we (I) are (am) trying to come up with ideas of what we can do while on leave next year. We both want a couple of days alone together and we both want to make a trip home. Aside from that, I have a lot to plan for! We set some parameters yesterday on how much $ we can spend and timelines and such, so that should make my planning easier, but it isn't. Right now, thinking past just being at home with my family is difficult. All I really want at this point is to be home. But never fear, I'm sure I'll come with something. Got any ideas?
As far as music, I've been really getting into Electro-House. Think David Guetta. You can also check out DJ Bl3nd's Youtube channel for some interesting electro-house mixes. I've been working on a new mix myself. However, from now I'll be trying to plan the mix better and make it make sense.
On another music note, I've been researching Digital DJ controllers (Hercules, Vestax, Numark, Denon...) to try and figure out which one would benefit me the most. I've put a lot of time into it as I'm trying to avoid just blowing cash on something that I just won't use or is too much tech for what I need. I'm also trying to think through what kind of time I will be spending doing mixes when I get home. I mean, I want to spend as much time as possible with Emily and Amelia. We'll also be traveling. Eventually I'll have to go back to work. So, while it's easy for me contemplate my DJ dreams, I also know that I've got too much time to myself here and that will not be the norm once I get home. NOT that this is bad - just fact. So, I reckon in essence I'm trying to prepare myself for re-integration now vs leading myself into shock if I wait until I'm actually boots-on-ground in Colorado.
This post is probably going to run on, so read on if you're bored, but it's mostly for me.
Recently I've had to tell 4 of my 9 interpreters that I will be releasing them at the end of this month. At one point I was responsible for 11 local national interpreters (all from Iraq). When I say responsible, I mean I made their work schedule, filled out and turned in their "timesheets" so they could get paid, and generally helped them in any way I can. They are all really good guys and have a dangerous job. The bad guys outside the wire often threaten to harm their families if they continue to work for the US military. Regardless, they still come to work.
Since the drawdown in Iraq is in full swing, I'm forced to cut down my interpreter (terp, for short) force considerably. Like I said, they are all good guys, but just like any employee, some of them are better workers than others. So, after analyzing the data on how many times each of them were late and/or missed work without an excuse, I came up with my 4. I'm trying to get them a job elsewhere so they can continue to get a paycheck, but they can't work for me anymore. Sad, but I'm glad I got some time with them.
Two of my favorite DJ info sites are at BeginnerDJ and Digital DJ Tips. There is a plethora of info on each and are helping to guide my DJ evoultion. BDJ is run by a really cool/nice guy out of Florida. I email with him every now and then with questions and comments and he always replies with prompt, well thought-out answers and tips. DDJT is run by an ex club DJ out of the UK. His site is quite a bit bigger and more trafficked than BDJ and garners many more sponsors. He also responds promptly to guest posts and comes off as very proffessional, never biting onto flamer comments. I recommend both sites if you are into mixing music, be-it analog, CD, or digital. BDJ has more on analog where as DDJT is almost exclusively digital music.
Check out this 69-yr old Grandma DJ out of the UK. She's wicked! DDJT did a nice article on her here.
So, I reckon that's all for now. I'm going to work on a promo mix right now. I'm getting into mapping out my keyboard to function as a mixer, which is blowing my mind, to try and give me that hands-on feel of mixing. So, look for a new mix coming out soon :)
I thought I'd upload a current photo of myself and link my newest mix. It's not much, but hey, I'm having fun with it.
I've started watching the show "Eastbound and Down." Ever seen it? It's pretty raw and weird at times. The main character is pretty messed up but he's growing on me. Just finished the first season and I'm on to the next one soon. The share drive is pretty sweet out here.
I took this photo this morning as the sun was coming up. Gets pretty chilly this time of year in Iraq.
Here's the mix. I made it using VirtualDJ 7 Pro on my little HP mini 311. It does good to handle mixing two tracks, but the little Atom processor can't do much more than that. I am currently using a mouse, a little splitter to be able to attach my headphones and pc speakers at the same time and a host of Mp3s I've acquired since I've been here. I look forward to the day when I use an actual controller (like the Hercules MK4 or RMX - both of which I can attach my turntables to). Anyhow, I'm rambling. I hope you enjoy.
DJ Redsamick Mix 11 by DJRedsamick
Well, I've had a lot of time to myself on this deployment. Time to explore mixing techno using Mp3s and the like. I won't spend too much time rambling on. Just wanted to share a few mixes that I've done so far. They are primitive, but I enjoy making them.
The first is dedicated to Mimsy.Lou.
Redsamick Mix 10 - JackJohnson Mix by DJRedsamick
The second is me listening to disco in a different way.
DJRedsamick 9 DiscoMix by DJRedsamick
The third is a mix I posted s a little while ago. Let me know what you think.
Mix4 by DJRedsamick
Cheers and thanks for the comments.
-got wife pregnant
-deployed to Iraq
-taken rocket fire
-gained 25 lbs
-saw baby Amelia born
-had terrible Turkey Day in Iraq
There's much, much more. But I'm tired and it's late. I love you all. I miss you all. This place is for the birds.