Personal

My feelings about the New York Choral Society Chamber Chorus

I was in the chamber chorus way back during it's last incarnation in the early 90's. After it stopped, every year I would ask at the annual meeting "when are we going to have a chamber chorus again?" It was almost a joke that I would repeat every year. And, finally this year, thanks to our assistant conductor, Michael Ciavaglia, we got a chamber chorus again.

However, to be honest... after 15 years, I suddenly realized that I no longer had the driving desire to be in a chamber chorus. I had been asking every year out of habit. But I am at a different place in my life and, at this point, I really didn't need to give up another night of my week. But, since I was such a pest about it all those years, I figured I had to at least give it a go.

Rehearsals were fun, and during our first concert I was filled with overwhelming joy. It was such a pleasure to make such beautiful music. I love singing with the big chorus, but that first concert with the chamber chorus I felt so much more involved in the making of the music. It was spectacular.

Then, during this last concert, I swear to god, there was a moment during the Frostiana while the women were singing, when again, I was suddenly overwhelmed with pride and joy at being part of a group that could create such beauty. I hate to over use the word "Overwhelmed," but that is the word that most accurately describes the feeling. Literally, my eyes started to tear up.

Anyway, this is just a long way of saying, thank you. It is an honor to sing with everyone in the chamber chorus, and in the big chorus as well, and I am very grateful for the reminder of how much I actually love what we do.

New York Choral Society Holiday Concert with Peter, Paul & Mary

Hey all. Got a concert coming up with the New York Choral Society. Contact me for tickets.


Cutest "We're Expecting" announcement EVER!!!


Holy Cow! Cori won another Emmy

Still singing...

Last night I had my quadrennial re-audition for the choral society. It's hard to believe that I have been in the chorus long enough to have auditioned 5 times now. And still love it.

This should be a fun season. Check it out at nychoral.org.

And, if you haven't seen em yet, also check out all my pics and videos from our recent trip to China...

I've decided we need a new candidate.

Bryant Park is a swamp...

They might show the movie tonight to people sitting in chairs along the side, but our group won't be there.

Seems like it rains every Monday, doesn't it?

See you next week.

Added photo page for china pics.

I have put the flickr pictures of the China trip into the photo section here.

Very brief update from China, with links to pics and vids.

Having a great time. Wish you were here.

Pics on Flickr. Continuing to come.

One video on YouTube. A backstage view of an amazing 15 year old acrobat.

More to come...

Monday Movie Canceled

It rained as I was headed over. We canceled. Then the sun came out. But once the grass is wet, it ain't no fun.

And it will rain again.

I'll be gone for the next 2 movies, but they'll still happen, so go and have fun...

Dr. No in Bryant Park tonight.

It's not raining (yet) so we are still planning on going to the HBO Bryant Park Film Festival.

We'll eat, drink and be merry, until it rains, at which time we'll make like bat's out of hell.

I am going to China. Here's how to reach me...

As you probably know, I sing with the New York Choral Society.

We are going to China for a concert tour on Friday.

The best way to reach me while I am gone is e-mail. I should have internet access in the hotel.

I'll have both my work cell phone and my home iPhone with me. If you have the work number that should work fine. It's the number that starts (646) 739... (I am not crazy enough to post my number here. Happy

If the work phone doesn't work, and you really, really need to reach me, then there is the iPhone.

Now, here's the deal with the iPhone. Calls are $1.99/minute, and it turns out that even if I don't answer, I pay that the entire time that it rings and while you leave a message. So, please, keep it short. That's the number that starts (646) 256...

However, it's free to receive text messages. 50 cents to send em, but free to receive. So, feel free to text me, just don't expect a response, unless it's important.

Finally, if I can, I'll but a sim card in China for use in another phone. If that works then I'll have another number to share. We'll see.

Karen will be here in NY, so you can reach her all the normal ways.

The Monday Movies schedule is up...

Come join us as HBO Kicks off the Bryant Park Summer Film Festival with Dr. No on June 16.

It's My Birthday!!!

Come and celebrate with me at the 10:30pm show of Indiana Jones, playing at the Ziegfeld Theater in NYC.

Cori Abraham To Head Development at Bravo!!!

My sister is sooooo cool.

Check it out...

Long overdue update...

Hey all. Sorry for the lack of posts. Work has kept me busy and I've been substituting twitter for blogging.

But, you all deserve better than that, so here is a quick update.

I've been traveling a lot for work. I have to visit all our remote offices as we switch users from one network to another, replacing every computer. In the past month or so I've been to Miami, Atlanta and North Carolina. In 2 weeks, it's LA, which is great because I get to spend Passover with Cori and family. Then, in the beginning of May is the big New York migration. Replacing 150 people's computers in 1 weekend should be a lot of fun. And, it's concert weekend with the chorus, just to add to it all.

Poker is been going OK. I still haven't completely recovered from the bad week that I last blogged about, but I've been moving in the right direction. I have been considering what it would take to make playing a career choice. A bad run like I had wasn't discouraging. And it's a good thing, because it happens to everyone and if I can't deal with adversity, then it's definitely not a good career choice for me. In any case, I have some specific goals that I need to reach before I would consider going pro. First, I need to built my bankroll to a very healthy level. I am looking for around 50 buy-ins. Second, I need to win as much as I make in a year, but do so in less than a year. If I can't do that, then clearly I am not ready for such a life change. So, we'll see how I do over the next few years.

I mentioned the upcoming concert. It's the Berlioz requiem. I am very excited. It was one of the first pieces I sang with the chorus, back when I joined in '92. I really love it and have been enjoying the rehearsal process immensely. And, maybe I can get the big New York project team from work to come... Here is the website with details.

Ok, that's all for now. For much shorter, but more regular bursts of info, check out my twitter page.

Today is Karen's birthday!

Happy Birthday!!!

Everyone call her and sing!!!

Home from west coast visit.

Got home from my vacation last night. Expo was fun. The show it self was disappointing. Aside from the new Macbook Air, there wasn't anything that grabbed my attention. I did have a great time with my friends though.

And then I got to spend a great weekend in LA with my sister & her family. There are new pics of both of my nieces here...
Dylan
Albany

Good Luck J...

My friend, J. Curtis, is starting 2008 by going to Macworld Expo on is Motorcycle. From Tennessee. He starts the trip today and will be journaling it on his blog. Good luck and easy riding...

Celebrate the holidays by coming to my concert...

We have our holiday concert coming up, this Thursday. Order your tix online...

NYCS Holiday Flyer 2007

Apologies for not posting more often...

I have been twittering a bit and have gotten away from posting to my blog, but I will try to do better.

More fame for Dylan...

Scary stuff...

Congrats to Sydne and Arden!!!

Didn't see Cori win her emmy?

The television camera angles made it impossible to see Cori at the Emmy's, but fortunately, there were still camera's at work too.

Testing move of site to different server.

If you can see this, then it worked.

Emmy Pics...

These are from Cori's Kodak Gallery.




Holy Cow! Cori won an Emmy!!!

On Saturday night, they held the Emmy Awards for the Creative Arts Categories and "Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List" won!

My sister, Cori, is an Executive Producer on the show and as such, she is one of the people who gets the award!!!

YAY!!!!

Oh yeah. Congrats to Kathy too. Happy

The awards will be broadcast on E! on Saturday, September 15, at 8pm. Cori's award was towards the end of the evening.

Chess Anyone?

Happy Birthday, bro...

Happy Birthday to you....
Happy Birthday to you....
Happy Birthday dear
Kenny....
Happy Birthday to you....

Another David Pogue NY Times Video...

Not as much of an appearance as last time, but still, I'll take my fame where I can get it...

Check out this weeks video...

BRAVO'S CORI ABRAHAM PROMOTED TO VICE PRESIDENT, DEVELOPMENT AND PRODUCTION

Reposted from the thefutoncritic.com...

[08.01.07 - 05:57 PM]
BRAVO'S CORI ABRAHAM PROMOTED TO VICE PRESIDENT, DEVELOPMENT AND PRODUCTION
Released by Bravo
[NOTE: The following article is a press release issued by the aforementioned network and/or company. Any errors, typos, etc. are attributed to the original author. The release is reproduced solely for the dissemination of the enclosed information.]

BRAVO'S CORI ABRAHAM PROMOTED TO VICE PRESIDENT, DEVELOPMENT AND PRODUCTION

NEW YORK August 1, 2007 Bravo has promoted Cori Abraham - most recently Director of Development and Production - to Vice President, Development and Production. The announcement was made today by Amy Introcaso-Davis, Senior Vice President, Development and Production, Bravo, and Andy Cohen, Senior Vice President, Production and Programming, Bravo.

"Cori has a keen sense of what the Bravo audience wants to see," said Introcaso-Davis. "She develops and produces shows that our fans find addictive."

Added Cohen, "Cori has been a key part to Bravo's popular programming," said Cohen. "Her energy and vibe help make our shows uniquely Bravo."

Having joined Bravo in April 2004, Abraham has developed and executive produced some of the network's more buzzed about programs during her tenure. Shows include the Emmy nominated "Kathy Griffin: My Life On The D-List," the highly-popular series "Work Out," the recent design competition show "Top Design," Bravo's string of "Funny Girl" stand-up specials with Griffin, Whoopi Goldberg, Joan Rivers, Caroline Rhea and Paula Poundstone, and the much-talked-about series "Hey Paula," following pop icon Paula Abdul.

Prior to Bravo, Abraham was Director of Development and Executive Producer at VH1, where she oversaw creative and production logistics and evaluated program pitches. Her VH1 credits include the series "Totally Obsessed" and "True Spin," as well as specials "Stage Moms" and "Bootcamp: Showgirls."

Abraham joined FX in 1999, spending three years as the Director of Comedy Development. In that role, she developed original scripted comedy and reality programming, and worked with many high profile executive producers including Jerry Seinfeld, Michael Moore and Howard Stern. Her accomplishments there include the Emmy-nominated "Lucky," starring John Corbett and the Howard Stern-produced series "Son of the Beach."

Earlier in her career, Abraham worked at Comedy Central as a Development Coordinator, from 1997-1999, where she read and evaluated program submissions. There, she played a role in the development of the network's two most popular series at the time -- "Strangers With Candy" and "The Upright Citizen's Brigade."

Abraham graduated from University of Wisconsin with two bachelor degrees -- one in Communications Arts and the other in Theatre Arts. She currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter.

Happy Birthday Cori!!!

Drat. Now she's only 1 year younger than me again. I have to wait a whole 10 months to make fun of her for being a youngster when, for that brief and shining period, I am a 2 years older than her. Happy

Birth Announcement - Welcome Jackson Rhys Hefler

Congratulations to my cousins Maren and Jonathan Hefler who brought my new cousin, Jackson, into the world today.

Born at 10am. Ain't he a cutie?

No Movie Tonight

It's raining. If it stops, they might still show the Monday night movie, but we won't be there to sit in the mud.

Tuesday is the raindate, but the park as very poor drainage, so we won't be there either. A shame to miss
The Sting, but what can you do. Have a good week everyone.

News appearance.

Since I was part of the big iPhone release on Friday, I was interviewed a few times. Some family and friends spotted me on NBC news on Friday Night and then there was this...

iPhones Arrive

My Famous Sister.

Cori is rocking the entertainment world. Interviews all over the place. Check it out...

Newsday.com

LA Times

Also the June 8th edition of Entertainment Weekly.

Way to go Cori. Now, if only she could get Quantum Leap back on the air...

Monday Night Movies

Summer must be coming because they posted the schedule for the Monday Night Movies in Bryant Park. It's always a good time. I hope you can come join us one night.

Dylan's Dance Recital...

It doesn't get much cuter than this...

Sad news. RIP, Sam.

Sam the snake passed away this past weekend. We only had him for 2 short months, but in that time, we loved him and are very saddened by his passing.

In all the time we had him, he never ate. We tried to feed him several times and brought him in to the vet, but nothing did any good. It might have been a virus that he would have had before we got him, or it may have been something else. We'll never know.

He lived a short life, but I hope he was happy in that time. Farewell, little guy.

A new phone number...

GrandCentral.com is a new system I am trying out that gives you a phone number and whenever someone calls you on that number all your phones ring. Cell, work, home, whatever. You can answer wherever you are. They also have cool features like different rings and messages for different callers, and call recording.

Try to call me with the button below.

Sam Cam Still Shots

For those who can't access the live video of SamCam I have set up a motion detector to upload a new picture to this page every time the camera detects motion in the habitat. It detects the camera moving. I don't know, yet, if it will dectect him moving. We'll just have to see.

Here is the latest shot from the cam.


And here is the previous one.

SamCam

I have set up a web cam to check in on Sam during the day. You can click on the presets to look at different locations in his enclosure. He spends a lot of time hiding in his hideyhole, so if you don't see him right away, give it a little time.

SamCam

Movies vs. Books

A saw someone comment in a forum about how movies are never as good as the book upon which they are based. I have a different opinion, and I guess that's what blogs are for, so...

Books are a completely different medium, and shouldn't be compared to movies. It's like saying Stephen King is better than Steven Spielberg. Both are great storytellers in their chosen area's but trying to compare them would be silly.

A book can convey a lot more information than a movie, because it is not time limited. So a movie has to try to tell the same story in a much shorter window. That means conveying things differently and leaving out a lot. If you are expecting a movie to have all the same content as the book, then you will always be disappointed. But if you make a conscious choice to not compare the movie to the book you can appreciate the movie for what it is and perhaps enjoy it more.

Has anybody seen my snake?

Being a snake owner definitely has it's ups and downs.

For instance, did you know that snakes only eat like once a week in the summer and in the winter can go weeks or even months without eating? Well they can. Which makes them a very easy pet to care for, but it's a little nerve wracking when you have a baby snake and you are afraid that he is starving.

They also tend to hibernate in the winter. Even though the apartment is warm, Sam knows that it's winter and has been holed up in his cave for a few days.

Well, he's gotta come out sometime, doesn't he?

Playing with photoshop is fun.

This is a picture of my niece Dylan and her godmother, my cousin, Joann. 5 minutes and a little Photoshop know-how can go a long way.

Pictures of Pets...

Here are the promised pics of Sam, the Python
.


And, as long as I am here, I don't want the other kids to get jealous. Here is Milty.


And, of course, the glorious Kitty.

New member of the Family.

This past weekend, Karen & I went to PA to visit her family. Every time we go, she makes me take her to the puppy mill so she can look at the puppy's and kitten's and cry when I won't let her have one.

Well, this last time, something in both of us snapped.

We looked at all the cute puppy's and kittens.

And then we bought a Python. His name is Sam.

Pics coming soon.

Mom at the NYSE

Mom had a great time and her pic even made the front page of NYSE.com.



Here is a link to the archived webcast.

Update on Mom ringing the NYSE bell.

I had the date wrong. It's next Thursday, Jan 25. This is part of Ethan Allen's 75th anniversary. It should be on TV. I'll post more when I know the details.

Mom's ringing the bell...

Thursday morning, my mom, with some friends, is ringing the starting bell at the NY Stock Exchange. I don't know how that happened, but it's pretty cool.

I predict a Bull market that day. Happy

Go mom!!!

Dylan's first trip to Disneyland.

Cori, Ken, Dylan and I spend a day at Disneyland. Pics on Dylan's page. Who knew she'd develop a crush on Goofy?

Thanks Shawn and David too.

Heh. My pal, Shawn King of Your Mac Life is friends with David Pogue. I mentioned to him that I was the uncredited e-mailer from the previous blog entry and the next thing I knew, my name was up in lights.

I'm really not that needy. At least I don't think I am. But thanks to Shawn for looking out for me, and to David for the mention.

See you both at Macworld next week.

I made David Pogue's blog...

Ok. Sort of. David Pogue is the technology columnist for the New York Times. I e-mailed him a question and he posted it to his blog.

He didn't name me, but trust me. It was me.

Take a look.

Mack The Halls

Karen's doing a holiday show.

Here are the details from her mailing, if you aren't on her list...

Hello again! 'Tis the season for the gift of entertainment to be re-gifted
close to a hundred times over!

And, not to be left out of that mix, I'm doing something new this year - my
first solo evening in a long LONG time!

Some holiday tunes, some cool songs having absolutely NOTHING to do with the
holidays, some originals, great arrangements thanks to Steven Ray Watkins,
who'll be joining me at the piano. Sincerely hoping that if you're in town
the weekend of the 14th you'll join us - it promises to be a very fun show!

Karen Mack in
MACK THE HALLS
With Steven Ray Watkins on piano, Matt Wigton on bass, and Marshal Rosenberg
on percussion

December 14th - 17th at The Metropolitan Room
Thursday, Friday, and Sunday at 7pm, Saturday night at 8pm
34 W. 22nd St. (btw 5th & 6th Aves.)
Reservations: (212) 206-0440 (or email me here)
$20 cover ($15 for MAC/UCB/AEA and other such starving artists)
2 drink minimum - Credit cards cheerfully accepted

Happy December and hope the new year brings you every good things!

Mack The Halls

Christmas at Carnegie Hall

Want to come and hear me sing in the most amazing Hall in Carnegie Hall?

On Monday, December 4, 2006 at 7:30pm, I (along with 150+ fellow members of The New York Choral Society) will "Celebrate Christmas at Carnegie Hall" with the Young People's Chorus of New York City under the baton of John Daly Goodwin.

Those who have come before know how much fun it is to experience a full orchestra and big chorus on stage, including the extraordinary Young People's Chorus of New York City. They sing, they weave, they bop!

For over 5 years the New York Choral Society has been delighting family audiences with its popular Christmas at Carnegie Hall concert. From jingling bells to jubilee to jazz, this is a concert with something for everyone. The program includes the ever popular Gloria by John Rutter, Freedom Trilogy by Paul Halley, Libby Larsen's Ringeltanze with handbell choir, a medley of traditional carols by Conrad Susa, the Hallelujah Chorus and excerpts from jazz legend Dave Brubeck's La Fiesta de la Posada.

Adapted from Mexican Christmas tradition and influenced by Mexican folk music La Fiesta de la Posada tells the story of Mary and Joseph’s search for lodging on the eve of her giving birth. Paul Halley's Freedom Trilogy uses the folk music traditions of South Africa and American Gospel and Jazz. It celebrates the season with the timely themes of "peace on Earth" and freedom for all.

Please join the NYCS family on December 4 for an evening we promise will put you in the holiday spirit!

Seats range from $20 to $75.

Run run run!!!

Congrats to my cousin Matt Sosnow who ran in the New York Marathon yesterday. It was his first time and he did great. Finished in about 4 and a half hours and felt very positive about the whole experience. Way to go Matt!!!

Next time, it's you and me, Nancy! Winking

Watch Heroes!

Heroes is one of the best new shows I have seen in a long time. Granted, I am exactly the target market, but still, I think it's phenomenal. Every week it gets better and better.

It's so good that I expect it to be cancelled at any minute. That's my history. However, my pal Jason told me today that NBC already picked it up for at least the rest of the season! Woo hoo!

If you miss it on TV, it's available on iTunes - Heroes

Interview with Jack Goodwin of the New York Choral Society

Shawn King interviewed Jack Goodwin of the New York Choral Society about our upcoming holiday concert.


Check out the interview

Added some new pics of Dylan

Cori sent me a some new pics of Baby Dylan. Take a look at 15 months old, 16 months old and current.

Never saw a dog with saddle bags before...

Dog With Saddle BagsDog With Saddle Bags

Saturday & Sunday - Went to LA. Happy Birthday.

I went to LA for the weekend to surprise my sister, Cori, at her surprise party.

She was completely surprised. Happy

Pics here...

Now I am back in Vegas and getting ready for bed. Tomorrow is my big day. Think good thoughts...

Not doing the monday night movie tonight.

The weather is nice today, but the park has poor drainage and it is a swamp after last weeks deluge. So, Ungie and I have made the executive decision to not sit in the mud. Sorry to cancel on everyone, but it is what it is.

Catch you next time...

Added some "Baby pics" to the site.

I have added this page of pictures from my youth to the site.

The Bris

Congrats again to Malinda and Sabi who's son is now named Josh. He's a cute little guy. I went out the Brooklyn for the Bris (yes, I really did venture to one of the other boroughs) and had a terrific time. It was great to see the Smolen clan again. Everyone looked great and they were all really excited that Cid and I were able to come out.

I didn't take a lot of pics. There was a photographer for that. But here are the few I did take.

Mazal Tov to Malinda and Sabi

New baby born on Monday, July 10. Going to the bris tonight, which is why you won't see me at the Monday Movies. Hopefully I'll have some pics to post shortly.

Home again...

I had a phenomenal time in Venice. Didn't get into blogging it, so you'll have to settle for the pictures. It was a great time.

Internet access is just about a complete no go here in Venice.

There are a few Internet cafe's around, but I have to use their computers rather than my own, which means I can't really update the site. I'll see if I can find some solution, otherwise you will be reading all of this after I am back.

Monday Movie Rained out

Hey all. It was a rainy weekend, and it's raining now. Even if it stops by this evening and they decide to show the movie, it will be a muddy mess. So, I spoke with Ungie and we are officially canceling for tonight. I will be out of town next week for M*A*S*H, but the crew will be there, so enjoy, and I'll see you all in 2 weeks for Bullitt.

If it's Monday, I must be at Bryant Park..

Tonight we kick off the season of the Monday Night Movies in Bryant Park with The Birds. I am there almost every week, and even when I am not, my friends are. Some grab whatever you need for a picnic and come hang.

It ain't about the movie. Happy

Many new Dylan pics posted.

Cori hooked me up with a bunch of new pics and even a video of little Dylan.

Recently added...
13 Months Old
14 Months Old
15 Months Old (The current main Dylan Page)
Video at the Zoo

It's my birthday!!!

Survived 36 years. Who knew that would happen? Happy

Happy birthday shoutouts also go to my friends Sheila Winterbottom, Sherrye Dobrin, Farell Marblestone and Michael Anthony.

How funny is it that, in my calendar, the date that has the most birthdays on it is my own.



Thanks to Cori, Ken and Dylan.

New York Choral Society Concert Flyer

Dylan's 15 minute of fame starts...

My niece Dylan is starting her 15 minutes of fame pretty early. Only a year old and already she has a TV credit to her name. She was on an episode of Outrageous and Contagious Viral Videos on Bravo. Click here to see her be "Adorable and Deadly."

In the interests of full disclosure, it's worth mentioning that her mom is the executive producer of the show. Happy

Welcome to the world, Rian...

Congrats to my cousin Dana and her husband Eric. Last week she gave birth to Rian Luke. A cutie, if ever there was one...

I'm published, baby!!!


Check out the April 2006 issue of Macworld Magazine. The feedback section on page 12. I sent in a comment on Chris Breen's video-ready iPod review and it was published.

Here it is, reprinted with permission by the author. Happy

In his review of the new video-ready iPods (Reviews, January 2006), Christopher Breen said that when he ripped his DVDs to one of the new iPods and then watched the video on a TV, the quality was akin to a VCR's. I experienced the same thing when I used the H.264 codec at a resolution of 320-by-240. But then I tried using MPEG-4 at higher resolutions, and I found that doing so resulted not only in relatively small files (under 1GB for a two-hour movie), but also in quality closer to that of the original DVD when the video is viewed on a TV or computer screen.

Congrats to Maren & Jonathan...

My cousin Maren Levine married Jonthan Hefler this past weekend. We are all excited. The family really likes Jonathan, but don't tell him I said so.

Yet another site update...

Yup. I am still at it. I reordered some of the pages so they wouldn't be embedded within the about me section, and I added my friend, Dan Rosenbaum, to my links page.

Today is Karen's Birthday...

Happy Birthday to my wife, Karen. If you know her, call or e-mail her to wish her a happy birthday.

If you don't know her, check out her web site and get to know her...

Need to know a Birthday or Anniversary? I am your man.

In the continuing cycle of me playing with the new web site, I have added a Calendar page. It has the Birthdays and Anniversaries of just about everyone I know. If I am missing one, just e-mail me to let me know.

More site updates

I have added a Family photo album, and a Favorite Pictures photo album.

The Favorite Pictures are ones in which the composition really appeals to me. Mostly headshots of friends. Some not entirely flattering. Happy But all of them speak to me.

I have also fully moved the site back to the Loren.Finkelstein.Net domain.

Additions to the site

I am really loving Rapidweaver. It is so easy to add things to the site. This weekend I have added my brother-in-law Ken's reel to my Pictures and Videos section and a Poker page to the About Me section. Also added the Podcasts page. Of course, I am also working all this weekend, which explains why I am posting this note at 12:30am. Happy

Site redesigned with Rapidweaver.

I bought Rapidweaver a few weeks ago. It is a very simple, elegant, web site builder. After years of playing around with HTML in text editors, I decided I wanted to give easy a chance. Thanks to Screencasts Online and their phenomenal tutorials for turning me onto it. Of course, I waited until Apple came out with iWeb before starting to play with Rapidweaver.