Tuesday, July 31, 2012

New Digs

After this week, I probably won't blog more than once a week, but I reserve the right to change my mind at will. =) Here are some pics of the new place, mostly so my Mama knows I'm safe and sound! FYI, we're still settling in, so it's still in progress... HERE'S THE FRONT ROOM (YOU CAN SEE A LITTLE OF THE KITCHEN):
There's also a gym, a rooftop deck (I'll have to post some pics of that- the view is amazing), a jucuzzi on the deck (which is under construction at the moment) and... parking! Yay for parking in LA!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Introducing my NEW and IMPROVED blog!

It had to be done. I saved my old blog to pdf, deleted all the posts and redesigned the whole thing. It had been two years since my previous post, so I figured it was time! Here's the new blog, mostly so my family and friends can stay updated on my new adventures here in Southern California, without me obnoxiously updating my facebook status every two seconds. Please understand, however, that reading this blog you'll get some annoyingly happy posts about things going great and some annoyingly sad or bitter posts when things inevitably are difficult. I'm not writing this blog to brag or complain, it's just my life and I welcome you into it, if you want in. =) Here's a quick run-down of how I ended up here and how the past few months have gone: In January, several opportunities for song writing and studio singing presented themselves. Two of my songs were picked up by a publisher ("I Dreamt For You" and "The Only Safe Place"- you can check them out at www.jacosa.net) and I started considering a move down south. Shortly thereafter, my work informed me they would be cutting yet another vocal class and, obviously, a large portion of my salary. This was particularly upsetting to me, since the vocal program has been extremely successful this year and they had already cut one of the classes recently. THIS IS VOCAL ENSEMBLE A'S LAST PERFORMANCE, AND THE ONE THAT WON THEM 1ST PLACE IN THEIR DIVISION AND SECOND PLACE OVERALL AT THE RENO JAZZ FESTIVAL: There were also a lot of other political goings-on at the school that I won't get into, except to say that I was tired of dealing with it and it felt as if this cut was made, partially, to force me out. I spent many tearful nights wondering what to do, constantly trying to improve the situation and still nothing seemed to get better. I felt like I was operating on two complete opposite ends of a spectrum- misery with the actual mechanics of my job, and sheer joy working with my students. They are some of the best people I know and I loved spending every day with them. (There were also several members of the staff who were loving and supportive during this time and I still treasure their friendship, despite how things ended with others.) I spent a lot of time praying, fasting and studying scriptures, weighing my options and trying to decide what the best decision would be. Ultimately, I felt at peace with the decision to leave and move to LA and moved forward with the decision. I felt a great deal of angst as I thought about leaving my students, not being there to help guide and support them, and wondering if they would feel abandoned or if they would know how much I cared about them. These things kept me up many nights and to say I worried about it is a great understatement. Still, I knew the decision was right and did my best to finish out the year as strong as possible. My students were loving and supportive and made every moment of my last semester wonderful; I was blessed to work with them. THIS IS THE SURPRISE THEY PREPARED FOR OUR LAST CONCERT: After the school year ended, I did my last gig with my band (I had already done the last gig with the Ron Davis big band the month before) and focused mostly on spending time with friends and family until I left. Angela Crown, one of my best friends and my roommate, organized a going-away party so I could say some last goodbyes and even drove the truck down and stayed a few days to help me settle in. When I got to my place, I have to say I was surprised at the area it was in; it's nicer than expected. My new roommate, Carolyn, found the place and we're right on the border of Beverly Hills. We're within walking distance from upscale shopping (waaaay too expensive for me), a very large mall, some cute little cafes and restaurants, the bus line if I decide to take public transportation, and quite a few celebrity hot spots. The weather has been GORGEOUS and there's a balcony connected to my room, the door to which I don't believe has been shut since I've arrived. This makes me very happy! As I write this, Ang is getting ready to leave and so I think this is where the test really begins. In addition to just being a great person to have around, she represents home, I guess. So far, the area is nice, Carolyn is great, and things are promising. I got to spend some time with my brother James' fiance, Hina, and saw Leah Remini. I went to church in Glendale yesterday and they gave me a calling, but I'll have to turn it down so I can attend the ward closer to me. I went to a fireside last night, and saw Nela Otuafi speak and sing. I've had one Beverly Hills nanny job interview that went well (although they told me to "dress down next time; you're pretty and we don't want the Misses thinking you're trying to steal her husband") and have a teaching interview this Wednesday. I'll be doing a recording session in mid August and have some songs in the works. Things are moving along as they should. Still, it's scary. And intimidating. And lonely. And new. Which isn't always bad; in fact it's usually good. That's my life right now- a whole lotta new.