Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Who Are You? Who Who, Who Who?

Yeah, I know I'm cute.

Building off the prior entry I think it’s high time I did a little bit more of a bio for us in the BBD household. After all you’ve read bits and pieces here and there, and picked some things up. Some of you, of course, know us personally, but to others we are strangers. So who are these people living in the Internets?

For starters, there’s Stella Rae, or the Brooklyn Baby Baby (BBB). Now 10 weeks old she is surely the light of several lives, and mine for sure. She is a happy, alert baby and has a smile that absolutely melts my heart. She’s started recently to recognize patterns in our day, which is really cool. For example, when I get home she reacts to the jiggled keys in the lock, and knows it’s me, then when I look at her in her bassinet she gives me her 1000 watt smiles. It’s pretty damn charming.

She’s a looker of a baby, too, which only makes sense because she looks nearly identical to her mother, when the BBM was a baby. It’s kind of uncanny. The eyes are different, of course, because she has my eyes, but other than that it’s kind of a mirror image.

Stella has grown about five inches since she was born, and weighs, probably, around 12-13 pounds. When she was born her legs were so skinny I could put one hand around her thigh, now it’s not even close. This makes me a little sad, but mostly it’s adorable to get to squeeze such a pudgy, sweet little child. She has a few favorite books, such as The Very Busy Spider, and when I pointed to an image on the page she followed it exactly. This blew me away.

Ethnically Stella is all over the map, as I’ve mentioned before. But one thing is certain: there just aren’t that many Jewish kids in Brooklyn who are also part Native American, with family in Kentucky. We hope to keep her educated about all aspects of her heritage, although with a saucy name like Stella Rae Serchuk it’ll probably be hard to keep her off stage, no matter what she does.

Randi, of course, is the Brooklyn Baby Mama (BBM). She is in her early 30s, and has lived in New York for 10 years. She came here with a theater and French background, and is a graduate from Centre College, the Wesleyan of the Midwest.

The BBM is from a small town in Kentucky called Upton, which is an hour outside of Louisville. Growing up she was studious and adored school, which already makes her unusual in my book. She was a dedicated ballerina for most of her childhood, and counts The Little Prince as her favorite book, with Anne Of Green Gables second. She graduated second in her high school class, but should’ve been first.

She’s also a tough cookie. As mentioned, she moved into New York 10 years ago, when it was still a bit wilder than today, with not much more than a few bucks in her pocket. She moved into one of the few remaining flea-bag hotels on Manhattan’s West Side, downtown, and had a rat run across her foot in the hallway. She was determined to make it in theater.

From there it only got tougher. Randi moved into the worst part of Newark, yes Newark, and lived there for a solid year. I’m sorry, the worst part of Newark is pretty bad, and she was a white girl from the South. Balls to the wall, I tell ya.

Eventually she produced two plays that she wrote and directed, in the city, which is quite the accomplishment. At the same time she worked for an Internet start up. Around 2001 she became interested in improvisational comedy, which is how we met.

Randi loves Dar Williams, The Dixie Chicks and Nico Case. She has a fondness for horror movies and scary stories, even though she hates to be scared.

She converted to Judaism in 2005 after much serious thought and reflection, although I also think she was swayed by her love for lox.

Today she is a school teacher in Park Slope, where we live, a job she was born for. She is an organized, talented and caring teacher. She truly has found her calling.

I am 36, and an editor at a well-known financial Web site. I am, obviously, also the Brooklyn Baby Daddy (BBD). I have been a financial reporter for eight years, but never imagined I would end up here in my wildest dreams. Growing up I was a music and literature kid, always reading a book, or checking out a record, and cared about money not one whit. I guess I was lucky to be in that position.

I grew up in Bergen County, N.J., right near NYC. My parents are both Brooklyn Jews, and second generation Americans. I am half Ukranian and half Romanian, I believe, in any case, I’m Eastern European.

I attended Arizona State University for two years, and then transferred to Wesleyan, which some say Centre is kind of like. At Wesleyan I started a comedy troupe called Bad Sam which, for one meeting, featured the guy who would eventually create the sitcom How I Met Your Mother, which is kind of weird.

After school I lived in Boulder, CO from 1994-1999, and started my career there, writing for anyone who would have me. Eventually I became an editor at a small paper, running that side of things at 24, and then became the entertainment editor of a bigger paper, The Boulder Weekly, at 26.

I’ve seen a million live music shows and interviewed many, many well known musicians and actors. But that’s a different story. Perhaps the piece I've written in the past few years that I'm most proud of is this one, in part because I got to interview Ray Bradbury, one of my heroes.
I moved home to New York in late 1999, in order to kick my career into higher gear, and also because I felt too young to be retired, which is kind of how Denver/Boulder felt to me then.

I’m kind of a comedy fan, so I started improve classes at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in New York, in late 1999, and continued through 2002. I seriously pursued improv for about two years, and eventually got burned out on it in 2003. I am grateful for my time in that world, because I got to see a million amazing performers and acts, and help create culture in New York, an amazing feeling. Best of all I met Randi through the theater, or at least a Web site dedicated to improv.

On our first date, in late 2001, Randi almost stood me up! But at the last moment she decided to tough it out, which was incredible judgment in retrospect.

I love music, as mentioned, and have been an enthusiastic guitarist since I was 15. Living out a childhood fantasy I was in a rock band in New York from 2000 through 2003. The band was called Connecticut, and we were kind of like a dorkier, and older, version of Weezer. A highlight was playing the Knitting Factory, and rocking the house.

Today we live in Park Slope, Brooklyn a picturesque, friendly, if pricey, little neighborhood. We are a family without much in the way of disposable income right now, but we’re making the best of it, and have never been materialistic people anyway. Many of our best vacations have come camping out in nature, in a place we love. We try to not live too large anyway, it's just not us.

Most nights we eat dinner in, and share the cleanup. I have learned how to cook a number of signature dishes, some of which are even pretty yummy.

We were married in August 2005 in Cresskill, NJ, and honeymooned in Ireland and Scotland.
Over the past few years we have tried to prepare ourselves for having a baby, with the lucky event starting almost exactly a year ago in California. For our next step we plan to look into the possibility of buying a place, although doing it on one salary is scary.

Oh yeah, that’s another thing. We’ve agreed that for the first year Randi will stay home with Stella while I go out and earn the bread. It’s tight, to be sure, but if we put Stella in daycare while Randi worked, that’s where 95% of her salary would go anyway. So it’s a wash. Currently I am thinking of ways to raise more cash, such as sending out stories for freelance assignments, but I haven’t gotten any gigs just yet.

So that’s a brief thumbnail of who writes and is featured in this blog. Any questions?


Lauren said...

Don't mean to comment on every entry here, but it was interesting to read. Even though I've known you two for like 7 years or something, it's rare that you get the full bio on your friends.

Also, my great-grandmother (on my mom's side) came to the US right before the Russian Revolution. She lived in a village near Kiev, which is modern-day Ukraine. Our ancestors might've been from the same shtetl! :)

David Serchuk said...

Truth, and it's fun to learn what people choose to tell. But, yeah, Lauren, we're both from the dour lands of the Eastern world.