Wednesday, December 10, 2014

What's in a Name?

Wilton, CT

Introductions were always fun. I'd wait with anticipation to see how someone handled it. More often than not, I was just "Adam" - a safe and Cher-like statement. But every once in a while, I'd watch as the introducer, more than likely a long time friend or colleague, would destroy my last name. I'd get "Urnowski" "Urineski" "Uhnowski" and a barely audible mumble. I don't blame them, "Uhrynowski" is a hard name to pronounce. It's also a hard name to spell. 

My wife Lindsey and I had debated what to do with our last name for a long time. She never changed her name to "Uhrynowski" and I whole heartedly said taking her last name wasn't something I wanted to do. So we had this small, but significant divide between us. We wanted to feel like a family unit, we wanted to share a name, but the options presented to us were less than amazing. 
  • We didn't want to hyphenate. Making a long last name even longer seemed ridiculous.
  • We didn't want to create a combo name such as "Jarbowski." As funny as it is, it was a little odd.
  • We didn't want to insult our families by choosing one name over the other. 
  • And because Lindsey and I are anything but traditional, we decided to think outside the box.
"What if we came up with our own last name? Something that has no meaning to any of our families?" I said, watching Lindsey's eyes start to sparkle with the idea. 

"Something totally new? I love it!" She said.

And so, we began to search for a new last name. Something that met a handful of criteria.
  1. It couldn't reference any of our families for fear of "playing sides."
  2. It had to be easy to say.
  3. It had to be easy to spell.
  4. It had to be short.
  5. We wanted it toward the beginning of the alphabet.
  6. It had to sound good with our names.
We spent a few weeks going back and forth, but finally arrived at our new last name: DRAKE. We sat with it for awhile. We tried to poke holes in it. But nothing we did kept us from really enjoying the name. (Mediocre Canadian rappers aside.) 

It took some time and a lot of paper work, but after almost a year, Lindsey and I are, officially, the Drakes. We understand this is unconventional, it's weird, it's kind of funny, but it's also something that we felt we needed to do in order to bring us even closer together. 

And so that's that. I'll always be a Uhrynowski. I'll always be a Ferguson. But I'll also be a Drake, something I can share forever with the love of my life.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Lights Dim Slowly

Wilton, CT

"I'm not coming back."

With those words, I watched as the stars unhinged themselves and crashed to the ground in shattered pieces of yellow porcelain. And in the nothingness she left behind, the cold black of the abyss, the thundering silence, I found myself with two options. One, stay here floating in the unknown. Two, jump into the void and search for the bottom. Clenching my teeth and closing my eyes, I took the leap and found a world in reverse. Pain became happiness, the end was the beginning, and chaos unspiraled into a straight line.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Ski Videos

Wilton, CT
This winter was horrible, but throughout all its horribleness it managed to be a great winter for skiing. And with that in mind, we hit the slopes and my camera was there to catch it.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Where I've Been

Wilton, CT

I usually sum up the year with numbers, facts, and small anecdotes. This year, I've decided to do something a bit different. This year was remarkable in that I've/we've done an immense amount of traveling. So, instead of talking about the things I've done or how I've done them, I figured I'd show you. Below is a map of all the places I've been to. There are some rules:

  • I had to spend more than a few hours there. For instance, I've driven through Intercourse, PA but haven't spent much time there. As a result, it is not marked on the map.
  • If I've been to a place multiple times (or lived in different areas in one city), it only receives one notation.
  • Green marks indicate a place I've lived.
  • When possible, I've tried to be as accurate as possible in the pin placement.
  • Sadly, I'm sure I've missed a few places along the way.

  • View The Places I've Been in a larger map

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Head of the Charles: 2013

Wilton, CT

After competing in the singles event last year, I was determined to make it back to the grandaddy of all rowing races, the Head of the Charles. This year, on a bet/dare, we managed to put together an 8-man boat, spent many early mornings practicing, and ended up doing quite well at the race. The overly-dramatic video below gives you a view of how it all went down on race day.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Connecticut Bon Vivant

Wilton, CT

Now that I'm living, for better or worse, in Connecticut, I figure it's time to get up to speed on the style, architecture, and random things that make this unique section of the United States so ... interesting? A good place to start, and a site I've been checking out regularly, is called Connecticut Bon Vivant. You can check out this photo-centric site here:

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Summer 2013 Playlist

Wilton, CT

I've been making a somewhat futile attempt to expand my musical tastes, especially in terms of international artists. These songs have made their way into a continual rotation in my car, on my iPhone, and on Spotify. All are destined to be part of my summer experience.

  • Lorde, Royals - Sparse music. Throaty vocals echoing from a girl who sounds three times her age. Catchy. Utterly perfect.
  • C2C, Down the Road - What starts off as a dusty 1930's blues riff becomes a psychologically twisted and remixed explosion of beats, orchestral hits, and vinyl scratches.
  • Passenger, Let Her Go - This passive and melodic tune has a certain melancholy that soars in direct opposition to the limited strength of the vocals. It works well.
  • Labrinth, Beneath Your Beautiful - A duet, which builds toward an amazing crescendo. A mix of soul, R&B and singer/songwriter heartfelt pleading.
  • Sleeping with Sirens, Feel - Punk and uptempo with lead male vocals that stretch into alto-ish territory. 
  • The Asteroids Galaxy Tour, Around the Bend - Love, love, love the horn section. It makes the song.
  • Bastille, Pompeii - The echoing male chants establish the foundation of this British band's techno-bedded masterpiece.