Posts tagged ‘manhattan’

2018/01/01

New Year list items!

  • Happy New Year!
  • This year we made 161 dumplings. This is more than last year. And exactly as delicious.
  • Nearly all of the old pre-WordPress log is now back online (at exactly the old URLs, too; yay, Panix!), so you can now follow the dumpling-count links ‘way back into the past if you are so inclined, and enjoy the old #996633 based color scheme (or the alternate CSS skins, haha I was so l33t back then!).
  • I go back to work tomorrow, after being on vacation for quite a long time due to having neglected to take very much vacation during the year.
  • Work is, as I have mentioned previously, in Manhattan! I am exceedingly fond of Manhattan, and these days regularly wish it were a bit closer to home, or that one had (and could afford) a nice little pied-à-terre down there to spend the night now and then.
  • The other day (while on vacation) I went down and had dinner with the little daughter, and then went out for a night of amazing jazz and blues at two prominent and wildly different Harlem clubs: Minton’s, and Paris Blues. Drank more than I had in years (bottle of beer, a screwdriver, and like four sangrias), walked a lot, and had a great time; the day deserves a weblog entry of its own, but may not get one given how much I’ve been writing weblog entries lately, so here we are.
  • While I haven’t been weblogging, I have been hanging out now and then on Quora (where I have apparently answered like 68 questions, although most not recently), and on Twitter (soooo much time on Twitter; it is among other things where I get most of my news).
  • Among other things on Quora, I answered a question with what turned out to be more or less that “How I Outgrew Libertarianism” post that I’ve been meaning to write here for years. Maybe I’ll eventually post it here, too, as-is or fleshed out.
  • I’m still in Second Life a few times most weeks, but not nearly as much as I used to be. Not sure why, exactly; probably the four hours a day of commuting every week day has something to do with it! (A SL client that worked on Metro North would be interesting.)
  • I was in WoW (rogue, demon hunter, priest, etc) pretty intensely for awhile after the expansion came out, but I got bored as usual at about the point where the main things left to do involve organized raiding parties.
  • After consulting the little boy about it randomly, I started playing SWTOR in early December, and rather quickly found myself with a max-level Jedi Shadow. (SWTOR doesn’t seem to have web-page character profiles, tsk!) The game is extremely WoW-like, except for being in space, and having a stronger notion of linear stories than WoW (and a whole lot more voice-acting and cut-scenes; a whole lot).
  • What else, what else? Just finished reading Single White Monk, and am vaguely thinking of writing a review and posting it somewhere. It’s an odd book; despite being about (parts of) the life of a Zen monk, there’s hardly any Zen at all in it, explicitly or otherwise.
  • Donald Trump and his odious administration continue to do awful things to the nation and the world, primarily out of a desire for wealth and power, and secondarily due to ignorance and incompetence; I hope that among other things 2018 sees the Republican Party’s role in the U.S. government significantly reduced.
  • I admit that I have not been going to protests or calling my (already anti-Trump) representatives as much as I did earlier in the year. If I made New Year’s Resolutions, one of them would be to get back to doing more of that in 2018.
  • Another one would be to have more compassion, and less snark, in my discussions with people that I disagree with on Twitter. (See our earlier discussions on how best to show compassion for, say, neo-Nazis, in a way that maintains compassion for everyone else.)
  • I’ve gotten pretty good, I think, over the years in noticing that, while it would probably be neat to own that thing, I would also be perfectly happy not owning it, and by not buying it I avoid increasing the number of unnecessary things I have. Another resolution would be to do a similar thing with food, and notice that, while it would be yummy to eat that thing, I would also be perfectly happy not eating it, and by not eating it I might be healthier in the long run.
  • One barrier to that is that eating (unlike owning objects) is in many cases helpful in staving off anxiety and depression, which while still well-controlled (yay, Rosuvastatin!), is also still always there in the wings.
  • I’m sure there were other things I was thinking of posting as list items here, but I can’t think of them at the moment, so perhaps I will post this soon.
  • Happy New Year Some More!
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2015/10/05

Interesting things

So here are some interesting things that have happened lately!

(I mentioned that whole “suddenly being in the U.S. Virgin Islands” thing already, right?)

I was sick for some number of days starting the Thursday after I got back; that is not all that interesting, though.

The other day, when I was standing on a Manhattan street corner fiddling with my phone, a man with wildish white hair and a beard and clothing perhaps a bit down-at-the-heel strode past me, and said not loudly not softly, “Ah, the matrix has got you”.

More recently, walking up 8th Avenue on the way to work, I put a dollar into the cup that a youngish man had put out, along with some packaged cookies and clothes and a skateboard, and somehow we got to talking.  I spent something like twenty minutes talking to him, and he told me that he was a Swiss Guard and a Mason, had taken a vow of poverty, and paid children to read various holy and spiritual works, and he read to me the part of the Koran (in English) that talks about the birth of Jesus, and he read to me a chapter of some epistle or other of Paul (I vaguely think it was Ephesians chapter 4, but reading it now it doesn’t sound the same; maybe it was a different translation, or just the context), and talked about how semen and (I will use his phrase) pussy juice are the most sacred substances (he got a hole all the way through his foot once, climbing a fence looking for a particular skate venue, and the juice healed it right up), and how everyone needs air, water, wisdom, and Woman (or Man, if you go that way), and when you’re depressed you need air, water, tobacco, and weed, and the whole time he was smiling and clearly having a good time.  I asked him if he’d read any Buddhist scripture, and he said yeah man, they’re my favorite!

While we were sitting there talking, two rather unkempt bearded guys sitting crosslegged on the sidewalk of 8th Avenue, a man came out of the little deli or bodega or whatever that is there, and looked at us, and went back inside, and shortly after came out with three sandwich-sized things wrapped in aluminum foil, and asked us if we’d like some sandwiches.  I said I was okay, but my interlocutor said sure he’d eat one, and he’d give the other two to people who needed them.  Which I can’t help but feel was wonderful all around.

(And then when I got into work 20 minutes late I discovered that I was just about to start an on-call shift, but it wasn’t until noon, nearly three hours away, so that was okay.)

And even more recently, having dropped M off on the G train to go to a class in Brooklyn, and riding back and forth between Grand Central and Times Square on the Shuttle just to see what that felt like, I met this amazing couple of little kids, the boy maybe 11 (maybe; I am terrible at estimating ages) who was rapping for tips when the car was full, and otherwise talking and bouncing around and doing pullups on the subway car bars, and asking me why I wasn’t getting off (“waiting for my daughter to text me back and see if I need to be anywhere”, I said, which I was), and his little sister maybe 9 (maybe), who he said a guy who was painting faces in the next car had rudely shoved aside and he’d better not try that again or he (the brother) would do him violence.

So many people!

And there are lots of metal rods with these plastic clamp-things on the ends on at least one platform in Grand Central, which I think are new (click for extra-giant version):

Clamp thing

I find myself not really approving of the plastic in terms of long-term durability, but that may be an irrational prejudice.

So how’s things?