Friday, October 30, 2020

Wash away #2

A week of rain; the last two days have been particularly harsh and miserable.  Normally, it would probably affect a person's mood, but I've felt focused and driven - albeit physically tired, due to erratic sleep - and that's a good feeling.  Awake and working by 7 a.m. (at the least!); my health seems to be on a positive tract and the one thing I've been acutely aware of is to NOT allow myself to be sucked into the vortex of lunacy that's swept through almost everyone in this last week before the Presidential elections.  This madness/childishness/sheer idiocy is worse than the actual medical pandemic.  

My take is simple:  I'm going to my polling place on Tuesday morning to vote, as I've done every year since 1984, when I was 18 and finally able to.  That's it.  I take my responsibility as a voter seriously; however, I am not a sloganeer or jingoist; I no longer share my political views with anyone because they may not be the same as someone else's and I prefer to show respect for an opposing view - and I say that even if someone I don't agree with tries to push their agenda on me.  I allow people to say their piece, as they have a right to.  I may not share that view, but it's their right and I accept it.  The whole point being that if it's a constructive dialogue, I'm happy to listen.  I know there is a LOT of concern on what may happen afterward (I hope it's just projection and not hinting) by either side and that is troubling, but let's get to the post-election, first, before calling the charge for riots, etc.

In this time of working from home, I've found that it's been one of the best experiences of my professional life - I go to the office, once or twice a week for the basics - there's such a good balance now.  I get my work done from home without interruption and it can be done correctly and expeditiously because there are no distractions; I don't have to commute daily, which has a number of benefits there and overall, I feel like this has helped bring my stress levels to a low, which I am aware of and thankful for.  And even in this time when things have gone horribly awry, there are some minor "victories" - the normalcy of going to my regular barber (for the first time since February) and getting a great haircut and beard trim; having my preferred lunch place near the office open for business again, etc.

On the down side, I am terribly saddened that two of my long-time haunts are gone/going away.  I've gone to Astor Place Hair since 1980, on and off, and they're closing after 75 years.  And my all-time favorite restaurant, Otto, has closed without fanfare.  I will always treasure the many wonderful nights; amazing food, great drinks and perfect company - the best atmosphere I can think of in a long, long time and it's another melancholic addition to my memories - but memories that will make me smile, if I revisit them.

Tuesday, October 06, 2020

October and kingdoms rise...

It's been, thus far, a deliciously mild autumn - jackets are optional; the air isn't quite chilly, the trees haven't been stripped of leaves, etc. yet.  A strange time, however - still; we're all in this purgatory and, it seems, certain politicians are trying to instill a new wave of panic and fear that this pandemic is rising again.  I'm not falling prey to any of it - I continue to conduct my life the same way I have, since this began:  wear a mask; keep a safe distance from others, always practice common-sense hygiene (shocking how so few people understand this concept!) and don't go out, if it isn't necessary.  I already had my flu shot a few weeks ago (haven't missed one since 1996); I take my daily regimen of vitamins and supplements and try to maintain a calm and balanced life.  This isn't so difficult, but media loves to make mountains out of molehills.

Nonetheless, it's a quiet time, which I treasure.  The joy of going out the other night to a wonderful, delicious dinner at a nice restaurant indoors for the first time since March (to celebrate our 22nd wedding anniversary) was a huge moment - low key, but perfect and an evening of pure joy.  Been reading a lot more again; picked up my guitar again and at last report from my colonoscopy follow up, I've lost 18 pounds, which is a thrill, frankly.

So in wrapping this entry up, I was just alerted to the very sad news that Eddie Van Halen has died at age 65.  I was immediately catapulted back to the summer of '83, when we had just graduated from high school.  We spent many nights, driving around in my friend Darren's car, blasting Van Halen's Diver Down album and it's a memory I treasure.  I saw Van Halen in July, '81, at Madison Square Garden with Judas Priest as the opening band - they were one of the few heavy rock bands I really liked (being a "punk" rocker didn't allow or accept such transgressions...).  To this day, I still love those original Van Halen albums, from the debut through to 1984, and this is just another one of those ugly reminders of how brief our own stars shine.