Thursday, December 13, 2007

Just Another Day

A friend of mine told me recently that both getting less than six or more than ten hours of sleep on a regular basis can have an adverse effect on one's health. As this particular friend has completed medical school is currently doing his second year of residency, I trust him implicitly on such matters. This came to mind as I marveled at the bleariness of my eyeballs today as a result of having overslept, comparing it to the bleariness of my eyeballs yesterday as a result of beer and lack of sleep. Funny how that works.

As I walked up Manhattan Avenue to the Ashbox a little earlier, remnants of the Midwestern storm coating everything with a layer of icy not-quite-snow and reducing the flow of traffic to an uphill trickle, I reconsidered an old idea of mine: the two-way car horn. A simple construction, it would feature a normal car horn situated in a normal manner somewhere under the hood, and a second normal car horn situated inside the car in such a manner that the driver's head would absorb the majority of its sonic energy. Somehow I believe the city streets might be a fraction quieter if all cars were to be fitted with this feature. Of course, there'd be the occasional sick bastard who got off on it; automobiles of these folks would instead receive the in-seat electroshock device or beer-fart generator.

I've had a series of sightings around the neighborhood that illustrate what levels of weirdness are accepted as normal here in Brooklyn, several of which were successfully documented. (Ha! But not quite normal enough for you not to take a picture of them! you say. Ok, touché.) These are the moments where I think it was a fine idea to put a crappy camera on a cell phone, but regret forgetting to set the resolution a little higher. Small they may be, the images are clear enough.

First, one instance of walking behind something curious, I don't remember where:

And why not Santa Claus? Tis the season. Ho-ho-hmmmm...

Another instance of walking behind something even more curious, Bedford Ave. right in front of Mug's Ale House:

When is it ever really chicken season? I have to be careful, too, not to give all the credit to Williamsburg and New York at large for being silly places with silly sightings: one must reflect upon some of the characters floating around Hamburg during the summer...

Several Greenpoint crosswalk signs have been infected with the same disorder, this one at the corner of Nassau and Manhattan:

GREEN or RED?!? This one in particular makes me smile. It reminds me in particular of a t-shirt designed by one of my German associates, which design I shall post once rights have been cleared.

Today is the example you'd find if you looked up "shitty weather" in the dictionary. Warnings of winter severity floating around since yesterday, I was really hoping for a full-on Northern-Michigan-styled winter blast with swirly snow and cheek-chapping wind, but the icy attempt at snow of about 11:00 this morning has morphed almost entirely into rain, proving the case for Seasonal Affective Disorder. It's most of the reason why I haven't attempted to go home yet, and why I've resorted to writing about, uhh, the weather. Growing up in Northern Michigan, I never understood how anyone could hate winter. Never was it a depressive time of inactivity, of endurance. Winter was just as active as the other seasons, chock-full of skis and snowballs, made all the more pleasurable by by all things warm and cozy in conclusion to an afternoon outdoors. It came around at that perfect time when fall was getting a little too cold and gray, then colored the advent of spring with just that much more beauty and excitement. Until a few years of Ann Arbor and then New York, I hadn't realized that not everyone has beautiful fresh snow dumped upon them with regularity, that a more ubiquitous definition of winter includes words like gray, dark, bleak, and miserable.

New York exists in a region where, except for the two or three blizzards per season, winter pretty much sucks. Sometimes I think the best course of action come January and/or February involves leaving the city, seeking either real winter or no winter at all. To the latter, I've considered an LA adventure; perhaps the ridiculous parts would be more bearable if I knew I would never have to wear a winter coat or deal with "sleet." To the former, I sometimes think it would be great to rent a one-room cabin in the forest of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, alone with a bunch of books and a few instruments and pads of paper on which to write and/or draw. Though idyllic and Thoreau-ian it may sound, it would probably best be done with a community of people in a community of cabins, close enough to reach in a walk of 30 minutes or less, but pleasantly out of sight.

But for now, the plan is to hang here in the city and Make Things Happen, at least until the end of January. By then, some sort of intervention may be necessary.

It appears that while the crap falling from the sky hasn't yet stopped, it may be lessening. Time to make my break, I believe. And if I'm feeling especially plucky, perhaps I'll even go running in it.


Blogger Melisa said...

You've made me terribly homesick for some snow. Here we are grey and icy.

10:18 AM  

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