Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Moon Trills

Decided to go out on the deck tonight and sit for a few. I had a pack of Dunhill Menthols in the freezer, and against my better judgment (because I only smoke when I have no other choice), I brought a beer outside and lit one up.

Sitting out there, the weather was perfect, exactly the same temperature as it was inside, and I could hear crickets 100 feet away, which is what I love about Brooklyn. There's no way in hell you could hear a cricket 100 feet away in Manhattan. Here was my view:

It was quiet, the beer was cold, the Dunhill was smoky, and the moon was waxing gibbous. Started thinking about how completely insane it was that we landed men out there almost forty years ago, then I started thinking about the nonsensical inanity of our astronauts finally getting out there after countless generations dreaming about setting foot on the moon, and what did they do? They hit a golf ball.

I'm not a big fan of golf, so it seemed like a ridiculous thing to go tens of thousands of miles and hit a golf ball just to see how far it would go. Being an ex-hippie, I would have thrown a disc golf disc. Which is quite lame in and of itself.

But I remember a time that, being a Cancer, I was infatuated with the moon. So cold, so distant, so magical. Especially if you were a fan of Tom Robbins. There was even a time when I strongly considered getting a tattoo of the full moon on the inside of my upper arm, when I was a passionate mid-twenty year old. The moon held so much power, and an infinite sense of mystery. When the moon was full, I acted strangely and I didn't know why. It still happens.

So, sitting on the deck tonight, I was suddenly content with the feeling that I was in a place where the moon became a fantastic imaginary locale to throw a disc golf disc. I imagined how far it would fly. Would it ever land?

And now I'm concerned. Have my thoughts become trivial in my older age? Have I stopped thinking as deeply? Have I become a corporate astronaut? Was my life somehow more interesting when I valued the mystery over the possibilities?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Jesus Toast, etc.

Recent observations:

1. It's hot here in New York. It's hot everywhere, I realize, but there's something special about acres of concrete and steel and a sprinkling of trees arranged in a grid under direct sun with exhaust trapped inside.

2. You can buy an iPhone on eBay, but they cost more than the ones in the stores. You can even buy a slightly used iPhone with an image of Jesus burned into a slice of toast as your wallpaper. And for $894, the price of the Jesus Toast iPhone includes the slice of toast.

3. At least once a day, there will be a man or woman on the train walking the length of the car announcing the story of their homelessness to the passengers, 99% of whom respond by staring down at their book or their iPod or the suddenly intriguing pattern of gum stains on the floor. Newcomers to New York, if they have a good heart, will give them money. New Yorkers love their anonymity and see homeless people every day, so they usually do not. If an unfortunate soul asks for food or money, whatever you can spare, I can respect that. The best solution in this situation is to keep a granola bar in your bag and give that to them. They're tasty as hell, and everyone needs fiber in their diet.

3a. Another reason why New Yorkers are wary of the homeless is that quite a few of them are batshit crazy. The general rule is that if you see someone who looks slightly wonky and is talking to himself, don't make eye contact with him. It brings him out of his reverie and usually causes him to hate you for judging him. And he'll probably start saying nasty things to you, or at least mutter them to himself. Which is harmless, but it goes back to wanting to remain anonymous and respecting the privacy of others, especially when they're batshit crazy.

4. People who live here have thought of every possible way to celebrate living here. There are festivals, parades, exhibitions, appreciations, gatherings, block parties, etc. For example, there is a subsect of Manhattanite pagan heathens who celebrate one particular day out of the year when the sun sets exactly according to the grid plan, i.e., you can see the sun setting in the western slot of every street in Manhattan. It's called Manhattanhenge. I took a picture that week from Doug and Tina's apartment in Brooklyn, and it's uncanny:

5. Cereal is the easiest meal to prepare. If you want to get fancy, add a banana. But adding fruit makes it A.) more expensive, and B.) twice as difficult to prepare.

6. I don't print out my photographs anymore. I wonder how many people do.

7. My new favorite hobby is watering the outdoor plants. What could possibly be better than fighting global warming with 8 robust and beautiful creatures who rely on me for sustenance? Plus, there's nothing on earth that beats spraying a hose on your bare feet on a scorching hot deck.

8. Although I've been on vacation 10 days in the last three weeks, I'm sick of work and would rather be in Rum Point, Grand Cayman: