Sunday, June 19, 2016

Juneteenth I: Life

Got a lot to say this time around, so I've separated it into three 'blog posts: life, politics, and music. This is the life edition.

I'm done with the insomnia, save the sporadic one- or two-night bout since that horrorshow ended in April; thanks, everyone who expressed support and offered suggestions. I think stress played a large role, but the truth is I haven't felt quite like me in a while now. When I saw this "Bloom County" strip two weeks ago, I was struck by how much I identified with Opus in it:


Not so much herring in this one, please

While I've never done (or considered) yoga, or serious meditation, I'd always been able to conjure up a certain amount of zen, so that moments of anger or sorrow or what have you wouldn't overwhelm me for long... but not lately. Not for about three years now. It ebbs and flows, this self-diagnosed depression of mine, but it hasn't ebbed back as far as I'd like in quite some time. Maybe now that I've acknowledged that, I can do something about it, something that doesn't involve downing lots of Herring Wallbangers. I finally started using this Buddha Board, which I bought last year while visiting a Japanese cultural center with my cousin in Florida last year, at work:




I can paint on it with water, and as the water evaporates, my painting disappears. Not that I'm creating masterpieces, even ephemeral ones, with it, but I find it's a good way to get out my feelings or lighten my mood. I also realize that I haven't been running in far too long, and I need to start doing that again. Laura and I had both noticed that working out helped her "even out," and I'm sure it does the same for me.

Keeping busy helps keep my mind from dwelling on things too much, too, and I've certainly been doing that since my last 'blog post. I've seen Tania Stavreva perform at the Drawing Room again, got festive at Lambertville's Shad Fest, viewed "Purple Rain" on the big screen with Rhonda and her daughter Linda, went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art with Barbara for the "Manus x Machina" exhibition, watched my friends Dave and Shawn exchange their vows, took in "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" and "Captain America: Civil War" on the same day, followed by some dramatic readings of Edgar Allan Poe's works, visited historic Smithville (and the Olive Garden) with my parents for my dad's birthday, tried several times to engage with a rabbit residing near the office, and enjoyed a much-needed boozy brunch with Yesika in Gramercy, and a slightly-boozy after-work get-together (so many hyphens!) with Jenn and Vaida in Ridgewood. Yesterday, I managed to fit in laundry, the Mermaid Parade at Coney Island and a bit o' sunburn, Trenton's Art All Night (during the early evening, but still), and a Trenton Thunder baseball game, though technically I didn't get home until today. (As always, photos from my excursions through life can be viewed in the Gallery... of Death!) While I'm comfortable with doing a lot of things by myself, it's always nice to know that there are people who do want to get out and do things with me.

And of course there's more comin' up. I need to squeeze in a trip or three to the Jersey shore this summer, of course, as well as at least one trip to the New York Renaissance Faire (and there be new Vixens!). I'll be seeing Tania again in two weeks, first at Carnegie Hall (Carnegie Hall!) and the following evening back at Tenri Cultural Institute. Before that, I'm going to catch Brazilian sensation Céu at the Highline Ballroom, and hopefully two or three shows next weekend. You know what I say about blurs and blurbs... There's a Thanksgiving in July event I believe I shall attend, the Coathangers at the Bowery Ballroom, the Boston Comic Con in August (and I've already bought my ticket to get a photo with Amy Pond and Clara Oswald - yes, it'd long been established that I'm a geek)... and the Prophets of Rage. Yep, I'm going to see the supergroup of justified anger in Brooklyn on August 27th, and help make America rage again. I'm also going to see the one-time Angry Young Man himself, Billy Joel, live in concert for the first (likely only) time, the day after my birthday.


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