Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Winter's Walk

I spent a couple of hours tromping through Central Park this afternoon, the slice between 65th and 80th Streets. It was late afternoon, and the shadows were falling, but folks were still sledding and walking throughout the park. Cold, but not brutally so, it was New York City wearing her winter Sunday best. Grab a cup of cocoa and enjoy!

Saturday, January 15, 2011


No one has appeared at my door with gold, frankincense, or myrrh. There are no camels parked on the sidewalk on 115th. And I'm afraid that in this day and time, if you got three wise men together, they'd just end up bickering and throwing insults at each other.

That said and in keeping with this season of Epiphany, little sparklers in my tiny brain have been fizzing all week with illuminating discoveries and realizations. Since you're dying to know what those insights are (wink-wink), I'll share them, in no particular order:
  • Noses are funny. Funny, as in odd, weird, not attractive. Look around. Start noticing noses. Except for babies and small children (and even lots of them have funny noses), that protuberance in prime face real estate is strange. I don't know why this revelation suddenly hit me this week, but one can't control epiphanies. Oh. And ears are funny, too, but they're not right in the middle of your face.
  • I don't need 350 Facebook friends. I dearly love keeping up with family, childhood friends, my buddies from Turner Broadcasting, and assorted others, and unlike the Facebook-haters, I find it a wonderful way to stay connected with folks. But as I looked through my list of "friends" over the New Year's holiday, it suddenly hit me that I wanted to readjust who I keep up with. So I quietly disconnected almost 100 Facebook contacts. Oh, yes, I'm the Great De-friender . . .
  • I'm ready to get rid of all my books. Well, not all, but I have become a book-hoarder, and soon there'll be a reality show camera crew invading my apartment, complete with a fake TV psychologist telling me and the rest of America about my very unhealthy book pathology. I do clear out the books once in a while, but as I sit looking at my shelves and thinking about the boxes of books stored in my closets and under the bed, I'm struck with the question: Why? Why all the books? Now, some I could never part with, but most? Most have served their time and should be passed along to others. Don't know how. Don't know when. But I must have a proper, thorough book-purge soon.
  • I can live without 24/7 news. I'm taking the Big Picture-Over Time view these days. I do not need to know what's going on all the time. Since I lost political efficacy about 10-12 years ago, the system tends to tick along without my obsessive following anyway. Compulsive news-tracking is as shortsighted as checking stock investments hourly. Sit back. Take action if necessary (yes, keep voting). But news-bombardment just keeps me (and everybody else, so it seems) in an anger zone. I'm chillin', folks. Y'all go on without me for a while.
  • One does not need to publicly comment or give an opinion on everything. Since when did we assume everyone might be interested in what we're thinking? Does adding our 2-cents'-worth to online news stories or call-in chat shows raise the level of conversation and understanding, or does it further alienate us? We're all entitled to our opinions, but most of the time it's better to keep them to ourselves. (And yes, I see a bit of irony in the fact that I'm saying this on a public blog.)
I'm trying to figure out if these are true revelations or just a result of getting older. I'll wait for another little epiphany on that one. But if three guys want to turn up on my doorstep with a little gold or Chinese food, I'll not turn them away.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Shorty's Sense of Snow

Folks either love it or hate it. There is no middle ground. Snow brings out the cheerleader or the protester in people.

Me? Oh, honey, I'm leading the band marching out in front of the cheerleaders. I. Love. Snow. Love it. Can't get enough November through February.

Snowfall is always thrilling to me. I'm sure it harks back to the childhood anticipation of no-school "snow days" and the chance to spend a day or two rolling around in the cold, white stuff. Time was spent alternately freezing as we played outside and warming up with hot chocolate and Campbell's Soup once we were back in the house. Back and forth, back and forth. Freezing, warm. Freezing, warm. There's something so energizing and comforting in the process.

Then again, I don't hate cold weather like some folks do. I love the freshness of it. Even in a big city, the air seems brighter and more appealing than the stale, damp awfulness of summer heat. It's the one time of year that I'm comfortable with the temperature. For most people 98.6 is normal; for me, it's 99.4 (just ask my doctor and the Red Cross). Since I naturally run hotter than the rest of the population, I welcome a good thermometer plunge. 

I have more creative energy in winter. Maybe it's the sharpness of the air outside that wakes up lethargic brain cells. Maybe it's permission from the weather-gods to spend time inside and dream outrageously. Maybe it's that soups, stews, and hot chocolate inspire me more than sterile green salads. Whatever.

Once February's over and the calendar says March? My snow-love is put away until November. But right now my calendar says January.

So, shake those flakes from the clouds. Paint bare tree branches with a layer of white. Give me something to scrunch my boots through. Offer me the chance (even at my advanced age) to make snow angels, snowballs, and snowmen. Inspire me. Delight me.

Let it snow.