A New Year, A New Blog

It’s 2018 and I am here to share every silly little thing.

As I write this, I am sitting in my parents living room and we are all drinking multiple cups of coffee. Each one of us is sick with something or other, so we celebrated in last night. Games were played, shrimp cocktail was devoured, and lots of progress was made on a GOT puzzle.

I return home tomorrow after a 16-day NYC sabbatical and as always, I am not sure how I feel about it. My time here has been rejuvenating, and I know as soon as I step off the Amtrak train in Penn Station, I will get sucked into the energy vortex that is NYC. The same vortex that prevents New Yorkers from allowing passengers to exit a subway train before they try and board the train, and the very thing that makes Times Square the worst place to be in NYC, and perhaps the entire world.

So, before I get too cranky about it, as it is a holiday, after all, I will go back to my coffee and New Year’s Pretzel.

Happy New Year to all, and looking forward to sweating the small stuff with you for the next 364 days.

 

Advertisements

Sweet Singing in the Choir

b929b112660c32b65d6077d249b2e294I sing in a community choir in Brooklyn. Over the past 4 years, the membership cost of the choir has doubled and the school we are associated with has shortened the number of our performances. This fall we went 3 weeks with inadequate light in our rehearsal room before they changed the lightbulbs and the staff was annoyed that we even asked to have the bulbs changed.

We always have a winter concert in January or February, and that means having rehearsal on MLK Day, an observed holiday in NYC. We also have a summer concert that happens right after Memorial Day and we have to rehearse on Memorial Day.

Continue reading

Names

forgot-your-name-300I cannot remember names to save my life.

Yesterday, I went to a yoga class with an instructor I have never taken from before. She introduced herself and then proceeded to go around the room and memorize all of our names. There were about 25 students in the class and she called us by our first names during the entire 90-minute class.

As I left the studio, she said, “Great class, April.”

I turned around and said, “Thank you so much for the class.” ending there as I could not recall her name.

Each time this happens I tell myself I need to work on this skill. But, after 25+ years of telling myself that, perhaps, I just need to accept my failure.

9518d672289f273bd2fb417d77599df9--funny-school-memes-college-memes

 

 

 

 

Just Bagels

IMG_5299Bagels are one of my favorite foods and back when I ate them, I loved discovering a killer bagel in NYC. When Andy and I started using FreshDirect in the late 2000’s, we ordered two packs of frozen bagels baked by a company in the Bronx called Just Bagels.

We were stunned at how delicious these bagels were. Two of my favorite NYC bagel bakers are Astoria Bagel Company in Queens and The Bagel Pub in Brooklyn, and Just Bagels is right up there with them.

Continue reading

Facebook

gettyimages-480815331-ae42c47e2071cb2db686f806c61e5928daf380e5-s1500-c85

Changes to the Facebook platform were reported in the New York Times this morning. It seems as Facebook is changing their algorithm to prioritize friends and family in the newsfeed over viral content.

I deleted the Facebook app and messenger app from my phone about six months ago and have limited my interactions by logging in once a day during the week and ignoring it on the weekends. When I log on, I tend to any messages I have, delete any memories I don’t care about, and check my notifications. Then, I log off.

I have threatened to completely leave Facebook in the past, but haven’t brought myself to actually leave the platform. After reading today’s news, I realized that prioritizing friends and family wasn’t going to pull me back in. Limiting my Facebook usage sprung from two other issues I have with the platform.

 

The first is logging on and immediately being emotionally bombarded about things that don’t matter to me. A good example of this would be a devasting post about a death of a young family member of someone I haven’t spoken to in 20 years. It may be sad, but in the grand scheme of my life, it’s not important. These “emotional bombs” were getting too much of my empathetic attention. The kind of attention that should be reserved for people who are actually within my real friends and family circle.

The second is the growing psychological findings that people who are truly unhappy post more on social media than others. In addition to this, Facebook “likes” act like dopamine in the brain so people who need mental validation to increase their emotional stability often post more than other users to get that positive high.

When I read about the above, I started realizing that some people I frequently see in-person, who are not happy with their lives for one reason or another, fall into the trap of constantly posting about how wonderful their lives are on Facebook. I often wonder aloud, “You literally just told me how unhappy you are, but yet you seem to be having the time of your life as per your Facebook page.” So, I started questioning a good deal of what I was seeing in my timeline. This realization of this highly curated content made the whole platform seem inauthentic, so I stopped constantly scrolling through my newsfeed as it was all starting to look like fake news.

I have found limiting my use of the platform has greatly improved the quality of my day to day life. However, my time away from Facebook hasn’t given me back a ton of time. I still find myself on Instagram wasting an hour, or two, of my day. But, I do walk away from Instagram feeling more positive and less emotionally drained than I would if I had spent the same amount of time on Facebook.

 

Shovel it, Please

I am feeling old and grumpy as hell today. Sorry to anyone who may have encountered me in my fury.

We have a law here in NYC that you have to shovel at least a four foot pathway for pedestrians in front of your property.

For the past 6 winters this piece of crap CVS on Nostrand Avenue does the laziest job of shoveling and I am sick of it. So today I decided I had enough of their crap and I reported them to 311. Perhaps 311 is a black hole of complaints, but it still felt good to report them.

The owners of the property never shovel, they took the self checkout lanes out of the store so the lines are too goddamned long, and their prices are higher than Manhattan.

Just look at that lazy shoveling job:

I’m turning into my father.

King Cake Season is Here, But…

I am not from New Orleans and have no official connection to Mardi Gras, but I like to celebrate carnival season. I tell myself that it helps me get through NYC winters and gives me something to look forward to.

Normally I don’t eat king cake until closer to Fat Tuesday, but I may have a hurricane, or three, as the season ramps up to our annual Mardi Gras party. But, as I was inundated with king cake pictures on Instagram this morning, I remembered I am doing a post-holiday Whole30, and there will be no hurricanes until February.

Nooooooooooooooo!!!!

Andy and I spent the day cleaning the apartment and taking down the Christmas decorations, and I could use a festive reward. But, I will have to stick with my noodle-less chicken soup, water, and this annoying SVU marathon that’s on tonight.

If you are celebrating Epiphany, or the start of carnival, have a drink for me!