Category Archives: Brooklyn

End of NaNoWriMo or Happy December!

So, that was the end of National Novel Writing Month.  A little recap…

Technically, I “won” on Thanksgiving (Day 27), an hour or so after midnight.  But, I more or less finished the story on November 30 (of course): “Masquerade’s End,” clocking in on the NaNoWriMo site counter at 61162 words (my count at 61206). A retiring superhero (whose superpowers are his money, his sheer willpower, and desire to do what’s right) struggles to accept that he’s physically slowing down and wants a life, while a serial killer threatens the city.  It’s practically a Batman pastiche, without the satire element and definitely not in the style of Frank Miller’s “The Dark Knight” (well, I’d like to think so).

I have no idea whether I’ll ever continue it or revise it. I kind of want to, but it’s too early to say.

For those who did it: WE DID IT, wrimos!  (you know who you are!)

And, for those who didn’t make 50k: you tried and that’s what matters.  You wrote a lot and you got creative.  And, there’s next year, or pick your own month and do it!  National Novel Writing Month is something worth trying and doing.

Well, on to December.  Maybe I’ll finally get back to the writing revision project.  I have to catch up on television and read some books.  I can’t believe 2014 is flying by!

(cross-posted at sswslitinmotion)

Happy Thanksgiving 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

This isn’t a law blog (i.e., “blawg”), and I’m not in the area of criminal law or certain areas of civil rights law to really discuss with any great articulation about this week’s news regarding Ferguson, MO. PBS Newshour has a tidy and expansive coverage, and I’m a PBS supporter, so I’m linking it. I’ll also link to the coverage over at Slate, which includes some incisive legal analysis by Dahlia Lithwick and Sonja West.

I’ll also share the commentary by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (NBA legend/writer), posted over at Time.com, and I especially admired his closing thoughts:

But we have to remember that the goal of protesting is to raise awareness in those that don’t agree. This is not done instantly, through one gathering. Nor is it done through the persistent occupation of one space. It has to be a national movement, and it has to keep its energy high. When enough people across the country gather to say something, more and more people will listen.

Second, the violence and looting is counter-productive because it redirects the message away from the reasoned arguments to just the emotion. The roar of the fires and the sound of shattering glass drowns out the voices demanding change. The level of frustration that leads to violence is understandable: When you’re treated as if you’re not a valued member of society, why should you uphold society’s values? But violence turns away potential allies and only provides more targets to start the cycle over again. Yes, we must be passionate about the situation, but only because our passion will fuel the open discourse.

A lot of food for thought, and I can only wish that civil dialog, with the intention of persuasion not merely opposition, could occur alongside civil disobedience. But, we’re living in interesting times, as usual.

So, this year, Slate’s current Moneybox writer, Jordan Weissmann, poses the argument on why one shouldn’t shop on Thanksgiving Day.

I’m linking to last year’s post, a lot of which I said still holds up (and was in response to the past Slate Moneybox writer Matthew Yglesias, on why it might not be so bad to work/shop on Thanksgiving); as I said last year:

I get that there are people who are willing to work on Thanksgiving or Christmas.  And, Christmas, in my mind, is more of a religious holiday, even if a lot of secular folk and the American government have taken advantage of it.  If you want to be open and/or work on Christmas, go ahead.  There are a lot of non-Christians who need servicing. I won’t judge.

But, Thanksgiving – notwithstanding its complicated history (much like anything and everything else in this country) – is a uniquely American holiday and unites everyone, because it’s not about race, gender, national origin, religion, lack of religion, or whatever.  It’s about being American and being grateful.  Maybe Thanksgiving is more than grouching about whether you’re working or not and shopping demonstrates greed/lack of greed/save capitalism and the free market/economy and how much free will is involved when someone chooses to work/open the business on a holiday… the debating is endless.

I feel like it comes down to our national values and our culture.  Do businesses have to be open on Thanksgiving – for just one day?  Are businesses just about money?  Do corporations – assuming they’re people too, as former Gov. Mitt Romney said and legally, they are – have one core value?  Do they have one element of patriotism?  Just pick one day where you don’t cross a line and say why.  And, can’t we as Americans have one nice thing to agree on?

The lines are blurred.  All the crazy arguing – this is why we can’t have nice things.  (insert sarcasm there, in case you didn’t catch the sarcasm).

Hmm.

I know: weird that I’m quoting myself… Anyway, bottomline for 2014: hey, corporations, as legal people, you ought to have values; give your employees a living wage and don’t be open on Thanksgiving, when it turns out that the deals aren’t even that great anyway (except you want to exploit people’s desire to buy gifts for others).

Past links to past triscribe observances of this great American holiday - the master post.  I couldn’t find a Thanksgiving 2012 blog post. That was the year of Superstorm/Hurricane Sandy, so go figure.

My Nat’l Novel Writing Month project just hit 50k words. I don’t even know how to end the damn “story.”  And it is a glorious mess indeed, without wormholes. Eh. (no, that was not a joke to Christopher Nolan’s movie “interstellar,” which I still haven’t seen yet).

Don’t overeat, watch the parade, and some football. But, take a moment to be grateful for what we have; we are all luckier than we may think we are.

Post Veterans Day/Pre-Thanksgiving

It’s that time of year… when calories might become a problem.

Also, I’m not sure whether to give any credit of any kind – extra or negative – to the house a few blocks away for putting up Christmas lights since Veterans Day.

This week, the bunch of us had a birthday dinner for FC/celebration for the 72 Hour Shootout (celebrating our making the top 35 this year).  See the links here: watch the video and all that. We ate a lot at Hill Country BBQ Market, in Brooklyn. Meat. Dessert. Whoa.

The passing of director Mike Nichols.  I remembered watching, years ago, the documentary, “Nichols and May,” on PBS’ “American Masters” – about Nichols’ career as a comedic duo.  (nice tribute from PBS).  Watching the documentary was great – Nichols and Elaine May were neurotic and hilarious, with ridiculous chemistry.  Their famous Mother and Son skit was smothering (of course), a little incestuous (uh…), and laugh out loud funny (oh, boy).  Embedded below – you should see this!

I looked over the list of Nichols movies and realized that I’ve probably seen more of his dramas than his comedies and not realized that those were his movies (that’s a compliment – while he was the director, the movies seemed to be actor-oriented – so that made those movies that rich in viewing for me, anyway), and I keep saying I’d watch more of those movies in the Nichols list (but… never enough time!).  I was reading how Nichols wasn’t the kind of stylistic director as a Steven Speilberg or a Martin Scorsese, but I admire Nichols’ versatility and interest in characters.

While I’m at it, I’ll also link to NPR’s Linda Holmes’ commentary on the career of Mike Nichols. Good stuff worth reading, on a varied and fascinating career and what Nichols’ storytelling really does in grappling on the what it means to be human question.

Also, glad I’m not in Buffalo.  A winter’s worth of snow… in a week. The lake effect is nuts.  Gothamist posted photos from Buffalo, with the cute dog in the snow (hopefully safe).  Gothamist linked to the news about NFL moving the NY Jets vs. Buffalo Bills game to Detroit because of the snow in Buffalo. According to Gothamist (in one of those laugh out loud lines): “The minute Detroit becomes the preferred weather-friendly destination, you know shit is real.”

That’s kind of funny: some Bills players had to snowmobile themselves to the airport to get the plane to Detroit. And, really, who in Michigan is going to watch the Jets and Bills? And, it’s not like people in Buffalo who aren’t Bills players or coaches or significant others will make the trek (well, free tickets). Jets fans, maybe? (umm, yeah, I’m not really a Jets fan)…

I’m apparently the only one proposing to sell Buffalo’s lake effect snow to California. True, it’d be expensive to ship, but hey, it’s a win-win idea. Help out people in Buffalo and California, and get money moving…

Behind on a lot of tv stuff this week. Bit of a Doctor Who withdrawal (might have to resort to watching Peter Capaldi’s other stuff). And I’m reminding myself that writer’s block is an illusion this month… Back to NaNoWriMo writing.