Happy New Year’s Eve 2020

We’re about to say goodbye and good riddance to 2020, the fire in a dumpster year. Of course, who’s to say that 2021 won’t bring on its own madness?

The year in review stuff hadn’t been much to impress me, because the year from March onward was dominated by the pandemic, racial injustice, and the presidential election. On the one hand, thank goodness Joe Biden won. On the other hand, let’s get to the inauguration and realize that there is so much hard work to do and to face. If we can commit to take better action, maybe there is still hope?

Do take a moment to reflect on those we lost this year, how we maintain and cherish the relationships we still have, and how we may still have much to hope for.

I’m re-sharing the link that I had shared back last year, December 31, 2019, on Facebook: “Start Fresh: 6 Tips For Emotional Well-Being In 2020” over at NPR. Why didn’t I follow these ideas in 2020? Well, I renew so-called resolutions for awhile now. These are still good ideas.

I took off from work today and spent much of it trying to do my last day of the year donations to all my causes. So, consider this the annual reminder that, if you can, don’t forget to do this before the year’s ends in a few hours. And, apparently, the CARES Act or whichever bill it was that had been passed is trying to encourage more donations. Donations might not be the solution, but at least we’re trying? And, anyway, consult a tax professional for the correct details on tax implications.

On a much lighter note: the year in pop culture was a mixed bag. NY metro area sports were a bust. The movies I did not see – well, so that goes. I did get to see the virtual offerings of the Asian American International Film Festival! And, Team Triscribe did enter the 72 Hour Shootout! Oh, I think that we forgot to blog about either of those items, so… maybe we should blog more in 2021…

Looking through my e-mails, I was almost impressed by this Williams Sonoma e-mail for their big warehouse sale. They’re selling a Star Wars Instant Pot/pressure cooker, which in in the same of R2D2. So cute! And, not cheap but on sale. I have no need for it, but really cute… Oh, goodness, they even have an R2D2 toaster…

Meanwhile, it’s 2021 already for some parts of the world! I still remember how 2000 was the year in which a lot of the TV channels went with a time zone to time zone celebration. There was something really amazing about that (granted, that was when the Internet wasn’t what it has become; check that out, kids). Sometimes I wish that we keep holding on to that feeling of amazement (the good kind of amazement, not the “WTF” bad kind).

I’ll likely post again later to note what I read during 2020. The pandemic ended up not being all that conducive to my reading habits, let alone my exercising habits or much else. But, here’s to hoping for all the best for 2021! Maybe? Uh… 🙂

(cross-posted at sswslitinmotion.tumblr.com)

Post-Snowmageddon 2016

Some wrap up on the storm!  Last week this time, we were in the tail end of the blizzard.  There are various names for it – Snowpocalypse, Snowmaggedon, etc. I went with Snowmaggedon simply because it was a lot; I did not call it “Jonah” just because I was not giving in to the Weather Channel’s ridiculous naming conventions of winter storms (no, Weather Channel, these storms aren’t like hurricanes).

Of course, because the blizzard happened on a Saturday, it wasn’t a snow day that disrupted the workday. And, I had predicted no snow accumulation at all, a few days before the storm; I was shocked that, by 11am Saturday, 1/23/16, the thing was a blizzard and was going to be less than two feet.  It wasn’t like I did math or anything, of course…

Anyway, I generally thought that the city did a decent job – the travel ban more or less got people off the streets; the MTA didn’t totally go overboard, even though removing bus and removing subways from exterior lines were measures that left everybody but Manhattan (well, more or less) without travel anyway.  More specifically, however, on Facebook, I did gripe  about how the street corners/crosswalks were in awful shape by Sunday evening, 1/24/16, and questioned who was responsible for that, since clearly no one anything.

On the Monday after the blizzard, 1/25/16, Gothamist had a good post on the problem at street corners/crosswalks. I agree that this is a yearly problem, but I ended up not e-mailing my city councilman about it, since the melting happened so fast by Tuesday, 1/26/16 (hitting more than 40 degrees, short of 50 degrees, Fahrenheit can do that easily).  NY Times says that the job of clearing snow to the corners belongs to the property owners adjacent to that sidewalk, but I think that enforcement – in the form of hefty fines – is clearly not happening. Someday we have to figure this out in a better way, if only to ensure public safety. Sigh.

Also, the perennial question appeared to be who will the city leave behind/forget in the process of plowing.  Given that this was a historic blizzard, I was curious, and lo and behold, it looked like Queens, the biggest borough, made the stink about how their neighborhoods didn’t get plowed (Staten Island came awfully lose, when I was watching the news late that Sunday night). I’m not going to belittle how Queens got buried, but considering how every mayor since John Lindsay has tried so hard to save Queens from snow, I do wonder why we haven’t figured out how to do better by now with Queens.

Bob Hardt over at NY1’s Inside City Hall’s blog, raised the point in his post about the plowing that, the city did a decent job and unfortunately, someone is going to be the last plowed, but the city ought to review and revise the plowing plan.

Then, the NY TImes covered how the city had a new plowing plan and that it clearly didn’t do that great a job for Queens. Apparently, after the December 2010 – day after Christmas mess which stranded a lot of us in south Brooklyn and the rest of the outerboroughs – Sanitation modified the usual plowing of primary, secondary, and tertiary streets, and used a so-called two level process, critical and sector. I thought the NY Times article was interesting for explaining the process, but didn’t quite fully explain what happened.

Frankly, I had no idea that Sanitation wasn’t doing their usual primary, secondary, and tertiary plowing during the blizzard. Then again, it sounds like a lot of finger pointing going on, so the city and the media might actually want to thoroughly investigate what happened and what might be a better system, so we don’t ended up leaving people buried and stranded again.

My theory – which is hardly based on any real scientific research on my part, of course – is that we’ll have more weird, wacky storms with the climate instability.  We might want to learn to adapt somehow, but it sure is going to cost us…

Anyway, if we’re lucky, we might not see more snow for awhile yet? And, the snow was a generally better distraction compared to a lot of other bad news in the world.

Taking a Pause to Remember and Reflect

(reposting last year’s post, on this anniversary)

As we have done previously:

Try to remember the kind of September

When life was slow and oh, so mellow.

Try to remember the kind of September

When grass was green and grain was yellow.

-“Try to Remember,” from The Fantasticks.

Another photo I had taken a couple of years ago (maybe last year or two ago?).


(I took the photo above at the Brooklyn Promenade, a couple of years ago. That framed picture is still there, do check it out if you’re in the neighborhood. — ssw15).