This is probably the hottest December I can ever remember. Usually around this time of year we are wondering about whether we will have snow for Christmas, but this year’s Christmas will be a balmy 70 degrees. I guess the fact that we have Florida weather in NYC this Christmas saves money for those who travel to avoid the cold temperatures, but it does make it hard to get into the Holiday spirit when you can walk around in a summer t-shirt. This winter has been hectic to say the least, but at least we haven’t had to deal with shoveling of snow. Over the past few years the weather has been interesting, some people want to blame the change in climate on human actions, others want to blame it on natural occurrence, the only thing I can truly say about it is that we must be prepared to face the weather changes no matter what. If the change is indeed due to human actions, then I am not too certain that we can actually fix the problem at this point. I understand that most major industrialized countries are trying to use cleaner energy sources and reduce emissions, but until the cost of installing and maintaining these cleaner energy systems is reduced, it would be hard for many in this economy to adopt these new measures. If clean energy companies were more willing to use less expensive components, I think they would be able to expand to some newly industrializing third world countries. The question of whether humans are causing this problem is hotly debated, and unfortunately I don’t think we will ever definitively be able to state the cause, due to our incomplete picture of the life of our climate, but as for now we must try to get used to the “new seasons.” I am sure that normal winter weather will return before the end of January, so I will make sure that I enjoy wearing shorts in December while I wait for the inevitable return of the blistering cold.
The human body is the world’s most advanced machine, and when the machine that is the body gets sick it is best to get some rest and allow it to heal fully before getting back into the swing of everyday life. Over the past couple of days I have had a minor cold, I call it minor because I have kept myself pretty active over this weekend, but unfortunately the “mind over matter” tactic does not always work. This “minor cold” that I was battling actually gave me a fever a couple nights ago, but after taking some medicine and sleeping through the night I decided, quite foolishly, to wake up early and do a bit of cleaning before setting out on a road trip. I would not consider myself to be the type of person to ignore my bodies signals when I am not feeling well, but I was being uncommonly stubborn this past couple of days because I found it unfair that I would work all week just to stay in bed all weekend with a fever. Defying the bodies distress calls is never a good idea, and I learned that pretty quickly after waking up that early to run errands. I found myself quickly back in bed and asleep for seven more hours before I was able to wake up and get my trip underway. No matter how hard I tried to ignore the sickness I was facing, my body did not allow my mind to interfere with it’s healing process. I am just happy that whatever bug I was dealing with is now behind me, and it didn’t seem to be at all contagious. I will just have to pay better attention to the stops signs my body is putting up when I am not at full health, and rest whenever I am sick.
I feel like I have been on a bird kick as of late, and it is completely unintentional. I am just pretty excited about what I just saw, I was walking around my neighborhood and I saw a blue jay. A blue jay is not exactly my favorite animal, but every time I see one I am brought back to memories of my childhood, when they were more common. I would just marvel at the sight of a blue colored bird, since blue was my favorite color and blue jays were so different from every other common city bird. Blue jays always interested me because they were more flashy than the standard pigeon or wren that I saw everyday in New York City, and while other children were busy chasing birds, I was searching for the lone blue jay in a group of pigeons, just looking for a chance to admire the unique bird. Before today it has been about 7 years since I have last seen a blue jay in my neighborhood, and seeing that one bird has really brightened my mood, the weather is getting warmer and hopefully the blue jay population is increasing in my area. I was unable to snap a clear photo of the bird I saw today but I did find an awesome shot online that id like to share, hopefully it brightens your day as it did mine.
What do you see when you look up at the clouds? I believe you see what you are thinking about or what is on your mind, while others believe you see where you want to be or what is in your heart. Since spring has only just begun I’ve only had one clear day to actually look up at the clouds, and while I don’t do it often, I always find something interesting. The other day, my mother called a cloud to my attention and asked me what I saw, I saw an airplane and she saw a cat’s paw reaching for something. I certainly don’t think my mother has dreams of owning a cat any time soon, as raising five children and being a school teacher is already enough responsibility, but what I saw is quite possible exactly what was on my mind and heart. After I graduated college I decided to return home to the city I grew up, which makes sense due to the fact that it is New York City, but I have never actually felt like New York is the place for me. I love the city, but I really enjoy traveling much more, when the right time comes I won’t hesitate to move, but for now it’s where I am and I just need to work to get to where I want to be. Cloud watching is like God’s Rorschach test, it is scientifically clear what is seen when staring at a cloud, but if you think about it, the deeper thoughts in your mind often come through when looking at the simplest of things. To return to my initial story, my mother is a science teacher, so seeing a paw of a cat may not be too far from her mind as it is the anatomy of a living thing, anyhow take a look up at the clouds sometime, you may find that you are seeing the thing that is really on your heart.
Spring is just around the corner and I can just feel the happiness in the air. One of the major things I love about living in New York City is how much the city changes during the different seasons, and due to the changes in seasons I regularly find myself longing to do activities I don’t even like, just to escape from the current weather. During the cold of winter, I start dreaming of being able to enjoy the beach again, yet I don’t really like the beach at all. I don’t hate the beach but I just really hate the feeling of sand on my feet so I tend to stay away, cold weather makes the beach seem way more enjoyable than it actually is to me. The same thing happens with hot weather, when it is too hot I can’t wait for the first snowfall, I almost dream for snow until I am knee deep in it, sorrowfully shoveling and clearing it off of my car. It is said that “absence makes the heart grow fonder” and changes in weather show just how true that phrase is. I am almost envious of individuals who get to live in one type of climate all year, but they too have to deal with the weather woes of their region. To be completely honest there is only one type of weather I would be able to live with all year round and that is the cool autumn temperatures, but if I can’t have that I would gladly continue to live with the seasonal northeast weather. I look forward to an enjoyable three months of spring, I will gladly deal with the occasional storms as I await the blistering heat of summer.
Today the snow started falling again, and for the northeast it seems like it will never stop. I once loved the snow, and this isn’t even the most snow I’ve seen in my life, but this winter has just been brutally cold and utterly relentless in its onslaught. I am beginning to really dislike the cold, but the great thing about seasons is the fact that they are never here too long. The best thing about seasons is they don’t last forever, at least in this region, and since they don’t last forever I find it a waste of time to concern myself with hating a season. I don’t always like the heat, and I don’t always like the cold, but I know those conditions will come at least twice a year so I can only prepare myself accordingly and bare down until a more favorable season. I like to look at life the way I look at seasons, sometimes things aren’t great, but that doesn’t mean it will last forever. It is important to make sure you look for the good in life and try not to focus on the bad, because much like seasons, the bad times won’t last forever, and you must learn to live with what you cannot control.
It is freezing outside, and today I managed to stand outside in below zero temperatures waiting for something that never came. My brother’s favorite show was in town, so he wanted to be part of the studio audience. In order to get in, fans needed to get there early and hope to make the cut. I made the decision to accompany him, and while we did get to the location early enough, we ended up standing outside in the cold for three hours, and left with nothing more than frozen toes. As I was standing outside trying to keep warm, I started thinking about the people who had no escape from the cold. It is blistering cold, and for whatever reason there are homeless people all over New York City who are sleeping outside. I sometimes wonder if the shelters are really all completely full, or if some individuals would rather face the weather on their own, it is really not the weather to be outside. I would love to see the city make better efforts to reach out to the homeless in this weather, but I am aware that some people do not want the help. I have actually met some homeless people who do not want to live in shelters due to certain regulations, I find it absurd that a person would put their life in jeopardy just to satisfy their pride, but it may also be the reason they are in that situation. It is impossible to keep warm without constant motion in below zero temperature, so if you find yourself out there in the cold, please try and stay warm. Also try to buy a hot chocolate for one of the homeless individuals who may need the extra help.
While lying in my bed, still not feeling too well, I had a few moments of random thought. I started thinking about the plight of the tall person. Most people would consider me to be a tall guy, and while that is a blessing many would desire, and a trait I would never wish to give up, there are a few bad things about being tall. Here are my top 4 reasons being tall is not as great as you think.
1. Constant inquiry about height
I am constantly measured against people and asked about my height. I know that doesn’t seem all that bad and it is a free icebreaker in any setting, but hearing it everyday does get a bit irritating.
2. Taller People
Meeting people who are taller is almost always extremely awkward. I am not used to looking up at anyone, but when the time comes it’s just weird, I am taken completely out of my comfort zone of eye level or lower.
3. Riding the subway
If you have ever had the chance to ride on the New York City subway system you would have noticed how crowded it gets. Being tall on the subway leads to a few issues, one being your fellow “strap hangers” will at times unnecessarily violate your personal space, in strange ways. Even at times when the train is not crowded at all, I have had individuals stand so close to me that I felt like I was shading them from the Sun. I guess the thought process behind standing so close to a taller stranger is “we are not making eye contact, so it’s not weird,” but it is weird, very weird.
4. Grocery shopping
The last of my disadvantages of being tall is, having to reach down to get the delicious snacks and cereals that I enjoy. I love Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Teddy Grams, but since both treats are generally marketed to children I usually have to squat down or bend to get to them. I have even forgot to pick up my favorite cereal due to just walking by the shelves without looking down, it’s a real travesty.
To be honest I love being tall, as a child I actually wanted to be taller than I am now, but I think this height is just right. There is really not much I dislike about being tall, I am very happy with myself and I encourage others to be happy with themselves no matter what.
Isn’t it strange how you could be physically sick, but your brain just won’t allow you to rest? I am dealing with that currently, I have a little cold that should keep me home, but I am just unable to deny myself the joys of Saturday. Getting sick on a weekend is a terrible tragedy, when all you want to do is relax, you have to deal with the fact that you are basically not allowed to. When you go against your body’s wishes and go out anyway, you are denied the joys that come with the weekend. I have been trying to take it easy today as I plan to go out and eat with friends, I know I should probably stay home, but I know I will just restlessly toss and turn in bed. I might as well start loading up on cold medicine and prepare to drink a lot of tea, since I refuse to let a cold take my Saturday away. I like to think, if professional athletes can play games with the flu and broken bones, I should be capable of sitting through a dinner with an “advanced case of the sniffles.” I just hope I don’t get anyone sick today, and that everyone has an enjoyable Saturday.