Picture the scene: it’s mid-November, the middle of a gorgeous fall in New York City. (You know, except for that whole devastating storm thing that happened a couple of weeks earlier.) It was not yet cold and wintry enough for me to talk myself out of riding my bike to work, so I hadn’t. It was midafternoon and I was on my way home, walking my bike across the street onto the bridge.
Sometimes, many people don’t know how to drive in NYC. Annoyingly, one of the things that these people like to do is stop in the middle of a crosswalk. This is maddening in any situation, but it is especially galling when that crosswalk leads onto the Brooklyn Bridge. I assume that this guy had never heard of it before, because that’s the only reason I can imagine for his failure to stop at the proper place.
I had to cross the street in front of him, in a space that was narrowly large enough for my to fit through with my bike. Sadly, I miscalculated, and accidentally nicked his bumper with my pedal.
Apparently, that showed him that I am a fucking faggot.
My personal philosophy has long been to not regret. My basis for this is fairly simple: given the assumption that the total outcome of your life’s decisions has led you to where you are, if you are happy, then you have nothing to regret. After all, even the bad or “wrong” decisions you made were part of what got you to a happy place, so there is no reason to regret them even if you recognize that they were incorrect.
I certainly don’t mean for this to be the sort of thing that everyone takes to heart; there are dozens of reasons for any given person to disagree with me, even if they are by my standard perfectly happy. However, for me, it has worked. I have made plenty of incorrect decisions in my life, but the place where I resided was, after a fair number of bumpy spots, generally happy.
[This entry is the fourth for #reverb10, an online initiative to reflect on the year and manifest what’s next. Today’s prompt is to write about what I did to cultivate a sense of wonder in my life this year.]
Wonder is such a strange concept for me. I do not usually feel wonder in any sense that I think of the word; my idea of “wonder” is that sense you get when you are a child and you find out that something you did not know was possible is, in fact, possible.
[This entry is the second for #reverb10, an online initiative to reflect on the year and manifest what’s next. Today’s prompt is to figure out what gets in the way of my writing and what I can do to eliminate it.]
To wonder what I do each day that does not contribute to my writing is to wonder what it is, in fact, that does contribute to my writing.
This is a story about my bicycle. It was built for me by Danny, the man behind the infamous karaoke show.
Danny bought a pretty sweet bike, an early ’80s Raleigh Grand Prix from the time just after Raleigh was bought by Huffy, before the quality dropped off. It was too small for me, but I fell in love with it. I told him to find me one if he had the chance.
Three weeks later, he called and told me he had it in my size. You’d be surprised what Danny’s capable of.
In the first six rides I took with it, I had three accidents. Danny thus christened it “Trois Clangours”. Jerk.
To start, I have to prepare to be savaged by Afistaface, Andey DeLesDernier, because my mixtapes long ago ceased to be rendered on actual cassettes. She is the only person I know who is more of a purist than I am.
Mixtapes are a very important subject to me. I’ve been thinking about them for as long as I can remember, even though I was never quite the savant that some of my friends were when they were younger. In fact, I don’t think I ever made a proper mix until recordable CDs were on the scene; I made a few tapes to play in my car or give as gifts, but I didn’t really use them properly back in their heyday, and it’s definitely a case now where “mixtape” is more the preferred nomenclature than any representation of the physical product.
As I tend to do in my life, I have over time evolved a set of rather draconian rules about what a mixtape is for me. Of course, as with most of my self-imposed rules, they apply only to me; I think someone else using them might even defeat the purpose.
(This gets into a whole other issue of why I give myself strict limitations for work on which I have historically failed entirely to follow through. But I think that might be an entirely different subject.)