luckycanuck: (convicts rugby)
I came up to Sydney on Thursday, and had a couple of days with my parents before taking them to the airport on Saturday morning.  Mum and I went shopping and she suggested that for Christmas I bring the girls to the Sydney Koala Park when they come out to visit in July.  Done.  I was going to struggle to come up with anything.  We also had a chat about depression, which she got to see up close on Friday night as we had dinner with the guy who looks after the administrative aspect of the Collaroy Castle and his girlfriend.  Me at dinner with four people in their 60s, 70s, and 80s instead of at the gym where I had planned to be.  With all the frustration and alienation I was pretty shut down and fatigued all night, and almost struggled for breath like I did at work last winter at one point.  When we got home she asked if I was ok, and I said "this is what depression is like."  I don't think she understood until then, and I suspect she probably still doesn't.  She's trying though.

On Saturday I took Minou back to her place on my way to Canberra and stopped in to visit Dora in her post Mr Burns phase.  Back in Canberra at the party I was there to attend, Nerva Chu helped me shave my head.  I know I normally have very short hair, but on Saturday night I shaved it all off in solidarity with JAQ who has lost all her hair during chemotherapy.

Click for lots of pics )

Tomorrow I head back to Canberra so I can lead a training session at Parliament, and on the way I plan to stop to pick up a 20kg weight vest and to visit Minou again.
luckycanuck: (SPARTA!!!!!!!!)
I did my Cert III exam and got 97% (though that's less impressive when it was an open book test and I was looking things up regularly.)  Some of the questions were ambiguous and confusing, but it's behind me now.

Now it's the practical element.  The due date is technically next Friday but it has been extended to mid February.  I'm still going to try to get it done in time to go to Sydney to visit my parents who arrive next week.  Things have been delayed by one of my trainer friends getting an injury and having to cancel some observation opportunities, but the manager of the gym is going to try to arrange a few things for next week.

There have been quite a few solid workouts this week, and I now have more motivation to keep up with future workouts.  I have started a Twitter feed for my soon to be freelance training business (it still sounds odd to say that) and a Facebook page too.  I'm going with Molon Labe Fitness as a name.  It's a reference to the Battle of Thermopylae between the Spartans and Persians (and to the movie 300.)  In some ways it has become a personal motto of mine (though not because I'm a die hard supporter of gun rights as someone once assumed.)  Also, I think it sounds sufficiently badass and fits my approach to training.  Soon I will have business cards.

There is more news from JAQ.  The last I heard there is a chance that the cancer has metastacised to her liver, she has a 50% chance at survival, she is unemployed and is appealing to friends to help with her medical bills (though after trying twice my donation can't be processed.)  And despite all of this (or perhaps because of it) she has seemed very upbeat and focused.  There is a sense of purpose in her life that is unfamiliar to me.  Her purpose is simply to survive.  There seems to be a wonderful simplicity to it.  I suspect the numbness I feel in my gloom is not quite as present in her life.

As I said before, this is the first time I have had to contemplate someone close to me dying, and that person happens to be one of the bravest people I know.  She is a fighter, and the "FUCK CANCER" t-shirt she is wearing on the front page of her cancer blog is a testament to that.

That cancer is going to wish it had never metastacised.

New skills

Jan. 9th, 2012 11:02 pm
luckycanuck: (Mr Strong)
I registered for a first aid course through Royal Life Saving and did the online course and exam in one night.  I managed to get 100% on the exam, which is the minimum passing grade.  So now if anyone wants to have a heart attack or drown or get bitten by a funnel web spider, come to my place.  Next step is to practice bandaging and slings and to go to the practical session so I can show off the mad CPR skills I have picked up with the help of my rather creepy looking CPR mannequin.

Over the weekend I made some further progress on the practical section of my Cert III, attending a Body Attack class and a Body Balance class and got the instructors to sign off on my attendance/observance.  Body Attack was REALLY not my thing.  A lot of jumping around and confusing moves and blaring music that meant the only thing I could hear from the instructor was her saying "WOO" every few seconds.  Still, it's done and I won't have to do it again.  Body Balance was better.  I've been to it before of my own volition and it does have aspects that I like, but there are still annoyances.  I've tried to be fair to it but to really take to it there would have to be changes.  Less music, more focus on physical challenges, no more of the breathing stuff at the end, and most of all, no more annoying/affirming/pretentious yoga jargon.  The guy told us to "open up like a mango."  I have no idea what he meant.  If you tell me what to do with my body, I will do my best to do it.  If you speak in euphemisms and ask me to "gather my energy from the floor" I am going to want to punch someone.

Arrangements are being made to observe a number of sessions with a trainer at my gym.  In the meantime I am doing more heavy weights that gave me a pretty good tired today, and for the first time I actually kept track of my heart rate in the hopes of maintaining it in a target of 70-80% of the maximum.  I'll have to do this for credit later on and this strategy may come in handy in the future, so I reckon I might as well get used to it.  For my own purposes, however, I would rather just run.  I've also been doing tire and rope circuits and random mini-workouts at home.  This may be a time of getting in much better shape if things keep going this way.

A call came in today from the agency that forgot about me. They have marketed me to a couple of clients with jobs going.  More importantly, they are taking me seriously.

And in sad (or maybe it's not sad) news, JAQ has apparently been diagnosed with Stage III Ovarian Cancer.  I have friends for whom the death of friends and family is a regular issue.  It's very foreign to me.  This is the first time for a long time I have had to contemplate the prospect that someone close to me might die.  Apparently she is going to wear the Convicts t-shirt I gave her to chemo to absorb some Convict strength.  So far she seems to be taking an aggressive stance, vowing to kick cancer in its cancerous balls or something similar.

There's not been much change on the gloom front.  It did strike me recently that once upon a time I was reluctant to accept the prospect that I might have depression.  Now I hope I have it.  If I am actually clinically depressed, then that explains a lot of things.  If I'm not, then I would have to face up to the possibility that I am just a horrible/petty/unpleasant person.

The thought that I had some time ago about not being suitable for relationships has come back.  It's certainly not self pity this time, and it's not quite like the time a while back when I felt as though I had nothing to offer, it's just a fact.  I have no business being involved with anyone right now.
luckycanuck: (Default)

This could be a good explanation of what has happened in my office this week.

I've been feeling marginally better since Tuesday.  I've not been able to workout on account of the ankle but I may do so this evening before the budget reply speech.

I am spreading the word about work.  Coffee Snob already told me about a PR job in Sydney with a firm of political types which may or may not amount to anything.  Apparently one of her colleagues saw me on Tuesday night and when I didn't respond he thought he must have offended me somehow.  I think I am ready to start letting it become public knowledge.  If it was public knowledge maybe this wouldn't happen.  Still, I feel strange about being so open about this issue.  It could mean I end up with a new job very quickly.  Still, it may be better to take my time.

I found myself in the supermarket on the way home from work for nearly an hour for what should have been maybe five minutes worth of shopping.  I was just in a stunned state.

An MP rang our CoS today to say how wonderfully helpful I had been yesterday.  The thing is, I didn't do ANYTHING to help this guy.  He must have me confused with someone else.  Still, I was advised to take credit.

Helga advised me to maybe think of the public service, not because I would want to do that for a long time, but because I could do it for a little while before finding something better.  I'd rather stay away if I can because I think I'd be bored and frustrated with the culture, but it may be a stopgap option if I need something.  Helga has been quite helpful through this.  She came home late last night and we had another talk about this and about relationship stuff.  She's seeing a new guy who she likes and who likes her enough to cook her dinner.

I got a very strange message from an MP a few minutes ago that called me a faggot and advised me to kill myself because she hated me.  not surprisingly, it was a virus.  If I had clicked on "remove this application" it would have burrowed into my profile and sent itself on to my friends.  I'm sure the Convicts would have LOVED me calling them faggots and suggesting suicide!  It also purported to be from the Nicole Santos campaign.  Now I don't know who Nicole Santos is or what she is running for, but this is possibly the worst electoral strategy in all of human history.  Maybe I should apply for a job managing her campaign once the current people in charge are fired. ;)

Finally, I just found out from my friend JAQ that she may have to leave home on very short notice under unfortunate circumstances, and may have to give her tremendously sweet dachshund puppy away.

Do not click unless you want to see photos of a dachshund who needs a temporary home. )
luckycanuck: (Kokoda tractor)

Last year when I was out with my fellow Australians to observe the American elections, we went out on the Saturday before Halloween and in the process I met MCat who was dressed up as Lady Gaga.  We spoke for a little while and became Facebook friends.

For the past few days, I stayed with MCat and her cats (who reluctantly got used to me.)

I suppose in theory it's an odd thing to do for both of us.  She opened her home to a guy from overseas (and had to reassure skeptical friends that she would be ok) and it was a long way for me to go, though given that I was in America anyway, Orlando isn't all that hard to get to.

We had gotten to know each other pretty well though, in fact better than most people I interact with on a daily basis.  She knew about my frailties and quirks and accepted them all.  For both of us it just felt right.

So when my bags were delayed (again) coming in from Washington, I didn't mind much even though it meant waiting around the airport a bit because my bags came in on the next flight right at the same time as MCat finished her class and came by to pick me up.

On Thursday little aside from resting was done.  I've been fighting a cold since last week (probably punishment for lack of sleep in New York) and medicated myself to a point where I felt much more human.  (Though I think I passed some of my symptoms on to MCat.)

On Friday she hauled me across the state to her native Tampa (which is, I was assured, much better than Orlando) and we went to Sand Key so that I could swim in another body of water, this time the extraordinarily warm Gulf of Mexico and do pushups on the shore.  An onlooker asked if we were visiting on our honeymoon, and we said no, but for some reason I was inspired to spin a bit of a tale.  I told the guy I was a rugby player when he asked what I did.  Now technically that's true.  I am a rugby player.  I never said I played rugby for a living, I just let him conclude that.  He said he was going to look out for me when he watched ESPN.  I told him I played for the Sydney Convicts, and I'm pretty sure he forgot the name of the team by the time he left.

People in the south are really very friendly.

On Saturday we went to the other coast and visited Kennedy Space Centre, which was expensive, but worth it.  A space shuttle was on the platform in preparation for launch and we got a pretty good view.  We also met with an active space shuttle astronaut and, of course, I did pushups with her.  I'm not a full on science nerd, but I do have some tendencies in that area and the opportunity to get that close to space was too good to pass up.  The whole production was quite impressive and was aimed at promoting the idea of space travel amongst people who might lobby their Senators and Congressmen to increase NASA's funding.  I know there are a lot of demands on taxpayer funds and the US Government is going deeper and deeper in debt everyda, and I couldn't actually explain in simple terms what NASA is doing with all those expensive missions, but it was hard to come away from the place without wanting to send a man to Mars.

This morning MCat took me to the airport and saw me off.  (I made it through security in time to catch most of Easter Sunday Mass.)  Now is an odd part of the holiday.  I am currently in LAX on an 11 hour stopover (luckily I have a guest pass to the Qantas Club which was accepted which is good because as much as I like adventure, I think I've had enough of it for now and I would rather have some quiet time.)

The problem with quiet time is that sometimes it gives me time to stew, and stewing at the moment would likely be on the subject of feeling alone now that I am leaving all my American friends behind.

But you know, this has been a pretty good trip and I have had some very good friends to share it with.  From starting my holiday visiting JAQ in San Francisco to visiting my family, to getting in touch with some old friends in Ottawa and Washington, to getting in touch with newer friends in New York, to meeting blog friends in Baltimore, to ending my trip with MCat, I have been fairly well surrounded by people who know me and care what happens to me.

There were a few lonely and teary moments on the flight in to LA, but they are behind me now.

I am, indeed, a Luckycanuck.
luckycanuck: (Mr Lazy)

A lot of my general sightseeing and pushups were done last November when I was around, so my visit was less centreed around sightseeing and more oriented towards socialising with people I already knew.

On the Wednesday I came down from Boston on a Megabus which had free wi-fi on board.  Wonderful.  Every place I have stayed on this trip came with free wi-fi and now buses were providing it.  It's as if in five years wireless internet will be literally everywhere.

Upon arrival I checked into The Jane and after putting together a short list of things I wanted to do, decided to try to cross one of them off immediately, and ventured out in search of Yankees tickets.  There was a place on 42nd street inside a sports store that apparently sells discounted tickets on game day and I went to find nobody was there.  A guy in the shop who didn't work there asked if I was looking for tickets and offered me his.  It sounds like a scalper, but this was a guy in a suit and he didn't look the type.  Still, I was a little bit uneasy taking one of his two tickets but was adequately satisfied that this was sufficiently legit.  I was a little worried that I would get all the way up to the stadium only to be turned away or arrested for breaching Yankee laws, but aside from a pat down and being asked to lift up my shirt (to show I had no weapons I guess) I was let in and watched the game next to the catcher and left fielder from the Yeshiva University baseball team.  The Yankees won 7-4 against the Orioles in a game that was rained on but not rained out.  Luckily, in my terrible seats four rows from the very back behind the first base line, I didn't get rained on at all.  Hooray for the cheap seats.

Also, apparently if you catch a home run ball hit by the opposing team, the Yankee fans will boo you until you throw the ball back on to the field.  Odd.

Wednesday night after the game led me to McKenna's which is my local in New York in as much as I can be said to have a local.  During Happy Hour they give out poker chips with your drinks which can be redeemed whenever you like for a free drink.  That's how they do 2 for 1 deals.  I also dropped into possibly the darkest bar I've ever seen.  Dracula would have been happy to drink there.  They had no liquor there.  If you want something other than beer or wine, go elsewhere.

Thursday meant sleeping in a bit after getting home arond 4:00am and some wandering around seeing a convoy of about 30 caravans driving up 6th avenue as part of a hasidic preparation for Passover.

There were a number of people that I met the last time I was in NYC whom I saw again.  Minou's friend (and now my friend) K, and a group of others who were attending a party until late Thursday (again, I got home after 4:00am) and set up another party for me to attend the following night.

On Friday I caught up with MYC whom I have not seen since high school.  Almost half of my life has passed since we last met.  I gave her a beyondblue wristband in recognition of her support of my 12 hour run, and our chat went on for about three hours, far longer than we had planned.  I guess we had a lot to say.  We were both full of surprises.

I also made a minor pilgrimage to JAQ's old neighbourhood and took some photos to feed her sense of nostalgia for her old hood.  Then it was off to the Upper West Side where for the second time ever I set foot inside a New Yorker's home.  They are cramped to say the least, but they did plenty with the space.  We drove out to Brooklyn for a party held in a basement and again I got home after 4:00am.

Also, an Israeli woman on the subway who asked me for directions also said that I was a dead ringer for a friend of hers who is an Israeli Paratrooper.  That is about the coolest doppleganger I have ever been presented with.

Saturday was largely a rest day as my nights out were catching up with me, but I did wind up attending a friend's birthday in a surf themed bar where I opted against my usual selection of beers and chose surfesque cocktails instead.

And on Sunday I left.

It was an exhausting time and I think it may have left me with a cold, but I loved it and I am sure I will be back.  I am now acquiring a circle of New York friends with whom I get along very well.  I wonder at times how my life would have been different if I had moved to New York instead of London in my mid 20s.  God only knows who I would have met and where I would have gone.

Coming down from the high was tough though as it was last time.  I know I live a long way from this environment and I never know when the next time I will come by will be.  Here's hoping it's not too long.  Will I ever become tired of visiting New York?  Maybe.  Or other destinations may become more appealing, but at the moment it always seems to be the place I want to get back to.
luckycanuck: (Default)

I was up very early this morning and mum and dad took me to the airport.  It will be a while before I see them again.

My flight to Ottawa stopped in Winnipeg, a city that I changed planes in once in 1994 and the airport doesn't seem to have changed a bit in that time.  Naturally I did pushups there but they weren't really worth showing here.  On Facebook maybe.

Upon arriving in Ottawa I took a taxi straight to campaign HQ and in short order I found myself out doorknocking with the candidate.  It was good to get out and do something.  This is a guy I went to university with.  At the time I also wanted to go into politics myself but decided against it.  PP is really cut out for it though and was very diligent in his campaigning.  Much more so than most candidates I've worked with.  There was very little time wasting on his part.  The campaign was very focussed and disciplined and had plenty of volunteers.  It struck me as being a model campaign in a lot of ways.  No backbiting or pettiness (or at least none that I could see and none that got in the way of the whole point of the campaign.)

Cut for pics )

So between knocking on doors and putting up signs, it was a productive afternoon.  Dinner meant a brief break in the campaign and was follwed by more evening doorknocking until the sun went down.  Then PP gave me a lift to my night's accommodation.  I'm in a backpackers tonight and it looks perfectly nice.

Also, a potential visit to the national campaign HQ may be in the works while I'm here.  PP is going to contact them and see what can be done.

it's a good thing that I had a lot to do today to keep me occupied.  I was starting to get a bit stir crazy.  There is often a bit of a let down after a very good time filled with new experiences, and spending a few days playing it very safe with the family after my adventures with JAQ last weekend was very much a shock to the system.  Being with the family felt a bit like playing it safe mixed with being far from home.  Corresponding with friends like JAQ and others has kept the happiness levels up these past few days, and I think I will be up for some new adventures over the next few days.

Also, I am looking at getting involved in Skype to be able to keep in touch with far away friends better, but I'm not tech savvy enough to know my way around it.
luckycanuck: (Mr Happy)

Ok enough complaining about lost bags and delays.  (Even though everything in the bag was slightly damp when it finally arrived late Monday night.)  I promised a review of my activities in San Francisco.

JAQ came to town around lunchtime on Friday and we popped her things off at the hotel before heading out to get something to eat.  We went to a very kitchy looking deli that she loved from way back in her time living in the neighbourhood.  She told me I tip too much.  We shopped a bit and wound up at a party later that night.  We left around 1am but weren't too tired yet so she took me for a walk to a bar she knew where we exchanged stories about growing up and first kisses, and for a tour of the places that had meant so much to her.  She showed me the flat where she once worked as a nanny, the hostel she lived in when she first moved to the city at the age of 18, the pizza place next door where she ate her first meal as what she called "a free woman."

Her enthusiasm for the place was infectious.  She loved the city, and I loved that she loved it.  I like San Francisco, but to see it with someone to whom it so evidently meant so much made it way better.

I first encountered JAQ quite by accident online about two and a half years ago, and we became friends.  Real friends.  It got to the point that when we first met in person in her flat in Queens late last year, we both remarked that it was like meeting an old friend rather than meeting someone for the first time.  We both knew about each other's vulnerabilities and hopes and fears and struggles, and there was a wonderful feeling of familiarity that time and throughout the whole weekend that just passed.

Cut for pics )

Saturday was considerably quieter but we spent the whole day going at our own pace around a city that really lends itself to being visited as I did, with a close friend whom you love.

JAQ said it was the best time she'd had in a long time given some of the frustrations she has been faced with recently.  She told me she chose to see the weekend as her showing a visiting friend around town as if she lived there.  So often she would point out little shops or restaurants or bars or streets that meant something to her.  With all the difficulties in her life she was just lit up the whole time she was there, and so was I.  It was the perfect way to start my own holiday given that I've had my own frustrations over the past few months.

Now she has decided that she will be moving back to San Francisco, so it looks like I will have another excuse to visit again.
luckycanuck: (Kokoda tractor)
I got an exit row seat for the cross Pacific flight which meant as much legroom as I could possibIy want in exchange for fulfilling the role of the responsible exit row guy who can rip the door open in an emergency and then be the first one down the slide.  WHEEEEEEEEEE!!!

I was so pleased with that that I didn't notice until five hours into the flight from Brisbane to LA that I wasn't in economy.  Somehow, without paying for it, I was in premium economy.  There was more elbow room with only seven seats instead of ten in a row and more ability to recline.  To be honest, the difference between that and business class was negligible.

I also managed to get on an earlier flight to San Fran which meant a five hour wait instead of a 7.5 hour wait.  I'm not sure why I had to wait even five hours, but I did find a patch of grass to lie on for a bit and then did some pushups in LA for the first time in my life.

I'm staying in the Hotel Bijou which has a distinctly cinematic feel.  All the rooms are named after films set in San Francisco.  I am in the "Play It Again Sam" room.  The travel money card I arranged before leaving seems to work just fine.

Tomorrow Jewish Astoria Queen (formerly of Astoria, Queens but now moved back to the west coast) will be coming to town to visit.  She knows and loves San Francisco and will be showing me around a bit.

Jetlag is not too bad at this point, but getting to bed now will probably improve things further.
luckycanuck: (Mr Lazy)

I'm now in my parent's basement in the house I grew up in for the 90s until I left home.  I would rather still be in New York.

A few points about the last few days:

1) I will return to New York, probably quite soon.  I can't believe it took me so long to get there in the first place.  I loved it.  It reminded me a lot of London, and I loved London so much I lived there for two years.  The level of cultural and social life there is very compelling.  I actually wondered what my life would be like if instead of moving to London for two years when I finished University, I had gone to New York instead.  Similarly, I was very sad to leave London, and while I still love it, I wouldn't want to live there again unless I had a very compelling reason.

2) Still, I will return to New York, probably more than once.  I knew nobody when I turned up a few days ago, and met plenty of people, many of whom I already knew in once capacity or another, who I would very much like to see again.  With a bit of planning, I am sure I can pull off another visit before too long.  I visit the family in Canada regularly, and if I am going to go as far as Calgary, New York isn't that far away.

3) There is a lot of misery in New York.  I don't just mean there are a lot of homeless people, though there are.  But there are also a lot of people in New York who are on the margins of society.  Part of me wondered that aside from the fantastically wealthy types and the people who relish the artistic and sophisticated atmosphere, how many people are just there because they have never thought about living anywhere else.

4) When I lost my bag, I also lost my glasses.  I can replace them and my health insurance will cover it and I was probably due for a new pair anyway, but the realisation that I had lost them really bothered me on the plane this evening.  I think I will take the time in Calgary to rest up a bit from my frenetic schedule.  It's been great but I was getting towards the end of my rope.

5) I have also decided after speaking to JAQ in particular, that while New York may be a depressing place to be single, it is also a great place to be in love.  Along with Paris, it is a city which I would very much like to visit with a girl in the future.

6) If you are going to be staying in New York, consider staying at The Jane.  The rooms are VERY small (I could touch each wall with my arms out and the room was slightly longer than the bed, but while they are compact they have everything you need including free wireless internet.  And the rooms all look like old timey cruise ship berths and the staff wear old timey hotel uniforms and there is a cool bar and a cafe attached.  I'll probably stay there again.  It was great if you were staying there alone like me, but if you were with someone, they have larger rooms too.

7) On several occasions, I was asked for direction, often by New Yorkers.  Having been interested in New York for many years, my geography was pretty good compared to most people who have never been there before, and I didn't get lost once.  I always walk fast and I wonder if I also worked out the whole "slightly pissed off" look because I didn't have my glasses and was squinting more.  Of course, to be honest, I found the steroetype of the rude New Yorker to be largely untrue.  New Yorkers may be in a hurry, but nearly everyone was happy to help.
8) Emotionally I was a bit all over the place.  I was thrilled to be there, I found nearly every moment fascinating, and I'm pretty good at travelling alone and doing things all my way, but at times, the loneliness was hard to avoid.  Coming home around 2am on a Sunday night I felt quite sad.  Most days I regretted or was sad about something.  Saturday I regretted losing my bag.  Sunday I regretted being alone and feeling a bit like the odd one out at the party I was at (which was understandable, as I actually was the new guy.)  Monday, however, I regretted nothing really.  I was home earlier than any other night, but the opportunity to meet JAQ and show my appreciation for her simply shouted down anything bad that happened that day.
luckycanuck: (Default)
I've been on the go almost constantly, and I'm exhausted.  I'm also getting a sore throat.  That's what comes from doing pushups in the rain on the Staten Island Ferry.

I've now been to all five boroughs, adding Staten Island, Brooklyn, and Queens overnight.  Staten Island was just a ferry trip so I could add it to the list and get a view of the city from the water, Brooklyn was intended to be a visit to Di Fara's Pizza (apparently the best in the city, as I confirmed with last night's dinner companion) but they are closed on Monday and Tuesday.  What closes in New York for two days straight??  Instead I had a bagel in what was the most Jewish neighbourhood I have ever been in.  I also made it to Coney Island for more iconic pushup photos, but found that on a grey and rainy November afternoon it is a depressing place.

I also made it to Queens at long last to dine with JAQ for the first time since "meeting" her two years ago.  We've both been remarkably vulnerable around each other, and meeting for real felt so natural, like we had been friends for years.  If I had gone all the way to New York and not met her it would have been a tragedy, but luckily it wasn't.  I added pushups on the porch of her walk up to round out the evening.

I've really liked New York, and I do hope to be back.  It's not too far from my family in Canada, and when I've come that far it would be hard to justify not going a little bit further.  I've met people here who I really hope to meet again, either here or there, and at the moment I feel a bit sad that I won't be able to see them again for a long time.

As great as New York has been, I have found myself feeling a bit lonely at times.  I went to a party on Sunday night (yes, New York has parties on Sundays, and apparently this group of cool but not insufferably cool people has a party on Wednesday too which I will attend if I can engineer an airline strike.)  The party was great, but when heading back to the hotel I found myself feeling very lonely.  I'm pretty good at being alone, and a lot of the time I prefer it, but I did feel very isolated.  I guess New York can be like that.  At dinner last night I learned that New York can be quite a depressing place to be single, but it can also be a wonderful place to be in love.  I think I would like that.

There has also been a lot of pressure to enjoy things here.  I know I'm only here for a few days so I want to get the most from everything I do.  That's reasonable, but it also puts a lot of pressure on me.  If I know that this may be the one and only time I meet someone or visit a place, I really want to tick off all the proverbial boxes and not leave anything undone. Many of the people I've met and places I've been I WILL see again, but some I may not, and it's a bit sad to think "that's the last time I will ever get to speak to x or visit y."

I've got some more photos to take and I will try to pick something up for my sister and pop into a few more restaurants that had bee recommended to me.

See you in Calgary tonight.
luckycanuck: (Default)

I had a productive morning going up the Upper West Side and into Harlem and the Bronx taking pushup photos outside the restaurant that served as the exterior for the Seinfeld diner, the Apollo Theatre, and Yankee Stadium.

The first hiccup came when I was on the train back from the Bronx, when I realised I had left my bag on the pavement outside Yankee Stadium.  There wasn't anything valuable in it.  Just some old newspapers and my camera bag (but not me camera) and my sister's Christmas present (an apron and a special bottle of BBQ sauce from a southern black soul food restaurant in Harlem.)  There's nothing I can't replace, but I still felt a little bad on account of my ability to get attached to inanimate objects.

My mood couldn't be dimmed much because I was meeting une amie de Minou this afternoon and we got along just as well as she expected we would.  I think I will suggest to [ profile] minxyminou  that we start a campaign to bring Katya to Oz.

I stopped by a local bistro on the way back to the hotel and had a couple of beers and a hamburger which was quite good and VERY thick.  Also the beer was cheap and of high quality, so I was happy.

What dimmed my mood in the last half hour, however, is the sense that I might be being snubbed.  I have no idea what's going on, but someone I will call JAQ (Jewish Astoria Queen) whom I would happily call a friend (we met online and have never met in person) who lives in Astoria, Queens wasn't returning messages and I have been fearing that I would have come all the way to New York for four days without the two of us ever meeting up.  I was a bit surprised how much this bothered me.  I've been checking on Facebook and there is still no response.  I don't really believe I am actually being cut out of the loop so to speak, but I have very little else to go on.

I've sent another message saying that I consider her a friend even though we have never met and that if she can spare a moment I would love to meet her and confirm with my own eyes that things are going much better for her.  We will see.

UPDATE: A response from JAQ came within minutes apologising for the lack of response and asking if I was interested in dinner on Monday.  Hooray!  I'm back on top again!


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June 2012

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