Been busy and tired, so haven’t got the energy to write a full blog entry this week. So you’re stuck with another variety pack from various adventures in this part of the world.
Things have been tough the past few weeks, on a number of fronts. It’s left me feeling mentally and physically exhausted. Nonetheless if I can’t stay positive all the time, I am at least trying to stay focused. I’m also trying to remember to have some perspective.
As an example, the other day I was stressing out because I thought I was going to be late. As I was hurriedly walking along it clicked with me that I was stressing out because I thought I was going to be late while walking through the streets of New York City to get to the Metropolitan Opera to see my favourite opera of all time (Verdi’s Rigoletto). Which by any measure is pretty awesome. Five years ago I had barely started doing any sort of opera, and being in a small city in Australia, the Met Live in HD series was my education in the genre. I hardly would have thought at the time that I would get to see an actual live opera at the Met. And it was good.
Despite living only 90 minutes away by train, I don’t get to go to NYC often – the train ride is slow and everything there is expensive (even more than Connecticut), so you have to save up and make a day/evening of it. It’s usually worth it though, just to soak up the energy of the place. You also get to encounter oddities like this:
I call it “Schrödinger’s Crosswalk”. A superposition of a walking and not-walking state.
The other week my cousin was visiting NYC so I made the trip down to visit him and to see some ice hockey at Madison Square Garden, another great monument.
Yup, that’s a beer in a cup with a straw. My cousin insisted that I could take off the lid and drink it like a normal person but why wouldn’t they have given it to me like that then?
In fact, I seem to be spending less and less of my weekends in Connecticut. Last weekend a friend invited me up to Massachusetts for art and brunch, so two hours later I was in Boston hanging out. We ended up going out of town afterwards to a city called Worcester to visit their museum, noted for its giant Roman mosaics, reconstructed Mediaeval church (which they brought over stone-by-stone from France), and collection of arms and armour from various eras and cultures. Which includes this:
That's the Batarang from "Batman and Robin", for those of you who don't recognise random props from old superhero films. They also have the Batman outfit from the 1989 movie (none of this new era Batman nonsense). However, I was more excited to see these in a store nearby:
Actual Yowies. How they’re even allowed in this country is beyond me, considering that Kinder Surprises are banned. Though note the $3.49 pricetag. That's hefty for some low grade chocolate and a dinky plastic toy.
Adding to the absurdity of this part of the world was an impromptu trip yesterday to an outdoor store in Bridgeport. This is apparently how outdoor stores look in the USA:
It’s more like a theme park than a store. There’s even a real aquarium in the back, and I'm pretty sure some of those mounted animals are real.
One last thing from the variety pack for this week – I’ve been getting back into Duolingo again, to try and preserve all the Italian skills. I’m also trying to get my German back up to speed, just because. The platform is getting really good now, they’ve made some tweaks to the reward system to help user retention, and the quality of the exercises has improved a lot. Of course, there’s still the occasional humourous exercise:
Not sure which newspaper bears would read though. Wall Street Journal? There's got to be some "bear market" joke in there somewhere...
Anyway, that’s about it for now. The next blog will coincide with the Christmas weekend, where I will be somewhere in the Midwest having a traditional American Christmas with friends. But there’ll be a short entry for you all, don't worry... :)
Observations on music, coffee, and the occasional controversial thought.
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