Thursday, March 15, 2012

Kissing you

I very rarely talk romance on here, mostly because I don't know that it's any of your business. However, I have a thought today. A romantic thought.
I like kissing. I'd use the word love here but I feel that's a strange choice of word in a moderately-romantic-themed blog so I'll stick with the word like. But I do. I like it. It's fun. Connecting with someone in that way and having that moment.
We put such an emphasis on our 'first kiss' in our culture. It's a big deal. My first kiss was when I was five and the girl is now a lesbian, so I really started that off on the right foot. I guess my first "real" kiss was when I was in eighth grade, though if you ask me, I'll tell you my first kiss was with a five-year-old lesbian.
Now that I'm an adult, a single adult at that, when I go out on the weekends, I see people making out all over the place. My favorite is when they've just met and they are making out like one of them is about to be shipped off to war. To them, kissing isn't really that big of a deal I suppose and I guess that's alright, but I don't think I'm that person. Actually, I know I'm not that person.
Kissing is still a thing to me. I still think it's special, sexy and important. It's not something I do with just anyone. I feel it's important to take inventory of the pieces of ourselves we give to others, mostly because we can never get those pieces back. So I don't apologize for being that guy at the bar that's not making out with the first person I meet because to me, I'm giving that person part of me.
Perhaps this was a bit of a rant and perhaps you think I'm silly or old-fashioned for feeling this way, but I'm completely alright with being that old-fashioned person.
You know, one of my favorite magazine covers I've ever seen was this issue of New York Magazine from a few years ago. Each year, they have an issue that's "Reasons to Love New York Right Now" themed and on this particular issue, it was covered with people kissing. There's something inherently romantic about this city anyway and I just thought the cover was poignant and stunning. (Magazine geek here so I make no apologies) But I think what makes it poignant to me is that I believe those people that were kissing meant it. Maybe they're like me and think it's special too.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Happy peppy people

If you've read anything on here, you're aware that I consider my work on the magazine to be my passion project and my occupation. But I do have a "real job" that pays the bills, I just don't write about it very often because I try to keep work and personal life separate.
Having said that, a recent development at work has given me cause to bridge the gap.
My co-workers have begun to poke fun at me because "you're the happiest person we've ever met" and "you're so happy all the time." This isn't the first time someone has told me that either.
At first I didn't really think a whole lot about it. Yes, I'm a happy peppy person. I'm basically a walking advertisement for Vitameatavegamin. That's true. But now that it's being broadcast how happy I am, it's made me think about it and I realized, they're so right. I'm so upbeat most of the time. Is there a Boy Scout badge for that because I think I deserve a retro-active badge. Does that make me an Eagle Scout now?
Can we talk for a second about Eagle Scouts? I get it. They did a great many things, learned a lot and did some sort of project to help humanity. But are they really a cut above the rest of us? I think they're portrayed that way and it kinda bothers me.  
Beginning of rant:
When I was in Boy Scouts all those years ago, there was this high school guy that was a leader in our troop and on his way to his Eagle. But he was a complete ass. A narcissistic, self-serving, compassionless ass. Yet when he got that award, people lauded him with praise, talked about how he was such a leader and was going to change the world. But what does that matter if you're a miserable human being?
Rant complete.
So apart from the random ranting about the bad seeds of the Boy Scouting program or a Kardashian, I'm such a happy person. And the fact that other people notice it, to the point of making mention of it to me, is thrilling. That's how I want to be perceived. I don't want to be known as someone that's mean and surly. I want to be known as someone that brightens people's days.
Hearing that doesn't give me a big head either. It's like a quiet reminder that I'm doing something right in the world. When so many things can fall apart in life, if you're brightening someone's day, you're doing something right. Right?

A Transportation Story

There's no way around it: Transportation in New York City is the ultimate eggshell, it can crack with the slightest bump. Anyone that has lived in New York longer than a week has had to experience the wonder that is the transportation situation here, whether that's by cab, by bus or by train, and it's fair to say that anyone that's lived here longer than a week has had their fair share of issues with said cabs, buses and trains.
I'm usually pretty easy-going when it comes to the transportation issue here. Ultimately, what can I do about it? You might as well roll with the punches, become accustomed to leaving early so you can allow for it and just make sure you have a great song to listen to when you're stuck and waiting for what seems like an eternally long time.
This morning, I went to my regular train station near my apartment, hoping to get on the train that arrives every morning between 8:25 and 8:35. You see, that train makes its first stop at my station, meaning it's empty and we all get seats. Perhaps you with cars don't understand this concept because you always have a seat in your car, but on a crowded Manhattan train, seats are novelties one shouldn't take lightly.
I arrive, ready to sit, when the lovely woman at the ticket counter delicately shouts that the trains are running at this station. No alternative route offered, no apologies for the inconvenience of myself and all the other rush-hour commuters, just the knowledge that I'd been shouted at before 9:00 a.m.
That meant either walking to the next station, getting on the bus or taking a cab. Of course, there were no cabs anywhere this morning. Why would there be? That would be too simple of a story. And of course, the trains weren't running at the next station either. That meant I had a date with the M4. What a lovely bus it was.
Actually, that's where the story kinda picks up. I got a seat on the bus which was perhaps entirely too thrilling, and I was able to see the northern end of Central Park and all of 5th Avenue in my ever-so-late commute to work. Things were really looking up for ol Ryan.
That's when a line of about six police cars congested all traffic because they were going the wrong way down a one-way 5th Avenue during rush-hour. Now I'd like to believe they were in the middle of an amazing chase or helping the Muppets solve a jewel heist or or blocking traffic so that Ethan Hunt could chase down Jon Voigt. But more likely than not, none of those things were actually happening.
I did finally arrive to work this morning, an hour and a half after I first tried to board that empty subway car and though I saw the Guggenheim and had a Carrie Bradshaw moment (not actually feeling like her but feeling like I'd laugh at her if I saw her there in the rain shrieking as she did) and though I ended up stalled in front of St. Patrick's cathedral (while I was listening to Sister Act - coincidence? I think not) - it was quite the interesting experience. But mornings sometimes are. I'm much more awake now than I would have been if I'd made it onto that train and I've had long text conversations with people I think are fascinating. So as irritating as it initially was, I feel like I had a morning adventure. And, on top of it, I had a morning adventure with a terrific haircut. That honestly makes all things better doesn't it? Don't lie. It does.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Silly Symphonies

I love classical music and I enjoy going to the symphony. For some, it's just an expensive nap but I really like the feeling of relaxing and listening to some of the finest music ever written played by a full orchestra and not a synthesized version of an orchestra. Having said that, I have a list of ways I feel the symphonic experience could be tweaked.
They are three fold:

One - All symphonies should be approximately 25% shorter than they are. This is accomplished in one very specific way - editing. Yes, it deserved Best Picture, but does every symphony need to end in a Lord of the Rings: Return of the King style fashion?  You know what I'm talking about. Just when you think it's over, it's not really. And then you think it's over again, but again it's not really. Then when you're certain it's over, you're not really all that surprised when it's not. It'd be much more of an effective statement to end with a bang - one bang. Singular.

Two - I feel that all symphonies should have a large screen over the orchestra playing Fantasia. Especially when the piece is an hour long, how much more enjoyable would it be to follow along with the a colorful blob or a dancing hippo? I feel this was something that Walt was aware of and more folks should take note. Who really wants to stare at a wall for an hour anyway? We're visual people. Disney made us that way. Crafty, that Walt.

Three - This is the big one. I understand the conductor is the one that wrangles this whole thing together and I understand they are great and all, but do they really have the leave the stage and re-enter three or four times after the symphony is over so we can applaud them repeatedly? I feel like they're taking advantage of encore-privileges just because they think they can get away with it. I don't appreciate it. When I do something great, I don't get to exit and then re-enter again and again to get the same praise continuously (though what a better world this would be if we could all have that). I don't think they should be able to do that either.

Again - love the symphony. Love it. But I do feel that even the classics could use some updating.