published at 10:10am on 10/16/14, with No Comments
The book that I’m reading has sand in the front of the plastic sheath covering the book jacket. It’s from the library, and I’d heard about on public radio, went to the library website and put in a request and several weeks later, after I’d all but forgotten about it, I got a notification that the book was ready. The book is now overdue, and I’m frantically reading to get to the end, both so I can find out what happens to the story, and so I can dutifully pay my (hopefully no more than) dollar in fines.
This book went on vacation with somebody. There is sand trapped between the plastic covering that the library puts on the books to keep them tidy and the jacket itself. I can imagine the person before me, sitting on the beach, somewhere warm, maybe there’s a cocktail sitting on the table next to them, and they’re listening to the waves rolling in and out.
There are no waves here today. It’s raining, and the sound of the water outside is less rolling as it comes in and out off of the shore, and more a not-too-gentle, steady pitter patter of drops falling from the sky. The rain is coming in sideways, knocking against my window, wanting to come in.
Do you remember when library books had the names of all of the people who borrowed the book before you, stamped into the back cover? A violation of privacy, to be sure, and where, other than libraries, can you get that sort of privacy these days, but still, I miss seeing those names, feeling like I was part of a club. A club of people who touched this very book, who went on vacation, who left sand and rain drops on its cover.
The book was due back to the library yesterday, and I would really like to finish it now.
published at 1:03am on 03/29/14, with No Comments
I spent forever looking for how to do this tonight without having to resort to a) some shady PDF software and b) install ghostscript on my mac when I don’t have X11 installed. The following worked great:
- Install homebrew
- brew install qpdf
- qpdf –password=YOURPASSWORD-HERE –decrypt input.pdf output.pdf
published at 5:12pm on 12/31/13, with No Comments
Actually, 2013 was a pretty good year. I made a lot of animated GIFs, I got a new job, I became somewhat bicoastal, and I started getting regular haircuts.
Next year, I’ll write more as well.
published at 12:12pm on 12/14/12, with 1 Comment
I tend to overcomplicate things.
(In fact, that previous sentence originally read “I often wonder if I’m prone to overcomplicate things,” which is an overly complicated sentence.)
I woke up early this morning. I had to be out the door by to attend an event, I’ve been trying to shift my schedule earlier, and I find that I’m a much happier person in the morning than at night. So I woke up early.
The sun was just starting to peek out from behind the horizon and the morning red was streaming through the smoke from a nearby chimney. Naturally, I grabbed my camera, stepped out into the cold, and took some photos. It is so quiet in this city in the morning and I wanted to capture that moment – the red smoke, the silent streets.
And what did I do with that moment? I made this.
I took that moment of quiet that I wanted to capture and turned it into this jerky, kitchy bastardization of the photograph that I actually wanted to make.
I like my animated GIFs – I really do. But sometimes I need to just chill my shit out a little bit.
So here’s the picture I actually should have posted this morning.
Sorry about that.
published at 10:11am on 11/26/12, with No Comments
Let’s talk about Times Square for a moment.
Let’s talk about the lights and the tourists. Let’s talk about the standing and the gawking and the looking up and the pointing and the noise and the traffic. Let’s talk about the billboards and the terrible food and the chain stores. Let’s talk about the fact that most sane New Yorkers would say that this is the worst of the city. It’s the part of the city that they would go hours out of their way to avoid.
And let’s talk about the fact that I love Times Square.
No, really, I do.
Forgetting everything else there is to know about Times Square, what I love about it is that it is in my backyard. To many, this strip of Broadway is why they come to New York City to visit. It is the epitome of the big city, the anti-town-they-came-from, the anti-every-place-else-in-the-world. It really does never, ever sleep. And once you step foot in there, you know that you’ve made it to the Big Apple.
What I love about Times Square is that I never actually have to be there. Unlike those just passing through, for whom that one visit to Times Square may be the only change they have to stand smack dab in the middle of the greatest city in the world (the East Coast equivalent of, say, standing with one foot on either side of the prime meridian), for me, it is just another neighborhood in this city that I love so dearly.
Sometimes I stop. Sometimes, as I ride my bike through that mess, I stop just north of 42nd Street and I look uptown at all of the people, at all of the lights. The tourists come through Times Square because they need to be there, because they want to know that they’ve been to New York and they’ve seen Times Square. They come because to them, this is New York City. I love that they’re happy, and I love that at any time I can turn right around, leave it all behind, and head back into the real New York.
My New York.