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g'Night Journal

Hi all - hope everyone is doing well - just to let you know, I've been sick the past week. It was incredibly mild and very manageable although every moment of every day I remembered every article and every tweet I've read over the past 20 months of doom scrolling, so, you know, that part was super not fun.

But I read, I drew, I actually worked most of the week, and I also spent time scrolling for images of dragons for a tattoo I'd like to get this spring. I look for this (and other images) from time to time and keep them for inspiration. The one below is the best one I found this week. 

Anyway, I am grateful that the vaccine and the booster made this this mild and I am grateful for a fiancee who was willing to dote on me.

Have a good night! 

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The Stuffed Baked Potato #bakedpotato, #generalhospital, #GH, #doctorwho, #diamondanniversary

Good evening and happy Sunday! I write to you from December 2022 where, since my last batch of regular blogs, I've left one job, started another, traveled to Vermont, celebrated Thanksgiving, put up two trees with my partner (whom I refer to as "the Mister" since he values his anonymity), and tackled and finished two freelance design projects for a client. Whew. That was a lot to do in just six weeks. I suppose most people would have preferred all sort of spread out but while it felt like that the Michelle Yeoh movie "Everything All At Once" was the guiding light of autumn 2022, change happens when change happens and, although kind of chaotic, I managed to get through it with some grace. More on all of this at one point or another or maybe not, who knows. I sometimes overshare, and sometimes undershare but it all evens out in the end, I think. :)

For the moment I'm just sort of sailing through December trying not to fixate on the stress of the season as those who live here know the "special" kind of place our fair city is during the holidays. Instead, I'm trying to enjoy the moment and, to some degree, succeeding. :) 

Looking ahead into 2023, I realized that two of my favorite obsessions... uhm, er INTERESTS (lol) are celebrating 60 years in 2023 and I though how fun it would be if there was a cross over episode. I mean, Disney owns ABC which produces General Hospital and will start to stream Doctor Who in America next year so it's possible. I mean, common sense tells me that it  will never ever happen but in that small chance that putting it out to the universe will make it happen, here it is. Get to work, universe!

As an aside here, while we're wishing, "hi universe, I'd also like to put in my request for $10M to suddenly appear in my life" thank you. This could be because my comic strip characters get noticed by Netflix or Disney and they just HAVE to own them (now you know my asking price!) or maybe some person in the world decided that I should have $10M. I'm OK with either (but quite frankly, I'd rather it be the former than the latter... how wonderful for these characters to have a life beyond this blog and Instagram). 

ANYWAY. 

The point of all of this really is - I made it through all of last year, It was a LOT but I made it. With the help from The Mister and many friends. Please note that I will not be singing "I'm Still Here", but I absolutely could - I have, as the kids say, the receipts to prove just how much I've earned that (this is slightly cryptic for those who don't know some additional personal stuff that I was battling this year that I have not yet graced this blog with... ) 

The upcoming week is filled to the brim with all sorts of event work/holiday stuff and I am 100% looking forward to it but also looking forward to next Sunday, when most of it will be behind me. :) I probably won't have time to blog til this short cycle is over but know that I am chugging along in fine fashion. 

Finally- here is an advance poster for an event I'm doing at work. We decided to do a "Baked Potato Bar" and so today I purchased a stuffed tater at a local diner, shot it on a white towel, cut out the background and added some dazzle. I'm pretty happy with it and thought I would share it with you my blog reading public. :) 

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Today's True Story: Catching up with Laurel & Hardy #laurelandhardy, #journal, #memoir @shakeysusa

Growing up in Wisconsin in the 70s pre-comic books and Star Wars, I was a huge Disney and Laurel & Hardy fan. We'd occasionally eat at Shakey's Pizza and they'd show old black and white comedies. My dad, having been born in 1925, grew up watching all the old Hollywood stars in movies and shorts. Somehow I took a shine to Laurel & Hardy and at one point both dad and I did what I'm sure others thought were pretty lame impersonations, but we, at least I, loved being Stan Laurel to his Oliver Hardy. :)

When I was 10, my older sister gave me Laurel & Hardy busts for Christmas and I've kept them all these years. They remind me both of dad and her and the good times we had then (and of course the delicious pizza we always had at Shakey's then. To a ten year old, it was THE BEST!!). 

Today, as we were doing some major house cleaning, I got it in my head to spend a few minutes dusting them both off. They sit at the top of a bookshelf and I don't think I've handled them in well over 2 years and I definitely haven't cleaned them in ... well, I don't think I've ever REALLY cleaned them. 

So today I dusted them off and then used a tiny brush to dig out the dirt. So. Much. Dirt. Below is the finished product. Aside from the few chips (inevitable given how many moves I've made over the years) they look as good as they did the day I got them. OK maybe not THAT good lol but much MUCH better than they did. 

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MEMO 518 #vote, #statueofliberty, #comics

“We’ve been warned against offering the people of this nation false hope. But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope. For when we have faced down impossible odds; when we’ve been told we’re not ready, or that we shouldn’t try, or that we can’t, generations of Americans have responded with a simple creed that sums up the spirit of a people: ‘Yes we can.’”
Barack Obama, New Hampshire Primary Speech, 2008
 
Please vote on Tuesday, November 8.
 
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A 4 Mile Hike To Health #autumn, #newyorkcity, #health, #centralpark, @StJohnDivineNYC

I've been posting a lot this week and let me tell you, the service that runs this blog has had some major problems this week with their servers, so it's been a kind of challenge. But while those challenges aren't, I think, completely behind us, I have found pockets of time to post. Like with basically everything in my life, I've had to practice great patience this week. I'd like to say that I succeeded in being patient butttttttt having the time to devote to writing at exactly the time when the writing platform goes all wonky can be very frustrating. lol 

Today I took another walk and am realizing that it's probably better to do a walk every day rather than a mega walk every couple weeks. This time I reached the 4 mile mark. I didn't even realize it until I'd gotten home and checked the "health" app on my phone. Granted, I stretched that walk out over 2 hours which I won't necessarily have when I'm back to work next week so the next goal is to be able to do 2-3 miles in an hour before or after work. But that'll come, I'm not quite at the 'power walk' level quite yet. See also the aforementioned concept of "patience". :)

For this walk, I sailed up to 112th/Amsterdam to St. John the Divine.

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I take a few minutes to pray every so often and this week, well, I just wanted to give thanks for being alive given where I've been at recently and also just spend a minute or ten contemplating the future and things that have been occupying my mind. Definitely a matter of "thy will be done" for me at this juncture. I'm letting go/letting God, as they say. 

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There's a section where they have quotes from various authors in stones and this one from Audre Lorde felt especially appropriate: 

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As I walked across W.110th, I noticed this artwork, which felt very much 'of the moment': 

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A few photos from today's Park choice: Central Park 

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This is one of my favorite buildings in all of NYC (around 102/CPW)- I've always wanted to live here - I mean, who wouldn't want to live in a turret? 


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Finally, I walked back across W. 94th Street and encountered a brownstone in full Halloween decoration mode - the women doing the decorating were only too excited to talk about their creation - and that they'd be carving the pumpkins on the front steps the day before Halloween - would love to go back when they're done and carved! I really love it when NYers go out all for the holidays - and Halloween on the UWS is the BEST! 

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Getting Healthy is As Easy As a Walk In the Park #autumn, #uws, #park, #newyorkcity

It's SO easy to sit at ones desk all day every day especially over the past couple years - but this week with a few days off, I've been getting out and getting some much needed exercise. It's the perfect time of year for it with the fall colors but the weather has also been INCREDIBLE - temps in the mid 60s to low 70s are definitely something to encourage long walks. Yesterday I managed to log 3 miles, today, slightly less at 2.5 miles (but that's still not too shabby esp since it's been months since I've had the energy to go further than the Gristedes two blocks away ... and yes, I know how sad that sounds!). 

Today's trek took me up Columbus Ave to the park at 110th Street. The entrance descends in to the park and you feel like a grand dame arriving at the ball. OK maybe that's just me <blush> I visit Riverside Park all the time, Central Park comes a distant second (the cyclists have kind of ruined my enjoyment of it, sad to say) and I usually completely forget about the park at 110th- so much so that I don't even know its real name ( a quick google check to discover: it's called Morningside Park. Well, now I know). 

These walks are not only for a mental health break and a bit of exercise, but also in an attempt to lose some weight - I clocked in at a hefty 210 at one point in the thick of the pandemic (all the treats were just... RIGHT THERE!) and today I'm hovering around 195. My goal is to lose the belly and get back into the 170s. For someone who is 5'8", that's still a bit on the large size (as is measured medically, anyway) but I think do-able through no in between meal snacking, small portions and healthy exercise which will continue to include walks/cardio and, at some point, when life works out that I have access to a gym again, lifting weights. Usually putting ON weight has been one of the life long challenges and am hoping that I can make these changes on a slow and steady basis. 

Anyway, in addition to the scenery, I had a lovely call with an old friend while got some air and sun - all good things! Here now, a few of my favorite shots from today's walk. Enjoy! 

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Today's True Story

About a month ago I went to an event planner networking thing in midtown Manhattan and had an unexpectedly amazing time. 

The reason that it was 'unexpected'? I have been a little down lately and was actually looking for a reason not to go. But I'm glad I pushed through that and went anyway. I made a couple new contacts and got to spend time with a favorite colleague.

But above that, for about an hour, I was able to put all the things that I'm down about to the side and simply have a drink, some sushi, and meet some new (to me) vendors.

I also ended up winning a bag made from a pineapple (!) and a super cool door prize all courtesy of the branded products company, LR Paris that was sponsoring the event https://www.lrparis.com You know, it's a certain feeling when you are talking and suddenly hear your name being called from the stage and wonder 'oh great, what did I do NOW?' :)

Anyway, I wanted to share this picture (below) taken by a colleague because it is a 'me' that I miss - laughing, energetic, outgoing. I have not seen that 'me' in awhile and miss 'him' dearly. But I think the takeaway is - that 'me' is still there, just dormant.

I am grateful that I got to get out from what I'm dealing with and have a little fun for a change even if it was for just an hour. I would not wish how I've been feeling lately on my worst enemy so if you are feeling down these days for whatever reason, my wish to you - that you find the 'you' that you miss, that you spread your metaphorical wings, and soar! :)
 
 

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Andrew's Journal: Happy Hot Saturday

It's a super hot Saturday and the Mister is out of town so I'm heading to a dive bar to have a beer and a hot pretzel (because this is how I roll when he's out of town... I'm a MANIAC!) :) 

For friends wondering where MEMO has gone to - the usual answer - 'work has been nutty, crazy and stressful and Ive been working too many hours to have the creative strength". This is a total bummer. The corporate world sings a great tune about a life/work balance but they don't really follow it. And as a bunch more people are leaving the events department, I expect to continue to be overworked. (grumble)

However, while we were vacationing in San Francisco last week during a scheduled firm-wide break, I found myself having some minor chest pains. We went to the ER and although the blood work/EKG did not indicate an actual heart attack, they did strongly recommend that I go to a cardiologist as soon as I can. So I'm going next week and I'll see where that leads. Still having some pain when do some deep breathing so who knows what is going on. 

Despite that, we had an amazing time seeing my bestie Matthew. We were supposed to be his guests in March 2020 but then Covid hit. We were his first house guests in the current era of "we're sort of getting back to our lives with very cautious optimism". Shockingly, both our flights were on time and not crowded. I can't remember the last time, actually that I had such an easy R/T (outbound on American, return on Delta). 

Finally, here's a pic from our trip to San Francisco's Conservatory of Flowers - enjoy! 

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