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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! 


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.
MEMO 518

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 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! :)


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! 


gNight Journal #snow, #noreaster

Today's Nor'easter Kenan dumped a lot of snow on New York City, where I have lived for the past 19 years. During that time, we haven't had as many of the Big! Snowstorms! as we had when I lived in Manhattan in the mid 90s and I miss that. For an apartment dweller, however, the snow isn't as big of a hassle as it is for a home owner  - we don't have to shovel it or drive in it so it really becomes - "can I walk the block and a half to the grocery store?". (the answer is always: "yes" even when Hurricane Sandy was being crazy, the corner bodega was still open for beer and chips)

Growing up in Wisconsin, I became accustomed to the snow and spent those winter afternoons with the neighborhood kids tobogganing down a small hill behind our houses. As kids do, we didn't much care when we got so cold that our faces were red and we were sniffling. You didn't really 'feel' just how cold you were or how sweaty you'd become under multiple layers until you got back to the heat of home and had to peel every wet layer off. But, we had fun and didn't care about any of that.

Anyway, we got a nice cover on the ground today and it made the city a little cheerier. And while I'm sure the storm has or will impact others in a negative way, I'm grateful for a little cheer; we can always use a lot more of that. :) 

Snow journal 2022

gNight Journal #superstar, #facebook, #quote

The other day I was minding my own business, scrolling through people's Facebook profiles (because that's what we do sometimes) I tripped across the following description
 "superstar, everyone should be their own superstar, we all just need a groupie to remind us of that"
It sounds to me like they're quoting a song lyric but whether they are or not, yes, we all just need groupies to remind us just how much of a superstar we are. 
Plush toys in the shape of animals count, btw. You're welcome. :)

gNight Journal #latenight #yolandavega

For 10 years I produced and emceed a weekly fundraising event. We'd play four rounds of bingo and I'd have guest stars each week call out numbers and be interviewed. Most of the time we had singers or drag queens do a number but one of my favorite guests was a poet who read his own work to a completely enraptured audience.

One of the highlights of the run was the night we had soap star Ilene Kristin as the main interview guest and Randy Jones (whom I was in a play with at the time) as our musical guest. We had an amazing interview with Ilene but suddenly I was aware that the show was nearly over and Randy hadn't shown up. But then, as is befitting the king of gay pop, Randy burst into the bar with nearly the entire cast and a small yet impressive entourage who squeezed into the bar while Randy joined me on stage. We sang a song and we all did the hand motions. 

A good time, as we say in Wisconsin, was had by all. :)

Anyway, I mention this tonight because my pal AB was my Ed MacMahon for the entire run. Somewhere along the line we started a running joke about the way they introduce "Yolaaaaaaannnnndda Veeeyyyyga!" when she calls the New York Lottery. It was, as these things are, an homage to and an appreciation of her awesomeness. 

I read today that she's retiring and, while the fundraising event was over in 2015, well, it sort of fits with my mood right now - I have been feeling this tug of closure of some old stuff lately and in it's own small way, that's a part of it. 

That's all for tonight, more later. 


Art Vs Artist #artvsartist2021 #comicstrip

As everyone has written in every column in every paper, website, and on social media - 2021 was tough, not as tough as 2020 but still a slog.

I continued to draw and post as often as I could - the aim was always 'one MEMO a day' and I managed to do that fairly consistently up until late September/early October when work took precedence and I no longer could muster up the energy to spend my evenings drawing/posting.

At the time, we were just starting to lean in, tentatively, to 'in person' events and that half in person/half virtual gave everything an extra complicated sheen. Thankfully with the end of the year and an upcoming break, I'm able to resume my work and the thought of that makes me very happy. 

Here are some of my favorite pieces from 2021 in a meme going around called "art vs artist". I think it's just an Instagram thing but who knows. In any event, I don't usually jump on these things but in this case I thought it a good showcase for my work. 

So enjoy and time will tell when I'm back to producing work again (hopefully soon!!)


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