February 2022 Playlist

One month down for 2022. Kinda wild, just like this playlist. It is a pretty random mix of some old stuff (some of it, stuff that I had on repeat in high school), with some newer stuff mixed in. I feel like it works though. Give a listen–

Year End Thoughts

It is difficult not to wax philosophical at the end of each calendar year. This can be especially true when one suddenly happens upon hours of uninterrupted solitude inside of ones own NyQuil warped head. Not the way that I was hoping to start my holiday getaway, but here we are. Although I’m alone in the physical sense, quarantined in the upstairs section of our Catskills house, I’m not alone in this December 2021 Omicron debacle. It seems like this most recently discovered iteration of our favorite notorious spike protein is currently ripping through NYC like those escaped dogs running through Ralphie’s kitchen in A Christmas Story. I personally know more people than I can count on one hand who also managed pick it up somewhere in NYC over the past week. Britt, who was more diligent than I about getting boosted, to-date, has remained unaffected (knock on wood).

As annoying as it is to be laid up and quarantined, I have to acknowledge the upside. Day one I probably would have told you differently, but this time around was certainly not as severe as the first time I had it back in March of 2020. I didn’t lose sense of smell/taste this time around, for example. With the help of DayQuil I was still able to work on Friday (sort of). The fever was not nearly as bad. Here on day 3, I’m mostly feeling better. There are also so many more tools and data available now, that were not in existence the last time around. The fact that I was able to take a test at home is kind of incredible.

Speaking of the test, I almost want to frame it or something. I know that is kind of weird. But this wouldn’t be the first time that I made a trophy out of something that should actually be locked in a bin with a bright orange “biohazard” logo on it. When I was 17 I had my wisdom teeth removed. As I was regaining consciousness and still high on anesthesia, I asked the oral surgeon if I could keep the teeth, and he gave them to me in a little bag. Not sure if that was legal or not, but it was the 90s in Salt Lake City where people were also wearing JnCo and blasting Limp Bizkit out of their lowered Honda Civics with the rattle can paint jobs and a wing made in HS metal shop bolted to the trunk lid. These teeth that came out of my head were massive, like the size of an acorn. I decided to make matching necklaces out of them for me and my girlfriend at the time (ala Billy Bob/Angelina blood vials, albeit years before they did it). I still remember the smell (similar to burning hair) when I was drilling holes through the roots to string them up for my lady and I. Kerri Odom was her name. She wore that thing around her neck on a strand of mint flavored dental floss the whole time we were together. Mr. and Mrs. Odom hated the wisdom tooth necklace possibly more than they hated me. But then I moved to Hawaii, Kerri moved to NY and I’m not sure where the teeth ended up. As for the positive coco test, as much as I would love to make it into molar necklace 2.0, I have decided to dispose of it properly like a sane human.

I have been able to spend several hours listening to new music. This is one of my favorite activities. I can binge-listen the same way I have heard many describe consuming endless hours Netflix during quarantine. There are several personal positives I derive from binge listening. For one, music is, and has always been a mood booster for me. If possible, I would soundtrack every moment of my life. Thanks to the modern portability of music, I very nearly do. But these days my schedule rarely allows me to spend time intentionally discovering new music or allowing myself to go down a rabbit hole with a newly discovered artist. Having the opportunity to do both of these activities over the past two days has been euphoric. These hours have resulted in some new playlists that I’m very excited about. One of them is a playlist for winter/spring 2022 running. It is still a work in progress. But I got a solid start.

Speaking of running, I had full intentions of taking a long nice break after the marathon in Nov. It now seems that three weeks was plenty long, haha. I drew entry to the 2022 NYC Half, which is in March. So I’ll spend the winter training up for that (soundtracked by my new playlist, obv). Ancillary to this, I have found the energy to reboot a running club that I started with some friends back in the early aughts when I lived in Washington Heights. Most, if not all, of those friends have left NYC over the past decade. I teamed up on the project with my former PT, who I met while recovering from my core muscle repair. She is also very big into running and agreed to co-captain the team with me. I’m very excited to make it a thing again starting in the coming calendar year.

Here’s hoping that 2022 brings the return to normalcy that we got a taste of last summer, and that it can stick around this time! For now, I’ll get back to making playlists and running schedules.

Winter Walks Cont’d

I made it to Tarrytown again for a walk around the reservoir. It is an easy place to be able to walk through the woods without having to go too far upstate. This time I brought a real camera. There was no fog this time. But there was plenty other cool stuff to look at, including a couple of bald eagles. I had never seen them in this part of the country before this. I did some unscientific internet research when I got home and learned that they are pretty common around here, you just have to keep your eyes open.

New Decade

It was kind of cool to wake up to the sounds of fog horns on the East River Saturday morning. It was one of those days where it never really rained, but everything was wet all day. It has officially been three weeks since surgery. I’ll be starting regular PT week after next. I have enjoyed the steady return of my mobility, and decided to capitalize on it Saturday after spending some time with PJ. I drove to the Tarrytown reservoir and took a lap on the reservoir trail. I wished so badly that I would have brought my real camera with me. Instead, all I have are these mediocre-ish cellphone snaps. The fog transformed the depressing dead-looking winter woods into a nearly silent ethereal dreamscape. I felt like I was walking through an Isabella Stahl photo.

Switching gears completely — One of my 2020 goals is to get back on the horse creatively. As a part of my end-of-year and end-of-decade reflections, I became painfully aware of  how drastically my time spent being creative has waned over the past several years. One decision that I have executed to proactively kickstart said goal, is taking a break from Instagram. I disabled my account shortly before midnight on Dec 31. It was an idea that I had been leaning toward for a while (since the app was acquired by F@#$book).

When the app first came on the scene, I feel like it actually may have helped my creative juice via the inspiration I gleaned from the photographic works of my peers and acquaintances. In the past couple of years it seems to have devolved into the same torrent of internet diarrhea that is F@#$book. Having so much additional down time lately while recovering from surgery has intensified my awareness of how much time can be wasted mindlessly scrolling absolute nonsense (yikes!). Some people do dry January. I’m doing ‘gram-free January. So far I don’t miss it at all. I’ll re-evaluate on Feb 1. In the meantime, perhaps I’ll find the juice to expand the content on Jake.News beyond monthly playlists and the occasional book review, hehe. I realize that the ‘blog’ as a format has been dead for a while now … oh well.

For now, please enjoy this set of photos from my walk through the woods in the fog.