Anything Can Happen Friday

The other day I wrote about my pretend press conference where I left the stage accompanied by a song. Blog friend Parks/Living commented that it would be a great idea if we all had personal theme songs. sort of like when baseball players come up to the plate. So I thought… of course we should all have personal theme music.

Now, I’ve been thinking about this for about twenty seconds, so let’s see what sort of guidelines we should use…

  1. Recognizability: The song probably shouldn’t be a “B” side song. It helps that it’s something that many people have heard
  2. However….it can’t be too recognizable. I am a Journey fan, but I know that “Don’t Stop Believing” can become a little clichĂ©
  3. Strong chorus or tag line- I think it helps to have the impact of well chosen and powerful words
  4. Crescendo- you need the music to get louder, which brings a level of excitement to the gathered crowd
  5. It should give you an identity

These are just guidelines: you can choose anything to be your theme song. One of the NY Mets (sorry I don’t remember who, and I’m wondering if they played theme music when no one was at CitiField) used the Frank Sinatra classic, “Fly me to the Moon” which did not have a crescendo, but had the obvious hit the ball to the moon reference that made it work so well as a theme song?

I have narrowed my choices down to two songs:

“I Want it All” by Queen

or…

Ride of the Valkyries by Wagner

Which one should I choose for myself?

And more importantly…

Which song do you choose for your personal theme music?

What should your theme music be?

Also– as I am notoriously bad at adding links, please tell me if the above links do or do not work. Thanks in advance…

The Quote

Flashback: A few months ago I was watching Grantchester on PBS. I heard a quote during the episode but I didn’t write it down- I was watching the show and didn’t want to lose focus. I figured since I was DVRing the show I could always rewatch the scene. Then DVR had to be replaced. Lost the episode. I did write about the quote anyway, because we always follow the established blog pattern here at waking….but it irked me that I didn’t have the actual quote. And then….the episode aired again….

I now present to you: the quote…

Nun– (speaking about being a nun and living in a convent) Some people find this life constricting

Will– (sarcastically) I can’t imagine why

Nun Others find the constriction a form of freedom

So, now that you see the direct quote…

What do you think?

Does constriction offer it’s own sort of freedom?

I’ll tell you, personally, I am not liking the the pandemic restrictions. I don’t like all the things that we can’t do, or aren’t supposed to do. I don’t like how everyone is judging everyone else’s choices either. The particular constrictions we are living under is bringing out the absolute worst in people…

True, some have risen to the challenge…

But as time marches on, people’s patience and fortitude are eroding…

The supermarket workers in my neighborhood…they are really tightly wound right about now…Months of food shortages, long lines and annoying customers have worn down even the most optimistic of them.

Gone are the posts about baking bread and tie dying clothes. Gone are the lists of things to do, plays that are streaming…

The constrictions are really starting to get to people…

But anyway….

How do you feel about the quote?

Do you find freedom in constrictions?

Does lack of choice have benefit?

Now that you’ve seen the quote, what does it mean to you?

Who’s Watching

My Husband and I recently finished the Netflix show Away. I enjoyed the show: I like character driven shows and I loved how the characters in this unfolded and grew/changed throughout the course of the episodes. I give it a đź‘Ť

So my family was discussing this show over dinner, and my Husband asked:

“Is the show renewed?”

Before I had a chance to answer, which means my daughter jumped in really quickly, she responded:

“Did you google will this show be renewed?

My Husband and I looked at each other….

“No. I didn’t google that.” I said.

My daughter laughed the laugh of the Gen Z who knows everything. “Well” she stated “That’s how shows get renewed. It’s based on how many people google, tweet or respond to a show on social media.”

Whatever happened to Nielson? Remember those ratings guys? Sweeps months? Advertising dollars?

It’s a brave new world out there and I’m not even sure I want to be a part of it.

I freely admit that I have never googled a TV show to see if something is returning. The only time I google anything about TV is when I’m watching a show and I see an actor and I can’t place where I’ve seen them before. I hop on IMDB and figure it out. But my TV googling stops there…

Do you google TV shows?

Do you tweet about TV?

Do you do anything on social media revolving that box or computer or anything that puts out shows?

Are you part of this brave, new world?

Is my lack of social media presence the reason why I can rarely find anything I like on TV?

????????

  1. What are the shows on tv/streaming/whatever that you currently enjoy?
  2. Do you go on social media to talk/read about these shows?
  3. What do you think makes a show renewable?
  4. Do you like TV or find it a necessary evil?
  5. Do you watch/stream less than five hours of TV a week, excluding news?

Discuss anything you want about TV/streaming…

One Pot Supper

I am not a chef.

However…

I love to cook.

I love to look through magazines: old school. I get Real Simple and Good Housekeeping: I love flipping actual pages and looking at glossy 8×10 pictures of delicious food. This makes me excited, knowing that I can create a reasonable taste facsimile to anything I see on the page.

Dutifully, when I finish pretending to read all the articles, I rip out recipes and I put them in a folder. Every Sunday I hand the folder to my daughter and husband and tell them to pick out a recipe: everyone gets a choice. But I pick all the other meals: after all I’m the one shopping and prepping and cooking…

My daughter is usually game for this experience. She rifles through and comes up with something. My Husband will grumble that there’s nothing good in the folder. This in itself is a microcosm of how people are: some will work within the framework that’s provided, while others will complain without adding a viable solution.

My Husband will say something like, how about gumbo?

Have you ever made gumbo?

Do you have any idea how long you have to stir a roux?

Or he’ll ask about a long, carefully braised meat…in the middle of the summer when it’s 93 degrees and humid and I can think of nothing I’d like more than having the oven on for three hours…does make you consider that choice can be a bad thing…

But you know what happens along the way, when you give people a little bit of say in something…

Even your ever optimistic daughter will start to get a little big for her britches.

Last week I made a fish stew.

I’m started hearing complaints about the fish stew even before I had even made the fish stew…

But my daughter said- “It’s fine. But it’s never something you would order in a restaurant…”

I looked at her…

I looked at her hard…

“Well” she stuttered “I’m not comparing you to a restaurant. I mean, I know you’re not a restaurant. I just mean that this doesn’t sound exciting…”

I still looked at her as I closed the folder on my desk, the fish stew prominently in front of me…

Husband chimed in “We mean, fish stew is fine, but do we ever just want fine?”

I stood up from my desk, my full five foot two inch persona glaring at them:

“I have canned tomato’s. I have a half bag of frozen shrimp. I have celery. The only thing I need to pick up is a piece of cod. I use up things I have in the house.” I am really big on using up what’s in the house “It’s also a one pot meal.” Sorry, not sorry, but who doesn’t love a one pot meal?

They glared at me…

I pointed at both of them: “Feel free to make your own dinner…”

Insert grumbling noises here…

So I made the fish stew.

They complained.

But should you ever really complain to the person making your food?

Wonder what I’ll make them tonight…

Moving on Up

Guess what happened a few weeks ago?

I went from being a wordpress.com to a .com!

How exciting is that?

Just when everyone is considering leaving WordPress because block editor isn’t as easy as stacking a bunch of blocks, I take ownership and buy my domain name.

Huzzah.

It was a weird feeling plunking down that money. My first thought, of course, was that I would get bored and stop writing. Because isn’t that what always happens? As soon as you invest in something the novelty erodes and you never pick it up again?

But, for now, I’m still here…

This is where you would stand up and cheer if we were all together in a packed room and I was unveiling my new product. Chants of LA LA LA would be echoing off the walls. But since we can’t actually be together for this momentous announcement, I will just run the soundtrack through my head…

LA

LA

LA

But anyway…

It did feel a little scary when I first saw the plain .com. I mean, what right do I have to an actual domain name? Does having wordpress in there have any street cred? Is having my own .com entitle me to use the term street cred?

I don’t sell anything (except my discount brand of pragmatism) I have no dreams of becoming viral (take that in any sense of the word…no post being spread millions of times, no testing positive for anything) So what am I?

Thoughts of am I a fraud? popped through my head. I mean, do I really have any idea what I’m saying everyday when I spout my philosophies on just about everything? Or an I just spouting?

And then the pragmatic side took hold real hard.

Of course I’m just spouting. But really, so is everyone else.

We all think things and say things and wonder what comes next.

We are all just getting through the day, hoping that tomorrow will be just a little better. Even if out lives are 100% perfect at that moment, we optimistically think, maybe life can be just a little better tomorrow…

This is the moment in my blog where I would usually check the word count… Has anyone figured out how to check word count in block editor? Because I do miss that… I miss that little reminder of when I’ve babbled endlessly for a hundred or so too many words…

So I’ll just sign off for now.

Welcome to wakinguponthewrongsideof50.com

I aim to be a little snarky, a little sarcastic, 25% pessimist, 25% optimist and 100% myself.

Thank you and Good Night.

the crowd roars as I exit the stage in a pillar of smoke and “Eye of the Tiger” plays in the background.

Highlights October 18

My tea society zoom meeting…we sampled a green tea and a white tea
I can decide if this reindeer is supposed to bridge fall and Christmas
Zoom book club…Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell
Apple Bread Pudding
Octoberfest….
Live music in the park
This is a gimme for my playlist…
Entirely blah….
Equally blah

My other highlight was attending a lecture given by one of my daughter’s professors. He used some of her work for a project. Seeing your child’s work displayed never fails to make me happy. But what’s better is seeing your kid’s face light up when they realize the Prof has shown their work….as they wave across the room “That’s my thing! That’s my project.”

Gratitude Saturday October 16

The bakery down the street from me makes the most amazing tea lattes.

I was slowly becoming addicted to frothy milk in my beverages.

But that froth comes with a price…and I could foresee that tea latte’s were about to become an integral part of my life.

So I invested in a coffee frother…

I am so grateful for my frother because I”m saving money and I’m giving myself a little treat every day…

Anything Can Happen Friday

Instead of Friday Favorites, I’m now going to make Friday’s a surprise. You have to tune in to find out if it will be a trick or a treat…

Today is a quiz:

  1. 5+5+________
  2. Is Pluto a planet?
  3. What is the difference between they’re, their and there?
  4. Is America a democracy or a republic?

ANSWERS:

  1. 10. Except if you go to a school that has the show your work model. Then the answer can be anything you want as long as you show your work. True story: my daughter can do a lot of math in her head, so when it came to these sorts of problems she would just write down an answer. She got 5 out of 10 points for the correct answer. Another student who wrote down 13 got 8 points out of 10 because they showed all their little stickpeople to designate that they did work… I guess in the real world when someone gives you change of .70 instead of 7.00 you immediately say- That’s fine I know you did the work and it’s OK if you don’t know how to do basic math…
  2. Pluto is now recognized as a dwarf planet. As new information comes to light, science updates its books and definition. That is progress because we know what was wrong before, or right before because we are able to garner more evidence. (fyi- there is no sarcasm intended here. It is a smart to fix/amend things when more info is gathered. No one made a mistake. They just didn’t know certain things before)
  3. They’re (they are) going to the movies. Would you put that book over there? Do you want to go to their house for dinner? Does it matter if we use the correct words? I don’t know. But my daughter now ends her emails with the pronouns she/her uses …
  4. A constitutional or federal democratic republic. Does it matter? Probably not. But does it really matter how we interpret things like the constitution?

City on Life Support…

Back during the 2008 financial crisis, JP Morgan Chase took over Bear Stearns. When asked how he knew what to “pay” for BS, CEO Jamie Dimon of JPMC said something along the lines of “How do you value a house? Now how do you value that house when it’s on fire?”

Right now, NYC is that house on fire…

Last week, Moody’s Investor Service downgraded New York City.

What does that mean?

Simply, it will cost NYC more to borrow money…

But you know, it’s never good to be downgraded…

I did a simple research experiment yesterday when I walked to the supermarket. I walked down the west side of Second Avenue, between 24th and 25th St. There are seven entrances on that little strip of land. Three stores are in business. Three stores are for rent. One building is a methadone clinic.

From living around here, I know that they’ve been trying to relocate the meth clinic for years. Rent too high, building too gross.

Now let’s think about the 50% occupancy rate. How do you think something is doing when it’s only half full?

Let’s think about the life expectancy of the businesses that are still there: Subway sandwich shop, Cell phone provider, dry cleaner.

What are the chances that any, or all of these businesses survive?

Subway shops are a franchise and individually owned. This particular location was closed from March to July. I walk by there often and I rarely see anyone in there. It comes down to how much money does the owner want to use to keep this location afloat.

Cell phone provider? How many physical cell phone stores do we actually need now that we can get 24 hour shipping on a new phone?

Dry cleaner. Pre pandemic, having a cleaners was a pretty good business. There are at least 6 dry cleaners within a five minute walk of this place, including one directly across the street. On a personal level, I have not dropped off anything at the cleaners since early March. Do you think the majority are like me or not?

What is my prediction for these stores? One will be out of business by December 31. One will be out of business by March 1.

What does all this mean? Extrapolate. If every little cross section of the city were to have a 50% occupancy rate, with greater than average chance of it hitting 75%, How do you think things will work out?

I know you glass half full people are all saying: “But what about the blocks with 75% occupancy?” To which I answer…”What about the ones with 25%? What about the ones with 0?”

Empty storefronts with no hope of reopening are a bad thing…

FYI: According the the NY Restaurant Association, 9 out of 10 NYC restaurants did not make rent in August. And now they’re working at 25% capacity unless they are blessed with a great outdoor set up and pleasant weather. Even then….will it work?

So now that you get an idea about all the businesses that won’t be paying rent and taxes…

Let’s get to the meat of NYC…office space.

Right now there is still a 25% occupancy rule for NYC buildings. That aside, maybe there’s actually 15-20% of employees showing up to physical office locations. Maybe. When my husband goes into the office he can count on two hands how many people are on the floor…

You must begin to question whether or not most businesses need office space.

If you’re an employer, do you want to pay rent and taxes on locations that you really don’t need? Isn’t everyone always looking for a way to cut costs?

Do organizations need physical space?

If the answer is “No” then what do you do with all the office space?

I know that some of you are going to say: “Make them into shelters for the homeless. Or the elderly.”

Ok. Let’s think about that. For the time being we will forget the pesky little issues of rezoning, renovating, loss of rent, loss of tax revenue, and upkeep. We’ll make believe that unicorns fly over rainbows and these things don’t matter…

Do you have any idea how much office space is in Manhattan alone?

My Husband normally works in a 59 story office building that houses at least 1000 people a floor- and I’d say that’s a very conservative number…

That’s one building…

Do you know how many buildings there are?

Buildings that could go to 20% occupancy as leases run out?

Let’s take a peak at residents.

My apartment building has 17 floors of residents. Assume there are fifteen residents per floor. Now assume that half of those people got out of dodge back in March. If you could leave NYC you did…

Presently there are over 15,000 unoccupied apartments in NYC. That is a record high number of empty places. That number is only going to go up as people’s leases run out and the moving trucks come by.

But what does all this really mean?

Less people means less people spending money here, both on taxes and actual goods and services…

Taxes will go up. Services will be cut. We already know that it’s already become more expensive to borrow money because NYC is becoming a very risky investment…

Middle class people, anyone with an alternate opportunity, will start to move out…

What will be left?

Broadway- closed till at least June 2021. Philharmonic. Carnegie Hall. Madison Square Garden…empty…

Every week I show you pictures of the things that I love about my city. I do this because this is how I like to look at it. But there are other pictures I could send you, the other things I see on a daily basis…

Some of you won’t care if NYC falls. Some will actually be glad. I get that. We’re an arrogant bunch of assholes out here…

But before we completely rewrite history, think back to the 70’s…the last time NYC fell…how did the late 70’s work out for all of you?

One of our friends asked if it was a good time to invest in NYC, you know, buy low sell high. I mean, NYC does always bounce back…doesn’t matter…we just pick ourselves up, dust off and keep on keeping on.

But this time, if people don’t see a need to actually do things here, work or play or whatever…

what exactly would you be investing in?

Those Adult Kids…

Imagine a household, where a man lives with his 25 and 27 year old children…

For today’s purposes, we are going to define adult children as those who are not on your health insurance and are over twenty-five. We are going to define parent as the person paying the majority of the bills. We’re going to leave the 18-24’s alone for the time being.

So there you are, a parent, and both your adult children live with you…

Do you expect your children to ask permission to do certain things with regards to the house?

Do you expect them to discuss certain things with you before they happen?

Do you treat them as completely equal with regards to how things are done?

Like, if your child wanted to bring home a pet, would you expect them to ask your permission/discuss with you?

Do you have the right to say “No” if asked?

Does the parent have the right to bring home a pet without asking the others?

What about other things?

Building a firepit in the backyard?

Putting an above ground pool in the backyard?

Buying a gun?

Having someone spend the night?

Having a significant other move in?

Partaking of illegal substances?

Growing illegal substances?

Party?

How does the parent/child dynamic shift as time passes?

Do any of these expectations shift if the child financially splitting the cost of things?

If the child is paying the majority of the bills?

Please pick any or all parts of this discussion and, you know, discuss…