New experiences

So in the spirit of my last post, let’s recount some new experiences of the last week, aka a “This is what I’ve been doing” post.

Last Wednesday, I went to see a talk by Natalie Jeremijenko at the Whitney Museum (I got a free ticket through the dorkbot list), who I first saw speak at Jofish’s recommendation at the 4S conference. Man. She’s really odd. I don’t understand how her brain works at all. She’s an enigma – I can’t really peg her. She started her talk by dissing the Whitney for not showing some art that a friend of hers submitted for their current biennial exhibition. Then she spent some time talking about how towers change when people become more expensive than materials. I wasn’t quite sure what her point was. But I have to admit that trying to figure it out was somewhat entertaining.

She pointed out the orwellian implications of the public transit signs that say “If you see something, say something” – we are being encouraged to surveil each other and report to authority, rather than actually doing anything ourselves. It tears at the social fabric to give up responsibility of ourselves and our surroundings like that. I liked the idea of the Anti terror line, where people call in to report abuses of authority and stuff – sweet – opposite of the tips line.

The Facemask project was also interesting – “who has the evidence?” of air pollution – “who can participate in the political decisions?”

But her talk really demonstrated that she really has no attention span, wandering all over the place. She took a quick digression to rant about how the signs of “don’t feed the animals” is ludicrous because it implies we shouldn’t interfere with them, but we can change the climate, which is way more interfering. She’s an interesting but hard-to-follow speaker, because she wanders through something interesting but then wanders off. Alas. Still, a good excuse to get out and be exposed to a different viewpoint.

Saturday evening, I had my housewarming party. About ten people showed up, which was surprisingly gratifying, given that I’d only been in New York for a month. It was a little bit of a weird dynamic between the techies and non-techies, but I think it was fun. And, hey, any event where conversation goes til 2:30 in the morning is a success in my book.

On Sunday afternoon, it was an absolutely gorgeous day, so I took my first bike ride in New York City. I biked out to the Hudson River, where there’s a bike path that extends the length of Manhattan, and then up to the Upper West Side, and over into Central Park, which was _packed_. I had entertained thoughts of finding a little quiet space to myself in the sun to read, but there was no hope of that – every bit of lawn was filled with people. On the plus side, cars were being kept out of the park, so I rode the big loop road around Central Park. That was fun, seeing all of the different areas and activities available in the park in quick succession as I rode on by. The only thing I didn’t see was an ultimate frisbee game, which was mildly bumming. But I’ve looked it up online and now know where they allegedly play, so I’ll check again in a couple weekends. But in any event, it was really fun to get back on my bike and zoom up and down the island. And I’m really glad I have the mountain bike – I hit some potholes while negotiating the city streets that would have destroyed a road bike.

On Monday evening, my friend Qw. convinced me to try his Kundalini Yoga class. He’s really into it, going every day, and I figured that I need to be more willing to give things a shot, so what the heck. It was surprisingly physical, holding some of those poses. And there were a couple times where my comical lack of flexibility was a problem. But it was an interesting experience. I don’t think it’s for me, necessarily. It might be good for me – I’m totally unable to “empty my mind” at this point, and maybe studying yoga for a while would help with that. On the other hand, I’m not sure I like the inward-focused nature of it – I spend enough time in my own head as it is. One of the points of me doing activities is to go out and be socially interactive, which is why I liked chorus and ultimate. So I think I’ll try a few other things and see whether they work for me any better.

That’s the wrap-up from my world. Work proceeds apace. I’m handling most tech support emails, starting to handle tech support phone calls, and have to devise a scalable computer backup solution soon. Plus there’s some ideas about starting to build up our customer community a bit that I’m mulling but don’t have time to really do anything about.

Oh, and the last new experience? Posting a blog post from my couch because my DSL is finally installed! Now I can truly call this home.

Posted in nyc

2 thoughts on “New experiences

  1. You might try Aikido. It’s got some mind-clearing elements (in a physical “focus on the movement and be in the moment” way) but also requires partner interaction. If you can find a good dojo it would probably be a good fit.

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