How about that?
Happy New Year!
This year we made 198 dumplings which, if the archives can be trusted, is some kind of record.
"Everyone gets 49," I said, "and we can split up the last two."
But actually we had some leftovers.
I did try to poke my head into SL when the little boy and I got back from the neighborhood party (M being already in bed, and the little girl being out at some wild teenage New Year sleepover / debauchery party), but the laptop hung solid, twice, and I took it as a sign and went to sleep.
On some day in between (Friday, was it?) I took the train down into The Big City and bummed around for a few hours. I had slept in and gotten a rather late start, and I missed the 2pm train by literally less than a minute (wurra wurra wurra), so I didn't get to Grand Central until like 3:30pm, but it was still a Good Time, including a sound and light show in the Grand Concourse of Grand Central, calling M from Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza, gawking up at UN Headquarters (but not going into the grounds proper because not being up for a full TSA-style security checkpoint and shoe-removal), exploring a few tiny parks and dog-runs and overpasses (most of which turned out to be dead-ends) while trying to be as far East as possible on the way Uptown, and then the Highlight of the Trip, the Roosevelt Island Tram.
Long-time readers may recall that this has been one of my Life's Goals for a bit less than four years, and now I've done it! It was fun, simple, very pretty being up above most things just at dusk with the lights coming on on that big bridge there and all the cars with their headlights zooming around, and the non-lit parts of the scene still sort of bluely visible and vague. A short trip, in an overgrown ski-gondola with only a couple of seats (one at each end), and a bunch of things to hang onto while standing in the center.
At the other end I walked around a tiny bit, read the signs around the tiny Roosevelt Island Historical Society or whatever it is building, looked at the water, did ten minutes (by my cellphone's alarm clock) of informal zazen sitting on a bench in a tiny waterside park, walked back to the tram station the long way around the block, and rode back to Manhattan (thus accomplishing my goal twice in some sense).
Then had dinner at (and called M from) the Tramway Diner or something like that (tiny, right beside the tram station, with tram-shaped lanterns on the ceiling), walked back toward downtown, stopped at a candy store and bought too much chocolate (which, I think, I later left on the train when I rushed off at Croton-Harmon), noticed a subway station and got on the 6 train downtown to Grand Central (which oh by the way was free, because even though I bought a two dollar ticket for the return tram trip, the gate to the tram area was open and not apparently requiring tickets when I went through, so I used the ticket for the subway instead), got on the nextish train northward, and eventually got home in the deepening dark.
A fine time all around. Would have been nice to have had more of it, would have been nice to have persuaded along a family member or three, but was fine short and by myself, too.
And that's about all. Right now, I have an unpleasant head-cold of some stripe, sore and congested and icky, and would rather just lie in bed and drowze and think about trams and trains and lights until it goes away, but needs must get up at six aye em tomorrow just like I did today. And so, similarly, I should go to bed soon.