In Bloom

photographycovid-19east pamusic

Magnolia tree in all its glory

I cough into my shoulder.
I sneeze into my shoulder.
I watch as the dates marked on my calendar
for something exciting
pass me by.

I'm thankful that I celebrated my
birthday just before people started
taking COVID-19 seriously,
so I got to hear the sound of Miguel Zenon's sax,
taste a last frozen margherita,
and blast... R.E.M. one last time.

Magnolia tree in all its glory

What I've Learned In Six Years of Coffee Drinking

coffee

[Note: please forgive any kinks with the photo hosting here. I'm trying to switch to hosting images in git lfs instead of just having a bunch of binaries checked into git, and it was a bit of a snag for the initial setup. Subsequent posts shouldn't be affected.]

Latte with impressive cat art. Bogota, Sept. 2017
Latte with impressive cat art. Bogota, Sept. 2017

On one particular March morning I rolled out of bed in South Brooklyn, and I have to be honest, I think I had a slight headache.

What was the cause of this ailment? Was it COVID-19, or the glass of whiskey I had last night?

Actually, I think it was caffiene withdrawl. Definitely, caffiene withdrawl.

Luckily, the cure was at hand, despite self-quarantine. I only had three pounds of coffee and no one to drink it with. Things were gonna be fine.

A beautifully presented c coffee alongside Greek pastries, somewhere on Gökçeada. April 2016.
A beautifully presented c coffee alongside Greek pastries, somewhere on Gökçeada. April 2016.

So, Coffee

Sometimes, the distance between being a novice about something, and becoming something of a snob about it is a relatively short road. I believe I transitioned from stirring instant coffee granules in a cup of cold milk with a fork to doing fancy pourover with a scale in... about a year's time. Is this an improvement? My palate seems to think so... Well, there's less weird chemicals at least.

My headache-addled state this morning is ironic, because I avoided drinking coffee for quite a long time.

In my childhood, I looked down on people who required their caffiene dose in order to start their day, becoming dependent on a substance that offered no escape from rote daily routine. However, I did really like the smell of coffee.

I avoided drinking coffee (whilst being quite partial to tea) until I was three-quarters of the way through undergrad.

I started with the most ritualistic gateway drug of all.

NYC Part One: Your Mother In Law

nycnyc daysSeries: My Days in New York City

View from Brighton Beach B/Q Platform, January 2019
View from Brighton Beach B/Q Platform, January 2019

This site seeks to answer one question and one question alone: "Where is Steve?"

The answer: I'm in New York City.

So, how did I come to this place, what are my thoughts and feelings about it? How long can I continue to tease thus? To answer these questions, I henceforth christen this the first in a series of posts tentatively entitled "NYC Days." And get started we will!

Eurovision 2020: First Impressions

musiceurovisioneurovision 2020europe

As Coronavirus rears its ugly head, I thought it would be important for me to finally get around to focusing on the important things in life. By which, I of course meant the Eurovision 2020 song competition.

For those of you not in the know, Eurovision is a song competition designed to help foster a sense of "European Community." Each country sends one artist to perform one song, and people in each country get to vote on which of the other countries' songs they most preferred.

The songs vary in quality and style, but they can basically be described as pop, mainly dance pop (yay!) or ballads (eh!). (Oh, look, I'm outting my prejudices right here.)

Perhaps one of the most prominent artists that Eurovision can really be thanked for bringing to widespread attention is ABBA. So good on them for that...

So without any further ado, here are my thougts on all entrants.

Some COVID-19 thoughts

nyccovid-19

This post will inevitably fit somewhere into a series of posts on NYC life, but it's neither the beginning nor ending of this series, which has a couple of nice drafts in progress.

Also, I have no basis for giving serious medical advice, so please listen to sources like the CDC etc.

Hurrah! We have reached the time in which I write the inevitable post about Coronavirus: the latest and greatest in ultimate excuses to avoid visiting elderly family members! And also, a seriously quickly spreading plague. And a lot of memes about handwashing.

If I had written this post a week ago, I probably would have said something about the low fatality rate, and the lack of any need to be concerned. But, I am not someone who is as at risk as others. I can easily avoid putting myself in too much danger and lower the likelihood that I inadvertantly spread the disease by working from home and doing a bit more hunkering down than I'd prefer to do.

The answer then to the title of this blog is that I'm at home with some pierogies, whiskey and coffee, but I still plan to go to Wednesday night karaoke.. just with the microphone being held farther away from my face...