Fwiw, I've found it's a lot easier to replace obsessions than just shut them down. Whenever I'm tempted to revisit old patterns, having the plan to go for a run or take ten minutes to meditate (or just otherwise doing something I can feel smug about) has been very helpful.
I don't care what anyone says, Lana Del Rey's producers are still interesting and fun to listen to.
This was truly wonderful. Thank you.
@C_Webb It's only awful if you don't do it right!
The best thing about showing people NYC is touring a place they've heard about and seen in movies a thousand times, and then peeling back the layers. Show them things WITHIN the banal locations that they couldn't find on their own. You can get good hot chocolate anywhere, see lovely cherry blossoms most anywhere, but why are they BROOKLYN, why are they MEANINGFUL? The dry-as-toast Blue Guides are extremely helpful for quick lookup of all the dirt on any area you might visit (http://www.amazon.com/New-York-Map-Blue-Guide/dp/0393319857) and they're standard curriculum for becoming a licensed NYC tour guide. They give you the brief synopsis of the things that happened in each neighborhood, year after unbelievable year. The tour guide's job is to make those dry little nuggets shine. (/The Cruise/, the Timothy Speed Levitch documentary is required and wonderful viewing for this.)
Coney Island is intense but it's ESSENTIAL if you're talking Brooklyn. It's one of the most emotionally layered places in New York.
Basically the best thing that has ever happened to me in Brooklyn was walking innocently out into the misty green of Prospect Park at 5am on a sleepless Sunday morning. I thought I would sit and meditate and watch the sun come up. I had no idea about the dogs. The rising sea of overjoyed, leashless, romping dogz. DOGZ!!!
Also, I think Coney Island is important. It's basically the same thing on a sunny day, but with all the humans of the world, in swimming trunks.
@Pierre About the dreams! Are you guys having anxiety nightmares about falling off the wagon?! I started December 27th and I've had these terribly vivid dreams that leave me feeling guilty and uncomfortable for half the day until I remember that I didn't wake up and guzzle myself into oblivion the night before. It's not even that I'm some kind of terrible person when I'm drunk! I'm not! IN FACT, I mostly got off of the booze because I kept on waking up the next day feeling wracked with inexplicable guilt. I think it's a loss-of-control thing.
And now, guilt anyway. Drynuary, you are worthless.
Also, I wanted to add that this morning I discovered that putting "buttered rum" flavored syrup in your latte is TOTALLY BOOZE FLAVORED. None of this laughable so-called "butterscotch" crap. Is it weird to like the taste of booze? Should I not? Oh god!
@dj pomegranate Thanks, I hadn't heard of that group. Very interesting.
@mae Thanks for the suggestion... I'm with you, or think I am, on how much greater awe there is in even basic appreciation of science. It's nice to have that door open, in the fifteen years or so since I stopped arguing with science teachers about the legitimacy of the fossil record.
It's funny, I've swung into atheism for a spell, then sort of swung back out again because I can't really function without some acknowledgment of... the pertinence of the ineffable and intuitive. I feel that both atheism and deism can be somewhat restrictive and reductionist, as people tend to insist on them. Science is a huge joy, but to go ahead and (fuckin') quote Albert (fuckin') Einstein (yeah!): "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift."
I want more science like that, don't you? (May the Force be with you, yo.)
@barnhouse I'm sure my insistence on it really nails the point home, but anyway. Therapy.
@barnhouse Of the Sessions piece: Nicely written but facile. It posits a world in which Christians can somehow choose to feel less than embattled against popular culture. They are re-born, servants of a higher king, ergo counter-culture. Being embattled is central to Christian-cult mentality, and honestly half the fun.