You can never go back to Valhalla

Aside from the crazy news of what happened in this tiny Westchester community (See 7online News) our return trip yesterday to Valhalla felt nothing like a homecoming.  Maybe it was the fact that it was Saturday morning.  Maybe it is by noon every small child needs to be at a birthday party.  Or maybe when you are at a gigantic gym you should never have people climbing next to you.  Unfortunately by noon, all these things were happening.  Perhaps the best and most telling was this exchange as Josh and I worked on a new problem.  After one try a young fellow with long hair comes up and says, “Hey do you mind? Let me try it?”  Josh walks off.  They guys climbs the problem easily as he has obviously done it countless times before.  Josh comes back.  “Hey you didn’t get to see me do it?”, “Yeah”, Josh says, “I like to try to figure it out for myself.”  There you have it, gym etiquette 101.  Don’t jump on other peoples lines, when they are figuring it out.

At this point a shrill woman with her 8 year old were fighting with each other.  The child was running around bouncing off of things.  She tries to ask us what easy things he can climb, but before we even tell her, “Less than 100 points” as they were rated, she and her equally shrill and awful child are climbing and yelling at each other again.  Westchester is beautiful.  Also, if the the gym is 10,000 square feet, find a line that isn’t on top of someone else.  So simple.  Weekends at gyms suck.  This Saturday further reinforced this for me.  Also, if you can help it, don’t be shrill a Westchester mother.  And stop wearing white tennis shoes and stone washed jeans (see Jerry Seinfeld look), it’s not 1992.

“mom & tricia” by Tricia WardFence - by metaphorgePrinceton 1991 by Joe Shlabotnik

Death, Taxes & Jersey

Two days in Jersey this past weekend.  Saturday was with Papa Epstein and the rest of Zoe’s family via Princeton Junction.  Sunday involved a crazy interchange of Zoe delivering her father a present she had forgotten to bring with her, a train to Trenton, another train to Paterson, and Josh driving the Nissan Versa rental with Ryan and I.  We picked Zoe up in the insanely industrial town of Paterson, drove to Fairfield to yet another bizarre Jersey furniture/marble/glass industrial park off of Hwy. 46, to the New Jersey Rock Gym.  It was alright.  This past Friday I took the train up to Valhalla, NY in Westchester County and found “The Cliffs Gym” cleaner and more enjoyable.  Also, getting to and from Jersey is brutal.  Metro North from Grand Central Station is much more pleasant any day of week.  I think that the Hudson Line is probably the nicest, and obviously parts of Westchester are just as nasty post industrial as Paterson, NJ or West Hartford, CT for that matter.  So yeah, we did more gym climbing.  I got my taxes done.  The weather seems like it may finally be turning.  We’re almost done with the 1st season of “The Wire” via Netflix.  Slowly but surely we are archiving all our music CD’s to .FLAC and high quality 320 kbps .MP3.  My fingers hurt if I climb too much.Paterson, New Jersey

Hunk of Wood

The other day Ramsey was in town on his way to Argentina to do some condo maintenance before heading to live permanently in the Middle East, because hey, that is the way he rolls.  He loved staying in Park Slope.  He’s so going to be a Lesbian, get a dog have a kid, and move down there when he comes back. It’s that slingshot effect of living in hipster squalor in Philly and then coveting thy neighbor’s Wolf cooking range the second you step inside the kitchen of that beautiful Brownstone.

While we were walking in Prospect Park with his friend Gavin from Philadelphia (a musician who’s band “Rowan and Hastings” page is here) we saw several felled trees, mostly chopped into big pieces, and it again made me wonder the status of those big blocks of wood that are just sitting there?  And it rekindled my memory of an idea I’d had for putting an audio amplifier (valve type or solid state) into a tree stump to create a “functional tree art amp”.  I still think it is a good idea.  Maybe one day I’ll find a bike trailer and haul a piece of tree trunk with me back to LIC.  Or not.  On a somewhat related side note, never ever, ever, ever, name your first born child Audio Science Clayton.

WoodSpoutnik 1 by Samyra Serin