Five Thoughts on Memorial Day

The extended Memorial Day weekend — combined with the fact that we’ve finally, after a month of searching, found a place to live in Northampton — has given me some much-needed mental space in which to slow down, relax, and assess.

First of all, I’m just so psyched about finding a house in Northampton to live in.  It’s in my favorite neighborhood in the city, it’s a bike ride from work, and it has three bedrooms, a porch, a backyard, a fireplace, and a washer and dryer.  Some of you might think it’s a bit banal to get excited over these things, but if you’ve lived in New York at all you’ll know that these features all seem luxurious.  Just having a bathroom that can fit two people at a time is thrilling. I’m gonna invade Nicole’s bathroom time, just because I can.

Five other things I let my mind drift to today (in no specific order):

1. The importance of doing work that you really care about.  In this case, I’m pretty proud to be able to tell people that I’m doing online organizing for media reform. A copy of Free Press’ Changing Media – a book that was produced for our Summit this month — is sitting on my desk, and it’s a reminder of the important work we’re doing and the ways it connect to real peoples’ lives.

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Forgive me for sounding self-important, but working on media reform is a huge deal because it’s at the root of so much of what we call “democracy.” From a free and accessible media springs everything else that we hold dear — education, transparency, accountability, community action, a healthy populace, etc.  So I’m pleased to be helping fight the good fight.

1a. The importance of working with people you respect and admire.  All of my colleagues at Free Press appear to share my enthusiasm for the work we do.  That’s key.

2. The necessity of work-sanctioned free time, formerly known as weekends.  After a few years of working for startups or startup-like outfits, it’s a relief to treat a weekend like a weekend and know that your colleagues are doing the same.

2a. The wonder of spending time with your kid.

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3.  This is random, but it occurred to me tonight that including delicious links on my blogs is spammy and boring.  A quick call to friends on Twitter confirmed it.  Delicious links, begone.

4. Coney Island is a treasure, even when it sucks.

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We walked down the boardwalk today from Coney down to Brighton Beach.  The people are crazy and the attractions burned out, but I never get tired of it.  The site of so many completely different New Yorkers sharing the boardwalk is enough to bring me down once or twice a summer.

5.  Ironically, the move from Brooklyn to Northampton will mean getting to see much, much more music than we saw in New York, at least in the last couple of years.  Ever since we’ve had Arlo (and really, since Nicole’s been pregnant), our rate of concert-going has trickled down to pretty much nothing given the logistics of it all.  But now that going to a show means a walk down the street, and now that we have built-in babysitters in-laws living 15 minutes away, we’ll be much freer to see shows.

We’ve already started; last week we saw an amazing Bonnie “Prince” Billy show.  Tonight, we bought tickets to see St. Vincent.  Please, lords of Pioneer Valley, brings us some Grizzly Bear.

5a. The change in pace and location may be enough to get me to pick up my instruments again and seek out some bandmates.  Look out!

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