Don’t block the box and thoughts on city (and non-city) life


“I really wanna kick her in the goddamn box” -Sheila, Rescue Me

I will never see the sign "Don't block the box" in city intersections and think the same way again. Not after New York in the autumn. City life, and the characters who populate those temporary city-life moments for me, is just too intense. No escaping this fact.

I am just getting ready to drive home from the office; I have been out for almost 24 hours, and this is normal. Last night en route to work, I stopped at three different Shell stations… the first two had malfunctioning card-reader machines (do not even get me started on how many times I have been to a petrol station with friends who somehow thought I was driving away without paying because I had not gone inside the store to pay…). I was almost to Oslo by the time I got to a working gas station. I have weird memories of this particular gas station. I ended up there on a late-night drive last summer with someone who suffered major sticker shock upon seeing the price of snus in Norway. Don't get me started on the snus-using habits of Nordic peoples, either.

I have been drawn into Al Jazeera English. They discuss a lot of things they don’t discuss on other news channels. While watching, I also caught a half-second glimpse of a guy I once briefly knew through work in Iceland but I was not sure because I only saw the tail-end of his report (and by "tail end", I mean a second or two)… so I had to look the guy up and discovered that he was in fact who I thought he was (an American journalist who was working in Iceland before packing up quickly and moving to the US to work for Al Jazeera America… which interestingly but unsurprisingly is not widely available to American viewers). Even though they talk about regions and issues that don’t show up much on CNN or BBC, it’s still a major media outlet, so still feels very corporate and limited compared to, for example, something like Democracy Now!, which only has a one-hour-long news program daily (Monday through Friday). Still not enjoying the drawn-out quality of Amy Goodman's voice, particularly her vowels. Nevertheless, I appreciate the reporting.

And now that it is past midnight and time to drive home. I am not partial to sleeping in the office or to being in Oslo. The "big city".

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