Sunday, January 01, 2023


Headed out for an early pipe smoke around the neighborhood. So, naturally, given that it's the first day of the year, there are already a few discarded Christmas trees near garbage cans and at intersections. Why did some local dump his totally artificial tree?
Those things don't go into the municipal refuse wood chipper.

Friends on the internet have mentioned black eyed peas and collard greens as a fond New Year's Day tradition. Those folks are from The South, where that is traditional. I'm familiar with it -- black eyes and spinach with cumin and fenugreek -- but non-observant. Haven't done it in years, nor the beans and ham hocks variant. My personal New Years Day tradition is heading over to Chinatown for dim sum, and thinking about naughty business (the actual pursuit of which is a day-off tradition I haven't pursued in years either). Naughty business of any kind requires complication. As well as a like minded individual who neither is herself problematic nor considers one's own middle-aged peculiarities problematic.
And all of that is, you understand, an extremely problematic concept.
I am an uncomplicated man. Problems aren't my thing.

Pipe. Aged red Virginia flake. Caffeinated beverage.
Saying "rabbit rabbit" first thing on the first day of the month is a traditional thing, mostly White Anglo Saxon Protestant North American. Luck or something. My parents did it. For several years after I came back to the United States I didn't. My friend Dave started posting pictures of rabbits drinking coffee about four or five years ago, which reintroduced me to the custom. Now I observe it religiously, in the form of a rabbit illustrated smoking a pipe.

Black eye peas are somehow symbolic of 'fertility' and 'luck'. Rabbits cover at least one of those, maybe both. Dim sum (dumplings) are in a way symbolic of wealth (it's complicated, having to do with ingot shapes, and not my tradition). Heading over the hill to Chinatown for dim sum echoes some of all that stuff, but I do it simply because I like to do so, no meaning attached. Probably going to eat cheung fan (腸粉) in any case, which symbolizes, precisely and exactly, cheung fan. And only cheung fan.

Then I'll probably smoke another bowlful.
No symbolic meaning either.

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