PictureNakano-Fudohson Shrine.
No apologies for that last post. Being sarcastic is one of my strong points and doesn't Tony Robbins say we are supposed to develop our strengths? And anyway, you can take a kid out of New Jersey but you can't take New Jersey out of Da Kid! (Brand new nickname for myself there.)

Ever since I got married there hasn't been a New Year's Eve where I haven't wished I hadn't gotten married. (Stay with me here.) Think about it, this is the last big hurrah, an immeasurably valuable opportunity to get a little crazy with a few (or a few dozen, or few hundred) other people who also realize this is pretty much it until St. Patrick's Day. But my wife, being Japanese, isn't in tune with the concept of last hurrahs. To her, life is just this one long Zen Buddhist continuum that doesn't cater to age-old traditions of sophomoric insobriety and so we always end up waiting for midnight by sitting on our asses in a room with a TV.

The one consolation is that the entire rest of the country is doing the same - except for the ones standing around outside, near a shrine, freezing in jackets too thin for the weather and clinging to their cell phones with curled, half-frozen fingers. Which, now that I think about it, seems a hell of a lot better than standing around in Times Square. At least the shrine has toilets you can get to.