So, 2018 is over. Like any end of the year, the last few weeks were filled with “Year End Retrospectives.” A year ago I wrote this blog.
I hate year-end retrospectives.
Especially this year. A year ago, all anybody could talk about was just how much 2016 sucked. And it did. But then, along came 2017.
2017 said to 2016 “Here, hold my beer” Then along came 2018 who said to 2016 and 2017 “Pussies! Let me show you how it’s really done.”
So here’s my “Year End Retrospective, The Short and To-The-Point-2018-Edition.” And yes, I’m doing it in 2019. Why? Because I’m a rebel because I’m going rogue because I only remembered I wrote it last year on New Year’s Eve this year. So here it is, 2018 month-by-month.
January. Well, that sucked.
February. God, that really sucked.
March. Are you kidding me? How much more can this possibly suck?
April. This can’t get worse.
May. It got worse.
June. Are you fucking kidding me!?
July. This is just not happening.
August. Well, that just happened. WTF?!
September. This is insane.
October. No, he’s insane.
November. Shit, he is REALLY insane.
December. This insanity has to end.
🎇🎶 Happy New Year. 🎶🎇
At least we still have Betty White.
PS: And to start the New Year off on a good note, I give you two dogs playing “I got your nose.”
I love to laugh. I love wit. I adore cleverness and am particularly enamored of very smart people, which is probably one of the many, many reasons I am so deeply disappointed by our government. Not only are they completely wrong about pretty much everything, but they are also utterly lacking in humor. If they are going to be this awful, can’t they even be funny? Each of them has undergone a humorectomy or maybe they were born that way.
Is not having a sense of humor a genetic abnormality?
I love cartoons. Political, literary, or just goofy. Love them all. Love the artwork, love the little jokes within the jokes. Of course, some of these were originally published years ago, but this is the year I discovered them.
This has been a year of political cartoons. Not surprising being as this country has become a political cartoon.
Didn’t you hear? The NRA is also taking Russian money.
Back when we used to get newspapers, Bizarro and Doonesbury were the two comics I followed. Both are still around, by the way. They did an interview with Gary Trudeau — who is married to Jane Pauley, so she interviewed him herself. I never knew he was married to a news anchor.
And finally, a happy New Year from Gary Trudeau and all the great cartoonists in what is still a sort of free-ish country!
Here’s to a better year. To quote Jim Jefferies, “We can all do better!”
By now you are expected to have a good response. So what is it? What are you doing? Certainly, your friends have been asking and you must have something interesting to say. Unless you are under 18 or over 80, you do not get a pass on this one. So, what’s it going to be? Party? Dinner and dancing? Will you be outside watching fireworks or in where it is warm? If you are in Florida or Arizona, I guess you could be outside watching fireworks where it is warm.
Since there seem to be so many different things to do, the question might actually be more or less logical. Restaurants, bars, and hotel ballrooms all have some sort of package deal. There are shows and concerts of every type. Whether you are in a big city or a small town, plans for the celebration abound.
For some strange reason, everyone is expected to have a plan.
One year, when downtown Chicago still had a glut of movie theaters, I was on a double date at a late showing of a movie that finished up just before midnight. I do remember which movie, but not the date. We had just enough time to empty out into the intersection of State Street (that great street) and Randolph where Chicago used to conduct a poor man’s version of the final countdown. Since it was quite cold and we were not loaded with anti-freeze, we stayed for the countdown and ran off for warmer places. It was an experience I do not need again. If I watch the ball drop in Times Square, it will be on television from another locale.
Since then I have ventured to house parties, bar parties, restaurants, and shows, but I am not sure any of these supposed grand events were particularly memorable. They certainly did not ring out like many of the grand events we see in the movies. If you missed all of them, then I will suggest that you put “movies with new year’s eve scenes” in your internet search so you can find a lot of them. Maybe you will get some cool ideas.
Since the death of one year and the dawn of another seem to evoke feelings of nostalgia, then you may know that “When Harry Met Sally” contains one of the most memorable and nostalgic New Year’s scenes of all. Indeed it is the climax of the “will he or won’t he?” scenario. It has all led up to one fateful New Year’s Eve moment. The typical New Year’s Eve hoopla only adds to the drama of the moment. (SPOILER ALERT). I love making dramatic “spoiler” pronouncements, and here is that great scene from one of our favorite movies.
The director of the movie needed no special music as “Auld Lang Syne” made the perfect background song. And what does this sentimental tune actually mean? We don’t know, something about goodbye and hello. It doesn’t matter, our sentimental feeling just associates with it and that is all that counts. So will you have a sentimental moment?
For some gentlemen, the coming of New Year’s is met with all the anxiety of asking someone to the high school prom. You know you are supposed to do something. You know it is supposed to be really good. You know it is going to cost you money, which you are not supposed to care about. You also know, just like the high school prom, you might get shot down when you ask the “jackpot question.” Unless you want to get teased by family and friends, you may just have to ask the question anyway.
Ooh, but in case I stand one little chance Here comes the jackpot question in advance: What are you doing New Year’s New Year’s Eve?
Did you ask yet? What was the answer? If you haven’t asked, what are you waiting for?
Seth MacFarlane is the creator of Family Guy, American Dad!, The Cleveland Show and stars in “The Orville.”
When I was little, everyone’s trees were covered in tinsel and some fluffy white stuff. It imitated snow on the branches of your tree and placed judiciously, was quite lovely. The white fluffy stuff was banned because it was mostly fiberglass. It was lethal to pets and dangerous for people, too.
As for tinsel, I think it was a cleanup issue. It got into everything. Animals ate it, including dogs, cats, and baby rug-rats. It did look very pretty, all silvery on the trees. It came in other colors too, but I don’t think most people really got “into” the pinks and oranges and blues.
From when I married Jeffrey in 1964, we had ‘real’ trees. It was a family thing, to get the biggest tree you could, then spend hours reconstructing it with saws and wires to make it look perfect
Real Christmas trees weren’t expensive, either. Even though they made an awful mess (I was usually still trying to get those dried pine needles out of the wood floors a year later when the new tree was going up), it wasn’t a big deal to get a tree and there was a tree lot on every corner.
Then one year — it must have been during the late 1970s — the price shot up and a tree that had cost $10 the previous year was $50 the next.
We still got a real one until the end of the 1970s when Jeff and I divorced and I moved to Israel.
By the time I came back from Israel (August 1987), a $10 tree was $100. Garry and I bought got real ones for a few years when we had the townhouse in Boston. One was so perfect — and so WIDE — it took up the entire living room. The following year I tried to find an unreal tree that would fit into our actual space.
Then we moved here and since we live 5 doors down from an actual Christmas tree farm (which today I noticed is for sale, so there goes Arrowhead Farms!), you could choose your tree in August or September, watch it grow, then cut it down yourself immediately before you were ready to put it up. Talk about a FRESH tree.
I never had trouble putting up the tree and everyone was eager to help decorate it, but no one ever wanted to take it down or put away the decorations. We still had a tree standing one year on my birthday in March.
We had a few more live ones after that, but the bloom was coming off the rose. Even a six-foot tree took up more room than we could really give it. There was nowhere to walk around it — and the dogs were always trying to eat the glass ornaments.
NO ONE wants their dogs eating glass anything, much less those fragile ornaments. Cats just liked to play with them, but the dogs liked a good hefty bite! Then, for a while, it became almost impossible to get glass ornaments. Some sort of national agreement that all decorations would be plastic.
A few years ago when my son and his family moved out, Garry and I realized we didn’t need gigantic trees. We started buying little real trees in pots on the theory that we could plant them in the spring, but they never survived long enough to plant. They dried out and died long before it was warm enough to plant anything.
Finally, three years ago, I found the perfect fake 4-foot tree. It looks so much like a real tree, most people think it is real until they touch it and even then, they aren’t sure. I had a lot of searching to do to find it.
Also, it is big enough to have some presence. It feels like a tree, not like a toy yet it is small enough to put on our huge coffee table on which we never serve coffee. The table really functions as a place to show off old pottery and other small decorative things because under the glass top is a shelf for “stuff.” And it’s big enough to sort the laundry.
Thus we found a viable version of Christmas for us. It is big enough to be a Christmas but sufficiently small and neat to make it something we could do ourselves without winding up exhausted with a giant mess following the holiday.
I think our 4-foot always-decorated tree is perfect. It safeguards all our earlier Christmases and it’s ready in half a blink to take its place. From last year, it also has lights.
There’s nothing religious — per se — about the tree but there is symbolism in it and continuity. It means something because we’ve always had some kind of Christmas. This is easy, pretty, painless … so we get to keep our personal history.
A very little, very pretty Christmas from us to you! And don’t forget: at least one of us is sort of Jewish, in a casual sort of way.
In downtown Uxbridge, they have decorated the park. I think this is the first time I’ve seen more than the snowflakes. They’ve been around for a few years. But this year, we have reindeer, an elf, a couple of snow guys and a big red sleigh. That’s huge for little old Uxbridge.
Since we have a park and a river and two dams in the middle of town, it’s quite decorative. Since we were getting dentistry done next door, I got lucky and took some pictures.
Time is a ‘wasting! It will be Christmas next Tuesday!
It was party time in Massachusetts. I would probably have been content to stay home and process bird pictures, but Garry felt we needed an airing. Also, he wanted to find out how his cochlear implant would handle a really large party.
George Regan gives amazing parties. He’s kind of the best PR guys in the state, so if you’re trying to make it in politics or business or whatever, George is your guy.
He’s also a remarkably nice person, too, with dogs and a lovely house on the water in Quincy. We are lucky to get annual invitations. We often don’t make it because it’s December which is usually busy — with bad weather. But this year, we made it.
In addition to wanting to test out his new hearing, there was a friend who was going to be there who Garry wanted to see very much. He has been ill, so it has been a long time since we’ve spent time together — and George’s place is about as midway to our houses as you can get. They live in Bourne, on the Cape while we reside in Uxbridge, south-central of nowhere.
Quincy is one of those places which somehow is always in the middle of a traffic jam, so even though it should only be about an hour’s drive, it always takes at least two … and that’s on a Tuesday afternoon. I can only imagine the traffic on Saturday or Sunday, especially since they are on the road which goes to the stadium where the Patriots play.
It’s close enough to Boston so over the years, it has become part and parcel of the Boston mega-traffic-jam, so we got stuck in it going there and coming back. We thought there had to be an accident or something along the way, but no accident that we found.
Just traffic and a lot of it.
We made it. Not only did we make it, but we didn’t get lost, which may be some kind of record for us. We often set out for events, but get so lost, we end up going home without ever going to the party.
The moment we got there, I realized that wearing a black coat — Garry was wearing a gray one — were mistakes. In the “throw the coats in there” room were dozens of black and gray overcoats. We are nothing if not consistent.
I keep intending to get something in some other color, but somehow, best intentions notwithstanding, my coats are always black or gray and I can never find them.
There were a lot of people at the party. Garry eventually spotted three (other than the host) who he knew.
I knew Garry. And the host.
I used to know George’s beautiful Golden Retriever, but he passed a couple of years ago. During parties in the summer, the swimming pool belonged to the Golden. He used to swim around the pool trying to corral about 100 tennis balls. Then he would emerge from the pool, sopping wet, and shake.
Not square, but the beautiful Golden Retriever needed remembering too.
Almost everyone was all dressed except me because I don’t dress. It is one of the few privileges of age, so it made me laugh as guests ran in every direction as the dog shook off the pool water. Then he’d jump back into the pool because keeping track of hundreds of floating tennis balls is a pretty big job, but he was a dedicated retriever.
You better believe that NO ONE complained about the water and the shaking retriever. George adored that dog and his two other pugs who were carried during the party because they were old and couldn’t manage in a house that crowded.
And then we were homeward bound with about a million other cars. Now, we can say we have partied, celebrated, and hobnobbed. Oddly, I enjoyed the party. I met the conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and a bunch of people I didn’t know. Ate pieces of hot pizza from Bertucci’s and took some interesting pictures.
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