Auld Lang Insane

Source: MSNBC

Well. That was certainly an experience.

I’m speaking of 2017, of course. Or to use former president George W. Bush’s more apt phrasing, “That was some weird shit.

But never mind him, how did YOU make out, dear reader? Did you cringe with each news cycle or somehow just gut it out over the last 365 days?

Me? Well, I ended up with two kidney stones that had to be surgically removed. But unless you’re a very rich person or a corporation (and don’t forget the Supreme Court has actually ruled that they can be the same thing!), this indeed was a year for collateral damage. My little episode of discomfort, however, had nothing on those who continue to suffer in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. Additionally, my heart once again goes out to the family of Heather Heyer, who literally gave her life to the cause of fighting hate and intolerance last August in Charlottesville.

And speaking of hurricanes, Mother Nature (with an assist from global warming and rising ocean levels) wreaked havoc on residents of Houston and many Florida and Georgia communities. It seems even the weather had an axe to grind this year.

In spite of everything, though, here we are again at another New Year’s Eve. 2018 is knocking on the door as I type this post, and I don’t know about you, but I’ve never been so happy to let him in the house. Midnight can’t get here early enough for this fella.

In looking over the resolutions and promises I made last year, to my utter and forgetful chagrin, I note that I actually made a prescient warning to myself about the dangers of kidney stones. Drink more water indeed.

Although I exchanged perfunctory birthday and Thanksgiving messages with a quasi-estranged sibling, we failed to connect on any deep level. That was a disappointment.

To some extent I was able to actually “pace” myself in keeping abreast of the daily news coverage, and not get too immersed in the drama of Washington, DC’s histrionics. I found a way to read headlines and first paragraphs of some articles in order to soften the jolt. It didn’t always work because the Tweeter in Chief kept our collective adrenalin running at full speed.

And, in a bit of blogger housekeeping, I did indeed follow through on my promise to sign my name when I commented on other blogger’s posts. You doesn’t have to call me Snakes; you can call me Marty.¹

“You Can Call Me Marty”
Picture Source: YouTube

A new year offers fresh chances and new opportunities. It’s always good to try to start with a clean slate.

Both on the political and even in the economic front, I am cautiously optimistic for what the new year will bring. True we are in an increasingly ever dangerous situation with North Korea, and those Wall Street bears remind us nearly every day that this current bull market cannot continue forever. But I am stubbornly hopeful that we can survive these and other potential calamities.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I’ve nonetheless positioned my savings for bonds and cash to be at 40% levels. I ain’t a fool, or so I want to believe.

For 2018, I hereby resolve to…

… Try to hold down on post-dinner snacking each night. I’m actually stealing this resolution from blogger Pat Bertram over at Bertram’s Blog. Perhaps it’s good to make this a collective endeavor. Let me know if you wish to join the cause. The best part is no one will ever know but you and your conscience.

… Become more politically involved. Earlier this month I began attending a weekly “Blue Bag” lunch of the local Democratic Party, and I hope to continue doing so going forward (besides, they now have my name and email address anyway). The stakes couldn’t be higher this year in changing the makeup of Congress.

… Continue my regular contributions to the lobbying arms of AARP and the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare (NCPSSM). I am proud to have been a regular contributor to both this past year. Already some members of Congress have made it clear that entitlements are now on their agenda. We must protect that which we’ve worked to earn and was promised to us.

… Maybe, just maybe I can really get a grasp on using “affect” and “effect” correctly in my writing? It’s a lofty goal, but I’m up to the task. I give you full permission to point out the errors of my ways in future posts.

… Once again, work on that relationship with my distant sibling. One should never give up.

… Go to more concerts. We again live in an area which attracts well-known musicians. In April we have tickets to see Mike & The Mechanics. Except for iconic bands such as the Rolling Stones, the nice thing about seeing favorites from your youth is that the ticket prices tend to be fairly reasonable. In my email in-box is currently an announcement for the 10,000 Maniacs (yes, yes, I know, no Natalie Merchant), and I want to see them too. I say bring on the old fogies.

… Try and increase the output of this blog. I was averaging one a month this year, which isn’t too-too bad. But I’d like to try and write more if possible.

Source: The Graphics Fairy

So get on your party hats. And whether you do resolutions or not, make the New Years something meaningful for yourself. Don’t over-drink, careful if you’re driving, and remember to keep the Jeno’s Pizza Rolls in the toaster oven long enough so that they’re hot all the way through. Happy New year!

Until next time…


¹ For those under the age of 50, see your parents or grandparents to explain the reference.

26 thoughts on “Auld Lang Insane

  1. You had a physical move too! Lots going on there. Hope to see some concerts this year too. My old idol Kris Kristofferson was terrible. The years weren’t kind to him but I’m not giving up! It’s hard to not get worked up over the politics going on and it’s been taking continuous puppy videos to keep me sane or as sane as I get. Looking forward to new elections to “change” things. So frustrating as we gain one here and lose one there. I got my party hat. Wishing you and Gorgeous a wonderful New Year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed lots going on here, you’re right! Yes, that’s the chance I guess we take when we see the older performers with their best years behind them. I had forgotten about your earlier Kris Kristofferson experience. Glad you got your party, hat. Thanks, Kate!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy New Year, Marty!

    Interestingly, my resolutions are the complete opposite of yours. I resolve to:

    1. Eat MORE after dinner snacks. (Especially, chocolate. Seriously, what is life without chocolate?)
    2. Be less politically active (or at least listen to less political news….which is a difficult task when married to a news junkie)!
    3. We do not have AARP, so I can’t counter there. But I do resolve to remain Canadian if that counts!
    4. I also sadly do not have any living siblings (so please keep with your resolution here)!
    5. Have I mentioned that I live in a SMALL town? Thus most concerts (unless you include Elvis impersonators) are out!
    6. Including my Guest Posts, I’ve been posting twice a week. When my GPs finish (April) I will go back to posting once a week.

    BTW ‘Affect’ is almost always a verb and ‘effect’ is almost always a noun (annoying, I agree). A good memory trick that helps me is the noun ‘side effect’. The ‘e’ reminds me that the noun form begins with ‘e’….usually!! (In the fine print: “Affect” can be a noun but its use is almost entirely reserved for psychological jargon — so its quite rare. Also rare is effect as a verb, i.e. “to cause or to bring about, e.g. “to effect a change” or, in police jargon “to effect an arrest”. Hope this helps.

    Please pass the pizza roll!


  3. Thanks so much for your kind lesson there, Donna. I am reminded of the late justice (a stickler for word usage) that you simply cannot substitute “impact” for “effect,” which is what I always want to do. So I don’t. But it’s the one grammar gremlin that has always stumped me. Perhaps your helpful tips will get me over the hump (I doubt it, but a boy can try).

    I learned recently that so many things can cause my kind of kidney stones (calcium oxalate). Chocolate is one of them, can you imagine??!!! So I”m going to be good and really hold from it.

    I swear, your resolution to be a Canadian sounds awfully good to me. If things in this country don’t change this year, I for one think that Canadian citizenship will look very enticing! 🙂

    Happy New Year to you and Richard!


  4. Busy, busy year! Good luck with the sibling thing. My sisters-in-law who’d been at odds for several years seem to have resolved most, of not all, of their issues. That’s something I never thought I’d live to see. Their animosity was fierce. So I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you! On another note. Stay healthy! Now more kidney stones.—Leslie (I’m going to start signing my name, too. If I remember….)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Leslie! Yeah, family issues can get complicated. I have no doubt we’ll get through this “cold war.” Mostly it’ll be physics that gets us back talking. 🙂

      No more kidney stones! I can sign on to that!

      Happy New Year to you and Studly Doright!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Pat! I really enjoy your blog– I started reading it when you made our ’round-the-country journey in your cool, renovated Bug. It’ll be a challenge cutting out the snacks because I love my crunchy (i.e. popcorn) items. Happy New Year to you also!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You’ve had a very busy year (and you didn’t even mention your move)! I have trouble with Affect and Effect too. I was going to mention substituting Impact when possible, but I saw your note about the late justice’s admonition against it. But, depending on which late justice you are referring too, it may or may not have any impact on my decision.

    I’m on board with you about post-dinner snacking. My always thin husband (damn him!) does it and I find myself joining in. No more in 2018!!

    Good for you for getting more politically involves. GW was right about all the weird shit going on and we need to make our voices heard. Will you be marching on January 20th?

    2018 will arrive at your doorstep three hours before mine so, if it looks as dysfunctional as 2017, please give me a warning… I may head to Canada.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Janice! You made burst out laughing at your “impact” comment. Yes, ’tis true, ‘ol ‘Nino was actually a wordsmith I respected in spite of his other views.

      My weakness at night in front of the tube are carbs — pretzels and especially popcorn. It all wreaks havoc on me, though like your hubby, thankfully not on my weight. But certainly in other areas more related to the “plumbing” as it were.

      I do want to March on January 20th. I will do so either here or more likely in Jacksonville. #Resistance.

      Happy New Year, Janice!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Marty – I’m gonna think long and hard on your sibling dynamic. I’ve actually been reaching out to my siblings more this year (the C thing has a way of making that happen). We were never estranged… just busy with other things and drifted. So that isn’t that hard to overcome and it’s been good to talk with them more.

    My big estrangement is with my niece… and I need to let go of her multiple times of disrespect. Not sure it’s a resolution on my list (I’ve got other pressing matters to deal with), but I’m glad you’re forthcoming with your challenge… it’ll help me think on mine.

    Happy New Year. BTW – Canada is really cold….although it’s 10 degrees here in Ohio without the windchill. So looking forward to a snow-bird season in Florida in the future.


    1. I understand, Pat. In my case I think it’s really less of an estrangement and more a matter of standing on ceremony (i.e. “You go first, no YOU go first!”). A second sibling has been resolute about being Switzerland, but I suspect in the end she’ll probably be a conduit for some verbal engagement. I do hope you can find some kind of rapprochement with your niece, but as you say you do have bigger fish to try at the moment.

      Canada is cold! I swore when I moved away from Michigan that my days of living in the cold were over, and I aim to keep that pledge. 🙂 Florida will welcome you back with open arms when you return… but at the moment it’s cold here (relatively speaking, of course).

      Happy New Year! I’ll continue to keep good thoughts for you.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Heather Heyer’s family will ride a float in the Rose Bowl parade. This is intended as a tribute but I find it grotesquely inappropriate.

    I have lost touch with my brother. Lost him to the rantings of conservative media. It’s all he talks/thinks about. No matter where I lead the conversation, he always finds a way to loop it back to Crooked Hillary and Traitor Obama.

    I’d love to go to more concerts but they have become prohibitively expensive. It saddens me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, dear. I wasn’t aware of that (Heather Heyer’s family at the Rose Bowl parade). I have to agree with you on that one.

      I’m fortunate that except for one niece on social media, none of my family have differences in our political views. But I do sometimes feel that no matter how old and “mature” we supposedly get, at heart we’re still those pre-teens fighting over what is essential space and nothing else.

      When I saw Stones tickets a few years ago at $300 for the cheap seats, I knew we were in trouble. I’ll gladly see the has-beens for less money. I do think though, Mark, that you can live off the fumes of that Springsteen on Broadway show you saw for at least a decade. That was a true score.


  8. Dang it, Marty. Here I thought you were signing your comments just because WE were becoming close. I didn’t realize you were doing that with all the other bloggers, too! I’m a blogger scorned! ~ Just don’t tell the hubs! So I’ll eat the chocolate after dinner, attend all of our local Broadway in Boise musicals, I’m gonna give you total crap about the grammar and I’m changin’ the channel on political nonsense. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll call my sister! Whew…I’m exhausted already and we’re only three days in! Happy New Year to you, my blogger friend! ~ Lynn

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Big gin, ‘er, grin grin on my face here, Lynn. I love it! I agree we should keep this sad display at a woman scorned between you, me, and the seven people who read this blog. Perhaps your sister too if she can keep a secret. Happy New Year! 🙂


  9. I couldn’t wait to put a stake in the heart of #@$% 2017! Between the politics, the deaths of friends and the other challenges of life, it truly surpassed what had previously been my Annus Horribilis. I left the year wishing that Mein Trumpf would end up with a Krampus in his tuchus.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You just gave me a future blog post title, Eddie! “The Zen of the Krampus in my Tuchus” Well, maybe not. But I totally agree that we are best to have 2017 buried and gone. May we somehow survive again this year…


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