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December 28, 2012


I'm Mayan, so I was hoping for a long, refreshing pause from New Year's resolutions altogether.

But, here we sit.

Continue with last year's list, the particulars of which kind of roll over annually to present the illusion of a fresh set of wobbling, virgin zeros -- new beginnings -- as on the odometer of a heap beyond its warranty.

The specifics include, but are not limited to: do the reading (350 pages daily, and don't forget the poetry), dust the guitar, exercise like a Navy Seal, give up blogging, stop procrastinating and begin --- phased in very gradually, over time, leaving the difficult bits for last and maybe even posthumously --- a program of anticrastination (good things come to the patient man who knows how to wait, and I do), be a better person to those around me as soon as they return my calls, the bastards ;), think before I speak and/or shut up and practice silence, ... there are more, ehh.

Generalities, more along the lines of the big picture, include: wish upon a lucky star; this time is going to be different; upward and onward; know thyself; live in the moment (well, the next moment, no, crap, missed that one, make a lunch date with a moment next week and seize it); one thing at a time; keep more balls in the air; be more comfortable in my own skin (said the leper to the healer); be practical and have a skin transplant, ponder mortality and achieve immortality, or the other way round, whichever comes first; and well, get up every morning, fling open the blinds and sing ....

Could be!
Who knows?
There's something due any day;
I will know right away,
Soon as it shows.
It may come cannonballing down through the sky,
Gleam in its eye,
Bright as a rose!

Who knows?
It's only just out of reach,
Down the block, on a beach,
Under a tree.
I got a feeling there's a miracle due,
Gonna come true,
Coming to me!

Could it be? Yes, it could.
Something's coming, something good,
If I can wait!
Something's coming, I don't know what it is,
But it is
Gonna be great!

With a click, with a shock,
Phone'll jingle, door'll knock,
Open the latch!
Something's coming, don't know when, but it's soon;
Catch the moon,
One-handed catch!*

Around the corner,
Or whistling down the river,
Come on, deliver
To me!
Will it be? Yes, it will.
Maybe just by holding still,
It'll be there!

Come on, something, come on in, don't be shy,
Meet a girl,
Pull up a chair!
The air is humming,
And something great is coming!
Who knows?
It's only just out of reach,
Down the block, on a beach,
Maybe tonight . . .

* It'd be nice if it were of the diving variety, flat out, at the wall, in the gap, but my grandfather always said "Two hands, Willie".

Get the out.

competent jazz time at 300+ bpm.
keep my job.
ride my bike to work (7 miles each way) if it's above 40 degrees and not raining.

modest goals are the jewel in the crown of aging.

Hour on the epicyclic machine each evening. My blood chemistry isn't bad, nor my blood pressure, but I could stand to lose a few (dozen) pounds.

Hour on the epicyclic machine each evening. My blood chemistry isn't bad, nor my blood pressure, but I could stand to lose a few (dozen) pounds.

More ambitious than I. I'm just hoping I can keep to my every other day schedule. The big problem comes when I take a trip. The habit just breaks and it takes me a month to go back.

Run for Congress, starting in 2013. Try to hire a Count as campaign manager. Listen to Cleek and Phil as advisers. Balance them with McK. Make my personal world more open, embrace what Russell said. Continue to not own a gun. I am way beyond any material, health or self improvement resolutions. I might change all of the above if I get a job. Otherwise, I firmly resolve to thank some being for each day, each day. As Townes van Zandt once said: Days, up and down they come. Like rain on a congadrum. Forget most, remember some; but don't turn none away.

I was doing it before, and got interrupted by a trip: Had to travel back to Michigan to see my Mom before she died of pneumonia... And caught it from her! A nasty strain that was resistant to most antibiotics, nearly ended up in the hospital, and only lately recovered enough for sustained exercise.

The big problem comes when I take a trip. The habit just breaks and it takes me a month to go back.

Yes, that's bad, and it's my problem too.

I'm so sorry, Brett.

IMVHO, Marty wins the thread. For those who keep track of such things.

Big bonus points for the Townes Van Zandt quote. Nice, man.

Also, sorry to hear about your Mom, Brett. They leave a big hole when they go.

Sorry to hear about your mother, Brett. I don't know what you believe happens after people die, but I would think the plausible worst-case for her is freedom from the inevitable sufferings of old age -- and who knows, there might be better.

I'm sorry, Brett.

Yup, very big hole, but she was ready for it, said to my sister a few weeks earlier, "Do you expect me to live forever?"

Kind of weird, not having any parents anymore. But we all go through it, don't we?

Anyway, I hear an epicyclic machine calling... Bye for now!

Kind of weird, not having any parents anymore. But we all go through it, don't we?

True. But that doesn't seem to make it easier.

To Brett, Bernie, and all to whom it may apply, my condolences.

I mentioned in another thread I just attended an unexpected funeral. It was that of the father of a close friend. It was just by accident that I was here at the right time (visiting my family). He had attended my mother's funeral (years back) and I'm glad I was able to be there for him now.

On to lighter matters: I may not ever get to Carnegie Hall, but as for resolutions: practice!

Happy New Year to you all, my Internet friends.

Resolution for the new year?


Yes, it's ambitious, but I think with some effort I can get there.

This past year I resolved to run 1000 miles. I am at 980 with three days to go...I think I will make it.

Next year I resolve to run 800 miles, plus do 400 sets each of pushups, situps, pullups, and curls.

The 1000 miles made running too much of a focus and I am weaker and slower than this time last year, so I need to change up a bit.

For me I find that fitness goals structure my day so I am more productive in everything.

I also resolve to visit hairshirthedonist's new baby boy (no name yet, and don't tell him I told you.)

True. But that doesn't seem to make it easier.

I think it makes it harder because it seems like everyone deals with it, and you are the only one who doesn't.

My condolences to Brett and everyone else.

I will write nice things about people, and try to be a good person.

"This past year I resolved to run 1000 miles."

:O I've sprained my ankles repeatedly, with ligament tears. There's a reason I get my exercise on the epicyclic machine: I'm trying to put off those artificial joints the doctor was telling me were in my future.

Though I hear they're improving, maybe they won't be so bad by the time I'm in my 60's.


Thanks, but in my case the events were years ago. Not easy then, of course, and with me still, but not with the intensity of a recent death.

As for Carnegie Hall, well, don't give up. Maybe you can make the Blue Note or something anyway, or has your direction shifted?

Still the same. I'm working on learning a transcription of a Herbie Hancock solo (Cantelope Island). Maybe it's trite to say, but I still marvel at the idea that he came up with this in real time. Of course, learning it like this is not really playing jazz, but as a study it has a lot of value.

My mother is taking the long way round to the inexorable end -- very frail but oddly more resilient than I would have predicted two years ago, given the givens.

Her memory blinks out -- synapse by synapse -- in receding order from the present back to her childhood.

All moments are coincident for her now. Everyone is young(er) too.

My sister related to me that she brought Mom over to her, my sister's, house, to stay overnight on Christmas Eve and as they were climbing into bed together my mother asked if HER Mommy, our grandmother, knew that she wouldn't be coming home that night.

Her fundamental character of empathy and putting other before herself is intact, even now, despite the falling away of so much of the rest of her Self.

Yes, she knows, my sister responded. Heck, my grandmother, gone now for close to 30 years, could have walked in right then and there to tuck them into bed and my mother wouldn't have thought it the least out of place.

I think I've related here before the singular experience with Alzheimer's patients that re-announcements of relatives' and friends' deaths, even those decades ago, are to be avoided, because it is news to them and they meet the news with the immediate (and immediately forgotten) shock and grief of you or I opening the paper one morning and coming upon our mother's obituary.

How could this be? I didn't know she was sick and why didn't someone tell me? My God, I've got to get to her side.

Everyone is still living in my mother's mind, perhaps fussing about in an adjoining room and they'll be along shortly.

Different New Year's thought:

I was writing a check the other day and anticipated the familiar experience next week of trying to remember to write 2013.

Then I realized that writing 2012 never became habitual for me as it had for previous years, and that I had to think, even on this most recent check the other day, not to write 2011 or worse 19-something or other.

I mean I KNEW, but the numbers 2012 just never internalized.

I won't be surprised if awaken tomorrow, open the paper, and read my obituary.

Why didn't someone tell me I was under the weather?

I looked pretty good in the mittor just the other morning, nose and ear hairs braided and nascent jowls pulled back.

Must have been one of those unexpected deaths.

Like everyone's, except maybe Keith Moon's.

You could see that coming.

"the mittor" ????

Do I look alright? Is my tongue coated?

The by-now cliched image of our parents passing away and the thought dawning on us that well, we're next, f*ck-all ....

.... which the William Holden character, Max Schumacher in "Network", words by way of Paddy Chayevsky, lyricized as "I'm beginning to get scared shitless, because all of a sudden it's closer to the end than the beginning, and death is suddenly a perceptible thing to me, with definable features."

By way of distraction, he was boffing Diana Christenson (Faye Dunaway), who turned out to be ice death incarnate, but nevermind ...

.... it's like being on a river float trip in unmapped territory and there are rumors of Victoria/Niagra falls way up upriver (but oddly, downstream too); you've known others who preceded you and mysteriously not returned, and you notice the lazy ox-bows days and enjoyable portages have been left behind and the canyon walls start to steepen and the flow of the river picks up the pace almost unnoticed (my, time flies) and from time to time, during pauses in the conversation, you think (Listen! What is that?) you nearly hear a roar in the far far-off distance (was that a mist/spray over that ridge?) and you try to imagine the plunge, picnic basket over keester, and over you go ....

... the Eastern mystics say its easier if you relax into it, like sodomy, I'm told by others, not that there is anything wrong with that.

Sodomy, that is.

Death is another matter.

My New Year's Resolution are these: (1) I will have business in 2013 that will or may take me to Philadelphia, Boston, NYC, LA, Miami, Chicago and Denver. I will be on an expense account. I would like to buy a drink for as many ObWinger's as I can and meet them face-to-face; (2) strive for world peace; and (3) play a round with BobbyP, wherever he might be.

Another of my resolutions is to be in Philly, Boston, NYC, LA, Miami, Chicago, and Denver by coincidence have McKT buy me seven drinks.

I should start drinking again and see if it was all I cracked it up to be.

Count, all things in moderation, particularly moderation itself.

I have been reading Rick Perlstein's Before the Storm, a fascinating look back and a reminder that things have not changed much.

And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!

McKinney, if ever you visit the SF Bay area I'd be happy to buy you a drink.

2. daily stretching in the morning and the evening

I've definitely got the same one.

My stretch (sorry!) goal is to get in more exercising as well. Unfortunately, the only form of exercise (or sports generally) that I ever found that I enjoiyed enough to stick with was a form of martial arts. And the press of 60 hour work weeks drew me away over a decade ago. I suppose I might get back to it. But the prospect of wearing 60 pounds of armor makes the idea less than appealing. Wonder if I can find something else....

McKinney, if you get to the SF area, I'll join ral in buying you one.

My resolution is to graciously let McTex buy me a beer in Boston. I'm also trying to add weightlifting to my yoga practice.

Of course, learning it like this is not really playing jazz, but as a study it has a lot of value.

For the record, transcribing other people's solos is probably the number one way most jazz players go about learning how to do it.

You have to play it after transcribing, natch, and sound as much like Herbie as you can - inflection, phrasing, etc.

It's also important to do some analysis to understand what it is Herbie's doing, how it fits over the changes, etc.

But if you are interested in playing jazz, you're going about it the right way. Or, at least, one of the very top right ways, and probably the most time-honored.

Maybe it's trite to say, but I still marvel at the idea that he came up with this in real time.

I think the guys who can do that qualify as "physical geniuses."

I resolve to comment more at this blog. And to play one of the many musical instruments lying around my house every day.

My primary resolution is to be around to make more of them in, say, 2049, when I'll be 100.

My secondary resolution is to make more spectacular ones every year and get better at lying about having kept them.

994. One day to go and I am sure I will make it to 1000.

Does anyone have 2012 resolutions that they accomplished?

I have two big ones for me: nicotine free for 90 days(amazingly hard but I won and no longer even interested but sad I was part of the cult), 1000 miles (almost but I will die before I fail tomorrow).

I think a discussion about what happened last year might be interesting. I like the forward thinking, but I also like the accountability from last year.

jrudkis, excellent idea and I'll post something about that tonite!

To spend as much time as possible loving my third grandson, my sixth grandchild, due in May. To explore the communication possibilities of having two grandkids learning to read and write. To continue to find aways to be an active long-distance grandma.

To fight as hard as I can to make the world a better place for my grandkids. 5.4,4,3,almost 2.

To bike, swim, and lose weight so I will live to see them graduate from college. All 3 granddaughters graduate the same year. World, look out.


http://www.chambersbaygolf.com/chambersbay.asp?id=232&page=7996>Chambers Bay awaits.
Not my home course, a bit high priced, but well worth it. Also, publicly owned and no power carts allowed.

I'll buy the beer.

I resolve to be more courteous in 2013.

If ya'll do too.


You first.

I will work on a trip to SF. Boston is hopefully on the horizon. BobbyP, Chambers Bay looks awesome. What't the bet and what is the handicap your group imposes on you, official or not?

You go first.

jrudkis, what's that about nicotine? (You think you know a guy...)

See you in Philly, McKinney. At least a few of the bars I used to go to must still be around. Or we can try a new one.

It was the gum. I used chewing tobacco in Iraq, and then the gum for a couple years. That stuff is expensive.

Had to wait approximately 24 hours into the new year for John Boehner, taking a break from weeping and looking a little like the late Perry Como, to break the courtesy resolution.


It's clear, given NRA guidelines on the positive role gun proliferation plays in society's vastly improved politeness (can anyone deny that grade-school children, despite the nightmares, have been minding their p's and q's a little better since the courtesy enforcer in Connecticut gave his politeness seminar in school and Miss Janey is packing heat in her top right-hand desk drawer?), that Harry Reid should carry, shoot first and go f*ck himself later.

I'm warming to the Second Amendment.

Each time I read about the present-day Republican Party, another notch is put in the sense of it.

After Dodge is cleaned up, we'll adjust the commas in the Amendment.

Until then, dance, John Boehner and the Liberty Valance gang.

Now the other foot.

Now, remove those britches and bend over.

Show Harry how to go about f*cking himself,

Hup, I didn't say put that foot down, did I?

My resolution is to be able to do 100 pushups without stopping to rest.

Which I should be able to do before March, I think.

I believe in setting the bar a bit low, and seeing what happens. If I were feeling ambitious, I'd commit to a spear-finger break of something besides my fingers.

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