Have a New Year!

What’s so Happy about a New Year?

Is it the starting over factor? The chance to right wrongs? The clean slate?

It’s just another day, really. You could easily make all the same mistakes and dumbass errors that you made, oh say, yesterday. Why is one day so significant?

Yeah there’s that whole changing the year thing. Big whoopty-doo. I forget to remember about that for at least 5 months after it happens anyway. Besides, the year, just like age and everything else, is just a number, really.

So the Happy part of the New Year probably lies in booze, drinking and drunkenness.

Resolutions aren’t happy. They’re unrealistic promises you make to yourself– and probably others– that you had no intention of doing or sticking to at any other time of the year. But because the year is changing, and the sparkly crystal ball is dropping in New York City, and Dick Clark is … well he’s in bed because he’s getting old (finally), we make all these promises that we do try to keep. For a few weeks at least. And then we just slip back into our old, familiar patterns. Because that’s what we as humans do.

So why don’t we just wish people to simply have a GOOD new year? It’s going to happen anyway. And if it ends up being happy, well, then that’s even better for you, and everyone else around you.

As for me, I definitely want to have a good new year. But I’m not going to change every last thing about myself or devise some schematic “master plan” to make sure that my happiness is insured. Hell, that’s too much work.

I would rather just continue being a good friend, being honest with myself and others, finding the good in situations rather than the bad (this is sometimes hard to do), and enjoying every single day that I have on this Earth.

And when things don’t go my way, having the right to pitch a bitch and whine about it until it does.

Because, gentle readers, that’s what life is all about.

So Have a Good… Great… ok fine.. WONDERFUL New Year. That is my wish for all of you.

And I hope you have fun tonight, whatever it is you may be doing. As for me, I’m going to be getting all gussied up in my Tuxedo and going to a swanky party. Hey, I may not have a date, and may not find a hunky, rich bachelor to connect with, but dammit, I’m gonna look GOOD.

Oh, and be very grateful that this was my New Year’s post. I was going to outline every single thing that happened in 2004. But I got bored writing it. And surely if I got bored writing it, you were going to be bored reading it. I’m always thinking of you. You’re welcome.

With love,
Rick

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Retraction/Take Action

A couple of days ago, I wrote in a post about Nate Berkus and a friend, who were visiting Phuket in Thailand and were involved in the horrible Tsunami. I used the situation to playfully suggest that Mr. Berkus was my “future husband” and it “serves him right” for going on vacation with a ‘friend.’

In looking back on my post for that day, and realizing that, at the time, nobody really knew of the magnitude or the gravity of the situation in South Asia, I regret making those comments simply to make a joke, no matter how light-hearted it was meant to be. In fact, I have since learned that Mr. Berkus is missing a friend after the devastation.

I couldn’t wish that kind of ill will on my worst enemy. Therefore I apologize if at any time that comment was taken offensively by anyone who may have read it. This retraction and apology was not at all prompted by anyone or anything, other than me re-reading the post and realizing that I was in error. My apologies as well to Mr. Berkus and his friends and family. This is no time to be making a joke or making light of such situations.

Since I’m feeling this way, I would like to place some links here that connect readers to ways that they can donate money or find out more information about the Tsunami and its victims. I have no idea what the impact may be, or if my doing this will help at all, but in light of the situation, any amount of help, helps.

To donate to the American Red Cross, you can visit Amazon.com and make a donation. The money goes 100% to the Red Cross to provide food, water and also to get victims returned safely home, among many other things. Visit http://www.amazon.com and click on the American Red Cross logo on the splash page.

There are many blogs about the tragedy, and blogs that list information resources. I will list those here:

http://tsunamihelp.blogspot.com/
http://tsunamimissing.blogspot.com/
http://tsunamihelpneeded.blogspot.com/
http://opinion.paifamily.com/index.php?p=1134

To donate directly to the International Red Cross: http://redcross.org

Depressing Day

For a time when there should be so much joy, it sure has been dreary lately.

Terrible news on the TV. The disaster in Asia is just going to get worse. It’s heartbreaking. I can’t imagine what those people are going through. And the people visiting, just enjoying time away from the hubub and insanity of life. Destroyed in seconds. Buses, cars, windows, chairs, children, people. Washed away faster than anyone could imagine.

TV and the news media, in their infinite need to imbibe us with the details over and over again, are again inundating us with images, sounds, words and sights that we are sure to never forget. Much as they did on 9/11.

We should be wishing each other “Happy New Year.” We should be enjoying our Christmas presents and reveling in the wonder of “The Season.”

And God has delivered to us this. To remind us that yep, he’s still the Boss.

But why, God, did you have to do it to these people? Why these good people, who did nothing more than live their daily lives in peace and harmony? These people whose sole existence is to enjoy the fruits of this Earth and the glorious place they lived? All this, swept away in one huge wave.

Yeah I know, you work in mysterious ways. I’ve heard it before. But sometimes your mystery bewilders me.

And yet we go on. I’m still going to my New Year’s Eve party on Friday night (alone). We’ll ring in the new year with champagne and well-wishes. And hopefully a kiss from a handsome stranger.

Maybe God can work some mysterious ways in my favor for once. Ya think?

Aw Phucket

Aren’t you glad you aren’t in Thailand?

What a horrific scene. I can’t imagine what those people are going through.

My future husband, Nate Berkus was there. I’m sure you knew that, because he’s been on just about every single news channel talking about it for the last couple days. (He’s such a media whore.) At least he’s safe. That’s what he gets for vacationing with a “friend”.

In fact, I was watching Fox News, which I am not that oft to do, yesterday morning. And they said they were going to talk to Nate Berkus. Although they mispronounced his name in some odd way that I can’t quite remember. Fair and balanced maybe, but for cryin’ out loud, get the name right, folks.

Anyway, they get Nate on the phone and he starts going on about the devestation and how tragic it was.

And the news anchor says something to the effect of “They are saying that 22,000 people have died.”

And Nate says “That’s less than Howard Stern’s listening audience”

And Mr. Fox News says “And we’ll move on from here.”

And Nate.. or “Nate” hangs up the phone.

Some people will do anything for a joke.

Christmastime is was here

Christmastime was here
Gifts and food and cheer
I’m not sad,
In fact I’m glad
It’s done for one more year.

Money’s all been spent
(Glad I paid the rent)
All so I
Could go and buy
Everyone a present.

Family time this year
Made me cringe in fear
Dad was mad
Cause sister had
Arrived past 3, oh dear.

But all else aside
There’s no one who died
We still employed
That Christmas joy
From somewhere deep inside

All apologies to Vince Guaraldi and Charles Schulz.

So yes, it’s all over. And nobody died. That’s always a good thing.

The verse about my sister and my father is quite true. Since dad is housebound due to his Diabetes, he can’t go out for Christmas Eve celebrations anymore. So he has to sit at home and wait for us to return from my Aunt’s house with food and gifts for him. We always bring him his food as soon as it’s ready, but he has to wait for the gifts until we get home for the night. And of course, we never get home fast enough to satisfy him. Eventually a phone call will be made to my Aunt’s house, complaining that he’s waited long enough– get home now.

For the last few years, we would come home from my Aunt’s and then open gifts with him that night. This year we decided to wait until Christmas day. That’s usually no problem either, as long as we do the gift opening in the morning. But this year, we decided it didn’t make sense for my sister and her husband to come at the butt-crack of dawn all the way from Round Lake (45 minutes away) to open presents, sit around all day long and wait until dinnertime, have dinner, and then leave. So we decided to have them come at 3, open gifts, then eat dinner.

BIG MISTAKE.

My father, who was never adept at displaying anything resembling patience (I highly doubt that this particular virtue was even bestowed upon him at birth), proceeded to WHINE to my mother and I about the fact that HE couldn’t open his Christmas presents on Christmas morning, just because my sister wasn’t there. And since this was HIS house and HE owned it, he could do what he wanted to do.

So he demanded to open at least some of his presents.

Now mind you. My father is 66 years old. That’s right folks, this nearly 70 year old man was whining and throwing a tantrum about his Christmas presents. It’s frustrating, embarrassing and, not to mention, downright annoying. But if we don’t cave in to his demands, he will nag and nag about it until we want to pull the hair directly out our heads. So we cave. Over and over again.

Dear readers, please understand that I do love my father very much. But as time progresses, I can only take visits with him in smaller and smaller doses. And the rest of the family feels the same way as I. My Aunt (his sister) was supposed to make an appearance today but never showed up. My Uncle (his brother, the priest), who has the most patience of all three of them, showed up for dinner. Nobody else came to visit him. It’s truly a depressing situation. And it causes the entire family a lot of stress.

But we deal with it the best we can. And while sometimes our caving to his whining only exacerbates the problem, it’s the only way we can enjoy peace and quiet. For at least a few moments.

Growing old is not fun for members of my family. It makes me extremely sad to witness this. I try as hard as I can to put on a happy face and make things at least appear alright. If I didn’t have my mom and her positive mental outlook, I don’t know how I could survive these gatherings. How she puts up with my father, I have absolutely no idea. I mean, I visit for a couple days and I can go home to relative peace and quiet. She lives with the nagging, the whining and the bitching and moaning EVERY SINGLE DAY. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. There some mighty big wings waiting for her up in Heaven.