2019: year in the rear-view mirror

Retiring is work

Vera Michelson
Vera “Mike” Michelson
This is that thing that Jaquandor has done on December 31, but I do on January 1.

And this looking in the rear-view mirror is getting so damn long, I’m going to split it in half.

Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Last year, I noted an article that resonated with me. Talking about making changes will make them less likely to happen. Why you shouldn’t share your goals. It doesn’t help me with mine, for sure.

That said, I did plan on leaving work this year, and I did. But I didn’t talk about it until I had to.

Did anyone close to you give birth?

Anna, who’s named for me, had her second child.

Did you attend any weddings?

Don’t think so.

I attended at least seven funerals

Did anyone close to you die?

Hell, yeah. Bob Lamar and Charlie Kite and Bob Pennock and Tim Ryan-Pepper. Plus a couple moms of friends.

I was really sorry about Sarge Blotto’s passing. To this day, I keep thinking I can ask Dustbury some obscure musical question and that he’d answer.

I never mentioned my high school friend Jane Vandament Clair, with whom I reconnected on Facebook a few years back. She died in August.

Everyone who was a progressive advocate in Albany, and many who were not, were friends with Vera “Mike” Michelson. Among other things, she donated her home to the Underground Railroad history project so they could sell it and raise money. They renamed a street after her.

What countries did you visit?

None, but my passport is in order, just in case. Actually, it expires in 2020, but I got the enhanced DMV thing, which is good for a few more years.

What would you like to have in 2020 that you lacked in 2019?

The ability to read about far fewer examples of amazingly stupid behavior.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Retiring. Retiring is WORK!

What was your biggest failure?

Finding equilibrium

What was the best thing you bought?

A round-trip train ticket to New York to see my friend Karen when she retired.

Human behavior

Whose behavior merited celebration?

A few patriots who honestly testified at the impeachment hearings, in spite of intimidation. John Oliver, Seth Meyers, Samantha Bee, Trevor Noah. Those who helped people dealing with weather disasters. Those who helped the people dealing with the human-made disasters

Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

OMG, there are so many of them. Pam Bondi, the terrible former Florida attorney general, turned WH defender; I saw her on CBS This Morning in November. Rudy Guiliani: he wasn’t always this crazy, was he? The racist Stephen Miller.

Members of Congress: Jim Jordan, “the most craven and shameless of the Republican reps available” to try to defend Trump. In his previous career, “he is a man that allowed younger men to be molested and raped by his coworker.”

Devin Nunez, who was the hatchetman behind the Benghazi hearings, and continues his slash and burn. It’s why I couldn’t watch the impeachment hearings. Also, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the enabler.

Virtually the entire Cabinet: William Barr protects illegalities. Rick Perry is one of the three amigos in Ukraine. Betsy DeVos is everything you don’t want in education. Mike Pence. Whoever’s currently destroying the EPA. Wilbur Ross.

Mike Pompeo and his boss make a travesty of foreign policy. See Iran, Turkey, North Korea, Syria – the Russians drinking the Coke abandoned by US troops, et al. The U.S. softens its stance against Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

And of course, the guy who just moved his residence from New York to Florida, and his weaselly eldest son.