2015 in review

All men and women living on the Earth.
Ties of hope and love,
Sister and brotherhood,
That we are bound together

2015This is the thing that Jaquandor does on December 31, but I do on January 1.

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

If I made one, it was to do less. I failed miserably, except when I had to because of the hernia operation, which felt really good, actually.

Did anyone close to you give birth?

Not that I recall.

Did you attend any weddings?

Affirmative: Ron and David, just a couple of weeks ago.

Did anyone close to you die?

Well, yes, three people in the first six weeks of the year. Jimmy Rocco, who was in my church choir, and Bonnie Deschane, who cleaned our house for a while, and Robert Yates, my mom’s first cousin, who was closer in age to me than her. I think it made the winter far more difficult. And the average of 12F in February, cf the normal of 19F, didn’t help.

What countries did you visit?

None and I would like to change that someday.

What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?

World peace. Or some approximation thereof.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Surviving November.

What was your biggest failure?

Not finding someone to whom I could delegate a specific task.

What was the best thing you bought?

Marvel Masterworks book of The Defenders comic book, written by Steve Gerber.

Whose behavior merited celebration?

Anyone who acts with caring and compassion in the midst of fear and paranoia.

Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

And speaking of fear and paranoia, let’s just put it this way: I’m more distressed by the political supporters of a particular political candidate than I am with the candidate.

Where did most of your money go?

The house, specifically the bathroom renovation.

What did you get really excited about?

Learning new stuff, often through this here blog.

Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?

I have to admit, sadder.

Thinner or fatter?

Yo-yo much of the year.

Richer or poorer?

Richer, marginally. We had pledged a chunk of money for our church’s elevator, and that is paid off.

What do you wish you’d done more of?

Reading books.

What do you wish you’d done less of?

I’d like to say “watching the news”, but I don’t want to be beholden to false narratives, so I watch more, from various sources.

How did you spend Christmas?

Christmas Eve means singing at church, so that. Eventually, we go to the in-laws.

Did you fall in love in 2015?

You betcha.

How many one-night stands?

Jaquandor: “Now, that’s not the kind of question a gentleman answers! (Another stock answer!)”

What was your favorite TV program?

The Good Wife, CBS Sunday Morning, JEOPARDY!

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Hate hurts the hater. Now, intense dislike, I have a few.

What was the best book you read?

The Heart of Christianity by Marcus J. Borg. This will require a review, eventually. But kudos to Jaquandor for Stardancer.

What was your greatest musical discovery?

I blame someone from church, who put two Bruno Mars songs on a mixed CD, one of which was Uptown Funk. But more important, and on the same mix, is the song Glory, from the movie Selma. The more I listen to it, the more I appreciate it. Some lyrics:

The biggest weapon is to stay peaceful
We sing, our music is the cuts that we bleed through
Somewhere in the dream, we had an epiphany
Now we right the wrongs in history
No one can win the war individually
It takes the wisdom of the elders and young people’s energy
Welcome to the story we call victory
Comin’ of the Lord, my eyes have seen the glory
God Isn't Fixing This
What did you want and get?

Out of Corporate (frickin’) Woods, and working downtown.

What did you want and not get?

An office with a door, which was bitterly disappointing beyond belief.

What were your favorite films of this year?

Selma; Love & Mercy; Inside Out.

What did you do on your birthday?

I thought I would have written about this, but I can’t find it. I had my annual hearts game with friends Broome, Mary, and Orchid. Lifelong friend Karen came up because of work that evening, regaling us with stories about Johnny Cash, Paul McCartney, and elevators.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015?

See these stories. This is about five minutes longer than what I care about in terms of fashion.

What kept you sane?

My dads’ group in church.

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, George Takei.

What political issue stirred you the most?

Congress couldn’t even limit guns to those on terror watch lists, because FREEDOM, which epitomizes my despair that ANYTHING will happen to make guns less available to people who ought not to have them.

Who did you miss?

Madre, padre.

Who was the best new person you met?

Our acting presbyter, and a young woman at a church dinner.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015:

Doing the right thing sometimes backfires.

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

After the Charleston shooting, James Taylor sang Shed A Little Light in Columbia, SC. The lyrics:

And recognize that there are ties between us,
All men and women living on the Earth.
Ties of hope and love,
Sister and brotherhood,
That we are bound together
In our desire to see the world
Become a place in which our children
Can grow free and strong.
We are bound together by the task
That stands before us
And the road that lies ahead.
We are bound and we are bound.

Y is Year 2015

Likewise, this will be the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in 1945.

2015.blocksOf course, no one knows what will happen in the year 2015 except that we’ll celebrate anniversaries of past events.

Back in 1965, fifty years ago, the brilliant music satirist Tom Lehrer, in the introduction to So Long Mom, a song of World War III, said this: “This year we’ve been celebrating the hundredth anniversary of the Civil War and the fiftieth anniversary of the beginning of World War I and the twentieth anniversary of the end of World War II. All in all, it’s been a good year for the war buffs.” (With a different intro, LISTEN to So Long Mom.)

This being a half-century later, we just “celebrated” the beginning of World War I. 2015 will be the sesquicentennial of the end of the American Civil War in 1865, with all that entails:

January: The U.S. Congress approves the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, to abolish slavery.
March: Second inauguration ceremonies for President Lincoln in Washington.
April: Gen. Robert E. Lee surrenders his Confederate Army to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at the village of Appomattox Court House in Virginia.
Abraham Lincoln and his wife Mary see the play “Our American Cousin” at Ford’s Theater. During the third act of the play, John Wilkes Booth assassinates the President.
June: Juneteeth in Texas.

Likewise, this will be the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in 1945:

January: The Soviets enacts a massive offensive against German foes along the East Front. Russian troops find fewer than 3,000 survivors when they liberate Auschwitz, the Nazi death camp in Poland.
February: U.S. troops invade the Philippines, while British planes bomb the German city of Dresden.
April: US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt dies. Adolf Hitler, in the face of certain defeat, commits suicide.
May: Germany surrenders unconditionally to General Eisenhower at Rheims, France, and to the Soviets in Berlin
June: The Pacific island of Okinawa is captured by the Allies.
August: The Japanese sue for peace after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
September: General MacArthur accepts the formal, unconditional surrender of Japan in a ceremony aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.

So what else shall we celebrate this coming year?

April: Josephine Baker’s death (40th anniversary)
May: Nathaniel Hawthorne’s death. (150th anniversary)
June: Signing of the first Magna Carta. (800th anniversary)
June: Battle of Waterloo. (200th anniversary)
June: William Butler Yeats’ 150th birthday.
July: JK Rowling’s 50th birthday
August: Hurricane Katrina, which hit New Orleans and surrounding areas (10th anniversary)
December: Rudyard Kipling’s 150th birthday.

What will YOU be celebrating in 2015?


ABC Wednesday, Round 15

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