2012 Revisited

One of those year-in-review quizzes from Jaquandor.

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

Maybe I’ll make some this year. This past year felt as though, if I could keep my head above water, it was good.

Did anyone close to you give birth?

Not that I can recall.

Did anyone close to you die?

Three SBDC counselors died. Steve Amell of Binghamton I didn’t know well but liked (and he was 49 and died of ALS); Mike Heftka from Buffalo, a swell guy who I’d know for a long time, another youngish guy, who’d been battling cancer for quite a while; and Don Dods out of Kingston, who I’d known for years, who was a great counselor and a tremendous guy.

Joe Morehead, one of my library school professors. Sweet guy, and very bright. Learned a lot about government sources of data. I remember running into him at a tennis match in Schenectady after I had graduated, and I could speak with him as person to person, rather than as student to teacher.

Nate Erlbaum was this guy I would see at these NYS Data Center Affiliates meetings and he would drive me crazy, mostly because I had no idea what he was talking about. As I grew to know him better, though, I recognized how important getting the data correctly and with accessibility was so important. Any time he could help me, he would; he was a font of knowledge. He retired from the NYS Department of Transportation on April 23, having been diagnosed 15 months earlier with lung cancer, and had been receiving chemotherapy, though lots of people working along side him didn’t even know. He died about a week later at the age of 61. I did mention him here.

Mary Durkot, mom of a friend of mine, was 91. I wrote about her extensively here.

Albert Wood, 57, was in my church choir. He also knew my wife separately, from where she used to work. While I mentioned him somewhat on this blog, I wrote about him more extensively here.

Finally, Avery Cahn, who was 20 months old. I wrote about him here. But the story gets worse. While the baby sitter initially stated he accidentally suffocated the child, later he admitted to killing the toddler “because the child would not stop crying.” On the front page of the local section of the paper, we got to see the smothered baby’s relatives tell the court of their devastation, particularly Avery’s mother, who is a member of my church. As I noted earlier, I also feel for the paternal grandmother, who is a good friend of mine.

What countries did you visit?

I’m a real nowhere man. Didn’t even leave New York State, except for the spring trip to Rhode Island and Connecticut.

What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?

More optimism.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Denise Nesbitt gave me ABC Wednesday to run for this round, and I didn’t totally derail it.

What was your biggest failure?

Failing to get out of my own way.

What was the best thing you bought?

Nothing is coming to mind.

Whose behavior merited celebration?

Nate Silver, and anyone else who did math, or recognized the validity of science. Also the voters who turned out those idiot legislators who talked about women who experienced “legitimate rape” who couldn’t get pregnant.

Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

The good news is that Donald Trump no longer annoys me; he’s so jumped the shark with his rants. But all of those other people after the election who talked about secession and revolution. Also, those climate change deniers – has Hurricane Sandy changed your mind? And political pundits, who go with their “gut feelings”; remember President Romney, Dick Morris?

Where did most of your money go?

The house. Even though the mortgage is paid, there are always repairs for an old residence.

What did you get really excited about?

My daughter has started playing the clarinet. My wife has been playing with her; I hadn’t heard her play in years, and in fact practically forgot that she even had her instrument.

What song will always remind you of 2012?

I hear so few new ones that stay with me. Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen was unavoidable. Especially when my daughter would dance to it while watching Dancing With the Stars, over and over and over…

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

Sadder. The body politic has worn me down.

Thinner or fatter?

Very slightly thinner, less than five pounds.

Richer or poorer?

Mixed bag. The mortgage is gone, but I had some dental bills at the end of the year that ate up those savings.

What do you wish you’d done more of?

Going to movies, always.

What do you wish you’d done less of?

Thinking. Melancholy. Insomnia.

How did you spend Christmas?

Went to church, doing the gift thing.

Did you fall in love in 2012?

Yes, and it was the clarinet – her doing her art.

How many one-night stands?

As many as last year.

What was your favorite TV program?

CBS Sunday Morning, The Daily Show, Grey’s Anatomy (to my surprise).

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

No, but willfully ignorant people continue to amaze me with their “skills.”

What was the best book you read?

11/22/63 by Stephen King.

What was your greatest musical discovery?

The music from Wicked.

What did you want and get?

I wanted music, both singing and buying recordings.

What did you want and not get?

Some dedicated time to blog. It’s still catch as catch can.

What were your favorite films of this year?


What did you do on your birthday?

Well, I didn’t work; I probably ate Indian food.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?

“Fashion” is silly. Function over form.

What kept you sane?

Writing; singing; listening to music; learning new stuff; and then I suddenly realized that the question ASSUMES that I AM sane, which may or may not be the case.

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Jon Stewart; Nate Silver; the CBS News, which is the closest to a real news network left of the Big 3.

What political issue stirred you the most?

The search for real truth, not spin, or lies.

Who did you miss?

I miss my parents.

Who was the best new person you met?

I “met” one or two interesting folks online this year.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012:

I LOVE my answering machine and caller ID, and my DVR. The numbers of political calls and ads I missed, even in this reliably “blue” state, were astonishing.

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

There’s an Elvis Costello song called 20% Amnesia [LISTEN]. I started making up new lyrics to it and calling it 21st Century Romnesia:

Mitt’s positions are like Etch-A-Sketch. (21st Century Romnesia)
What he really means, I just can’t catch. (21st Century Romnesia)

He bashes the 47 per cent. (21st Century Romnesia)
Then says that’s not really what he meant. (21st Century Romnesia)

He comes up with a misleading auto ad. (21st Century Romnesia)
His misrepresentation makes me so mad. (21st Century Romnesia)

To try to win, he’ll even lie. (21st Century Romnesia)
I must say that it makes me want to cry. (21st Century Romnesia)

I wrote about a half dozen other verses that I’ve lost, but you get the idea. Every time I heard a Romney/Ryan “misrepresentation”, I’d sing to myself, “21st century Romnesia.”

4 thoughts on “2012 Revisited”

  1. People around me are dropping like flies in a “Raid” commercial. Can’t say this past year was anything to write home about. If things don’t pick up soon I may be off the net. It seems March is a pivotal month for so many including our economy.


  2. Love this, Roger! Back on the blogging; depression lifted. Finally.

    One person who died in 2012 whom I knew was the teacher in Newtown who used her own body to shield her young students and was shot. I only knew her by her maiden name, Mary Green. Wasn’t close to her, but I remember her as a sweet redhead, quiet, thoughtful… I can imagine she was a wonderful teacher. The “hero” stuff is lost on me… I think of her now as a decent, just person, truly dedicated to her charges.

    Your Mitt stuff… Lex and I joke about “Milk of Romneysia” now. And Ryan is snug as a bug in a rug back here in WI, in his old Congressional seat. Yuck. Amy


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