Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Two Thousand Fourteen: Summing Up

Mei Zheng Luo, China’s oldest person, age 127 (many New Years)

Dear George,
One year ends today; the next begins tomorrow.  It may be my imagination, but it feels like time is speeding up.  It doesn’t seem that long ago that we were celebrating the onset of the New Millenium. One could say that we get plenty of years in our lifetimes.  Or, on the other hand, not so many.  According to GenealogyInTime Magazine, only about 1 of every 6000 Americans reaches age 100.  Most of us wind up having 60 or 70 or maybe 80 years.  Now that I’ve passed through many of these, the remainder take on a particularly high value.  It’s a tricky business to try to sum up one’s past year.  I usually do this by making up a list.   Here’s what my 2014 looked like.  (Hopefully the reader will be inspired to try out this interesting exercise).

  • Most frequent outing destinations: The Cincinnati Art Museum, Zoo, Taft Museum, Clifton Cultural Arts Center
  • Best sheepdog hikes: Eden Park, Miami Whitewater Forest
  • Favorite TV shows: Homeland, Ray Donovan, Boardwalk Empire
  • Best new neighborhood restaurant: Marrakech Moroccan Cafe
  • Bravest moment: Singing "Centa Sweet Centa" in front of my OLLI writing class
  • Weekly bright spot: Friday night at the movies (Esquire, Mariemont, Western Hills Cinemark)
  • Worst nuisance: Our elevator breaking down at least half a dozen times
  • Best flea market: Flea 'N Tique, Dayton Fairgrounds
  • Favorite Books: David Sedaris, Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls; Maryka Braggio, Parlour Games
  • Cause for pride: Our grandson L’s excellent adjustment to his new prosthetic foot
  • Best musical theater performance: Broadway touring show of "Evita" at the Aronoff
  • Classical Music: Cincinnati Symphony; Linton Chamber Music series; Cincinnati Opera
  • Theater: Playhouse at the Park, CCM
  • Persistent worry: The health and well-being of our 12.8 year old sheepdogs
  • Best solo trip: My week in New Orleans in March
  • Best restaurant outing: The Phoenix (Katja’s birthday)
  • Favorite standup comedians: Gabriel Iglesias; Louie C.K.
  • Favorite OLLI classes at the university: Poetry Writing Workshop; Behind the Scenes in the Arts
  • Unpleasant financial act: Writing a $4500 check to the IRS
  • Best camping trip: John Bryan State Park, Yellow Springs, with Katja and the sheepdogs
  • Main media: NPR, Sports talk radio (1530), Cincinnati Enquirer, New York Times, Google News, cable TV
  • Most family fun: Doing our annual Thanksgiving play with our grandkids, V and L
  • Most depressing: Congressional gridlock, midterm election results, Supreme Court decisions
  • Favorite line dance numbers: Blue Night Cha, Pretty Belinda, Sierra Rose
  • Best health habit: Mon-Wed-Fri workouts at the fitness center
  • Favorite movies of 2014: Frank, Foxcatcher, Into the Woods
  • Enjoyable daily obsession: Computer solitaire (Spider Solitaire)
  • Most common meal: Swedish Meatballs (Lean Cuisine)
  • Recurrent nightmares: Dissertation writing; teaching graduate student seminars
  • People I miss most: My brothers Steve and Peter and my brother-in-law George
  • Favorite campground: Miami Whitewater Forest
  • Most frequent annoyance: Faulty hearing
  • Number one restaurant choice: Skyline Chili
  • Favorite fast food place: Subway
  • Saddest property loss: Cutting down the giant yew tree in our front yard
  • Worst mistake: Didn’t see a red light at Queen City Ave., sideswiped another car
  • Best family visit: Our son J and grandkids V and L for Thanksgiving week
  • Most inept male behavior: With Katja out of town, I couldn’t figure out how to turn on the hot water in the kitchen sink
  • Losses: Linda K. (Sociology secretary), Dooley W. (childhood friend)
  • Favorite everyday red wine: Gato Negro Malbec ($4.49)
  • Best sports event attended: Milos Raonic tennis match at the Western & Southern Open (Mason, OH)
  • Shakiest investment: $200 to be an “owner” in the Clifton Market, our potential but precarious neighborhood coop grocery store
  • Anxious moment: Our sheepdog Duffy disappeared and we searched the house before we found him stuck underneath our bed
  • Most fun non-family house guests: Renee and Monique
  • Silliest technology: Twitter
  • Best softserve ice cream: Chocolate sundaes at Putz’s, West Fork Road
  • Embarrassing moment: Tracking dog poop across the floor in my line dancing class
  • Family wedding: Our nephew Tyler and Amelia’s wedding in Southern California (which Katja attended)
  • Stressors: Both Katja and I being sued following her auto accident on Ludlow Ave.
  • Thankful for: Good health, sweet and smart grandchildren, old Old English Sheepdogs hanging on

I’d say 2014 was pretty good – not the best, not the worst. It looks pretty similar to my lists for 2013 and 2012, and most of the items are fairly low-key, e.g., going to the Art Museum or taking a poetry class. It would be nice to have some “bigger” positives in the coming year.  As a consequence of being retired, most of my activities and experiences these days are things that I choose to do because I enjoy them.  Consequently life is filled with “little pleasures”.  My New Year’s resolution is to try to do something special and out of the ordinary every day. We’ll see.

G-mail Comments
-Gayle C-L (12-31): David,  Oh my what a face :))  Happy New Year!!!  Lots of love !    G

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