End of Year Odds, Ends, Bon Mots & Bullshit

THE BEST NEW YEAR’S SONG, that sums up this entire year is right here.

Another year-end retrospective? Enough already! Yes, 2016 was crazy on so many levels, for so many people, and it certainly was for me. It’s been one of the longest, shortest, happiest, saddest, funnest, loneliest, ridiculous, expensive, sublime, amazing, smartest, stressful, dumbest, enlightening, and exhausting years I’ve ever had. From January 1, 2016 to the very end.

This time of year with all the many retrospectives and looking back, its easy to get sick of all that, and I am, truthfully. So, why not add to that mix! For a person who spends too much time looking back, it can be a challenging time, at times. Ultimately, I end up asking questions.

The latest question: Is guilt – and feeling guilty – essentially the by-product of finding empathy when it’s too late to do so, when empathizing now won’t make a difference?  The guilt is fueled by the often-present regret that knowing that feeling so guilty and regretful wasn’t enough to improve myself to where I wouldn’t do, or not do, the things that led to all the regret and guilt. That, and not being happy and present and grateful vs. being unhappy and doubtful. While watching it all happen and knowing what the results would be. It’s a vicious circle.

Guilt consumes so much of my time, energy, and other emotions. Especially this time of the year. Because ’tis the season for reflection and looking back – though that’s what I do constantly every season. Spending too much time in the past vs. just being present. When I can be in the present and just be, its so damn freeing. I’ve lost so much time in the distractions of the past, replaying and ruminating about mistakes and what I should have done differently – and ruminating and letting the guilt drag me down knowing that I knew…and generally beating the shit out of myself, by making solely myself responsible for all that went wrong.

For fuck’s sake, writing that whole preceding paragraph is essentially living in the past!

On to other bullshit observations for the end of the year. Fun distractions and favorite media things have included:

  • TV shows: Veep, People of Earth, Justified (still/again), Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, Maria Bamford’s Lady Dynamite, Vice Principals
  • Multiple podcasts: Sklarboro Country, Greg Proops’ The Smartest Man in the Room, Marc Maron’s WTF, Reply All, Three Sides of the Coin, and of course, The Tony Kornheiser Show, This American Life, Decode DC and Decibel Geek.
  • I rediscovered how great the Sunday New York Times Magazine is. Regular, if not daily online stops have included Vox, Jalopnik, Paste Magazine,  and Frankly Curious, among dozens of others.

As always, a ton of music was listened to, throughout the year, and as always, I don’t have the attention span to track and catalog all the music that moved me. With one big exception: My all-time favorite band of all-time, Cheap Trick, released their first album in seven years, Bang Zoom Crazy…Hello April 1 and it’s fantastic. The first track I heard from it “No Direction Home,” sounds just as immediate to me as it did the first time I heard it.

Additional music I loved in 2016: Butch Walker’s album Stay Gold is exceptional, check out the track “Wilder In the Heart” for proof.  The new single from Bash n’ Pop, “On The Rocks” has got me really excited for their new album coming next month. Drive By Truckers, Doyle Bramhall II, and Sam Roberts all put out cool music that I really dug this year. Dead Daisies is throwback hard rock and kicks serious ass.  Thanks to the best alternative station in the U.S., I love “Friendship (Is A Small Boat In A Storm)” by Chicano Batman. There’s so much that time and memory won’t allow, right now. 

Saw a lot of movies last year, several were somewhat disappointing, like the latest Jack Reacher and Jason Bourne movies.  Favorites include Manchester By the Sea, The Accountant, Ron Howard’s Beatles documentary Eight Days A Week  and Hunt for the Wilder People.

Any one of your favorite artists will die next year.

Jim Cavett is a national treasure.

Another year gone, another year I’m not picked for jury duty. This continues to bug me.

Goats make me happy and Goats of Anarchy is worth checking out – which you will do a lot if you follow G.O.A. on Instagram.

Having a blast with the WSD podcast! Looking forward to creating more episodes.

Being a dad is still the greatest thing on earth.

Here’s to a great 2017…

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