First post of the new year, and I’m in rather familiar territory: not knowing what to write! So, we’ll ramble.
-We did not watch the ball drop–it’s just not the same without Dick Clark (though the last time I saw Dick Clark, that wasn’t the same, either). We did do a countdown, complete with New Year’s hugs and kisses, and I ran outside for a few seconds to bang a wooden spoon against the bottom of a pot. It’s something we used to do when I was a kid, part of an old tradition that may have been for good luck, or to chase away bad luck or spirits or something. A lot of people on the block used to do it; here in rural New York, where the neighbors are a little more spread out, I’m the only one who does it.
-The first time I ever came across or heard of “First Night” was when my not-then-wife and I were in Boston for her brother’s wedding back in the 90s and we kind of stumbled across it. We had a sort of magical night, which included lucking into a table at a restaurant in the Faneuil Hall Marketplace (New Year’s Eve dining without a reservation? Don’t try this at home). When we got done with dinner (around 11:30), we walked out of the door and right into the countdown, fireworks, all of it. It was incredible (even more incredible was how fast the place emptied out when it was over).
Since then, First Nights are all over the place, but this weekend, I found myself wondering: shouldn’t it really be called Last Night? Or First Morning? Just wondering.
-This weekend we had visits from a couple of the Magpie’s friends, and while I know these kids don’t want to hear it, I couldn’t help but ask them how they were feeling about impending college graduations (I recognize these poor kids have to answer the same questions every time they run into someone they know, but I can’t help myself; I’m curious). The consensus seems to be ‘Quite Nervous.’ I don’t remember if I was quite as terrified when I was staring down graduation or not, but I think this is a scarier world than the one I came of age in. These are good kids, smart kids, and they’ll be all right. It will be interesting to see where they’re at a year from now.
-Yesterday, I did something I haven’t done since April: I went to the writers’ circle I’m a part of. I have no good explanation for having been away so long, except things started getting crazy toward the end of the Catbird’s senior year; there always seemed to be something to do, even on Sundays, and then I got to the point where it was habit not to go.
It was a small group, a number of people missing, and the room we worked in was cold, but it was fun. It was fun to write something that was not part of my current manuscript, a one-off bit about a woman watching her boyfriend get dressed. Good fun, and even if it leads to nothing (and this, I’m pretty sure, is exactly that), it was nice to spend the time and get those creative juices flowing in a slightly different direction. Now, to make going a habit again!
-Finally, this song has been stuck in my head for the better part of a week. Maybe it’s the goofy title. Maybe its that pedal steel guitar. Maybe it’s that jaunty piano. I don’t know. It’s catchy, even if it’s kind of dark, lyrically.
That’s all for me for this week–hope your new year is off to a great start!