Sunday in the Park with Brian: Therapy Session # 17 (The “Another Auld Lang Whine” Version)


As a blogger, it’s almost mandatory that I whip up something pensive and amusing and hopeful to kick 2016’s ass out the door and embrace the incoming 2017 with potentially slutty abandon, arms and legs thrown wide. And for the past few days, I’ve been pondering how to do such in a creative manner, mentally tinkering with concepts that might prove entertaining yet provocative. But in the end, an adequate structure did not reveal itself in a blinding flash of inspirational light, and I think I’m just going to start typing, babbling away in a stream-of-consciousness manner that may or may not prove worthy. And here we go…

As one of my resolutions for the new year, I promise to continue eating cheese. I will be able to accomplish this goal without any trouble whatsoever, which is the best kind of resolution to have.

Vladimir Putin is a wretched, horrible man. So is Kellyanne Conway. Wait, maybe they’re the same person. Has anyone seen both of them in the same room, blowing smoke up their own respective asses?

I still love me some pie, all kinds, but anything with “cream” or “chess” in the title automatically moves to the top of the list. I am providing this status update as a public service to anyone who might be contemplating my dessert predilections since that last time I rhapsodized about pie. Which was probably yesterday.

I did not go to an actual movie theater to watch anything released in 2016. Or 2015. Or 2014. Or…

I love the fact that we can now “pause” live TV. I abhor the fact that the commercials are still 400 times louder than any program you might be watching. When are advertisers going to comprehend that aural violence makes me want to run in the other direction of any product you might be offering?

I solemnly vow to be better at paying bills on time in the next year. I am one of those people who let bills pile up on their desk and then end up paying exorbitant late charges, not because I don’t have the money, but because I am one of the laziest asses on the planet when it comes to completing financial commitments. I don’t know what it is. Actually, that’s a lie, I know exactly what it is: I worked hard for my money and I’m not good with goodbyes.

Since we’re on the financial angle, perhaps someone should point out to the President-Elect that running your ignorant mouth on Twitter and telling lies about companies that have dared to contradict you can directly impact the stock market and therefore the financial security of anyone who has a 401k or an IRA. (Just ask Boeing, whose stock value dropped after Trump made up numbers about the cost of Air Force one.) Granted, the stock market has done surprisingly well since the election, but I think that’s mainly due to the giddiness of Wall Street smelling deregulation in the near future. And let’s not forget that deregulation, especially in the banking industry, led to the near-Depression of 2008.

I promise once again to meet my “Number of Books I Will Read This Year” commitment on Goodreads. I consistently fail to reach this goal, year after year, but there’s always hope. Of course, it would help if I actually remembered to update Goodreads with my reading excursions on a regular basis, but I do not. When I get the annual “friendly reminder” in December from Goodreads that I suck as a deal-closer, I can’t remember what I read yesterday, never mind the preceding 11 months.

At the last check-up with my doctor a few weeks ago, he made the mistake of telling me that I’m a mere five pounds away from the ideal body weight for my height and body type. He was glowing with praise for my efforts, but he should never have done this, because I know myself. I will now toss my diet to the side and shove my snout in every food trough I can find in a 25-mile radius. He should have lied to me, so we could maintain that healthy “fear of disapproval” that is the hallmark of a good doctor-patient relationship. Of course, at my next appointment six months from now, when I step on the scales and the impact registers at the nearest seismographic station, we will have a completely different discussion than we did on our last visit.

It boggles my mind every day how ruthlessly the legislature of Texas is pursuing the subjugation of women. It boggles me even more how willingly so many women voted to elect that legislature. Or how many Hispanics voted for Trump. Or how many people who receive welfare or social security or veteran’s benefits voted for the very politicians who want to take those benefits away. I suppose that’s the overriding theme of the 2016 elections: Ignorant people showing their ass and jeopardizing their future.

I forswear to continue with my binge-watching proclivities. Today, we watched the entire first season (I have no idea if there are going to be more) of “Stranger Things” on Netflix. Granted, there were only 8 episodes, but it still felt like a mighty fine accomplishment. The second accomplishment of the day? Continually noshing on all the leftovers from our New Year’s Eve gathering. (We always have way more food than anyone can ever eat, thus defining our meal plans for the next two weeks.) Third accomplishment? Not taking a shower and never making it out of my jammie pants. (I did at least brush my teeth, as I can’t hang with trench mouth.)  I was on the couch all day, so I sure as hell didn’t break a sweat, and my avoidance of hygiene indirectly helped preserve the planet’s supply of clean water. That’s a good thing, right?

Speaking of NYE, we spent a big chunk of said evening watching George Michael videos, from his Wham days through superstardom and into the increasingly rebellious years when he finally tackled some of his demons. It was fun and nostalgic and, yeah, a bit sad. But it felt good and right. And that man could be sexy as hell.

I would be amiss if I didn’t also mention the emotional wallop of December 28th, with an unexpected mother and child reunion, Debbie and Carrie. I know there are more important things in the ether, and we all have different beliefs, and I’m certainly not one to be considered religious in nature, but the way that played out? Damn.

And we lost Richard Adams during all of this, for those of you who remember the Watership being Down. And others, as well, not meaning to slight anyone. So yeah, the tail end of 2016 was full of suckage, in a number of ways. We are on the precipice of great change, whether we welcome that notion or not. It’s a clarion call for the decent among us to overcome the disaffection and turbulence.

Don’t let complacency become the norm.

Don’t let others determine your future.

Own your life. Own your voice. Don’t wait for somebody else to do the things that you should be doing.

After all, if we allow the others to beat us down, we partially own that whip.

And who has time for that when there is so much cheese in the world that we really need to eat?



24 replies »

  1. I am with you on cheese. You can never have too much. Binge watching is good. I have done my fair share & I will help you carry that torch. You are correct, Brian. Complacency is like a death knoll. I am already going crazy because I have been living in VA for 3 years now. Oregon is calling my name. I can’t wait to see what you have in store for 2017.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, I wondered if I might ruffle the feathers of my physician friends with that bit. I didn’t really mean to, but I was just being honest about my own need to have a goal that keeps me going. Otherwise, I tend to get a little slack with my efforts… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Looks like you’ll be meeting 2017 head-on. I endorse your approach to cheese. Thought you’d find it interesting that I can go to the fridge 50 times in a day and the dog will not react unless I TOUCH a packet of cheese. Then she’s at my side. Oh, and I still think it’s probably a good thing that I don’t subscribe to Netflix.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Cheese is Go. It can never be eaten enough (although my Dr once said otherwise because of my cholesterol). Liked your stream of consciousness – worked for me. Happy New Year Brian and Co.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Not that it matters to anyone but me and anyone who played and electronic musical instrument in the last half of the Twentieth Century but 2016 cost us two-thirds of Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Ten pounds of stuff in a five pound bag that would unflinchingly give you sci-fi, anti-war protest and balls out front love songs capable of blowing you right back out the door. Bloated prog rock? Like American cars, products of the time. Three guys sounding like six or seven live telling us war sucked, politicians were evil, women were heartbreak with feet get over it and the future looked like the Matrix? Hell yes. Nothing ages gracefully. Not Carrie Fisher, not Rock n Roll

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep, I was aware of the staff reduction at ELP. There just wasn’t time to cover all the bases. (Leonard Cohen, anyone?) ELP hit it big a few years before I had any real concept of progressive rock, so I don’t know then as well as I should. But it sure as hell sounds like a great retirement project to explore… 😉


  5. Cheese…I love cheese! Especially if it has “sharp,” “smoked,” or “aged” in its title. Now that Tillamook fixed whatever plagued them last year, I can look forward to my white, extra-sharp, aged cheddar cheese from that Pacific Northwest company! Sometime in February or March, it shall grace the store shelves once again in its waxy, black coating…my mouth waters in anticipation!

    Pie…gotta have pie! I had Coconut cream pie for breakfast this morning, as a matter of fact! Being HPW (height / weight-proportionate) has never been an issue for me, which is why I still indulge in such decadence from time to time.

    I didn’t see anything in an actual movie theatre in 2016, either – but, there were at least three movies that I wanted to see, which would be a good year for me as far as watching them goes!

    I don’t give a rat’s arse about politics, now…yes, I’ll remain politically active, aware, and educated, but there really won’t be anything to talk about for the next four years and beyond, especially after 20 January. The mindless and ignorant have spoken, and their bleating can’t be drowned out by intelligent discourse.

    I’m glad that I don’t live in Texas or any other southern state! Still, any state which has one or more Planned Parenthood clinics in it will be under attack by the so-called “pro-lifers.” Funny that those people are also the ones who are for the death penalty!

    I read what I want, when I want…I don’t do book recommendations any more than I do TV or movie recommendations, LOL

    Binge-watching will be done whenever necessary!

    Happy New Year to you and yours, Brian – that is, if my well-wishes are welcomed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m a Tillamook fan as well, and although I noticed a scarcity of certain things, I had no idea what the issue might have been. This might be blasphemous, but I like to use their cheddar slices when making grilled cheese sandwiches. Yum-E.

      Pie is critical to my continued existence.

      There are generally a few movies that I really want to see each year, but I’ll just wait for the DVD to come out, let it sit around on the shelves until they get marked down, and THEN I snatch them up. (Always wait with DVDs, they WILL get marked down at some point, often to a point that is mere fraction of the original purchase price.) I just can’t stand how crowds behave in movie theaters anymore. There is absolutely no decency or concern for those around you, and half the time you can’t even see the screen properly because so many cellphones are lit up that you might as well be outside in broad daylight.

      Yes, politics are on the back burner for now, for my mental health, but I’ve got one eye open all the time and I won’t be able to help myself when the actual carnage begins. (What Texas has been doing and trying to do to Planned Parenthood is criminal, as deemed by the Supreme Court a number of times, but the bigots keep pushing. Once, Trump makes his SC nomination, there won’t be any clinics south of the Mason Dixon line, period.)

      Binge-watching is just the best ever.

      Happy New Year to You and Yours as well!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Your last 5 statements are golden. I should post them by my writing station. As a matter of fact, I believe I will, and I’ll highlight the challenging “own your voice” and the cautionary “own that whip.” Though far too often I’m the one holding said whip. Must work on that.
    Stream of consciousness suits you. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Christi. I’ve been very conscious of my whip lately, especially in regards to me babbling about things that people are a wee bit tired of hearing. (I just get so worked up. Ugh!) Maybe in 2017 I can soften a few of those edges… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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