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

Note: I thought it might be at least mildly interesting to take my quasi-resolution list from exactly three years ago in 2017 and provide updates, if necessary, that may or may not have any value whatsoever. (As such, please excuse any dated references that no longer apply.) Enjoy.


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.

[2020 Update: As predicted, this did not prove to a bridge too far. Since then, I have consumed my entire body weight in solidified dairy products, usually on a weekly basis.]

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?

[2020 Update: Kellyanne Conway has been knocked aside, and now Rudy Giuliani is now the most despicable unelected American official. And I’m quite sure he’s been in the same room with Vladimir Putin, assuming there is actually a room big enough for both of their egos.]

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.

[2020 Update: I am still enamored with pie. This will never change.]

I did not go to an actual movie theater to watch anything released in 2016. Or 2015. Or 2014. Because too many people don’t know how to behave in public and they ruin it for the decent folk.

[2020 Update: Something changed in 2019, in the form of a local movie theater where management does not play if patrons show their ass in any way, dragging said asses out the door if they act up. I have been reunited with my old lover, the Magic of Movies in Cavernous Darkness, and we’ve seen at least 10 films in the last several months. Glory be.]

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.

[2020 Update: Do I really need to mention that Trump still doesn’t know decent behavior from a hole in the ground? I didn’t think so.]

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.

[2020 Update: Things have changed considerably. On my last visit with said doctor, who is shorter but heavier than me, he classified me as obese, with a startling nonchalance considering his own non-slimness. Something about my BMI (Body Mass Index). I’m 6-foot tall and weigh 205 pounds. Who designed this BMI mess? Twiggy?]

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.

[2020 Update: The boggling has not changed. At all.]

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?

[Final 2020 Update: I don’t want to disturb the flow in the rest of this piece, so I’ll hush with the new stuff at this point. Some of the bits are dated, but the reflections and thoughts and songs remain the same.]

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?



Previously published in “Bonnywood Manor”. Modified somewhat for this post.


17 replies »

  1. This: “if we allow the others to beat us down, we partially own that whip” — if I didn’t lavish praise on that sentence before, please forgive me. All the praise, forever and ever.

    Since you brought up the subject of movies, have you seen Knives Out yet? And if not, go NOW! I’m anxious to hear your thoughts. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • I can always count on you to find the lines that make me secretly proud. Big hug.

      Now, “Knives Out”. I personally thought it was great fun. Not a masterpiece, of course, but a solid, satisfying romp. (The cast alone was terrific, and everyone had at least one shining moment.) Now, I’ve had several friends complain along the lines of “But it’s not Clue!” Well, it wasn’t trying to be that movie, at least not in my opinion. (And frankly, I don’t have the cult worship that some folks have for the Clue movie. It’s certainly silly fun, but it’s not a great movie. It just has a great cast and some very quotable dialogue here and there.)

      “Knives” reminded me of the early Agatha Christie novels, when she perfectly blended dark goings-on with incredibly witty dialogue. Her later works, although always enjoyable, lost some of that zesty, precision wit, softening into more subtle wordplay. (Then again, don’t we all soften a bit with our wordplay as we age?)

      But speaking of Agatha, and movies, I highly recommend the 2017 remake of “Murder on the Orient Express”, if you haven’t seen it. I found it to be much better than the original 1974 version, which wasn’t terrible, but also wasn’t the greatest. Even if you already know “the story”, this newer version is well-directed, adds some subtle twists to the story without subverting the general arc, and offers beautiful set pieces, art direction and cinematography. Two thumbs up… 😉

      Liked by 2 people

      • I felt the connection with Agatha Christie too (not sure why anyone would compare it with Clue). I especially loved the subtle and not-so-subtle political references, and how neither the conservative or liberal members of the family were shown in the best light. I loved the bit how none of them knew what country Marta was from.
        Thanks for the tip on Orient Express — when it comes to Hercule Poirot, I’m a David Suchet devotee, but I’m always up for another ride on that train. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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