December 31st, 2017

Happy New Year!

It’s Sunday. I usually take the day off on Sundays, although if there’s something big going on—or if the spirit happens to move me—I post anyway.

Today the spirit moves me to comment on New Year’s Eve, one of my least favorite holidays even when I was young. In part it’s because I’m not a drinker (have I told you that I’m not a drinker?). In part it’s because I’ve always been hyper-conscious of the passage of time. And as I’ve gotten older, and time has curiously accelerated, that consciousness has only increased.

2018??? Excuse me, but how on earth did we get that far into the 2000s? I’ve only recently gotten it into my head that the 1900s were a long time ago (almost 20 years), but it still doesn’t feel that way to me. I still have to do the math to remind myself.

One thing I must say is that the past year has been exceedingly interesting. I have a hunch that 2018 will be, as well. Right after the 2016 election, I wrote:

Before the polls closed yesterday, I was having dinner with a friend who’s a liberal Democrat. She worked for Hillary and voted for Hillary, but she wasn’t a fervent Hillary admirer. None of the returns had come in yet, but we were talking about the election and the possibility of a Trump victory. I didn’t think it likely but I was definite that it was a possibility, and not a distant one, either. She and I agreed that a Clinton presidency would probably be more predictable in terms of her behavior as president, and that a Trump presidency would be more unpredictable.

And then she surprised me by musing, “But I’m almost hoping he wins, because I’m very curious what it would be like. It would be exciting.”

And I agree. Of course, “exciting” is a double-edged sword. And I don’t think most Hillary supporters would agree with her sense of adventure.

Well, it has turned out to be “exciting.” And no, most Hillary supporters didn’t (and don’t) agree with her, to say the least.

Tonight I’m going to a friend’s house. She’s having a low-key party. I’ll stay up till midnight because I always stay up till midnight. And I’ll hope the year 2018 turns out to be exciting in a good way.

And to all of you: Happy New Year!!


36 Responses to “Happy New Year!”

  1. Steve57 Says:

    You as always lovely.

  2. Oldflyer Says:

    Share your surprise that we are this deep into the 21st century. Even more surprised to be a member of the exclusive Octogenarian Club.

    Despite the angst and the “resistance”, 2017 turned out to be a fairly productive year. I hope that Trump and the Congress can generate momentum going into the mid-terms.

    Happy New Year to you and your faithful followers

  3. Ed Bonderenka Says:

    Happy New Year!

  4. John F. MacMichael Says:

    A Happy New Year to you! May 2018 give you many interesting things to blog about!

  5. John Guilfoyle Says:

    Blessed New Year Neo…you are a gracious & tenacious host & I thank you for all you bring to your guests here each day.

    I have always been a fan of New Year’s celebrations & observances, even though I don’t do the drunken revelry either. I’m a firm believer in fresh starts & new beginnings…and I try to see that in every day.

    I also am loving the passage of time as it effects my kids. They are more wonderful in their growing up than I could have predicted. I pray that I am here long enough for the next generation. And my wife more amazing too in each year.

    So…here’s hoping your experience of 2018 is filled with an abundance of love & every thing needful.

  6. JFM Says:

    A really gracious post–thank you.

  7. Susanamantha Says:

    Have a wonderful, healthful, happy and fulfilling new year. And thanks for all your hard work on behalf of your readers.

  8. Steve57 Says:

    d/NN my misspekullings!!!%#

  9. Steve57 Says:

    Happy New Year warts and all.

  10. Ron Leven Says:

    Wishing you a Happy, Healthy and Safe New Year!

    Thanks for all that you do for us!

  11. mezzrow Says:

    This place of yours brings blessings on a nearly daily basis, neo.

    Wishing you, and all here, a happy and prosperous 2018.

    (2018? Can that be a year? Really? Now?) I agree with you on thinking of the 1990’s as just before yesterday. Stick and move, stick and move…

  12. Liz Says:

    I agree with how time flies – I remember bringing in 2000 with my Mom (Dad had died in ’96, so I became her escort to the big parties that she liked to attend). I just realized that I had a special champagne flute from that year with “2000” carved in the stem. I found it and poured the champagne into it. Cheers!

    I’m skipping the parties tonight since I dislike driving in the dark and cold. But, I’ll be at the sailing club tomorrow to enjoy the black eyed peas and cornbread. Alas, I think we are just getting on the boats, but not sailing tomorrow. But, here’s to a season of great sailing (just not at the docks…)

    Remember, the theory is whatever you do on January 1st will influence what happens the rest of the year. So, for our sailing club, we try to sail. Oops, we also drink and eat on the first so I guess that explains what we end up doing the rest of the year!

    To a great year, y’all!

  13. Estoy Listo Says:

    May God bless you.

    Happy New Year,


  14. Ira Says:

    HAPPY NEW YEAR, neo and commenters!

  15. R.C. Says:

    Happy New Year to you, Neo, and may God bless you with much joy and peace in the coming year.

    (However interesting it turns out to be. 😀 )

  16. F Says:


    What a nice post! You are truly a gem of a blogger, and all of us are richer for your insights, your scope of interests, and the discipline you bring to what you write. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    One little observation: Your friend who “almost hoped” Trump would win. Is she the type of woman who went for “bad boys”? There really is such a category — women who are so strait-laced you think they never could stray from the straight-and-narrow, and then you find out one day (quite unexpectedly) that she’s shtupping the gardener. I had occasion several times in my professional life overseas to program American popular musicians. I won’t mention names — you and your readers doubtless know them as they were headliners in a lot of venues. They’d roll into town and all of a sudden a large swath of embassy wives who wouldn’t think of kissing the ambassador on New Years would all of a sudden go missing for the night. Their poor spouse, a very proper Ivy Leaguer who was working his way up slowly through the ranks of the State Department, would show up to work the next day with a strained smile, and no one would ask him what time his wife finally dragged in.

    So was your friend one of those? A very proper woman (politically, in this case) who has a hidden desire to see that rapscallion Trump elected, just for the frisson of excitement that would bring?

    Ah well. Never mind. The ball will drop for you in a few minutes, and for me in a little over three hours. Enjoy, and celebrate the opportunities of the new year. I look forward to it, and to reading your wise observations.

  17. J.J. Says:

    Tempus fugit! The year has passed so quickly.

    No great celebration tonight. A quiet dinner of crab with a tossed salad. Watch a movie and off to bed after the midnight fireworks from the Space Needle. The days of frantic celebration are long gone. But not remembrances of Auld Lang Syne.

    Happy New Year to Neo and all who come here. May we continue to live in interesting times.

  18. Ralph Kinney Bennett Says:

    “Like as the wave makes toward the pebbled shore, so do our minutes hasten to their end… in sequent toil all forwards do contend…”. Happy Happy New Year, Neo. I’m like you about New Year’s Eve. Maybe it’s because I, like you, am a non-drinker, but it has always seemed like too many people being too serious about having fun. Maybe it’s because I didn’t get invited to the right parties. Hm-m-m, now I’m trying to remember if I got invited to ANY parties.

  19. steve walsh Says:

    Happy New Year to all.

  20. parker Says:

    Thanks to our host for the thoughts and opinions she shares. A bright light in an interesting time, as always. The comments here are for the most part, thoughtful as well. Our dinner party ended 30 minutes ago (old pharts) but I am hanging on to welcome 2018 and then snuggle up against Mrs parker.

    May you all prosper and be of good health in 2018.

  21. AesopFan Says:

    8 minutes to midnight here –

    And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere!
    and gie’s a hand o’ thine!
    And we’ll tak’ a right gude-willie waught,
    for auld lang syne.

    Happy New Year to one and all.

  22. Sharon W Says:

    Happy New Year, Neo. Wishing you the best of health and joy in 2018.

  23. Barry Meislin Says:

    Thanks very much…and a very happy 2018 to you all!

  24. Liberty Wolf Says:

    Happy New Year Neo! I’m still around but lying low and in a new phase of my own life. It was an intense 2017 and yes, Trump’s presidency so far has turned out to be “exciting”. I am actually pleased and as you may remember, I didn’t think I would be. May 2018 be even better.

    And, Happy New Year to all the readers of Neo’s blog. Have a great year everyone!

  25. Paul R Says:

    Morning Neo…came across this on another blog…thnx for your efforts…you write so beautifully…

    Lord, we ain’t what we wanna be,

    We ain’t what we oughta be,

    We ain’t what we gonna be,

    But thank you, Lord,

    We ain’t what we was.”

    Common prayer of former slaves after the American Civil War

  26. Steve57 Says:

    I think Paul said it all. As Pauls generally do.

  27. Steve57 Says:

    Happy New Year

  28. charles Says:

    “2018??? Excuse me, but how on earth did we get that far into the 2000s?”

    Forget 2000 – I’m still trying to get over the fact that 1984. which I read in high school, isn’t in the future any more; it is in the past – the distant past.

    Happy New Year Neo. May it be beautiful, happy, healthy, and prosperous. And the same to all your readers.

  29. Steve57 Says:

    I am your not so cheerfull Neighbor.

  30. Steve57 Says:

    I am the white hull with the racing stripe that only shows up in bad weather.

  31. Steve57 Says:

    OK, not. Still when w not are not holding off puerto rico doing storm avoidance we are pretty handy

  32. Steve57 Says:

    Sorry, I was channeling my dad, the sainted radioman senior chief Coastie.

  33. Irv Says:

    My new year’s resolution is to give myself a break and try to remember that just because great is better than good, it doesn’t mean good is bad. Have a happy, healthy and prosperous new year to all!

  34. AesopFan Says:

    Irv Says:
    January 1st, 2018 at 11:53 am
    My new year’s resolution is to give myself a break and try to remember that just because great is better than good, it doesn’t mean good is bad. Have a happy, healthy and prosperous new year to all!
    * * *
    Make Good great again?
    I.e., well said.

  35. AesopFan Says:

    charles Says:
    January 1st, 2018 at 9:54 am
    .. I’m still trying to get over the fact that 1984. which I read in high school, isn’t in the future any more; it is in the past – the distant past.
    * *
    I was somewhat disappointed that the Real 1984 didn’t live up to the predictions; maybe Orwell was more of a pessimist than warranted, but the world has finally caught up with him.

  36. charles Says:

    AesopFan – but the “real 1984” did materialize.

    It happened in places like East Germany and it is currently alive and kicking in North Korea.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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