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December 31st, 2012

Out, Out, Damned 2012!

I think we misunderstood the Mayans. (Like that's hard?) They weren't talking about the end of the world. They were telling us to hang in there: The end of 2012 was at hand. I'd drink to that, and tonight I probably will.

Boy. I'd like to wash this year right out of my hair--and I don't have a whole lot of hair.

I had had high hopes of relaxing on the shores of Lake McConaughy with a kite string in my hand and one foot in the water on the day I turned 60, but no: Damfool Colorado had to catch fire. Jimi Henton fled to our house with all her dogs (and two of ours) when the smoke got too thick at her place, and while no one we knew well was injured or lost their homes, it was a near enough thing, especially having seen it on the news from 1100 miles away.

Deaths and serious illnesses continued to whittle away at my circle of friends. A lot of that simply happens as you climb into your sixties, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. It was unnerving to check the Facebook page of a woman I knew in college, only to find that she had died over a year ago. Other good friends had open-heart surgery, cancer surgery, and lesser but nonetheless confounding failures in the meat-suit machinery. Indeed, I had a few of my own.

Then of course there was the tribal hatefest we call elections, when people I thought I knew gave themselves over completely to a species of slobbering, eyes-rolled-back-in-the-head rage against The Other that was terrifying to behold. This is the way that genocide begins, and I was under a pall until it was over. Even then, it took weeks to shake off the depression. And even now, there are a few people who simply will not let it go. It's a psychological truth that I originally found in Colin Wilson's writings: Once we grant ourselves permission to hate, it feels good and is devilishly hard to give up.

I know it makes me sound like a crank, but maybe it's a cause worth cranking on: We must stop this national orgy of partisan hatred.

I guess there were some upsides to 2012. I finished my first full-sized novel since 1999, and only the second I've done since high school. My nephew Brian proposed to his beautiful girlfriend of many years, Ali, and we have a big-bash wedding to look forward to next September. I gave my accumulated hoard of Lego to our nieces Katie and Julie, and they're loving it. I continued to be startled by the richness to be found in loving Carol, as I have now for 43 years. (I'm fond of saying that I fell in love with her half an hour before I even met her.) QBit still jumps into my lap whenever he can. I've made new friends (particularly in my Thursday night writing group) and rekindled my love of Pascal programming, now that Lazarus is ready for prime time. We threw a couple of nerd parties that people are still talking about.

2012, bleahhh. I'm going to go downstairs and watch a movie with my forever girlfriend, and toast to Lady Julian with a glass of Roscato wine and a slice of Lou Malnati pizza. Hope heals. Stomach lining regrows. Scar tissue means that you weren't hiding behind the couch the whole time.

Cut to the chase: All manner of thing will fersure be well. But man, the bottle of Advil is empty.

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