Three Fs for 2013.

Poaching some eggs on the last day of 2012, thinking about 2013. Laura Lippman was the one who came up with the idea of the one-word New Year’s resolution. It’s a good idea. No long lists, just one sustained effort distilled down to one word. Last year mine was: Focus. Results? Mixed.

I took a new job almost exactly one year ago, and it required more sustained focus — some of it pleasant, some not — than I’ve had to do in quite some time. Work is hard, challenging work especially so. I think it was Mr. Laura Lippman who once said, “If it was fun, they’d call it show fun. But they call it show business.” The year, and the job, has been all I thought it would be and a lot more, and I’m grateful for it. But focus is an ongoing battle with me. My brain over-revs, I find it difficult to be centered and quiet, and so, for 2013, I continue with that one: Focus.

I have two more. Sorry, Laura. I’m just not perfect yet.

The second one is Finish. I have a lot of ideas about things I want to do, a big fiction project that either has to move forward or be buried in the back yard, a rewrite of something else, you know the drill. If I can finish them, then next year’s resolution will likely be Persevere. But for now, they just need to be done. Done or gone.

The third is Floss. Because, duh. If I can make flossing a daily victory, who knows what miracles may await beyond it? Exercise? Weight loss? A BETTER ME IN 2013? The sky’s the limit.

So, that’s it for me in 2013: Focus, finish, floss. How about you?

Happy new year to all, thanks for stopping by this year and all the ones that came before it. Blogversary is coming up later this month, but looking at the January schedule at work, it’ll likely fly by in a blur, so let me say it now: Every click is an honor, and I treasure you all.

Posted at 7:35 am in Same ol' same ol' |

64 responses to “Three Fs for 2013.”

  1. David C. said on December 31, 2012 at 8:10 am

    My resolution: Calm the F- Down. I’m so damn sick an adrenaline and tension. I need to bring it down a few notches.

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  2. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 31, 2012 at 8:30 am


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  3. Linda said on December 31, 2012 at 9:18 am

    My last year’s resolution went well: to brush my teeth a full two minutes each time, timed with a clock, like ADA says you should. The good part is, it’s quantifiable. Between that and flossing, I have the gums of a goddess. Right now, I’m resolving not to read work email at home.

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  4. coozledad said on December 31, 2012 at 9:20 am

    I can’t distill “Loudly advocate for legalization of simple possession of marijuana and rescheduling of narcotics” into one word. so i’ll just slap on the headphones and drift away.

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  5. Prospero said on December 31, 2012 at 9:32 am

    My one-word New Year resolution: LOW.

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  6. beb said on December 31, 2012 at 9:39 am

    resolution 2013: avoid.
    I’m so tired of everything.

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  7. Julie Robinson said on December 31, 2012 at 9:53 am


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  8. Minnie said on December 31, 2012 at 9:59 am

    So wish my one word could be “finish”. Instead, it should be “start”.

    The Marin Marais link in Coozledad’s post makes me feel much better though.

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  9. 4dbirds said on December 31, 2012 at 10:02 am


    I have decided to actually do something this year that I’ve wanted to do for years. Something fun that I’ve always denied myself because, we needed this or that or the kids or ……

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  10. MarcG said on December 31, 2012 at 10:22 am

    Thanks Nancy, for the blog. It helps keep me connected to the homeland. And thanks everyone for all of the comments, when I have time to read them!

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  11. Connie said on December 31, 2012 at 10:29 am

    I found daily flossing very do-able once I starting using the prestrung floss holders with plastic handles. Don’t get the mint.

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  12. Deborah said on December 31, 2012 at 10:48 am

    Create (something?)

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  13. Deborah said on December 31, 2012 at 10:52 am

    I have an electric toothbrush that runs for 2 minutes at a time so I always know how long to brush. I usually floss for the first couple of months after a cleaning and then I slack off to nothing.

    Snow again here in Santa Fe. The skiers are happy.

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  14. Bill said on December 31, 2012 at 10:58 am

    My resolution is less. Less of everything. Food, digital stuff, gasoline, worry, envy, sloth. You know the drill.

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  15. Prospero said on December 31, 2012 at 11:06 am

    And Julia Roberts will play the lead in Focus Finish Floss.

    As expected, Call the Midwife for Christmas was a treat. Two harrowing deiveries and a musical Christmas pageant directed by Ur-Mom Chummy. Damn good TV. Anybody that likes Downton should watch the first season and prepare for the second, starting in March.It’s an entire other world for an hour at a time.

    I really wante that Packers-Vikes game to go to OT yesterday so Adrian Peterson could break Dickerson’s record. Nine yards short on 31 fewer carries, and despite internet knuckleheads insisting otherwise, Dickerson’s record was set in 16 games, too. Meanwhile, the Bears resorted to an innovative Mugging 2 pass defense to keep Megatron from the firs 2000yd. receiving season and Stafford from another 5000.

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  16. nancy said on December 31, 2012 at 11:34 am

    Is “Call the Midwife” a reality show, or a scripted drama?

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  17. LAMary said on December 31, 2012 at 11:46 am

    Scripted. It’s worth watching.

    I can’t reduce my resolution to one word. Come out on the other side OK is my resolution. I’m not sure what OK means, though.

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  18. Judybusy said on December 31, 2012 at 12:16 pm


    Engage with the master gardener program, my favorite non-profit Clare Housing, my partner, my mom, sister, nieces, my friends. Engage by continuing to learn more about the world.Engage with the earth by gardening, skiing, trips to the dog park.

    I read while brushing my teeth; I think my average is about 6 minutes. I do need to floss more. Even so, I haven’t had a cavity since the early 1990s.

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  19. Diane L. said on December 31, 2012 at 12:17 pm


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  20. Prospero said on December 31, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Call the Midwife is based upon a memoir in three volumes by a woman named Jennifer Worth (Nurse Jenny Lee in the drama):

    The acting in the series is top-flight, with a group of unknowns playing the young nurse midwives, and some old Brit vet broads playing the nuns who guide and teach them. Jenny Agutter is a cast member.

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  21. velvet goldmine said on December 31, 2012 at 12:47 pm


    My 2012 rezzie involved sending poems out, and I was gratified to have ten of them published this year. Now it’s time to start sending them out as a collection to chapbook contests and (ugh) writing more.

    “Call the Midwife” saved my night last night. I was home sulking because I was still too ill to go to my daughter’s concert, and the special came on. (I love the series, but had forgotten about the special.) If only my PBS station had followed it with “Miranda” as they did during the regular series, to tie in with Miranda Hart’s role as Chummy on Midwife.

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  22. JWfromNJ said on December 31, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    Empathy – for those I do like, love, u00nderstand, or agree with, as much as for those who I dislike, detest, disagree with, and don’t understand at all.

    Happy 2013 to all of you.

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  23. Jolene said on December 31, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    If your PBS station is like mine, they are hoping for lots of end-of-the-year donations. Not too late to send them a little gratitude for Call the Midwife, Downton Abbey, Frontline, and the everyday NewsHour put together by people who do actual reporting and conduct lengthy (by TV standards) with people who know what they’re talking about.

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  24. Jolene said on December 31, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    If you haven’t explored it already, it’s worth using some of your NYT clicks to check out their section on people who died this year–The Lives They Lived–in yesterday’s NYT Magazine. Lots of artistry in the individual entries, using all the media available online. Many great entries, but check out the Terri Gross interview of Maurice Sendak.

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  25. Danny said on December 31, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    I dunno about resolutions, but I may get a new phone at some point this year.

    However, this one does do everything I need and it keeps ticking despite having been dropped on bike rides, hikes and whatnot.

    My wife is embarrassed to be seen with me because of this phone… and she probably has other good reasons too!

    Happy New Year!!!

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  26. brian stouder said on December 31, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    As the curtains rises for 2013, I will aim for Resilience; and if I were to utilize Nancy’s trick of alliterative additional resolutions, then Reliable and Responsive leap to mind.

    So, as my mom’s long goodbye unfolds, and as I formally become her legal guardian*, being reliably zealous on her behalf, responsive to any and all input or questions from her other sons and daughters-in-law, and resilient when the curtains (inevitably) descend.

    And speaking of inevitable curtains, I thought this was pretty funny:

    The unfinished obituary appeared on Der Spiegel’s website for only a few minutes Sunday before it was spotted by Internet users and removed. In it, the magazine’s New York correspondent described Bush as “a colorless politician” whose image only improved when it was compared to the later presidency of his son, George W. Bush.

    So, for the real writers hereabouts, a challenge: if President Bush’s people called you and asked for a pithy two or three sentence riposte, what would you say? I’m thinking some twist on the idea of a bunch of damned Germans dissing a Second World War veteran and the 41st president of the United States would be the route – but who knows?

    Surely – the Bush people won’t let the delicious opportunity to answer back an obituary pass them by, will they?

    *my brothers drafted me into this role, but the plain truth is they were really attracted to having Pamela at the helm, and I don’t blame them a bit!

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  27. Jolene said on December 31, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Brian, Bush is reported to have said, from the ICU, that people should put the harps away, which I thought was a pretty good line for someone in his situation.

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  28. brian stouder said on December 31, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Jolene – indeed!

    And, thanks for the NYT links; I especially liked the one on Paul Fussell (which I probably just mis-spelled).

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  29. Prospero said on December 31, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Jolene@27: Really thought you were going to say, “for such a master malapropist”.

    For seven and a half years I’ve worked alongside President Reagan. We’ve had triumphs. Made some mistakes. We’ve had some sex…uh…setbacks.

    To kind of suddenly try to get my hair colored, and dance up and down in a miniskirt or do something, you know, show that I’ve got a lot of jazz out there and drop a bunch of one-liners, I’m running for the president of the United States…I kind of think I’m a scintillating kind of fellow.

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  30. nancy said on December 31, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    This just in: Laura L. announces her one-word resolution.

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  31. Jenine said on December 31, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    Connect. My social life only gets more interesting when I reach out. Got to speak with some college friends over Christmas, that was a great start.

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  32. Laura Lippman said on December 31, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    Flossing is shockingly difficult. Why? No, I’m serious: Why? Why do we have trouble doing something that requires relatively little time, doesn’t hurt and delivers important health benefits? Humans are funny.

    But I have to say — the Water Pik is making a comeback and it’s great. I bought one just to humor my dentist; I am very sensitive to how dentists have to create new revenue streams as dental care improves. Makes a huge difference and it’s kind of fun.

    Problem is I’m supposed to do it twice a day and I usually do it only once. WHY?

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  33. Scout said on December 31, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Mine is SMILE. Which is pretty easy when I hang out here. But it’s a good one for the rest of the day!

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  34. Dexter said on December 31, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    Pedal. I really want to get my cycling mileage up, and ride a bike instead of driving so much. I find myself taking the easy way , and driving to mail a letter or run to a store for a small item when I should be pedalling instead.

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  35. paddyo' said on December 31, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    I think mine will be SLOW — an acronym for four one-worders:

    Scout’s “smile” . . . it makes everything a little better
    Bill’s “less” . . . of just about everything except smiling
    “Offer” . . . as in, “a hand,” “to help,” etc.
    “Walk” . . . daily, if at all possible

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  36. Dexter said on December 31, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    If anyone wants to send a well-wish to Hillary Clinton, here’s your ticket to do so:

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  37. Derwood said on December 31, 2012 at 4:26 pm


    It was a fairly stressful year at work and I need to play more. Play, relax, whatever but play.

    I only floss the week before my twice a year cleaning.


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  38. Prospero said on December 31, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    GOPers: Still whining:

    And I thought of a word: “Courtesy”. As Kurt Vonnegut relates: “Love may fail but courtesy will prevail.” When Ol’ Man McCain and Cantor go off on the President for what is undoubtedly their very own mess, one can only hope. Meanwhile, I’m an Eagle Scout, sworn by oath to courtesy.

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  39. Prospero said on December 31, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    Here’s an explanation of what really bugged the GOPers: They got treed.

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  40. Bitter Scribe said on December 31, 2012 at 5:15 pm


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  41. ROGirl said on December 31, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    Calm down.

    Faithful flosser here. It’s a habit now. My dentist also gave me a gum stimulator, which I use every once in a while.

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  42. Dexter said on December 31, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    I think I have been flossing ever since dental floss was invented, or so it seems…over forty years, I’d guess. I am a Glide devotee. Generic Glide, at worst.

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  43. Little Bird said on December 31, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    As in “it’s not how you weather the storm, but rather how you dance in the rain.”

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  44. Dexter said on December 31, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    Little Bird: I guess this cop has a perfect rainy dance floor…San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, all to himself, today, after the bridge was shut down due to a head-on crash.×450.jpg

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  45. Jolene said on December 31, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    Move: As in exercise, as in acting on certain goals, and, possibly, as in moving to a new city.

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  46. Prospero said on December 31, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    Would you sell a gun to Raskolnikov?

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  47. Prospero said on December 31, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    Here’s the kind of unprincipled shit the NRA teams with the Koch Kriminal Konspiracy to perpetrate:

    And if anybody doubts Mortimer and Randolph Koch are Kriminals, look up their Syrian and Irani dealings

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  48. coozledad said on December 31, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    Anne Althouse:
    With all that assurance that Hillary Clinton would testify, later that day, we heard the news that Hillary Clinton had entered the hospital with a blood clot. We weren’t told the site of said blood clot. Was it her brain (recently concussed)? Was it her leg (where she had a blood clot back in 1998)? The former is a big deal, the latter, not so much. Why not specify the site, since it make such a big difference, medically? Oh, but we’re told we must not display any skepticism, any hint of suspicion that the SOS is trying to avoid having to testify about Benghazi. The woman is ill. Only a clod would say a clot was a plot.

    Well she teaches the law
    Like your grandma could do so much better
    And your motherfucking grandma’s dead.

    And she’s built up a case
    For her involuntary committal
    She’s crazy as a shithouse rat

    Get it, Ann
    While you can
    Get it Ann

    She married a guy
    Who commented out on her weblog
    She married him and his name’s Meade.
    When he’s not kissing ass
    Or bothering the cops with his camera
    He’s mowing the grass, oh yeah

    Get it Ann
    While you can
    Get it Ann

    She got peroxide and wine
    And a twisted view of calamari
    I‘m not eating at her place, no.
    When she’s watchin the shows
    She’ll be cribbing a box of Cribari
    until she can’t feel her toes

    ( Yeeowww! Play it Elton.)


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  49. Adrianne said on December 31, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    Laugh. I should have no problem fulfilling this resolution.

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  50. brian stouder said on December 31, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    Cooze – and damn the luck for those shithouse rats on the right, but the clot is actually in the SecState’s head

    the lead:

    WASHINGTON (AP) – Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton developed a blood clot in her head but did not suffer a stroke or neurological damage, her doctors said Monday. They say they are confident that she will make a full recovery.

    In a statement that revealed the location of the clot, Clinton’s doctors said it is in the vein in the space between the brain and the skull behind the right ear. She is being treated with blood thinners to help dissolve the clot, the doctors said, and she will be released once the medication dose has been established.

    Really and truly – what is so hard about STFU-ing? Good God, it’s a holiday, and some of these fever-swamp bloggers would be so much better off if they took a breath, and a day off, and – you know – thought twice (or even ONCE) before posting this stupid shit?

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but we could awake to the news that our SecState is dead of a stroke; and then the haters get to join the dregs who expressed hatred for JFK as he visited Dallas

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  51. LAMary said on December 31, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    I saw Peggy Noonan on Face the Nation yesterday insinuating Hillary was using her illness to avoid testifying about Benghazi. Joe Klien essentially to STFU and stop being such an ass.

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  52. Prospero said on December 31, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    Peggy Noonan is a moronic twat. Sorry ladies I respect.

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  53. Danny said on December 31, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    Our friend/neighbor just had her doggie attacked by a rescue pit bull. Not a good start for the year. Looks like her dog will survive, but it is in a world of hurt. The pit bull is being put down by Animal Control.

    The pit bull somehow got out of the fenced yard it was in and the lady who owned it came out with a leash and a shovel, somehow leashed it, then beat it with a shovel until it let go of our friend’s dog. Scary.

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  54. Crazycatlady said on December 31, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    Mine? Breath.

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  55. Catherine said on December 31, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    I like ROGirl’s but slightly edited: Calm the fuck down.

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  56. Danny said on December 31, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    Pat Benatar still has it. Love is a battlefield.

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  57. Deborah said on January 1, 2013 at 12:33 am

    Happy New Year, it’s only about 10:35 in Santa Fe and we’re all going to bed. Had our bubbly already toasted the New Year, expecting to be awakened by gunfire at midnight. Creepy.

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  58. Dexter said on January 1, 2013 at 1:55 am

    Kathy Griffin is funny as all hell and the funniest running crawl-Tweet was “I just had to explain Kathy Griffin to my teenage daughter”. After telling Anderson she was going to tickle his ball sack she kept going down towards Anderson’s crotch and making many remarks about his johnson. Then she began grinding her ass into his crotch and saying she could “feel it moving around”, clearly indicating his penis. Anderson sort of stopped her before she simulated oral sex on Anderson. Returning from a commercial break she was wiping her makeup off Anderson’s face and Anderson assured us “that was the first time that ever happened.”
    The whole scenario was great theater, but it was plenty wild.
    Another laff came when Kathy told Psy (Gangnum Style dude) “you’ve got money coming out your butt!” Psy said “that means so much coming from you.”

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  59. Prospero said on January 1, 2013 at 11:56 am

    After the concert. Sandy relief. Some good news about people to begin the year.

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  60. Charlotte said on January 1, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    I guess following Nancy — mine is “Finish” — although as I’m closing in on the first of four big sections of this book, perhaps it ought to be “Pitch” since that’s the part I dread and hate and have to be dragged into. But 13 years after book one, perhaps I can sell a second? That’s the goal anyhow …

    Also, planting fruit trees, but not a one-word resolution. I’m dreaming of new apples to replace the 75 year old Yellow Transparents that are falling apart, a couple of cherry trees for the front yard, and either pear or peach trees for that bare spot along the fence.

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  61. MichaelG said on January 1, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    Happy New Year to all!

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  62. Julie Robinson said on January 1, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    Great resolutions, everyone. Let’s see how we do at fulfilling them.

    Re: Call the Midwife, the original memoir, by Jennifer Worth, came up first in my library queue yesterday. Fascinating, and not for the squeamish. Although I missed the show the other night it’s available to stream on the PBS site.

    All the Faux News stuff about Hillary is sickening. They say they are people of faith, why aren’t they praying for her?

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  63. Suzanne said on January 1, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    Focus. Resourceful. Deal.
    So many words I could use as I try to look outward instead of inward where sometimes the stew of rumination and bitterness brews.

    We switched from channel to channel to see NYE coverage. I thought the Kathy Griffin/Anderson Cooper thing was just strange. It felt like watching some obnoxious drunk at a party who doesn’t realize that the joke fell flat so he/she keeps hammering it home.

    Heck, they were all strange. Jenny McCarthy saying goofy things on one channel and Angela from the Office planking on another. Then we checked in with Fox News who were the harbingers of doom and gloom, talking about how awful the past couple of years had been and how they hoped 2013 would be better but they doubted it. Thanks, I think I’ll have another drink.

    The highlight? Hands down it was Psy and Hammer collaborating for some Gangnum Style.

    I was in bed by 12:15.

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  64. Kirk said on January 1, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    Agreed, Suzanne. Lame humor, lamer entertainment on all channels. Just cover the damned celebration. Makes me wish PBS or C-SPAN would do it.

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