Best BuyI spent New Year’s Eve day just about the way I spend every New Year’s Eve day. I started off at Best Buy, buying a new Blu-ray/DVD player. I think the one I just tossed today was about 2.3 years old. I laughed at the guy in the blue shirt when he asked me if I wanted the extended warranty. “Aren’t these disposable?”

As I was leaving the store, I realized another appliance that I could handle while there. I bought a new 10-sheet shredder, for the upcoming tax prep season. These are almost disposable, too, it seems, though I’m hoping fewer hand written checks will diminish my use of it. I had to throw my last one out sometime in August when I went on a late summer desk purge and the teeth of the shredder locked in a snarl that I couldn’t rectify. I’d snarl too if I had a steady diet of worthless political contribution checks.

I know that this will make me sound like a bad Democrat. But today I’m thinking that there are better ways to spend my hard earned money than to send checks to the Democratic National Party to elect Hilary or anyone else. I’m of the opinion now that it’s all a wash -it doesn’t really seem to matter any more who’s in office because the other side makes progress impossible. So, this year I’m going to send my meager philanthropic contributions to struggling theatres in the Los Angeles area. It felt really good to write those little checks, and plus, they are deductible to the full extent of the law, unlike the meaningless political contributions are.

I came across a new word (to me) in my New-Year’s-Eve-appropriate reading book, “Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think” by Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler. It was “Technophilanthropist,” defined as “a young, idealistic, iPad jet-setter who cares about the world – the whole world- in a whole new way.”

I think my New Year’s identity will be “theatropist”. So I’m not young, but tend to be idealistic, and I do own an iPad, which I read religiously at night, promising a future of horrible cancers due to my sleep deprivation. I kind of like the sound of theatropist. That, or “dramopist.” Which is what I am occasionally when I leave a really bad play.

I bought a Home/Office Budget ledger. It looks like something my grandfather might have used to keep track of his expenditures. I know, you are thinking, this is absolutely the wrong way to go – shouldn’t you be upgrading your Quicken? I’ll do that too, but sometimes, manual entry of money spent gets you to think about whether you need something? That’s my thinking, anyway. (See paragraphs 1 and 2 above….)

Paid our 2nd property tax installment. Ahhhhhh. Feels good.

This year I did the passive, reactive Christmas card thing, where I just responded to the cards that came in. I know, it’s lazy, but this year I learned that I really only need to send about 30 cards, not the 100 that I’ve done in other years that appear to go off into the abyss with no response back. So it was a good exercise, right?  And, I went off to Vroman’s yesterday and bought next year’s Christmas cards which I will shove into the closet and forget about, probably prompting me to buy more next November. I put one box on my desk to remind me that I bought them. I cleaned off my desk at home, restocking thank you cards and stationery for the New Year. I’m too entrenched in my vacation to think about my desk at work, except to berate myself for not cleaning it before leaving on my vacation.

Cleaned the apartment, new sheets on the beds, etc. Well, I didn’t do it, but I know you will think less of me if I tell you I paid someone else to do it, so let’s just let it be our little secret.

I plugged in the new Blu-ray player, which operates flawlessly. You don’t need to use your fingernail to wrench the disc drawer open. Wow! I almost had to throw away a SAG screener copy of “The Theory of Everything” that refused to come out of the old DVD player, but thought that would be imprudent. I imagine my neighbor’s delight and my husband’s subsequent imprisonment when she found the abandoned DVD player in the trash room, plugged it in and the drawer popped open with the illicit DVD in it. So I had a go at the drawer of the DVD player with my tweezer prongs, causing it to grind open so I could extract the prize. My husband will thank me later for this, while my neighbor curses me and drops the DVD player on the floor of the garbage room.


I removed the extra holiday drop leaf from the dining room table and put a non-Christmas tablecloth on the table. It has snowflakes, but it is blue. I do get tired of the red and green. This symbolizes the end of large parties – wait, did I have any? I threw away the most durable Christmas table decoration I’ve ever had, made of fir tree tips and frosted cones. I must thank my colleague, Marissa, for providing me with such a long lasting table decoration.

I made a shopping list for the lamb stew I’m going to make for New Year’s Day dinner. This recipe I received from a colleague due to a chain email requesting recipes that I succumbed to in the last moments in my office when I should have been cleaning my desk surface. But hey, now I have lamb stew to make. Thanks, Laura!IMG_4288

New Year’s resolutions are a bit fuzzy still, but I have about nine more hours to come up with some. Here are a few:
1. Don’t procrastinate. (I have this on every year’s list, but then, so do you, right?)

  1. Learn how to drive on Santa Monica Blvd. so that I don’t damage my axle. This means hugging the left lane when east bound. (No need to thank me for this tip. You’d have figured it out on your own.)
  2. Hug my husband at least three times a day, maybe more. Hey, hug him until he asks me to stop.
  3. Write every day.
  4. Write more letters.

IMG_4307And since I have a few hours before the ball falls, or the fireworks go off over Grand Park here in L.A., I just want to take a moment to thank you for making 2014 such a smash hit, and to take a moment to thank you in advance for being kind and committed in 2015. Which is different from being kind of committed. Take note of that, you theatropists out there. Here’s to a theatrical and dramatic 2015!

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