Today in My History
The Word of the Lord
The Guest of Honor
End of the Year
Thanks for 2006
Dogs of 2007
2010 in Numbers
Lotsa New Stuff
The Santaland Diaries
Books Read in 2014
Most Recent on My
Mirror Site for RSS
New Kiva Loan
The Philosophy of Juice & Crackers
The story of Delicate Pooh
mail to Walt
2014 IN REVIEW
31 December 2014
I've done this the last few years. It's kind of
depressing, the similarity from year to year!
1. Was 2014 a good year for you?
Kind of a mixed bag. Obviously the events of late
October, with Mike's death, have overshadowed my memories of the rest of the
year. Also, my mother's worsening dementia is very depressing, but the
grandchildren are a delight, and living day to day seems to be just fine.
2. What was your favorite moment(s) of the year?
my mother to lunch in San Rafael, with her best friends to celebrate her
birthday. It was like stepping back 3 years. She was "with it,"
engaged appropriately, chatted with all of them like she'd just seen them,
remembered things. It was like having my mother back again for
a few hours. It was all gone by the time we got back into the car to
drive home, but I relish that day.
3. What was your least favorite moment(s) of the year?
Mike's death, and the whole nightmare of Char sending
messages from Germany about his deteriorating condition, feeling so helpless
sitting on this side of the Atlantic ocean.
4. What did you do in 2014 that you'd never done before?
Visited Iowa and learned that it can really "warm up" to 21 degrees.
5. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for
I stopped making resolutions long ago; I never keep them
6. Where were you when 2014 began?
I was sick, so Walt and I stayed home.
7. Who were you with?
Walt and the dogs
8. Where will you be when 2014 ends?
The party we attend each year, with the friends from the Davis Comic Opera
Co. is not being held this year, so we will go back to the Big Party given
by my former boss, The Psychiatrist and his wife, a former California
Assemblywoman, with lots of good food and music...and lobster bisque at
9. Who will you be with when 2014 ends?
That party is always a gathering of most of the people we know in Davis
10. Did anyone close to you give birth?
I don't think I know of anybody close to me who gave birth in
11. Did you lose anybody close to you in 2014?
I keep a list, year by year, of those who have died, but it is on my
desktop computer, which is in the shop. I don't think we lost many
people, like we have in past years, but obviously the Big One was Mike's
death. And like millions of others around the world, I felt Robin
William's death to be a huge personal loss.
12. Who did you miss?
The same folks as previous years: David, Paul, Gilbert and Peggy
13. Who was the best new person you met in 2014?
Mary M, a long-time reader of Funny the World, who invited us to visit her
when we were staying with Jeri and Phil. The afternoon with her, her
daughter-in-law and their dogs was an absolute delight. I never would
have known about or toured the Paper House without that trip.
14. What was your favorite month of 2014?
I have reviewed my year, month by month and can't say there was a favorite
month. Whenever we were able to get to Santa Barbara and share
the grandkids' activities (like Brianna's T-ball games, and her grammar
school shows) would be favorite times. But there were good and bad
things in each month.
15. Did you travel outside of the US in 2014?
Not this year. We were scheduled to go on a cruise to the South
of France when Mike died, but we canceled.
16. How many different states did you travel to in 2014?
We flew to Boston to spend a week with Jeri, Phil and Lester
and later I spent 3 weeks in Iowa, as my cousin started chemotherapy.
And since United Airlines stranded me not once, but twice, I will
have to add Denver, Colorado, though I never intended to be there at all!
17. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?
A functional Congress that actually accomplishes something. What an
oddity that would be.
18. What date from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
October 22, the date Mike died.
19. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Winning Brianna over, with weekly letters and sharing interests.
She seems to actually like me now, without prompting by her parents.
20. What was your biggest failure?
I'm tired of listing failure to lose weight or keep a clean
house, so I'll say my biggest failure is my inability to engage my mother in
life. I see how much better she is mentally when she mixes with
people, but she resolutely refuses to do anything at Atria and is proud of
her lack of desire to join in, even for a concert steps from her apartment
21. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I sometimes feel I am on borrowed time, when I hear of all the physical
problems of people around me. But so far I seem to be doing all right.
22. What was the best thing you bought?
I read a book called "Enrique's Journey" at the height of the
controversy over immigration, and became aware of the conditions of kids in
Central American countries and the perils they face trying to leave their
homes and come to this country. It made me want to help at least one
child in one of those countries, so we agreed to sponsor Brayan, a young boy
23. Whose behavior merited celebration?
The only person who comes to mind instantly is President Obama.
Reading of his accomplishments in the face of overwhelming opposition by
Republicans makes me proud to have voted for him twice.
24. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
When a friend confessed that though she was not going to come
forward as an accuser, the number of women who have accused Bill
Cosby, a man I previously admired, is very depressing. I believe the
accusations and it saddens me to read the increasing number of women
speaking out. Even Kelly Ripa. thinking she was defending him, said
that he tried with her, but backed down when she said no. The fact
that the married Cosby would proposition the married Ripa just adds weight
to the voices of those women who have spoken out.
25. Where did most of your money go?
About 1/3 of my small income (my personal income, from
theater reviews and Social Security) pays for my sponsorship of the 11
children I sponsor through Compassion, Int'l.
26. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Seeing Brianna in her first musical, which was also Paul's
first musical at about the same age, The Music Man. I also got
very excited about STARZ broadcast of the mini series of Diana Gabaldon's
first "Outlander" book.
27. Did you drink a lot of alcohol in 2014?
No I'm not a drinker. I will occasionally have a glass of
wine or beer, but sometimes don't even finish the glass. We had egg
nog with my mother at Christmas (just one glass). I am a
disappointment to my long familial line (both sides of the family) of
28. Did you do a lot of drugs in 2014?
Do aspirin and Aleve count? Even counting them, almost none.
Definitely nothing not prescribed or available over the counter.
29. Did you treat somebody badly in 2014?
I hope not.
30. Did somebody treat you badly in 2014?
Well, there was that woman who came into Logos and
practically held me hostage while she insisted on doing an eye exam on me!
32. What do you wish you'd done more of in 2014?
Something not physically possible--spending more time with Brianna and
Lacie. But I'm happy for the times we had and that Bri and I are
becoming buddies now.
33. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Crying. I seem to have very labile emotions these days. I cry at
the drop of a hat.
35. What was your favorite TV program(s)?
The Daily Show, NCIS, Scandal, White Collar, Criminal Minds, Big
Bang Theory, Jeopardy, The Amazing Race
36. What song will always remind you of 2014?
"Let it Go" from Frozen.
37. How many stage shows did you see in 2014?
I reviewed fewer than previous years (only 46) because of
being out of town or otherwise unavailable. But I saw others that I
did not review, like Lamplighters shows, Brianna's Music Man, and my
favorite show of the year, Finding Neverland, which we saw when
we were visiting the kids in
38. Did you have a favorite stage show in 2014?
Finding Neverland, the musical of the movie about the writing of
Peter Pan. Though NY critics are not being very complimentary
at this point, I absolutely loved it...and what do NY critics know about the
average American theater goer's tastes anyway?
39. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I don't make musical discoveries--I don't listen to music enough!
40. What was the best book you read?
"Upstairs at the White House, My Life with the First Ladies,"
by J.B. West, an old book my friend Kathy gave me, but absolutely
fascinating. I learned more about the presidency and families in the
White House (from Eisenhower to Reagan) than I ever knew.
41. What was your favorite film of this year?
We have seen a grand total of TWO movies in the theater this
year, Big Eyes and Into the Woods. Big Eyes was
my favorite of those two.
42. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 71 in
February. It was a low key lunch at Atria, where Ned and Marta
brought a cake for me, and Walt took me out for a sushi dinner.
43. What did you want and get?
A photo book about San Francisco from the 1940s to the 1960s
-- my era!
44. What did you want and not get?
45. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
A phone call from Peggy with an explanation. I'm over it--but I still
will never stop wanting to find out what happened.
46. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?
Thick fuzzy sox (and how nice that Brianna loves getting them for me!)
47. What kept you sane?
Writing my journal, I guess. NCIS marathons are good too.
48. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I don't "fancy" (as in heart going pitty pat) celebrities any more, but
favorite celebrities would have to include Robin Williams, especially
learning all the things about him we did after his death. I also enjoy
watching Mark Harmon and Jim Parsons. I adore Jon Stewart. On
the female side there is Rachel Maddow, Angelina Jolie (more for her
humanitarian work), Judi Dench, and Maggie Smith (whom I finally saw
in the delightful Quartet...quite a different performance than she
gives in Downton Abbey!)
49. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.
Make the most of today because you
may not be here tomorrow.
50. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
All this joy, all this sorrow
All this promise, all this pain
Such is life, such is being
Such is spirit, such is love