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Tag Archive: New Year’s

Dec 30

Top reasons why it’s time for 2010 to end

“Ring out the old, ring in the new,?Ring, happy bells, across the snow:?The year is going, let him go;?Ring out the false, ring in the true.”?–Alfred, Lord Tennyson, 1850

Last year about this time I offered my top ten reasons why I was ready for 2009 to end. The year passed so quickly as they all seem to do, and now it is time for another year to come to a close.

Here are my top ten reasons why I am ready.

10. Too much 3-D. Although Avatar was released at the end of 2009, it was in movie theaters for half of 2010. Agreed, it is a good movie with great visual effects, and granted, 3-D was cool the first time around. However copycat 3D movies flooded the theaters soon after Avatar was released making some movie-goers perpetually dizzy and the rest of us wondering why.
9. The pits of a sports moment–Vuvuzela noisemakers at World Cup soccer. Thankfully we won’t have to listen to this for another four years. If you missed the controversy over these loud plastic trumpets, imagine the sound of a swarm of bees combined with a monotone bullhorn that never stops blasting and you’ll get the idea.
8. One word–Wikileaks.
7. Two words—Lady GaGa.
6. Three words—Justin Bieber’s hair.
5. Fall from grace:
•Tiger Woods– sadly, a continuing fall
• Brett Favre–smart quarterback with no clue about text-messaging
• Jesse James—Sandra Bullock married him because?
• Hollywood stars Lindsey Lohan, Paris Hilton, Charlie Sheen and Mel Gibson—in trouble again and this year it was worse than a bad sitcom rerun
• John Edwards—self-explanatory.
4. LeBron James’ live television announcement, “The Decision.” James: “I’m taking my talents to South Beach”. Come on, man.
3. Jersey Shore, Snooki and “The Situation”–enough said.
2. YouTube video: The confused referee at the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans football game on September 26th. On second thought, I don’t want this one to end. It’s so funny I’ll be watching it well into 2011.
1. My number one reason for wanting 2010 to end–the Kansas City Chiefs will be in the playoffs in January of 2011, and I can’t wait for that day to arrive. Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star describes exactly how we Chiefs’ fans are feeling right now: “Kansas City deserves this. You deserve this. We deserve this…The Chiefs are in the playoffs for the first time since January 2007 — back when Herm Edwards still had hope and Bob Barker still had a TV show…Kansas City finally has a football accomplishment to celebrate.”

“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.”–Oprah Winfrey

Jan 04

Making New Year’s resolutions stick is the trick

As Dolly Parton once said, Find out who you are; then do it on purpose.”

Although making a New Year’s resolution is a tradition for many of us, our resolutions are often vague and fleeting. How do we make them stick is the question I want to know. And, how do we know what we really want to resolve in the first place?

Since I have no idea about either, I turned to the horoscopes for advice.

It did not take long for me to glean a wealth of guidance from the daily astrology columns. Here is what they say about weight loss, debt, and relationships, the big three most popular New Year’s resolutions.

For instance, if you want to become more fit and lose weight, take this astrological admonition to heart, “The best way to solve a problem is to move directly toward its center.” I do not think they mean the center of a jelly donut.

Perhaps, you resolve in 2008 to take on lingering problems that have bedeviled you during the outgoing year, such as credit card bills. If so, astrologers tell us it is time to “awaken your inner warrior” and “walk into the fire” and “start paying those puppies off”.

If you happen to have both situations, plenty of debt and mountains of unwanted fat, astrologers tell us that you may feel like “your life is about to be upgraded from a tropical storm to a full-blown hurricane.”

Astrological experts advise, “Take heart if you are on an uphill drive on an icy road. There is plenty of time to drive later on, ride in the backseat awhile, put on the brakes, and drive slowly. Solutions are just around the bend, but you must keep on driving and never abort your journey.”

I just love the way these astrologers write.

If you happen to have trouble with relationships, here is what the stargazers say. “Do you feel like a close friend or family member has been spending too much time with aliens?” Their advice is to be clear about confronting them, “Beware of full frontal assaults as they can backfire. Use the backdoor approach.”

In a nutshell then, I gather from the horoscopes that we must do the following.

Avoid the gooey center of pastries, pay bills off a little at a time and lose the worry, and never go full frontal assault on your 60-year-old friend and ask if they have gained some weight or wonder if they have noticed they may have hearing loss.

The common definition of “resolution” is a decision to do something or to behave in a certain manner, and at the beginning of the New Year we want that to include solving these problems in our lives.

Here’s mine, “I will take neither myself nor any of the above seriously.”

Happy New Year!

Dec 31

Traditions follow us into the New Year

There is an old Sicilian tradition that says good luck will come to those who eat lasagna on New Year’s Day!

Laughing at that are you?

Better take heed. The folklore surrounding that custom also says that macaroni or any other noodle consumed on New Year’s Day will bring you bad luck.

In my family in my growing up years, we got a jump on the New Year’s Day lasagna custom.

On Christmas Day, we would feast on lasagna and boiled or deep-fried shrimp.  Looking back, I can only attribute that observance to the fact that my mother spent a lot of time in Italy and my dad spent a lot of time in San Diego.

Proof positive– my brother, en route from Colorado to Missouri for the holidays, called to ask, “Should I bring the shrimp? You are having lasagna aren’t you?”

Some might find that odd, but, to me, it was as normal as any time-honored tradition could possibly be.

In Missouri, most folks stick to the custom of serving turkey or ham with all the fixin’s for both Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I used to become embarrassed when a friend would ask, “So what are you cooking for the holidays?”

“Oh, the usual,” I would say to avoid saying, “lasagna and shrimp.”


Then, along comes New Year’s Eve, when we tend to join the common norm and serve our best horsd’oevres and the bubbly, just like everyone else.

Since we have already had lasagna for Christmas, I figure we are set for New Year’s Day.

Good luck is most assuredly “in the bag” or in the lasagna as the case may be.

Incidentally, there are other New Year’s Day practices that bear some mention, although they may not be quite as unique as the “lasagna brings good luck” one.

A quick internet search found these curious yet extraordinary customs practiced by folks around the globe. All are guaranteed to bring good luck and good fortune:

  • In England, the first guest or visitor of the New Year should be male and should bring gifts. All visitors who arrive too early and empty-handed, and presumably, all females, must wait on the guy bearing gifts before they can enter. That doesn’t exactly get a party off to a great start!
  • In Spain, when the clock strikes midnight, one must eat 12 grapes, one with each toll. Each grape brings good luck for each month of the year ahead.  Wow…you would have to be really good at eating grapes fast! Think about it.
  • Meanwhile, in Peru, those folks are eating grapes, too, on each strike of the clock, precisely at midnight. However, in Peru, one must consume a 13th grape, to seal the deal—now, good luck will be yours!
  • In Wales, at the first strike of the clock at midnight on New Year’s Eve, one must run to the back door and open and close it. This sends all the bad luck of the current year out the door where it is locked out forever. Then, one must run quickly to the front door in order to open that just as the clock strikes 12.  This practice welcomes in the good luck of the New Year.
  • In the United States, folks traditionally share a kiss that symbolizes purification and welcomes in the good fortune of the New Year.

Consider this:

What would it be like if one tried to practice all these customs at once?

The clock is starting to toll midnight. With the first strike, quick eat a grape. Then, run to the back door, open and close it, while eating a grape on each strike of the clock. Run to the front door and let in the new good luck of the New Year, all fresh and clean, but be careful, all-the-while, to not let in a female guest who does not bear gifts. Now, everyone kiss.

Wait, hold the phone.

We forgot about the 13th grape.

This could be a game show.

Lasagna on New Year’s Day seems a whole lot easier.