Monday, December 30, 2013

Odds 'n' Ends

As I have ruminated about 2013, I have felt very let down by our government.  I have felt very hopeful about the arts.  I am apprehensive about the changing of the guard in the Mayoral position in New York.  I have found a sense of hope, surprisingly because I am not Catholic nor Christian, with Pope Francis.  This year that's coming to a close, it's been a tough one.  And that's both in the big picture and the individual picture.  I know many who have had a difficult year.

The anger and hate and venom that has been spewed all around the Country about different topics,  all lead back to Washington, D.C. has taken its toll.  The entire Affordable Care Act rollout debacle has been calamitous.  Can it recover?  I don't know.  We are a people that want everything right now.  We have become accustomed to immediate gratification.  We don't like to wait in lines, or hold on the phone, or wait for return calls.  We text and we want immediate response.  So, can the good be gotten from A.C.A.?  Is it even a good plan?  I have no idea.  All along I've said, something had to happen.  If the legislative bodies had the good of all people in mind, it would work, but with the rancor...?  Also, could the news anchors/talking heads call it the Affordable Care Act? Could they stop being lazy?  They all say Obamacare which is definitely a pejorative phrase created by some fantastically brilliant Republican think tank.  Why do the news producers help promote it?  Okay, enough on that.  2014 will clarify its success or failure.  

Mayor Bloomberg is finishing up his last two days of his third term mayoral position.  He has done good things and some questionable things.  Not sure that I can say he's done bad things.  The most controversial policy was stop and frisk.  Very complicated. No easy answers.  Our new Mayor-elect, DiBlasio ran his whole campaign against stop and frisk. We shall see what happens to NYC without it.  I have no idea. I am not fearful about it, just pondering.  Mayor Bloomberg also instilled many pro-environment regulations.  No smoking anywhere except on the street or in your own home.  Bike lanes, which I loathe.  Bike rentals aka CitiBikes all over.  He put together a huge forward thinking deal on Randall's Island to create a very high tech graduate school for Cornell and Technion Universities to promote future Steve Jobs and Bill Gates.  Have I loved him?  Well, honestly, I probably would've voted for him for a 4th term.  I really like he has no family that we have to hear about.  I am already dreading DiBlasio's family.  There's talk of his wife holding a position in his administration.  Ugh!  She may be brilliant, she may be incredible, but I didn't vote for her.  I am always aware that spouses hold sway over their mates, but that's privately.  So, we shall see what happens in 2014 in NYC.  

2013 was a great year for movies and theatre.  I can't speak about art and music, though Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake, and Beyonce seemed to take the world by storm.  Maybe Justin Bieber will really retire and the world will be a bit better.  Miley Cyrus is a wait and see for me. There were movies for everyone this year that were high calibre.  Gravity, Philomena, Blue Jasmine, Saving Mr. Banks, and Catching Fire were standouts.  There were great family films this year that took the box office and the critics by storm: Despicable Me 2 and Frozen.  Theatre has long been a passion of mine but feel like I've been in a drought.  Not saying that there aren't wonderful things to see, but at the ticket prices not always worth it.  Thrilled for my friend, Robert L. Freedman, on the success of his new Broadway musical, A Gentlemen's Guide to Love and Murder.  Rave reviews, no stars in the cast, and wowing audiences.  I hope that it proves to be a big box office winner so that producers will take more chances again and not always the "sure fire hit."  Twelfth Night was a thrill with the all male cast led by Mark Rylance. There are so many other shows, but these are on my front burner.  Seeing After Midnight in the very first days of 2014.  Looking forward to that experience.  

I am a touch sad that Idina Menzel and Taye Diggs marriage is over.  Always seemed like an odd couple that was making it.  Guess not.  I don't want to hear one thing more about Kanye West and Kim Kardashian.  That's not possible, but why can't they just go away and live their lives privately.  Why do we have to hear about their excess and their tacky taste.  Did you see that Birkin bag??  Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.  Keep that in mind while planning your over the top wedding.  I wish that Carrie Underwood would've stayed out of the conversation about her performance in the Sound of Music.  She tweeted that the haters needed to love Jesus more or some such thing.  Stay out of it. It's for others to say. Can I say again, Justin Bieber please retire.  Let's concentrate on stories in 2014 that actually matter, that are positive.  If you re looking for a celebrity to follow, follow Jennifer Lawrence.  I don't think she will be a disappointment.  She's not only a wonderful young actress, she seems to have a very centered core and sticks to her beliefs.  

Things to look forward to in 2014?  Well, first off Downton Abbey,  starts Sunday, January 5th on PBS. If you haven't hopped on that train yet, you have time to watch all three seasons before Sunday.  I have to say I am looking forward to the Super Bowl in New Jersey.  Did I say outside in February?  It makes me smile with amusement that the NFL thought it was a good location choice. This may be the worst weather since Super Bowl XVI in Pontiac, Michigan.  The highlight...Bruno Mars at halftime. The Golden Globes the best awards show of them all. That's just he first month of the year.  There is so much more, stay tuned.

It's a new year. New beginnings.  New beginnings are always something to look forward to in my book. Clean slate if you want it.  Close the book and open a new one.  We are ready and poised for a positive 2014.  Make resolutions or don't, but stay true to yourself and be kind.  Pick up your head from your tech gadget and look around.  There are so many possibilities.  Don't miss them.  Thank you to all my very wonderful and loyal readers. Thank you to my infrequent readers and finally, thank you to my once in a blue moon readers.  You all matter.  Wishing you and yours a thoughtful, warm, loving, healthy, and successful 2014!!!!!

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