Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Lucky 13

I winced as I went to write this, my first post of 2013. My last one was on December 15th. That sort of sums up 2012, at least the end of it. We all know the new year really starts on January 2 so here is to the New Year! So long 2012, don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out.

In retrospect last year was a battle. There were certainly some highlights but overall it was a fight to the finish, and once Sandy hit, life became triage. What has to be done today? Don't worry about anything else. So we kept our heads down and spirits up and moved forward.

So I sit here on January 2 with a hangover from 2012 still lingering. Not a hangover in the "way to much on NYE" sort but a hangover from getting through the year. I am still sick from the nasty bug laying waste to NYC. Should have shook it by now. It is the coldest day of winter so far outside. There is a dead Christmas tree to be un-decorated and tossed. There is the to-do list for the week between Christmas and New Year's Day that went undone because of the cold. The Giants are out of the playoffs. And there is a trove of posts that never got written in 2012.  Ugh.

All that said, I am bullish on 2013. I am one of those people that thinks 13 is a lucky number. I love Friday the 13th. So I am pushing forward. This cold will go away. It will warm up. The days are getting longer. Pitchers and catchers are a handful of weeks away. So spirits up. I already have a few things to look forward to (you need to have something on the calendar to get through January and February). Here are a few things I am already looking forward to and a few goals for the New Year.

On The Calendar:

The Opera - My wonderful wife Karen surprised me with Opera tickets for Christmas. I love the opera. My father is a huge opera fan so I grew up listening to it and was introduced to the Metropolitan Opera as a kid. Growing up my parents always had a subscription. Going to the Met seemed like the height of what being an adult in New York City meant and I would eagerly await my father's review of the previous night's production the next morning. When I was old enough, and had a job where I was paid enough, one of the first things I did was get a three performance subscription to the Met. I proposed to Karen in front of the fountain after a production of Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci (I barley remember the Pagliacci performance I was so nervous).  Karen and I had it for years, until we had kids and it got harder to make it there and harder to justify the cost. But I missed it, and Karen clearly picked up on that. So, in  just two weeks, we are seeing Puccini's La Rondine. I cannot wait.

Here is the Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana, one of the most beautiful pieces of music you will ever hear -

New Orleans - Any reader of this blog knows I am crazy about The Crescent City. Outside of NYC it is my favorite place on earth. So you can only imagine how thrilled I am that I have a trip on the books to go to New Orleans. However, there are two things about this trip to NOLA that are different than any I have done before. The first difference is that I was apathetic about going. This is more proof as to how nuts this fall was. When Karen suggested we take the family to New Orleans for our February break my response was "Sure, whatever. Let's just book something." Thank goodness she had the good sense to follow through and put it together. Great lady. I still can't believe I didn't jump at the chance the moment she suggested it. Like I said, triage.

As luck would have it, of course, Sandy hit and the geniuses at the NY Board of Education decided to cancel our February break (did I mention how much 2012 sucked?). Undeterred, and thanks to Delta Airlines for waiving all change fees, we rescheduled for our spring break and, ultimately, may end up with better weather because of it. Suck it Sandy, DOE and 2012.

The other difference with this trip is that I am going to New Orleans with kids. Karen wont even go to New Orleans with me because she can't keep up. So I realize I am going to have to completely change my expectations for this trip. No bars, late night sets or other standard New Orleans night time activities. I was initially concerned, but now I am excited. I see it as a challenge and a new way to see the city. I have never done the major tourist routines in New Orleans. I am not sure I have ever been awake before 10 am in New Orleans. So who knows? I will see a side of the city I haven't seen before. Maybe we will do a swamp tour. I cannot wait to introduce my girls to one of my favorite cities. The sights, sounds, smells and tastes that make New Orleans so special. To quote the song,"Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans?" I do. And soon my kids will as well.

2013 - Hitting my wall here so I will be quick.

More focus - Time to dispense with the pointless and frivolous. Get to what is important.

Write more - Obvious. Make it a priority. It is important.

Plan ahead - It is easy to let the days slip away lost in your everyday routine. I will put more things "in the book" to make sure I don't miss as many things as I did last year.


1 Art - I saw a fair amount last year, but missed even more that I wanted to see. Right now the Guggenheim has Picasso "Black & White", MOMA has "Inventing Abstraction" and The Whitney has "American Legends: Calder to O'Keeffe. This is why we live in New York. Take advantage.

2 - Food & Drink - The list of places I want to try is too long. Need to hit more spots (see plan ahead). But this also means be more social.

3 - Friends - Be more social. Tie it in to #2.

Less:  Couch. Get butt off couch and in gear.

So here is to a great year. Lucky 13. As soon as I am better I will drink to that.