Three Things I Was Deeply Pleased About in 2016

The Fisher Hill Reservoir Park was completed and opened this summer. All the layout and facilities are very classy and it’s a superb neighborhood resource. Our ideal place to have a quick picnic and a healthy walk.

Our badly cracked and uneven driveway was finally dug out and replaced with a proper stone foundation and modern asphalt. And we only had to pay for half of it.

I lost almost 40 lbs ovetr the course of the year and am very comfortable with my new eating routines. This time I think it will stick. Or stay off. Get thee behind me, Flaban.

Listening Back, Pt. Whatevah

Especially in the two weeks between Xmas, N Year and my birthday I try to dig through neglected piles of recordings and see what I hear. Esp. if I can’t recall much about the album. Today I did Victoria, Live in Germany by the Arthur Kell Quartet (bjurecords, 2009) and it charmed me with its grace and peace mixed with bright stabs. Turns out the bassist leader is even a MA native.

Far From a Sure Thing This Year —

In the past, I’ve always found cleaning and arranging our sun room to accommodate a Xmas tree a quietly thrilling, even, er, joyous task. Never do it on a bad-weather day. Make sure to play some glorious classic I haven’t heard in a long while (this year: The Wailers, Catch a Fire (Deluxe Edition) — unqualified recommendation, of course — I’d forgotten how much “Baby We’ve Got a Date (Rock It Baby)” was a throwback to ’50s teen rock or how strange and haunting “Midnight Ravers” is — still not entirely sure what it’s about, other than a stoned-out vision).

Every moment has less tingle and more anxiety right now, but I found the holiday prep calmed my mind and I felt happy, even a bit creative. Holiday rituals — more invincible than I feared.