Some thoughts at the end of 2011


It is two days early, perhaps, to write an end-of-the-year-blog, but since I won’t have computer access for the next four days, it is now or never (or the 3rd).

First to answer one question in the search terms – I don’t know why Boise State was relegated to a less important bowl.  Well, yes I do.  It is because it is not one of the “big names” in college football – the BCS folks want the most money they can get, and don’t consider Boise State a big enough name for one of the more well-known bowls.  And I really hate that Kellan Moore didn’t receive some sort of year-end award, but not all is lost for that family.  His younger brother Kevin (Kieran – can’t remember) is new to the team, and if he plays as well as his brother Kellan has, Boise State is going to stay right at the top.  They are one of the seven teams I follow all football season.

Unfortunately (or not), I lost both of my games yesterday.  But Air Force/Toledo was such a wonderful game that I knew by the end that AF was either going to lose or win by one point.  While Lou Holtz said he thought they should have tied the game, and gone into overtime, I didn’t have a problem with the  choice they made – it is the variables of the game itself that determines the win or loss.  Someone has to lose – this time it was AF.  Another time.  As for Texas/Cal, I never cheer for Texas, but Cal has never beat them, and I was not surprised.  Frankly, I thought it was a pretty boring game, and I soon got back to one of my books, just looking up at the score occasionally, or when there was a loud noise.

My picks for today are Notre Dame over Florida State (I like the Seminoles, but just don’t go against Notre Dame) and Baylor over whoever they are playing, which just slips my mind at the moment.  I semi-expect a split – Florida State can beat Notre Dame.

Then four games tomorrow, only one of which I don’t feel all that secure about, five games on Saturday and six on Monday.  Sunday may be a day of movies, or perhaps some pro-basketball – still like those Thunder boys/men.

As for the year, I have seen Joe Paterno sacrificed on the altar of media and Obama losing some followers because of his penchant for trying to be bipartisan.  And I have heard too many men, like Boehner, Cantor, Kyl, etc. speaking treason when they say they would rather see the US fail than help Obama serve more than one term.  I have seen fires around me and elsewhere, while it flooded in many other places.  I have, perhaps, seen tea partying at its worst, and Mom Nature showing her wrath at humankind.  I have seen greed at its worst, and peaceful protesters being persecuted by the police.  I have seen assassination attempts (Gabrielle Gifford comes to mind immediately), and have seen my bank gyping me out of money.  As for that, I have finally decided to move my bank account to a local bank right after the 3rd, when I will transfer my social security benefit to the new bank.  It’s kind of tough living without a debit card.  I finally could have bought a few things if I had had the card.

On the good side, Obama’s popularity seems to be moving back into the plus column, and who can really resist Michelle.  I have had a COL raise for the first time in three years, and I have seen good people step up to help those who needed help.  I have seen many times that there is goodness in a lot more people, and always marvel that it is those who have less who step up the most.  Of course, Warren Buffet and the Gates’ have shown the way for the wealthy to do more.

On FaceBook, I have made many, many good friends, including many musicians.  I have seen Damian McGinty’s star rise and am thrilled that so much good is coming to him.  He, of all the Celtic Thunder lads, seems to have the best career change of all of them.  After dropping them as my primary promotional group early in the year, the changes have been mostly bad for the group as a whole.  Though Keith and Paul also seem to be getting some good outside work, and George put out a personal CD.  I know Phil Coulter will have some new music out soon, both for himself and for others he promotes since he got out of that frying pan that CT had become.

Through FaceBook I have reconnected with family – nieces and a nephew – and learned that my niece Sarah Ward is working on putting a successful singing career together.  As soon as I get to hear her perform, I will be jumping on her bandwagon, I am sure.  I have reconnected with musicians I have liked in the past, and met many new ones.  I would love to list them all, but with my memory that likes to duck in and out on me, I would leave someone out who I really like, and perhaps hurt that person’s feelings.  I will make a special shout-out to Alicia Coller, who has been a tried-and-true friend throughout the year, and who sent me a Dreamcatcher for Christmas.  She is a true sweetheart.  I look forward to reading more of her blogs.  There are other folks, who I have had as “friends” for some time now who I am just beginning to get to know.  And hey, I even have one friend from Ireland who finally let me know what a “pink gin” is, not that I needed to find out since I hung one on on my birthday weekend – first time I’ve been drunk since the 1970s.  However, I was with a good local friend who made sure I didn’t hurt myself, and who said I was funny when I was drunk.  At least a pink gin didn’t give me a hangover, and I look forward to a couple on New Year’s Eve, though I won’t be overdoing it again.  I find no shame in being a bit tipsy, if I stopped there, but I simply don’t like being out of control of myself.  So it will be at least another thirty years before I do that again.

On a personal note, I lost 30 pounds last year, and intend to drop another 30 this year.  With the holidays almost over, all the sweet stuff is getting scarce, and that is good.  I don’t need it, both for weight and for trying to completely control my Adult Onset Type II Diabetes, so I won’t have to go to insulin.  I look forward this year to having a bit more money in order to be able to put my apartment in better order, and maybe even buying some new clothes.  Not that I need them, but even with 30 pounds lost, some of the things I keep wearing are getting a bit big, and if I successfully lose another 30, I’ll almost need a new wardrobe.  Not that I need that many clothes.  I have discovered that although I still have some life to me, and have discovered that I have a knack for writing, I’m going to pick up on painting again – something I haven’t done since the 90s.  But life has certainly slowed down for me, although I am finding that perhaps living here, among other elderly and quite a few physically-challenged (how’s that for being PC, something you won’t find in me very often), that I am getting a bit lazy.  I’m happier to spend more time at home these days.   But maybe it is time to slow down.  I’ve let my hair grow this year – I just don’t know when I might get sick of it all and get it cut off again.  This year has also shown me that I need to take better care of my skin – the heat of the summer apparently has caused me to break out in little patches of rough skin, which has sent me running to find a good moisturizer, something I never had to worry about in the past.  So I am learning to live with a body that is 71, no matter what my mind says otherwise.

On a final note, at least for now, 2012 is beginning.  I have been following the Mayan calendar thoughts for several years, and now it is upon us.  The calendar supposedly ends on the Winter Solstice this year, a day of importance to me in my spiritual beliefs.  I do not believe it will be the end of this world – I doubt this world will ever come to an end – but perhaps I am looking for a sign of the end of the world AS WE KNOW IT.  Death?  Not necessarily.  But as this year has shown, nature itself sometimes has something to say about it, and with us nearing a time when the poles could reverse again, physically, I look forward to what might happen on December 22nd.  We all need to be ready for drastic weather changes, but not be fearful.  I don’t believe God/dess will let human kind be destroyed through him/her.

I look forward to politics, not just in this country, but elsewhere.  I wonder what is going to happen in Libya, in North Korea, in Iraq.  I wonder if Ahmadinajd(SP?) is going to stay at the head of Iran.  I wonder if our presence still in Afghanistan is really going to be for teaching, or if we are going to stay involved in a real war.  And I look forward in this country to seeing Obama getting more popular again, and hoping he will get his second term, now that he knows what we really want from him, and not what he thinks he should be doing.  I am happy to see that the rest of the country is learning what we have already known about Rick Perry (yes, he keeps getting elected, but what the rest of the country perhaps doesn’t know is that Texas does not have a run-off with elections, whoever gets the most votes wins – Perry won last race with only 35% of the vote, but it was enough to win by Texas law).  I get to vote one more time at least for Lloyd Doggett, but have to wonder if Texas will ever get back to being a Democratic state, as it was up until Reagan became president, and Texas went more to the conservative side.  Hey, I was a Republican then, although I don’t think I’ve ever been a conservative – didn’t go Democratic until Clinton and then Howard Dean.

I’m also going to be pursuing more knowledge in my own spiritual path this year, and discovering more about myself than I have ever done.

Anyway, that’s how the year went for me, at least as someone often standing outside of events, and if anything happens during the next two days that needs to be told, I’ll let you all know.  In the meantime, everyone have a safe, and fun, New Year’s Eve, and I hope the new year, 2012, offers more good than bad to everyone.

Slainte.

Carol Stepp, Austin, TX

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About carolstepp

Music is about the most important thing in my life, and I follow a large number of musicians, particularly Irish, Scots, Classical, Crossovers of any of these. I was writing a blog about Celtic Thunder regularly on MySpace, and now I have left them after a year, and will start writing my blogs here. I am 70, retired, living on Social Security, and have a lot of social network fans.
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