Posts Tagged ‘New Year’s’

Letter From Claverack 01 02 2017 Welcome to a new year and a new era…

January 3, 2017

Not yet quite six o’clock in the evening, the sun is gone and floodlights are on the creek.  Soft jazz is on the Echo and I am winding down from some writing I did today along with emails and a couple of loads of laundry.  An ordinary day at the cottage, most of it cozied up with my laptop while watching Marcel, Lionel and Pierre’s sixteen-year old poodle sleep on the couch.  I’m dog sitting again while they are off in Boston.


New Year’s was surprisingly good.  My expectations were low and the reality great.  There was a feast at my friend Matthew Morse’s house with thirteen people, followed by going down the road to friends of his who have restored as their home a 19th Century roadhouse.  There is a balcony looking down into the tavern area and I was standing there looking down at a crowd that seemed like a hundred, sipping Moet Chandon as the New Year came in…

New Year’s Day was spent in recovery with a game of Clue over cocktails, followed by roast chicken.  Not bad.

Every time I peek into the state of the world, I want to slam the door and run into my bedroom with a cold bottle of vodka and a straw.

It sometimes feels like I have stepped into a Jean Cocteau film.

Hours after I exchanged e-mails with a friend who lives in Istanbul, working for Sony Pictures, there was a nightclub slaughter.  Responsibility for it has been claimed by IS.

In Baghdad, a suicide bomber killer a couple of dozen people.  This Sunday, I will light a candle for them at church, the people of Baghdad and Istanbul.  Turkey has been assaulted this month by a whole series of attacks.  Baghdad has never not been assaulted since we invaded.

Trump tweeted something New Year’s Eve that has lots of people outraged.  It seems impossible for me to follow his tweets though I have been told the cable news channels have been spending hours attempting to decipher them.

His press secretary has pleaded with people to stop mocking him.  I don’t think that’s going to happen.  Alec Baldwin has stepped into a brand-new career on SNL and we are going to be living with it for Trump’s entire term in office.  He is just too juicy a target for satirists.  I wish I were a comedy writer.

Trump’s team is saying we should be focusing more on punishing Hillary Clinton than being concerned about Russian hacking.  Did I say something about being in a Cocteau film?  [And if you don’t know who Jean Cocteau is, Google him…]

US officials are saying Russia’s “fingerprints” are all over the hacking and Trump is saying he has inside information on the hacking which he will reveal tomorrow or Wednesday. Personally, I can’t wait.  But then I am still waiting for him to tell us how he will separate himself from his businesses.  That may be more difficult than handling the Russian hacking.

Then, of course, since I last wrote Carrie Fisher, “Princess Leia” from “Star Wars” died after a heart attack on a flight back from London, only to be followed across the River Styx by her mother, the legendary Debbie Reynolds, the following day.

Eras seem ending all around me and I am not happy…




Letter From New York December 28, 2011

December 28, 2011

Or, as it seems to me…

I am sitting on a couch at the cottage, feeling like an overstuffed gnocchi. It has been several days of feasting and fun; my longest standing friend, Sarah Malone, was here with her husband Jim, their son Kevin, who generously considers me his uncle. Sarah’s sister Mary Clare was here with her husband Jim and their son Michael, who is now on his way to Rio for New Year’s. I spent last Christmas with them; this Christmas they came to me and it was restful and joyful to be surrounded by old friends with whom I have shared so much through all these years.

It’s my hope that everyone’s holidays were as goodwill filled as mine.

The sun is slowly beginning to set, a soft grey is entering the room, the Christmas tree lights sparkle while a fire burns gently in the stove. Soon we will begin cooking for the evening.

The year is ending with a soft sigh; I’m glad for that. It is lovely to begin the march toward New Year’s Eve in the gentle company of Kevin and Michelle.

I am looking forward to 2012. I’ll be attending the CES Show in Las Vegas and will be covering South By Southwest as well as being on a panel there. Hopefully, I will make a pilgrimage to Martha’s Vineyard to Jeffrey and Joyce’s as I have in the last three of four years. It’s my plan to take the Empire Builder from Portland to Chicago, one of the two most beautiful train rides in America, I’m told. I’m sure I will make a trip or two to Minneapolis and there’ll be unexpected business opportunities that will take me hither and yon.

It is a year to look forward to.

It is my hope that readers are also looking forward to 2012. Once a salesman, always a salesman and so I live in hope. But then, so do we all – live in hope. We have to or we would go quite mad I suspect, looking around the world we inhabit.

We have Syria in revolt against Assad, a restless Russia, an Iraq that appears to be splitting along sectarian lines, pirates seizing freighters, an Iran threatening to close the Straits of Hormuz, and a nuclear North Korea run by an untested 28 year old. Put it all together, it’s not a pretty picture. But it’s never been a pretty picture and yet we go on. Why? At the bottom, we live in hope, hope that if in nothing else, in our small corner of the world, we can make a world safe for ourselves, that we can do something that will better our lot and the lot of those around us.

This year, as in some years past, I did not give gifts to friends and family but made donations to causes – the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley, the USO and to a challenged family in Reading, PN so that they might have gifts for their children under the tree. It seemed a better use of resources than to search out trinkets for people with too many of them already.

Having the Malone/Eros clan here was a gift to me and I hope that Christmas communicated to them the gift they are and I hope the gifts I gave in the name of family and friends helped them know the gift they are to me. Listening to NPR one day this season, a commentator was talking about Christmas as a time to show the people we love that we loved them. I hope I did and I hope the people in your world shared their love with you.

Now we move on into the New Year and as the New Year approaches, I will focus on living in hope as it is in hope that we are all able to provide gifts to the world in which we live.

Happy New Year!