Friday, December 31, 2010

Auld Lang Sigh: Super Poignant Holiday Message PLUS Bonus New Year's Video Blogs!

Throughout my childhood, my father had a New Year’s Eve ritual: he would gather all of the remnants of the candles he had burned that year--most of which were just stumps--and would melt the bottoms, sticking them all to a large platter, creating a colorful, misshapen skyline. Then, around dinnertime, he would light all of the wicks, and we would watch as that year’s wax slowly dripped away, mixing into a big pool until all of the flames were extinguished.

It was very Laura Ingalls Wilder of us, no?

That image sticks in my mind, more than Dick Clark, or confetti, or drunken kisses at midnight, as the purest expression of a year coming to an end. Well, that and Calista Flockhart hysterically weeping. It sort of ruins the poignant tone I’m going for here, but for some reason I cannot forget an episode of Ally McBeal in which Flockhart, as Ally, reflects on her year while laughing and crying simultaneously. In that episode (and yes, I Googled this; as good as my pop culture references may be, I am not, thank God, able to quote verbatim from every bygone 90s show), a character said, “If you think back and replay your year, and if it doesn't bring you tears of joy or sadness, consider the year wasted.” I always think of that line on December 31st.

I am going to spend the evening with a select few of my very best friends, with home-cooked food and plenty of wine and, of course, the man I love more than words can express, for whom I would light a thousand candle stumps, if not for the fact that in doing so I would surely set the house on fire. I will not cry tonight. I’ve done my crying and I’ve done my reflecting and I’ve made countless expeditions to the very darkest reaches of my navel (and, okay, sometimes my heart) over the past twelve months. So I won’t cry tonight. But 2010 certainly qualifies, by Flockhart standards, as a year not wasted.

(Then again, if you’re measuring the success of your life using obscure Ally McBeal quotes, you have bigger problems. Shit.)

Anyway, I know I sound tortured and melancholy, but there were a few fabulous things that happened in 2010. Most of you started reading this blog, for instance (thank you so much for choosing to spend a part of your day reading my ridiculous ramblings--please make sure to pick up your award if you haven’t yet). I turned 30... and continue to get carded on occasion*. I got a fancy new job at a wonderful pink newspaper. I saw some of my dearest friends get married. I welcomed my sister back to New York. I watched my nephew grow into a little person. I explored Rome and Florence with my mother. Jeff got me a Slanket for Christmas (Oh yes, that post is coming. Just you wait.)

*About once a year, in the types of bars that require night vision goggles, but hey, I’ll take it.

The truth is that even though I’m glad to see the candles burn out on 2010, I’m feeling incredibly optimistic about 2011. I haven’t felt this excited about the turning of a new year in a long time. I just know this year will be a good one; I can feel it.

I was going to write a sappy New Year's message, but you know what? Fuck it. It's video blog time! (I put on my best old man sweater and made sure not to get a haircut just for this occasion. You are welcome!)

Um, take two:

Sigh. Maybe I should just act stupid on purpose.

Finally, a musical interlude...

Happy New Year!


  1. Hahahaha! The third video is my favorite. Also, I was going to be SUPER-impressed if you knew all the words to Auld Lang Syne. Hell, I had to Google just to figure out how to spell it. Happy New Year!

  2. Happy New Year, Una! I look forward to reading more in 2011.

    Geez, you look pink in your videos. How many drinks did you have before you worked up the courage to record them?? ;-)

    Cheers, my social-network friend!

  3. TB -- Thanks! It's mine too. And yeah, Auld Lang Syne makes no sense.

    Ross -- None! I hadn't even sipped it. The lighting was just really bad. That or I have rosacea. Happy New Year!

  4. Bwaahahaha. Love that last vid the best, since you got help from the peanut gallery. Very fun! Happy New Year!

  5. Happy New Year Una! So glad I found your blog this year!!

  6. Happy New Year Sassy! I'm a lover of Ally McBeal logic, so I like you even more now! :) I'm one of those people who found your blog this year, and I couldn't be happier that I did! Wishing great things for you in 2011!

  7. Happy new year, Sassy. I'm very pleased that I stumbled across your blog this year. You are laugh-out-loud hilarious and I only wish I was as witty as you. All the best for 2011.

  8. Wishing you both a fabulous 2011, from sunny south of France.

    Looking forward to another 365 days of curmudgeonly humour... it goes well with my morning cuppa caffe latte.

    Bonne Annee!

  9. Happy New Year dear Una and Jeff!
    I brought it in in a similar fashion except now that we've been doing it for 20 years we go out for the food portion, enough already with the cooking.
    The reflections and countless expeditions to the very darkest reaches of everywhere always yields something positive, so here's hoping you have another good year of them.
    I thought maybe you had snow sunburn or had gone face first in it one too many times :).

  10. Happy New Year Una! xoxoxo

  11. i met someone who actually knew ALL THE WORDS to auld lang syne last night. i didn't know that type of person existed.

    also happy new year and i look forward to a sassier, curmudgeonlier 2011!

  12. Jeff's ending to the musical interlude was just so perfect, so characteristic of the both of you. Happy 2011!

  13. Happy New Year! I always look forward to your posts!

  14. Una -

    I - again!! - am going to say (as I did the last time I commented on your blog) is that I don't usually comment on blogs...Yours was the first, the second was another medical blog similar to my own, and this is the third time...but I just read your new years post and wanted to let you know that - once I started reading your blog in 2010 I couldn't stop!! I too had a weird year, with lots of highs and lows (most medical school related and thus seemingly banal, as well as hard to express to non-med peeps - but which also, in some ways, made it a year of non-blogging for me...not non-writing, but overall it was just too much to express to the world type of thing (my "world", aka blog readers, being only my grandfather, husband, and my mom and best friend!!) but I always tuned in to read what you posted...I paid attention, I was sorry when I read about your pregnancy loss this past year, I loved reading about your relationship with Jeff, and you and your words, many many times, put a smile on my face. I have forwarded your posts to friends, and have made my husband come in the room to see pics or read a - THANK YOU. !! Happy 2011...hollaaaa to a brand spankin' new year!! I am vowing to be braver, write more...and continue to read your blog for a smile. :)

    All my best - Juliet


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