Friday, December 26, 2014

Year End Clearance Blog 2014

Did anyone have a good year?  A show of hands, please.  Yeah, I thought so.  I knew I couldn’t be the only one who wants to drive a stake through the heart of 2014.

It was bleak and depressing, with a lot of in-your-face violence and death — it was a goddamned Lars Von Trier movie! — much of which has been politicized to further divide a country already at each others' throats.  There’s been a lot of loss, a lot of fear and anxiety.  There have been some good things, too, of course.  Landing a probe on a comet was pretty damned spectacular.  But somehow, I don’t think it’s the kind of year that will be remembered for its positives.  I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to turn on the TV shortly before midnight on New Year’s Eve to see a bloated and rotting Guy Lombardo leading his cadaverous orchestra in “Auld Lang Syne” — it’s just been that kind of year.

After a year of severe GI problems in 2013, I had a couple of good months, then the symptoms returned and worsened.  It has disrupted every aspect of my life, especially my ability to work.  This means that I am still behind in all the things I was behind in before.  My doctor has been ordering tests, which, so far, have shown nothing abnormal.  An ultrasound and CT scan showed nothing abnormal, and I'm waiting for the result of some blood work. 

If you’re waiting for POKER NIGHT, I hope you can be just a little more patient.  I’m working on it, but I’m working sporadically and slowly.  The end is near.  I’m very grateful for the patience of those waiting for the book, especially Zach Powell of KWP, who has been so generous.

Hey, it could be worse.  I could be Bill Cosby.

This is going to be a short blog post, but I want you to continue it in the comments, and I’ll join you there.  Tell me about the best movies you saw and books you read this year.  What movies or books were big disappointments?  Discuss!

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and I’m sure we’re all hoping for improvements in 2015.


  1. Get better! We're planning to see you guys in March!!

    --Jason & Sunni

  2. That's the plan, Jason. We're looking forward to seeing you.

  3. I also had a year that I'm glad to see go. Lots of migraines, other headaches, shingles, depression, anxiety, friendship problems. They kept me from watching and reading and doing most anything. The film Antiviral was great. I also liked Proxy a lot, even though Joe thought it was boring and didn't even watch the whole thing. It was DISTURBING but in a way that sneaks up on you, even though it starts out disturbing--people fainting in movie theaters, etc. It's not an instant gratification video game, Joe. Scalene, by the same director, was great, too. As for disturbing movie beginnings, it's a few years old now and not even horror, but my money is on Rid of Me. I liked Jar Face. Realizing that one of the characters is played by Sean Young is probably the scariest part. The horror films with Kelly McGinnis are good, and realizing that the grandma looking person is her, is unsettling. As for books, the ones that are stuck in my mind are The Accursed by Joyce Carol Oates, The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, and Pretty Monsters by Kelly Link. Joyce Carol Oates is amazing. She's like one of those great chefs who can cook up a gourmet meal out of whatever's in the pantry and growing out in the yard.--Kris

  4. Okay, I will try my comment again.

    The year got me down, too. There were some really good things that happened, but there were plenty of bad things that dragged me down. I'm not a cynical person, but I find myself on a short fuse lately.

    I try to stop that with music, books, and movies. I enjoyed both of Stephen King's books, Mr. Mercedes and Revival, as well as Anne Rice's Prince Lestat. A non-horror book that I really enjoyed was from 2005, The Year the Music Changed: The Letters of Achsa Mceachern-Isaacs & Elvis Presley by Diane C. Thomas. A sweet little story about a young girl who strikes up a correspondence with an up-and-coming Elvis.

    A couple of standout movies for me were The Butler (not sure what year that was released, but we just watched it) and the one we watched tonight, Stretch.

    Here's to a better year ahead for you, Ray, and for all of us!