Monthly Archives: January 2012
It’s one time of year everyone keenly anticipates—no, not Ice Dancers Interpret the Music of STYX, the Sooper Bowl, ski season, or even Oscar® season—rather, the various news outlets’ Predictions for the New Year. The below makes me think we should go deeper into the future next time…get your wheels turning for 2013 submissions.
Predictions about 2011 from a 1911 Ladies Home Journal (at http://imgur.com/bwUWM) included: horses, rats, and mice will become extinct; coal will not be used for cooking; Nicaragua will ask to be part of the Union, Americans will be taller by 4”, autos will be cheaper than horses…plus prophetic visions of the escalator, “air ships”, medical imaging, and global wireless telephone “and telegraph” circuits, pneumatic tubes delivering goods directly the homes of the wealthy (= the Internet + UPS?), and “peas as large as beets.” We’re behind on that one.
For 2012…here you go. All submitted by friends.
None this year. Bunch of laggards. You’re out of work; I know you have time.
Lady Gaga garners the VP nomination for the Republican Party.
Radio stations start playing silence because it is better than current popular music.
Rick Perry comes out. (This submitted before he, er, pulled out.)
After a warm winter resulting in lower heating bills, American citizens begin burning more coal (by cooking???) to speed up global warming.
Greece breaks off from the Euro in order to devalue the drachma and restart its economy via tourism. Doesn’t work – no one wants to vacation in a country of starving people. Or do they?
From New Hampshire
Angelina and Brad become surrogates for Jennifer Aniston’s baby. Angelina will carry the egg(s) to term and deliver the baby(ies) on a remote Pacific island, then hand [them] over to Jennifer at LAX.
Tom Brady will get a tattoo of three green gummy bears.
“I will break up Colin Firth’s marriage.”
From New York
Mitt Romney will win the Republican nomination and do a victory lap with a dog attached to the top of his car “in an airtight kennel.”
Apple will introduce the iPhone 666® which calls whomever you’re thinking about. Which can be problematic.
Medical science will determine that post-menopausal women are predisposed to weight gain so that when old ladies fall down we have something to land on so we don’t break our keisters; insurance rates drop for plus-size women over 50.
Occupy Wall Street morphs into Occupy Arby’s nationwide.
A new Weight Watchers app delivers repeated high-voltage zaps if you approach stressors, including people, that make you overeat.
Government officials will be picked as in jury draws—via computer from a local population. History proves that no matter whom we elect, the economy and public education stink, unemployment is high, no one can afford a mortgage, our great-grandchildren will be paying down the national debt, and gasoline prices will rise. Might as well “elect” a neighbor whose house you can TP instead of someone you can’t even talk to.
From North Carolina
In a collective pot shot at the Tea Party, at the 2012 Republican Convention the Republican Party is re-named the Beer & Cheese Party for its roots in Racine, Wisconsin.
The Republican Party is shaken when Mitt and Newt profess their love for each other, then head to the Andes to raise alpacas.
As more young women start dressing like Lady Gaga, prom dresses will be made of meat.
From Corporate America
Many will utilize value-added deliverables, organically, as they leverage synergistic solutions.
Due to extreme variations in temperatures, Vermonters will open their pools this winter, converting them back and forth from swimming pools to skating rinks as temps dictate.
Rap music will disappear while rock band reunion tours become increasingly ridiculous with older bands in tighter leather leggings and plunginger necklines with bigger, more-dyed hair and arthritically large—though delicately manicured—hands. And that’s just the men.
The ozone layer will recover so that Italy no longer goes tropical five months of the year.
And my personal favorites:
- I predict Mitt Romney will get the Republican nomination. I predict Ron Paul will run as an Independent. I predict Barack Obama will serve another term. His term will end when the world ends on December 21 of this year.
- Our computer passwords will never expire. That is, until the world ends on December 21 of this year.
- Eaton’s Sugar House will begin serving fondue.
Good day, and good year.
Sent from my Dixie Cup on a string
This year, give yourself the gift of sinus health.
Neti potters can go that route. Me, I’m blasting my way there with the NeilMed Sinus Rinse kit. You shoot it up one nostril and it blows out the other. What’s more fun than that?
Not only do these lists drive my editors crazy, they seem like a breeze (read: copout) for me to assemble when in fact they are a bear. But what decent gift doesn’t entail a lot of work? Dear Reader’s prize this Kwanzaatide is thus…a list. Of books I read this year I think you might like.
As a celebrity businessman once said to me with a wink, “Charity begins at home!” While a nod to a talented writer is hardly charity, it is a plug, and I shamelessly command you now: turn on, dig in, and kindle up to Vermont’s own Archer Mayor if you like mysteries with snowy backdrops. Mayor has penned 22 books in his Joe Gunther detective series. Even if you’re clever at plot prediction, Mayor keeps you guessing. His novels take place in Vermont, and the new one looks hot.
Cloud Atlas by nutter Brit, David Mitchell, winner of and short-listed for coveted awards, is a crazy-smart patchwork of genres spanning the globe from the 18th century to a post-apocalyptic future. Warning: you can’t be tired or dumb when you read it. Dennis Lehane’s Shelter Island boggles the bean; don’t see the movie first because the plot is the whole thing. Hotel World by Scottish-born Ali Smith won awards, but I preferred her The Accidental which is dark, with things that make you go Ooh. Meg Wolitzer’s The Uncoupling received accolades though I wasn’t wooed. Then, when you read a book can make all the difference. Timing was clearly good for Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre because I bathed in its dated melodrama. Her sister’s Wuthering Heights got canned, and Bronte fans will can me for saying so. We hags don’t finish books we’re not thoroughly digging.
Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day is frustrating as hell but, oh, the scene where the townspeople think the butler is a gentleman…painfully aws for Dear Reader made omniscient by Ishiguro. Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has a Murder on the Orient Express quality, with satisfying retaliatory violence (sorry, Jesus!) I enjoyed Michael Ondaatje’s Divisadero more than his latest, but Ondaatje fanatics might spank me for saying so. Mariette in Ecstasy by Ron Hansen is Calgon Take Me Away to a Nunnery, depositing you in a world as foreign as The Handmaid’s Tale, if less menacing—both divinely spare.
20th Century Ghost by Joe Hill is a brain-liquefying short story collection. His father taught him well, else he was born with it. Forgetting English by Seattle’s Midge Raymond is another artful collection; it whisks you to foreign lands wherein you totally buy her characters. A writer’s writer.
Jonathan Tropper’s This Is Where I Leave You is funny, foul, funny. His characters speak like my people in New York; you was warned. The Help is terrific on tape. The readers are so good I can’t imagine reading it yourself would be better. Murder in the 11th House by Mitchell Scott Lewis is a treat if you really know astrology.
For nonfiction, I dug Ellen Langer’s Counterclockwise (on atypical aging) and Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach. The Soloist by Steve Lopez describes with delicacy an L.A. journalist befriending a schizophrenic music prodigy. Water Cooler Diaries, a compilation of women’s workday diaries by Joni B. Cole, is perfectly edited and reminiscent of an older treasure, Gig: American talk about Their Jobs.
Some older gems. Nonfiction: Woe is I and Eats, Shoots & Leaves (both grammar), Freakanomics, The Tipping Point. Fiction: The Ice Storm, The Wonder Boys, The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, The Kite Runner, The Hours, The Time Traveler’s Wife, The Joy Luck Club and The Bonesetter’s Daughter. Memoir: I Feel Bad about My Neck (on tape!), The Year of Magical Thinking, A Girl Named Zippy (fave charmer of all time), and The Glass Castle—all terrific.
Here on Earth is Alice Hoffman’s rewrite of one book on this list. Weirdly, I happened to read it right after the original and thought she’d ripped off the plot. Snort.
The Most Brilliant Jewel of my 2011 Reads is a tie between The Elegance of the Hedgehog, by French genius Muriel Burbery, and A Visit from the Good Squad by American genius Jennifer Egan. I’m not spoiling it if I tell you that the goon squad, as Egan told NPR, is time. Or that I bawled with abandon at Burbery’s poetic sparkler. To both authors—all authors, really—I say: we are not worthy. Good day.
another golden celebrity shenanigan. Gerard Depardieu’s famously questionable rape comments — and my personal lack of comprehension at his appeal — aside, this CNN piece that’s more SNL is notable for Anderson Cooper’s snickering. We loves to see a pro just totally lose it. And if 2011 wasn’t about losing it, I don’t know what it was about.