It’s hard to believe that this cuckoo year is almost over! Let’s put it this way: this is my last blog’n’pod for 2018. And not a moment too soon! I’m not going to say that 2018 was a banner year. I also can’t see it was all bad. I just want to say it has overstayed its welcome. Still with the bad, the annoying, the sad, and the just dreadful things that happened in the last twelve months, we had some high points too.

They are my Five Things That Made this whole weird year better.

1) Yes, my family. They know who they are. It will be growing soon when my son, Exhibit A marries his sweetheart in early 2019.

One’s family can be the best, but they can sometimes also be the worst, can’t they? You can try to reboot your relationships. That works well with some people (along the lines of, “I want us to reintroduce ourselves as adults and break some patterns that have stopped serving us well….” Alternatively you can always assemble your own family if you need to. I am lucky that I like my relatives.


2) The word puzzles of the New York Times. I have enlarged my ambitions from attempting only a Monday and Tuesday crossword puzzle (the two easiest days) to trying to solve the Monday -Friday, and Sunday and every once in a while a Saturday edition as well. (Last Saturday I finished at 33 minutes, according to the website’s timer.) Then, as you know I love the Spelling Bee game. At least when I’m wasting time my brain isn’t utterly idle. I often do them online, for what it’s worth.


3) Without realizing it until recently, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been in my head all of 2018. Her fortitude, her seemingly modest yet purposeful ambition, and her elfin size all came together for me in the documentary “RBG which debuted last May. What a kick to see Mrs. Ginsburg working out with her trainer!

When we saw “On the Basis of Sex,” the biopic starring Felicity Jones (surprising choice, but up to the task) as Ruth Bader Ginsburg, we were THRILLED to learn that Justice Ginsburg was at the screening and would have a Q&A afterwards. I reacted to her presence as if Paul McCartney were playing his hits just 20 yards from where we were sitting. I wanted to sing her greatest hits with her.

There she is, on the right. NPR’s Nina Totenberg is on the left.

There she is, on the right. NPR’s Nina Totenberg is on the left.

In my opinion Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a treasure. I taped this before we heard about her cancer surgery that has since happened. She must have spoken with us a day or two prior to that ordeal, and yet was cheerful and chipper. What a brave woman. It was at this evening that she reiterated that she would stay on the Supreme Court until she felt she was no longer able to perform her duties to the best of her abilities.


4) I adore Joe’s Pub. It is the club/nightclub/supper club/ bar at The Public Theater (the petrie dish where “A Chorus Line,” “Hair”, and “Hamilton” got started) where the entertainment is as varied as you can imagine. I’ve seen concerts, a reading from a book-in-progress, a one-person play, flamenco dancers, comedians, and a range of other kinds of performances. Last week we went to see Justin Vivian Bond’s holiday show, and it was fabulous. Joe’s Pub usually has three shows a night (often three completely different programs) and it is a fun-sized sexy little room.


5) All I want for the New Year is a safe conclusion to Robert Mueller’s investigation.


By the way, should you want to write in your five things that made your year better (or this week better), or your hair better — please do! I will share them here.

Happy New Year and Act Natural,