On a New Year's Day Hike, at the junction of the Homestead and North River Trails in the Little River Natural Area

Narrator Voice: …It’s a cool winter’s day and we find our heroes alone on the trail, lost in thought

Excited voice of geeky wonder: LOST IN THOUGHT RIGHT ABOUT HERE ACTUALLY

Incredulous, hard, even pushy, voice: What the bloody hell? Who invited narrator? And what is this “heroes” nonsense? And for the love of god, winter doesn’t possess the day. It’s a winter day, not winter’s day. Oh, glad to see you finally using that app, geek.

Hazy, dreamy, reverie voice - quietly, so that Pushy couldn’t hear, which really wasn’t hard, because he hasn’t shut up the entire time: …. <sighs> ….

Narrator, goes on, this time morphing into a really bad version of Don LaFontaine: In a world… where time has moved on. One man. One voice. One Nost.. Nahsta..

Reverie: “Nostalgaic”

Pushy: What the hell? That’s not a word.

Narrator, now a version of Sam Elliot doing a Metamucil commercial: Imagine a cellar. The light is dim. Cobwebs. Suddenly there’s a brilliant glo…

Reverie, somehow sounding like Boss Hogg from The Dukes of Hazard or John Schneider, really, is there a difference now?: EARL TURN OFF THE DAMN LIGHT

Earl: Sorry boss. So, there might be a little dust on that there bottle, but don’t let it fool ya about what’s inside…

Pushy: <unintelligible>

Narrator, Surprised Sam Elliot: I believe that Pushy just said “ snarkivilinaic

Reverie: that’s not a word!

Earl, not having missed a beat: There might be a little dust on the bottle. It’s one of those things gets sweeter with time, Don’t let it fool you

Pushy: WITH ALL DUE RESPECT TO DAVID LEE FUCKIN MURPHY, YOU JUST COMPLETELY REPEATED YOURSELF EARL. Reverie, dude, you spent all bloody last year in control, childhood, high school, adulthood, past, past, past. Enough already. It’s bloody New Year’s Day.

Reverie: Does New Y…


Present: Enough, You’ll get yours later Reverie, it’s Pushy’s day. Now shut up Pushy and look at this tree

Reverie: <sulking> but.. lat..

Pushy: Is it spring yet?

Narrator, now doing a surprisingly good don draper: What?!

A now very excited Excited VocGeekDer: WE ARE TOTALLY BLOGGING THIS

Some version of this actually happened. I may or may not have been stoned(*) at the time.

The voices are real, as they are my voices. And also not quite likely to sue, the trial of which might actually increase this blog’s readership notwithstanding, so I’ve taken extra-journalistic license, Jayson(Blair)-style, with the quotes.

Narrator, now doing some combination of every English teacher I ever had, along with several PhD’s at multiple Universities, along with several accomplished editors and writers in my life: That poor facsimile of a sentence!

Though, that wasn’t my actual narrator voice. That was just Earl.

Um, Hi! 👋

While the number of voices in my head likely outnumber readers of the blog, welcome to 2024, Jayo-style.

2023 was ridiculously caught in the past for, with the occasional magnificently glorious hint of the joy of the present.

The present was usually just, well, not joyful and the future too nebulous at best, and the present’s usual unjoy was out as far as the eye can see. So Reverie needs to chill for a while.

Reverie, Pushy, and Earl: “unjoy” is not…

There’ll be time to knock the dust off the bottle later. For now I’m just going to leave it right there in the basement, along with some really, really rank muscadine wine that was just bottled.

I thought maybe I’d write up 2023’s retro at the end of 2024, right, like why write one when you can do two for twice the price?

Pushy: Yo, election year

Ooops yeah, okay, maybe another day then.

There’s a lot of I’m looking forward to. A lot I hope to share. Maybe I will, and maybe I won’t. But I think I owe it to myself.

If only to help stay present.

Reverie got his day too. Sarah and I saved our tradition of reflecting on the year, and burning a calendar for tonight:

It was a big year, we got solar panels, I quit my job. I started therapy. I decided what some of what I wanted to do with the next decade of my life, then I got a new job. I finally got broadband. And… we’ll talk about December later (I burned two December months for what it is worth).

I leave this post with the lyrics of the current song playing on the Sonos as I type this up. Maren Morris’s Circles Around This Town:

So many times, I thought about leavin'
Got my ass kicked tryin’ to compete with
Everybody else is ones who got away
I’m around long enough to catch a break
A couple hundred songs and the ones that finally worked
Was the one about a car and the one about a church
That I wrote … Drivin’ circles around this town

They resonate, but I’m not sure what that means yet. I’m sure Earl will remind me about it later.

(* Thank you Hemp Industry. Also 2018 Farm Bill. Also Better living through chemistry.)