Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

What does 2011 look like for you?

Resolutions?  Obligations?  Ambitions?  Apprehensions?

Here’s a partial list from Strummersonville:

1. Defend dissertation in August (which requires finishing the damned thing).

2. Place an article in a noteworthy journal.

3. Start my 6 year old daughter on violin (I’ve been putting her off for over a year now).

4. Finish my extended musical composition (I’m half way there).

5. Record a few demos to recruit players.

6. Design two new courses.

7. Exercise.

8. Take a family vacation.

9. Take a weekend off with my wife somewhere (w/o kids).  A B&B, new PJs, and a few novels would do the trick.

10. In general: think bigger, work harder (or at least more efficiently).


  1. …the year before 2012, and the one after 2010. Historically, I’ve always had good 01/11 years. But there’s me looking for a numerical pattern in pretty random events – a curse for this pattern seeking non-believer. As many of us, I’m sure I’m saying to myself “2011 has got to be better than 2010” – but then again Brits might have been saying the same thing at the end of 1065 or 1938. We just don’t know. Which makes it all exciting, and for the curious minded, life infinitely worth living.

    2010 was a mixed year for me. Professionally, though it’s still hard to make my earnings as a freelance writer cover my overheads (which seem to rise inexorably) I was nominated for a best drama award by my peers in the British Writer’s Guild, and what I’ve forsaken in terms of lucrative TV earnings, has almost been compensated for by a prolific output in print, radio and stage.

    However, all this is marred by the personal horror of seeing my 18 year old daughter fall apart for four months on the back of some (as yet undiscovered) traumatic experience at  Glastonbury. She was hospitalised with some acute suspected nervous or brain disorder, only to come through all the scans clean, and then diagnosed with panic attacks and ‘conversion’. A month of these shattering panic attacks, which would hit her every five or ten minutes like an electric shock, was followed by a month of near catatonia, and a further six or so weeks of extreme confusion.

    The good side of this story is – blessed Christmas gift – she bounced back to her old self about three weeks ago. Having been stuck at the doorway or street corner for months, unable to focus on a book or TV show for more than a few minutes, she got the wherewithal to go to a party and then return to school.

    She’s a bright and beautiful girl, and now she’s back. The doctors and shrinks were so mystified, they were about to hospitalise her. All those pressures on young women, particularly girls, to be brilliant, beautiful, to be the centre of the party and a leader at school, were probably part of the problem. So too the unresolved contradictions in  the amicable separation of her parents 12 years ago. But the clear trigger was some kind of drug experience in Glastonbury. Her previous experience of pot had made her feel alienated, strange and paranoid. Glastonbury was rife with free psychoactive drugs, and given the heat, hundreds of thousands of people, and the lack of support (she fitted and was put in an ambulance for an hour) I’ve now revised my opinion about the dangers of drug use.

    This has nothing to do with legalisation or not (indeed legalisation might make medical help more natural and available) but I still think we’re a bit blase about the psychoactive effects on young plastic minds. I didn’t like dope when I was young, and gave it up for 20 years. Now I have no problem with that or most other so-called illegal substances. But that’s with the weight of self-knowledge and my past behind me.

    So my resolutions are simple

    1. Support my daughter as she retakes her academic year and rediscovers herself.

    2. Explore in my writing more of the mysteries of the mind. To see someone fall apart like that, and then recover, was infinitely distressing, and ultimately miraculous.

    3. Try to earn more money while doing this.

    4. Hug the people I love closer: my girlfriend, my family, my great friends – all of which are more than ample compensation for 3.

    5. Fight back, on the Moose and other blogs, against the crazy limiting ideas of human beings so prevalent on the right, and all too often echoed on the left.

    6. Stop making resolutions just for the sake of getting beyond the number 5.  

  2. jsfox

    I wish you all the best in completing all of it with great success!

    As for me, as of this point I’m not looking πŸ™‚

    I’ve got dough rising, sauce simmering, wine and beer cooling, the house to clean, the table to set. Ah man’s work is never done from setting sun to setting sun πŸ˜‰

    Tomorrow I’ll start contemplating what 2011 is going to look like. My one hope? Please make it better than 2010!


  3. fogiv

    I lost my job of 11 years shortly after the onset of 2010 (right after my February birthday no less), and spent some time on unemployment trying to figure out what my next/best move was.  Almost on a lark, I landed a federal job made largely possible by ARRA funding (praise be to dear leader, his evil majesty Adolf Huzzien Obama), and it’s working out really well. I seem to be a good fit there, my KSA’s are appreciated and put to appropriate use. the folks I’m working with genuinely care about the resources, are diligent and dedicated. they have in many ways reignited my passion for understanding the past, and by extension our future. it’s a far cry from the cut throat world of private sector consulting, where I had become increasingly jaded and cynical. I’m away from home and family far less, and less far flung. I’m told that they’re likely to offer me a permanent position in the new year, and pay (!) for me to snag an advanced degree on their dime so long as I commit to federal service for three years. Quite the deal.

    My family is happy and healthy.  I won’t tempt fate by asking for more than that. I’ll just take 2011 as it comes.  I start training for the 29th California International marathon on Monday.  My goal is to not die. cross your fingers for me.

    i’ve also resolved to write and record a few songs in the coming year, instead of just tinkering.  i have the tools, it’s time to build. per music, I’m obsessed with Peter Case lately, who is a very underrated and under appreciated songwriter.  In this clip, he covers a Little Walter tune. pretty magnificently, IMO.

    it’s a mean old world, and there are lots of wrongs to be righted, but I can’t imagine where I’d rather be, or who I’d rather experience it all with. I’m thankful for my family, friends, the moose, and its peeps. I’d be whackadoodle without y’all. cheers to all of you, and in the coming year may your hand always be stretched out in friendship, but never in want. Go mbeire muid beo ar an am seo arΓ­s!

  4.  I have the wish that the coming year will be better, happier, less painful than the last, while knowing that life doesn’t come in 365 day chunks. Nor is it a matter of happiness versus sadness. Life is a series of moments. It is only when we look back that we see it is a whole. Which is why, at the end of a year, we think of the coming year as a whole. But life doesn’t happen that way. Each day, each moment, has the potential to bring joy or sadness.

    Those moments, that in sum make up a life,  are not points on a straight line from cradle to grave. One thing I always stress to friends who are having the blues is that life is filled with peaks and valleys. It is during the climb to a peak that we are most happy and it is in the depths of the valleys that we feel the greatest despair. Yet, more peaks and more valleys always lie in our future, no matter where we stand today.

    As one gets older, climbing the peaks becomes more difficult, especially if you are dragging a load of regrets up each hill. And, believe me when I say, I’ve been hauling a huge load of regrets for some time now. On the other end, the valleys seem deeper and broader. A major mistake I have made in the last couple of years, in a life filled with mistakes, was to try to smooth out those peaks and valleys by being less engaged with life. It has become obvious to me, as time goes by, that this doesn’t work. It’s possible to smooth out the peaks, but the valleys are still every bit as deep and foreboding. There must be a better way.

    This brings me to my resolutions for the year. I resolve to become more engaged with life. I resolve to live more for the moment and to let the past rest. Both of these resolutions can be summed up in the words of the Latin poet, Horace, “Carpe diem.” As for the future, what will be will be.

    Don’t ask (it’s forbidden to know) what end the gods will grant to me or you, Leuconoe. Don’t play with Babylonian fortune-telling either. It is better to endure whatever will be. Whether Jupiter has allotted to you many more winters or this final one which even now wears out the Tyrrhenian sea on the rocks placed opposite – be wise, strain the wine, and scale back your long hopes to a short period. While we speak, envious time will have {already} fled. Seize the day, trusting as little as possible in the future. – Horace Ode 1.11

    A few other quotes about living in the moment.

    Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment. Buddha

    I never think of the future.  It comes soon enough.  ~Albert Einstein

    If a man examine carefully his thoughts he will be surprised to find how much he lives in the future.  His well-being is always ahead.  ~Emerson, Journals, 1827

    The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time.  ~Abraham Lincoln

  5. IL JimP

    resolutions, but I’m just glad I found this place the last few weeks.

    I’ve been a member here almost a month, I was a member at the GOS for over two years and I’ve posted more diaries here already with more to come.  I’ve also had more comments this week than I ever posted over there.

    So, this community has been what I was looking for, and I want to thank everyone here I have already interacted with and everyone else who I haven’t.  It’s only a matter of time until we change the world.

    Have a great New Years!

    P.S. Part 3 of the debt commission report series will be posted tomorrow.

  6. HappyinVT

    Aunt Flo and her cousins the cramps.  πŸ™‚

    I don’t make resolutions because I never keep them.  Having said that, since the new year seems like a good time for new beginnings, there are things I would like to get better about like paying my bills on time and getting my ass back to the gym on a regular basis; little things that don’t mean much and don’t really take much effort but would make me feel better.

  7. DeniseVelez

    a “Politicize Youth Project” – an openly partisan effort to put “civics” back  on the table. This is not specifically targeted at 2012 elections; I’m thinking about the next 5 or 6 election cycles and the change in US demographics.  I am particularly interested in Latino youth who will be a large part of this nations “majority” in the years ahead.

  8. lojasmo

    Lost my (estranged) mother, and my dear grannie…to of the most influential women in my life, and my bestie from high school was just diagnosed with renal cancer.

    Goals:  get to my pre college weight (170ish)

    No more family members die?  Please?

    Run half marathon in June, and tough murder in October.

  9. Jjc2008

    up and running.  Can’t say it was a resolution to get one but my MacBook Pro needed work on the screen.  It’s five years old so……I got this. I can still hook the old one up to a flat screen and use it for other stuff but I love this light weight book.  Spent most of today accessing the old one so I could take some things from it and save them on this.  I am a geek at heart. Old and female but still…a geek.

    I have resolved to stay healthy…..

    my family has a history of Type 2 diabetes….and my numbers were going up so I took action, got back in the normal range and resolve to continue.

    I resolve to not get upset about the right and perhaps others trying to make public employees (teachers, police, firefighters) into the new welfare queens.  The spin and lies are hurtful….but I can’t stop all of it.

    I resolve to not take personally intense disagreement… is a hard one for me.

    I resolve to be informed and to inform others.  Ignorance is not bliss.  Seriously.   I used to have a poster I hung in our teachers’ lunch room/lounge.  If you think education is expensive, you ought to try ignorance.

    Sadly, the expense of ignorance has come home to roost.  I was fearful when Reagan was elected and so easily able to spin so that even union people bought his anti laborer message.   But he was an actor with a fair amount of charisma for some.   However, when W was elected, I knew ignorance was going to take hold.  I had hoped with Obama, and back with Clinton, truth would have a chance.  Sadly, Clinton and Obama really bring out the hate mongering spinners.   Even sadder, ignorance seems to be winning.

    But I will continue to fight it as will many progressives.

    I hope to be able to sell my house this year or in 2012 and move closer to family.

  10. Jjc2008

    that cross and flag that are covering for the righties still seems to work. I don’t get it.  On FB I mention things because I KNOW some of my “I’m a Christian first” relatives read my rants.  Just waiting for one of them to explain how they juxtapose greed and Christianity, how they explain the rationalize away “….whatever you do to the least of these, you do to me”.    It’s one thing to be a greedy, money grubber.  It’s a choice one has a right to make.  But to be a hypocrite and declare how health care is not a right, while insisting and  publicly declaring they follow the man who said people were OBLIGED to take care of the least of us…..

    OK, I am riled again.  

    Back to resolutions……I will let the universe work it out.

    Your ideas sound pretty smart.  I just switched phone to Comcast so I get free long distance and save money on my landline that way.   I will use my old computer to play movies I download or get for a dollar at the store.  

    I want to be able to use SKYPE on the large screen to see the grandbabies.

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