New Years Resolutions for 2015

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Readers, if this post gives you the picture of a very dull person whose life revolves around blogging and gardening, well, that would have the great merit of being partially true, wouldn’t it? So you can can spice things up by adding your own New Years Resolutions in comments.

  1. To get the goddamn free weights out of the box and start using them. OK, later in the spring, because we don’t want to rush in to these things.
  2. This year, to order blueberry bushes and perennials from Fedco before it’s too late.
  3. Not to be so mingy with the newspaper and the straw, but to sheet mulch thickly and completely.
  4. To drink less milk and more water and wine; to eat less meat and more plants; to eat less sugar and more honey and ginger.
  5. To clean — and, er, disinfect — my kitchen, and if I can’t find the time to do it, find the money to have it done.
  6. To stop throwing my bills into a big pile on the kitchen table, and then waiting for the shut-off notices to pay them.
  7. To actually assemble my stand-up desk, and then to work at it, standing up.
  8. To learn to sketch more fluently on a small scale (I want to make more charts and diagrams).
  9. To write some posts on the depredations of private equity.
  10. To curate more vital and unique sources for NC Links and crossposts. (Readers?)
  11. To stop pulling my punches on Democrats, and to say what I really feel.
  12. No more Mr. Nice Guy on CT.

And so, for revelers, a leaf of the dog….

NOTE I must admit that I loathe Christmas, because of the enforced jollity, and I loathe New Years, because it combines enforced jollity with drunkenness, and so I welcome the end of “the Holidays” with relief. So now let’s all move gratefully along to January snows, the 60 days of February, and then the mud season!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Guest Post on by .

About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


          1. optimader

            Another excellent reference recording, I see this was just put online a few day ago.
            Rebecca Pidgeon Spanish Harlem – 3 – Chesky Records Guide to Critical Listening – 1995
            Chesky Records is a longtime audiophile label, and she’s remained in the serious high fidelity artist camp her whole career. This cut is from RP’s “The Raven” (also online). A gift to anyone not familiar w/ her recordings.

  1. dearieme

    “to eat less sugar and more honey”: more fructose, in other words. I thought that was the new Devil’s Food. Good for you for ignoring the ranting.

    1. James

      They keep waffling. I remember back in the 80’s going to the health Food store specifically for bags of “granulated, pure crystalline fructose.” I think what has earned it its bad rap lately is the high fructose corn syrup variety, especially when used in soft drinks, which amount to basically an IV drip of sugar water that is absorbed and processed straight through the liver, rather than lower in the GI tract. But the health gurus will then turn right around and advise that we eat more fruit, which is obviously full of fructose too, albeit offset by the fiber in the raw fruit that slows its absorption. I think the whole debate is likely overblown. Sodas and other high sugar drinks, even fruit juices, are obviously going to put weight on you, not to mention rot your teeth, especially if you drink them as casual beverages around the house or office. One tip I’ve found useful to dull your taste for sweets in general and make plain water palatable for those looking for taste in their beverages is a few drops of real lemon or lime juice. Works so well it got me off coffee altogether. And for extra nutrition try an Emergen-C packet once or twice a day, hot or cold, as well.

      1. participant-observer-observed

        Some fruits have way more fructose than others. Especially as pure, undiluted juice, those with fructose sensitivities may find certain fruits more irritating than other. (I can’t put apples in the juicer but lemons are fine).

        The medicinal properties of honey are well known over millennia and especially if you support local bee keepers or those who do not ship their bees around, using honey is a *sweet* way to keep from supporting Monsanto’s sterile ‘utopia’ econned vision!

      2. different clue

        The fruit itself is mainly full of air, water, cellulose, and some other fibers. And fructose and etc. only after that. They say avoid fruit JUICES because you are getting the straight fructose without the air, water, and fiber.
        Fruits and some vegetables have been bred lately for over-sweetness. Old, heirloom and/or primitive varieties of these fruits may be more bitter-sour and less sweet, just the thing for fructose moderation.

  2. steelhead

    2015 Goals:
    1. Reflect Upon The Past
    2. Live In The Present
    3. Plan For The Future
    Happy New Year To All NC Participants And Contributors

      1. participant-observer-observed

        Citicorp’s Cromnibus senior male prostitute came straight out of CT and made FDIC into an entire sex slave operation!

    1. ambrit

      To be less circumspect about CT positives.
      What’s with “screw Conneticut?” I missed something. (It must be a deep dark secret, eh. Christie is an Illuminatus?)
      Got to keep the loonies on the path?

      1. diptherio

        It occurs to me that maybe Lambo isn’t using “CT” to stand for Connecticut…maybe “Cow Tippers”…I bet that’s a big problem up in Maine just like it is around Montana.

        1. ambrit

          Step 1- Aim at foot.
          Step 2- Pull trigger
          Step 3- (Stepping will entail a great deal of pain for a while.)
          Here Down South, we call them Stump Jumpers. (We also spell your version somewhat differently; Cow Tuppers.)
          We also have the occasional rustling competition too. Then, Step 1 is repurposed as “Aim at rustlers.”
          (Thanks for straightening me out there diptherio.)

    2. reason

      Presumably he knows what he means by CT. Could it be Crooked Timber – or do we all have to guess.

  3. Banger

    Personal goals this year:

    1. Be more assertive and decisive in my personal life.
    2. Go back to my meditation practice–I had a regular practice for many decades that ended when my last marriage broke up and I had a need to do everything differently.
    3. Get my mojo back in my creative projects.
    4. Find more and better sources of income. This was my year of practically going broke (I’m a small business owner).

    On NC: write shorter and more focused posts. Someone accused me of being too lugubrious so I think I need to inject my sense of humor (believe it or not I can usually make people laugh) and more importantly bring up the positive side of contemporary events and situations–we tend to be a bit gloomy here.

    Happy New year to everyone and I look forward to Lambert’s “no more Mr. Nice Guy” personna on CT matters.

    1. James

      Someone accused me of being too lugubrious…

      I think I busted that one out on ya big guy. No offense. It was the heat of the moment and I’d probably had few too many.

      Which brings me to mine.

      1. Day by day, moment by moment, alcohol free for 2015 and beyond. Although I’m hesitant to make this one, as I’ve come to appreciate over the years that this is one habit that requires a relentless focus on the eternal NOW to kick and laughs at those foolish enough to make resolutions about their imagined future. The locus of control is always in the NOW, not in the remembered past or the imagined future. But it’s my only remaining vice and I’m tired of carrying that monkey around at my age.

      1. ambrit

        You have my full support on this one James. I have a ‘family history’ of self destruction that informs my strict control over my booze intake. One is my limit, no matter what it is. (On a related note, soft drinks are almost as destructive to me as the booze. Please don’t replace one with the other. Sugar has been more addictive than alcohol for me.)
        I once got to sit in on an appearance by the writer William Burroughs at Loyola in New Orleans. The question and answer period went on for an hour or more. (A standard class room with about a hundred people in it was the venue.) When the question, “What is your favourite drug?” came up, he looked around and replied, sotto voice, “Why, that should be easy. Alcohol of course. When you wake up the next morning, you know that you’ve done something very wrong.” The weary half smile that accompanied that utterance was as illuminating as the actual words he spoke.

        1. optimader

          Ambrit.. try carbonated water.. great stuff. I drink gallons of it, maybe like james, a few drops of citrus. I prefer it plain or In the evening I add wine. Great combination.

          1. ambrit

            Do you mean like the old seltzer in the glass ‘spritzerator?’
            Thanks, I’ll give it a try. Anything short of opiates to stop that sugar rollercoaster.

            1. optimader

              That’s the stuff..
              I use one of these
              ultimately it’s less expensive and I can purify my own water, which I happen to like. The devices CO2 bottles are exchangeable at you local evil bigbox for a nominal charge or you can refill yourself if you have access to CO2.
              My Italian friends got me hooked on this thing, the right combination of wine and water is great. Buona vita!

              1. participant-observer-observed

                I use the organic essential oils (typically lemon) in the carbonated water; i also think i got this habit from Italy and likewise it suits my Italian genes

        2. James

          Thanks Ambrit. No worries about the sugar, I’ve never had a problem with that. Always been a workout warrior too (1-2 hours daily), excessively so even. Not really sure how to explain the gradual reliance on alcohol (beer only). A habit I picked up in the military, which gradually became a problem. I think it mostly became gradually ingrained as a punishment (the exercise) /reward (the beer) thing over time, which is not unusual for athletes of all stripes. But destructive and counter productive nonetheless. And the Dr Jekyl/Mr Hyde reference is SO TRUE as well. Got so bad at times I honestly thought I might have a split personality. But like I say, it’s a day to day battle and that’s the key to success. Heard a quote on The Wire the other day that made a lot of sense (paraphrased): Quitting’s the easy part. Now comes the really hard part: the rest of your life.

    2. Mark Rothe

      Banger: I specifically look for your posts, and always read your comments with interest, so: make your posts more concise if you want, but keep ’em coming! Best for 2015! – MfromC

  4. upstater

    Stand-up desks are for gate agents, retail clerks, etc. My wife got talked into that one by a PT and it didn’t work. We work in front of screens with what seems to be a ball-and-chain. Both of us have found working out several times a week with a focus on core strength and less slouching help greatly.

    My New Year’s gardening resolutions are to better prune my fruit bearers, rejuvinate my current bushes and have a new bed prepared for my irises no later than June 30, so I can divide and multiply in July! And plant blight resistant tomatoes and spray the rest with bordeaux solution one a wek (2014 was a real disappointment here!)

    Happy New Year!

    1. MikeNY

      SK wrote at a standing desk, which you can still see at the museum in Copenhagen. To my mind, he and Nietzsche were the two supreme stylists of western philosophy.

    2. ambrit

      Definitely get the blueberry bushes! We had a row of them along the street front when we lived out in the boonies south of Bogalusa Louisiana. They will run and propagate babies you can dig out and replant for more as time goes on. Nothing tastes as good as fresh anything. (Except for Conspiracy Theories. They get better with time. An aged Illuminatus is a wondrous and tasty soul, as Uncle Screwtape would tell you.)
      Looking up the proper spelling for wondrous led me to this site:
      It looks to be a winner.
      Happy New Year to all.

      1. montanamaven

        keeper quote: (Except for Conspiracy Theories. They get better with time. An aged Illuminatus is a wondrous and tasty soul, as Uncle Screwtape would tell you.)

    3. Yves Smith

      Lambert used to draft standing, so he’s done it and likes it. Plus there is research that says the health outcome are much better working at a standing desk than the kind we are used to. The changeover is an inertia + time cost of getting the desk set up issue.

      1. ambrit

        Draft as in word smithing, or draft as in construction plans? My Dad did the latter, and had one of those little round adjustable barstool looking things with his home drafting table.

  5. Demeter

    I resolve to solve one problem a day…any size, shape, level.

    Anything after that is gravy. And with any luck, by the end of the year I’ll have 365 fewer problems….assuming Time and Circumstance don’t go behind me, undoing all the good and adding more impossible problems to the pile.

  6. JCC

    As a former Upstate New Yorker (the land of water and greenery) now living in the Mojave Desert on nearly an acre of dirt, first on my list is to try and grow things I can eat and/or give some shade without spending a fortune in water. There has got to be a way and I mean to find it. Goatheads and creosote bushes just don’t cut it. Maybe a modified hugelkultur is the answer.

    The second thing on my list is Lambert’s #6, but then again, it’s been the second thing on my list for a few years now… maybe this year…

    Third is to keep up my daily reading of NakedCap, Automatic Earth, Stockman’s ContraCorner, ZeroHedge, Mish, Fabius Maximus, Defense One, Golem XIV, one or two others, and, of course, Jesse’s Cafe. Maybe I’ll get lucky in putting these together in a way that makes sense for me and somehow manage to preserve some of the meager assets I’ve managed to accumulate over the last 40 years. Then again… maybe not.

    1. jgordon

      Investigate “swales” and sheet mulching, and look for the “Greening the desert Part 2” video on youtube. Hugelkultur is a good complement to swales. The key is, if you get one inch of rain per year, you need to know how design and implement a productive ecosystem that can capture and use that one inch throughout the year.

    2. Nobody (the outcast)

      Some unsolicited advice for you …

      I suggest you check out for some inspiration. (Lots of good short videos.) You must surrender your email address to view them. “An Oasis In the American Desert” is about swales put in during the depression in the Sonoran and “High Cold Dry and Windy” is about Neil Bertrando’s place outside Reno. Consider taking a Permaculture Design Course (PDC) taught by a good teacher. I imagine Neil Bertando would be a good person to learn from. (Also, if they teach anything metaphysical or any other unproven/unprovable(?) gobbledygook, they aren’t teaching permaculture.)

      I don’t get hugelkultur in your situation, where are you going to get the wood? And don’t underestimate the power of dew. Block the wind and cover the soil to keep that moisture around. If you border a road that you can divert rainfall runoff from, all the better. Learn all you can about your local climate, flora and fauna. It provides a good framework for you to work with.

  7. diptherio

    Well, The New Year came and I still haven’t got my resolutions nailed down…guess I’ll just have to improvise:

    1. Start coming up with some really swell New Year’s resolutions for 2016
    2. Stop procrastinating so much

  8. Jim Haygood

    ‘To stop throwing my bills into a big pile on the kitchen table, and then waiting for the shut-off notices to pay them.’

    No! Those shut-off notices are little tax shelters. They are all you need to be exempted from paying Obamacare fines penalties taxes whatever they are.

    Dude … share the shut-off notices!

    1. ambrit

      I’m in a no Medicaid expansion state. I’m working on my exemption now!
      Phyllis gets Medicare, but her income still gets counted towards my income. Marriage penalty anyone?

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      That comment deserves a gold star! (And it even has has the merit of being true; last winter was such a disaster from the fuel standpoint I was juggling shut off notices ’til the following fall!)

      1. Clive

        Being a bit of a HVAC nut dude, I can’t help myself but to ask… So I hope you’ll forgive if I’m being intrusive… Is the root cause of your problem:

        1) an inefficient boiler or furnace ?
        2) a poor building envelope (e.g. insulation, windows and so on) ?
        3) a costly fuel source (e.g. LPG, oil, or resistance heat such as baseboard heaters) ?
        4) a lot of space to have to heat ?
        … Or just a tangled combination of some or all of those factors ?

        (There’s very little which makes me really cross, but fuel poverty is one of those things, it genuinely is somthing which impacts quality of life and it also is completely unnecessary in “advanced” societies)

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          All of the above! Maine is full of very large old houses, and we are also the state that is most dependent on heating oil for fuel. To give you an idea, the thermostat was originally placed by the front door, so that when you opened the door, the furnace would go on! This when oil was ten cents a gallon….

          So, #4 is a given, #2 has been mostly addressed, as of this year, after several years of work (since insulation provides the biggest bang for the buck), and #1 and #3 will be addressed (if all goes well) by next heating season. (Adding, I heat with steam, and replacing the pipes and radiators is not on. I’m willing to put up with a little less efficiency because I like the ruggedness and simplicity of steam heat, and also the quality of the heat.)

          1. Clive

            For my money, that’s spot on (doing the right things in the right order). Agree too about not replacing the radiators / pipes — it is at the “diminishing returns” end of the spectrum and not worth the disruption. And radiant heat is the best option for hard-to-heat buildings.

            (anyone one else reading this, if the same applies to them, please do follow this same basic approach; there are far too many scams where energy efficiency retrofits are concerned — research the subject in depth and beware of generic solutions before parting with your hard-earned cash)

            1. Lambert Strether Post author

              I was actually lucky I started late. In the first few years of energy retrofitting, the vendors really didn’t know what they were doing, and now the technology is greatly improved.

  9. Faye Carr

    2015 Resolution: stealing a line from Ilargi above “..but that’s what happens when economies and empires fail: people must manage to take care of themselves in smaller units…”

    I resolve to do more outreach, inclusion, support, and connecting of existing groups and individuals in my small community to prepare for (rather than opposition) the empire’s failure.

  10. annie

    as a beekeeper, glad you turn more to honey. if our hives were not in italy i would send some. but you’re welcome to come get some, and there’s an orto there to tend. put you up, too.

    1. Jill


      Your’s is just the opposite of mine. Your resolution is bound to bring you bad karma and cause all kinds of disaster in your next life.

      1. There are not enough sycophants willing to speak out for the ruling class in this country. I want to become even better at extolling their virtues than paid commentators at the major newz sources.
      2. I will tape that 100 dollar bill to my ceiling!
      3. I will not challenge my chiropractor when he says the art museum needs to be more careful of homeless people coming in and stealing the paintings.
      4. I will agree with my doctor that God fixed his fax machine.
      5. I will not steal the license plate off the Mercedes SUV that said: “God Blessed” because; “oh lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz?”
      6. I will not laugh hysterically when two vegetarians agree that fish sauce is really a vegetarian ingredient because the Thai’s use it! (My friends said this and I did maintain good composure at the time. They are young and sweet and really smart, but something just crossed in the synapses on that one!)

  11. neo-realist

    –More Cardio
    –Renew passport
    –Cook and eat more prepared meals as opposed to frozen dinners
    –Read more books
    –More cleaning and disposal and less hoarding of unneeded and past their possible date of necessary use documents–bills, statements, receipts, etc.
    –Getting out of a job situation that drains my energies, which might be a bit of a challenge since I’m a little above the 25-54 bracket.

    1. jrs

      Yea the job situation .. but I’ve already been trying for a long time, it’s a long hard slog, sending out resumes, going to bad job interviews etc.. I’m in the age bracket where I’m still hireable for a better job though. Oh and the economy is wonderful! /s

  12. abynormal

    “The place to improve the world is first in one’s own heart and head and hands, and then work outward from there.” Pirsig
    i posted this quote months ago and i think about it often. many ideas are surfacing and here’s a few:
    im not into changing the world but my world changes with my perspective. id like to exercise less judgement on myself and others…recognize life Is fair; its hard on everyone.
    operate from dignity. relax the need to control others and outcomes.
    learn tai chi and share it at community ctrs, retirement homes or wherever a need appears.
    write a reggae song about Lambert (hehehehee why not)

    i thank All of you for growing my world. Thank You Yves for blasting the high road…NakedCapitalism!

    1. craazyman

      this is a good one to study!

      you gotta chase those crazy bumheads out of town
      I and I build a cabin, i and i plant the corn
      didn’t me people before me
      slave for this country
      now you look me with that scorn
      and you eat up all my corn
      we gonna chase thos crazy baldheads out of town.

      -The Master himself, B. Marley, Chase those Crazy Baldheads out of Town

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        The baldheads and the baldhead wannabes, like Rick Scott and Corey Booker. Though I must confess this is my all time favorite, for the music, the lyrics, the hopefulness:

  13. blucollarAl

    Ah, the annual ritual of “New Years resolutions”.
    T.S. Eliot said it better than I, or perhaps anyone else, did, can or could:

    “And what we call the beginning is often the end
    And to make an end is to make a beginning
    The end is where we start from….

    We shall not cease from exploration
    And the end of all our exploring
    Will be to arrive where we started
    And to know the place for the first time.
    Through the unknown remembered gate
    When the last of earth left to discover
    Is that which was the beginning….”
    (“Four Quartets; Little Gidding”)

    By the way, I really like and respect NC and those who take the time to contribute their reflections on matters human and (occasionally) divine. Thanks for a nice year.

      1. blucollarAl

        Thanks for the comment and the link. I’d almost forgotten that little gem by Don McLean. I guess I first heard him at Newport a long time ago singing “Castles in the Air” (pre-‘American Pie’ days). “I’m city born but I love the country life” sort of struck me where I was at the time, although I never did move out of or at least very far from “the city”.

        I’ve always been deeply ambiguous about celebrating the turn of a calendar page and the mostly insipid reflections about the past year and the intentions for the new one that almost always accompanies the event.

  14. craazyman

    1. Procrastinate more

    but I’ll put that off for now, just to get off to a good start, so that means I can get down my only other one right away;

    2. Get a 10-bagger and work on getting going with resolution #1, as soon as possible.

    That’s discipline.

    that’s about it!

    1. jrs

      I think there’s no point in new years resolutions unless they at least spark some hope for joy in one, some excitement for a new year with new good potentials.

      One may need to do a lot of things that aren’t joyous of course, but I don’t bother making brutal miserable resolutions. They are just part of the days if they need to be, chop wood and carry water.

  15. participant-observer-observed

    * Maintain more consistent awareness of the diverse and dynamic realms of reality and ways of being not inhabited or dominated by fascist swindlers (who have always been around over millenia making trouble)

    * Keep trying to meditate on compassion for fascist swindlers & their enablers
    (they can’t help themselves for their pathological sickness; non-virtue is always easier than virtue so why be so surprised and dissappointed in human race?)

    * Look at 5+ (20 is clinical health) positive news stories for every 1 about our hell realm devils

    * Eat and buy pure and healthy, sustainable foods only (mountain rock won’t grow garden here)

    * Use twitter more to put pressure on journos to connect dots between Wall St/corporate $$ x environmental degradation x racism x criminal (in)justice x depravity of political (non) leadership

    * Complete all phd qualifying exams and dissertation proposal defense and begin fieldwork!

    1. neo-realist

      * Use twitter more to put pressure on journos to connect dots between Wall St/corporate $$ x environmental degradation x racism x criminal (in)justice x depravity of political (non) leadership

      I’ve been considering a twitter account to make my voice known on that front as well as the arts, but I worry about going through troll hell and receiving contact from exs and people from the past who want to pester me, re-friend me when I’d prefer not to.

  16. ewmayer

    For myself, I find the longer the laundry list of resolutions, the less likely the odds of success at any of them, much less all.

    So for the past few years I’ve made the same, simple NYR: “Don’t be a dick.” [That is the American-vernacular version of the word, as in jerk, cad, a-hole] ‘Tis a daily struggle, but by keeping that one-and-only-resolution ever in mind, I seem to be succeeding more days than I fail at it.

    Happy New Year to my fellow NCers, and best of luck with your own resolutions.

    1. montanamaven

      Similar to your resolution might be Ian Welsh’s “default to kindness”. And a therapist gave me the concept of PACE:
      So I slowly but surely have moved from being a pointy headed know-it-all (annoying) tribal Democrat/liberal to a more playful, quizzical, anarchist who now confounds all my tribalist neighbors.

  17. PQS

    Some excellent thoughts here….and yes, Lambert, get some blueberries. But you’ll need half dozen bushes at least, I would say, and some bird protection. A dozen would be better, but start small. Raspberries, I’ve found, are also fantastic, not ferociously prickly, and spread all over. If you get warm summers, that is. As for mulch, I’ve gone to the horrible black plastic for my overwintering where I don’t have enough leaves. I learned my lesson last year, though – don’t put it on the wooden frames of the raised beds, lest the ants find a wonderful, chewy home for themselves……the snakes I’m totally OK with wintering underneath.

    Mine are as follows:
    1. Improve the work situation with a job closer to home. This will also improve the home situation, relationship situation, fitness situation. (Although, as noted above, this is a long project. I’ve been engaged with it for some years now… least here and now the work prospects are getting better, for which I thank our lucky stars.)

    2. Finish Moby Dick and start another classic (recommendations, anyone? Jane Austen? Dickens? I just haven’t read a lot of that sort of thing..or maybe go more modern?)

    3. Have the courage to speak out more and provide the information I believe is key to making the kinds of changes we need to make.

    I won’t even go into the garden list, but I do feel I’m going to have to hire some help next spring for a big cleanup/haul off. And I want to do something more permanent on the paths.

    1. McKillop

      You might enjoy the reading of _ the orenda_by Joseph Boyden. He also wrote _through black spruce_ and _three day road_.
      None is old enough to be a classic, but Boyden is a living writer and his subject matter is Wyandot, and Cree people (_the orenda_ dealing with first contact, _through black spruce_with contemporary conflict.
      Could be that you’ll have read classics and also helped in their making!

    2. ambrit

      I’m old enough to have been involved in the Great Books reading program in grade school.
      The Wiki is all right as far as it goes. The list of works at the end of the article is ordered by author, so a slow perusal of the entire list is useful.
      If you liked Moby Dick, do look up Melvilles’ “Typee”, it being a semi autobiographical account of life among the pre Westernized Polynesians. Another worthwhile Melville tome would be “The Confidance-Man,” a greatly underappreciated work. (Moby Dick itself bears re-reading.)
      As for more modern “classics,” you could look to various so called science fiction authors. Frank Herberts “Dune” is a perennial. Phillip K Dick stands out, as well as J. G. Ballard, Clarke, Asimov, and later writers like Gibson and Stephenson. Just because a book is ‘thought provoking’ doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be readable. Have fun!

    3. Yves Smith

      Here are some that are great and not on everyone’s list:

      Margarite Yourcenar Memoirs of Hadrian

      Graham Greene End of the Affair

      Ursula LeGuin The Dispossessed. Beautifully spare writing.

      Somerset Maughm The Razor’s Edge

    4. savedbyirony

      Recommended because you are reading and enjoying “Moby Dick”: Proust’s “Remembrance of Things Past”,
      the Scott Moncrieff/Terence Kilmartin translation. Read the first 25-50 pages of “Swans Way”; if you enjoy those you will probably discover a book you will love for life. If you don’t, then just put it aside, but it’s worth a look see.

    5. PQS

      Thank you all for your suggestions – such thoughtfulness! I will conduct some tryouts and report back.

      1. savedbyirony

        I love most of the “classics” and have read many multiple times. I’ve been thinking because you are reading this site you might also consider Cervantes’ “Don Quixote”. The Walter Starkie translation is a personal favorite but this book has numerous translations available and comparing a few might find one which would suite your personal language and stylistic tastes more. It’s a seminal work in literature; funny, poignant, wise and so humane.

    6. Lambert Strether Post author

      Actually, my goal is to attract birds. So if I have some blueberries as ground cover, and then maybe some bayberry bushes backing the up along with the lilacs, I should do that (especially if I have a water feature elsewhere in the garden). I’ve heard that “birds love a mess,” so with the bushes and tossing fallen branches and mulchy stuff around the bushes, I figure I should be able to achieve that.

      1. ambrit

        “…blueberries as groundcover…”
        I’m assuming you have seen a row of fully grown blueberry bushes. They will accomplish all that for you by themselves. Do look into their cold hardiness as to siting. Get several varieties so you can extend the fruiting season. Be prepared to fight the tweeties for the ripe berries.

      2. PQS

        Ahhh – the birds will find the berries for sure. Does huckleberry grow in your area? It is bushy, very hardy around here, and gets lots of little berries that birds love. Plus it is usually sold as a “landscape” plant so it fairly inexpensive.

  18. cwaltz

    Same resolution as last year: I’ll do the best I can do and if it falls short I promise not to beat myself up over it. :)

  19. savedbyirony

    Lily Tomlin was recently honored by the Kennedy Center and there’s this quote from her “Search For the Signs of Intelligent Life In the Universe” that applies: “I said, ‘somebody should do something about that’, and then I remembered I’m somebody”. 2015 the year of somebody

  20. John Ware

    Stayed with you all last year, for once L. Between you and Corrente, had a great time.

    Comments: Stay away from milk – the casein enzyme is deadly to most people (over time) who weren’t reared on farm milk. The average person who drinks milk as a kid then moves on to scotch (hands?) loses the ability to digest casein as early as age 30. Not an absolute, but pretty close to being universally accepted (save for the milk lobby) as not being so great for your gut. ‘Nuf said on that.

    I come from a fairly strong gardening family – related to the Burpees a way’s back. Anyhow, a while back I got into grafting and pruning a lot and came up with all kinds of things that taste good and grow where they’re not supposed to, etc. One of the things my folks taught me back in the ’50’s was to experiment with soils, fertilizers, food and nutrients. Go ahead and kill a few things – it’s ok. Think of it as being a gardening entrepreneur.

    Finally, this last year, I found a lot of indie blogs by people who seemed to know what the f*** they were talking about. I travel around the world for a living, so it gave me a perspective not too many have, esp. with nascient biases, prejudices and the like. Would love to feed them to you, but don’t always have time to comment. Do you have a better way of feeding info (as you intimated in your post above)?

    Thanks for 2014 and keep up the good work. We need more good s*** from people like you.

Comments are closed.