(Insert Adjective) New Year.

Mr. Bacon with Champagne.I stayed in on New Year’s Eve.

Earlier that day, I braved the outside world for a little while, looking both ways as I crossed each street en route to the supermarket, where there were crowds of people performing last-minute raids on pre-picked crabmeat, overpriced avocados, and underwhelming brands of sparkling wine.

With near-surgical precision, I scored some tangerines, a split decent champagne, cheese, crackers, and chocolate; sped through the checkout line; and was home again in twenty minutes, taking care not to trip on any uneven pavement or have my eyes ripped out by errant bits of chain link fence.

After returning home and stowing my purchases, I moved into the bathroom where I liberated myself from my clothing and carefully stepped into the shower, making certain to neither slip in the bath nor scald myself to death with unnecessarily hot water. Upon finishing my ablutions, I dried myself thoroughly and moved into the bedroom where, after ascertaining that I was not standing upon any wet spots or unexpected live wires, I turned on my computer to play a little Blossom Dearie.

When I had carefully stepped into my pants without falling over and braining myself on the corner of my heavy oak teacher’s desk and pulled on a t-shirt without a hint of self-strangulation, I moved into the kitchen, where I washed my dirty dishes and put away every sharp object within view. I pulled out a clean champagne coupe from the cupboard and placed it in the refrigerator next to the little bottle of champagne, gently so as not to shatter it and accidentally sever an artery.

With everything ready for the evening, I settled myself down on the couch to watch a Pre-Code Barbara Stanwyck film, wait for midnight, and do my damnedest not to die before the clock on my iPhone struck twelve.

Everyone, it seemed, was doing just that in 2016 and I loathe being on-trend. I cocooned myself for the last few hours of the year, sipping champagne, nibbling on fruit and chocolate, swooning over Ms. Stanwyck, and letting everyone on Facebook know that, as the minutes ticked away, I was still alive.

Midnight and the New Year tiptoed into my life this year, but I made it into 2017 alive, and was therefore relieved.

And then the next day, a friend commented that the people only got hysterical over the celebrity corpses of last year and I felt foolish, not being a famous person. But at least I still had a pulse.

And, if you are reading this, it means you are, too, dear reader. Congratulations.

Typically, I’d wish everyone a Happy New Year and be done with it, but my hopes aren’t all that high for 2017. There will be good times, I’m sure, but there will be some really terrible times ahead as well. After the lessons of 2016, I simply think it’s best to be prepared.

But there is one thing I am determined to do this year that I avoided in the last, which is take some actual risks. And to make my own happiness where and when I can. So that’s two things I’m determined to do.

I spent  a good part of last year being frightened and depressed. This year, I plan on being braver and, hopefully, a little less depressed. For a time, I wondered whether there was any point at all to writing this blog when all signs point to the world ending, but I’ve got my head on straighter now. This blog will stay because writing it helps me make sense of the crazy; it helps me stay sane.

And if it helps you at all as well, that makes me happy, which is an excellent way to start a New Year, don’t you think? So feel free to use that as the adjective to your early January salutations, if you like.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some new posts to formulate and a whole freaking book to write.




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About Michael Procopio

I write about food and am very fond of Edward Gorey. And gin.
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24 Responses to (Insert Adjective) New Year.

  1. MaggieToo says:

    Book?? What is this book thing?

    Did I miss a post somewhere?

    And (Brave) New Year to you, Michael. Er, no — that sounds a bit too much like Brave New World.

  2. Tina says:

    May the days of 2017 have hope and joy and love for you Michael, Cheers!!

  3. anne taylor says:

    To quote Stephen Sondheim, “Good times, bum times, I’ve seen them all, And, my dear, I’m still here.” Here’s to you, Michael. Keep on, keeping on.

  4. Thea says:

    Your blog helps, never doubt. Looking forward to further posts, and the book. Yay, and thanks, brave Michael Procopio.

  5. diane leach says:

    Write a book, please. It will give us something to look forward to in the coming months. As we consider jumping off the nearest bridge (s), we’ll remember you, slaving away at that teacher’s desk and think “How can I possibly jump? I’d miss the chance to read a entire BOOK of Michael rather than having to wait for blog posts!” And we’ll keep on…despite the horror of the incoming “administration” and lord only knows what else. This may be warped encouragement, but it IS encouragement. Write, dammit!

    • Well, it won’t be in the coming *months*. The proposal should be done in the coming months!

      But I will keep on keeping on, plugging away at the writing thing. I appreciate all the encouragement I can get!

  6. Andrew says:

    ….and a very new year to you, too!

  7. Andrea says:

    Hang in there, kitty!

  8. Trevor says:

    I always at my happiest whenever I see the word “ablusion” in print. It was on my SAT test and so I give it credit for getting me into college. See? Its the little things. The only way I stay happy is to see happiness in little things. There are plenty when you look for them.

    • I am currently finding happiness in my little coffee. Another cause for joy is that I can use the term “easement” in my next post.

      As always, it’s a pleasure to know you’re reading me.

  9. Jenny says:

    I’ve missed you Michael. I’m trying really hard to find joy in the little things. Matching socks, new music, avoiding the news mostly but I’m so glad you’re here. xo
    Jenny in pdx

  10. Jan Morrison says:

    Oh frig! Do we have to be brave for four years? I’m having a hip replacement this year, and I tell you I’m looking more forward to that than reading the New York Times these days. Really! I’m planning on asking the anesthesiologist to put me on ice for the rest of the carbuncle’s term and I live in northern Canada. Thanks for being real. To quote Dorothy Parker “What fresh hell is this?”

  11. Pattricia s says:

    Thank you for writing and sharing. Ive been reading quite a few blogs lately, yours has been not only informational but quite funny and very intriguing . I swear if I read another chardonnay fueled rant about mommy this ‘n that I’ll die. So thank you for saving a life. I look forward to reading more.

    • Good heavens am I behind on replying to comments! Apologies– I took a break from my blog for a couple of months where I didn’t so much as even look at it.

      Thank you so much for the kind words. I hope there will be much more for you to read here in the future!



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