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December 31, 2020

Updated: Apr 1, 2021

2020 came close to ending without the December blog from michaelaba.com.


There are reasons for this. For one, we’ve been offline for three weeks now. I’m not sure what the timetable for our return is - or even if there is one - but there doesn’t seem to be much reason in jotting down a few thoughts for a space that is no longer there. Then again, I’m sure there have been many other times my well-considered words have only been seen by my eyes. In fact, I’ve mused about this likelihood on my third-ever entry (back in August 24th - of 2016!):


It’s funny - one of the stories in the “Artists and Janitors” collection is called “Radio Thoughts”, and it’s about a guy who hosts a radio show that doesn’t happen to be on the radio. For some reason, though, he still gets callers, and he utilizes the “dead air time” between guests by engaging in random, free-form thinking. Well, I have this feeling I’m making this story come true in real life, as for all I know I’m writing blog posts to people who aren’t there to read them.


I’ve never felt more similar to that character than right now. But that story - one of my favorites - defied logic in many positive ways. Good things sometimes happen for no apparent reason. Logic itself is often besides the point.


Which leads to perhaps the most succinct explanation for almost missing this month’s deadline. How does one adequately place a bow on the end of a year as crazy as this one?


Well, maybe the following exercise has me stumbling upon the value of writing these monthly greetings to begin with…


Even if only for my own benefit, occasionally glancing through a few old blogs can be interesting. My thoughts from this time last Christmas, presented below, now seem youthfully naïve and innocent, considering what the coming year was about to unleash. I’ll jot down the quick answers to my questions!

  • Will we have elected a new President by this time next year? Thankfully - yes!!!

  • Will Gerrit Cole be worth the money my NY Yankees have shelled out? I’m cautiously optimistic, but the jury is still out…

  • Will I write songs or return to fiction in the coming months? I’m currently in the midst of recording the 30 or so new songs that weren’t here this time last year!

  • Please don’t let me find out the Patriots are destined for back-to-back Super Bowl trophies… Well, thank you, Kansas City Chiefs!

  • Will my new one-day-a-week bartending job be a positive experience? It certainly was - although Radio Amsterdam, alas, became a casualty of 2020.

  • Was that mouse running behind the couch on my return to NYC a figment of my imagination or have I found myself a new roommate for 2020? He made a surprise reappearance, but only once, scurrying around my hallway, which is, come to think of it, right next to that same couch…

  • Can Larry David maintain his brilliance for the upcoming tenth season of “Curb Your Enthusiasm”? A resounding YES!

  • Will he remember meeting me this past summer on Martha’s Vineyard? Never had the opportunity to ask. I could ask the same of Bill & Hillary, Mayor Pete, Bill Murray, James Taylor’s brothers and sister, Meg Ryan, Ted Danson & Mary Steenburgen, among others… I ended up having a six-week mini-season on the Vineyard in the early fall - and ran into absolutely no one.

  • Will my brand new Tivo ever work correctly? Well, it does seem to enjoy being paired with my brand new TV…

  • Will there ever be another Saturday Night Live episode as good as last night’s return of Eddie Murphy? The Dave Chappelle episode was pretty damn great!

  • Am I going to find time to finally read all those books and magazines hidden away in the recesses of my studio apartment? Well, time was certainly in abundance since mid-March, and yes - occasionally I was able to exercise those reading muscles.

  • Will I dare to make an audio recording of one or two of my short stories? This did NOT happen - but how was I to know I’d end up with so many songs?

  • How about singing in public - am I finally ready to inflict a little bit more pain into the lives of my neighbors? So far, only accidentally…

  • Might be time to pick up those two saxophones that haven’t been touched in far too long as well… OK, I guess time wasn’t quite SO abundant…

Now my only question I’m hoping to answer this time next year is whether or not the world was able to make a return to semi-normalcy after the once-in-a-century madness of 2020. As I type these words (for myself, most likely) there are some extremely positive signs. There are several vaccines on the horizon. The United States has a new President taking office less than a month from now. (Thank you, thank you - THANK YOU!!!) And long overdue reunions, celebrations and adventures appear imminent. Though we are currently in the deepest depths of the wrath Covid-19 has so far inflicted, there are valid reasons to feel hopefully optimistic.


And who knows - michaelaba.com may find its way back online at some point. Either way, I’ll likely be writing another monthly blog a few weeks from now. The main character in “Radio Thoughts” (another oddball version of me) would probably stubbornly insist.


Happy New Year to all of you! 2021 - I like the sound of it!!

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