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February 27, 2021

Updated: Apr 1, 2021

The end of February always seems to shine a light on a host of emerging questions. Some are fairly generic. Will the NYC winter cold weather ever end? What is one to do on Sunday afternoons after the football season is over? When will the proper time and inspiration arrive for us to finally roll up our sleeves and get to work on our taxes?


Other questions for me, of course, can be far more personal in nature. Should fiction-writing become a priority after a few years away? When will my current challenge of recording 32 new songs be completed? Do I have the physical and mental energy to embark on yet another restaurant-industry pilgrimage to Martha’s Vineyard in a couple of months?


And there are certainly vast ranges of questions to ponder that weren’t faced this exact time last year…


When will this tragic, worldwide ordeal with Covid-19 be over? What will the new normal look like? Will our former train-wreck of a president regain some kind of prominence? Or will the justice departments in Georgia and New York have something to say about what kind of gated community he’ll be nesting in these next few years?

Will our new President’s integrity and sincerity be appreciated for the positive change we as a nation so desperately need? Will Republicans continue to flail away spinelessly before our very eyes? And can I truly find the discipline to stop watching so much damned news on TV?


Thank God Tiger Woods survived last week’s horrific car accident; will he be able to recover enough to lead a healthy life - and maybe even play golf again? Can the Los Angeles Lakers (and LeBron!) repeat? Will my grudging acceptance of Tom Brady’s greatness find a way to deflate as the year goes by?


Can the expensive repair work my piano once again seems to be in need of be held off until all this new recording has been finished? Will I remove the tenor saxophone from its case before the process is over - and if so, will the experience leave me happy or mortified?


And will I finally acknowledge the challenge before me of needing to free website-genius Kyle from his commitment and figure out how to operate michaelaba.com on my own? The website, as many of you know, has been down since before Christmas, and while I’m having a hard time accepting the concept of allowing so much hard work and content to vanish in a flash, there’s a chance I may have no other choice. The idea of attempting to learn in-depth computer language on my own fills me with a sense of debilitating exhaustion. I’d so much rather compose a new short story about some guy (similar in temperament and height to myself) diving head-first into this new and rugged terrain on my behalf. With fiction, I can always rely on magic to bring about the results I’m searching for. In real life, I’m not even sure what step one might be.


I suppose more about this may be written in a future blog (or short story) someday…


Well, interestingly enough, in what seemed like an unrelated detour at the moment, I actually abandoned this blog for a few minutes because the 1957 movie “12 Angry Men” happened to be showing on Turner Classics. I found myself getting caught up in the well-written dialogue and excellent screen performances, but ended up mildly perplexed by the ending, perhaps because I’d missed the initial half hour or so.


So another new question arose.

“Why did the last hold-out juror finally change his plea to ‘Not Guilty’?”


Though it felt a bit silly to do so, I took a quick moment to google this question. To my surprise, the answer was immediate and complete.

(I don’t know how many of you have yet to see this movie, so - spoiler alert!)


A photo of the juror’s son dropped out of his wallet, which unleashed pent-up emotions, forcing him to suddenly view the defendant with more compassion. As suspected, the foreshadowing of this plot twist occurred earlier on. There was no way I would have been able to gather up this answer without taking a brief moment to actually type out the question.


So perhaps the timing of my little detour offers a glimpse of hope as this February blog concludes. There is always a chance the majority of these randomly selected questions will end up having easy and satisfying answers.


Which inspires yet another open-ended bit of musing…


Maybe 2021 will become an important and pleasingly-progressive water-shed year, both personally and nationally, after all?

Tune in - answers await!

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