November 28, 2021
While it’s tempting to use the remainder of this Thanksgiving Weekend to reflect on where we stand as a country versus where we were this time last year, I’d already traveled this road on my previous blog. And I’m likely to make some reference to our flirtation with utter disaster when the end-of-year entry comes out one month from today. So instead, let’s give myself the freedom to dream up a few random and general reflections in areas outside of the political realm.
If this is even possible anymore…
Well, first of all - I trust many of you out there join me in being devoted, life-long fans of the Beatles. The movie “Let it Be” came out over 50 (!!) years ago, but suddenly we’ve all been given the chance to view these YOUNG MEN in action in a way we’ve never been allowed to before. These last three nights I sat transfixed while watching Peter Jackson’s lovingly restored and reimagined documentary “Get Back”, accompanied by my brother for the first two episodes and BOTH brothers for yesterday’s grand finale. We’ve been waiting on this for a long time, and damn - I can’t think of a better example of an event shattering expectations in such a beautiful and uplifting way. This was truly great. There are a lot of people in the world smiling today.
Fifth Avenue in New York City is already in full Christmas mode, which is a fun sight to behold. And Vermont was blanketed with its first snowfall of the season on my unexpected trip back (first in two years!), which is beautiful as well. I’ll probably be spending a bit of my remaining time searching for blue-sky rainbows or nighttime falling stars; there seems to be a fair amount of magic in the air.
Or maybe I’ll be content with an afternoon of Sunday football. (Reminder to self: don’t allow a potentially horrendous end to this year’s fantasy football season overtake the good vibes of today…)
While I’d been unaware another season of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” was on the horizon, these first few episodes have been as good as ever. “Saturday Night Live” has been on an upswing as well, in my humble opinion. The sudden rise in the reputation of Norm MacDonald is richly deserved, it seems to me, although obviously occurring a bit too late. And that Ken Burns documentary on Muhammad Ali was absolutely incredible; if you haven’t yet seen the four episodes, please do so!
It was nice to be presented with a short video of Tiger Woods taking a golf swing once again. I believe the whole world is rooting for his healthy return to the game.
Why do I take solace in things that have nothing to do with me? I’m not sure; I might have to write a fictional story about this phenomenon someday…
Dave Chapelle is the best in the business, people might as well simply accept this fact. I’m still hoping LeBron James can find a way to get this year’s Lakers team into Championship form. Watching the recent World Series was so much fun, after having basically taken a sabbatical from this form of entertainment for well over a year; it was nice to be reminded of what makes baseball so great. (Hard to even remember that I used to play…)
And RIP Steven Sondheim. I’ve never been an overly-enthusiastic fan of Broadway musicals, but the song “Send in the Clowns” has always been one of my favorites.
My broken piano has forced a delay in the recording of my last batch of songs, but on the positive side - it’s been nice to have some free time. I’ve actually had a few short story ideas lately, which leaves me wondering if 2022 will inspire a return to fiction-writing. Though the actual sales of “These Stories Are True” have not been robust, I’ve been gratified by the reviews. And I’m still amazed we were able to get this new version of michaelaba.com up and running. Thanks once again to Tom, Jeff, Tricia, Aliyah - and everyone else. My monthly emails remain the most popular feature, judging by the responses they provoke. But, hey - one of these days people will pay more attention to the songs and stories!
OK - football is happening soon, which is making me smile. I’ll be back in New York City in two days and hopefully this Vermont happiness will travel with me; there are plenty of reasons to feel grateful. Happy Holidays, everyone - wishing you all a festive month ahead!