Thursday, January 2, 2014

My Year in Review: Part 2 - Events of Some Significance

I fully intended to keep a journal this past year, the kind that would be uncovered years from now and elicit comments like “Wow, I didn’t know he was that interesting,” and “Who would’ve guessed he accomplished all that.” I would review it at year’s end, which is now, and tell you the highlights and events of significance of my year. It didn’t happen. Lack of discipline.

But I do feel the need for a “wrapping up,” so I’ll go to my Office Max Weekly/Monthly Calendar for some items.

I got a haircut on Jan. 3, at 10:00 am. Which got me the senior discount.

On the 10th I picked up a book at the Kirkwood Public Library. Don’t know
which one. Don’t know if I read it. But I know I picked it up.

On the last 3 Tuesdays of the month I played tennis at Creve Coeur Racquet
  Club. I'm pretty sure I won.      

On the 25th my wife and I went to a big party at a country club given by
Raye for her husband Barry’s birthday. I think it was his 80th. Maybe not.

On Sunday, the 3rd, watched the Super Bowl. The Ravens beat the 49ers
34-31. I had to Google to get that info.

Saturday the 9th went to The Sheldon to see Paula Poundstone. I thought
it started at 8. We got there at 7:45. It had started at 7:30. She made fun
of us when we sat down. 

Friday the 15th, shot some video of Harry Weber doing his sculpture thing
at a big warehouse in Wentzville. He was making a very large bull and bear.

Wednesday the 20th, got a haircut at 10:40. I was too late for the senior 

On the 8th saw Richard Ford at the St. Louis County Library.
Once upon a time I wanted to be a writer like him but slipped
into the world of advertising. Wrote some good 30-second spots,

Saturday the 16th, gave a workshop on playwriting at UMSL.
Maybe I’ll write a play about that workshop. Nope, boring. 

Former Anheuser-Busch marketing guru Mike Roarty was on view
at Bopp Funeral Home. I intended to go but didn’t. 

Big lunch at Dominic’s in Clayton on Monday the 25th, with friends from
high school, wives, and rich friends from Aspen. We split the check.

Our roof was leaking. Called Jerry the Roofer on the 3rd. Moral: Never 
buy a house with a flat roof. 

Did a video interview on the 6th for a legacy
  project, with Adele, who is 101 years old. I
  should be so sharp even when I’m 90. Or 85.
  Her first husband was Dave Garroway.

Senior Softball started on Wednesday the
  10th. Temperature was 52 degrees. Too cold
  for softball. I slept in.

Big day on the 16th. Charlie Chaplin’s
  birthday. I organized a party at a restaurant 
  in Kirkwood for lunch. 22 fans showed up. 
  We did Charlie proud.

The Gardner Blues Band rehearsed on the 24th 
  at Mike’s house. It’s for the Gardner Advertising Reunion 
  in May. We need a lot of rehearsing.

May 1 (Labor Day in Mexico), very busy. Haircut at 8:20 (w/discount),
Softball at 9, lunch with another writer at 12:30. Nap at 3.

On the 15th I stained our deck. Took 2 Advil that night.

Black Day on the 16th. Mary Lee broke her femur. I didn’t even
know she had one. Went into surgery the following night. Bad
timing, because...

Two days later was the Gardner Advertising Reunion. Lots of wonderful
people there, still telling the same ad stories. Glad I’m not in that
game anymore. But the Blues Band sounded good... and too loud.

Special Date: The 29th. Our anniversary. 48 years. Egads. My wife
is still beautiful. I’m still standing. Went to dinner at Trattoria Marcella,
one of our favorites.

Softball continued throughout the month. I can still round the bases
in under 3 minutes.

Monday Martini group met at Dressel’s on the 10th for our monthly
gathering. Beautiful spring day, sat outside, bourbon neat and lots of laughs
  with good friends. Bourbon makes everyone funnier.

Oil change on my Insight on the 14th.

Went to the Opera on the 19th, believe it or not. Don’t like opera. But
  was the premiere performances of St. Louis Opera Co. production of
“Champion,” story of Emile Griffith. Jazz-oriented score. Good show.

Long 4th of July weekend in Chicago with our son Gregg. Great time.
Fireworks, picnics, music, and a parking ticket on July 4th. 

Sadie’s birthday on the 18th. Bought her a MacDonald’s quarter
pounder (no onions or pickles). She’s 42 in human years, 6 years
in Golden Retriever years.

Picked up a book at St. Louis County Library on the 24th. No idea
what it was or if I read it. So much for borrowed literature.

Saturday night dinner party at the home of one of our Monday Martini
gang. Delightful evening, snacks on deck overlooking golf course, full-blown
  dinner around their dining room table. 

Osage County. (Just kidding... a movie reference)

Meeting on the 2nd to continue planning for our high school
reunion. Our 60th. Lots of old people there.

Playing tennis on Tuesday mornings now, along with softball
on Wednesdays. Need to buy a second athletic supporter.

Muny Opera on the 7th: West Side Story. As great as ever.
14th & 15th: Auditioned for movie, “Gone, Girl.” Old man with a
walker. No words, just a look. Got a callback, but didn’t get the part.
  Shooting in Cape Girardeau. So much for hanging with Ben Affleck.

17th & 18th: Big weekend. U. City High School Reunion. Large
turnout. Warm and familiar faces, strong connections, deep feelings.
Also my birthday on the 18th. Celebrated with classmates... nothing
like hearing 60 or 70 people you went to school with sing “Happy
Birthday” to you. A cherished memory.

Big day for Sadie and Lexi: dog swim at Kirkwood Pool. Lots of
fun until one scrawny little dog pooped in the pool. We left.

Mailed Estimated Tax check on the 13th. Same day as Yom Kippur
which began at sundown. The stars are aligned.

Shot a video bio of an 80 year old man for his kids and grandkids.
Retired lawyer, fascinating story, sharp mind. Wife gave me a bowl of chili.

End of month: Exciting 5-day trip to Crystal Bridges in Bentonville, Arkansas,
  and Iola, Kansas. Purpose: Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton 
  celebrations. Met Jimmy Karen, 90-year-old actor, still working, making
  movies since the 40’s. Great stories.

Shot more video with Harry as Bear & Bull neared completion.
The thing weighs 9000 pounds! Dedication scheduled later in
the month.

Saturday night (5th) dinner at the Tenderloin Room with Jerry
and Maryann, thanks to Groupon.

Bear & Bull sculpture moved from Wentzville to downtown StL.
Quite a sight: huge bronze Bear & Bull rolling down I-64 at 70 mph.

24th - Sculpture dedicated at Stifel. Cold and windy day. Harry
hosted a first class lunch at the Mo.Athletic Club.

Last weekend: Lexington, KY with Mary Lee. Watched two
Cardinal series games vs. Boston Red Sox, visited distillery
of my favorite bourbon, Woodford Reserve, went to the racetrack. 

Visited my 101 year old friend on the 4th. Tea, cookies, conversation.
On the 7th, recorded video with a strong, graceful woman in her
90’s. She was three weeks from passing away.

Picked up book at Kirkwood Public Library on the 8th. Don’t remember
what book or if I read it.

Roof leaking. Called Jerry the Roofer again. Need new roof.

Attended opening night of St. Louis Film Fest at Tivoli, saw “JFK”
and heard Oliver Stone advance his conspiracy theory. 

Thanksgiving dinner at Triumph Grill, just Mary Lee and I. No stress,
lots of delicious dishes, relaxed dinner, no clearing the table. Something
First Monday went to Tavern of Fine Arts to see/hear Tom Townsend
play piano with a guitar player. I even got to sit in for one tune,
a boogie-woogie - in the key of C, of course.

Haircut at 9:40 on the 11th. Yeah, you guessed it.

Played the part of an old grandfather in a video for Talent Plus.
At least I didn’t have to use a walker.

Middle of the month: joined a gym! Working out. Muscles on the way.

Holly in from NYC, Gregg in from Chi for Christmas. Excellent visit.

Went to see “The Wolf of Wall Street” on the 27th. Walked out after
one hour and got our money back. Haven’t done that since “Thoroughly
Modern Millie.”

Last night of the year: Joe’s Cafe. We listened to Hudson and the
Hoodoo Cats, one of our favorite bands, along with a sitar player from Iran
  who showed some real soul and pickin'. The place was packed. A
grand way to spend New Year’s Eve.

To paraphrase Mr. Lincoln: The world will little note nor long remember what I did this past year. But I feel infinitely better having wrapped up my year so I can get on with the new one. 

Maybe I should keep a journal this year.