New Year’s Day Open Thread

Clever Manka, · Categories: Open Thread

One of my great inspirations Mel Joulwan put up the 2018 update to her Best Version of Ourselves post.

Who partied last night? Please share your shenanigans with someone who desperately misses her raucous and hedonistic NYE pasts. For those of you who were in bed by nine (*cough*me*cough*), I raise my mug of hot lemon water to you in solidarity.

94 Responses to “New Year’s Day Open Thread”

  1. CleverManka says:

    Happy 2018! I'll be back in a little bit (still in bed rn) but wanted to get this in early: if you'd like a new year's card from Flitworth, please email me your address, your screen name, and what name you'd like the card addressed to.

    See y'all after I crawl out of bed and eat breakfast.

  2. Rillquiet says:

    It being FuckNo degrees around here, I lost any desire to put on any clothes that wouldn't be compatible with three layers of long johns, so I was another of the bed brigade. Waking up well-rested and un-hungover is not the worst way to start a year!

    Okay, an addendum: I've historically been crap at resolutions, and while I admire people who have theirs lined up like neat little bullet-journal soldiers on NYE, my favorite one occurred to me in July one year. I offer it for anyone who wants to use it themselves, because it's simple and broadly applicable: Don't let fear be the thing that stops you from trying something. This requires carefully thinking about the obstacles between you and Desired Goal. Expense or logistics or health can be genuine reasons not to do a thing–but if you find that you're using those factors as excuses because really what you're worried about is that you'll fail, you can think of those excuses as whispers from someone afraid of your best self. (Anecdata: This is why I've traveled alone, taken trapeze classes despite a powerful fear of heights, frequented the free weights section of the gym, and tried escargot. Three out of four ain't bad.)

    • CleverManka says:

      That is a 100% Best Life Resolution!

      Also, I do not understand escargot. Either that or I've never had it properly prepared because it tasted exactly how I expected it to and that was Not Very Good At All.

      • Räven says:

        Escargots should taste like garlic butter, tons of garlic, tons of butter; but honestly – much as I enjoy 'food that is also an activity' – you could just have garlic butter on, say, toast.

      • Kazoogrrl says:

        My one big food Thing is textural, any sort of sproingy, quivering savory food gives me pause. I almost tried escargot once, but when I pulled it out of the shell it reverberated and I noped the hell out. I can even have problems with soft fat on meat. So when those memes go 'round about what foods do you not eat, snails are usually the only thing I can check.

    • ru_ri says:

      This seems like a really excellent resolution. Thank you!

      (p.s. I'll be happy to eat ALL the escargot cause I love their chewy, buttery, salty, garlicky nothingness)

    • Heathered says:

      That's a smart framework (and a critical one for fraidy cat me). I read something last night to the effect of "don't wake up on the first and plan to kick an addiction. In fact, enjoy it fully until you truly feel you're ready and can get appropriate support and then make the move," which I also liked. *slides all my escargot onto ru-ri's plate*

    • Fancy_Pants says:

      Yes. That is a perfect little truth nugget, and I'm going to have to take some time to let it seep in. It reminds me of something I read about the importance of living your life moving *towards* positive things, rather than *away* from negative things like fear and discomfort.

      • Lee Thomson says:

        That is the way my favorite author (Jennifer Crusie) talks about goals – she says no character can move from a negative goal, they have to have a positive goal before the story goes anywhere.

    • Lee Thomson says:

      Trapeze! I loved and hated it simultaneously – I was powerful, and yet I never did manage a "correct" mount, I could muscle some things that felt Amazing, but I looked like a beserk hobbit in badly fitting tights. I had a 2 minute routine when I was 47. It was amazing.

    • redheadfae says:

      That's a very good way to examine "reasons," I like it.
      High fives to you trapezers, it's one thing I wish I'd done while I still had strength in my left arm. Meanwhile, I shall sidle over to ru_ri and snatch as many as they'll give me of the escargots.
      Side note: a chef in town has a Mini Cooper with the license plate "S CAR GO"

  3. Räven says:

    Happy new year to all you good people!

    I DID go out last night. It was twelve degrees and very pleasant when I left at eight; seven degrees and demonically windy when I returned at three-thirty. (The wind is the determinator of comfort, it seems.)

    I was invited to a small and magnificent dinner with friends I haven't seen much lately, as health issues and work (theirs) and general gloom (mine) have put the kibosh on a lot of social opportunities. It was largely a meat feast and I don't eat meat, but there was king oyster mushrooms and amazing risotto and a shrimp and greens stir fry and insanely good root vegetables and I made a lemon tart and for once managed not to drink too much at a convivial six-hour dinner. (Even though I somehow had wine and champagne and buddha’s hand vodka and irish whiskey which was not genius of me.) Everyone was offered a caftan to wear! I donned mine over my own clothes, tho some people had to remove shirts to improve the line of draping. And I took home some rum cake which is what I ate for breakfast.


  4. Heathered says:

    *clinks mug of lemon water* Early to bed, then up throughout the night (I'm apprehensive about my final meeting with therapist tomorrow. Many tiny crying jags, though I'm 100% sure it's the right thing, just a sad one). But I got up early and my laundry's steaming up the apartment on the drying rack, so it feels like a good start to the year. Oh, and I just started reading "Dora: A Headcase," which, holy shit.

    • CleverManka says:

      *reads synopsis* Holy shit, indeed. If my fiction-reading brain ever returns, I'll give that a look.

      Best wishes with therapist goodbye tomorrow.

    • ru_ri says:

      I am still really mad at your therapist for being so inconsiderate of your time and needs, so I am glad you are moving on, even if it is sad-making. For me, anyway, it would be hard to find the trust required for therapy to work with someone who seems so unreliable.

      Doing laundry first thing in the new year seems like an excellent choice–both literally and metaphorically! Here's to clean sheets and socks and all!

      • Heathered says:

        Clean socks at least! I deal with my sleeping bag when it becomes sentient and tells me to. And thanks for your anger, but I get where she's coming from. It has been a challenging year for *all* of us, and I feel like someone doing their best gets credit for that, especially compared to the first place I tried.

        • ru_ri says:

          OK, I can get that. I certainly understand about how this year knocked a lot of us off our foundations and made it hard to work efficiently and effectively–it's been a struggle for me for sure. Still, though. I would like you to have a solid rock to lean on.

  5. CleverManka says:

    The Burgomaster went out last night while I stayed home and kept my usual bedtime routine (read from 8 to 9, listen to Soothing Music Sounds until 9:30 and then Lights Out). Fireworks woke me several times, but I was able to fall back asleep. He said it was minus two degrees (base temp, no windchill factor) at midnight. Respect for the people who still went out partying in that. I have become An Old and I've made my peace with it but I do still miss the idea of dancing in the new year, if not the actual reality of doing it.

    I never make new year's resolutions, but I am going to start doing my old PT exercises again. I've lost 20lbs now and although I'm still not an inch down on my waist measurement, my booty is disappearing and that is just not acceptable. Clamshells, bridge lifts and lunges, here I come. I suspect those will also help my stamina when I resume yoga practice, too. Being able to hold a (wobbly) Warrior Pose for only like, two breaths is discouraging (even though I know it's not a competition feeling weak is not a motivator).

    I would appreciate some more book recs, if anyone's got them. Non-fiction, please. Stuff I've liked: all the Mary Roach (except for Grunt, which I just wasn't interested in, thanks), Stitch of Time and Brain on Fire–thanks to whomever suggested those! More in that vein would be nice. I also read Dark Banquet and am waiting for them to pull my hold on Cannibalism (both by Bill Schutt) at the library. Oh, and Caitlin Doughty's From Here to Eternity was fantastic. So, I guess gross/macabre topics approached with humor are my jam, surprise surprise.

    • ru_ri says:

      Minus two! Ergh. It was about 8 degrees here at 2 ayem, but fortunately I had a short walk back to my car.

      Anyway, spending the new year in quiet rest is surely not a bad thing. I raise a mug of hot lemon water (throat scratchy from too much bellowing last night) to your good health!

      (I wish I had some book recommendations for you, but I have only been doing Work Reading lately, and I can't recommend any of it–it's all boring educational theory and school-food policy.)

      • CleverManka says:

        Wow, school food policy reading sounds fucking depressing as hell. Speaking of food, I really need to get off this couch and start doing food prep for the week but I've finally gotten to the point where I'm kind of cozy here on the couch…

        • ru_ri says:

          Well, it's about fixing school food so it is not so much depressing as boring. Practically have to duct-tape myself to my chair to get myself to do it. I'm getting through it incrementally, alternating with other work as a reward.

    • Rillquiet says:

      Recent nonfiction I've read and would recommend:
      The Walls Came Tumbling Down, Henriette Roosenburg (released from a Nazi prison by the Red Army, four Nacht und Nebel prisoners try to get home)
      The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women, Kate Moore (infuriating and heartbreaking)
      Agent Garbo: The Brilliant, Eccentric Secret Agent Who Tricked Hitler and Saved D-Day, Stephan Talty (the scholarly version of this post)
      Stoned: Jewelry, Obsession, and How Desire Shapes the World, Aja Raden (sparkly things and the psychology of why we covet them)

    • Kazoogrrl says:

      Glad you liked Brain on Fire, I've recommended it to two other people since I read it. If brain things interest you, you might also like

      I've also been thinking about this book I read a few years back, there was a sort of sadness throughout it that I still remember.

  6. ru_ri says:

    Happy New Year, beloved Mankanauts!

    Sold-out trains and changing schedules made it impossible for me to do my usual etsunengeiko over-the-New-Year aikido practice in Chicago, so I went to see live music here in town instead. One of the acts was this amazing singer, who looks–or am I imagining it?–a bit like a younger Manka. Her voice is like whisky laced with honey, and she goes for this kinda languorous Lee Hazelwood style that really works. Anyway she was followed by two of my favorite local bands, the Crane Wives and the Accidentals–both of whom happen to be female-fronted. It was a good night and I only had two beers and I was in bed by 3, so.

    Today is gonna be work work work cause I slacked off yesterday to do my New Year's cleaning.

    2018 better be an improvement over 2017 or I am going to kick its ass, yo.

    • CleverManka says:

      Wow, she looks like she could be my younger sister (with a less majestic nose but better-defined mouth)! Gad you were able to bring in the year with good music!

      I wouldn't call cleaning "slacking off," but I'm 100% with you on the PLEASE let this year be better.

    • Heathered says:

      Trying to recall the last time I was up until 3 for any non-insomnia reason makes a good argument for getting out more. Cheers to you for ringing it in good and proper, and yes, this year must be better and will be.

  7. Flitworth says:

    In bed by ten! But I didn't sleep much. The last two nights have been a weird not-sleep….and then there were fireworks. I am still feeling run down but actually looking forward to work tomorrow.

    I spent yesterday writing postcards. A few nice ones but a lot to the members of Congress I hate most. I ran out of steam today and just told Jeff Flake I hope 2018 burns like an STD with a grumpy cat sticker. John Hodgman retweeted the pic I sent him of my cards to Susan Collins.

    Last year I resolved to get better about flossing and I succeeded. I am looking for something similarly realistic and manageable for 2018. Given the outcome of my physical I will try to get serious about paying attention to vitamin intake and balancing gut flora etc.

    Sister in law let me shower at her place while we were waiting for resolution to frozen pipes (two zones of hot water heating went on Friday on top of regular water). I am hoping to have the energy to photoshop goats into pics of her bathroom and post her a Thankyou. I wrote "Syd wuz here" on the mirror in dark soap and took a pic but washed it off because I really appreciated her help – she took tiny human to a party and she slept over with her cousin so I could get some peace. Hauling snow and thawing goat water in cycles was wearing me down on top of everything else.

    Happy New Year all!

    • Heathered says:

      Are your goats getting any old holiday trees to gnaw on? I cut a picture of some avid recyclers chowing down on old trees the other day and wished I could keep a goat in my studio apartment.

      • Flitworth says:

        They would love that but I don't know if the farm the tree came from sprays. When it's not so bloody cold I can go cut down a bough from pines on our property. Goats are amazing, you should try;) I wish we could bring ours in, it's cold and they may not know what to do with the new water setup with the thawing floatie in it.

    • CleverManka says:

      John Hodgman retweeted the pic I sent him of my cards to Susan Collins.
      Neat! Hauling snow and thawing goat water sounds miserable. I'm glad you had a few pick-me-ups to balance that out.

      If you're not terribly excited about taking supplements (who is, ugh), you might try incorporating as many different colored vegetables as you can in a week. Obviously that's easier when it's not winter, but I've been trying it lately and while it's not making me love the food I'm eating, I'm at least not hating it as much. =D

      • Flitworth says:

        Yea. I am of two minds on that. There's a point at which I'd rather just have some generic space-age nutrients in a bag type deal because doing this right requires attention. That's pretty hard with a kid and a spouse. OTOH mindfulness about eating is probably good. Vitamin D is tricky. I am at high risk for skin cancer so I don't get sun. I am glad you are in a better place with your food options/not actively hating them:)

    • Kazoogrrl says:

      Your SIL deserves all the photoshopped goats!

  8. phantom says:

    I kind of partied. I went to a board game event at the cafe we have that has board games with my brother. We only stayed for like 2 hours because I get tired early, and a lot of games involved more than 2 people and I'm to anxious to talk to people and my brother isn't interested. So we just played a complex Russian board game, pachinko and crib than left (the theme was a passport and you go to as many countries as possible it was fun). The people seemed neat so I kind of wish I did but oh well.

    • CleverManka says:

      Board game cafe! I know people who would love that sort of thing. How many countries did you make it to?

      • phantom says:

        3 Russia, UK and Japan. It is really neat, you can usually just play chess or crib on Tuesdays or you have to get store credits to temporarily play, I like their snack stuff better than their meal stuff, as I'm a picky eater though.

  9. Lee Thomson says:

    My beloved town does fireworks at 6:15 because families (I think?)(I dunno actually – but I am unspeakably grateful not to have to wait until midnight and negative degrees to get to my favorite part of the evening). I held down a First Night venue in the afternoon, fed people in the evening and checked out with a book at 10. And slept til 10 today, with meds and migraine taking me til 1:30, so really spent a LOT of time cozy and asleep in bed.

    The offspring and their friends faffed about at First Night and came back here for warmth and laughter and midnight, and Mr Crow took the non-drivers home.

    I went back to the list of good questions to contemplate the previous year, because I felt like that had not happened enough. Sat we had an Eve-eve celebration with a fire in the back yard. Everyone had to say one good thing that had happened in 2017, just one! and then put a pinch of color-flaming salts on the fire. It was a nice retrospective. And then we emptied the jar of good things we'd been writing on tiny scraps of paper all year into the fire as well, to send that good karma into the world on sparks of light. I was hoping we might read some, as part of the Declaration of Triumphs, but we didn't because some of them were more personal than people wanted read aloud.

    In other, completely sideways news, Mr. Crow has started a religion he calls Secular Humorism. He has a website here: and he posted his homily for Cursing the Darkness 2017.

    • CleverManka says:

      Best of luck with the nrw religion site! Is her going to make it a regular blogging site?

      Glad your migraine is gone. That is NOT a good way to ring in the year.

    • RoseCamelia says:

      Mr Crow's church is very appealing.

    • Flitworth says:

      it was very comforting to read your update, Lee. I am glad you got cozy time and your rituals lovely.

    • Lee Thomson says:

      I have no idea what he wants a religion for, but he is a sideways individual, and he kind of wants people to know what he thinks. He might well blog routinely, for values of routine at greater than monthly intervals. He said something about selling t-shirts and ordinations, which really? but I imagine he'll get it out of his system or make it work as he sees fit.

  10. Kazoogrrl says:

    We recorded an episode yesterday while drinking hot buttered rum (new favorite), then I hounded J to get our last one up because it was recorded Dec 2 and I knew I'd feel terrible if the calendar rolled over and it was undone (I had completed my part of the equation). Then we went to a friend's house for food and hanging out, which was nice but I think we should have stayed home because our social skills were tanking. I drank one beer. No, wait, we got to spend time with our friends' amazing 6 month old, so worth it. We hit midnight at an intersection near our house, and then I went to bed and J stayed up to decompress.

    Right now I'm baking a cardamom bread wreath, and fixed a pair of mittens and sewed a dog toy back together. When the bread is ready I'll have some with coffee and get to some knitting, then later today I'm going to roast a chicken and cook some veggies for this week's meals, and I think we'll start this season of Black Mirror while having dinner. I'd like to go take a walk in the cold, but not having to drive anywhere is awesome so I'm staying in. I also have my new planner to get into, probably just transferring some notes and logging upcoming appointments.

    My birthday is Wed and I don't have plans yet, but I should pick somewhere for a fancy dinner. I didn't have last's year's until early Dec, I was too pooped in Jan to pick a place, and J said whenever I wanted he'd take me out.

    I don't really make resolutions or yearly plans, I like them about as much as I like travel planning, but I'm thinking I'll try to read and knit more and try to also track what I complete.

    • CleverManka says:

      It sounds like a lovely time. Cardamom bread wreath sounds amazeballs.

      • Kazoogrrl says:

        Confirmed yum! Smart Scandinavians.

        • Räven says:

          Please tell us more about the wreath.

          • Kazoogrrl says:

            Here you go, it's lightly sweetened and fragrant.

          • Räven says:

            Thank you! I love baking with cardamom and it's a spice that really doesn't keep its strength well, so I try to use it in enormous quantity. 🙂

          • Kazoogrrl says:

            I get the pods and grind the seeds fresh, which is a pain but worth it!

          • Räven says:

            I do too but the pods still seem to fade as they're stored too long — the market sells them in a rather large bag. I'm not complaining though! "having to use a lot of cardamom" is actually okay.

          • Kazoogrrl says:

            I got some white cardamom from Penzy's, which was not the cheapest but was the freshest and they've help up really well. I'm about out, so OH NO! I may have to do a Penzy's order soon!

          • Räven says:

            I do not feel bad for you at all!

            I could of course also put them in a tin or something, instead of clipping the bag. I expect air fastness is the issue. The 4-ounce bag is the default size and it's definitely more than I need at a time….

          • Kazoogrrl says:

            Before Penzy's I used to dip into the MASSIVE bag we had at the cafe where I worked (we made our own chai blend).

            Verdict on the bread: tasty, but it doesn't save well, though I might have baked it a touch too long. It seems like the thing to make for a get together so it's eaten all at once.

          • Räven says:

            I AM SURE I CAN JUST EAT IT ALL AT ONCE MYSELF. Thanks for the tip. 😉

  11. Fancy_Pants says:

    I had a very good New Years. I went to the gym to get in one last hassle-free workout before the busy season, put on sparkly eyeshadow, had dinner with a few friends at a fancy restaurant (duck breast and chestnut gnocci, y'all), and then spent the evening drinking champagne with about a dozen of my favorite people in my cozy apartment.

    It was an ideal send-off to 2017, the Year of Uncertainty. I still don't know what I'm going to make of my life, but I have a bedrock foundation of a place I love living in, a wonderful community, a path towards better health. It's a lot to celebrate.

    I don't have any new year's resolutions (other than maybe to take good care of my skin this winter). I don't really have any goals. Like the author of the linked post said, I just want to spend more time feeling and acting like the best version of myself.

  12. faintlymacabre says:

    I symbolically and physically cleaned to meet the new year- cleaned the house, took a shower and then burned sage all around. It felt good. And then today I have mostly day drank and slept which has been oh so very necessary and glorious. My resolution for this year is fairly simple- to pay off my credit card. A lot of that debt is associated with moving and the ex and I want it gone. Ideally, I'd like to have it paid off by August before I take a trip, and certainly if I keep working this much ridiculous overtime it will not be that hard. Here's to the new year! I am tired, but cautiously optimistic for the time ahead.

    • CleverManka says:

      Happy new year! Sorry for the delayed response–work was nutty and I didn't want to spend more time on the computer once I got home. Hurray for cleaning out space for 2018 and best wishes paying off the credit card!

  13. Flitworth says:

    My family is from Texas so every year my mom would bug me about making Texas caviar (black-eyed pea salad). This year I looked up lucky New Years foods and we had pancakes for breakfast because round foods resemble coins, which is supposed to bring fortune. We had Texas caviar and round mini ploughmans pies for lunch. For dinner we made greens, soba , gnocchi, and lentil soup. New tradition! I hope our eating brings luck to everyone. I think we will follow the Secular Humorist Church and burn some paper with prejudice:)

    • Kazoogrrl says:

      I have black eyed peas cooking right now, from a friend's vegetarian recipe because so much heavy holiday food.

  14. Absotively says:

    I went to a quiet new year's party and ate pizza and ice cream and played board games and stayed up to midnight.

    Actually, just one board game, but it took at least three hours. Which is fine, everyone knew that it would going in and we still finished before midnight.

    Then I moped around all day feeling tired with a slight headache due to my sleep schedule being disrupted. I would blame booze, but I ended up not having any, so instead I guess I'll blame the cold I've almost finished recovering from.

    • phantom says:

      Oh that sounds nice besides the headache the next day. Congratulations on making it to midnight from someone who fell asleep at 9pm

  15. meat_lord says:

    I'm just sliding in late to inform you all that I did, in fact, party for NYE. I went to karaoke at a pool hall with friends, which was fabulously sleazy, and we rang in the new year with free "champagne' that may have been hard cider?? We were all having such a nice time that we went back to a friend's house, where we drank vodka, petted cats, and gossiped until 4 am. I slept through most of New Year's Day.

  16. sherwood21 says:

    I made it til 12:15, then came home & fell over. Mini-Brit's been poorly, and he woke me up with a 2am vomit fest, but he's doing better now.

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