Lee Wochner: Writer. Director. Writing instructor. Thinker about things.


Goodbye and good riddance!

This morning I did what many people do on the first day of a new year:  I slept until two in the afternoon.

Well, technically, no. I slept until 8:30 a.m., which was ruinous, given that I’d gone to sleep just four hours or so earlier and then on a bellyful of vodka gimlets after a six-hour party with two dozen guests. At 8:30, finding myself ruefully fully awake, I fixed myself a cup of coffee and an English muffin, watched an episode of the new “Lost in Space” on my laptop, then went back to sleep. Then I woke up at two in the afternoon.

This is the third year in a row that we’ve hosted a New Year’s Eve party mostly built around drinking and then playing charades. This is not charades for the faint of heart. The only way this could be made harder would be to write the prompts in hieroglyphics. It’s a cut-throat game designed to prepare you emotionally for just how difficult and challenging the new year might be.  The guest list gets split into two teams and then each team makes up their own prompts for the opposing team to act out and guess, with a focus on making the prompts just about impossible to act or guess. Obscure books are a favorite; so are “famous people” that no one has heard of, and little-known Yugoslavian action movies that are available in the backwoods of Netflix. One example:  “The Enchiridion,” which I submitted last year to the immense fury of my wife’s team. Hey, it’s not my fault that none of them ever read it.

While I like being alive, and so do my best to enjoy every bit of the experience of living, I can’t say I’ll miss 2019. Goodbye to bad rubbish, I say! Three members of my family had serious health issues (and one nearly died), more than one friend died, I had a truly delightful professional calamity that still has me fighting with my insurance company for a settlement eight months later, my credit cards and ATM cards got stolen and used, I set aside a full-length play I was writing that I suddenly lost faith in, and somehow or other my subscription to “Fantastic Four” has stopped appearing in my mailbox.  Finding out in concert that Roger Daltrey can still sing astonishingly well did not provide enough counterbalance.

So, I’m approaching 2020 with optimism. I’m going to Spain in two weeks to see Pere Ubu in concert, and while I’m there for that I think I’ll take in some of Spain as well. I have to think at some point there will be an insurance resolution (and at that point, perhaps I’ll share actual details here). And I’m almost 90 pages into a play that’s working far better than the other one. I’m ready to twist the throttle of 2020 all the way.

One Response to “Goodbye and good riddance!”

  1. Dan Says:

    My favorite personal non-event from 2019 was when the design team at Montag Press put together a cover for my upcoming book, only to have the artist refuse pemission to use his images because the story went against his Christian religious teachings. I respect his stand.

    On the other hand, I got to start the new decade with a post from Lee. A day late, but worth it!

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