Sunday, December 31, 2006

Cheers for New Year

Listening to the bootleg CD of Tom Waits' Cleveland show at House of Blues, which he performed after nearly three memorable hours of melancholy croaking in Akron, which we were lucky to witness. It was a highlight of a remarkable year. After 20 years in Tremont, moved into a cottage on the lake; it has made all the difference. angle magazine also moved--to the choir loft of the former St. Josaphat Church, renovated by Alenka Banco into Josaphat Arts Hall. Unconventional? Yes.

Certain friends celebrated a certain landmark birthday; Pam started an amazing, challenging job that has her traveling to Hawaii, Napa, and MIT; Nancy and Mike opened their arms to baby Lee, direct from China; Lara married Jon in a most fabulous wedding and party, she also got a new lady boss who might shake (shape?) things up; Greta and Danny continue to live fully and well, inspiration to us all. Guy and Mel moved to Independence, or as Pam would say, "Somewhere in Ohio." Russell and Karen received "the boot," full of figs in whiskey, reminding everyone of the loss of Gary Lupico. And Marcie has arrived home from Puerto Rico, wearing her down coat in "freezing" 50-degree weather.

Erin's blog took off, attracting the wonderful and the weird to her unique sense of humor, she also landed a column in a local paper, one she is too good for. Maureen took her quirky brilliance to Austin, Texas, and, oh yeah, was short-listed for The Story Prize. Young and lovely Jessica, wise beyond her age, is writing knock-out poems. Sarah is working on her fifth (or sixth?) novel, and teaching young Catholics how to write a scene. Karen was kicked upstairs at a newspaper, then found her way back to writing. Steve won a big prize in Italy, and was wined and dined with Salman Rushdie, among other luminous literati.

Beloved Luna and Spaulding, 28 dog years between them, made permanent exits. We mourned the loss of legendary hostess Mitzi (Jerman), and the inimitable outsider artist Rev. Albert Wagner. Both led long, fascinating lives. More tragic, we lost artists Masumi Hayashi and John Jackson in a double shooting. Both led shorter, equally fascinating lives. Young photographer Lauren Bugaj left us at the end of the year with beautiful, traditional photographs, and loads of potential.

On an abnormally warm day in November, we watched thousands of people make a pilgrimage to The Christmas Story House, carrying leg lamps back to their cars. Wonder what folks at the Rowley Bar thought.

My old friends at Cleveland Film Society--Marcie, Bill, Beth, Patrick and Debby--continue to work and play hard at the same time. I'm missing you already--a most unusual workplace.

My new friends Holly and Christopher have taught me more in 4 months than any school ever could. (Apologies to my teachers Maggie, Steve, Will, Mike, Susan, Neal, and my teachers-to-be: Robert, Craig, and Mary B.)

Cleveland is busy with demolition and construction, some good, some bad. But Ohio is a blue state again, and Issue 18 passed--a tax on cigarettes for the arts. And those of us mouth-breathers who avoid restaurants and bars because of smoke can now go (almost) anywhere without coughing.

And who are the generous donors who are raising the roofs on Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland Institute of Art, Akron Art Museum, and MOCA Cleveland? Can they spare a proverbial dime for an arts magazine named angle?

Today, the lake is pearly gray-blue, the horizon line almost invisible. There is no wind. No sniff of snow. The world's out of whack, but here, where the sun is luxury, we are quietly happy to be able to walk outside. The turning of the year is an arbitrary date decreed by a pope a long time ago, but something is changing--you can feel it. Have another scoop of new in the new year.


Erin O'Brien said...

You make me Snoopy-dance happy.

K-Oh said...

How happy I am to discover your blog! Now, if I could manage to see YOU once in a while.

Amy said...

Hey K-Oh, it's taken me 21 days to respond. While I'm on my couch, you're leading the life I fantasized about...