New Year’s Rulin’s

First of all, New Year’s Resolutions are stupid.

Because if you waited an entire year to decide you need to make some major life change, because, while unpleasant, you know it will be good for you, then why did you wait until today to start it?

I’ll tell you why. Because you don’t want to do it. That’s why. And, eventually, we don’t do the things we don’t want to do.

So, resolutions stink when you make them – because they are things you don’t want to do. And, they stink even more when you fail at them – because now you’re a failure.

Resolutions just stink.

But, there are always exceptions. Woody Guthrie wrote these – his “New Year’s Rulin’s” for 1942.

I can’t tell you if he kept them, but I’m hopeful he at least took the occasional bath and sent money to his kids.

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He “Bustered” His Leg

On May 25, 2011, in San Francisco, Florida Marlins outfielder Scott Cousins collided with Giants catcher Buster Posey in a play at the plate. Posey’s leg was broken. He was out for the rest of the season.

(You can watch it here, though I wouldn’t recommend it.)

On January 1, 2017, in Orange, Virginia, in what I think was some sort of weird performance art recreation, Editor/Husband played the role of Buster Posey. Scott Cousins was played by my Yoga Studio floor.

For those of you who were so quick to believe that 2017 couldn’t be suckier than 2016 … you are wrong.

Editor/Husband fell and “bustered” his leg on New Year’s Day.

That is, he fractured the neck of his femur which is the fancy pants way to say, he broke his hip. (But having a broken hip sounds like something a frail grandma would do, so we’re going with broken leg which sounds more “Posey-an.”)




Well, not quite. But, close enough.

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What’s New, Pussycat?


© The Baseball Bloggess

Hey, Zuzu, what’s new? Not January 1, that’s for sure.

On reflection, I began 2016 on a sour note. Sorry about that.

(It has been nine weeks since baseball, which I think explains my grumpiness.)

I complained on Friday about New Year’s, arguing that there’s nothing particularly “new” about January 1.

Here it is January 3 and I’m not quite done with this.

Because, I am right about January 1 being an overhyped holiday.  It’s like the hoverboard of days on a calendar.

(For those of you wondering where the baseball is in this post, please replace the over-hyped “hoverboard” with “Todd Van Poppel.”)

van poppel

“Todd Van Poppel pitched 11 atrocious big league seasons propelled by hype alone.” ~ Eric Nusbaum,

Even the traditions of “New” Year’s aren’t all that special …


You might think that more champagne is sold during December than any other month. You’re actually right about this. Twenty-two percent of all champagne sales come in December.

But that means that most champagne – 78 percent of it – is sold and consumed at other times of the year, including Valentine’s Day and wedding season.

Congratulations! You still have a lot more champagne to look forward to this year!

© The Baseball Bloggess

Champagne Jelly Beans. Surprisingly delicious.

Bowl Games.

I boycott football because it is barbaric and causes lasting brain damage in many players from the relentless thump-thump-thumping of heads into each other and against the ground. Go ahead, thump your forehead against your best friend’s to see what it feels like.  (See, you won’t even try because you know it’s bad for you).

I may not watch football, but I do know this – there have been a zillion college bowl games on television and most of them were not played on “New” Year’s Day.

This season there are 41 bowl games, including the playoffs. Eighty college teams have played.  (Fifteen of them had losing records this season.)

Just five of those 41 games were played on January 1.

There were more bowl games played on Saturday, December 19 (six) and Saturday, December 26 (six) than on “New” Year’s Day.

January 1: Just another day for college football.

“New” Year’s Dangers: Fireworks, Gunshots, & Drunk Drivers.

Fireworks, stray celebratory gunfire (seriously?), and drunk drivers make “New” Year’s a deadly night.

But, it’s not the deadliest. That honor goes to the Fourth of July, which is the most deadly holiday of the year, thanks to even more fireworks, more drinking, more car accidents, as well as drowning, and other accidents that come from being outdoors when you’re drunk in the summer.

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4th of July: We’re Number One!

Quite honestly, to be on the safe side, it’s probably best not to even leave the house on New Year’s or the Fourth of July.

Auld Lang Syne.

Sing it. Go ahead. Sing it right now.

“We’ll take a cup of kindness yet”?

That’s the lyric?

Last week, National Public Radio lamented that people are increasingly less likely to sing Auld Lang Syne – an 18th-century song about both drinking and friendship – on New Year’s Eve and, if they do sing it, they usually slobber over the words.

listen to the story

So, yes, Auld Lang Syne, like hipster “man buns”, is over.

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Which is not to say that Auld Lang Syne – or at least a form of it – isn’t sung on other days.


The University of Virginia celebrates its sporting victories with The Good Old Song, a song that dates to the 1890s. It sounds remarkably like Auld Lang Syne because … it is. Just with different lyrics.

You can sing along if you like. Here’s what you do.

First, find a UVA game and wait for the Virginia Cavaliers to win.

Oh, look they just did!

January 2, 2016. UVA – 77 Notre Dame – 66

Now, stand up and put your arms around whomever is standing next to you (if you don’t know them, all the better, Wahoos are a friendly bunch). Sway side to side. And, sing …

That good old song of Wah-hoo-wah—
we’ll sing it o’er and o’er
It cheers our hearts and warms our blood
to hear them shout and roar
We come from old Virginia,
where all is bright and gay
Let’s all join hands and give a yell
for dear old U.Va.

Wah-hoo-wah, wah-hoo-wah! Uni-V, Virginia!
Hoo-rah-ray, hoo-rah-ray, ray, ray—U-Va!

Now, let’s stop with this January 1 New Year folderol and start counting down to a meaningful New Year:

Just 90 days ‘til Opening Day.

The Wrong Day for New Years, Fire Monkeys, & The Most Amazing Thing On The Internet

New Year’s Day is a fraud.

What’s so new about December 32? It’s wintertime and I can look outside and there’s nothing new growing out in our yard. (With the exception of the confused – and kinda-sorta blooming – forsythia which is saying in its own yellow-flowered way, “Why the hell is it 50 degrees out?”)


The forsythia, blooming inappropriately, blows my theory that there’s nothing new about this New Year’s Day. But, for lots of us in the Northern Hemisphere, January 1 is really just looking out at empty trees and the remnants of last summer lying in the yard. Pretty barren.


(This is especially obvious here in our yard where we don’t rake up leaves. We will tell you that we do this as an environmentally conscious effort to re-compost the leaves’ nutrients to the earth. Really, we’re just lazy.)

(Next time you think you ought to spend your weekend doing yard work or household chores that require power tools or overalls, just kick back and don’t bother. You can think, “Sure, I’m a layabout, but The Baseball Bloggess is way lazier than me.” You’re welcome.)

New Year’s Resolutions are as stupid as this made-up holiday.

Why can’t you make a resolution on November 17? Or, if your plan is to exercise more or lose weight, why not in summer, when opportunities for working out outside and eating more leanly and cleanly are easier to find?

(My New Year’s Resolution – to not eat crickets. And, don’t try to hide cricket powder in cookies.)

cricket cookies

I’m keeping my resolution.

Why isn’t New Year’s Day your birthday? After all, it’s the start of YOUR new year.

Jarrett Parker

© The Baseball Bloggess

Happy New Year, Jarrett Parker, one-time Richmond Squirrel and current San Francisco Giant, who turns 27 today!

Why isn’t New Year’s Day on Opening Day? That’s my new year. And, it’s just 92 days away.

(There’s nothing new in Baltimore, by the way. Catchers and pitchers report February 18 and the Orioles still don’t have a full starting pitching rotation. Do not joke with me and say, “You didn’t really have one last season either.” I don’t need your lip.)

(I’m not even sure the Orioles could cobble together a full outfield if they had to – unless you can play right field. Can you? Really, I’m serious, because if you can, I bet we can work something out. You play cheap, right?).

Smart people will tell you that, with the winter solstice a few weeks ago, the days are getting longer so we really are in a growing period.

But, back around 2000 BC, the Mesopotamians would celebrate their new year in the springtime, so see, I’m just old school.

New Years in Tibet will come on February 8. The date of Tibet’s New Year, Losar, changes from year to year as it roams around with the moons, but at least it tries to be close to spring.

February 8 marks the start of the Tibetan year of the Fire Monkey.

There really ought to be a minor league team called the Fire Monkeys.

I wanted to show you a video of a monkey to illustrate this.

But, then I found this. This is why the Internet is amazing. I’m going to stop now so you can watch it. Happy December 32.


UPDATE: Wait … There’s more! Here’s my “New” Year’s Day followup: What’s New, Pussycat? Nothing on January 1, That’s For Sure. 


Divine Discontent Gets A Day Off … (almost)

“Any writer worth his salt writes to please himself. … It’s a self-exploratory operation that is endless. An exorcism of not necessarily his demon, but of his divine discontent.”  ~ Harper Lee

First off, thank you to that reader who emailed me last night to tell me he can snap his fingers. (This, in response, to my heartfelt admission yesterday.) I exorcise my divine discontent … and for this, you taunt?  Truly? Truly?

So, what’s new in divine discontent today?


I’m not sure that it’s ok to unleash fireworks at midnight on New Year’s Eve/Day.  I mean, sure, set off some whistling Moonshine Bottle Rockets, Blazing Rebel Fountains with all the pretty colors, a few of those nameless ashy, snakey things. Prairie Fire cones, Nuclear Sunrise candles. Go ahead. Sparklers? Sparkle your pants off.

No, I’m talking armaments. That sound like – or could possibly have actually been – cannon fire.

I went to bed before midnight because I taught Yoga this morning.

But, I awoke at midnight to the sound of shelling. Wait, what? Grant’s marching toward Richmond again?

The booming, wall-rattling shelling was coming from our neighbor’s house, about a quarter-mile and one full cow pasture away.

Is that really necessary?

Are you trying to kill the old year … or the new one?

So, when I got up at 6:00 a.m. today, I suggested that I might go outside and lay on my car horn to greet my new year and wake the neighbors.

Editor/Husband suggested that I not do this: “They have a cannon.”

Editor/Husband would like to share this cannon joke with you. Click here

(He tried to tell it to me at midnight, but I just wanted to go back to sleep.)

Let’s start the year …

First up, baseball.

Yesterday, I exorcised my baseball discontent … giving the Baltimore Orioles’ owner some chin music for being a cheapskate, skinflint, and tightwad (these all mean different things, by the way, and he is all of them).

But, let me begin 2014 on a positive note.

I love the Orioles annual pet calendar. Proceeds support BARCS, Baltimore’s animal shelter, and animal welfare organizations are dear to my heart.

But, here’s the thing. To produce the calendar means that the Orioles must do the photo shoots and get everything to press well in advance. (Spoiler alert: teams can change, BARCS calendars cannot.)

The result is a beautiful calendar of Orioles posing in last year’s summer sun with handsome rescue dogs and bushels of adorable kitties.  (It’s clear the low-ranking rookies often end up with the kittens … don’t think Stevie and I haven’t noticed.)

I opened up the 2014 calendar today, and look at Mr. January and Mr. January!

Nick & Nate Mr. Januaries


It’s the newest Washington National Nate McLouth.

(In 2013, pitcher Jake Arrieta was traded to the Cubs just as his month as Mr. July was beginning. Jim Johnson – see, I told you I’m not done with this – had just completed his Mr. November reign when he was traded to the A’s on December 2.)

Stevie & Jim Johnson

Stevie is not happy about the Jim Johnson trade either … or the lack of calendar cats.

In previous calendars, most players enjoyed their own month. This year, there seems to be more two-players-to-a-month sharing. The size of the team hasn’t changed, so maybe the Orioles are now thinking, “Yikes, let’s just stuff a few players on the page and hope that at least one of them is still around come next year.”

But, back to being positive.

I love my Orioles calendar. (But, boy, I’ll miss Nate. And, Jim.)

Just 44 days until pitchers and catchers report.

Next up, Yoga.

I taught Yoga this morning. It was great!

Yoga Is Full Sign

And, finally, Life.

Have a great 2014.

(See, wrapped them all up again.)

Divine Discontent can have the rest of New Year’s Day off!


Lamar says “hey.”

Early Is My Friend

New Year’s resolutions generally stink.

All good intentions to get healthy, go running, or eat better go out the window when a foot of snow covers your car, knocks out your power, but you still have to go to work.

You know it. I know it.

(There’s no resolution in the world strong enough to keep me from a piece of chocolate or a Diet Mountain Dew.)

Stevie Dew

Oh, look, Stevie’s a Dewbie, too!

If pressed, my New Year’s resolution is pretty simple – make it to 2015 and write on here from time to time. Because I love writing stuff for you. Really. Both of you. You’re both wonderful and incredibly good looking.

In the spirit of New Year’s let me tell you two honest things about me:

1) I cannot snap my fingers. I really can’t. It’s not that I choose not to. I would snap all day. If only I could. (There. Just tried again. Still can’t.)

(Editor/Husband says I snap my fingers like a second-grader. A paste-eating second-grader. I’m not proud of this.)

2) The only New Year’s resolution I ever kept was years ago when I worked in an office. I used to needle a colleague all the time. (She was a very nice person, but she didn’t know who R.E.M. was, for god’s sake, how could I not needle her? I was in a very sarcastic phase of my life. I know, so glad that’s passed.)

So, for New Year’s I promised her that for an entire year I was going to be nice to her. And, I was. I was so nice, fawning over her and always asking how her day was going (often interrupting her several times an hour just to ask), that I proved to be an incredibly annoying nice person. Imagine that!

Lisa became a successful – and very nice – lawyer. I write a blog with two readers. So, as you can see, sarcasm gets you nowhere, kids.

While I see the timely need to lard up this blog with some resolution jabber, it being a new year and all, you’ve probably already realized that I’m not really the best person to go to for advice or encouragement.


Unless you happen to own the Baltimore Orioles. Here are some resolutions for you, Mr. Angelos.

First off, get us some pitching. Spend some money … you can’t take it with you and you’re not getting any younger. You can never fully redeem yourself in my eyes after trading Jim Johnson, but you can make amends.

Let’s start with a Starter, ok? I mean, a real Starting Pitcher – a mean-as-cuss, ace-of-the-team alley cat who throws both fire and finesse.

A pitcher who understands that his day doesn’t end with the words “he was roughed up, again, in the fifth inning.” A pitcher who strives for “27 outs” … in a single game, not in a month.


Mountain Lion and Dr. Perky are cheap.

He won’t be.

At the risk of seeming greedy, pony up for another bat in the lineup and maybe a strong bullpen arm to replace the one you so callously and cruelly threw away. (It may be a new year, but I’m not over this Jim Johnson thing yet.)

In short, Mr. A, let’s spend some real dough so that the rest of baseball will stop thinking we’re the class weirdos.


# # #

So, you know how this blog is supposed to be about baseball and Yoga and life? And, how I talk a good game (always aiming for the bleachers) but rarely wrap them all up together? I feel bad about that.

Let’s fix things.

Earlier this year, I came upon four particularly useful rules. Or, resolutions. Call them what you like.

They were posted by a pitcher above his locker.

I love these rules. They are good reminders for a pitcher. They are good reminders for a Yoga student. They are good reminders for life.

Here they are.

early is my friend

~ Go 0-1. Must have action. Early is my friend.

~ Get the ball down. Strikes below the knees.

~ Manage the game. Slow down. Break a bad rhythm.

~ Take your time between pitches. Take a time out and reset.

That’s baseball talk, for this: Start 0-1. Throw a strike. Be confident.

Be in control.

Take charge and responsibility for your actions.  If you’re being a doofus, change.

And, always step off the mound and take the time you need to think things through when feeling pressured or else you may do something really, really stupid.

Which in Yoga I boil down to that one simple, most important resolution of all …

Don’t forget to breathe.

Sounds good to me. Let’s do this.

Happy 2014!