December 31, 2008

The New Year's Eve live-blog.

7:27 Central Time: Shouldn't you be out carousing? No. It's smart to stay in on the night when everyone else is out. So hang out here if you like. I hope you don't mind that I'm doing Central Time. But one must be somewhere? Where are you? Are you already in 2009? I see from Site Meter, that there are currently 142 people on the blog. There are readers in Dublin, Brighton, and Germany, so, hello, people of the future.

7:44: Celebrations around the world, but "A number of Arab nations - including Egypt, Jordan and Syria - cancelled planned celebrations in solidarity with Palestinians in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip after a fifth day of Israeli air-strikes on the coastal enclave."

8:24: Champagne cork popped.

8:44: I'm watching Mickey Kaus and Bob Wright doing their New Year's Bloggingheads.

9:27: "How cold is it in New York? Look at that jacket! What a candyass!" I exclaim, looking at Ryan Seacrest — whoops for a second there I called him Ryan Seaquest — who is wearing an overstuffed down jacket and ear muffs. We've turned on "Dick Clark's New York Rockin' Eve" — or whatever it's called. I check my iPhone. It's 19° in NYC. So: candyass! They go to commercial, and we switch to "South Park."

10:00: We're kind of excited about Kathy Griffin (along with Anderson Cooper) covering Times Square on CNN.

10:05: The sound technology on CNN is terrible! They're trying to talk to reporters in lots of different cities, and either they can't hear them or the crowd noise is blowing out the microphones. Now Anderson and Kathy can't hear each other when they are standing side by side. "Can we stop saying Pap smear?" Cooper asks, after Kathy makes a few Pap smear jokes.

10:52: CNN comes back from a commercial break with Lynyrd Skynyrd singing "Sweet Home Alabama" in Pikeville, Kentucky. It sounds terrible. Is it the CNN mikes? Or do they suck? Hey, is that Bill Clinton? Oh, that's not Kentucky now. It's New York City. And there's Hillary and Bloomberg. Bill is not wearing a puffy jacket. He's got a lovely brown leather jacket. Very attractive. He's got his values in order.

10:57: Close to the end in New York City. They're playing John Lennon singing "Imagine." Chris says: "It's sort of a downer of a song in the last 2 and a half minutes."

10:58: I'm kinda tired. Can I be on NY time?

10:59: The Clintons start the ball. The ball, the ball, the ball, the ball. Yay!!!! Happy New Year!!!!!!!

11:00: "Oh, I'm tired! Can I be on NY time?" "No! You have to be on the time that you're in!"

11:01: Oh! Good lord! The Clintons are dancing and it makes me cry! Now, Kathy and Anderson are dancing, and Kathy says to Anderson, "Are you seeing anyone?" and we all know that's a huge joke.

10:05: "2 thousand and 9. We got to the big 9." I say that, as if 9 is an especially magnificent numeral. CNN plays Frank Sinatra singing "New York, New York," then Ray Charles singing "America the Beautiful," then Louis Armstrong's "Wonderful World."

10:08: Lot's of folks are wearing those 2009 glasses, and I suddenly realize that this is the last year for the 00 glasses. You'll have to wait until the year 3000 to wear glasses like that. Will we even have eyes in 3000?

11:30: We've finished the bottle of champagne, and I'm making herb tea, as if that will keep me up until midnight. I've muted the TV, which is really annoying me, and Chris and I are making lists of all the movies we saw in 2008 and putting them in order. This little effort wakes me up a bit. Here's my list:
The Fall
Slumdog Millionaire
Synecdoche, New York
The Reader
Iron Man
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Faster, Bigger, Stronger
Standard Operating Procedure
Dark Knight
Children of Huang Shi
Rachel Getting Married
Sex and the City
11:35: Chris IMs his movie list:
The Fall
The Reader
Synecdoche, New York
Slumdog Millionaire
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Iron Man
Rachel Getting Married
Sex and the City
11:40: A shot of Times Square: Everyone has cleared out. Weird. It was the place to be, and then it's nothing.

11:47: Okay, now, who's in the Central Time Zone with me? The Central Time Zone rules!

11:51: "We're the only ones here! This is like a really messed up bar!" So says Kathy Griffin, looking down at Times Square. Anderson Cooper explains the notion of time zones.

11:59: CNN is playing some crap music. This is not the way I want to end a year or indeed what I want to do anywhere.

12:00: HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! We watched CNN do the countdown in New Orleans. It was really lamely done. "Wouldn't it be great if there was a hologram of the Clintons dancing there?" says Kathy Griffin. We laugh. First laugh of the year. That can't be the biggest laugh of the year. Let's hope there are many laughs.

UPDATE, 10/22/11: I'm just reading this by chance and laughing at that last line Let's hope there are many laughs. In the year I was anticipating, I met Meade in January, fell in love with him in February, and married him in August. 2009 was brimming with excitement and happiness... and many, many laughs.


Graham Powell said...

I would be out carousing but I have to work until 10. And after that I'll probably go home. My 2008 was not good, so I'll probably go to sleep and let it silently slink away into the night, like a rat. Or a bad smell.

peter hoh said...

Though I won't be around for the live-blogging, here's my contribution.


We are between events -- just had dinner with some friends, and then its off to two neighborhood gatherings.

Speaking of cheers, whatever happened to Victoria?

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Victoria has been laying low since the election. I think she's a little disappointed in Althouse, but that's just my opinion.

I am twiddling my thumbs waiting to get in the shower and get ready (it's only 6pm here). First up tonight is a bar, then another bar, and then a bar, and then an after hours house party. Real original, I know. But I'll be with good friends and that's what counts. Tomorrow is the annual Sire family brunch, where everyone is hungover and irritable, until the Bloody Mary's arrive.

I plan on not getting too drunk tonight. I really want to remember who I make out with at midnight.

Simon said...

I'm not a big fan of carousing. Seems kind of... Unreserved. I'm a little too British and too traditional for all that. I have a cat sleeping next to my keyboard, a nice cup of Earl Grey, and will break out the Maker's Mark when done with that.

Zach, I don't think that's just Victoria.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Well, if Althouse had voted for McCain, I would still be here.

Ann Althouse said...

Anyone who quit reading this blog because I didn't vote for McCain could not have had much feeling for what this blog is about, what kind of a place this is.

Simon said...

Zach, I only meant that she isn't the only one who has been laying low or been absent. I wasn't making insinuations about their motives.

The Drill SGT said...

Saw the news tonight that Times Square got a new ball made with Waterford crystal and Phillips LEDs.

I was hoping Trooper could explain why NYC went to Ireland and Holland for their products when New York had Steuben Crystal and GE LEDs made at home :)

TitusisHomeTonight said...

Hi everyone. Happy New Year!

I am home tonight. My friends drove to Ptown but I decided not to go.

I have never been that interested in going out on New Years, just not my thing.

So I am home, ordered some great seafood, am cuddling with the clumbers and going to see if there is anything tolerable to watch on the tele.

I love seafood.

The Drill SGT said...

So Titus,

why did Bloomberg Diss the local firms?

TitusisHomeTonight said...

I couldn't tell you Drill Sgt.

I wasn't up on it.

One of the last places I would ever go for New Years is Times Square. I went once and it was the most horrible experience...well that and going to the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade one year.

Henry Buck said...

I'm sitting here watching Elf on USA network with my girls, 9 and 7. They will go to be for a while, then I will wake them up at 11:45 to watch to ball drop.

Christopher Althouse Cohen said...

I'm counting down to the point when Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper appear on my TV, rather than to the new year.

Ron said...

Am I mistaken, Althouse, or didn't you have at least guacamole and Sociables crackers out around this point in the party last year? And those spiced cashews? I'll settle for Kir Royales for now, Crystal for later.

Simon! Loosen that club tie and make a drunken fool of yourself like the rest of us!

Chris said...

I tend to go to a standing party in Hollywood every year but this year the party is not standing. The beauty of a party with good friends is that you can arrange in advance to stay the night. In L.A. (where you need to drive, generally for long distances) this is pretty important. When I hunker down and enjoy successive waves of smart attractive people hitting the place on their risky circuit I feel like I'm taking advantage.

Chris said...


Does anyone turn on the TV before around 11:45?

Christy said...

Baltimore's fireworks were canceled due to wind, not that I planned to check them out.

Simon said...

Ron, my recollection is that I already did that once this year - here, on election night. ;)

Zachary Paul Sire said...

I am recording Anderson and Kathy, and am leaving in a few so will watch in the morning. I am showered and dressed and just called a cab. I'm picking up 2 people so splitting it 3 ways (we're going to Long Beach from Huntington Beach) means it'll be about $10-12 one way (who knows if it'll be the same 3 of us on the return trip). Either way, it's a lot cheaper than a DUI.

Does anyone bang pots and pans anymore? I remember loving being able to bang pots and pans, as loud as I wanted, when I was a kid. You can't do that sort of thing on any other night. Now instead of making loud noise at midnight, we long to be kissing someone, at least that's what we're supposed to be longing for at midnight. But how many of you know for sure who you'll be kissing, if anyone, at midnight? Or do you not care? I'm telling myself that I don't care, so that if it happens I'll be happily surprised.

heywoot said...

I usually go to sleep early, but am awakened by gun fire from the section 8 housing nearby. God bless this wonderful hopey changey country - where taxpayers pay to spread the ghetto to every corner of the land.

Ron said...

heywoot, is that you next door?

TMink said...

I sit typing as my wife and eldest daughter cackle whilst watching America's Funniest Videos. They laugh the hardest at the crotchtastrophy. You know, when someone gets their testicles slammed on video to the delight of the world.

The little ones are asleep on the living room floor. It it 9:35 local, it may be time to open the bubbly. We rented the X Files second movie for when the kids go to sleep.

God bless you all! Happiest New Year!


Palladian said...

"One of the last places I would ever go for New Years is Times Square. I went once and it was the most horrible experience...well that and going to the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade one year."

I went to Times Square on New Year's Eve once, when I lived in my lamented little painting studio above Carnegie Hall (sob!). Anyway, on a dare I walked barefoot from 57th Street and 7th Avenue to I think 49th Street before I had a complete panic attack after stepping in some vomit. I came back and soaked my feet in a solution of Lysol Concentrate and decided that that was the last stupid moment of my youth and from then on I would be an adult and do stupid adult things.

The Thanksgiving parade is much, much worse because it's filled with children who are generally unhappy to be there.

blake said...

And when you've moved on to the future, those of us on the left coast will still be stuck in the past....

Windbag said...

Did anyone see the Macy's parade get rick-rolled this year? Too funny.

Michael_H said...

Oh sure. I'm hanging out over on tick post about three topics back wondering where everyone went.

Left my good stuff over there, dang it.

Ron said...

My career goal is to ricroll the New York Times site...

Jen Bradford said...

Happy New Year everyone. I drank a fizzy glass of Emergen-C to stave off an impending bug and will not be partying further. But cheers to all.

BJM said...

In Sth Florida the neighbors go ape shit with fireworks, I'm not talkin' firecrackers, fountains and sparklers but elaborate aerial displays from all sides for an hour or more, depending on the amount of alcohol consumed and net worth of the household.

A few Dolphins and Heat live in our usually quiet little backwater and if Miami wins next week all hell will break loose. When the Heat won the NBA title in 2006 the fireworks didn't stop for hours.

Floridians like to party.

Palladian said...

2008 was a miserable year, by the way, only topped by 2007 in misery because I lost a beloved family member in February of that year. But in terms of cumulative misery, 2008 may tip the scales. Can't wait until the Transfiguration of The One from lowly President Elect into The Glorious Incarnation of the Godhead on January 20th. Whee! I expect immediate change from misery to exultation. Maybe the cherry blossoms will spontaneously bloom.

reader_iam said...

Does anyone bang pots and pans anymore?

We have them at the ready. Our son is 8, and we live where we live. And we owe him that much.

BJM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BJM said...

blake said: And when you've moved on to the future, those of us on the left coast will still be stuck in the past....


(I say that fondly as a Californian temporarily stranded in palm tree hell)

Christopher Althouse Cohen said...

How many times is Zachary gonna let us know that he's going out before he actually goes out?

Palladian said...

"How many times is Zachary gonna let us know that he's going out before he actually goes out?"

I don't think he's actually got anywhere to go yet. I think all these comments are fishing for an invitation.

You're welcome to come here Zachary, and share Krug Brut 1988, medieval motets, bitterness and, later, fellatio.

Deb said...

I was at a party but my daughter made me leave. Now I will greet the New Year with the cats and probably a movie like Local Hero or Crossing Delancy or I Know Where I'm Going, and a cup of Lipton's. I'm glad I found Althouse this year. That was probably the best thing that happened amid hiring freezes and no merit increases, but thank god, nobody in this family lost their job.

LutherM said...

Regarding the ALTHOUSE comment - "The lady doth protest a bit too much".

Simon said...

Palladian - shit, earlier this evening NPR called Obama the deus ex machina for all that ails our country.

The really funny part was that they seemed to think this was a compliment.

Harsh Pencil said...

candyass is right. I went tubing today with my son and it was -8 degrees F. And we liked it!

dick said...

Had to work late one New Year's Eve at 46th and 6th in Manhattan. At 10 PM I was walking through Times Square to the Port Authority to go home. There was a cop about every 20 feet all around the square. I figured if they were that necessary I was not necessary to be there and never went again at all.

Used to live 10 blocks from Macy's and watched the Macy's Parade on the television. Wouldn't get into that mess on a bet.

Get I am just not a sociable type when it comes to the holidays. I always figured that was the day for amateurs to celebrate as I had the rest of the year to do the same.

Paddy O. said...

It's my week of celebration.

Last night, spent the evening in downtown Portland with my brother and good friends at a great cocktail lounge.

Just got back from seeing The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, a movie I thoroughly enjoyed. We had stopped by the nearby Belgian chocolatier for some treats to enjoy during the movie beforehand and they were delicious.

Taking a bit of a breather, then off to a nice dinner (probably Greek).

Friday is a lovely dinner at a great Portland area French restaurant, and then... a wedding to be had, mine, on Saturday.

Happy New Year!!

reader_iam said...

Random drive-by observation:

If a show is going to use the musical theatre genre as the underpinning for extended, interweaved spoofing, in which the spoofing is not itself about musical comedy but rather is using it in the vehicular sense (think: runners on a sled), it ought to employ people with a certain appreciation of, and facility for--and, I would say, so shoot me, affection for--musical comedy. Otherwise, it's more painful than the idea of Britney Spears piercing her eyeballs for attention (nod to Eli Blake [right?] on an earlier thread) and FAR, far, far less illuminating.

For tolerating that apropos nadavent, to you all I say--`a la Titus--

Thank you.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

But how many of you know for sure who you'll be kissing, if anyone, at midnight?

I'm sure. My husband. Not at midnight... Way past our bedtime. More like 9:30 PST.

Yay! Another year under our belts. Life is good. We still love each other after all these years, have a warm home in a freezing environment, a purring cat to sit on our laps. We drank some Glenfiddich and ate the last of the prime rib roast..... meaty ribs with mustard sauce, roasted sweet potatoes and romaine blue cheese salad with lemon tarts for dessert.

I haven't been "out" for New Years in 30 years and don't miss it a bit.

I feel sorry for Zachary, and others who are in that rut, actually. Anonymous and meaningless sex. Bar hopping and hooking up. All the bright lights can't possibly make up for the dreary darkness and desperation implicit in that lifestyle, hetero OR homo.

How sad.

reader_iam said...

OTOH, the whole Carson Day thang pretty much sucks, too, and primarily because, in that show's case, they're not even really trying.

What pikers. Whence the troupers?

Palladian said...

"We drank some Glenfiddich and ate the last of the prime rib roast."

I've been really into Glenfiddich 18 lately. Tonight it was Balvenie single cask and soon champagne.

reader_iam said...

Sorry: DaLy.

Well, why not help close this year with a typo, now that I think about it? Fitting, that, and even traditional.

Eli Blake said...

The most interesting experience I've ever had on New Years Eve was many years ago when I was in Farwell, Texas on that day. We counted down to midnight. Then we all walked about a hundred yards over the state line into New Mexico and waited until midnight there, and did it again.

Walt said...

I like you Outhouse, we must think alike. In the seven years that I've been on the Internet, I keep running into you. That is most unusual.
This time I will keep you.
When they come to kill all the lawyers, tell them you are a friend of mine. Oh, and Happy New Year!

Eli Blake said...


Dang, I used to bang pots and pans when there was an eclipse, to scare away the monster that was eating the sun.


MadisonMan said...

My pre-teen son is out and will come back around 12:30. He will be a monster to be around tomorrow -- what was I thinking? I'm home working on class worksheets for next semester.

My wife and I were watching (the new!) TV earlier, but nothing is on. But the picture is nice.

MadisonMan said...

Paddy O: Congratulations! Hope it's a great day for you and yours.

amba said...


This is almost like meeting in Times Square, but -- Happy New Year.

Make a joyful noise!

Eli Blake said...

Madison Man:

I know what you mean. Normally, I'd be in bed now (I have a newspaper route that I run in the morning and have to get up really early) but my kids are at a party sponsored by our church, and I have to pick them up a few minutes after midnight.

Eli Blake said...

Plus, I'm still annoyed about that one second they added to the Bush administration.

BJM said...

The neighbor across the lake is a premature ejaculator, the mortar fire has commenced and two cats are glued to my body, eyes as big as plates.

I bitch, but it's kind of cool having private fireworks displays. I peeled off the cats and am heading out front with a lawn chair to sip wine with the neighbors and watch for a's a pleasant 68 degrees.

Happy New Year to all!

Eli Blake said...

Fireworks are illegal as heck here in Arizona. That doesn't mean people don't have them though, so the fire dept. is on full alert tonight.

Palladian said...

Happy New Year! I just blew the cork out of the Krug right out the window!

Simon said...

That's it for the East. Happy new year, everyone - last year was trying at times, but it was a lot of fun spending time with y'all and I look forward to spending more time bickering good naturedly with you all in 2009.

Ann Althouse said...

Happy New Year!!!!

We finished our bottle of champagne 15 minutes ago.

Eli Blake said...

Well, to all you east coasters:

Happy New Year! I still have a couple of hours to wait.

One thing NY can be secure in: LA can't steal New Year's ever from you.

LA stole the Dodgers from New York.

LA stole the entertainment industry from New York.

Reversing the spin of the earth so midnight gets to the west coast first-- well, they're working on it.

JohnAnnArbor said...

In the near suburbs of Detroit.

Automatic weapons fire abounds at the moment, dying back a bit.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

My parents and the neighboors in our suburban area used to really 'put on the dog' for New Years. In the 1950's, cocktail parties were all the rage and the adults would congregate at one of the houses in the neighborhood. The women would dress to the nines wearing all the really cool collectible jewelry that is desirable today. My Mother was very glamorous.

Us kids would be on our own, no one cared what we did unless we were screaming or bleeding. We would play games....get your mind out of the gutter Monopoly, Clue, Tripoly...or sing along to 45s.

If you had really cool parents, like mine, they would let you be a mini bartender or waitress for the party serving hors d'ourves. I knew the difference between a White Russian and a Black Russian and could mix a Manhattan before the age of 12. I was a very sophisticated bartender for a kid. :-)

Mostly, by midnight, we kids were all asleep in piles like puppies in the back bedrooms and the parents were cracking out the noise makers, whooping it up for the New Year. Later, they were getting ready to try to cart our limp bodies home or more often just let us all sleep over and retrieve us in the morning.

JohnAnnArbor said...

I don't understand the pistol shots I'm hearing now. It's OVER. Go back inside! Stop adding more lead to Detroit!

Simon said...

Such a good bunch of people who regularly get together here. Really special.

Eli Blake said...


I've always wondered about the idiots who fire guns up in the air, since people don't even bother to think about where a bullet goes after you are finished firing it. But that's one reason I believe that weapons training should be part of the curriculum in high schools. People are really stupid about guns-- but I know I learned a lot from the weapons training I had to get in high school via ROTC.

I live in a rural area, and everybody has guns, but I doubt if even the idiots with the illegal fireworks are going to be dumb enough to fire guns in the air.

Ron said...

JohnAnnArbor: No, no, random gunfire in Detroit means "festive." I'm more worried when they're quiet.

Yes, we will have eyes in 3000 -- but they'll still be owned by the Chinese, while we're still paying for them.

Merry Happy Jolly to all you commentatin' fools!

reader_iam said...

Sorry for the abrupt gap. We were on the phone with one side of the family for the East Coast turn, and then, just a split-minute later (day-um, we're good!!), with other side out there.

Tick #1 celebration: Accomplished!

Next, a breather, before our own time zone celebration. Well, except for me: I've got a couple call to make betwixt ... and some food to pop into the oven.

Also, where the hell IS the mouthpiece for that damn horn?

Eli Blake said...

John, John....

Maybe the pistol shots are rabid Lions fans committing suicide.

Eli Blake said...


In 3000 AD I imagine you will be able to just walk into something that looks like a phone booth in your home, give it a passord and say where you want to go, and walk out of one just like it near Times Square.

MadisonMan said...

We had a neighborhood party, adults at one house, kids at another, until about 5 or so years ago. At some point, the kids got too old.

Maybe next year I'll serve cocktails, but that would mean staying up too late. A New Years Day brunch might be more my thing.

Eli Blake said...


Exactly. Happy New Year.

Eli Blake said...


Exactly. Happy New Year.

JohnAnnArbor said...

True, the non-firearms-familiar are more likely to be cavalier, I would imagine.

MOSTLY done now. Still some dork with an automatic rifle out there.

Host with the Most said...

That's it for the East. Happy new year, everyone - last year was trying at times, but it was a lot of fun spending time with y'all and I look forward to spending more time bickering good naturedly with you all in 2009.

Damn it. Now I feel all sentimental. It's really a privilege to hang with you all, and don't think I don't know it.

Here's a raised champagne glass to Ann and all the regulars here! Happy New Year!

And a Happy New Year to you, Victoria, wherever you may be!

Nicholas said...

Having moved to a state in the CST in August, I strangely feel as though the New Year is already here because its past midnight in the east. How do people in California manage?

Best wishes for 2009. New Years has become my least favorite holiday. Perhaps because of the last few New Years . . . and the let down they've all turned out to be, in retrospect. The day has degenerating into an amorphous feeling of promise for a new year, but with contemporaneous worry that things will not really get better.

Fourth of July -- now that's a holiday I can get behind! Sun, beer, barbecues, fireworks, and America. Hell yeah.

Chris said...

Rock Band is ready to go, but everyone just wants to talk (and drink and flirt).

Host with the Most said...

Congrats to you, Paddy O! May your wedding be beautiful!

Eli Blake said...

Hey, you guys, quit dissing Victoria.

She's still around, she's been here since the election at least a couple of times when I've been on, and she still posts on her blog. And to be honest, if I know Victoria she is out someplace having a grand time right now.

MadisonMan said...

Glasses in 2010 will just have the '1' over the nose piece, so you'll still have to '0's to look through.

Palladian said...

Damn that Krug was good... Now I've moved on to Bollinger Special Cuvée which is, for my money, a better deal than the Krug. It's delicious and costs less than 50 bucks.

reader_iam said...

By the way, I wasn't bullshittin' in that other thread here.

I did in fact, at pretty much the last minute, revise the originally planned menu for tonight to add to the line-up a nod to online life: Woodtick Salad and Pigs-in-Blankets (in both cases, both regular and veg--and in the case of P-i-B, two versions o' the veg, even!).

Up next: 2009!

Just so you all know.

Eli Blake said...

Wow, I read most of your post, Paddy O but missed the last line.

What a great way to ring in the New Year! Of course don't drink too much champagne tonight, or you may not be recovered by Saturday.

Do you get a bachelor party?

reader_iam said...

Amba: Dear Annie, I'd take whatever paths-crossing I can get with you, any time, any how, any where, any way, virtual and otherwise. Best to you and Jacques for 2009!

Eli Blake said...

Madison Man:

I can't wait until New Year's 2013. It will be the first time in twenty-six years that all four digits will be different.

Plus, I'm tired of all those zeros. It makes me think of a dour economy.

Chris said...

The west coast representing. Two point two hour to go.

Chris said...

Hours. Hours to go. Grrrrrrrrrr. Arrrgghh.

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kev said...

11:47: Okay, now, who's in the Central Time Zone with me? The Central Time Zone rules!

I'm with you! I wish we had our own ball to drop in this time zone so we wouldn't have to rely on New York's all the time. (It might be cool if Reunion Tower in Dallas weren't stationary; the restaurant on top would be a fun place to ride up and down.)

al said...

The wife made it to 10:00pm CST. About normal. The kids and I caught up on the Sarah Connor Chronicles and I enjoyed a wonderful Beam (Knob Creek) and Coke.

Happy New Years to all.

rhhardin said...

Synecdoche, New York

It's part of a much larger town.

MadisonMan said...

Happy CST New Year!

rhhardin said...

I had gone to bed as usual around 8pm but was awakened by gunfire, in the traditional Ohio way.

Palladian said...

Happy New Year, Madison folk!

Michael_H said...

YeeHaaa! Happy ought nine to everyone!

Wife and I just opened up the front and back doors of our cottage (crap, its about 0 degrees outside on whatever scale), swept out the old year and swept in the new one. I feel exhilarated, except for the snow on my bare feet.

Thanks Ann.

Best to all,


Ron said...

The first joke of the year is that "Kathy Griffin" is a tag.

Eli Blake said...

OK. Time for a spot of humor.

Here are some new year's resolutions that I predict that some people will (or could) make this year:

Barack Obama: quit smoking.

The tobacco industry: Crassly sell as many cigarettes as they can to people who idolize Barack Obama, until he quits smoking.

Rod Blagojevich: Keep growing his hair longer until if he is convicted they can't find him because he's hiding someplace in his hair.

Dick Cheney: Get a Blagojevich wig, so nobody will recognize him by his most (ahem) shining feature.

George W. Bush: Plastic surgery so as not to be recognizable at all.

Joe Biden: Start smoking, so he can copy Barack's resolution.

Sarah Palin: Enroll at her community college for a geography and current events class.

The Detroit Lions: See if they can talk the NFL into letting them schedule some games against college teams.

Al Franken and Norm Coleman: Decide to support gay marriage, because they're going to be associated with each other's names for years.

Eliot Spitzer: Find a better role model. Even John Edwards, who at least didn't drag his wife along to the press conference so he could hide behind her, would be an improvement.

Jesse Jackson Jr.: Keep looking over his shoulder, to see what Fitz knows and how much Blago will spill to save his own skin.

Chip Saltsman: Quit blaming the media for his own stupidity.

John McCain: Remind conservatives of why they didn't like him in the first place, as he becomes the reason why Democrats didn't need to get to 60 to break a filibuster.

Oprah Winfrey: Quit worrying about her weight, and take up a new cause: ending discrimination against fat people.

The Big Three automakers: start making cars designed to pass the hardship on and put Big Oil out of business instead of them.

Britney Spears: Don't get in the headlines once all year.

Eli Blake said...

Happy New Year, CST folks! Sorry, I was working away on my last comment.

Eli Blake said...

Then again, I'm only 3/4 of an hour away now.

Michael_H said...

My neighbor is firing off what appears to be a Tet offensive of fireworks. Awesome. He asked me just before Christmas if I'd be upset by NYE pyros. I told him I'd call the PD if there were too few explosions. No cal necessary.

Bedtime looms.

Good night and good year.

Eli Blake said...

As I alluded to earlier, I have to go get my kids at midnight, but likely there are a few people with illegal fireworks around (there are no legal individual fireworks in Arizona.) Hopefully there aren't any brush fires-- it snowed a last week up in the mountains but we didn't even get more than a few drops of rain here.

lewsar said...

so i'm reading the comments section for this post, and my wife calls me into the family room to watch more of season 3 of buffy the vampire slayer. two episodes later, i come back here and almost the first thing i see is chris's comment:

Grrrrrrrrrr. Arrrgghh.

joss whedon ftw!

and happy new year to all.

Mark Daniels said...

Happy new year to everybody who frequents the Althouse blog...and to you too, Ann.

Eli Blake said...

And look Ann, 100 comments.

They may have those '00' glasses in a different form, for 2100, 2200, 2300, etc.

Ask Captain Kirk to let you know.

Then again, in the 1000's, I doubt if Erik the Viking was doing much in the way of celebrating.

Chris said...

I won't deny my love for Buffy. Buffy was the first TV show I ever watched where I actually saw every episode.

Pogo said...

Bless all of you, and may the sun shine upon you every day this year, even if only briefly, and may your burdens be light, even if they are not few.

lewsar said...

the first tv show of which i saw every episode was firefly. buffy seemed natural after that.

Eli Blake said...

And in 1009, William the Bastard of Normandy, who has arguably had more of an effect on the history leading up to the current political/social/cultural shape of the world than any other single individual (though one could also make a case for a few others including Christopher Columbus,) was yet a gleam in his father's eye-- in fact his father was only a child himself. But he did have eyes.

The world was indeed much different then, and by next year we will have undergone only one percent of the change which will occur before the year 3000.

Chris said...

I should add re: Buffy that my ex-boss (and I think friend) was a big Buffy fan. She's a FOOB so I'm hoping she will do her part to inject some of the strong moral values underlying Buffy into the White House.

Eli Blake said...

I've never seen Buffy. Then again, my kids and my wife do most of the TV viewing in our home. I'll take your word that it's a good show but I wouldn't know.

22 more minutes here.

reader_iam said...

No doubt it will surprise no-one that we have multiple versions of "Auld Lang Syne" hanging 'round here. So we had to start a block of them, after we went outside into the hauntingly silent neighborhood (and haunting it is: Typically it's noisy in these parts on holidays, but. not. this. year. [never mind that, for now.]) and banged our pots and/or instruments & etc.

But only for about a minute.

Back to Auld Lang Syne, to which we're still listening, but now just in background. The only three renditions I will note are: 1) an old Guy Lombardo Orchestra performance, to which we raised our glasses in honor of certain of our grand- and great-grandparents and old traditions, 2) a Glenn Miller iteration that's a favorite of mine, to which I danced with my son, who makes every year worth approaching with whatever optimism I can muster, and 3) the Barenaked Ladies version, to which my husband did a turn 'round the living with our son, before carrying His At-Last-Sleepiness up to bed. (Yesssss!!!)

As for the rest, either you'll be bored ...

or I'd prefer to draw the veil.

Happy New Year, all!--and I leave you with this:

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

And surely ye'll be your pint-stowp,
And surely I'll be mine!
And we'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

We twa hae run about the braes,
And pu'd the gowans fine;
But we've wandered mony a weary fit
Sin' auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidled i' the burn,
Frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roared
Sin' auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

And there's a hand, my trusty fiere,
And gie's a hand o' thine!
And we'll tak a right guid-willie waught

For auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

--Robert Burns

Eli Blake said...

I'm of course in making that calculation counting change since 2000.

reader_iam said...

Bless all of you, and may the sun shine upon you every day this year, even if only briefly, and may your burdens be light, even if they are not few.

Right back at you, Pogo.


John Stodder said...

Hello West-coasters and insomniacs across the nation.

I should've checked in sooner. I'm home with my son and my broken ankle, doing some of that social networking thing, actually writing a work-related e-mail. Pretty soon, we'll be watching "North by Northwest" to be followed by "Horse Feathers." My wife is away with her sister and niece. No champagne--just Vicodin. One thing that happens when you mess up your body -- day and night don't apply anymore since I can't really go out and am mostly in bed. Hence, I stay up really, really late and sleep til 10:30. I read Ann's first post of the day before I went to bed.

I, too, miss Victoria. I hope the Obama/McCain thing isn't why she's gone away. This is the only semi-political blog I know of where different views are respected albeit debated vigorously and sometimes liberties are taken. I think Victoria's more right than wrong, generally -- I just couldn't go for McCain.

Eli Blake said...

Hey, I just had a question I'd like to ask anyone familiar with the Times Square celebration (if you're still on):

This week they had those giant shredding machines set up where people could shred 2008 financial statements detailing the collapse of their 401(K)'s. Is that where the confetti came from?

12 minutes here.

CarmelaMotto said...

Happy new year Ann. Ryan is a candyass, but it's not just the temp outside, it's the freakin wind in NY. I went to dinner and the wind was cutting my face and ears up I had to wrap my already hatted head with my candy ass scarf. The upside is that all the wind resistance to my walking meant I burnt more calories.

Eli Blake said...

John Stodder:

Well, not just west-coasters. Here in Arizona it's still 2008 for about five more minutes.

This is the only semi-political blog I know of where different views are respected albeit debated vigorously and sometimes liberties are taken.

At the risk of shameless self-promotion, I was invited about a year ago to join the blogging team at Cold Hearted Truth where the blog owner (who is a right-leaning independent) has made sure of that by putting together a blogging team consisting of two liberals, two conservatives (in addition to himself) and center independent who come election time provides some very good insight into the numbers. There are occasionally some insults thrown around but we get some pretty good discussions going over there too.

Eli Blake said...

I think you're too worried that Victoria is taking it personally.

She's been on here at least a couple of times since the election, and I regularly go post liberal comments on her blog and she's only given me the slap down once (when I was a little over the top and deserved it.)

Eli Blake said...


And an hour after Obama's homestate makes it into 2009, we here in McCain's home state make it there as well (sort of sums up the election outcome this--oops, I mean last-- year, doesn't it?)

Eli Blake said...

Yup. There goes an illegal firework (all fireworks are illegal here, for obvious reasons-- except to the idiot that has them.)

Freeman Hunt said...

Happy 2009 to all.

We rang in the new year watching The Time Machine (1960).

Darcy said...

Happy New Year, Althouse.

Happy New Year, all.

blake said...

Oh, the 1960 Time Machine is just excellent. I put off watching it for years because I didn't see how the book could make a good movie.

Eli Blake said...


I enjoyed that movie, far more than the remake about ten years ago.

I'm going to repost a comment I put in another thread in a raw, pre-published form,

here are my predictions for 2009:

January: In his last act in office, President Bush will issue a full and unconditional pardon to Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. A few days later, Burris will withdraw his name from consideration and Blago will name Karl Rove, who it is learned made a successful bid on a home on the foreclosure block in Cicero. All three of them will deny there was a deal.

Barack Obama will deliver a riveting inaugural speech. After that Joe Biden will rewind the teleprompter and give it again.

Also in January, Chip Saltsman will be elected as chair of the RNC, and the first thing he does after accepting his election will be to lead the assembled delegates in a chorus of, "Barack the Magic Negro," followed by the pledge of allegiance to the Confederate flag and a salute to the late Jesse Helms.

February: The unemployment rolls will swell with former members of the Bush administration. As part of his economic stimulus plan, Obama will offer them jobs earning $12 an hour welding steel girders as part of bridge replacement projects.

Also in February, card-check will pass. Wal-Mart will announce from their corporate headquarters that they are officially having a hissy-fit, and close all their stores.

March: Following slow sports book on the Super Bowl and March madness, the gaming industry becomes the latest American industry to ask for a bailout. They will ask for $20 billion. When Congress balks industry executives will offer 'double or nothing' over a game of craps. Congressional leaders will take them up on it, and roll boxcars.

Also in March there will be a move on to legalize marijuana. Astute White House observers saw this coming in January when Cheech Marin was introduced as the new Surgeon General.

April: Congress passes an amnesty bill making all undocumented immigrants who have not been convicted of a felony American citizens. They will avoid a filibuster by letting John McCain write the bill. The first fallout from this will occur almost immediately as a resolution is passed in the California legislature by a coalition that we quickly rehabilitate the image of the United States by renaming the country, "Los Estados Unidos."

Also in April, the booze industry will ask for a bailout. After sending a whole lot of free product to Capitol Hill for an all-night session, they will be approved for "twenty-shicksh hundred and a gazillion dollars."

Also in April, the Detroit Lions will draft Oklahoma Quarterback Sam Bradford first in the NFL draft. Bradford will refuse to play for the Lions unless they pay him $150 million up front and give him a car company. Desperate, Detroit agrees. Bradford takes over control of General Motors.

May: The U.S. Supreme Court upholds gay marriage. Almost immediately, pastor Ted Haggard will become the first pastor to officiate at his own wedding as he ties the knot with former Idaho Senator Larry Craig.

Also in May, as the price of oil stays under $50 a barrel and research on alternative fuels pushes ahead, Big Oil will ask for a bailout. They will be approved.

June: In order to shock people, Britney Spears will have her eyeballs pierced. Nobody will notice.

Also in June, the pharmaceutical industry will ask for a bailout. They don't need one but what the hey?-- they have the best lobbyists and they know they can get anything they want.

July: In order to shock people, Britney Spears will cut her ear off. Nobody will notice.

Also in July, the coffee industry will ask for a bailout. They will get it after congressional staffers realize that without it there might be no more cappucino.

August: In order to shock people, Britney Spears will have her face removed. Nobody will notice.

Also in August, American forces will capture Osama bin Laden in a cave along the Pakistan/Afghanistan border. He will be caught when he steps outside during a rainstorm to take a shower.

September: Britney Spears will have the first face transplant for purely cosmetic purposes. People will notice-- mainly because the donor will be Jack Nicholson.

Also in September, a slow summer 'blockbuster' season will result in the movie industry asking for a bailout. They will be approved, and shortly thereafter a movie will open in theaters showing a bunch of politicians in suits and holding automatic weapons, heroically standing their ground and fighting off thousands of terrorists.

October: Robert Mugabe, running out of excuses and people to blame for his countries' ongoing economic crisis, will unleash a torrent of violence against the nation's animal population. Gangs of Mugabe thugs will beat
zebras for not being 'black enough.'

Also in October, the Obama administration will negotiate a comprehensive and lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Combined with other peace intiatives the fallout will be immediate, as the arms industry asks for a bailout. They will be approved.

November: Alaska Governor Sarah Palin will pardon another turkey. Specifically, she will say she bears no ill feelings towards John McCain.

Also in November, a financially troubled American industry will ask for a bailout and finally be denied. Shortly thereafter Phillip Morris, Liggett and RJR will file for bankruptcy.

December: Christ will make his second appearance on earth. It will turn out that he grew up in meager surroundings, the son of undocumented immigrants in east L.A., living in the tenements and attending public schools. A lot of people will be saying, "uh-oh."

Kimberly said...

I bought two pairs of the "2009" glasses, with silver glitter and everything, in NYC earlier this month. And I FORGOT to bring them to the party I went to tonight. Darn it!

John Stodder said...

Eli, I will check out Coldhearted Truth. Thanks for pointing me there.

Right now, Eva Marie Saint and Martin Landau are talking to each other in nearby phone booths. My son is amazed that phonebooths were so comfortable. "You could sit down!"

10 minutes til midnite pst. Looks like the Vicodin will take effect just in time.

blogging cockroach said...

i wish everybody at the house here
would go to bed
tommy s brother made a chocolate cake
tommy is the boy whose computer i use
anyway there are all these plates with
chocolate cake on them that nobody
has rinsed yet yay
please please please go to bed
and don t bother with the dishes
i m happy everybody rang in the new year
with chocolate cake now i want some dammit
go to bed already

nobody spilled a drop of the 20 dollar
calif champagne so i won t get any of that
i wish they popped some 80 buck korbel
like palladian did no such luck
and no broken window either
but i deserve cake at least

well even though my stomach is growling
i want to wish everybody a safe and
happy new year
and a healthy and prosperous 2009

btw reader thanks for the recipe and auld
lang syne which always brings a tear to my
beady eyes even though all i can hear in
my head is guy lombardo playing it
which is a pretty good way to pass the time
until i can get to those plates.

Host with the Most said...

Midnight, Pacific Coast!

Happy New Year!

Eli said above:

The Detroit Lions: See if they can talk the NFL into letting them schedule some games against college teams.

Man, don't we all wish!

By the way, doing the visiting relatives holiday at Disneyland later this New Years Day. It's the least crowded of the Holiday Season days - Christmas is slammed, and New Year's Eve is the Park's busiest day of the year.

I will take the adults through the slow rides, and end the day (probably at midnight again)in Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room.


blake said...

Happy New Year, guys!

Kev said...

Happy new year to all four Continental time zones! Paddy O, best of luck with the wedding, and Pogo, thanks for the great blessing a little earlier.

Here's to a great 2009!

Eli Blake said...

Happy New Year, all you west coasters. I stayed up an hour later just so I could say that to you!

And with that, I'm off to bed.

John Stodder said...

My son was scandalized by how smutty "North by Northwest" was. He finally got most of the innuendo. He's been watching this movie since he was six. Now that he's a composer he was noticing all the little musical details. Best orchestral score for a Hollywood movie -- perhaps tied with "To Kill a Mockingbird."

Anyway, to the handful of folks still up, Happy 2009 to you all!

blake said...

Yeah, Hitch in general had great composers--Tiomkin and of course Hermann, whom he snubbed so horribly on Torn Curtain.

Or so my old Composition for Movies & TV prof (David Raksin) had it. He used to refer to Hitch as "that fat old bastard", though, so maybe not so objective.

blake said...

I guess we don't have any Hawaii posters, but to you Hawaii lurkers out there: Happy New Year!

Meade said...

"First laugh of the year. That can't be the biggest laugh of the year. Let's hope there are many laughs"

Raising my cup to that sentiment and taking my first sip of hot strong black coffee to that.

I am wishing Althouse and all her wacky worldly-wise wonderful readers a new year filled with hope, love, and friendship.

And laughter... always laughter.

TitusHappyNewYear said...

Happy New Year everyone!!!!

I ended up falling asleep at 11:00 last night...and you all thought I was some crazy "carouser".

It has been a pleasure to join in and be a part of the Althouse commentary this year as well as the past couple.

Thank you for indulging me in my insanity or for not indulging me in my insanity.

I am going to get some eggs benedict for myself and a couple of sirlions for the rare clumbers now. One of the best things about living where I live is I can walk out my door and get any type of food at any time-love that.

Walking around New York in December without shoes on Palladian? What kind of bet was that?

TitusHappyNewYear said...

Just for today I am not going to share my morning loaf but don't expect that to be a New Years Resolution.

Did you know when I was in Madison at Urban Outfitters they had a "book of poop"-of course I purchased it and was in heaven.

TitusHappyNewYear said...

I had a dream last night that Althouse picked me up on the streets of Waunakee in a minivan. When she dropped me off I looked in the mirror of my parents house and I was Clay Aiken. In the dream I thought Althouse wouldn't call me back for a second "date" because I looked like Clay Aiken.

How weird, huh?

Also, in the dream there was a minnie Door Alley or whatever they call it in my parents neighborhood in Waunakee..I didn't attend.

HelenParr said...

they had a "book of poop"-of course I purchased it and was in heaven.

Hog heaven?

Ron said...

Althouse! Get outta bed, blog's a-wastin'! The New Year is almost 10 hours old, and no post? Something musical, perhaps...

sorry, still not enough coffee...I'll make more!

3D said...

Happy New Year! For all the good ones!

siyeh pass said...

Happy New Year. Missed last night's festivities - hit the pillow way early due to dropping off the kid @Minneapolis airport @4:30am and driving straight to Madtown. Will be enjoying the next few days off.

Thanks for the movie list. Will check out The Fall - missed that one the first time around.

Beth said...

Well, I'm home from our overnight visit across the lake with dear friends and I find out CNN did a countdown in New Orleans. I had no idea. What was lousy about it?

There was an interview in the local paper with the guy who drops the ball off Jax Brewery's tower, and he 'fessed up that one year, he did it four minutes late. Ha! I hope that didn't happen again. Somebody should buy him a watch that updates via satellite and has a light.

We drank champagne, ate etouffee, set off fireworks in the street and drank some more. Nothing exciting, and no TV.

Happy 2009, y'all.

Ann Althouse said...

Eli Blake said..."I think you're too worried that Victoria is taking it personally. She's been on here at least a couple of times since the election, and I regularly go post liberal comments on her blog and she's only given me the slap down once (when I was a little over the top and deserved it.)"

Sorry, but she wrote on her blog -- somewhere in the comments -- that she's avoiding my blog because I didn't support McCain. That was the basis for my remark at 8:24. I'm not speculating. I'm taking her at her word. Ruth Anne also left after I said I was voting for Obama. And Ruth Anne, much more than Victoria, is someone who I'd thought really got this blog.

Eli Blake said...


That's tremendously disappointing. I can't imagine taking someone's vote as a personal affront.

Simon said...

Ann (and Eli), perhaps I shouldn't say this, but I really don't think those people actually took offense just because you voted for Obama. (Certainly I don't read Victoria's post on the subject that way.) The irritation, as I understood it, was a feeling that you had not been honest about your real motivations (certainly not with your readers, and possibly not with yourself), and that the soi-disant "cruel neutrality" was disingenuous. I'm not alleging that any of that is actually the case -- one could even say I'm cruelly neutral about it -- but I think that some of those who left believed that to be the case, and they walked because of that, not just because you voted for Obama.

Simon said...

Eli Blake said...
"I can't imagine taking someone's vote as a personal affront."

Perhaps you aren't personally so inclined, but many on your side of the aisle regard that as par for the course. Consider the treatment of Althouse for voting for Bush four years ago - or the way opponents of Proposition Eight have been behaving since their defeat.

Ann Althouse said...

"The irritation, as I understood it, was a feeling that you had not been honest about your real motivations (certainly not with your readers, and possibly not with yourself), and that the soi-disant "cruel neutrality" was disingenuous."

What does that even mean? I think most people thought when I was being cruelly neutral that I was really leaning toward McCain, so maybe some McCain supporters got their hopes up from that. There was nothing dishonest, and the accusation that I was dishonest was a big insult, and those who made it should apologize to me, not go over to some other blog and bitch about what was their misjudgment of what was going on.

blake said...

I think most people thought when I was being cruelly neutral that I was really leaning toward McCain,

Talk about missing the point.

Ann Althouse said...

I hope you mean that they were missing the point, not that I am!

blake said...


Them. It was apparent to me that you were more interested in Obama (and really, why not?) than McCain.

But it's also apparent you have a natural cynicism toward politicians and while you identify as a liberal, you don't identify as a "true believer".

Most blogs are about trying to convince people to arrive at a certain place; this one's about the journey. You really made that clear in 2004, and again last November.

Ann Althouse said...

Thanks, blake.

peter hoh said...

Someone else noticed the 200X glasses issue.

Eli Blake said...


I'd agree as far as SOME proponents of prop 8 (though nobody I know got that mad at anybody who voted for Bush.) As a liberal Mormon, I got a lot of grief from my neighbors here in town for voting against it (here in Arizona we had an identical proposition numbered prop 102.) I did go in to see my bishop though and tell him, "I don't think I can vote for this," and his response was "The leaders of the Church have made an endorsement, but they aren't giving you orders about how to cast your vote. Vote your conscience."

I've not yet gotten any grief from my gay friends of family members about being a member of my church though.

I'm still surprised about Victoria and Ruth Anne having such a reaction. I guess this is a sign of how much partisanship and ideological politics have poisoned otherwise perfectly good people.

odor said...

I love your blog, each post is more interesting than the other.. thank you for much for sharing ! :)

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