2014 will be the year of…

I don’t like New Year’s resolutions. There’s something about the word “resolution” itself that makes me want to violate it immediately. Maybe because of its resemblance to the word “revolution,” which makes me want to rebel against any stupid promise I make for 2014, so instead I’m going to ponder what kind of year 2014 will be, based on my mindset today.

It will be the year of steak.

Medium rare. With very little fat. seasoned with sea salt and pepper. Juicy. Something that will make vegans have apoplectic fits. I plan to eat as much cow as possible in all different forms, but steak is definitely tops on my list of food awesome!

It will be the year of chill.

I worry too much. I’m sick and tired of having to physically unclench my face every time something goes wrong. I’m going to relax. Maybe throw something heavy at things at people who annoy me. Actually, that last one sounds kind of fun, other than perhaps getting sued after hitting someone with some heavy projectile. But I’m not going to stress it. I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. And if I really do wind up causing a laceration so serious that it needs stitches with that concrete slab I pitched at your head…

…well, you probably deserved it.

It will be the year of wine.

Because I like wine, and because my parents live next to this amazing winery, where they get me bottles and bottles of this highly addictive fluid made from fermented grapes. Seriously. If you’re ever in Bucks County, PA, you need to stop by this place.  It was founded by two University of Pennsylvania grads, who have created this incredible place and run it with their families. They have everything from dry to sweet in all flavors, with various fruits. No, this is not a commercial for Buckingham Valley. I just really do love their wines, and have for more than 10 years.

It will be the year of TV.

I may actually get back into the boob tube. I learned English by watching shows like Gilligan’s Island and cartoons like Bugs Bunny. I wasn’t picky. Frankly, after the black and white, two-channel nightmare we had in the former USSR, I was pretty much obsessed with TV when I was a kid, and I literally watched  anything and everything. I’ve become more picky as an adult. TV plays in the background, but it’s mostly background noise. I will watch Walking Dead, Scandal (they call it a guilty pleasure for a reson – don’t judge me), Homeland religiously. I’ll catch Once Upon a Time via On Demand, but I’m pretty much over that show. The concept was interesting at first – a bunch of fairy tale characters stuck in modern day America without knowing they’re fairy tale characters, thanks to the efforts of the gorgeously stunning Evil Queen (played by the inimitable Lana Parilla) – but it’s gotten a bit contrived, so probably not.

I’ve started watching “The Assets,” based on a book by Sandy Grimes, who was part of the CIA team that helped catch Aldrich Ames, who betrayed America to the Russians and caused the deaths of numerous American assets during the Cold War. It’s a mini-series, and it’s based on real events, so I will continue to watch it, even though it didn’t do all that well in the ratings, proving once again that Americans prefer the Rednecks and Hos reality show circus of Jersey Shore and Duck Dynasty, to actual interesting, well-written shows. Oh well.

I’m excited for “The Americans” to return to FX as well. (Are you sensing a theme here?) Another Cold War spy drama about two agents placed within American society during the 80s. Well written. Well executed. Realistic. Raw. Correct Russian language dialogue, because the majority of the actors playing the Russians are actually… you know… Russian, as opposed to American actors trying real hard, but failing the believability test when they portray Russians.

And I will definitely watch “The Following,” because the cult-crazy serial killer thing appeals to my darker side.

And Sherlock… because CUMBERBATCH!

Anyone have any other suggestions?

It will be the year of photography.

I love taking pictures. I have an older model Canon Rebel XTi that I got while I was deployed to Kosovo. I’ve had a ton of fun with this camera, and I think I’ve taken some gorgeous shots, some of which you’ve seen here. But my photography has become a rare treat. Most of the time, I’m working hours that are too long, stressing about stuff I can’t control, and losing my shit.

I’ve decided I need to return to photography. Maybe sell a few photos. I like working in Photoshop and making good photos interesting. I have a RedBubble account. I’ve uploaded precious few photos onto my site in the past two years, and it’s time to change that. I need to do more stuff like this.

The Alps in BW

And this.

Latvia 094

Because it’s more fun.

It will be the year of learning.

The new job is challenging. The team is fantastic and dedicated. And I am the new kid on the block who will be trying to absorb all the new stuff for months to come. Luckily, it’s also interesting, so the learning will be good learning, and not the kind of learning that has you sitting around dozing off.

I also want to improve my Russian skills. No, it’s not enough to have kicked the DLPT in the nuts last year. I want to be able to switch over to Russian freely without having to exert my tiny little brain.

And I want to learn more cool stuff about manipulating images in Photoshop. Much of the framed art in our house was actually created by me and converted to large, poster-sized art by RedBubble. I want to do more stuff like this.

I also want to try new recipes. I have Flipboard on my iPhone that allows me to save cool recipes directly into my Flipboard account. You’d better believe I will be using that bad boy a lot more often this year!

Because it’s fun.

It will be the year of getting rid of toxic.

I start every year by culling my Facebook friends list. Many times I look at it, and ask, “What? Who the hell is this person? Why are they on my friends list?” Other times, I realize anyone who takes anything on Facebook to heart or disagrees with me on politics and “unfriends” me after years of what I thought was friendship, is really not worth my time. I think I lost the most “friends” – real, actual people whom I knew personally and interacted with for years, during the Zimmerman trial and its aftermath.

For the record… no, I will not engage in any Facebook stupidity by changing my profile photo to a large, red equal sign in support of marriage equality. Yes, I support loving gay couples who want to legally spend their lives together (by getting government out of the marriage business completely), but you won’t see me making meaningless gestures such as changing my profile photo to a black box in support of some vapid movement to complain about Trayvon Martin, putting my bra color in code to support breast cancer awareness (I’m perfectly aware of it, thank you) in my status updates, or spreading stupid Internet memes, because God kills a kitten every time I don’t. Whatever.

So if you want to end our friendship because I don’t support your pet political cause, get the hell out of my life (and off my Facebook page). Also, if you’re a liar, a mooch, an emotional drain who constantly needs validation, affirmation and attention, a socially inept dork who can’t be bothered to have a mature conversation or shake my hand, or even give me a friendly hug when we meet, an entitled whiner or a consistent leech on my emotional and monetary resources (yes, I do help friends out who need it, and I am happy and proud to do so… until they become an unbearable, toxic drain on my very being), just do me a favor and go away.  Not going to put up with it.

I want truth out of friendship. I want a give and take. I want interaction, instead of constant seeking of attention and validation. I want honesty. Honesty is a biggie for me. I’ve ended close relationships over lies, and that’s one of the few things I just won’t tolerate. I want mutual support. And I want fun. If you can’t handle it, please go away. I promise I won’t sweat it if you quietly exit from my life.

And it will be the year of…

Snow, zombies, dog, cat, husband, kids, guns, architecture, trees, theater, Shakespeare, movies, books, warm socks, long walks with Tucker and Rob, long conversations with the Redhead, proud mom moments with my new Marine (yes, I will post photos after graduation), old friends, booze, burgers, new recipes, hugs, snuggles, dog drool, cat meows in the middle of the night, road trips, museums, concerts, maybe a musical, new friends, travel to new places, hockey games, candles that smell good, gym, good hair days, taking the Jeep out into the elements, hiking, dark roast coffee, new teas from Harney & Sons and Teavana that my gorgeous Redheaded kid gave me for Christmas, new restaurants, better weight training, more wandering around DC in the spring.

So, what is it that you expect from this year? Just curious.


15 responses

  1. Just found your blog. Good stuff I’m going to put you in my links. Keep up the good work and THANK YOU for you service.


  2. It’s funny how when you’re young, all those connections to people you have nothing in common with are so important. Maybe because you have all the time in the world.
    As you get older, it takes too much time and energy to keep that crap going, it’s just not worth it. And what you’re younger self doesn’t realize, it was never worth it.


    1. You’re correct. I can see it in my kids. They’re so worried about how many Twitter followers and Facebook friends they have! I’m like… who cares! I have no time for toxic shit in my life.


    2. I’ve found I more enjoy FB for the people I’ve never met, mostly from blogging years back. I have found my fellow travelers, so to speak. Mike Williamson, Scott from The Razor, and Kami (Risawn) are great examples. The friends and family updates, meh, not so much. I’ve even got most of my extended family blocked.
      The toxic, that’s why I had to get away from political blogging, I was tired of being pissed off all the time simply by having to keep up with what’s going on. I still read the key blogs just to pay attention but it’s a shame I’m happier the less I know.


      1. Well, Mike Williamson and I have been friends since before blogging became a “thing,” and since before Freehold was published. We’re actually friends in real life and been so for more than 10 years. There are some folks whom I haven’t met in person, but have known online for more than a decade – ones with whom I’ve spoken via email, phone, etc.

        Some just add me because of the blog, or because we have friends in common, and many have wound up being weird, creepy, annoying or stalkerish. I generally ask friends in common whether they know this person, and whether the person is OK before approving the friend request, and even then I sometimes wind up making them go away!

        Most of the ones I don’t know in person or haven’t known for years, I keep around for the links they post, as I have no desire to go digging for news.

        Notice, I’ve sort of gotten away a little bit from politics. I’m sick of it. I still blog my views, but I just don’t have the energy for it any longer.


  3. Nicki, I’m glad I found your blog and have been able to interact a little bit. You’re a good writer and a deep thinker, and I like that. I’m tired of just hearing people repeat talking points from one party or the other. It’s refreshing to get new and original thinking. I enjoy “discussing” things and I’m old enough to know that I don’t know everything. (I guess you have to be older before you learn that. At least I had to be.) I’m enjoying every day of my life and my sincere hope and wish is that you do the same. All the best to you and your family in the coming year.



    1. Thank you. Your participation and presence is much appreciated. Happy New Year to you and your loved ones. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for a fantastic year!


  4. Unfortunately many if not most of the LIV”s also learned to speak English watching Gilligan’s Island and were also too stupid to realize that bugs bunny was written for adults, not children or those with child-like minds.

    As far as lean steak, you can have it. I detest filet mignon as it has no beefy flavour. If I’m going to eat a steak give me a rib-eye.

    And one curious point. What is your native language, I thought it was Russian? Mine is gibberish but I try to do my best with English. 🙂


    1. My native language IS Russian, but I came here as a kid, and I lost much of it. I strive to attain the fluency. I also know some French, German, Serbian and Ukrainian.


  5. Oops, that first comment is not a dig at your English. I know you went on to learn more and are highly educated and smart. Two separate issues. So I apologize if it comes across wrong it was not meant as an insult.


    1. Dude. Not at all. I’m not exactly sensitive! LOL!


  6. I made a resolution not to curse for 5 minutes into the new year. Resolution kept! Now back to calling people fucktards.


    1. I made no such resolution. I knew better than to try!


  7. Try watching Person of Interest. It’s in its second season, I just found it, and need to watch it from the beginning, but it looks intriguing.

    As for New Year’s Resolutions, the last one I made I have kept since I made it, about 40 years ago: I resolve to make no more New Year’s Resolutions.


  8. Since I am OCD when it comes to lists, I kept trying to alphabetize your list at the end of your post! Happy New Year!!! 🙂


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