Personal–2016 Round-up & Forecast

(This annual update {edited here for general readership} accompanied my note to my personal Christmas card list {see previous blog post}.)

My wife and I are both doing well, just the usual growing pains. She spins at the gym or does Pilates five days a week and tap dances. She teaches one course per semester, sees clients one day a week, and is working on the 3rd edition of her textbook.

At the NeCaHi Class of 1966 50th Reunion

As for me, my knees won’t let me jog any more, but I go to the gym 2–3 times/week, and that seems to be working to keep me pretty much in the same shape I’ve always been. Posters ain’t what they used to be, but I keep the business going, partly because it lets me write and publish as if I were Simon & Shuster. Our big trip this year was back to Trump country for the 50th reunion of the NeCaHi class of ‘66 (blog post: “50 Years and Counting”).

As many of you know, I came out with my second novel, Luck of the Draw, and will continue to market both novels forever. More blogging, tweeting, perhaps a podcast, I dunno. For those of you who said you’d be happy to write an Amazon reader review but have somehow not found the time–get on the stick! It should take you all of fifteen minutes.

As for my new dilemma: It was about this time last year that Trump came on the scene, “bigly,” as he so eloquently likes to say. It was just as I was trying to come up with a gimmick to make the novel stand out from the 2,000 other books published in the U.S. every day. I’ve always had an oddball mentality for graphics and slogans, and I was struck with the idea for Don’t Be a TRUMPiE! bumperstickers. It seemed like a fun way to contribute to his defeat while simultaneously drawing attention to the novel.

I asked my wife to draw a caricature, and she came up with the flying hair. He had been such a TFA (Total F…ing A..hole) for over forty years that it seemed incomprehensible to me that any reasonable person could ever vote for him.

In the spring I took a course in social media at the JC, and as the semester trumped along I learned enough to be able to post blogs and have a little fun mocking TRUMPiEs with designs for bumperstickers, buttons, T-shirts, and coffee mugs. I despise self-promotion and am lousy at it, but simultaneously mocking trumpies made promoting the novel as part the same website tolerable. I figured the novelty would vanish once Trump lost in the primaries. Oh well.

Election day was exactly twenty years to the day that my wife and I met (the story of our anniversary “celebration” is at the blog post: “The Mourning After”). The gloom since the election has been pervasive, and at a party last week people were talking about how Trump will be coming after Muslims and Mexicans, and I jokingly said guys with ponytails won’t be far behind.

“No,” somebody said. “You’re safe. You pay taxes.”

People at the party were of our era, and many discussions were about retirement and travel to exotic locales and crossing items off bucket lists. I don’t really have that type of list. My goals consist of getting my novels “out there” and now, unfortunately, doing what I can to thwart Trump’s agenda any way I can. It wasn’t part of the plan, but by adapting the NoTrump graphics and slogans to the new reality (as with the enclosed stickers) I’ve got a four-year head start toward defeating him next time around. I wish I could just work on the next novel, but fear of the alt-right’s fascistic dream coming true are too distracting for a political junkie like me.

View of “our” vinyard in early spring.

Perhaps I should look at this as an opportunity to do something worthwhile in my late youth. I feel no great need to climb Everest or canoe up the Amazon or take an Aegean cruise or hang-glide off of Half-Dome in Yosemite. As those of you who have visited here know, we have a modest house that just happens to be plopped down on one of the sweetest spots on the planet. Why go anywhere? Everything I need or want is right here.

My wife thinks differently. She’s already been almost everywhere, but still wants to travel. In 2015 she fulfilled a lifelong ambition to go to Madagascar to check out the lemurs. Did I want to tag along and spend three weeks in the bush with the lemurs? Are you kidding? Still, I’m sure she’ll convince me to go somewhere this coming year.

Best of luck as the trumpies take over. We are all going to need it. Bigly.