It was a quiet and peaceful New Year's Eve at the Tarnoff home this year, though I served our guests more than enough cheese fondue to send us all into 2009 with high spirits and perhaps even higher cholesterol.
Still, spending the evening at home gave me a sober moment to see how the rest of the world was ushering in the new year. And best I could tell, the scene at Times Square was more frigid than even Milwaukee.
I realize it's a few days late, but here are some final reflections on New Year's Eve:
Dick Clark needs to retire: I thought Dick Clark made a really courageous move when he returned for his "New Year's Rockin' Eve" in 2005, just a year after his major stroke. That said, his slurred speech isn't getting any better, and he's almost incomprehensible now. Additionally, and sadly, he's compensating by acting overly animated, and his teeth (or perhaps his mouth control) look strangely wonky. Clark had a brilliant career, but it's time for him to hang it up. Think about how people remember Harry Caray: not as a storied broadcaster, but as a mumbling, senile, old coot. That's not how the 79-year-old Clark should ride into the sunset.
New Year's Eve on Wednesday is awesome: Why? Because we're back at work today, and it feels like a Monday. But actually it's a Friday. Another weekend is just hours away.
Wait, Anderson Cooper is gay? Meanwhile, on CNN, we checked out the odd pairing of Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin. Apparently, there's lots of talk the Cooper is gay. Not that I care, nor is it any of my business, but I wouldn't have guessed that. The blogosphere points to his unwillingness to talk about his private life, as well as a few "telling" clips on YouTube. While I'd like to applaud Coop for trying to keep himself on the journalist's side of the news, he'd be better served to stop playing the role of CNN rock star. Maybe then the rumors would die down.
Watching the ball drop, on tape-delay, is anti-climactic: Delaying live East Coast celebrations by an hour seems a little lame. The fact that I actually watched them, in turn, makes me feel a lot lame. And for Pete's sake, can't someone give those hosts a heater? I'd almost rather listen to Dick Clark than try to hear the other hosts act witty and relaxed while their mouths are frozen shut. Lionel Richie, by the way, looked very uncomfortable -- probably because even he knew he had no reason to be standing on that podium.
Happy New Year, or Happy New Year's? I've blogged about Milwaukee's obsession with making everything possessive, and this holiday is no exception. Even I find myself wishing people "Happy New Year's," and I'm a total grammar snob. I think it's because the holiday is called New Year's Eve, though it's obvious that we should be wishing each other a happy new year.
Andy is the president, publisher and founder of OnMilwaukee. He returned to Milwaukee in 1996 after living on the East Coast for nine years, where he wrote for The Dallas Morning News Washington Bureau and worked in the White House Office of Communications. He was also Associate Editor of The GW Hatchet, his college newspaper at The George Washington University.
Before launching OnMilwaukee.com in 1998 at age 23, he worked in public relations for two Milwaukee firms, most of the time daydreaming about starting his own publication.
Hobbies include running when he finds the time, fixing the rust on his '75 MGB, mowing the lawn at his cottage in the Northwoods, and making an annual pilgrimage to Phoenix for Brewers Spring Training.