December 31st, 2017

carole lombard 07
  • vp19

Summing up '17




Last night, I watched the Carole Lombard films "Twentieth Century" (top) and "True Confession" at the Aero Theater in Santa Monica, with a few over 100 fellow spectators. "Century" was in the same 4K DCP restoration seen earlier this year at the TCM Classic Film Festival, while "Confession" was in a fine 35mm print. It was so wonderful to see Carole cavort on a big screen in the company of others.

And speaking of "Carole" and "company," this site is on the verge of entering 2018 after celebrating a decade's existence in June -- something I never could have imagined when I began things midway through 2007.

A year ago, I celebrated New Year's Eve in a Skid Row shelter, and for the first time since early childhood couldn't stay up and witness the yearly change. Now, I'm in transitional housing, essentially on my own, and will be able to watch 2017 become 2018.



When the odometer of time shifted 1999 to 2000, I witnessed its arrival in New York (at the time, I lived in New Jersey). The crowd was so huge (though conditions were thankfully nowhere as frigid as NYC likely will be tonight) that I couldn't get close to Times Square; I settled for reveling on 59th Street, at the southern end of Central Park.

So much has changed. The twin towers of the World Trade Center stood in their brutalist architectural style over lower Manhattan; Donald Trump was rarely defined in a political sense, but merely as a bombastic real estate developer and a favorite subject of city tabloids; and local sports sites included the 1976 version of Yankee Stadium, Shea Stadium, the Meadowlands stadium for the Giants and Jets, as well as an adjacent indoor arena for the NHL's Devils and NBA's Nets and the Nassau Coliseum for the NHL Islanders. All those venues now are gone, as am I from NYC (my last visit was in late 2004).

And anyone born in the U.S. after the stroke of midnight Jan. 1, 2000 will be eligible to register to vote as of tomorrow.



Los Angeles has been my home since mid-2014, and it's a city I've come to love even though peripheral vision problems have left me unable to drive since 2010. While 2016 was a financial slap in the face, 2017 marked the start of a potential rebound -- not just the aforementioned housing, but Social Security benefits, a senior TAP card (30 days of unlimited LA metro rides for a mere $20!) and a more optimistic sense. Once I find sustained work to supplement Social Security, things will be even better.



For Carole & Co., 2017 could be characterized as the year I got my mojo back. Losing my apartment in early 2016 understandably often dissuaded me from writing entries. In 2014, I wrote entries on 362 days of the year, and followed with 359 in 2015, roughly the same near-daily level I pursued since starting the site. But in 2016, I only wrote on 38 days; in two of those months, I sent but one entry.



Things gradually picked as 2017 progressed, thanks in part to March's showing of the rarely screened 1931 Lombard-Gary Cooper feature "I Take This Woman" -- I posted entries on 40 days over the first seven months, about the time I found transitional housing in late July, and on another 32 days from August to November. This month, I'm back in my near-daily groove. With this entry, I will have posted on 23 days, and on 19 in a row from Dec. 13. Sometime in January, I will surpass 3,400 career entries.



The support you've supplied has meant so much, and I wish you all a sensational, and improved, 2018.
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