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2018 is going to be a great year.

This is the year that the American people are going to rise up and go to the polls in massive numbers on November 6th and vote out GOP lawmakers at all levels of government in a huge “NO” to Donald Trump.

Enough is enough.

With everything that’s going on in Washington, it’s hard to stay positive and optimistic, but I’m going to. When I was phone-banking for the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2016 (which I didn’t do enough), there were hats for sale at our local Democratic headquarters with “BLUE WAVE” on the front. Remember that for a few fleeting moments, the Hillary campaign thought that she was going to win forty states?

That dream evaporated, but a new dream exists. A new wave of activism—a real “blue wave”-- is growing across the country and is going to clean house in November. The Dems need to switch 24 seats in the House. It’s doable.

If you hate Trump and what he and the GOP stand for, here are some good places to work off your anger positively:

SWING LEFT – Find your nearest vulnerable GOP representative and unseat him or her.
https://swingleft.org

INDIVISIBLE – Organize at the grass roots.
https://www.indivisible.org

KNOCK ON EVERY DOOR – Canvass for progressive causes.
https://knockeverydoor.org

RUN FOR SOMETHING – Run for office yourself.
https://www.runforsomething.net

OPERATION 45 -- Work for transparency in the Trump/Pence administration.
https://www.facebook.com/operationfortyfive/

MOVEMENT VOTER PROJECT – Find local progressive groups.
https://movementvote.org

THE PUSSYHAT PROJECT – Fight for women’s rights.
https://www.pussyhatproject.com

MOVEMENT MATCH – Find the right group for you.
https://jointhemovementtoday.weebly.com

 

And that’s just a start. The #MeToo Movement signals a major shift in our society.  There are many places to do good.  Start now; things could hardly be more dire.

 

On a personal level, 2018 is going to be a great year for me. Life is random and accidental. Surprises are guaranteed every day. But I live a fairly regulated life (my choice), so I know a lot of what I’ll be doing in 2018.

In my perfectly accurate crystal ball, I see that in 2018 I will –

-- Turn in my latest draft of WHEN I GOT OUT and hope that my editor likes my changes, which I think improve the book

-- Babysit Calder twice a week (or more, if possible)

-- Go back to New York in March for the first time in two years -- for a family wedding – and while we’re there see TURANDOT at the Met, the big, fat Zeffirelli production,

-- Do yoga four times a week

-- Tend my cactus

-- See Van Morrison at the Wiltern Theatre here in LA on February 26th. (I’ve lost count of the number of times the TG and I have seen Van, but it’s in the high thirties, starting with Carnegie Hall in 1972, with Grin as the opening act.)

-- Go to the Los Angeles Opera three times -- https://www.laopera.org -- and see:

CANDIDE with Kelsey Grammer and Christine Ebersole (I know the music very well, but oddly enough, I’ve never seen a CANDIDE onstage.)

Kristen Chenoweth’s remarkable “Glitter and Be Gay”—music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Dorothy Parker
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnJIMSy-o4k

“Make Our Garden Grow” – conducted by Bernstein himself, with Jerry Hadley and June Anderson
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgXMxhMhYm4

 

ORPHEUS AND EURYDICE, Gluck’s gem, in a heavily choreographed show with the Joffrey Ballet

Juan Diego Florez singing “J’ai perdu mon Eurydice”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MCOKMuwKkA

Yuja Wang plays “Melodie de Gluck” from ORPHEUS AND EURYDICE – absolute magic

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QA9GCwstBMM

 

RIGOLETTO, Verdi’s masterpiece, perfect for the #MeToo era (When you think about it, Harvey Weinstein behaved like the Duke of Mantua, with all his enablers, but looks like Rigoletto.)

 

RIGOLETTO – the whole thing, with subtitles – with Luciano Pavarotti, Ingvar Wixell, and Edita Gruberova, conducted by Riccardo Chailly – Isn’t the internet great?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYDI6MWkCW8

The Quartet from Act III of RIGOLETTO – All-star concert version (with Anna Netrebko, Elina Garranca, Ramon Vargas, and ??) – the great tune starts at 1:30
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJMy_rv-Ix8

 

-- Walk around my block almost every day, with my dog Chloe

-- See the rest of our LA Philharmonic series … Yefim Bronfman playing an Esa-Pekka Salonen piano concerto, with the composer conducting … Dudamel conducting Mahler’s “Das Lied von der Erde” … Semyon Bychkov conducting, Katia and Marielle Labeque playing … Dudamel conducting and Peter Sellers directing Schumann’s oratorio “Das Paradies und die Perl”

-- Go on a cruise of the Baltic with the TG, my Sister-in-Law, and her partner Ned

-- Watch dozens of Dodger games and maybe go to one. (But tickets are so expensive, and my new 4G Samsung TV is so fine…)

-- Go to Cambria with the family at the end of summer

-- Finish INFINITE JEST – (It’s too distracting to read while I’m working on WHEN I GOT OUT.)

-- Swim every day in the summer, if I can

-- Spend as much time with the TG as her schedule permits

and, last but not least,

-- Work hard for the Democratic Party. My district is safely Democratic, with Adam Schiff as our congressman, so I’ll probably work to pick off Stephen King, Republican of Palmdale, in California’s 25th district.

 

Is this year going to be fun, or what?

I guess it depends on how you feel about horror movies.

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