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Thanks to all for your comments (albeit some quite deservedly biting), your reads, and your tolerance of my all too many diaries (which will diminish greatly after the New Year).

So many diaries? Yea, way too many. I've had a rather difficult time 'shutting-up.'And perhaps, metaphorically, I've already gone over 'a' cliff of sorts. I was a Kos member 6-7 yrs ago prior to moving overseas. While in Asia, I regularly wrote a great number of articles ranging from the Beltway to Big Pharma- and most were published

I have found that writing about the U.S outside of the U.S. is much much easier.

Since being back in the homeland...  from poll watching all day seated beside an extremely opinionated Romney-ite that never shut-up, to adjusting to all the XXXLs everywhere, to having extremely ignorant bigots displayed at such close quarters... and to return to a country that actually has guns.. lots of guns, more than I remember before...

It's all been a bit much. And for this reason- I thank all and wish you a Happy New Year.

So... - I'll watch Chris Matthews- wait for the outcome of this mess, take my wife out to eat.. and camp out over a movie.... God, I hope President Obama doesn't give away his leverage... the precedent he would set...

Anyway- I leave you with this- and it is a bit wacked, but not very political.

Again- Thanks and Happy New Year to All.

Gee, I’m suddenly old, and at that strange point where you’re tired of talking cause nobody’s listening, tired of explaining cause no one understands, and tired of convincing cause nobody really gives a damn. That time in life when no amount of eclecticity will ever restore you to cutting-edge coolness in the eyes of your five sons… (Not that they ever saw you that way to begin with).

But go figure. Who pays heed to anyone that has lost the ability to separate seriousness from satire? That strange place where paradox, hyperbole, irony, metaphor, oxymoron, cynicism, and sincerity all get fused together somehow. That place where your partner asks you a simple question, and you respond by singing an intentionally bad riff from some Armin Van Buuren jingle… But most important: Not even knowing whether you’re being silly or normal.

It would seem that my last vestige of possible cool normalness was a couple of decades ago when I coined the broad spectrum expression: You know, a little gasoline might move things further along.
How and where I adopted such a ‘saying’ is entirely unknown; but it carried me through almost every social situation for damn near ten to fifteen years.
Think about it:

“Mike, Jeff and I are just having such a hard time right now. He works late and when we are finally together at night, we just don’t have any energy left to do anything.”

I pause; I look deep into Bridget’s eyes, and reply, “You know, a little gasoline might move things further along.”

Another pause; then Bridget finally responds, “Wow Mike, thanks. That’s powerful. I so, so get it.  I know where you’re coming from. We’ll give that a shot.”

Or… You find yourself in some immaculate hotel lobby after a tax symposium. The only reason you’re there is that you got lost while looking for a new twelve step meeting, saw the pastries, and decided to stick around. You have no idea what the hell anyone is talking about, having found yourself gobbling down a Danish while standing with three geeky looking, brain-trust sort of fellas. Finally, they all shut-up and look squarely at you, like you’re supposed to add a tidbit to their tax evasion mumbo jumbo.

You pause, swallow, make strong eye contact, and respond, “You know, a little gasoline might move things further along.”

A stunned silence… and then, “You know, he really makes a strong point…”  Blah, blah, blah. Blah, blah, blah…
Well, whatever the gasoline comment meant to them spurs on a super-flurry of more mumbo jumbo… I still have no earthly idea what in the blue blazes these guys are talking about. Oh well, these pastries are pretty damn good. Guess it’s about time to move on.

Yea, the gasoline thing carried me along quite well for some time. One might even say that metaphysically speaking; it was one of those last vestiges of contrived socialization (whatever the hell that means).
Still, all good things come to an end, sometimes rather abruptly… and when I used my cute little gasoline cliché one night during a coffeehouse get-together, regarding a family of twelve that died in a house fire… well, it didn’t seem to go over very well.

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