The Annual Challenge –

by Brule Eagan

The other day brought a text from our genial blog host:

“What are your plans for the New Year?” 

I replied “I haven’t given it a minute’s thought”, which I hadn’t. There’s too much here-and-now to deal with at the moment, since I’m involuntarily unemployed, but it seemed to be a topic worthy of consideration, so here goes.

Now that I don’t have to rise and shine at three in the morning, one thing I want to do is spend more mornings at the beach. I can be on the sand in 30 minutes, and it’s fairly empty most mornings. Go for a run. Get some sea air.

The beach is also a great place to read more. I’ve got a branch library’s worth of books in my phone, some of which I haven’t even cracked.

There’s always travel. I haven’t done much. That’s not for the lack of desire; that’s just because of the lack of time. I like to drive. My single-day record is 1,100 miles. From San Antonio to Tucson in about 18 hours. I could have stretched it out, and it probably would have been prudent to do so, but it was not a pleasure trip, and — I didn’t have time.

I suppose I could always fly…but I hate to fly (and who doesn’t anymore). It’s an efficient way to travel, but it’s hardly worth the nuisance.

Maybe I’ll combine driving and the train. It’s a four-hour drive to San Antonio from here, and Amtrak’s “Texas Eagle” originates there; destination Chicago. The train leaves daily, and I caught a glimpse of a website offering tickets for $112. That’s certainly cheaper than airfare, and I wouldn’t have to book any hotel rooms for what would otherwise be a three-day drive.

 Anyway, there’s that.

 I saw in the local paper (actually, their website) recently that the Brownsville Society for the Performing Arts has its own radio station. It’s a little pea-shooter that covers only half the county, but I tuned in for the first time just the other day, and I was blown away.

 An eclectic playlist, to say the least. Vintage Beatles followed by Muddy Waters followed by Edith Piaf, then John Prine, then Miles…you get the idea. Song after great song. No commercials. No DJ. That means they have no revenue, and therefore, no expenses on employees.

 I should volunteer. I think I have something to bring to the table, and I’d like to see them take off. The organization creates events, headed by the annual Latin Jazz Festival. Talk about an event tailor-made for radio. I could see myself involved in that. Well, we’ll see.

 …and, just like that, it occurs to me that the question “What are your plans for the New Year?” was just asking me if I was going out New Year’s Eve.

 Joke’s on me, but the answer is not only no, but hell, no. That’s Amateur Night!

 Enjoy a happy and successful New Year.