Another New Year’s Eve

Posted by jeffdaniels on December 30, 2011
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another-new-years-eveIt’s amazing how the older one gets, the more gratifying life can be. Maybe that comes with age. Or experience. Or could it be Wise Old Wisdom setting in? Who knows. Who cares. We’re still here, right? Isn’t that an accomplishment in and of itself? Are you one of those who can honestly say, based on some random, no-fault-of-your-own past event in your life, “I’m lucky to be here?” Then, okay. You dodged a bullet. Or several. And what could have happened, didn’t, and what happened instead is this. Us. Now. Today.

I know, I know, this late-in-life reflection, looking back and liking more of what transpired on my behalf than not, it’s supposed to be about the ups and the downs. The hills and valleys of any life lived – the more hills climbed and mountains conquered, the better – makes it all worthwhile in the end. We all want to have contributed. Mattered. Despite the new global narcissism, a compassionless monetary divinity, not to mention 75 zillion people on this planet all vying for their own piece of what’s left of this pie of ours – despite all that, we make what we can out of Life even though, at times, for some, for most, it is Life that makes us. Maybe that’s why, looking back – just for the moment, I’m hardly done yet, at least I hope not, unless you know something I don’t, why, what have you heard? – when I do get a good hand to play, be it by Fate (maybe), some Almighty Being (y’know, kinda like Paul Bunyan only without the axe), or Destiny (sure, why not)…well, it sure as hell beats the alternative.

The They-ers say, “Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.” Optimistically cynical or cynically optimistic? All I know is we have come upon another New Year’s Eve. Rumor is 2012 might be better. Either way, may as well enjoy the transition, right? I mean, really, we’ve come all this way. You, me, along with everyone else. What the hell? Please, after you. Really? Are you sure? You’re too kind. Don’t mind if I do.

December 31, 2011


  • Deb Kinzi said on Jan 3, 2012 6:10 pm

    Nice to hear from you again, Wise One. It was getting kinda lonely out here. Your music definitely helps me get through some of the valleys; sometimes I don’t know if it’s distraction, inspiration, or the comfort of the familiar. It’s just there, and it works. May all your hands this year be good ones!
    Deb Kinzi, Houghton, MI (because I know you hate anonymity)

  • Shawn Smith said on Jan 27, 2012 8:15 pm

    Dear Jeff,
    Hope 2012 is treating you well!
    I want to thank you and I have a question for you. I guess I’ll start with the question and then we’ll get to the mushy stuff.

    The Question: Where, o, where can I get a copy of “A Picture from Home – The Journey Through Escanaba in da Moonlight.” A friend introduced me to the movie this past year (yes, I live in a cave), and I love it almost as much as he does (maybe more). I want to get him the making of as a gift but I can’t seem to order it through the website. The form errors out on me. I’ve tried emailing Purple Rose Films – comes back as unknown address. I’ve tried calling the number I found for Purple Rose Films – it’s disconnected. I searched ebay and searched Craigs List (locally and in MI) . No luck. I haven’t called Purple Rose Theater about it, but I found your blog and thought,”Maybe Jeff can help me.” Please do, if you can. I know my buddy Chris would appreciate it, and so would I.

    The Mushy Stuff: I just want you to know that as frustrating as it has been searching for the documentary, that search had it’s positive side as well. It took me all over the place (You Tube, Jeff Daniels . com, IMDB, Purple Rose Theater, Etc., Etc.) and I got to watch many videos of you, and read many articles written about you.

    I have never been to Alabama. But when I hear the song SWEET HOME ALABAMA it makes me wish I was there.

    I have never been to Scotland, but when I listen to Alistair McDonald sing about his native land my heart hungers to walk in heathery Glen Dee or to climb high over Bannockburn.

    I have never seen the southern cross, but when that song comes on the radio, I swear sometimes I want to jump in my car, drive to Florida, purchase a ship, and sail south.

    I don’t know you, Jeff, but the more I see of you the more I am impressed with your compassion, your humor, and your evident love of Michigan.

    I have never been to Michigan, but the more I see of you, the more I want to visit someday!

    I hope you will take that for the high compliment it is intended to be.

    Sadly, I discovered too-late that Purple Rose Theater was doing Escanaba in Da Moonlight 2011. If they re-run it I hope my friend Chris and I will be able to make the 10 hour drive from the Pennsylvania Amish Country to Chelsea and see the show and your wonderful state.

    So THANK YOU for sharing a part of your self in what you do. Your love for your state has a contagious quality. I’ve been infected. I appreciate it, and I thought you should know!

  • Deb Kinzi said on Feb 20, 2012 1:59 am

    HB to JD! Here’s wishing you a creativity pool that only gets wider and deeper, forever. Your music is like treasure to me. Peace…

  • cowboypoetrypress said on Jul 18, 2012 2:14 pm

    For some reason you haven’t updated your status in a while, and I’m sad to see this. Since I just spent my entire day yesterday, July 17, watching your videos on youtube. I have to say, I had no idea you sang, but since I run open mics and am a performance poet myself I am glad to know you bring so much happiness to others by sharing your talent on stage. I have always enjoyed you as an actor, although not a fan of Dumb and Dumber (my son and hubs do, maybe a man thing). Jeff, I hope you keep this up, and I look forward to more corny videos. My father was like you in so many ways on our ‘road trip’ family vacas and in our little boat on the gravel pit lakes, and I ended up marrying a man with the same sense of humor. Okay, TMI now, and I have to get back to writing my own stuff. This internet stuff can make you waste so much time.

    Peace and good health to you Jeff. You are really an A list star in our sky…

    Chef E, or E as my friends call me

  • cowboypoetrypress said on Jul 18, 2012 2:16 pm

    Oh one more thing Jeff,

    I have to say, I loved loved loved the toss salad in the sink. My hubs would throw a fit if I did that, but we ware renting (he has no choice in this matter) an RV when we go to Montana, Wyoming and the Dakotas this fall. I am going to try that, and might just put my experience on film too.

    Thanks a bundle (my sisters own made up saying, as we are Texans),


  • Monica P said on Jul 26, 2012 6:15 am

    So….. Still awaiting an up date. I know there has been fun stuff, boring stuff and other stuff. The Office, The Late late show, your music….


  • kathy said on Aug 1, 2012 8:40 am

    Beautiful tribute To a mentor you loved… I like that your a soul searcher.. Don’t often get me too many men like you… Thanks for your body of work… especially fly away home and the newsroom.. I’m a substitute teacher of 18 years always encourage them to plot fly away home, I believe it teaches them that every person can make a difference no matter their age. Looked up the house bill you mentioned about housing vouchers for vets… how about free post office boxes for them if they don’t want vouchers .. this could also work for the homeless who are entitled to benefits but cannot receive them because they have no addresses… I am working on this in illinois… see what you can do in michigan, on the show or in california. the Newsroom is superb in every manner of speaking, thinking, feeling .. I dvr the show, watch it.. and pause constantly to google the information


    • kathy said on Aug 1, 2012 8:57 am

      Did not get to complete my message..The newsroom is outstanding in every way ..have been telling everyone I know to watch. I look up everything discussed. It verifies my thoughts and beliefs, gives me in factual form, what I know, and envigorates my travels on the high lonely road I take. Thanks to you, Aaron! cast And crew. Kathy

  • kathy said on Aug 1, 2012 9:32 am

    p s also saw you in a paper man and answer man those are also my favorites… but also enjoyed you in all of you multitudinous roll

  • Paul Bater said on Aug 8, 2012 9:36 pm

    Hey Jeff. Yeah I hear you. 42, married with brand new kid. He was actually born April fools ’10. The fact I’m here and still here, is astounding. I love things the way they are even if this world seems to be doom gloom and frustrated. Anyhow, I am just hanging out while the boy naps and I fell upon Escanaba. Good stuff! Just bought a ’93 travel trailer for cheap and this movie fits my mood right now. Thanks Jeff. Be safe and stay here a while so we can dig some of your cool writings. Later, Paul

  • Roger said on Aug 31, 2012 4:26 pm

    RE: “Newsroom” You nailed it! Many thanks for the extraordinary work…Bravo! Bravisimo!

  • Julia Mae said on Sep 9, 2012 3:21 am

    I was thinking that if you get emailed when people post a comment on your blog like I do, you might even see this someday. It’s a fan letter. My first to an actor. I have written a couple to writers, but at 63 this is my first to an actor. I don’t have cable but I visited my daughter for a few weeks this summer and discovered Newsroom. WOW. Which can stand for Wise Old Wisdom or yanno: wow.

    I don’t have to tell you the show is great but I did want to say how thrilled I am to see you get this role. Finally, something where you can reach and exceed your own expectations and everyone can finally see this. I think the public sort of underestimates you and those like you, the greats who make it look so easy you never ever see them acting. I was thinking how delightful it must be to take such a great character and imbue him with the astonishing complexity and three-dimensionality we see every scene. I keep imagining you find yourself grinning like a damned fool for no apparent reason at off-moments just because, well damn, look at this you get to do!

    Anyway, makes me happy to think about it and it is such a pleasure to watch Will.

    Nice fish, BTW.

  • Debbi Smith said on Oct 11, 2012 9:01 pm

    Just saw the news about the Martin in your name, congratulations! You are already a legend and you’ve got the evidence to prove it! Well deserved, you are unbelievably talented.

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