A new, yet not improved, year-end column

Hold it right now. There is no need to adjust your reading glasses as you did, indeed, read the title of this piece correctly. I, Lisa Houserman, am pounding out an original for the first time in a coon's age. (Have we ever ascertained the actual aging process of the average coon? I asked this years ago and have not yet received an adequate answer. See, I'm digressing in the first paragraph and within the bounds of parenthesis which, as you know, brings me sheer delight.)

I don't need to get into the particulars as to why I have not been able to conjure any kind of new material as of late. I said I don't NEED to get into the particulars but, you know me better than that. Yes, I'm getting ready to spew forth gory details of every health ailment that has plagued me over the course of 2014, with spitball-style-rapidity.

Now you shouldn't slam the paper shut, if that were even possible. I was just pulling your collective legs. Suffice it to say that this year has been, well, um, rather horrid in terms of my health. I did have some of my innards removed and, hopefully, when all is healed, that should lead to my becoming the spokesperson for good mental and physical health. Did I just type those words?

Anyhow, I am very thankful that I still have some fans (?) with hideous memories because they don't seem to notice when I casually slip in a rerun. Others pounce on me like a wild pony and demand that I get moving on something—anything current. I think I should segue into the theme of this blather at this time. Yes, there is a thesis, if you will, and even if you won't.

Now, before you go off thinking that this is going to be a wonderfully humorous and charming piece, (is it ever?) I best warn you that it will not be. I simply had to utilize this column space in order to impart my deep feelings of pure adoration for various people, places and things. (Get a hold of yourselves. I have, on rare occasions, been known to rave, rather than rant, hence the name of this weekly dreck.)

Since this is the last paper of the year, I wanted to take the time to give a big old hug to all of my loyal advertisers who keep us in business. You have no idea what it means to the chief and me that you actually utilize the advertising space in your real, live AREA paper. This might come as a shock to some but, there are people who do not say yes to your humble columnist/ad rep, even though we target the region in which their business is located. Shocking, lurid and very true. (Is that even a sentence?) Oh dear, I think I wedged a slight rant in after all.

In all seriousness, the boss and I are both super grateful to all who/whom grace our pages on a regular, or semi-regular basis. Without you, this award-winning publication could not exist, hence, my weekly bloviating sessions would not be available for all to see. With that last proclamation, I'm certain that a boycott is soon to follow. Perhaps I shouldn't have made the connection between advertising money and my column? Oh why start now with watching my every word.

I wish to thank Roseanne for continuing to convey information to the public when it comes to those fascinating municipal meetings. As some may recall, I used to share that honor, (sound of throat clearing), but, due to my laziness—I mean unceasing health problems, she has been covering my butt—I meant to say, those meetings, for some time now. Since my reporter chapeau has officially been dubbed the “Bunnies O Dust Breeding Ground,” I will attempt to morph back into scribe mode in 2015.

The chief, also known as David Schaef, has been a peach, for the most part, and I thank him for keeping me in his employ. Not so sure how that “for the most part” section will go over but, we shall see. Seriously though, he has been very accommodating and has always been gracious and patient. Those qualities are especially evident when I telephone him about various topics that could never be broached in Rants and Raves due to the pitchfork factor.

What would a year-end column be without my thanking Mother and all members of the Houserman clan, for oft' appearing in this sacred space? Did I just say sacred? I am getting very tired, and I'm sick, clearly.

Moving along, most close friends, unsuspecting neighbors and really, all in my path, have found themselves in print form, so to speak, at some point. Generally the words uttered about them, by your humble columnist, can be best described as, er, well, unflattering. However, the humans of whom I speak seem to take it all in stride, like they have a choice.

Mind you, I only keep company with people who have a firm grip on the art of self deprecation. I don't easily tolerate individuals who seem to be in a perpetual state of pearl clutching and/or gasping, due to bogus outrage. Nor do I associate with any permanent crew member aboard the S.S. IOPCAHO (I'm overly politically correct and highly offended.)

Wow, that just slipped out. Sorry about that. I know this was supposed to be a rave but I simply had no control over it. A few rants did escape and I'm not really all that sorry about it, truth be told. How was that for taking a firm stand?

I am very thankful for all of the get well cards that friends and clients took the time to send. Now that I ponder, I bet I kept greeting card companies afloat in 2014. I digressed, which can only mean I'm on the mend.

Well, I think I've done all the damage I can, for now, so I shall sign off for the year. Hey, stop that. Your shared sighs of relief have caused my furniture to move.

Merry Christmas, Joyous Solstice, Happy Hanukkah, Happy New Year and all of that other fake cheery jazz.