Texas Renegade will be at the Cheatham Street Warehouse on Saturday.
By HAP MANSFIELD
Commemorating the coming of the new year has been celebrated longer than any other holiday in human existence. Every culture with an established calendar has celebrated the entrance of a new year. This means that it has been a holiday for the last 4,000 years. This makes the Tournament of Roses parade, which has been around for a mere 120 years, look like a piker.
Some celebrations last two weeks, some only a day, but every culture marks the occasion with some sort of tradition. Practically all of them involve, at some point, the resolve to do and be better.
The idea of starting out on a fresh new page of time is appealing. We’re going to lose that 25 pounds, exercise more, spend more time with the kids, read all that Russian literature we’ve been meaning to get to, start a garden, eat more vegetables and stop smoking. Yeah, and watch out for those flying pigs.
You’ve got to give humans credit. We never stop trying to improve. Some of us may recall a phrase that was oft quoted to school children, “Good, better best. Never, ever rest. ‘Til the good is better and the better best.” Makes us tired just thinking about it.
We’d like to suggest something a little less difficult than never ever resting in the overly rushed cause of betterment. We call it the two minute resolution. You can spare two minutes can’t you? Swimming, as we are, in these oceans of time, two minutes is pretty small change.
Whenever you are angry, wait two full minutes before speaking. When you are about to give up on a project or an idea, try to work on it for just two more minutes. When your resolve seems to be melting away, give it two more minutes before eating that donut or picking up that cigarette or taking that drink. Use the two minutes to really think about what you are doing. That’s all.
If you still want to quit the project or eat or smoke or fly off the handle, go ahead. But use those two minutes to really think about what’s happening and take a few deep breaths.
It’s amazing what two patient minutes can do for a person. We can realize that the jerk who cut us off in traffic is flustered and not worth our anger and attention. We can wash a few more dirty dishes and figure out that, with just a couple more minutes, we’ll be done. We will know that the Milky Way we want to cheat our diet with isn’t going to taste any different than any of the other Milky Ways we’ve ever eaten.
It’s only two minutes until the low fat microwave popcorn is done, isn’t that kind of amazing? And, hey, we know that just because the two minute warning has sounded, it doesn’t necessarily mean the football game is over.
These small two minute meditations add up over the year, and, when you get to next New Year’s Eve, you’ll be amazed at what you accomplished with those tiny minutes. The minutes are a lot easier to deal with than the grandiose plans of losing weight, working out, reading everything, looking younger, getting stronger, never ever resting and the inevitable self-kicking that happens as the goals fade into the gorgeous Texas sunset.
Accomplishable goals are more effective, in the long run, than overly ambitious projects that are destined for amendments and failure. Slow and steady wins the race. Patient compassion takes a lot more guts than revenge and anger. We all know this, really. We just need a two minute warning once in a while.
We’d like to take two minutes to wish you a happy, prosperous new year. Whether you are eating black eyed peas for luck or chomping on donuts to signify the circle of time that the year represents, we wish you a happy celebration.
We remind you to have a designated sober driver if you are going to drink, not just on New Year’s Eve but always. We like to see you with us for a lot longer than just two minutes.
There’s way more than just a couple of minutes of music and bowl games this weekend. Here’s a sampling of what you can do.
Thursday, December 31
There’s a new year’s celebration wherever you go tonight. We’d like to just remind you that whether you are at Riley’s (8894 FM 1102) to see Andrea Marie and the Magnolia Band, or at the Gray Horse to see a stand out show with the StandOuts, or to see anything else anywhere else, the bars are open until 2 a.m., so you don’t have to rush to drink your champagne toasts. You could also give our boys in blue a nice new year by having a cup of coffee at 1:30 a.m. and getting clear headed before you drive.
Earle Brown is at Triple Crown (206 North Edward Gary) tonight. Dr. G and the Mudcats will ring in the new year at the Cheatham Street Warehouse (119 Cheatham Street), where there will also be the traditional black eyed peas at midnight. Have fun and stay safe, folks.
Friday, January 1
Happy New Year! It’s bowl game time, but don’t forget the Tournament of Roses parade starting at 10 a.m. on both ABC and NBC. Sometimes, between the two networks, a couple of the commentators actually talk about the parade, so you have a 50/50 chance of hearing information about what you are watching instead of what the commentator had to drink last night or some snarky comment about the parade participants.
Ben Morris and the American Boxcar Chorus will play their brand of folksy country at Riley’s tonight. The Cheatham Street All Stars will be, not surprisingly, at the Cheatham Street Warehouse for the Hair of the Dog Festival to cure what ails ya.
Wake the Dead (1432 RR 12) has a line-up that sounds a lot like side characters in the Lord of the Rings movies. Ghost to Falco, Cornelius F. Van Stafin III, With a Sword on a Horse, His Erratik Majesti, and The Vonormies will all be there, starting tonight at 8 p.m.
Buck Jones and the Haggards will be at Triple Crown and the amusingly named Redneck Jedi will be at the Gray Horse Saloon. Jedi lead singer Jeff Foeh is worth hearing. He’s got a stellar voice and is more than ably backed by the band. The band claims to be Southern Rock, but that definition is limiting. They are much more than that.
Saturday, January 2
If you are starting out the new year trying to be more physically fit, don’t forget that the San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance (Sanmarcosgreenbelt.org ) has maps and information on the great hiking areas around town. Click on the “natural areas” tab and take your pick of great places to see the natural beauty that surrounds us. We’re not telling you to take a hike, but taking a hike might be fun.
The Slow Rollin’ Lows will be at Riley’s tonight. They play a good country tune and sound bigger than the three-piece band they are.
If you look up Texas Renegade on Google right now, in addition to the references to the awesome local country band, you will get a full complement of articles on recently fired Texas Tech football coach Mike Leach. Just sayin’. The band is in no danger of being fired, however, but they just may fire you up. They’re at the Cheatham Street Warehouse tonight.
Whiskey Jones sounds a lot like its name, a band with a slow burn and a fast kick that you can see tonight at the Grey Horse. Electric Mayhem will be at Triple Crown, so be prepared to dance to the turn-tabled beats. Dr. Teeth will probably not be there.
Sunday, January 3
As usual, Wake the Dead features a little music for your Sunday enjoyment with both Day Jazz and the Sarinda String Trio. Bob Steine is there from 4-7 p.m. for relaxing chair massages. The coffee is always fresh and delish. They’ve always got a nice Sunday thing goin’ on.
If you are planning to be a future musical superstar as part of your new year’s resolution, you’ll want to hit a few open mic nights. Both the Triple Crown and Riley’s provide that tonight. You can decide to fly with a soundtrack and do karaoke at the Gray Horse tonight. too.
The football playoff race will conclude when the Jets play the Bengals, who surely will not hand them a game the way the Colts did.
The Ovation network will show Giuseppe Tornatore’s extraordinary film Cinema Paradiso, for those who have never seen the bittersweet instant classic film, at 7 p.m. Be prepared for subtitles and enjoy.