this is the new year: 2024

thoughts on the new year and the old year

this is the new year: 2024
A photo from the last few hours of 2023.

On New Year's Eve this year, I went to see Joyce Manor at Thalia Hall. To me, they are the best punk band of the 21st century. Maybe the best band of the 21st century end of sentence. I went with my boyfriend and saw some newer friends there. Thalia Hall is a beautiful venue and they gave free champagne after 11:30.

I love New Year's Eve. The communal aspect of it is so warm and not really like any other holiday. I'm also pretty sentimental so I'm happy to take any chance to reflect on myself and my life and a year. I love staying up until midnight and kissing someone as soon as it hits 12:00. I love texting my friends in different timezones when their new year hits and telling them I love them.

When we got in my car to go home, Chris– sober after deciding to sacrifice drinking in favor of not having to get an Uber from Pilsen– put on The Ice of Boston and we drove back north.

Drive slow.

Keep an eye on the cars swerving across the center line.

Hope for an easy parking spot when you get home.

This year on New Year's Day I went to Montrose Beach. I guess to try to kickstart some reflective emotion about the last year and the year ahead. It was cold but not painful– the best kind of day. The kind of day where your knees get cold before your face. I walked through the remaining snow on the ground until it gave way to sand and started walking south toward the skyline. The beach was mostly empty but everything I saw made me want to cry– a kid wrapped in a blanket while his family took photos, a group of 3 college-aged kids laughing about their friend's shock at how cold the water is, people walking dogs on the pavement up by the empty concessions buildings.

Everything feels fresh and beautiful and cold and new. I thought about how much I missed the cold– the real cold, not like the cold I got in Philly the years I lived there. Cold that lingers. Cold that tricks you into feeling like 20 degrees is warm enough to wear just a sweater to the bar. Moving back feels like failure in some ways, but nothing makes me feel more sure than feeling the sting of having my fingers out for a little too long trying to take a photo.

I listened to Fresh Attitude, Young Body and I thought about what kind of life I thought I'd have at this age when I was a teenager.

Then I listened to Gold Star For Robot Boy and couldn't find my car.

The last two years I've made posts setting some goals and outlining stuff I want to do. It's not like Big Life Stuff. It's usually just like wanting to do stuff that I think will make my day-to-day life more enjoyable. I think changing your life is more about the little things anyway. I recapped my 2022 goals at the start of this year, so I'm gonna do the same for my 2023 goals. A little bit late this year, but still worth doing.

  1. Learn a skill: I don't know that I really learned a skill in the physical way I was thinking, but I did get better at using Photoshop and InDesign and I think the stuff I make looks cooler without being as much of a labor. I think that counts.
  2. Read all the books and zines I buy: I do actually think I am better about this! And I have been thinking about this list all year when I buy books so maybe that's why. I was talking about finishing the book about SST in the list and I did finish that book. I didn't like it!
  3. Make some new friends: I did do this! Mostly it's been since I moved back to Chicago I've made a few pals. Happy about it.
  4. See my existing friends more: I can always be better about seeing my friends, but I met a lot of people I know from the internet irl this year and that's been really cool.
  5. Find cool physical media things to subscribe to: Not to sound dramatic, but subscribing to Billy McCall's zines has been the greatest thing to ever happen to me. Everybody should do something like that. Find something physical to get in the mail.
  6. Find an excuse to go up to New York and down to DC more (or at all): I didn't go to DC, but I did go to New York on a whim. I also went to New York State with Eric. Calling it a win.
  7. Go to Canada and/or the Pacific Northwest: I went to Seattle, the Oregon coast and Portland!!! I made a zine about it and did a blog post about it.
  8. Write this newsletter more: I wrote this newsletter WAY more than I did last year! I only wrote 15 posts in 2022. I wrote 35 posts in 2023. So sick.
  9. Buy some more cool t-shirts: I bought a Superdrag shirt and a Wednesday shirt. I did not buy a Dillinger Four shirt. Maybe this year.
  10. Watch more movies: I did see a lot more new movies in the theater in 2023. I don't really remember any of them, but I did do it!

Calling this a success.

For 2024:

  1. Go to more shows: I just don't go see nearly as much live music as I could or would like to, especially now that I live alone.
  2. Pay my friends and other talented people to write cool stuff for me: Big things coming? Maybe! Or at least one thing coming!
  3. Shoot more film: One of my truest hobbies. It just makes me happy and I value having those memories so much.
  4. Throw parties of some sort at my apartment: Living alone is a drag. I like my apartment. People should come over.
  5. Save money, spend on stuff I care more about: Unfortunately, I'm irresponsible. Sad. Kind of an extension of #2.
  6. Learn to do something artistic at a class or workshop: I'm hoping I'll maybe meet some cool new people this way or, if not, I'll at least get art out of it.
  7. Make more physical media: I'd like to burn CDs. I'd like to make zines. I'd like to make magazines and books. Not sure how I'll quantify "more" but that's a problem for future me.
  8. Go to Canada or the UK or at least Minneapolis: These are the places I want to go this year. We'll see what I end up doing, but I really enjoyed traveling alone last year and I want to do it more.

I think I've only got 8 in me this year.

Happy January, friends.

Miranda Reinert is a music adjacent writer, zine maker, podcaster and law school drop out based in Chicago. Follow me on Twitter or Instagram for more reminiscing on the year: @mirandareinert.  This blog does have a paid option and I would so appreciate any money you would be willing to throw me! You may also send me small bits of money at @miranda-reinert on venmo/on Paypal if you want. As always, thanks for reading!