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The Thaddeus Gazette

The Kalendar Kid Writhes Again!

Right about this time each year, down here where the dark rolls over and exposes its pale, faintly luminescent underbelly, I tend towards a creative habit, a spasm, if you will, of what shreds of creativity remain in the burnt-out bulb of my sensorium: I put out a calendar.

In the past, this was a messy, glorious process of self-expression, with roots in my long-lost, abortive careers as a cartoonist and, more recently (but not much), as an essayist. Peculiar jokes, loopy illustrations and medium-winded rants were the soup du jour, and never let it be said that I didn't deliver. In fact, for years I sent out dozens of the beastly things as holiday gifts, bulk postage rates be switched. The scintillating product of my effervescent muse would turn up on walls and refrigerators nationwide, greeting me with the Witty Saying Of The Month when I a-visiting went.

But time, as it typically does, marched indelibly on, and as the white heat of my youthful imagination dimmed to a ruddy flush and more and more Matters Of Importance clogged and jogged my attention, I became less and less attentive to my previous obsessions, the calendar among them. The cartooning reduced to scrawls and squiggles, original wit and wisdom to wry quotations.

Last year, even the dead-tree version of the calendar was put in abeyance in favor of the dubiously more eco-friendly electronic distribution model, a scant few friends receiving hard copies as guesting gifts. Despite my superficial dedication to the Internet, I couldn't help heaving a nostalgic sigh for the end of an era.

It was unfortunate that last year's calendar was based on the concept of "Thirteen Months Of Good Luck." For all that Daft Punk (ably assisted by Nile Rogers, newly risen from Disco Hell and looking hella sharp) made a reckless invasion and overthrow of the summer with a song called "Get Lucky," it didn't feel like such a lucky year for me. People died. People got divorced. Obamacare didn't do so good either.

Now, I'm both superstitious and optimistic, and what we superstitious optimists do when this sorta thing happens is say something like "Hey! Think how bad it woulda been without that good luck charm!" Yes, my house is also safe from tigers thanks to this magic rock here. But I got to thinking about it, and I realized that there was a world of difference between good luck and good fortune. When the giant meteor strikes the earth and everyone else dies but you and leaves you all their stuff, that's good luck. When you win the lottery with the ticket you were given by the mysterious stranger, that's good fortune.

So, in the spirit of letting bygones be gone and letting the good times rule, in the holy occupation of Happy New Year, here it is, the new calendar, dedicated to "Thirteen Months Of Good Fortune." And for those of you who are really obsessive, lemme just point out that not only is January 1st, 2014 the new moon after Solstice (aka the real New Year) but you get another new moon on the 30th. If that ain't a jumpstart, I don't know what you want—a charger maybe?

Here's wishing you, all of you (yes even Sarah Palin), a smashtacular New Year!

Notes on the downloads: If all you want is something to read on your tablet, the Straight Order calendar works great. But if you want to sacrifice leaves of sacred paper and replicate your own personal copy, use the Print Order file as follows: Print the whole document, even pages only. Then, print the odd pages so that page 1 appears upside down on the back of 2, 3 upside down on 4 and so forth. Depending on how your printer handles paper, you may wind up reversing the pagination to make your calendar work right. Fold the entire schmere in half so the cover is out, saddle stitch the spine and Bob's your uncle. (Please note that Bob isn't my uncle, he's my brother. Well, alright, he was named after my uncle. Still.)

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