Auld Lang Syne


In general, I’ve never been a huge fan of New Year’s Eve. When I was very little our family would get together with my two Uncle’s families and we would go to The Curtis Hotel with my Grandparents; sometimes even my Grandma’s brother and sister-in-law; my cousins and anyone else who wanted to join us. We’d play games, swim in the awesome pool…


…and basically watch the adults’ shenanigans for two whole days. It’s some of the happiest memories of my childhood. One year we bunny hopped down the hallways at Midnight, that was pretty silly of my father Pastor John which made it all the more fun. We packed coolers full of snacks and to this day my mom’s shrimp dip with Ritz crackers is one of my most favorite foods on the planet.

The Curtis hotel was torn down eventually and as the kids got older it got harder to get everyone together. But I still have a Curtis Hotel postcard with this pool scene on it, I think that’s pretty cool. Funny enough, when I first moved to ‘tosa, I was walking down the sidewalk with Preacher and there was an old man down the street sitting out enjoying the summer day. We got to talking and I said I had moved here recently but grew up in the Minneapolis area (proof that I really do talk to people if they catch me on a good day.) The old man goes on to say that he used to go to Minneapolis as a boy and show Parakeets with his dad at The Curtis Hotel. It was an awesome conversation.


New Years Eve’s as I grew older became work nights as I babysat for money like a fiend and jacking up the rates to over two dollars an hour for a holiday evening was money in the bank man…money in the bank! When I would be home on a college break I was too broke or babysitting again so I didn’t do much. Oh sure, I’ve been hammered plenty of New Year’s Eves, wahtev. But there’s always been something a little sad for me on the evening (in 2013, when we located my birth mothers family on Maui, I was told that she died in a car wreck weeks after turning 21 on New Years. I dunno, people can argue whether or not that would be known in some ways. I don’t know. But yes, I’d be open to it being a contributor.)

Also, Auld Lang Syne. I have never been a fan of that song. It’s always seemed so sad to me. So when I started writing this, it was going to be an article on why we sing such a sad song at the turn of the year.

But then I Wiki’d it (totally a word) and started reading the history. I’m so square, I had no idea of it’s Scottish roots and since I compete in the Scottish Highland Games, I now feel a kinship with it. It’s not sad, although remembering the past can give a twinge, especially if we’ve lost someone. It’s always kind of made me dread moving into a new year where my loved one didn’t walk among us. Still does.

But we’ve had so much good. Good health; good relationships; good food and drink (you’ve met us right?) We’ve made it through some tough moments and to get a chance to soak it all in is a good thing. We move through time so fast, take a moment to give 2015 a salute; the finger; a face punch…whatever you need, and then move on.

Move on. There are things that happen in life where simply saying it doesn’t make it happen. A devastating death; a physical ailment; financial strain that causes homelessness or helplessness. Reach out, your friends are there. Or maybe even strangers. I don’t know, all I know is when I’ve had to humble myself and ask for help it’s been returned in ways I’d have never dreamed.

Happy New Year. Thank you for reading, even my sporadic posts. There are so many out there that I think of on a daily basis (not in a stalker way…well, a couple of you but I’ve already told you I’m stalking you so it’s all good) with fondness and gratitude that you’re in my life in large or small ways. I have so much admiration for so many and am thankful for it.

Auld Lang Syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne.
We’ll tak’ a cup o’kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

And surely ye’ll be your pint-stoup
And surely I’ll be mine;
And we’ll tak’ a cup of kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.


We twa hae run about the braes,
And pou’d the gowans fine;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit,
Sin’ auld lang syne.


We twa hae paidl’d in the burn
Frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roared’,
Sin’ auld lang syne,


And there’s a hand, my trusty frier!
And gie’s a hand o’thine!
And we’ll tak’ a right guide-willie waught,
For auld lang syne.


But to see her was to love her, love but her, and love forever.

Robert Burns

About tosabarbell

For training opportunities at tosabarbell, call or text Juli at 320-296-9313. e-mail to At tosabarbell, I build relationships cultivated in a strength and learning environment. There is no 12 week magic pill program to strength but rather a lifetime commitment to be the very best and most useful human you can be. tosabarbell is a private, home grown gym with three lifting platforms; squat rack; prowlers; throwing implements; bars, bumpers and everything else needed for an effective strength and conditioning program. Straightforward barbell programming including the Olympic lifts; sound (read: not fancy bullshit) diet advance for weight gain or loss; and strong coaching will ensure you will meet your goals such as becoming stronger, more explosive, and better conditioned. I have been coaching teams and athletes for over 30 years. I grew up participating in various sports at various levels but was always drawn to those that require strength training. I have multiple local, national, and world records in the sports of Weightlifting and Highland Games Heavy Events as well as a combined total of 5 World Championships. My 5 years of training and coaching under Mark Rippetoe provided a wide range of influence from some of the top strength & conditioning and throwing coaches in the country. I will strongly encourage tosabarbell athletes to compete (and prepare you to do so.) However, tosabarbell is also for those who wish to be stronger and go through life feeling better. Matt WanAt is a retired Professional Strongman who competed frequently with Strongman Champions League in Europe. He played a year of D1 football with Iowa before concentrating on his Chemical Engineering degree in Iowa City. He is a native of Wauwatosa and still remains a staunch supporter of Tosa East. This blog will be a mixture of strength notes, coaching and nutrition tips, personal shit; bacon delicacies, and a whole lot of fun.
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