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It seems as though each year I start off by saying how the New Year will be better than the last one was, and then the year proceeds to suck. That certainly seems to have been the case for 2013. This year is ending in the wake of a lot of disappointments: I went to visit friends and had good times; then I returned home to consequences that practically ruined the experiences and cost me at least one good friend, who is now trying to smear my Web site as "Satanic" and dangerous to young children (and doing a poor job convincing anyone of this). This was after I spent most of the year preparing for the National DOG, which I enjoyed immensely; but thanks to this stupidity, I have to selectively edit my own memories of that trip to preserve any semblance of the good feelings from there. Meanwhile, my travels earlier this year to conventions were fun, but lacking; I don't see myself returning to to the convention scene again. Even seeing Nine Inch Nails turned out to be a disappointment, as Trent Reznor has proven himself to be pussy-whipped ever since he got married. Meanwhile, I've had to redouble my efforts at work to be a properly subdued cubicle slave, and I'm no longer cooking for the office. Considering this, the only genuine success I can claim for this year has been the explosive growth of the Cast Iron Cooking group.

I suppose I can be glad that I still have a job (barely), I still have a home, and I still have my health. If this sounds whiny and pathetic – welcome to my life.

It's a wonderful 18 degrees Fahrenheit right now, with the temperature expected to be in the single digits tonight. I'm definitely not in a mood to go and brave these temperatures in Boston tonight, so I've been at home, cooking. So far I've made a sirloin roast with vegetables, cooked using rendered duck fat reserved from making roast duck last week. A loaf of bread is in the oven right now, with 15 minutes to go. Cooking always makes me feel better, and that should at least help me to say goodbye to 2013 in a good mood. At least it's over – that's certainly something to celebrate.