Thursday, January 01, 2009

It seems like only 10 years ago, I took my last math class

After getting home at exactly the stroke of midnight (literally - I was throwing the car into park when the clock hit 12:00), I flipped the TV onto NBC's New Year's celebration. I usually catch Dick Clark's special, but my mom noted it was hard to watch because of his slurring. But Ryan Seacrest really sealed the lid on that one by existing.

Deciding that I wanted to ring in the new year with a classier TV host than Ryan Seacrest (it's all I can do because all my friends, like Chris Brewer, probably go to bed at 8), I settled on Carson Daly. The first thing I see is some random metrosexual being asked about his New Year's resolution.

"I'm gonna try not to watch so many reality shows," he said. Either that, or "I'm gonna watch more reality shows." I can't recall exactly. But he followed it with a carefree giggle that suggested he could light his citronella candles with my medical bills. I pondered how awesome it must be to have your stuff so much together that this is the kind of resolution that immediately crops up when pressed on live national TV. But then, I guess it isn't any less nauseating than those douchey proposals and/or midnight kisses that make you wonder if the people involved do, in fact, know each other at all.

I turned off the TV and read a magazine instead. No, a real magazine.

The magazine in question was a Rolling Stone from earlier this year, when Mitt Romney was still shaking Matt Taibbi's - and, by extension, our - boots. And that got me thinking to the 2008 year-in-review articles we've been running in our newspaper for the past couple of days. Wrap your mind around that: 2008 in review. Is it me, or was 2008 a year that you not only want to leave in the rearview mirror, but yank off the mirror too just to make sure?

In the aftermath of 9/11, patriotic Americans said that we cannot afford to look back. Well, we finally did this year. And they were right; we couldn't afford it at all.

Of course, the news wasn't all bad. Barack Obama got elected. Even if you didn't vote for him and still think he's the anti-Christ - and if you do, click here - you have to concede it was great to see millions of people cheering for something positive. I enjoyed it so much that I didn't even mind working from 10 p.m.-6 a.m. on election night and then at 4 p.m. later that day. Wheee!

But enough about 2008. I'm looking forward to 2009, if for no other reason than that I like years ending in nine. There's a certain coolness to that, as in, hey, we made it. Also, it's not 2008 anymore. Wheee!

As always, I'll soon have my Best of 2008 collection up here. It's in development, as they say in Hollywood (about absolutely everything). It shouldn't take too long, given the relatively small pile of material I have to work with. Which brings me to my New Year's Resolutions:

Blog more. This may seem in direct contradiction to my second resolution, which is to get outside more. But there's plenty of time for both. I didn't do as much of the things that sustain me as I should have last year (which may come as a surprise for those who think those two things are all I ever do). We could all stand to do to create and/or go outside. In the Internet age, a lot of us our unnecessarily hooked to our computers and BlackBerries, doing time-killing things that add nothing to our psyches. Combined with increasing work pressures, most of us wonder just where the time goes. Meanwhile, we look in the mirror and see what the mileage has done to us, having forgotten how good an oil change would feel if we could just muster up the energy to go to the mechanic. Yes, I'm being metaphorical. But if taking it literally is your bag, go for it.

Be nicer. In tough times, my innate bitterness tends to override my better personality traits, especially around those I care for most. I'm going to make a concerted effort to stop this. On the side, I will continue my intensive studies on what makes Midwesterners so aloof. No, not all of you, but enough for me to notice. When I'm almost begging for someone to meddle into my life at a crosswalk like the good old days, that isn't good. OK, the niceness begins...now.

Dance more. But preferably where no one can see, because I dance exactly like the white guy I am. A very pretty woman I once danced with all night said I was an awesome dancer. And, yes, she was sober. But we were also in the dark and in a huge club crowd. But was she wrong? No. The energy and fun was the most important thing. Speaking of...

Have more fun. Don't know how I'll do that yet, but it will happen. It's also a convenient catch-all for all the dubious, inappropriate, intriguing, subversive and downright sexy things I intend to do this year. Shouldn't everyone have a resolution like this?

Happy New Year. Change!

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