Helping You Get the Most Out of Your Misery






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Saturday, January 01, 2005


Crappy New Year

It doesn't seem right that, with the death toll from the disaster in Southeast Asia at 150,000 and rising, the New Year's celebration went on pretty much as normal last night. I was on 14th and 7th in Manhattan last night at 2:00 AM and there was very little sign that any of the lurching, overly loud junior stockbrokers walking down the middle of the street had done any serious reflection, except maybe a brief glimpse of themselves in the toilet water before they threw up.

I know, it's human nature to put what doesn't directly affect us out of our minds. I know that, on September 11th, life went on as normal for people around the globe. The world doesn't stop for every tragedy. Still, last night just didn't feel like a time for drunken revelry. Perhaps I'm just coming off of a very rough year. Work was tough, money's been tight, the election sucked the wind right out of my sails. Maybe that's why all of the obnoxious couples standing in the middle of the street shouting and waving their arms at occupied cabs pissed me off so much. Or maybe I'm just grouchy.

No matter what's going on in the world, though, it's the first day of a new year. It's time to plan out where you want to be come year's end. To help us with this, we form resolutions. We vow to change specific behaviors in order to make ourselves better people. So here I go. Resolutions for 2005.

I will stick to my budget and not spend outside of my means. This means that I'll be able to see two movies in 2005 and buy approximately two and a half comic books. Can do.

I will not pretend that I'm going to start exercising. Man, there's nothing worse than some yutz who constantly claims he's going to try to get into shape. I will be that yutz no longer.

I will put the mustard away when I'm done with it. This one may be difficult for me to keep, but I'm going to try. I'll make it my mantra: Putawaythemustard putawaythemustard putawaythemustard. Actually, it's a wonderfully focusing phrase.

I will not watch Sylvester Stallone's Cliffhanger all year. That way, when I watch it again in 2006, it will seem fresh and new again and I can take greater delight in the subtle nuances of Sly's character work.

I will be a more enthusiastic teacher. Not sure exactly how I'm going to accomplish this, but I'm thinking it might involve showing up to work drunk.

At least once a month, I will devote space on this blog to tell the story of someone who's made a difference in their community. Someone like Walt Merrill, whose tireless work to clean up 134th street has led him to vomit on other blocks when he's completely hammered. People like Walt make this city a better place, and I want to give them their due.

Okay, I think that's a pretty ambitious year I've set up for myself. Here's hoping I can live up to it.

Happy New Year.

Happy New Year especially to John, whose love and support have meant so much. Feel better, swiftly.

Drink vodka. It has no smell. One of my teachers drank rum and it was far too obvious.
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