Don’t be nervous. You’ve been here before. Just relax, take a deep breath...hold it ... Now let it out. Better? OK, you’re next.
“Forgive me, Father Time, it’s been one year since my last list of New Year’s resolutions. Even though I wrote these resolutions down, I can’t remember a single darn one of them. But I’d bet you a box of Dutch Masters they’ve all been broken at least once. But it’s the old habits that are hard to break. Am I right?”
Familiarity has its comforts, my son. Now get to the point.
“Yes, Father. Well, once again, I am going to submit to you a list of New Year's Resolutions. Hopefully, I didn’t repeat too much of last year’s list - if only I could find that list! Oh, well, it’s probably better this way, clean slate and all. The numbers on the list are for your convenience, but you can start from anywhere. Think of it as a draft of days gone by, and what’s still to come, a palimpsest, if you will...
“What’s that? The world is ending in 2012? Says who?... Oh, really, the Mayans. Nosy bunch. Well, they were right about 1998 and Burt Reynolds losing the Oscar to Robin Williams. Guess I’d better get started, and hope for the best."
“Here it goes...”
1. Eat more liver and onions: Not a census taker’s liver, mind you, although I do enjoy the occasional plate of fava beans served with a nice chianti. But I am no Hannibal Lecter. I am, however, one of maybe nine or ten people in the world who loves the taste and smell of fried liver and onions. When I was a kid, I would beg my mom to fry some up. She would make enough for the two of us and we’d sit in the living room eating in front of the TV. I always licked my plate clean. But I draw the line at eating my own kind.
That reminds me...
2. No matter how bad the economy gets, don’t go cannibal: I’ll become a vegan before I sink my choppers into human flesh; unless, of course, I am traveling with a Uruguayan rugby team and our plane crashes into the Andes mountains with little food or water left for the survivors. Then it’s every man for himself, so to speak.
3. Read less books, watch more TV: I’m still fine tuning this one.
4. Join a : I’m struggling with this one. Exercise equipment makes me feel like a caged hamster. But lately I’ve been feeling more like an overstuffed turkey filled to the gizzards with cheese- and chocolate-covered anything. There has to be a better way to stay fit, at least in wintertime. What to do?
5. Find a better way to stay fit (at least in wintertime) without having to join a gym: I’ve tried running in place at home; it doesn’t work. All you get are rug burns on the pads of your feet. And the thought of running on treadmill ... Running through grocery store aisles isn’t much better. I am banned from shopping at all Redner’s grocery stores in the Tri-state area for one year.
On a recent cold and windy day, I decided to go jogging through one of their stores and slipped on a puddle of ‘reduced fat’ creamy Italian salad dressing that someone forgot to clean up on Aisle Six.
As I slid down the aisle in my Asics Super Space Gel 3000s, I lost my balance and slammed into one of the managers who had just put the finishing touches on a display of Triscuit boxes made to look like an Egyptian pyramid. Tutankhamun himself would have been proud to sleep there, if only I hadn’t rolled off the manager’s back and crashed into the display.
Boxes of Triscuits went flying everywhere. I thought the poor man was going to cry, he looked so crestfallen. Instead, he jumped up off the floor and chased me out of the store, all the while hurling insults and Triscuit boxes after me. ’Twas a terrific sight to behold.
6. Be more diligent about working on my screenplay: Apocalypse Now & Again: The Son of Kurtz. (“This time, it’s personal.”)
7. Do unto others before the others do unto me: I’m still refining this one, too.
Addendum to Resolution #3: Read less books, watch less TV. Spend more time updating Facebook status.
8. Get the band back together: I think the world is finally ready for barbershop hip-hop.
9. Learn to take politics more seriously: I know it only sounds like a farce, what with all the money, time and hairspray - not to mention news space - invested in these campaigns. But I can’t help it. Politics in America anymore is such burlesque, and politicians are the perfect soubrettes on which we the people pin our hopes and dreams and fears.
We see through the glitter, we know their sincerity has a dollar sign attached. Not a single one among them really cares about the economy or Wall Street chicanery or the bread lines we’ll all soon be standing in; yet, every election cycle, we show up at the polls and elect the same brand of liars and cheats.
And for that we get a pin saying “I Voted” and not much else after. If it weren’t so funny, it would be just tragic.
Addendum to Resolution #7: Do unto others what I would have others do unto me, unless the others of whom I speak ask me for my money or my vote.
10. Stop, look and listen: It goes by so fast, don’t you know? Time, that is.
Addendum to Resolution #10: Make the best of every moment.
Happy New Year.