Sunday, January 01, 2006


There is no easier way to set yourself up for failure than to give yourself a massive list of new year’s resolutions. Here’s mine:

Take a tap class with some regularity. I found one Chicago studio with a convenient schedule but an inconvenient location and another studio with an inconvenient schedule but a convenient location. They did that just to make my resolution harder to keep, of course.

Practice the piano more. Or maybe I should have a more specific goal: Learn a new piano piece from scratch. Possibly something by Chopin, whose works I’ve never really studied.

Read ten books. I’ve been on a book-buying (and -receiving) spree over the last year or so. I’ve read two of them, and of the 15 remaining, I hope to have two-thirds knocked off by 2007:
American Gothic: A Life of America’s Most Famous Painting, Steven Biel
Benjamin Franklin: An American Life, Walter Isaacson
The Blood of Strangers: Stories from Emergency Medicine, Frank Huyler
The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown
The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic and Madness at the Fair that Changed America, Erik Larson
Eats, Shoots & Leaves: A Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation, Lynne Truss
John Adams, David McCullough
A Massive Swelling: Celebrity Re-Examined as a Grotesque Crippling Disease, Cintra Wilson
Me Talk Pretty One Day, David Sedaris
Miracle at Philadelphia: The Story of the Constitutional Convention May to September 1787, Catherine Drinker Bowen
Rats: Observations on the History & Habitat of the City’s Most Unwanted Inhabitants, Robert Sullivan
Virtually Normal: An Argument About Homosexuality, Andrew Sullivan
Why Do Men Have Nipples?, Mark Leyner and Billy Goldberg, M.D.
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, Gregory Maguire
Wobegon Boy, Garrison Keillor

Stop saying it’s 2007. It’s been 2006 (I think) for only 20 hours, and already I’ve said and written and thought that it’s 2007 about 2007 times.

Travel someplace fun. Last year I hit Madrid, Paris, New York and London. And Iowa. There are already tentative plans underway this year for Greece. And Iowa.

Decide once and for all if I’m on the right career path. And then follow up on that decision. (There are, however, potential career opportunities in Europe with my current company. But at this writing, the prospect of living with a social anxiety disorder and a language barrier doesn’t sound very appealing.)

Keep shooting for my four-hour marathon goal. Maybe in New York this year. But probably in Chicago, because 1) it’s easier to commute to Chicago when you’re already in Chicago and 2) I really dig knowing that there are people watching the race who actually know me by name.

Find a bigger condo. Now that I have this one looking almost exactly the way I want.

Add at least five pounds of muscle to my upper body. These saggy old-man tits are not making me feel pretty as I sneak up on my 38th birthday. Man, the older you get, the harder you have to work to reach your dream of becoming a teen model …

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