Carpe 2009: My Resolutions For The New Year

Published in the North Central Chronicle on January 9, 2009.

New Year’s Resolutions are like Airborne pills: they don’t really work, but we use them anyway because they make us feel better about the bumpy ride ahead. I’ve never taken Airborne pills, but every January I still resolve to do something different in the New Year-exercise more, eat less fast food, be more loving towards the unlovables like Paris Hilton fans and people who wear Crocs. (I’ve gotten better at the first two, but the last one…ain’t gonna happen.)

This year, for the sake of accountability, I’m making public each resolution I have for 2009, because you can tell your diary everything you plan on doing, but your diary won’t tell you all those Krispy Kremes have made you fall off the fat wagon again. That’s what friends and casual acquaintances are for.

Resolution #1: Stop complaining about Kaufman. I know, I know. Kaufman’s food tends to…well, underperform. I’d love for the marinara sauce to not taste like lemon juice, or for the eggs to be in solid form, but it does, and they aren’t. Big deal. I don’t want to drop the whole “There are starving children in Africa” argument, but there are starving children in Africa.

We all know exactly how good or how bad the food in Kaufman is, so we don’t need to keep telling each other. It’s like inmates telling each other they’re in prison. What’s the point?

Resolution #2: Stop complaining about the campus bikes. While there is never a %$^&!@& campus bike when it’s $@^#$!& needed, there is no use in complaining incessantly about something I have no control over. I’ll just have to make do walking the three blocks to class. I’m sure it will be fine.

Resolution #3: Listen to Will Smith more. While on the promotional tour for his film “Seven Pounds,” Will Smith doled out some really good life advice: read and run every day. Doing so will stimulate the mind and the body and make you feel like you’ve accomplished something, even on a cruel, dreary, why-do-I-live-in-the-Midwest January day.

It’s easy to get the reading part out of the way when classes are in session, but the running part will take some motivation. Check out the treadmills in the Merner workout room or join a pack of cross country runners on a winding trek through the neighborhood. I’m sure they won’t mind.

Resolution #4: Criticize the new president. Now that he’s elected, it’s okay to admit: Obama got a pass from the media. It helped that he was telegenic and not a Republican, but he snuck in without being bullied as much as Clinton or Palin were. But now that he’s going to be the guy in charge, we can’t let up on him just because he’s inexperienced or because of his skin color.

There will be scandals and missteps and flat-out lies, so don’t be surprised if Mr. Cool is not the savior of the world as your Obamanic friends would have you believe. He is officially The Man now, and we ought to stick it to him as we have faithfully to Bush over the last eight years.

Resolution #5: Never trust the economy. Sure, it will bounce back eventually, but this Armageddon of ’08 has shown me that my mattress is just about the safest place I can put money these days. My brain has about a 10-second threshold for economic matters, so when people say that the sub-prime mortgage whosey-whatsey and the dividends on the market investments yadda yadda yadda will recover, I could care less. From now on, my money will be in two places: my checking account and Noodles & Co. That’s an investment I can rely upon.

Resolution #6: Never trust governors. 2008 gave us the double whammy of Eliot “Emperors Club VIP” Spitzer and Rod “I Don’t Understand What A Wiretap Is” Blagojevich. Both men have sexual pun-worthy last names, they both have hair issues, and they both are really, really stupid. I mean really stupid. But while Blagojevich’s dealings were dirty, at least he didn’t drag his wife to the press conference like Spitzer did.

So far, Jim Doyle, the governor of my home state of Wisconsin, has been in the clear, but I’m just waiting for the day when we learn he’s one-upped both Spitzer and Blagojevich by giving an open Senate seat to a prostitute named Cherry he slept with in the capitol building. That, my friends, would make my year.

Resolution #7: Stop saying “awesome.” I don’t know who started this, but it needs to stop. “Awesome” has become the word people will associate with this decade, like “rad” of the ’90s, “groovy” of the ’70s, and “flapper” of the ’20s. I’m not saying this decade was awesome-after all, the ’90s were anything but radical-I’m just saying the word needs to stay in this decade. There are plenty of great synonyms, like “stupendous” and “fantabulous.” That last one isn’t really a word, but it’s better than awesome.

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