New Year’s Resolutions You Can Actually Keep

 

Don't get all nostalgic for the New Years Eve of yesteryear - this kid is wearing a cloth diaper and is likely wearing a Depends by now!  (Image from pinterest.com - first New Years Resolution - stay off of Pinterest for another year)
Don’t get all nostalgic for the New Years resolutions of yesteryear – the kid in this photo is sporting a cloth diaper and may well be wearing a Depends by now. (Image from pinterest.com – first New Year’s Resolution – stay off of Pinterest for another year)

Optimism is all well and good, but many of you get a little carried away at this time of the year with your resolutions.  Perhaps it’s the promise of a fresh start, or the regret that comes with an epic New Year’s hangover.  For whatever reason, you simply set the bar impossibly high for yourselves in the coming year.   More often than not, your credit card bills for holiday spending haven’t even arrived before most of your resolutions have already been shot to hell.

A wise (and impossibly upbeat, annoying) person would suggest that every day is a new beginning; that we can each strive to just be a better person every morning.  It’s a pretty good idea to resolve to stay away from people like that.  It may prove to be a tough promise to keep, especially for those of you in twelve step programs or Turkish prisons.

Here now, are some typically unachievable New Year’s resolutions with saner alternatives.   You can resolve to thank me later.  In an effort to show how to set and achieve resolutions, I’ve resolved to use old photos from previous posts to illustrate this one.  Done and done.

Resolution #1: Renew your gym membership / Exercise regularly

I looked for photos of actual squatters, but felt the ones I found were demeaning.  This woman chose to dress this way to perform squats, and as such, she demeans only herself.  By the way, honey, love the shoes!  (Image from thegreatfitnessexperiment dot com)
Working out is not always as glamorous as this.  I don’t know how this shot didn’t break the internet.  (Image from thegreatfitnessexperiment dot com)

Problem: Gym memberships pose many problems.  For one thing, the obligatory monthly payments and over-priced juice bars may derail financial management resolutions you may be considering (refer to Resolution 3 below).  There’s also a good chance you haven’t been to the gym since the last time you made this hollow promise about twelve months ago. A slim possibility exists that the gym has folded and the lease was taken over by a do-it-yourself dog-grooming enterprise.  It’s still recommended that you wipe down the equipment when done.

1 PP Resolution Solution: Change your perspective.  By most standards, you’re over-weight and about as active as an arthritic tree sloth, but compared to some folks, you’re the picture of health and living an active lifestyle.  Resolve to spend more time in cemeteries.  Next to the dead, you’ll probably look pretty fit.  While you’re there, you might as well walk around a little.

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Resolution #2: Eat a healthier diet / Lose weight

There is no evidence to support the possibility that Carl's Jr is considering serving Barbequed bowsers or even Hawaiian style buns. (Cut and paste digital collage handiwork by the author)
There is no evidence to support the possibility that Carl’s Jr is considering serving Barbequed bowsers. (Cut and paste collage handiwork by the author for a different post – needed to re-use it to make all that digital labor worth my while )

Problem: A healthier diet will almost certainly include more fruits, dark green leafy vegetabley things and less processed junk.  You’re on a first-name basis with the people in the window at the local drive-thru.  The produce clerks at the local health food co-op shift their glances nervously between you and the AED every time they see you lumbering down the aisle.

1 PP Resolution Solution: What really matters in life?  Looking good and treating your body like a temple, or having friends?  Buy a fistful of scratch-off lottery tickets for your friends at Jack-In-The-Box and nurture your fellowship with that bunch of zany kids!  Those cucumber waxers over at Whole Foods were never going to be your pals anyway.

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Resolution #3: Get out of debt / Improve your financial management

If your bank account looks like this, you need to stop watching the Cowboys get their asses kicked and go do some shopping!  Rumor has it Romo jerseys are going for bargain prices.  (Image from picsbox dot biz)
If your idea of financial management is organizing your wads of cash in neat little stacks like these, you may need more individualized advice. Give me a call on my cell and we’ll talk about my ideas for a combination brewery/day spa.  (Image from picsbox dot biz)

Problem: Committing yourself to improving your money situation won’t get you a raise down at The Kraft Shak.  There’s no need for a calculator to figure out that even going without food and shelter, you couldn’t pay off those credit cards before next year’s resolutions.

1 PP Resolution Solution: Financial experts agree that diversification of investments is key.  If it works for Jimmy Buffett’s rich uncle Warren, it should work for you too.  So when you buy those scratch-offs, make sure you get a wide variety of them.  Bonus Hint: Use a key to scratch off the ticket, having loose coins around will only encourage frivolous spending.

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Resolution #4: Do more for others / Be a better citizen of the world

I saw what you wrote on Facebook - you're allowed into heaven now. (Image from popejokes dot com)
I opted for a funny Pope photo here, because Mother Teresa washing feet is just not entertaining viewing.  (Image from popejokes dot com)

Problem: Let’s face it, volunteering is not as much fun as you thought it would be.  The pay is even less than you what you clear at The Kraft Shak.  In addition, soup kitchens and Habitat for Humanity building sites are teeming with those wildly optimistic, happy-pants yahoos we all agreed to avoid in the beginning of this post.

1 PP Resolution Solution: First of all, you need to steer clear of late night TV ads which result in you donating pennies a day to the orphaned kittens of Botswana.  I mean really, how much of your 12 cents do really think goes to those scrawny little tabbies?  If you’re still hell-bent on doing good, you can come over here and rake my yard or shovel my driveway without me having to drop hints over and over again.  There might even be a cup of cocoa in it for you, but I’m not making any promises.

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Resolution #5: Improve your attitude and coping strategies

You take the espadrilles out of this one and it's nothing but the shallow end of a pool.  You also lose my name, which I proudly stuck in the corner.  Gimme credit WP.
Yes you’ve made questionable decisions, and those shoes are no exception, but it’s not the end of the world.  Besides, if you wanted to do something dramatic and self-destructive, you’re at the wrong end of the pool.  (Illustration by the author, who is trying to get his money’s worth out of the hours invested drawing water and shoes)

Problem:  Dealing with the challenges the world throws your way is what life is all about.  You know that getting passed over for the assistant head checker position down at the Crap Shak shouldn’t have mattered so much, but you ended up sulking for weeks.  How the hell can you expected to be happy and upbeat when the world keeps dumping out second helpings of poop on your plate?

1PP Resolution Solution: If you’ve followed my sage advice thus far, you’re probably reading this as you sit on a tombstone, eating a Jum-Bo-Valu meal amid the sad clutter of losing lottery tickets and dead flowers.  As if that isn’t bad enough, your back is sore from doing gratis yard work over at Casa del One-Point (For future reference, bring your own rake next time – I’m not running a lending library here).  My final bit of wisdom is that you stop making promises which will inevitably end in you disappointing yourself.

You’re quite welcome.

See you next year!

Twelve Days of Silence

Illustration of the Easter Bunny in the off-season.  This aint no comic book drawing.
Illustration of the Easter Bunny in the off-season. This aint no comic book drawing.

I was glancing through my abysmal stats and realized with a dull surprise that I haven’t posted jack-squat in twelve days.

It’s not as if the world hasn’t been providing me with more than enough fodder to ridicule or outlandish news to leave me gob-smacked.  The fault is not the world’s, it’s entirely mine.  I’ve let life get in the way of writing about life and you, my loyal readers have suffered for it.  I apologize.

Installing Vine on my not-so-smart phone certainly hasn’t helped my productivity.  I’ve been snacking on 6 second videos which make Tweets from B-list celebrities look like James Michener novels.

I’ve also been on a diet.  While hopefully easing my waistline back away from triple digits, it’s been fairly miserable.  I don’t how I can possibly be expected to write when my stomach is desperately crying out for food and booze.  On one occasion my keyboard started looking like a deluxe assortment of licorice and dark chocolates decorated with letters and numbers.

Then the other day I was knocked out of my stupor.  The talented Andrew of Shut Up Dad posted a blog letting us all know he’d published his first e-book.  After 1.4 seconds of being impressed and happy for his accomplishment, I moved into a state of seething jealousy.  I decided right then that I’m going to get one of my works published (I’m sure someone will do it if I pay them enough).

I’ve been gradually adding to a short story I posted around the holidays which four or five of you might recall reading, called “Christmas Greetings From The Zombie Apocalypse“.  As you might gather from the title, it’s a light-hearted romp filled with tender moments and wholesome family values.  Actually, it’s not.  Feel free to see for yourself.

I was considering trying my hand at presenting CGFTZA as a graphic novel.  For those of you in the dark about the format, “graphic novels” may also be referred to as “expensive comic books“.  After careful consideration of the graphic novel idea, I had to admit to myself that my drawing style is not really along the lines of the comic book art, or at least not what I would want.  More importantly, I draw even slower than I write, so it would likely take decades to accomplish.

So anyway, now I’ve really done it.  I’ve promised myself to get something finished and published (e or otherwise) here in this most public of venues.  Crap!  Now I have to do it.

The 7 Deadly Sins Series: Nick Valenti – Swim Club Gigolo

Nicky V. hustled.  He went to community college and worked at the bowling alley.  He’d been there long enough to be able to run the whole show.  He sprayed disinfectant in the rental shoes when he had to, but where he really shined was shmoozing the moms who came in to have birthday parties for their little brats.  He’d make sure the bumpers were up and that they kept off the hardwood with the pizza and soda.  Nick couldn’t help but look at those moms with their shiny SUV’s and wish he had some better wheels.

In the summer months, business fell off at the alley and Nicky worked over at the Delcrest Swim Club.  His cousin Jimmy “One Thumb” Valenti was officially the manager, but Nicky did the work.  Jimmy just picked up a check – nine fingers or not, he had no problem with that skill.  Nicky should be so lucky.

Nick was a bit of a player with the lovely young ladies at the pool.  This summer was different.  Nicky was tired of the teenagers, he had his eye on bigger game.

Nicky figured the woman was in her 30’s, and she had him in some kind of trance.  She was built like a centerfold.  Strippers should have studied the way she moved.  Her name was Crystal Light, just like the diet drink mix.  Funny, because her old man looked like he’d never been within a mile of lo-cal anything.  Nicky looked at that fat slob and dreamed of having his life.  As if having a knockout like Crystal wasn’t enough, the round man owned a classic Caddy.  It drove Nicky crazy that this guy had it all, and more chins than a Chinese phonebook.

When Crystal started chatting with Nicky down by the diving well, he thought maybe she was going to hit him up to work on the Caddy.  The trunk lock had been popped and it was held closed with clothesline.  He couldn’t believe that tub of Beefaroni would drive a number like Crystal around a classic car rigged like that.  Where was the justice?

He was trying so hard to look cool that he wasn’t sure he heard her right.  She smiled, then turned and walked away to find her husband at the snack bar.  Nicky tried to recall her exact words, but the sight of her walking away wasn’t helping his thought process.  He was convinced that she wanted Mr. Light turned off for good.

Nick was no murderer, but he kept imagining driving the Caddy with Crystal snuggled up against him.  He pictured himself pulling into the driveway of the Light’s split level over on Belmont Terrace.  He deserved that life.  He’d do it.

That’s how he found himself crouching in a cluster of  rhododendrons at the edge of Light’s property, his fingers sweating as his grip tightened on the handle of the gun he’d lifted from One Thumb’s desk at the swim club.  That 500-pounder-with-cheese was bound to come out of his house eventually, and Nicky would be waiting, swatting mosquitoes.

Nick felt the presence but didn’t even have a chance to turn around before the bowling pin cracked across the back of his skull and knocked him into dreamland.

The man stood over Nick, wearing torn jeans and a badly scuffed leather jacket, scrapes on his hands and face.

He said, “Sorry kid, but there’s already a line formed for guys who want to kill that fat bastard.”

Willie Prader pulled out a Lucky and leaned back down into the shadows of the bushes to light it without being seen.