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Final Thoughts: To do ... Or Not to Do

2011 was a good year for me. I got in a little walking, lost a little weight, read a few books. Julie and I marked our 22nd anniversary, and we’re still speaking to each other. 

As usual, I don’t plan to make any resolutions for 2012. I see no point in setting myself up for failure. Call the following sort of a 2012 “To-Don’t List,” things I don’t plan to do, or at least hope I don’t do, see or hear.


Things I don’t plan to do:

• Wah diddy diddy.

• Eat oatmeal while driving to work.

• Join another Internet community. I’ve been linked, tweeted, poked and followed to the point I’m getting virtual bruises and a little paranoid. 

• Jell-O shots: I have never done one and can probably get by just fine without ever doing one. I sure don’t need anything that’s fruity and smooth going down, especially if it owes its potency to a clear liquid. On a New Year’s Eve many years ago, after several rounds of straight tequila, I decided it would be good to have a heart-to-heart with my girlfriend. Trouble was, I was in Florida and she was in Kansas and was not happy about a wee-hours call. Soon she would be my ex-girlfriend. I’m loath to share any other incidents related to potent clear liquids, especially those in which I thought I had superhuman strength. Let’s just say I may have finally learned to steer clear of the stuff.


Other things I don’t plan to do:

• Wacka-do. 

• Contradict myself.

• Call myself a member of a sports nation. I’m not sure when fans began identifying themselves as members of sports nations, though two of my friends say it began with Oklahoma’s Sooner Nation back in the 1970s. Whatever the origin, in recent years a lot of folks, especially a lot of sportscasters, have thought it clever to jump on the nation bandwagon. So, now we have all kinds of sports nations: Buckeye Nation, Raider Nation, Ranger Nation … Rutabaga Nation.

• Follow the crowd. I fancy myself more the rugged individualist. Someone like John Wayne, Dodge Ram drivers, and those guys in the erectile-dysfunction commercials. Yep, I go my own way, patterning myself after no one. I am one unique individual.

• Write anything that subtly pokes fun at society and my own contradictions. It’s hard to do, and most folks don’t get it. 

• Wash, rinse and repeat. I’ll wash and rinse, but I don’t like to repeat things. Wash, rinse and repeat. I’ll wash and rinse, but I don’t like to repeat things. Wash, rinse and re — OK, sorry about that.


Things I HOPE not to see, hear and/or do:

Be do be dooo.

Anything for which I should apologize, including cheap attempts at humor (Especially references to mid-1960s pop songs — a man could get killed!).

Bad movies. This is truly impossible, of course, but being an infernal optimist, I can always hope. I, and a few friends, see a lot of movies — probably at least 40 last year, many of which were bad, bad, bad, including Bad Teacher. Despite myriad reviews on which to base our movie choices, our selection process usually goes something like this: “Whaddaya wanna see?” “I don’t know, whadda YOU wanna see?” “‘Bad Teacher’ starts at 7, ‘The Tree of Life’ at 7:20.” “‘Bad Teacher’ it is!” In that one, Cameron Diaz played a lewd and crude character, and even though the filmmakers tried to redeem her at the end, by that point my interest was ready for a hall pass.

As football game officials say, “The previous play is under review.” With all the mind-numbing commercial breaks, football games are too long. And when officials huddle around a monitor to debate some call, the games just get that much longer. Of course, this gives the boys in the booth one more opportunity to slip in a sponsor plug. “This game stoppage and mindless banter brought to you by the California Hemp Growers Cooperative. Far out!”

Myself in the mirror after stepping out of the shower. Years ago, I didn’t mind it. In fact, I thought I sort of looked like Michelangelo’s “David.” Now what I see resembles something by the Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens, which might be OK if I lived in the 17th century … and I were a woman.



Well, that’s it. My To-Don’t List is not very ambitious, but it’s more than I planned not to do in 2011 and, as I mentioned, that turned out pretty well.



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