Thursday, January 1, 2009

Resolutions revisited

Last November 7 I decided to post my New Year's resolutions early, partly to be contrary (who wants to read all those New Year's resolutions blogs on January 1, when one is recovering from the night before?) and partly because I needed something to blog about.

Seven weeks have passed since then. How have I made out with the resolutions?

"1. Work harder on the new novel instead of dipping into it desultorily."

Not terribly well. The news that publishers have cut back on their acceptances of new manuscripts -- and some are not accepting any at all -- means that it may be another year or two before my publisher even deigns to take a look at the fourth Steve Martinez novel. So this has become an occasional project, but the Lady Friend and I are taking a writing trip to Colorado next week, and that ought to be good for another 50 to 75 pages.

"2. See the grandchildren frequently and regularly."

Since 2 3/4-year-old Emmet and four-month-old Alice live in the vicinity, that's an easy one so far as they are concerned, but I needs must get to Washington more often to visit 6-year-old Will and 2 1/2-year-old Ellie. Piled-up airline miles will help with that.

"3. Boost my Macbook's RAM from 1 GB to 2 GB. That way I won't have to buy a new computer in order to go faster, even if I could afford a new one, which I can't, not in this economic climate. Two GB of RAM costs less than $50, shipped."

Did. That was the easiest resolution to keep. And everything does run a bit faster on the Macbook.

"4. Get off my ass and go out and take more photographs to feed the other blog. The exercise will be good for me."

Needs work, as you can see from the photo blog -- the last photo I posted was on Dec. 18. The weather around here has been intense, but that's really no excuse.

"5. Walk the dog longer each day. It'll be good for him and it'll be good for me."

Needs work, too. I can legitimately blame the weather, which has made the sidewalks slippery, not good for a senior citizen with a dicey sense of balance.

"6. Resume my daily hour-long workouts at the Geezer Club, starting today. (Catching a cold two weeks ago made me backslide.)"

Did, and I've lost a few pounds, too.

"7. Fly my airplane at least an hour a week as long as I can afford it, which might not be much longer."

Almost impossible, because southern Wisconsin had a lot of snow and the hangar aprons couldn't be plowed owing to soft ground around them. But there's been a thaw, and there's a good chance I can get old N5859E back into the air tomorrow.

"8. Smile and say hello to the sour neighbor up the street every time I pass by. Maybe she'll smile back sometime."

Haven't seen her at all, but my pearly whites remain ready to flash when the occasion arises.

"9. Read two books a week instead of just one, exercising that dusty library card."

Needs work, too. I've become a slow and careful reader in my advanced age, going through P.D. James' newest novel one chapter a day. One retains more that way, doesn't one? (Meantime, in two weeks the Lady Friend has nearly plowed through the entirety of Doris Kearns Goodwin's 916-page Team of Rivals for her monthly book group. She shames me.)

"10. Finish that Windsor armchair kit I bought last summer. It's not that difficult -- it's the careful sanding that's so time-consuming."

It's finished! But I screwed up the staining -- one should apply wood filler after staining, not before -- so I'll probably paint it later in the year.

"11. Take a course in advanced photography or American Sign Language somewhere, just to mix with other people and forestall reclusiveness."


"12. Stop blogging about politics, and encourage other bloggers to follow suit."

It's hard, it's hard. Losing weight is easier, and better for you anyway.


  1. What, no resolutions for 2009? Here's to a wonderful year for you and The Lady Friend! --Marshall

  2. How can you be so dumb to apply wood filler before staining? Didn't you learn that in junior high wood shop?

  3. Marshall, rightbackatcha.

    Anonymous, I did, but forgot. More fool me.

  4. Get out there with the camera - take it with you when you take the dog for a walk. Bad weather makes wonderful photos - moody skies etc...

    Check the storm on my photoblog and see what I mean!

    I will keep checking my google reader and hound you until I find a photo!