The 2011 Project

As another blue-eyed one never quite said, “Resolutions, I’ve had a few.” (It may interest you to know that language statisticians say the use of the word “resolution” peaks during the last week of December each year and tails off to nearly nothing by mid-January). But this year, we’re leaving resolutions behind and simply projecting the year ahead based on observed phenomena during a given period of time. In this case, the period is January 1, the first day of the year. Based on what happened yesterday, in 2011 I will:

  • Watch all or part of 2,190 college football classics and see the Big 10 lose 1,825 times.
  • Eat homemade pasta with Eamon and Sakura 365 times.
  • Have 1,460 cups of strong coffee and 365 cups of tea.
  • Drink alcoholic beverages zero times.
  • Comment on the beverage name “Pocari Sweat” 3,650 times.
  • Consume 35 million calories from various snacks and holiday sweets.
  • Take The Dog for 1,460 walks and pick up 1,460 holiday leavings from said Dog.
  • Step in a pile of waste left by the neighbor’s cat 365 times.
  • Lose track of The Dog while doing an outdoor chore, look for him up and down the block, get irritated with very nice neighbor who let The Dog in to hang out with her family, apologize for getting irritated: 365 times.
  • Weigh myself 365 times and think “that’s not too bad, is it?” about 5,000 times.
  • Conceive 131,400 brilliant ideas (20 for each waking hour) and 13,400 inspired projects (two every waking hour) based on same.
  • Play 2,190 games of Fruit Ninja on my daughter-in-law’s iPad (hi, Sakura!) and lose every one.
  • Look at work email on my day off 1,040 times.
  • Check personal email, Facebook, and Twitter 3,650 times.
  • Check on delivery status of items ordered online 730 times.
  • Shop at the Shattuck Avenue Andronico’s 365 times.
  • Complain about a stuffed-up sinus 3,650 times.
  • Take 1,095 ibuprofen tablets.
  • Take 365 showers.
  • Shave zero times.
  • Change my underwear 365 times.
  • Go into the office zero times.
  • Wear shorts outside on a cold, rainy day 365 times and have 365 conversations about it with a total stranger.
  • Research federal and state laws and regulations about indoor lighting 365 hours.
  • Take zero naps.
  • Consult the weather forecast and/or Doppler radar 1,825 times.
  • Watch the movie “Inception” 365 times.
  • Take 10,950 pictures, of which 365 turn out.
  • Put on and take off shoes or slippers 7,300 times.
  • Think about getting in touch with family and friends 3,650 times. Make call or write email to same zero times.
  • Think about writing a blog post 3,650 times. Write a blog post zero times.

New Year’s Eve Guest: ‘The Snow Man’

I don’t know much of Wallace Stevens. But what I know, I like and never tire of coming back to. Here’s “The Snow Man,” a poem one critic terms the best short poem in the English language (it’s a claim made on NPR a few years ago and is worth reading in its own right.)

The Snow Man

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

nd whether you get around to reading any of this tonight or not, have a great New Year’s Eve, wherever you are, and a wonderful new year.  

Ready for ’07

You can say this about 2006: It didn’t go quietly. Here’s a prayer for something like peace, or at least sanity and common sense, in the new year. And for everyone who’s shown up to read these scribblings the last 12 months: Thanks for reading (and responding), and here’s hoping you have a great 2007.