New Year Resolutions: Everybody should make some. It is a great opportunity to do some life planning, to set some goals that you can work towards in the coming year. It is a time for renewal. What better way to make yourself depressed than to realize that you have absolutely no control over your life. Still, I think it's worthwhile to get some things down on paper:

­­ I'm going to work on my patience. I have way too much. I've been waiting for management to treat workers fairly for 53 years. It ain't going to happen.

­­ I need to learn to listen better: closer, longer, with more empathy. This will help when I tell the other person that they are totally wrong and dumber than the day is long.

­­ I need to use my time better. Since I am only working 20 hours per week, I have a lot of spare time on my hands. I would like to watch a little more TV. Last week I missed West Wing. West Wing is a portrayal of life in the White House. It seems to be pretty realistic. No one does anything, but they all seem to think they're very important. And I'm going to spend more time with my children. Wouldn't you know it, they both are gone.

­­ I'm going to learn more about computers. After all, computers are the future. You can do everything and anything on a computer. I heard the other day a guy had sex with a woman in a chat room. And here I am still messing around in the bedroom.

­­ I recently made a commitment to change everything I possibly can in a 24 hour day, beginning with my underwear. Today, for instance, I am working on changing people's opinion about war. Most people seem to like war. Once I explain to them how getting shot can really hurt, I'm sure they will change their mind. Later, I'm going to change my socks. Than I'm going to work on changing our health-care system, our electoral system, and ways to save energy without destroying the ozone layer. Remember that famous saying, ''God grant me the energy to change everything humanly possible, and the wisdom to not get arrested in the process.''

­­ I'm going to go to law school at night. I know of no other job where you get paid so much for doing so little. Well, maybe an elected official, but most of them are attorneys who have been taught in law school how to do nothing and get paid for it. I would make a good lawyer. I'm good at doing nothing. I just don't get paid for it. Yet.

­­ I'm going to try to be more patriotic. I love this country, although there are a few things I would like to see changed, like starting universal health care, ending corporate control of Washington, ending corporate welfare, protecting our individual rights, sending the Supreme Court to Afghanistan, reversing the trend towards establishing a national religion, and making it a common practice to sunbathe in the nude.

­­ I'm going to try to stop cussing, although I don't see the point of it. Cussing has become quite common. Books, TV, radio, newspapers, school yards, nursery schools. Everybody cusses. The first word my son said was damn. I tried to kid myself into believing he meant dam, like a structure that holds back water, but who was I kidding. The whole damn thing upsets me.

­­ I have to get over being disappointed with ministers. I was almost one myself. I think my disappointment with most reverends has to do with expectations. I expect them to help us with our spirituality, not our ideology, although I do think Christ was probably a liberal Democrat.

­­ Forgiveness is hard. I need to work on forgiveness. Forgiveness is closely linked to forgetting. I'm good at forgetting, but bad at forgiving. A lot of times I forget who I forgave. This can end up being embarrassing. So if I forgave you, but I'm not acting like it, forgive me.

­­ I have to start trusting people more. After September 11th, I have become terrible. I no longer open the mail, which has vicariously helped my financial position, and when my mother calls, I make her give her social security number. The only person I really trust is my wife, which I have no explanation for. I'm beginning to trust people of color a little more, although I can't find anyone to practice on at the country club. I have flown since September 11th. It wasn't that bad. I only had to spend five days in jail. I finally convinced them I wasn't from Afghanistan. I think it was the wig and fake beard.

­­ Being The Peever is a difficult life, as I'm sure you are well aware. It requires peeving off a lot of people, which never wins you any brownie points. For instance, it would be just like The Peever to mention the Crap Dip recipe I saw in The Register-Mail on December 5th. While some may call that a low blow, I prefer to see it as a public service. I just don't think Crap Dip would be good for you. However, I could be wrong.

Have a Happy New Year. Remember, if you drink, don't talk.

Uploaded to The Zephyr Online December 24, 2001

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