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Friday
Jan042013

A Dozen Resolutions For 2013

Better late than never.  I came up with these prior to January 1, but with the snow in Montreal over the weekend, I never made it to the Grand Bibliotehque to post, and I've been somewhat busy this week.

I've never taken New Years resolutions all that seriously, but it's kind of a fun idea, and I usually proffer a few, more to myself than anyone else (at least before I started blogging).  Most are more quirky than dead out serious.

One year, I resolved to stop eating meat and made it through three months or so.  A friend told me that he's resolved to never buy and cook meat, but will eat it if the animal has already been killed and served up (such as at State Rep functions).  I would in fact love to be a vegetarian, but the body is weak.  I eat less meat and certainly will never knowingly wear fur (the age of polyester should have moved us beyond the need to trap harmless little animals).

A few years ago I was successful in burying the hatchet with a couple of people I had not previously gotten along with.  I felt better for it, but am actually inclined to go the opposite direction this year. 

1)  No Criticism for the Loathsome!   I've got a list of a dozen people whom I so loathe (they earned it) that I resolve to not even mention their names in public or in this space.  I was going to name them here and then never mention them again, but I've resolved not even to do that; not even initials.  Thus, you will not see me criticizing a dozen people by name this year.  As far as I'm concerned, they're dead and don't even merit consideration.  Hint, Hint--Ten are State Reps (nine Republicans), one journalist, and one other, a Manchester lowlife.

2)  No TV Appearances.  Having given up my TV show in November, I thought it would be fun to resolve to do no TV for a year.  I usually do a guest shot with Denis Goddard in Concord, and Ken Gidge has asked me to do his show in Nashua.  Nope.  No Soup for you; no TV for me.  Not even those quickie interviews in the State House hallway.

3)  Lay off polls.  Regular readers will note that I was so hooked on polls that I did a weekly rundown for most of last year, my least popular feature, some people told me.  I resolve to not write about polls and in fact to avoid polls completely.  Let's see how long this one lasts.

4)  Welcome Back Kathy--Kind of like my resolution to bury the hatchet, I resolve not to say any more bad things about former Democrat Chair Kathleen Sullivan (unless of course she attacks me first).  She came up to me at the inaugural yesterday and acknowledged that she actually agrees with some of the things I write.  As well she should.  That's good enough for me.  Kathy is back in good graces; at least for now...see how nice I can be.  Besides, she lives in my ward, and after the close call this year, I may need her vote.  Not.

5) A Fox Downgrade--Since the election, I've been weaning myself from wall-to-wall news, but for 2013, I resolve to avoid Fox News in the Morning and at five (Fox and Friends hosts are particularly annoying and at five, we get five of the least likable people on the planet), and prime time folks Sean and Greta are virtually unwatchable (maybe a dash of O'Reilly is okay...as long as he stops ranting about Christmas and plugging his own great deeds).  I'm fond of the regular Fox News reports, Brett Baier is great and Shepherd Smith is ok (except when he's showing people blowing their brains out), but no more of Fox's right wing drivel for me.  (I don't get MSNBC so I've never been subjected to its left wing drivel).

6)  Read David Copperfield and More Classics--It's time to devote more time to reading great literary classics which I've avoided all my life.  Since John Irving recommends Charles Dickens so highly, I actually got through Great Expectations, Oliver Twist, and A Tale of Two Cities in the last few weeks.  The length scared me away from David Copperfield, but I pledge to get through it (I began last night) and a few other classics this year.  Someone yesterday suggested The Portrait of Dorian Gray. Irving likes Wuthering Heights and Madame Bovary. Any ideas?  Post them here (no Hemingway or Steinbeck please...that's too much to resolve)  I did The Three Musketeers, Lorna Doone, Moby Dick (ugh), and The Scarlet Letter back in high school.

7)  Avoid Morris.  Last year, I resolved to immediately change the channel if Dick Morris, His Fraudelency, The Foot Fetishist, ever appeared.  I made it through most of the year, but weakened just prior to the election, in time to catch his totally wrong elections predictions offered with such sanctimonious smugness.  This year I resolve to make it all the way through Morris-free.  And I expect to hold myself to this one...if none of the others.  The man is a total sellout and fraud.

8)  Depart From The Chamber--This resolution I managed to keep Wednesday.  I resolve to leave the House chambers whenever the one Rep I most loathe gets up to pontificate (one of the nine in resolution one).  No more hints, but watch my mobility...with advance apologies to Susan and Ed who come between me and the aisle (thanks Gene, thanks a lot; the longer I'm here, the farther I'm removed from the aisle.  I seldom forget such shabby treatment).

But then I digress.

Is that enough?  Let's make it an even dozen.

9)  More fudge--I resolve to purchase and use fresher chocolate chip cookies and thus make fudge that can be eaten rather than drunk in 2013.

10)  Blog On--I resolve to continue this blog for another year with an average of 10 postings a week including a trivia question of the week, usually from some obscure fact I've picked up (often on Monday...in fact, here's next week's question...which President once referred to luminaries dining in the White House as the greatest collection of wit and wisdom "since Jefferson dined alone"?).  I further resolve to correct all errors (except an occasional typo) when I learn of them—no one is perfect, but we should all be committed to remedying our imperfections. 

11)  Happy Thanksgiving—To take my brother’s grandchildren to the playground (or wherever they want to go) after eating Thanksgiving dinner in Vermont.

12) Spend a day in Plymouth, just to see how it’s changed since I spent the happiest years of my life there (college and early journalism days).  Samahas Store better still be there!

That's enough.  Love you, Kathy.  That was easy.

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Reader Comments (7)

Here are some other classics to consider adding to your list for 2013: Walden of course (one of the great rediscoveries of my life, can't imagine what I took from it in high school when I was far from ready for it); short stories of Anton Chekov; anything by Saul Bellow especially Herzog. And anything by Wallace Stegner especially Angle of Repose. Oh, and Heart of Darkness by Conrad and The Plague by Camus. Why are these masterpieces wasted on high school and college students?
January 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPeggyPage
I quit coffee! Now I don't feel like I need a sedative by Noon!

Now Steve, be nice about MSNBC...:-)) I watch all three major networks and I can tell you that every day something said on Fox Snooze is expertly debunked by MSNBC. Being an investigative personality myself, debunking Fox can be done via Google in a matter of seconds on many of the claims they make on their opinion shows. Like Romney, Fox hasn't heard of the YouTube-factchecking connection either. MSNBC is a natural response to the preaching on Fox's opinion shows. Somebody has to drill down and speak up. I do like Shep, though. He doesn't whine like the rest.

BTW, thanks for your voice on the guns in the Capitol issue. I should thank our guy Dennis Fields, too. Back in the teabaggery days of 2009-2010 I found it impossible to reason with my friend Bill who couldn't see that the same reason why we ban guns in courthouses applies to lawmaking chambers. Great Scalia quote, too. He isn't my favorite justice but he got that one right.
January 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJames Veverka
Good ideas. I'll put them on the list. I must admit that while I liked Thoreau's ideas, I was never overly fond of is writing. Maybe I should try it again--I'm sure I have a copy at home. I tried Camus (along with Kafka and Grass) the last time I put myself to the task of getting into stuff I should have tried long ago. Not bad but not great, at least for me.
I'm actually doing quite well with Dickens. It's amazing what we can enjoy when we're not forced to read something. The only thing I remembered about David Copperfield was "Barkis is willing". Now, I'm looking forward to getting through this classic. Uriah Heep, one of the most vividly drawn characters in all of literature, reminds me of a certain former State Represenative, claiming to be forever 'umble while robbing freedoms of those not of his sexual persuasion. NO NAMES PLEASE, Uriah!
Speaking of sexual persuasion, I finished Giovanni's Room (James Baldwin) in two days. I found it most depressing, not that there's anything wrong with being depressed. Is there?
January 7, 2013 | Registered CommenterRep Steve Vaillancourt
I can't say much about MSNBC because I simply don't get it...I mean, I literally don't get it. I'm on the dish, and the plan I get provides me with Fox News and CNN headline news (the Nancy Grace channel...ugh!) but neither MSNBC nor CNN regular news. I also get Bloomberg--that's the channel with Brits on all night...ugh!... rather than CNBC or Fox Business.
January 10, 2013 | Registered CommenterRep Steve Vaillancourt
MSNBC opinion shows are actually fun to watch if one is progressive thinking; especially if you are youthful in mind. Rachel Maddow is crushing Hannity now in the 9PM spot. Lawrence O'Donnell is putting Greta in the dumpster. Its a spirited channel compared to Faux and CNN. (CNN is good but has that moral equivalency problem) The nation is becoming more progressive, striving for what you call what's good for society overall. MSNBC addresses that. That includes many things that make conservatives scream; healthcare without corporate greed to bleed you, strong church-state separation, marriage equality, support for public education, and of course, everybody's all-time favorite - freedom of the Uterus! MSNBC deliberately fact-checks Fox and presents some really hilarious stuff full of dry and wry wit, acidic humor, and just plain sarcastic mockery of the far right. Each show has very different personalities so there is something for everyone. As far as pointed sarcasm goes, Martin Bashir is the best. Of French and south Asian descent, and with a British accent, what right wing nutjob wouldn't hate this fellow? Maybe even want to deport him!

Like all news channels, two hours is enough.

On the reading list, I was always a science crazed dreamer and never got beyond the prep-school classics but I did enjoy a plethora of Khalil Gibran, Herman Hesse and Kurt Vonnegut in my youth. "God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater" comes to mind when I think of the filthy rich who made money the old fashioned way; they inherited it.
January 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJames Veverka
Oh Jimmy V. –
Who decides what's good for society? And just what is society, anyway: the queen bee, the hive, or all those industrious slave bees having their honey taxed to keep things ... hummin'?

And when you have a moment to pry yourself away from the MSNBC nightly epistle, perhaps you could explain why the Grate State need be involved in the marriage bi'ness? Watch out for the slippery slope, cuz it leads to all sorts of other programs that coddle the asses: forced sick insurance, forced retirement ponzu-scheme, forced de facto choice of one "education" camps, barber boreds, manicurists boreds, Cultured Affairs Departments ... and don't forget the cherry on top: the lilac lady!
– C. dog tucking Libs into bed with a nice spot o' tea
January 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterC. dog
I always found Oberman most amusing, even when I disagreed with him...kind of like Dr. Savage on radio. Of course, I'm with Democrats on such issues as marriage equality, separation of church and state, abortion, and education for all. Why am I a Republican? Well, I can think of 16.4 trillion reasons...or is it 16.5 trillion now.
To get MSNBC, I think I'd have to move up two or three grades, from $25 a month to $60 or $70, and the reason I switched to the Dish was because cable was getting much more expensive than it was worth. Once in a while, the Dish gives me a month's free sample of stations, but they seldom offer MSNBC. It's usually Game Show Network or the All Hitler All The Time channel (just kidding...I mean the Military Channel).

Hannity is such a fraud! But is he really losing that time slot? I'll have to google it. I should admit to not liking the British accent (that's why I'm not so fond of Bloomberg overnight), but I certainly would never support deporting anyone. What fools these conservative advocates of free speech are, wanthing to deport Mr. Morgan.

Vonnegut is like Irving for me. I've read everything he's written at least twice. God Bless You Mr. Rosewater was actually one of my least favorite books he wrote. Cats Cradle and Slaughterhouse Five are the biggies, but I was very fond of Mother Night (about an American undercover agent working as a Nazi propagandist for Dr. Goebbels--great stuff) and a true science fiction book, The Sirens of Titan, one of Vonnegut's most coherent tales...he usually wanders all over the place...like this blog.

This reminds me that I left off a book from last year, the new Vonnegut biography, which should have been in my best books of the year. I guess I should really write these down as I read them. Apparently he was quite the irascible old (and young) man; the second marriage didn't go well. There's also a new book out now of Vonnegut letters...I'll passs on that one.
January 11, 2013 | Registered CommenterRep Steve Vaillancourt

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