Saturday, December 31, 2011

That New Year's Thing

There are different schools of thought on the New Years’ Resolution thing.

There are those who think New Years’ Resolutions are bullshit. In a kneejerk situation, I’d say that I fall into that camp, but it’s not true.

There are those who like the idea of resolutions, make them, and then immediately fail to complete them. This… sadly… is more like me. I have a lot of ambitions come January 1st, but my resolve isn’t as strong as the resolution. (My favorite was my resolution to force myself to run a marathon BECAUSE I hated running. Good one, Muchacho!)

There are those who make the resolutions and even keep them. These are the Tofu Muchacha’s of the world. The people with staggering discipline and resolve. I admire them.

Among the people who make resolutions, there are sub sets. Do you tell people, or do you not? Does telling people make it more likely to complete the resolution, or just more likely you’ll feel dumb for making them and failing?

I guess we’ll find out together, because here are my five resolutions… for all the world (or my 3 loyal readers) to see.

The TM and I have both made 5 resolutions for 2012. I won’t spoil hers for you, but here are mine… In no particular order.

Resolution #1:
Post a new blog every Monday

There was a time, a couple of years ago, where I was blogging regularly 10-20 times a month. That was when I didn’t have a girlfriend, and had a regular job where I could blog at work…. Er… I mean… think about my blog so that I knew what I’d write after-hours. Nowadays, if I blog 3 times in a month, that’s a lot. I’d like to think that the quality of the blogs I do post are better, overall, but I’m not even sure that’s true.

In any case, I really like to blog. I like writing, and I think that the “blog” is a totally unsung medium for creative writing. It’s a very raw venue to write, and I like that sort of unpolished quality about it. Even the better pieces of mine weren’t meditated over for weeks, but rather hours. I like that sort of immediacy.

Anyway, I don’t have specifics for content, but I’d like for them to be enjoyable for everyone, so I’ll try to mix it up, and post different stuff, and most importantly focus on the writing itself, because I have to believe there’s a unique voice in there somewhere.

Resolution #2
Build 11 pieces of furniture.

That may sound like a very specific and incongruous number of furniture pieces, but my thinking on it is that I’m not QUITE ready to start by January. You see… I just started becoming very interested in woodworking, and furniture making. The artistry of it appeals to me. The tactility of it. I love the smell of wood, the feel of the grain. It’s just a very appealing outlet for me. So far, I’ve made a table. It’s cool, but it’s not the kind of woodwork that I’m really talking about. I’m looking to learn how to traditional joinery (dovetails, dowels, etc…) and to do it by hand. I want the pieces to be useful, but also attractive.

Thanks to the generosity of my peeps over the holiday season, I’ve managed to amass pretty much all of the power tools and equipment I need to put together a solid woodworking shop.

The goal is to spend the month of January practicing some of the basic skills needed (joints, angles, routing) to hit the ground running for February. I’m extremely excited about this one.

Resolution # 3
Do one “home improvement” task per week.

I’m not looking to cop-out here by changing a light-bulb and calling it a week. I’d like to get the yard into shape. I’d like to re-do the light fixtures in the front of the house. I’ve got stair sanding, garage cleaning, house spraying. All kinds of things to do. I’ll be partly relying on the TM to give me tasks, but I don’t see why I can’t keep busy. I’m always looking to add to my personal skill-set, and I think this could also contribute to that.

Not very exciting, I know, but those gutters ain’t gonna clean themselves, and maybe I’ll be able to blog about how I fell off the roof, or was attacked by birds or something. Filthy fucking birds.

Resolution # 4
Become a vegetarian* for a full year.

I told my buddy Alan about this one last week, and when he asked me why, I honestly told him “I don’t know”.

I’m still not totally sure. It’s not a health thing, I think. I find myself generally bored by vegetarian fare (with the exception of what the TM tends to make), and I’m interested in expanding my cultural and epicurean horizons by exploring foods and recipes that can make being a vegetarian accessible.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE meat. Bacon is delicious. Pretty much any style of chili is great. I love it. But, meat doesn’t really agree with me all that well, and I can’t go through life eating things that make me feel sick just because I think they’re fucking delicious. That’s not a sane thing to do. I’m led to believe that being a vegetarian can be just as satisfying, and from a personal perspective, I find myself feeling much less like throwing up after a salad than a steak. So… I guess I figure, might as well give it a shot.

There are some additional features of this vegetarian thing… that really make it not entirely vegetarian.

1) I’m taking my mom to a steakhouse, and while I’m not sure I WILL get steak, I am reserving the right to do so without feeling guilty that I’m breaking the Vegetarian Code. I know I am, and I’m planning it ahead of time. From the start.

2) I am allowed one seafood item per week. It can be any sort of animal of the sea (other than lion or otter). The only qualifier is that it can’t be fried. Sushi? Yes. Traditional Fish and Chips? No. (additional note: this isn’t a fried food thing. If I want a French fry, I’m allowed). The reason for the “No fried fish” thing is that if I’m going outside of the vegetarian thing, I’m not going to undercut the potential protein and nutrient infusion by muddying those waters with fried batter. Just feels weird.

3) I am not cutting out eggs, cheese, or any other dairy. I’m also allowed to eat soups that utilize chicken or beef stocks. Again… I’m not against meat consumption. I’m just getting it out there from the beginning.

Resolution # 5
Get into good enough shape and condition to run the Turkey Day 10K run on Thanksgiving.

This is coming from the guy who planned to run a marathon, while openly hating running. I still hate running. But the truth of the matter is… I want to challenge myself. I always like exercise when I have time to do it, and having a specific goal will be helpful.

To this end, I am getting a personal trainer to help whip me into shape, and provide me with a training plan. My ideal would be to work away from the running track/road for as long as possible. Strengthening my core, and my knees, enough so that once I start working on the running (hopefully mid Summer?) that my knees and back can handle the pounding of the pavement. I’ve got pretty shitty knees. They’ve been bad for a while, and I even went to an orthopedist a couple of years ago who said that they’re bad enough that I could elect to have surgery on them to scope them out. For me, it’s a matter of how much pain I am willing to accept, and strengthening first is the best way to minimize the pain. My back hasn’t been right since I fell off that horse back at Blue Jacket in the Summer of 2001.

Anyway, this isn’t a weight-loss goal, so I won’t be reporting on my weight or whatever. This is a conditioning goal.

So there they are… I invite any of you to check in with me as I go, though to help with resolution #1, I plan to blog about a lot of these things. Expect photos of my furniture and my house projects when applicable. Expect profanity laced rants about my trainer. Expect long, flowery stories about how much I miss bacon.

Most of all, expect a shitload of bitching about all of it, because those who know me know that almost every unpleasant thing I voluntarily do is simply a way to have an excuse to complain.

I AM the Duke of Negativity, after all.

Let the resolving begin.


Beefy Padre said...

All worthy goals; all hail the Duke....!

The Tote Trove said...

Wow. This is a really ambitious resolution list, one that makes my own vague resolutions to "blog more" and "sell more jewelry" seem kind of wanting. I'm especially intrigued by the woodworking bit. That seems very interesting. Best of luck!

Lauren M said...

Check out: Might help you with a couple of those amazing goals. Also, I'm not affiliated with that website, it's just one of the blogs I read.

Beefy Muchacho said...

Thanks for commenting, everyone.

Tote Trove... The woodworking is probably the most interesting one to me as well... I look forward to reporting on my progress.

Lauren... Thank you for the link. I will check it out for sure.

Laurie said...

That is an ambitious list!

I am of the same resolution-making school as you. Last year I kept one of the three resolutions I made (and I can't even remember the other three), but even that 33% success rate was a huge improvement over every other year of my life.

Good luck this year!

Annie said...

I'll add a sixth for you--Never say "strengthen my core" again. Michael Scott, much? Or was it Dwight... ;)

(capcha is "gasall". First it wants to remove my skin and now it wants to gas us all... I'm scared.)