Monday, December 31, 2012

2013: The Cliff Notes

Maybe this is the year.
Yodaleyheehoo! Did someone mention a year-end "Fiscal Cliff?" Hah! Those DC guys are amateurs. Like millions of others, I've negotiated enough fiscal cliffs in a single lifetime to qualify as a Life Member of Club Alpin Francais.  

Say You Want A Resolution? Frankly, Francis/es, I never make them. Just the fact that I have to make the same-old resolutions means that I'm not likely to be a person who makes them with enough resolve to get past Valentine's Day, however well-intentioned I am in latest December.

Think about it: if you have a Valentine who loves you, you'll probably figure you don't need those silly resolutions about exercise, weight, and money (the National Resolution Society* ranks these 1,2,3). And, if you don't have a special V, you'll get depressed about that and eat, watch Netflix, and buy a bunch of stuff you don't really need. Forget resolve, just revolve.

Time Is On My Side: Aside from being one of my favorite Stones' anthems, which I heard/saw them play live at the old Academy of Music on 14th Street  in '64 or '65, I prefer to think time really is on my side at this time of year. You might say that, instead of a resolution I begin with an illusion. But, then, maybe you're still grumpy about another  ugly sweater your sister gave you again for Christmas.

Released on the album:"12X5"
Nearing New Year's Day, my temporal thoughts do not hinge on some ball descending from a tower in a "Times"Square filled with people from foreign lands like Denmark or New Jersey. If you want time to be on your side like I do, you'll think of the 10,000 Year Clock being developed by The Long Now Foundation
( ). Web site proves I'm not making it up.

I hedge my bets by not having to shrink - wrap everything I'd like to do into one single calendar year. I like to slow things down, not speed them up. Besides, I'm a sucker for something that can trace its beginnings and continuation to: the Merry Pranksters (see earlyTom Wolfe), Stewart Brand (see Whole Earth Catalogue), the people who really developed the internet (Sorry, Al), and even Warren Buffet, the President's Pet Billionaire.

Approaching a new year with a really, really long view doesn't mean you can/will procrastinate. On the contrary, the idea is to pace yourself and get more done, better. Or, maybe like Beckett, Sam not Thomas, you'll fail better.

10,000 Year Clock
Only problem is, at the end of 2013 you won't know that I'm right for another 9,999 years. Trust.

Intention Deficit Syndrome: If you're hung up on making resolutions, you may be suffering from this common disease, IDS**; consequently, you may be mistaking resolve for what really should be intent. What the hey, you say? When we intend to do something, we freely admit that it just might not get done and there will be no guilt or penalty. Yes, I thought you'd prefer this method. Guilt is so 2012!

Herewith, a few personal 2013 intentions:

1. Start again and finally finish The Magic Mountain (see photo above). Talk about cliffs! I've climbed this mountain in the tram with old Hans Castorp many times, but never made it back down to the last word on the last page. I keep four editions and two translations nearby. Maybe this is the year, jawohl? Odds: not good. "Cliff" Notes not allowed.

2. Become a completely non-NFL, non-NBA person. Who wants to root for a home team that only shows up to play for real half the time (Giants)?. Who wants to watch 72 minutes of commercials during a three-hour telecast of a 60-minute game? Does anyone think that ANY of these awful NBA teams would beat any of Jack Curran's Archbishop Molloy High School (Queens, NY) teams of the 1960's, or the Wooden/Kareem UCLA teams, or, are you kidding me, the Russell Celtic teams? Please. Odds: hopeful.

3. To visit the Barnes Foundation collection in Philadelphia. Odds: very good, if my DG is game.

JL in...?
4. To visit the Glass House in New Canaan. Odds: slam dunk.

5. To see any 2013 movie in which Jennifer Lawrence appears. Odds: up to her.

6. Something my notes referred to as "1st A vs. 2A," and, if anyone can tell me what this one is, I promise to do it! Odds: up to you.


* As far as I know, there is no such society, but maybe there should be.
** Ditto for this made up "disease.".

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