January 3rd, 2003


New Years Resolutions

I normally don't make New Years Resolutions, as I see them merely as hard evidence of your own failures and a setup for disaster. During the particularly disastrous month of December, however, I realized it probably couldn't hurt and that I'd go for it this year. If I turn out to be right, then I will resolve to never make resolutions again. I have been jotting them down but of course I left the list on my refrigerator, so I'm going to have to wing for today.

2003 New Years Resolutions

1. I resolve to get a new job. I am way too unhappy in my present situation and it is affecting the rest of my life. I will not be able to become happy in an environment that encourages shoddy work, dissension, disorganization or displacement. I am happy when I am doing a good job and am excelling at my work. I have come to the long realization that I can not excel at this place as excellence is neither encouraged nor even desired. I will be increasingly diligent about searching for a new job, I will apply for a minimum of 7 jobs per week, and I will get out.

2. I resolve to keep my apartment cleaner on a regular basis rather than allow it to fall into such disarray that the idea of cleaning it is such an ominous task that I put it off even longer. I am happiest in my apartment when it is clean. I am most comfortable in my apartment when it is clean. The little things that bother me about my apartment bother me less when it is clean. This one is a no brainer. I will vacuum once a week and Swiff once a week. I will clean my bathroom and kitchen more regularly, even if it is a simple countertop wipedown rather than a full-on Ajax scrubbing. I will be more devoted to keeping my bedroom clean. I will not allow piles upon piles of items for Goodwill or empty boxes or other crap lying around for weeks but will get rid of them immediately.

3. I resolve to get a grip and not let things bother me so much. I have been freaking out all the time about nothing or things that really aren't worth getting so upset about. For example, I found myself cursing a waiter under my breath last week because some of my soup had spilled onto my sandwich plate. This is not worth cursing or getting angry. I will think before I react and ask myself how much the problem really affects me. I will consider whether or not I can fix a situation if it does rather than sit and be mad about it. If I can fix the situation, I will not remain angry about it but be pleased with being able to solve the problem; if I cannot fix the situation, I will think hard about how a negative reaction can hinder the situation versus what good it can possibly do.

4. I resolve to get better at shaving my legs. My bath towels look like evidence from a murder scene. I don't know what the deal is. They look like small enough nicks, but man alive do they bleed. I will read more articles this summer in shitty fashion magazines about how to get the perfect summer legs for research.

5. I resolve to attend the gym regularly and eat healthily. Boooring.

6. I resolve to pay closer attention to my money, start saving up for stuff I want (or for stuff I don't want but tends to hit the fan anyway), and reduce my credit card debt, which in all reality isn't that bad anyway, but I still resent it. More boring.

7. I resolve to put my money where my mouth is and actually do more of the stuff I talk about. I have great ideas for stuff but either they never get started or sit around half done forever. I've wanted to put photos on my bedroom wall for over a year now: no photos. I got this great idea where I was going to cover my kitchen table with comic strips: it's been half done for months. I swore to mac that we'd make gingerbread houses this Christmas: no confectionery condos for us. I got the idea to hang curtains recently; who the hell knows if that'll ever happen. I've taken the trouble to write out New Years Resolutions; I prefaced the list with a promise of failure. I will act. I will not be lazy. I will have confidence in my plans that they will be successful or at the very least, learning experiences. I will take out the time to make things better for myself, whether it be physically, emotionally, financially, environmentally, or situationally. I will no longer simply think up things that may make me happy, imagine how much they could do for me, and then wallow in the disappointment of not getting them done; I will do the things that will make me happy.

Sweet Justice

Upon checking my mail last night I got a letter from the Arlington County Treasurer with the words IMPORTANT TAX INFORMATION OPEN IMMEDIATELY written on the envelope and my stomach immediately fell onto the floor. I just bought my car a few months ago and registered it in Arlington then, but I have been driving it in the county for years. The county has been sending me letters every year about how I live in an apartment building with parking spots but they don't have a car registered for me so I should give them money and please fill out this form to tell them how much. I thought I was facing three years of back taxes, never mind the fact that the entire time my car has been on the road taxes *have* been paid on it, except in the state its owner lives in, not Virginia.

Not only did I get out of paying extra taxes, the bill was for $5.49. Bless you, Justice and your rapid depreciation!