Wednesday, January 12, 2011

apologies: resolutions?

Wow, am I a craptastic blogger or what? So, in that vein, my first resolution for the new year:

1. Blog once a week, at least.

(Though it would be nice if I blogged at my tumblr a little more frequently than that.)

(Incidentally, a new blog I have been keeping up with: gemma correll and her merry band of misfits.)

Other resolutions?

Well. . . I'm a little skeptical of my previous new year's undertakings, so I think they're going to be a bit more. . . random. . . that last year's. (And yet! I must still make some ridiculous resolutions, or what would life be?)

2. Get back into baking. Make bread. I like bread. I have a whole book of it.

3. Consult with the Grand Madame of Ladies Who Cook, i.e. Julia Child, more often. I have barely even cracked my copy of the The Way to Cook, and I've had it for THREE YEARS. I need to know more ways to prepare beef and chicken than "slop with rice" and "slop with pasta" and "fried with soy sauce." (Though I shan't be making any aspics. Ugh.)

Second aside: These are cool.

4. Read books. Read lots of books. I think regularly about doing the book-a-week challenge, but the truth is, I don't care if I read a book a week; I just want to read as many books as possible, about as many things as possible. I don't usually read design or history books, for instance, even though those are things I care about. (I would include biology in that group, but I am a little wary of pop science books.) (Okay I will admit I would love it if I read a book a week. I would be SO PROUD of myself.) I want to read those "contemporary" authors that seem important to other people, such as Jonathan Franzen and Cormac McCarthy, as well as those authors that seemed important to people like Ernest Hemingway, like Dostoyevsky and Thomas Harding (or was that Henry James?) Read more Hemingway. Read some D.H. Lawrence. Read a book by Margaret Atwood. Read those books on my shelves by Haruki Murakami and Toni Morrison and Jhumpa Lahiri that I have never managed to get to. Read a bunch of fantasy to remind myself that reading that can be like roast potatoes with herbs and olive oil. Read magazines in fashion and travel and the New York Times (while it's free) and papers and websites and scientific journals. Read my little guts out.

5. Take my sketchbook with me to more places. Use it. Take the life drawing class at Hot Shops (already started on that, obviously.) Try to draw moving people. Try gesture sketches. Draw once a week, perhaps? I worry about trying to set impossibly high level of achievement (because I do it, regularly), but just saying "draw more" without any specifics seems to leave me open for failure.

6. Watch all 75 movies on my list o' movies. (That's going to be a hard one.)

Another aside: 37 literary resolutions. These are interesting, but sadly I do not know any of these people.

7. Drink more tea and less pop.

8. Write 1000 words a day! Write 50 words a day! Start a dozen stories I will never finish! Stare pointedly into an empty notebook for no less than 20 minutes a day! Become frustrated when I inevitably fail! Or rather: Resolve to not become frustrated when I inevitably fail. (I feel that this might be a useful resolution in a lot of areas for me.)

9. Study French. Study Spanish. Study Japanese. Read books about them or if I can manage it in them. Listen to the CDs I have and the Spanish radio station and watch movies and tv shows without subtitles.

10. To that end, read two books in Spanish by the end of the year. (I don't think I'll make it all the way through Cien Años de Soledad, but maybe one of his shorter works.)

11. To that end, use my damn lang-8 account. I don't know what a reasonable goal to set here is -- an entry in each language a week? I feel like ideally I would write a little something every day, but I can already predict myself staring in a bewildered fashion into my computer screen at a blinking cursor and an empty box. Either I have too much to say or too little. Perhaps the writing in English would help. . .

12. Brush my damn teeth twice a damn day.

13. Don't throw my bras on the floor.

14. Don't fall asleep with my contacts in and with the lights on as often.

15. Apply chapstick regularly to circumvent my regularly gross dry lips.

16. Buy another pair of heels and practice wearing them.

And now for some SRS BIZNZ resolutions.

17. Don't hate my body. Run, walk, swim, lift weights -- do all these things for endorphins and increased fitness and to enjoy what my body can do, but not just to make me less of myself.

18. Address my willfully short attention span. I don't think this is all my fault -- I am highly suspicious I have a hint of attention deficit disorder, though probably not a lot. However, I think the amount of time I spend on the Internet, flipping rapidly between sites whilst gchatting whilst facebooking whilst getting up to bounce every so often and maybe also snacking on some toast and also staring out the window and also counting my books and also what was I doing? Yes. I wish to cultivate a quieter mind (?), a mind that is fully present when I ask that it be fully present, a mind that is not plagued by the anxiety of the things I am not doing right now. I sadly am unsure of how to do this, aside from setting a timer and forcing myself to do one thing for 30 minutes at a time. Possibly also breathing exercises.

19. Continuing: Do not be distressed. I am a person who becomes frightened if I think about the fact that I will die and that the earth will one day cease to exist, and almost immobilizingly so if I consider that these things might happen before I am ready for them to happen. I fear change and I fear being found out to be less of a human being than I think I am and I fear that my life is as cheap as everyone else's. I fear that I believe will be found out to be false and what I reject will be revealed to be true. I fear not having all the time that I feel that I desperately need.

But: I do not want to be distressed. I want to do what I can and enjoy what I can and help what I can and not fear what is beyond that.

I want to challenge myself -- but I have a painfully irritating tendency to seek out just that which will upset me past a point of being useful. I think I need to learn to regulate my intake.

20. It seems I should have a twentieth resolution for a round number. I think I will go with DAILY FLOSSING, because flossing is SRS BIZNZ.

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