Sunday, December 30, 2012

My New Year's Resolutions

• Stop walking into people’s houses and gauging how safe they would be in the event of a zombie attack.
• Stop listening to the 60s channel on Sirius-XM Radio until the programmers agree to never ever play any more records by Gary Puckett or Tommy James.
• Stop cursing loudly every time the person in the car in front of you fails to signal.
• In a similar vein, give up hoping that bikers will brake at that stop sign or red light, because most won’t, and if you scream at them they will either a) give you the finger or b) flash a smug look because they’re more virtuous than you in your car, or c) totally ignore you because you’re old and look like you are only two years away from Del Boca Vista.
• Stop telling your wife you’d rather watch that silent Lon Chaney movie on TCM than attend another Bay Area dinner party where you have to direct a million questions to the genius next to you—but said genius never has to show any interest in you, including asking your name.
• Never promise to read any book someone’s book club thought was “awesome” (and here I must plug Joe Queenan’s excellent “One for the Books,” a must for serious readers).
• Stop looking at The New York Times Sunday Book Review bestseller pages, and just accept the fact that many people enjoy reading about shape-shifting vampires who’ve gone to heaven during tonsillectomies and have chatted with God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost—and said Trinity looks and talks exactly like the figures touted by Christian snake-oil salesmen for hundreds of years.
• Stop buying books. You have more than 2,500—and at least 30 percent of those remain unread; given an average reading-rate of 40 a year . . . well, do the math . . . better yet, don’t . . . too depressing given the actuarial odds.
• Keep rooting that Philip Roth will win the Nobel Prize. He’s way overdue.
• Give up on all cable news channels because you’ve never heard of most of their pundits and experts--and ask yourself why they’re on TV and not the tall, scraggly man who’s walked around Berkeley for years, chatting with himself; these so-called experts rarely have anything new or insightful to say, having read the same newspapers and web sites as you.
• Accept the fact that frozen White Castles don’t even come close to the real item, which unfortunately is not available west of the Mississippi.
• Never again stop for a fish dinner in a joint with the word “GROTTO” in its name.
• If in the coming year the word “brilliant’ pops up in an article or on TV describing a politician or actor or moviemaker or financier or novelist or really anybody, remember this: Albert Einstein was brilliant. Lloyd Blankfein not so much, no matter what his childhood rabbi might think.
• Appreciate family, friends and all dogs—just don’t get sappy about it.
• Never forget what you learned as a newly minted reporter: question everything, assume nothing. That includes what people write for their New Year’s resolutions.
• Bonne année.


Anonymous MB said...

Resolved: Vince Cosgrove's commandments are only rivaled by the original 10.

1:42 PM  

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