Abandon all hope

Visit http://www.despair.com/

Another brand new calendar is staring at me while I toil here. 2011. If you were born in 1999 you are 12 now. I guess if you are you probably knew that. And if you are 12 you shouldn’t be looking at the ads in the back pages. (This refers to the WEEKENDERS ads for massage parlors, escorts and chicks with dicks)

How about a yearly cliché? I have been writing in this space for six years now. I have produced a column a week in that time frame, never, as far as I know missing one. Somewhere north of 300 in all.

I know I have done every cliché, rote, hackneyed, writer crutch in the book over the years. You would too if you had written 150,000 words. But I like to think that even in the worst of these formulaic bouts of breathless, deathless prose that I have put my own sick and twisted spin on them.

Herewith my 2011 version of New Year’s resolutions. These are the ones that if I were all starry eyed and less cynical I would swear that I WILL do in ’11. Because I am a realist we will instead look at this group as the things that won’t get done (again) this year. Think of this as the “Demotivation” list of The New Year.

10. Learn to play the piano. I have a great full keyboard in my office and several “how to” books, dvd’s and online links I have never used. The keyboard pretty much plays with itself. That’s good because it won’t get any action from me.

9. Keep off the weight I lose. I will lose weight this year. I will gain back most if not more. This sucks. Deal.

8. Stop yelling at the computer. It’s just an object. It knows not that it frustrates me. It is not the spawn of Satan. Remember – these are things which will not happen in 2011.

7. Finish writing one of the novels. You know and I know that this is never gonna happen. There is a novel in every writer. Mine are safe from the world.

6. Travel the world. See a place I have never been to. Now I am just being silly. The comforts of routine and repetition are one reason. Working for a living is another. The fact that I won’t get on an airplane seals the deal.

5. Landscape the Rising ranch. We need some flowers. Trees need pruning. Right. A good year is one where the grass gets cut. Monthly.

4. Stop yelling at ____________. A sort of continuation of number 8. Lawnmowers that won’t start. Things that I spill. Things that I drop. Things without ears.

3. Learn how to touch-type. I am sure that my whole life would be better if I could just master this skill. My output would increase. My writing would improve. My pants would fit. It’s not ever even likely to happen.

2. Practice moderation in all things. Including moderation. I am the least moderate person in the known universe. William Blake said “The road to excess leads to the palace of wisdom…for we never know what is enough until we know what is more than enough.” It should be my epitaph.

1. Refrain from writing clichéd, rote, hackneyed, formulaic bouts of breathless, deathless prose. Did you ever see white-space in the newspaper? It’s the written equivalent of dead-air. That’s what you would have in this space if I didn’t write clichéd, rote, hackneyed, formulaic bouts of breathless, deathless prose. A side note: Was there ever a life before cut and paste?

It’s a good list of things destined not to be this year. Is it realistic? Without a doubt. Check with me in December but the safe money is on none of the above.

There are a few more minor goals. Read the directions first. Trust the GPS. Save money. Maintain a positive attitude about my fellow man. It’s to laugh.

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About James Rising

A recovering radio addict wrestles with the written word.
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