Sunday, October 29, 2006

In the days leading up to Halloween (my wife's favorite holiday), we peruse the store and buy a few new items---a fake bat, some orange candles, Tootsie Rolls. Things you only buy in October.

It might just be me, but I swear that Christmas decorations used to come out in November, after Halloween but of course well before Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday)---but now you go through some stores and it's just damn confusing---Superman trick-or-treat bags, Turkey platters and Pilgrim statues, and red and green wreaths with bows that say, "Ho, ho ho. Merry Christmas" all on the same aisle. It's too much.

So instead of fighting it, I've decided to run with the idea of fast-forwarding to the next holiday (while still truly enjoying each one as it arrives) and get a jump on my New Year's Resolutions.

In 2001, I vowed to get fit. Didn't happen. I went to the gym a few times a week and watched ESPN on the television while walking slowly on the treadmill. We don't have cable at home, so it was a nice treat going to the gym to watch Sportscenter, but it wasn't long before I realized my resolution had gotten lost among the basketball highlights. By the time February came along I was averaging one gym visit per week. By June, when the young woman at the counter said, "Hi there. Do you have a membership?" it was time to admit I'd failed.

In 2002, I vowed to not incur a single late fee or get a single parking ticket. Of course, you know when you're going to get a parking ticket. It's just a gamble, really---you park in the spot and hope the person in the golf cart isn't right on time (as he always is) when your meter runs out. Or you're so late for an appointment you say to yourself, screw it, I'll take my chances---and unfortunately in the past, I got a few too many. Nothing extreme, no blue parking spots...just an occasional yellow curb or an extra ten minutes.

And those damn late fees. I used to be terrible about returning movies on time. I would rent it, watch half of it, fall asleep, tell myself I'll watch it in the next few days, fail to do that, put it my car, forget to return, find it my car a week later, then return to the video store and ask the employee, "Do I have any late fees on this?"

It was getting ridiculous, but believe it or not, my resolution worked. I haven't received a parking ticket in years, and I don't get any more late fees. For a while I switched to Netflix, where you don't get late fees. $19.99 for unlimited DVDs, delivered right to your door. For a while it was great....I was renting about 12 movies a month, a regular Roger Ebert. Then reality hit and my viewing dropped to about 1 or 2 a month. So, I was paying about $10 per movie. Fooling myself happily. Oh well. I've realized that I enjoy thinking about resolutions more than attempting to achieve them. They never really pan out anyway.

So, with that I present the rough draft of my potential New Year's Resolutions, 2007 (or, Things I Think About Doing Each Year But Never Do):

start renting movies from the library for free; work out more; think more, think less; read the following books: Tolstoy's War and Peace, Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov, all the books of So Chong Ju, Hisaye Yamamoto, Kim Ronyoung, and Claribel Alegria; go fish, get better on the black diamond runs; start playing soccer again; and, for the heck of it, once and for all, learn how to program the VCR.


jenni said...

Those stinkin late fees! I end up paying more in late fees than I did for the original rentals. It's pathetic. sigh. That's why we got digital now.

What I suggest to people who want to start working out is that they find an activity they ENJOY. It's just easier. I really enjoy lifting weights, weird I know, but I do, it's almost like meditation because when you're lifting weights, you really cannot do much thinking (especially if it's heavy)--it gets me out of my own head for 45 minutes--but I am terrible with cardio, why? because I don't enjoy it. the good news is, if you like lifting weights, you can always increase reps and get a cardio workout at the same time. i do enjoy horseback riding. i haven't done it for a few years but i plan to start again this coming year. i was into racket ball for a while but my new gym doesn't have a court. and i love badmitton (sp?) but just running on a treadmill for an hour? snore . . . whenever i do cardio, I do HIIT - high intensity interval training. This is what sprinters, boxers, and professional athletes do, and it's very quick. how you do it: spring as fast as you can for one full minute and rest for two minutes. repeat for a total of twelve minutes. it doesn't sound hard, but it really, really kicks your but IF you sprint as fast as you can for that full minute each time. it's anaerobic instead of aerobic. burns less fat while you're doing it but turns your body into a furnace afterwards. really spikes your metabolism. you're only supposed to do it 3-4 times per week. anyways, that's my contribution. LOL.

jenni said...

oops "sprint" instead of spring.


Lee Herrick said...


Thanks for your great ideas! I think I broke a sweat just reading about your fitness!

You're right about doing something you love. I played soccer throughout my life (in college and then on semi-pro teams) and I really need to find an adult league(i.e., "I'm not going to sprint after that ball like I used to") to play in. Short of that, I also really like weights. I have a set at home. I just need to dust them off and get with it. Thanks for the motivation.

pam said...

heh heh, i like your new resolutions! my resolution this week is to finish war & peace before 2007. so far the prognosis is looking good. it moves at an amazing clip and is very timely... you're gonna love it!

i have the same problem with my netflix rentals. i've also discovered the joy of free music CD rentals at the library. the rock/pop selections aren't so hot, but there's always some new or classic jazz album that i've been eyeing at the record store but have been too indecisive to buy.

Lee Herrick said...

yeah. I really need to start frequenting the library. There's one near our home, so I really have no excuses.