Monday, January 01, 2007
Rants, Raves and Resolutions
I, for one, am glad to put the year 2006 behind me. Here are my rants, raves and resolutions for the year.
1. The death of my friend Mark Evans. He was murdered in June in a home invasion. I still miss him terribly.
2. The loss of my teaching job in Cicero, Illinois. I taught sixth grade there for four years.
3. My father being diagnosed with cancer.
4. The murder or Marcell Collins, one of my students at my new teaching job. He was a nice kid who was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
5. The suicide of an old acquaintance, Malachi Ritscher, in a horrible public self-immolation to protest the war.
1. The Chicago Police caught the assholes who killed my friend.
2. My friend Garrett came home safely after serving a year in the Army in Iraq.
3. My father survived his cancer surgery.
4. My wife and I celebrated a year of marriage on December 30.
5. My kids had a productive and happy year.
6. Reconnecting with my old friend Dobie. We'd lost track of one another. I tracked him down to Singapore.
1. To begin taking classes to change careers. I want to go to pharmacy school.
2. To spend more time with friends.
3. To play guitar more often.
4. To read more.
5. To spend more time with my kids.
Last year I was reading an article in the New York Times about the parents of a woman who was killed in the attacks on the World Trade Center. When they gathered her possessions, they found a laptop in her apartment. They did not plug it in and turn it on until last year. One of the things they found was a list of goals. Some were mundane, like "exercise more." Others were loftier, like "hike the Andes Mountains." I was inspired by that list to start my own. Tonight, I was looking over that list to see which ones I've knocked off this year.
#6, "Start a Blog," I think I can say I fulfilled that one.
#8 teaching my stepdaughter to ride a two-wheeler, I fulfilled.
#13, get a laptop for my son, was fulfilled for Christmas. He loves his Ibook.
#17 Buy more art-- I think that went along with #4-- be a better husband. I got my wife a painting she really badly wanted for Christmas-- it's the one at the top of this post.
#19 Buy new glasses and contacts-- done
#25 Play more baseball with my son Adam-- done
#26 Eat more dark chocolate. This is strictly for health purposes, of course-- anti-oxidants, you know. Same reasoning for the red wine.
#30 New health insurance coverage for my son (he was covered by my old job before)-- done
There are some I need to work harder on.
#7 Exercise more. I went out running yesterday, but need to be more regular about it.
#9 Take my son camping-- we bought a tent and sleeping bags-- now we need to actually use them.
#15 Journal more often
#18 Take my son Adam to the Louisville Slugger factory. We drive past Louisville all the time on the way to my parents' house in Eastern Tennessee. We need to plan a stop there sometime soon.
#28 Take my son to the Experience Music Project (EMP) in Seattle. Among a lot of other rock and roll memorabilia, they have the guitar Hendrix played at Woodstock. He's a big Hendrix fan.
#29 End hunger and hatred. I'm working hard, but obviously I need to do more.
#37 Get more Curtis Mayfield music. I need to hint more strongly about a Curtis Mayfield box set next birthday.
#35, #39, #40 See Tom Jones, Los Lobos and Bob Seger. They are the three performers I haven't seen that I've been meaning to see for years.
#38 Set up a scholarship in the memory of my friend Mark. We had gathered reward money to entice someone to rat out his killers. The cops caught them before this happened, so we decided to use that money to set up a scholarship fund. We've got to iron out the details in the next year.