Otis resolved

I don’t like New Year’s resolutions. I think they are a product of the overly-ambitious and the generally lazy. The grand promises are lip service to self betterment that are usually forgotten by the time the ides of March roll around. I’ve not made a resolution in years and it’s because, more often than not, I fail when I promise myself I will do things.

With just a few days left in the year, however, I have found myself in a curious little spot in which I feel like I must get on the ball. On the ball with what? Well, that’s hard to say, but it’s gotta be something. And so, though it feels exceptionally stupid, I’m going to publicly resolve a few things. It’s an accountability thing. If I am embarrassed to fail in front of you, I’m more likely to succeed. Don’t ask why, because my answers aren’t worth the time.

And so, here are the things I am resolving for the year 2009.

  • Lose 10% of my body weight by May 15–I am not fat, but I am inching up on fluffy and if I don’t reign it in pretty fast, it’s going to get out of control. About eight months ago, my formerly workaholic metabolism sent a wire saying, “Listen, man, I’m tired of doing all the work here. I’m on strike.” My metabolism sounds like Steve Buscemi, at least in my head. The long and the short of it is that I eat a lot, I drink more than my fair share of beer, and I’ve put on about ten pounds that I can’t seem to will away. I’miss the days of being in the 160s, so now seems like as good a time as any to get back there. The goal is 168 pounds (90% of my current weight) by the time my second kid is born. This apparently is going to require more than just wanting it to happen.
  • Online poker moratorium–Two or three years ago, I would play a minimum of three hours of online poker a day. That number was usually closer to five hours per day. I was successful at it at the time, but it killed a ton of my daily productivity. I have no desire to be a pro poker player, nor any illusion I could succeed as one. Since then, online poker has become a fall-back “something to do” when I don’t have anything else pressing to do (would you believe I am playing right now…). When I have an hour to kill between assignments, there is nothing on TV, or the wife is sleeping, I will fire up the machine and play for a while. There is nothing particularly wrong with this. I enjoy it and it’s great mental exercise. It is also, however, a tremendous time-waster. I probably play 10-12 hours per week. That’s 10-12 hours I could be doing something else a lot more productive. Writing for instance. And so, I plan to turn off the online poker machine and not play a single hand of online poker until two major writing projects are finished to my satisfaction. That could happen by March, it may not happen at all.
  • Boycott 2009–My family has taken a lot more road trips in the past couple of years. Because we have a young’un and because it’s convenient, we have spent a lot of time under the golden arches. I finally reached my breaking point in southeast Georgia. I stood in line the Sunday after Thanksgiving and waited for 15 minutes for two bags for of the worst food in America. I actually felt guilty giving it to my family. It’s not so much a health issue as one of me being indignant. I can’t believe I’m paying money I earn for food that is so bad. And so, I’m resolving to stop willingly paying good money for bad food. Specifically, I’m vowing to not eat at the following eateries for the whole of 2009 under any circumstances: McDonald’s, Red Lobster, and Ruby Tuesday. There should be more on the list, but I’ve gotta start somewhere. You have a list like this? What am I missing?
  • And that’s that. It all begins one week from tomorrow. It shouldn’t be that hard, notwithstanding my realization that the McRib is back again.

Brad Willis

Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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6 Responses

  1. MGM says:

    McDonald’s is my favorite junk, fast food stop…and it appeases the kids on an occasion where I push them do complete “just one more errand” before lunch. McD’s has the best kids’ toys in their so-called meals, and my son is pleased as punch as long the outing involves a “happy meal.” I can manipulate almost any situation involving him so long as a happy meal is involved. It’s magical.

    That said, the McRib, IMO, has to be the GROSSEST choice on the entire menu. I am certain it is made out of the same “mystery meat” that was served in my elementary school cafeteria. In fact, I think that’s even what the school menu listed as it’s main course every Tuesday: “Mystery Meat” served, of course, with Tater Tots and Gelatin Jewels.

    While I won’t be joining the McD’s boycott, I will happily boycott the McRib.

  2. Proto says:

    I wish you well on those. Fluffy, yeah, that’s it.
    And the only thing I’ve been getting at mickey d’s lately is a mcchicken, 3 oatmeal cookies, and a milk. A fair lunch a couple of times a week. Cheap too. As far as poker, lately, I’ve only been playing home games, and the occasional tournament. Spent thousands of hours a couple of years ago and only netted a few grand. Time is more valuable than that.

  3. Human Head says:

    RE: Boycott 2009

    Now yer gettin’ on the right track, my man. Rather than suggest more joints to boycott (you’ve got a pretty good start going already), here’s a simple rule (related to both #1 and #3) you may want to give a go.

    Look at the labels on every single thing you are going to eat/drink. If you don’t know what something is, don’t eat it. If/when you find out what the various ingredients actually are, if you still want it, by all means eat it. But that’s the trick….when you find out what the crap in most food really is, you won’t want to eat it. No diets, no bullshit, just good food.

    (The application of this rule lead to the defeat of CoffeeMate at our house. Fucking hydrogenated crack, that stuff)

    But be sure and hit a fast-food joint once a quarter or so anyway, if for no other reason than to remind yourself that you’re not missing anything.

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