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Slack tide: A Juneauite's New Year's resolutions for 2014

Posted: December 22, 2013 - 1:05am

Holiday season is a time to celebrate, but the end of the year also brings introspection, self-reflection and renewed commitment to self-improvement — although obviously not until the hangover subsides and we’ve come down from our month-long sugar high.

Now, according to statistics, about half of all Americans will make some type of New Year’s resolution; of these, half believe they will succeed.

Suckers! Truth is, nearly 90 percent, of us fail at keeping our New Year’s resolution. Epically. This begs an obvious question — I mean, aside from “why bother making them?” — and that is: how can we improve?

Experts generally agree the most successful strategy involves making resolutions public. Enlisting others to join you also correlates positively with remaining true to the cause. And so, in that spirit, in no particular order, may I present a list of New Year’s resolutions that, working together as a community, we’ve got a decent shot at keeping. But even if we crash and burn, misery loves company, so win-win.

Ahem. In 2014, let all Juneauites resolve to…

Be patient about power-outages, cable service disruptions and unexplained “failure to connect” errors while streaming media. Have you seen a satellite image of Juneau? I mean, we’re way the heck up here. The fact that we even have electricity, cable TV and high-speed Internet AT ALL is a miracle of modern technology. While we’re at it, let’s try to be more understanding when we can’t find items like fresh lemongrass, replacement parts for an eight-year-old snow blower or a particular brand of gluten-free English muffin. Okay, at least let’s try to try.

Write the correct year on checks. If not immediately, then at least sometime before the end of next December — just last week the bank returned a parking fine payment dated 2012. Granted, that’s also when the parking fine was originally issued, but still…

Cross streets only at appointed pedestrian crosswalks. Likewise, let’s resolve not to “turtle” out of driveways, parking spaces, left turn lanes or four-way stops. Go or don’t go — let’s make up our minds quickly and resolutely. However, let’s also resolve not to honk or gesture rudely at anyone. After all, this is a small town. That person could wind up being your ER doctor some day. Or your tax assessor. Or colon-hydrotherapist.

Volunteer. Let’s really look at our schedules — there’s got to be at least a little time in there for community-mindedness, especially now that we’ve finished power-streaming all three seasons of “Homeland.” This way, we’ll feel less guilty about our more frivolous pursuits, like building mini log cabins out of hot dogs (with skewered open-faced buns for the roof) or mastering GarageBand so we can record and mix ourselves playing guitar, drums, bass and electric kazoo on a multi-track cover of “Billie Jean.” It’s a vanity project.

Compost. And I mean really compost, not just filling plastic snap-lid buckets with kitchen scraps, plate scrapings and coffee grounds, then stashing them somewhere our spouses won’t notice.

Clean out all snap-lid plastic buckets full of kitchen scraps, plate scrapings and coffee grounds from wherever we’ve stashed them, or at least stash them somewhere else our spouses won’t notice.

Start the year fresh and truly leave 2013 behind by foreswearing the following: the “Harlem Shake;” Miley Cyrus; man-buns, “Movember” mustaches and “Brovember” beards; One Direction, Glastonbury and Jake Miller — whoever they are; beets, which threaten to become the new kale and “Sharknado.” And can we please be done with Seth MacFarlane? But let’s keep saying “totes magotes.”

Stop using acronyms. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Stop using acronyms?! OMG, STFU!” But honestly, if we’re going to learn a whole complicated linguistic system we may as well teach ourselves a real foreign language, like Vulcan or Tolkien Elvish. ROTFLYAO if you like, but how else will we watch “The Hobbit” without subtitles?

Resist the temptation to buy a sleeve of fresh garlic at Costco. Never, under any circumstances, will our families ever consume all that garlic before it starts to rot, no matter how much homemade salad dressing we make.

Less salsa, more pico de gallo. More tamari, less soy. Less bleu cheese, more honey mustard and the exact same amount of ranch. And we better start hoarding Sriracha, too — due to recent legal action by the Southern California town where the factory produces it, there’s going to be a prolonged worldwide shortage of what some affectionately call “Rooster Sauce.” Point is, like climate change, Alaska will be among the first to experience this global catastrophe.

Cash in on recent Alaska-based reality TV craze by photo-bombing every show that comes to town. There’s bound to be a film crew sooner or later. Or we can take it upon ourselves to lure one up here. Anyone ever seen the Sasquatch in or around Juneau? Who has $10,000 (plus airfare) to order a cake from “Cake Boss”? I can contribute 20 bucks (and I want a piece with icing).

Take everything a whole lot less seriously. Except recreation league softball — better start sharpening our spikes now.

Most importantly, this New Year’s let us renew our adherence to the Golden Rule and do unto others what we would have others do unto us — at least what we’d have done unto us in public.

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