January 1, 2007

new year's revolutions

Resolved for 2007: lacunae is where I write about whatever the hell I feel like writing about, professional, personal or otherwise. Will it be so boring that people stop looking at it? Maybe; the Internet is big, and if you find yourself getting annoyed, there are lots of other things to look at elsewhere. But nothing is as boring as silence--which has done more damage to lacunae's hit counts than any nattering about recipes or parenting I might have featured here--and I no longer have the inclination to impose silence on this blog.

More on other New Year's resolutions are below, but first I should note how a few of last year's worked out. One was to keep a handwritten diary every morning when I woke up. I actually did that, and it worked out great; I feel like I didn't lose a lot of time that would otherwise have disappeared from my memory, and when I need to check what I did on a particular day, I can find out. I'm continuing to do that (in another Moleskine Diary), but I think it's progressed from "resolution" to "habit." (Ditto for using my Apollo goLITE, a.k.a. the "happy lamp," acquired from Costco a few months ago for considerably more than what I imagine is the cost of the little blue LEDs that make up its array. Does it work? At least as well as elephant repellant, if you see what I mean.)

Another was to read a graphic novel every day, on average (defined as "squarebound comic"). I kept a running tally of them in my diary, and ended up reading... 150 of them that I made note of, not 365. That's still kind of a lot. I'll probably keep tabs in my diary on how many I read this year, but not with a particular goal in mind.

Graphic novels I own and particularly regret not having gotten to by the end of 2006: Brian Chippendale's Ninja (it's sitting on my bookshelf, taunting me, balanced on top of the considerably smaller Absolute New Frontier), Osamu Tezuka's Ode to Kirihito, Hiroaki Samura's Ohikkoshi: Take It Easy Comics, the first couple of volumes of Naoki Urasawa's Monster, and Amy Kim Ganter's Sorcerers & Secretaries. (Yes, I stocked up on recommended manga very late in the year, in the hopes of finding something I'd like, and can report that I am already kind of obsessed with Death Note. Yes, I am one of those people Christopher is making fun of in the Death Note entry here. But I forgive him, because of the Uncanny X-Men entry.)

(My own year-end comics best-of list ended up posted here, in the middle of a typically longwinded and incomprehensible-if-you're-not-following-this-stuff 52 Pickup entry. Read too late in the year or it would very likely have made the list: Max's Bardín the Superrealist.)

In 2005, I realized that New Year's resolutions are easier to keep if they're specific and measurable. In mid-2006, it was pointed out to me that they're easier still to keep if there are rewards built in for meeting those specific and measurable goals. So this week I made a list of rewards I can dangle in front of myself as a carrot. (Speaking of which, on the eating-and-drinking-healthier front: the plan for 2007 is that when I want a snack, I'll eat some carrots first, and when I'm thirsty, I'll drink a glass of water first; if I'm still hungry or thirsty after that, I'll eat or drink whatever I want.) I've got a good 15 or so things I'm resolved to do--either on a one-time basis or regularly--marked down in my pocket notebook, and each one's got a reward assigned to it: stuff I feel like I want to happen because I deserve it. Will see how that goes.

One other note on 2006: it was the year when I stopped thinking of myself as a music critic who also writes about comics and started thinking of myself as a comics critic who also writes about music. That's partly because I finished the book, but also because there was so much backstabbing and -biting going on in the music-criticism world this year. If music crits devoted half as much passion and energy to thinking and writing about what they're listening to as they did in 2006 to taking swipes at each other... well, criticism would be a lot more interesting right now.

Also returning to this blog shortly, most likely: cooking. I need to investigate Laurie Colwin's books, having had them enthusiastically recommended to me by Sara Ryan and Steve Lieber last night after I praised a spice cake cooked by Sara, apparently from one of Colwin's recipes.

Posted by Douglas at January 1, 2007 11:39 AM
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