Five Achievable New Year’s Resolutions

Before we all get shit-faced tonight and then sing ‘Auld Lang Syne’ while we watch someone else’s fireworks display from our balconies as the clock strikes twelve, we’ll probably be considering how we can better ourselves in 2016. But are we kidding ourselves with typical New Year’s resolutions? Probably is probably the answer. New Year’s resolutions are like Chinese welding: they’re made to be broken. Maybe it’s time we lower the bar a little. Are we really going to consistently pack ourselves into gyms, transforming our bodies to look like Brad Pitt’s in Fight Club? Will we be able to spend more time with our families while maintaining the same work schedule? And can we really imagine ourselves volunteering every weekend, handing out warm bowls of soup to queues of cold vagrants? It’s time to stop being so 2015 and step into the world of the realist.

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This holiday makes it seem like it’s going to be a great year

I know what you’re thinking: if we can’t realistically achieve those improvements to our lives, then what areas of our lives can we expect to improve? I’m glad you asked. I’ve spent the last five minutes thinking of achievable New Year’s resolutions so you don’t have to. I know, what a guy…

You’ll probably never have a six-pack, but you can realistically expect to be able to:

  1. Throw away a pair of socks as soon of one of them has a hole in it

As far as New Year’s resolutions go, this has got to be the easiest. After pulling out a pair of socks on a Monday morning, only to find one of the garments no longer achieves its primary purpose of completely covering your foot, get up and throw those suckers in the trash. Both of them. It’s 2016, and you’re way above having a collection of odd socks in your underwear drawer. Your wife will now at least respect you a little, and you can say goodbye to that inevitable embarrassing moment when you’re on a staff training course and the course leader makes everyone do an activity with their shoes off. For the really confident New Year’s resolution maker, you can promise yourself that you’ll regularly trim your toenails, so that the big one doesn’t prematurely poke a hole in your sock in the first place.

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I know I saw a hole someplace

2. Regularly wipe the dust off your printer in your office

Okay, I just looked around the room to come up with this one, but I can’t be the only seemingly civilized human being who cleans every surface in his home except the printer’s. Looking at him now, he looks really sad with that years’ old layer of dust coating him. In 2016, things are going to be different, and I’m going to respect my boarding pass printer-outer. And so should you. A printer’s for life, not just making air travel slightly less stressful.

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Dust…? Ha!

3. Spend MORE time flicking through your news feed on Facebook

Watching viral videos of monkeys throwing feces at each other is important. Thinking of heading to office earlier in 2016, so that you can gun for that promotion that evaded you in 2015? You have permission to forget all about it. You may as well spend time in the mornings by slightly amusing yourself while simultaneously depleting your sense of self-worth. Who knows, those few miserable chuckles could do a world of good for your morale, making you the type of employee who your employer thinks would be suitable for handling the complexities of the next rung of the ladder. It probably won’t, but at least you’ve spent your time trying to watch a bunch of shit videos, half of which wouldn’t load on your three-year-old iPad.

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Come at me, brah!

4. Say “I love you” to your parents at the end of FaceTiming them without putting on a silly voice

You’ve tried to have a meaningful conversation with your parents while hungover on a Saturday afternoon, and it’s getting to the point where you need to rap things up. Instead of waving like a mad man and saying those three blessed words in the voice of Patrick from SpongeBob SquarePants, look straight into their eyes—well, the camera lens—and say it like you mean it. You’ll feel better, and your parents might think you’ve started taking ecstasy on Saturday afternoons. Win-win!

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That’ll never be us

5. Don’t drink water

In 2016 you’re going to be more efficient. You’re going to run your days like a well-oiled machine. Teeth still need to be brushed. The baby’s diapers still need changing. So what can be shaved from your daily routine? Drinking water, of course. All that unnecessary swallowing of water and the subsequent bathroom breaks are undoubtedly the reason why your face didn’t appear on the front of Time magazine in 2015. But won’t I die, Dan? I hear you ask. Not if you buy IV equipment from eBay and hook it up to your arm every time you sit down to do work by the computer. The really ambitious New Year’s resolution maker can forego all that unnecessary eating, too.

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Is his face exactly in the center?

So there you have it. Choose one of the above and make 2016 what it’s supposed to be: a hopefully slightly less depressing facsimile of 2015.

It wouldn’t be a proper Dan Taylor blog post if I didn’t at least spend a little time waffling on about myself, so I’ll let you in on what my New Year’s resolutions are: getting in shape, quitting drinking, and getting more organized. Oh, and handing out bowls of soup to vagrants with a fake smile on my face.

Happy New Year!


 

My books about a private investigator way too cool to make New Year’s resolutions can be checked out here.

And don’t forget to say hi on Facebook.

Interjections Are a Funny Business

While reading a review of a book I was thinking of buying, I came across an interjection I’d never encountered before. At first I thought it was a typo, that the person had meant to write “belch.” But upon googling the word, I was proven wrong. The word that had got my attention was “blech!” Just in case you didn’t magically understand its meaning from reading it, blech implies nausea. Of course it does.

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Blech!

I found it among a list of equally bizarre interjections, and in the absence of anything else to blog about this weekend—blech!—I thought it might be good fun to try them out. What kind of writer would I be if I couldn’t incorporate the likes of feh, gak, and neener-neener into my writing? And what kind of writer would I be if I couldn’t come up with my own equally bizarre interjections? A shit one, just in case that wasn’t clear.

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Now what would he say next…? I know, “Neener-neener!” Nailed it.

Here we go:

  1. Neener-neener, often uttered in a series of three repetitions, is a taunt.

Reading neener-neener once makes poking my eyes out with a public restroom toilet brush seem preferable, let alone reading a series of three, which I’m informed from the list of interjections I’m referencing is often the way it’s used. But who am I to stand in the way of the evolution of the English language? I’m pretty sure that if had one of my characters use this in their dialog, readers might think I’d swapped my green tea breaks from writing for a casual smoke of crack. Or that I’d fallen asleep with my head on the keyboard and hadn’t edited out the result, which is basically how I wrote the first Hancock novel, according to one reviewer. But fuck it. I’ll do whatever it takes to stay fresh and happening. Time to pop my cherry:

Girlfriend: Did you forget to clean the bathroom this weekend?

Me: Neener-neener neener-neener neener-neener!

Girlfriend: *Takes away my crack pipe and hands me a cup of green tea*

  1. Feh is an indication of feeling underwhelmed or disappointed.

No commentary this time, just straight into the cherry popping:

Girlfriend: What did you think of that Matt LeBlanc film?

Me: Feh!

Girlfriend: Ah, so a C minus?

Me: On the money.

Well what do you know, it is actually effective communication. I actually gave that pile of steaming cinematic feces a D plus, but still, impressive.

  1. Gak is an expression of disgust or distaste.

This interjection has typo-accusation bait written all over it. It’s barely a noise, never mind a word. My googling gak further revealed that it’s also a noun that means a sticky or messy substance. As soon as I read this, coming up with a way of using gak in a sentence was child’s play:

Girlfriend: *While sorting through dirty laundry* Dan…what’s this gak on the bed sheets? *Drops laundry upon realizing* Gak!

  1. Chrecckkkcccxxxx is an indication of great pain, like when one stubs one’s little toe on a coffee table leg or reads a series of three neener-neeners.

I have to confess to making this one up. I have another confession: it’s my favorite. Why? At least it’s an approximation of something people in the English-speaking world actually say, which is more than can be said for feh, neener-neener, or gak. Next time you mistake your open wound for a steak dinner and pour salt in it, give it a try.

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Chrecckkcccxxx!

So there you have it. Was that as good for you as it was for me? If so, press one of the share buttons below. Otherwise, feel free to type any one of the interjections above into the comments section.


 

My books, which aren’t a result of me falling asleep with my head on the keyboard, can be checked out here.

The best way to say hi is through my Facebook page. You can also say gak, feh, or neener-neener to me there.

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