Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Wrapping Up and Ringing In

Let's play a game, blog.  This is similar to "Two Truths, One Lie."

Below is a list of 15 lessons I learned in 2015, and 16 resolutions I've made for 2016.  However, only ten on each list is true.  I will not reveal which on each list is true or false but allow people to get appropriately offended and/or inspired as they see fit.  I've included pictures, but with the advent of PhotoShop, it's possible I am planting fake memories.  There's no way for you to know.

Remember the time I did motocross?

Also, fun fact: I determined which numbers should be lies using an actual random number generator.  I did this because I play D&D and take this sort of thing very seriously.  It is almost impossible for people to pick random numbers for themselves.  For those of you who play D&D and take these sorts of things seriously, this is a nice tool.  For those of you who don't understand how randomness works, you might find yourself offended and/or inspired by what numbers this tool chooses for you.

15 Lessons from 2015

1. Everyone gets a second chance, because sometimes, first impressions can be wrong.  (But three impressions and you're out, pal.  Honestly, do you think impressions grow on trees? I'm not running a damn impressions charity here, you know.)
2. I cannot reasonably be expected to drink in moderation and should exercise extreme caution even when it comes to a glass of wine over dinner.

3. Using paid vacation to travel to new places is actually a pretty good idea.

Whether spending your vacation to visit San Francisco...
...or get some "us" time...
...or just to see old friends...
I've found that taking a break now and then can be a good thing.
4. If you find yourself in the grips of depression, try to "fake it till you make it."  Asking for help from others will make you look weak.  (Protip: Wearing bright colors and smiling a lot will convince even the cleverest that you aren't consumed with self-loathing!)

5. If ice cream isn't scooping out of the container very well because of freezer burn, warming up the spoon in the microwave first will cut through it like nobody's business.

6. There's a sharp learning curve associated with my job and I should always be actively engaged in learning more about studies that relate to mine, because there's no such thing as too much knowledge.

7. Giving gifts is better than receiving them.

 Of course, receiving is fun, too.  
Above: How did Andrew know I'd like this hat?
Below: Our Christmannukah haul.

8. Five animals is the limit in this household, especially when you consider that Carlisle counts as like 8 dogs.

The kitten is integrating well.

9. You can stump the Trump.

10. If you love someone and worry that their attention is waning, don't talk to them about it; this will only increase the friction between you.  Instead, manipulate them into loving you by being extra-clingy, blogging about their family, and getting their name tattooed on your body.

11. I have the same birthday as Tony Stark.

We are also both problem drinkers with poor coping mechanisms and a great love for dressing up as robots.

12. If your soda always fizzes over when you open it, try opening it upside-down.  This forces the gases in the soda bottle upwards, toward the bottom and away from the neck, and allows every bottle to be opened without any annoying foam!

13.  One word: Sunscreen.

14. If people aren't responding to me, it's likely that they didn't hear me.  I am going to make an effort to talk louder and stand closer to people when engaging them socially to ensure a better connection is made.

15. Karaoke is actually a lot of fun and not nearly as embarrassing as I thought it would be.

16 Resolutions, Expectations, Hopes, and Dreams for 2016

1. Time to take up smoking.  This is going to make me look much cooler.  Added benefits: less troublesome lung capacity and an easy way to get rid of pesky extra money.

2. My old motorcycle was nice, but it's time to upgrade to something with a bit more firepower.  I'm thinking a 800-900 cc engine.  I'm looking at either a Kawasaki Vulcan or a Honda Shadow.  I prefer the Shadow, but I also have a real problem with Honda right now.  Specifically, the "Helpful Honda" radio commercials. Basically, they exploit poor, old, or disabled people to demonstrate how "helpful" they are.  First: if you are poor, why the fuck did you recently buy a new Honda? The commercials select from a pool of people who purchased and registered new Hondas in 2015.  Second: Giving a poor person a one-time handout isn't life-changing or "helpful." Examples include giving a special needs kid an Olympic torch, buying a kid a basketball hoop, buying a family bicycles (even though they already have the goddamn Honda), et cetera.  Why not pay off their cars or something? Why the shitty little handouts? All of the handouts are cheap crap to the Honda corporation; it's not REAL charity. It's like throwing pennies at hobos.  Also, way to broadcast your "charity," Honda. That's not at all despicable. It's awesome how you shove it down our throats how generous you are. That's like people who take pictures of themselves giving a homeless person a bottle of water and then post it to FaceBook. What's worse, the people in the commercials always cry and say how grateful they are. It's so cringey.  Fuck you, Honda.  Your nauseating, ham-fisted commercials attempting to portray the company as kind and generous make me want to puke. You want to be generous, Honda? Spare us your sob stories and your petty handouts and do something meaningful with your advertising money.


3. It's a leap year!  I will spend my extra day doing something truly special.  I have a few ideas (but they're all secret so far so if you're still reading this please forget this item on the list).

4. I'm hoping to get engaged.  Of course, I said that last year, too.  But this year is noteworthy because justifications.  Also, I find that the only way to truly know if someone loves me is if they present me with a blood diamond.  Nothing says "love" like a rock that you paid thousands of dollars to a middle man to exploit child slaves to dig out of the ground.

5. Like many of my friends, I am going to resolve not to drink in 2016.  Considering the drought we're in, it's the responsible thing to do.  So far it's day 2 and aside from the brown urine and swimming vision, I haven't really experience any side effects of dame brainbage or serebus issues of my helthp so reallly swimming vision mmmmm water.

6. I will stop picking at my skin.

7. I need to keep a more consistent lab notebook.

8.  I think I should stop making fun of gluten-free things until I at least try the diet.  Otherwise how can I know that thousands of peer-reviewed journal articles concluding that gluten intolerance isn't a thing are actually legit?

9. Time to lose weight.  Coming in at 108 pounds, I have really let myself go.  Tomorrow I'll totally join a gym.  I think early January tends to be a slow time for gyms, so I'll probably be able to negotiate a discount!

When I use my trainer's quotes at my interventions they sound a lot less convincing.

10. My spending is out of control.  This year I will pay off all my debts and spend more responsibly.  As it stands now I have two credit cards and bought a necklace last week.  I can only assume that it's these sorts of terrible financial decisions that have gotten me to where I am today.  All the other people at the country club laugh at me and tell me that my racehorse is ugly.

11. I will floss more regularly.  Not just when my dental hygienist wracks me with guilt or when I remember twice a week.  Not that twice a week is actually awful, but I really do feel like I could be doing better.

12. I will run a marathon in February, asthma be damned.  And I will make an effort to continue running afterwards, even if only a couple miles a week.  I find that running improves my stamina and really helps combat my asthma in the long haul.

 Again, these motivation quotes are really not helping with the sobriety...

13. I want to update my blog with more consistency.  This will ensure that my target audience, Gregori from Albania, gets their fill of Julie-filled fun.

I got your package, by the way, Gregori.  Not sure what it means, but thanks, and "Merry Christmas I'll see you soon" too!

14.  I think that my track record of keeping in touch with my friends is pretty poor.  For example, I just finished sending out hundreds of Christmas letters, but forget to mail one to Gregori.  This is unacceptable.  I resolve to spend even more of my time worrying excessively about staying in touch and writing letters to my friends who keep refusing to write back.

15. I will work on being more honest with myself about the time it takes me to do chores and the commitments I can make.  It's easier to say you'll do something than to do it and lately I've definitely been overwhelming myself.

16. I'm getting a new tattoo!  (Refer to #10 on the previous list.)  (Am I joking or not?  Only time will tell!  Wink wink!)

Take-away message?  I'm pretty effin' excited for 2016.

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