2011 Resolutions

My resolutions for 2010 involved a lot of reading, improving my cooking repertoire, improving my photography repertoire, and having fun in the present. In goal accounting for 2010, 2 were successful and 2 not. Except for the reading goal, the other three were well outside my comfort zone.  I forgot my statement for the resolutions in 2009.

Useful resolutions to me are things I realistically can and will accomplish applying moderate effort. Making too hard of a challenge will result in giving up too quickly. Making too easy of a challenge will result in doing something I would do anyway.

The successful resolutions only required moderate effort. The failures required me to move outside my comfort zone. So for 2011, I ought to come up with some resolutions more encouraging my strengths than discouraging for likely failures.

  1. Complete unfinished novel series. In 2007 I started several novel series, but the 2008 and 2009 resolutions conspired to make these books less than ideal. I made it to book 4 of Harry Potter, book 4 of the Wheel of Time, book 7 of the Sword of Truth. It is time I finished off these series. Especially to move on to start others.
    • Harry Potter books 4-7 (4)
    • Wheel of Time books 4-13 (#14 due early 2012) Number four was unbearable. Giving up this series.
    • Sword of Truth books 9-11 (3)
    • Ender books 4, 6-11 (7)
    • Total: 24 14
  2. Complete the first 25 of the BBC The Big Read Top 100 (from 2003). This the real list, not the Internet Meme one which has been passed around for years and multiply modified in the process. The list is:
    1. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
    2. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
    3. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
    4. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë
    5. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
    6. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
    7. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
    8. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
    9. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
    10. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
    11. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres
    12. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
    13. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
    14. Total: 13
  3. No more complaining about Blackboard, Inc. Too many of my blog posts, Twitter, and Facebook updates are about Blackboard. Most of that is negative. Going forward it needs to be positive or constructive. There are lots I dislike about the company and products but to little productive effect.
  4. Attend more social events when invited. All too often I listen to the butterflies in my stomach and stay home. In 2010 I did better than normal at attending parties, potlucks, etc. Seems like I went to about 50% of them when I did not have a conflict.
  5. Go away more. Almost of all of my out-of-town trips in 2010 were all back to visit family. I need to get out more and do something fun. So much stuff to do when I am sitting at home on my recliner.

There are some other intentions like praying and learning the Baha’i Writings, being available for helping Mom, getting healthier, try dating, etc. Instead of making a resolution, I’ll just try to keep them in mind.

Followup

D is for…

Drinking Alcohol

Living in a college town, alcohol is readily available. There are plenty of bars, restaurants, and stores where the purchase should be no problem at all. However, I don’t drink alcohol. Why I don’t is a multi-pronged issue:

  1. My religion, the Baha’i Faith, prohibits the drinking of alcohol. Plenty of religions prohibit the drinking of alcohol, but followers still get drunk. The quote from the Kitab-i-Aqdas: “It is forbidden for an intelligent person to drink that which depriveth him of his intelligence; it behoveth him to engage in that which is worthy of man, not in the act of every heedless doubter.” Its not so much don’t do this because you will go to Hell. Its more you have no need to do this, so why do it?
  2. Alcohol has been a major part of my life. As long as I can remember, I have been around the stuff. One of my earliest memories is taking a sip of beer at age 4 or 5 and finding it to be the most revolting thing I had ever tasted. Wine wasn’t much better. My earliest memory of drinking wine was vomiting soon after the swallow. As a Catholic, I found Communion difficult because of the taste of wine and this bad association.
  3. Alcohol has been a major part of the life of those to which I am close. I have seen moderate and reckless drinkers. Friends have gone to jail, the hospital, or seeming comas over the consumption of alcohol. I have held long-term concerns for people whose lives seem to have been taken over by this stuff. My friends and family who are going through AA seem to enjoy their lives so much more after starting in a group than while being an active drinker.
  4. Its been the goal of many of drinker to make me start. Its like I need to drink alcohol to understand them? Probably I do, but I certainly can pass on that understanding. Does it make you sleep better at night to know you spiked my drink without me knowing?

Its not for me. You will decide for yourself your views. I don’t intend to judge. Personally, I think I have enough character flaws that I do not need to add to them.

Books Meme

These are the top 106 books most often marked as “unread” by LibraryThing‘s users (as of some point). As usual, bold what you have read, italicize those you started but couldn’t finish, and strike through what you couldn’t stand. Add an asterisk to those you’ve read more than once. Underline those on your to-read list.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Anna Karenina
Crime and Punishment
Catch-22
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Wuthering Heights
The Silmarillion
Life of Pi : a novel
The Name of the Rose
Don Quixote
Moby Dick
Ulysses
The Odyssey*****
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre
A Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies
War and Peace
Vanity Fair
The Time Traveler’s Wife
The Iliad***
Emma
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
Mrs. Dalloway
Great Expectations
American Gods
Atlas Shrugged
Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books
Memoirs of a Geisha
Middlesex
Quicksilver
Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
The Canterbury Tales
The Historian : a novel
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Love in the Time of Cholera
Brave New World
The Fountainhead
Foucault’s Pendulum
Middlemarch
Frankenstein
The Count of Monte Cristo
Dracula
A Clockwork Orange
Anansi Boys
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath
The Poisonwood Bible : a novel
1984
Angels & Demons
The Inferno
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Mansfield Park
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Oliver Twist
Gulliver’s Travels
Les Misérables
The Corrections
The Amazing adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
Dune
The Prince
The Sound and the Fury
Angela’s Ashes : A Memoir
The God of Small Things
A People’s History of the United States : 1492-present
Cryptonomicon
Neverwhere
A Confederacy of Dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything
Dubliners
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
Beloved
Slaughterhouse-Five
The Scarlet Letter
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The Mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake : a novel
Collapse : How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
Cloud Atlas
The Confusion
Lolita
Persuasion
Northanger Abbey
The Catcher in the Rye
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Freakonomics : a Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an Inquiry into Values
The Aeneid
Watership Down
Gravity’s Rainbow
The Hobbit
White Teeth
Treasure Island
David Copperfield
The Three Musketeers

Its funny, because I bought The Aeneid on Saturday and started reading it while waiting for the lenses in my glasses to get completed and through lunch. I need to come to a conclusion with The Great Horn, Six Not So Easy Pieces, What to Eat, The Martian Chronicles, and Killing Monsters before starting something new.

Thanks

!

I’ve been tagged

By George [here] to post seven facts about me.

  1. I am the product of miscegenation.
  2. I read when I eat alone.
  3. There are 455 contacts in my instant messenger.
  4. Three of my four grandparents died before the age of 55.
  5. My height is 191.5 cm.
  6. No one else has my name in Google. (First entry not me is on page 3. HowManyOfMe.com says I should not exist.)
  7. I am a “second generation” Baha’i.

I am tagging: Amy, Bernie, Britt, Michelle, Michelle, Nicole, Sarah

tag: , miscegenation, , , Baha’i

Google Fortune Telling

How do YOU die? Okay, so here’s the deal, find out how you end your life, the google way. Go to google, type “(your first name) was killed by” and see what the end of life holds in store for you. Remember to use the quotations marks, else it wont work.

Mine: “ Ezra was killed by a fall in the Coudersport stone quarry, while Alvin lived to a good old age as a farmer in Summit Township.”

So, avoid Couderport stone quarry.