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Resolution Vegas

1. I resolve to walk away from the poker tables just AFTER losing all my dough and just BEFORE losing my shirt. I'll have pawned my car by then and walking home bare-chested in January just isn't smart.

2. I resolve to visit my doctor and get a checkup once a year. It's about time I stopped gambling with my health.

3. I still haven't used the five year gym membership I bought two years ago. I resolve to unpack the sneakers and put down the donuts as I stride triumphantly through the front door. More importantly, I resolve to stay at least a full five minutes before screaming and fleeing in shame like a frightened schoolgirl.

4. And speaking of fitness, I resolve to stop buying or reading fitness magazines. The fantastically sculpted hard bodies of the cover models only serve to make average, healthy people feel foolish, and makes the overweight and unhealthy population frustrated. Sure, if my profession required me to unemotionally push inert slabs and bars of iron around for hours on end, I too could have the body of a low fat - high muscle content - low self esteem - Hollywood heartthrob. But unlike them, I live in the real world where abs come in 4 packs and my most developed muscle is the one I sit on.

5. My unemployment has run out but my butt is still firmly attached to the sofa. I resolve to stop blaming the economy like everyone else and take the job I turned my nose up at for $1.00 less an hour.

6. So what if my '69 Vette gets six MPG? It's a total babe magnet. I resolve to, at the very least, LOOK closely at one of the many hybrids and see if I can satisfy both my need to help the planet and my planet-sized ego.

7. 2009 was a real banner year for my social networking. I met and talked with hundreds, if not thousands of available, amiable and attractive people who really dig me. Too bad it wasn't in person. This year I resolve to ditch the Digg, massacre Myspace, forget Facebook , torch my Twitter and go out into the world and meet an ACTUAL PERSON.

8. I think my half-dozen traffic tickets are trying to tell me something. This year I resolve to save the speed for the speedway. I resolve to pay attention to posted speeds, smile as I drive, and hope courtesy really is contagious. I resolve to put down the latte, the cell phone, the McBreakwich, and the curling iron and try instead to drive the 3000lb weapon of gas destruction beneath me.

9. Too many mornings I wake up closer to noon with elephants running through my head, and memories of half the previous night are missing in action. I resolve to limit my intake from a dozen kamikazes an hour to 3 beers on a full stomach, and to never even think about driving when I know I'm out for the night. When my friends try to take my keys, I'll stop arguing and let cooler heads prevail over yet another mistake-ridden night of debauchery.

10. I resolve to practice patience and understanding while driving Las Vegas roadways. It seems 30 seconds can't pass before I'm cut off by an angry truck driver, nearly broadsided by a multitasking soccer mom or rear ended by a lead-footed high school musical. To let the poor driving habits of others adversely affect my mood is to give them power over me. A simple smile and a tap on the breaks can turn victimization into victory.

11. This year I resolve to spend more time with my kids, who have all but forgotten I exist. I shall turn off the TV, unplug the Xbox and power down the PC for some real face-time with my offspring. Maybe I can plan a family game night, regular dinners or a fun night out once in a while. I'd like to have a hand in their upbringing rather than having children pushed around by pixels.

12. My clothes, hair, car, apartment, dog and pretty much everything I own reeks of cigarette smoke. Every set of stairs I encounter fill me with feelings of anxiety and breathlessness. I resolve to quit no matter what. Gum, rubber bands, hypnotism - anything to break the ostracization from polite society. I'm tired of hanging out in dive bars and dark alleys to feed an addiction that's slowly killing me anyway.

13. I resolve to clean up my lawn on a regular basis. Rather than contributing to the declini ng home values in my neighborhood, why not take a little pride in my lawn? I will fire up the mower, sharpen the weed whacker and dust off the garden rake to bring some small square footage of beauty into an otherwise ugly world.

14. I resolve to spend less time in front of the television and will find ways to enrich my life, rather than watching it away. I justify watching TV by tuning into the Discovery and History channels long enough to assuage my guilt over the 12 hour marathon of "Who Wants to Make an Idiot Of Themselves with a BList Superstar?". These so-called reality shows are just bits and bytes of someone else's unbelievably skewed life in the limelight. Nobody paid attention in high school when Schrodinger illustrated that the mere act of studying something under a microscope changes an event's natural outcome. The more I watch TV, the less of it makes any sense to me. I shall pick up a book a week and remember what it was like when my brain actually worked for itself.

15. I resolve to smile more often in the face of adversity. My boss thinks I'm a slacker, my father thinks I'm too soft, my girlfriend thinks I drink too much and do laundry too little. Normally I would face these issues with a grunt, a tear, epic pouting or simple avoidance. Life is better when you lube the lips and crack a smile - don't worry, your face won't break - instead of following all the depressed lemmings into a never ending spiral of depression and self pity. Cheer up, it's a new year!

16. And finally, no more text messaging. Ever. Period.