2017 Anti-Resolutions

  1. I will not rush to get my anti-resolutions out on time, because anti-resolutions, like a fine wine, take time.
  2. I will not share posts on Facebook which inform others that Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg or others are giving away millions of dollars, Xboxes and emus. Those emus are mine!
  3. I will not start rumors about a mysterious, dark horse candidate named Bud Wiser preparing to run for President in 2020, even though his campaign would surely prove intoxicating to the American people.
  4. I will not make fun of politicians who talk about The Cyber and know nothing about The Cyber except that The Cyber is really important because they clearly must know something I don’t know since they have decided to turn The Cyber into a noun when the rest of us think of it as an adjective.
  5. I will not make funny red hats paraphrasing or parodying political propaganda, no matter how great I might make them (again).
  6. I will not try to get French fries recognized as their own, nutritionally-important food group.
  7. I will not blame Apple products for all of the world’s problems when it is abundantly clear that Google is to blame for many of them.
  8. I will not claim that stories about the lack of commercial success of my unauthorized autobiography are just another example fake news trying to undermine me.
  9. I will not allow my cat to continue making wardrobe decisions for my son.
  10. I will not rest until President Trump identifies me as overrated on Twitter.

Written based on the Today’s Author Write Now! prompt on December 30, 2016, in which we are asked to creatively list ten things we will not do in the coming year.

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2015 Anti-Resolutions

  1. I will not blame ObamaCare for my son’s unfortunate wardrobe choices.
  2. I will not make judgments about other men based on the size of their coffee mugs.
  3. I will not change the things I say on Twitter just because my daughter thinks I tweet like an old—possibly dead—bird.
  4. I will not make up mysterious theme songs for each of my favorite coffee mugs and sing them whenever they are getting used by guests.
  5. I will not paint random portions of my arms, face and/or legs in a greenish color just to convince the little neighbor girl that I’m beginning to be able to photosynthesize my own energy.
  6. I will not let Lady Gaga make my wardrobe choices for me anymore. She can recommend whatever she wants to my son, though, since ObamaCare failed him so badly on that front.
  7. I will not go on job interviews and answer every question by telling cautionary tales involving coffee, random office supplies, and special undergarments.
  8. I will not post on obscure websites that when I grow up I want to be Wonder Woman because I like her outfits.
  9. I will not be held accountable for my failure to complete any part of my daily to do list when the person who created the list should have used some simple mathematics such as the Gamma Function clip_image019[4] to determine the probability of success for each specific task.
  10. I will not let the squirrels win.
  11. I will not delay in creating a new style guide that codifies the proper usage of the punctuation mark which is as amazing, controversial, and exciting as the Oxford Comma: the Serial Interrobang. You’d like that, wouldn’t you… wouldn’t you‽‽‽
  12. I will not place cheap flip phones in random places throughout the state and use my daughter’s phone to call and leave cryptic messages on them at strange hours of the day and night, just to confuse the NSA.
  13. I will not bring the big, black trash bags and a snow shovel into my son’s room to clean it like my father used to do… I will not bring the big, black trash bags and a snow shovel into my son’s room to clean it like my father used to do… I will not bring the big, black trash bags and a snow shovel into my son’s room to clean it like my father used to do… I will not—

 

Written based on the Today’s Author Write Now! prompt on December 31, 2014, in which we are asked to creatively list ten things we will not do in the coming year. Of course, for obvious reasons I need to stick with a nice, lucky number like thirteen…

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2014 Anti-Resolutions

Written based on the Today’s Author Write Now! prompt on December 31, 2013, in which we are asked to creatively list ten things we will not do in the coming year. Of course, for obvious reasons I need to stick with a nice, lucky number like thirteen…

  1. I will no longer ignore the wise advice spoken to me in whispers by the steam rising from my coffee cup.
  2. I will not introduce myself to everyone I meet as “Zalbon, Prime Prince Extraordinaire of the Zarquan Collective of Ragabond Five”; Some people will come to know me as “The Great Ro-bini, Protector of Mauwg and Hero of Baldador.”
  3. I will not make my son do two pushups for every dollar he receives for his birthday or Christmas when five pushups per dollar would be better for him.
  4. I will not blame ObamaCare for my unfortunate wardrobe choices.
  5. I will not get a set of tattoos featuring The Taster’s Choice couple (Sharon Maughan and Anthony Stewart Head), despite my love of coffee and the assurances that the inking would be tastefully done.
  6. I will not get a tattoo of Juan Valdez, either.
  7. I will not allow Miley Cyrus to talk me into allowing her to dance with the cinderblocks from my garage again this year.
  8. I will not shock my 48 million fans by suddenly tweeting that I am retiring from coffee drinking.
  9. I will not annoy the Little Neighbor Girl by recording dramatic footage of the giant, jumping spiders that live in my basement and then copying the videos onto the various digital devices she leaves at my house all the time even after I tell her to take them home.
  10. I will not torment the cats by putting motorized bird and squirrel puppets outside each window.
  11. I will not torment my son by putting motorized pizza puppets outside each window. Well… at least not every day.
  12. I will not leak to the media the news that the massive mosquito population in our area is actually a secret government research project which is attempting to genetically alter us into a super-powered mansquito army with which they intend to fight off the alien invasion.
  13. I will not distribute treasure maps which lead to my garden just before planting time this spring, in hopes that all the neighbors will end up coming over and digging up the weeds for me as they search for buried treasures.

 

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Mourning’s Light

Written based on the Today’s Author Write Now! prompt on January 4, 2013, in which we are asked to write about an unnaturally foggy bay.

For most people, silence is empty. I, however, have found silence to be full of stories – more stories, in fact, than the noise surrounding it. To me, the breaks in the noise of life provided a soundless symphony, spinning tales of joy and agony, elation and misery. But lately the silence has become a deafening roar threatening to overwhelm me as I sit here alone, with you by my side.

“Remember the day we got married?” you whisper, breaking the silence for the first time in hours. You speak so quietly I can barely make out the words over the other sounds in the room. It is as if you are speaking from oceans away. You look up over the edge of the newspaper you’ve been pretending to read all day. “I wish we still felt… like we did that day.”

The doctor bursts into the room as she and countless others of her kind have done innumerable times before, thwarting my attempt to respond. She smiles as she forces a bucketful of pills—my main source of calories for the day—into me. I know she is trying to help me, yet I stare at her blankly, wishing my silence could make her understand that I’d trade all the pain killers, anti-inflammatories, steroids and stool softeners in the world for a chance to actually live the life these pills are supposedly extending for me, instead of watching each day slip away through a foggy, chemical haze.

“Remember when we had dreams?” you say after she leaves. “Imagine the stories we could tell if we’d followed even a few of them. Well… it doesn’t matter anymore…”

“It does matter!” I want to scream, but your gaze has drifted so far off you wouldn’t hear me anyway. So I remain silent. We seem to communicate better if I stay quiet.

But the truth is I do remember. I remember our unfulfilled dreams of seeing the world as well as the dreams we did realize before I fell ill: a happy, healthy family, playing catch with the kids, building tree houses, singing songs on the front porch and eating ice cream on days so hot we were really sipping a chocolaty-milk soup.

I remember because—despite what your silence says— I’m not dead yet.

Here in the nursing home, surrounded by swarms of doctors with their fistfuls of pills, I float from one appointment to the next and tolerate wave after wave of tests. Through these long months you have been my lifeboat, my beacon in the night. But you don’t tell me about life outside these walls anymore, presumably so I won’t miss it. You don’t mention the news or politics or—anything. You just sit here quietly. The story your silence tells is of a world grown distant and cold, a world no longer within my reach.

Still, I try to stay connected. I know who won the election. I know my beloved New York Mets will find new ways to snatch defeat from victory again this year. I know the kitchen staff are serving me decaf coffee even though they say it is regular. I know they still haven’t found enough programming to fill the 313 channels on my television.

And I know that none of this matters.

At the end of the day, all I really want is to know your thoughts and feelings. I want to know how you are doing. But your silent stare out the darkening window tells me that even these things are unimportant. All that matters is that the hours have grown short on me.

“I love you,” I say breaking the silence as you prepare to leave. “I’ll see you in the morning.”

You turn away silently and I see, for you, the mourning is already here.

My day waning, I turn off the light and rest my head on the lumpy pillow. I’ve never before been afraid of the nighttime, but the sudden darkness makes my heart race. Lately the night just seems to be a little bit darker—and a little bit quieter—for a little bit longer.

I feel cold despite the thick blankets covering me. As I drift off, I hear doctors and nurses talking frantically in the distance, but even their noise cannot keep the silence at bay. It fills me with memories of things I said when I should have been quiet. It reminds me of times I remained mute when I should have spoken. It spins tales of you and me and the days we thought would last forever.

But no matter what we do to stave it off, day eventually succumbs to night. And the night, when it comes, will be dark.

The silence tonight seems empty. I see myself alone on a raft, drifting silently through the night into a foggy bay. The air feels damp and cool against my skin, the fog so unnaturally thick I can hardly see what is ahead of me. I turn to look behind me. Only shadows and faint echoes of the distant ocean remain. Ahead of me, far across the bay, I hear a mourning dove, its cry telling me not to fear the darkness. For even after the darkest night, in the morning there will be light. And the light will be something to behold.

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My 2013 Anti-Resolutions

Written based on the Today’s Author Write Now! prompt on January 1, 2013, in which we are asked to creatively list ten things we will not do in the coming year. Of course, for obvious reasons I need to stick with a nice, round number like thirteen…

  1. I will not pay $1000 for a Twinkie, whether it is in its original packaging or not, even though I have always wanted to try Weird Al Yankovic’s vegetarian Twinkie-Weiner sandwich.
  2. I will not ask my doctor for a prescription for my daily Starbucks coffee just so that I can submit it to my insurance company for reimbursement.
  3. I will not take all the silly, little sweaters we have for the dog and put them up for sale on eBay… even though the neighborhood dogs, cats and squirrels make fun of him whenever he goes outside wearing one.
  4. I will not tell visitors to my home that the boxes, bags, candy wrappers, shoes and laundry baskets full of intermixed clean and dirty clothes are there so that the cats and the dog who thinks he’s a cat can have a cheap, no-fuss and varyingly-complicated obstacle course to play in.
  5. Likewise, I will not tell visitors to my home that the boxes, bags, candy wrappers, shoes and laundry baskets full of intermixed clean and dirty clothes are there so that my children can learn about what life in college will be like. Well, I probably won’t…
  6. I will not proclaim that I have a five point plan to solve every issue I face in 2013.
  7. I will not ask the police to protect the driving public by blocking off the streets in our neighborhood before I take the teenaged neighbor girl out for a driving lesson in my manual shift car; I may, however, wear a helmet, safety goggles and/or wrap the car in bubble wrap before we go, though…
  8. I will not be a contestant on The Bachelor or The Bachelorette. I have not yet decided about the possibility of appearing on “Married to Jonas”, though.
  9. I will not be a Spice Girl.
  10. I will not be in the running to be the person Jenny McCarthy kisses for New Years 2014.
  11. I will not give up on my quest to ensure that everyone knows that the Mayans were not actually wrong.
  12. I will not include a chapter about my stint as the backup third baseman for the Philadelphia Phillies in my unauthorized autobiography. I will also edit out the chapter about how I was screwed out of my gig to be Fergie in The Black-Eyed Peas.
  13. I will not spend much more time making plans to introduce as many types of insects and fruits to the little neighbor girl as I possibly can.
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My 2012 Anti-Resolutions

written based on the [Fiction] Friday prompt on December 30, 2011: “What are your Anti-Resolutions for the coming year?”

 

  1. I will not petition the USDA to make them add a coffee section to the ChooseMyPlate dietary guidelines, despite the fact that coffee is an important part of a balanced diet.  I will, however, continue to pursue all avenues while attempting to ensure that coffee is identified as a vegetable, just like ketchup.
  2. I will not bedazzle my cellphone, my sneakers, my eyeglasses or my laptop bag, no matter how much my wife and daughter think I should or how much my son triple-dog-dares me to do so.
  3. I will not go quietly the next time the aliens come to get me.
  4. I will not sit and eat pizza and donuts while my son does planks, pushups, sit-ups, wind sprints and other strengthening activities in preparation for the upcoming baseball season, mostly because he can now throw a baseball hard enough to hurt me. I might chance some nice, hot coffee, though. Coffee is worth a few baseball-induced bruises.
  5. I will not spend all of my time reminding my daughter that no one likes teenagers– at least half of my time will be spent reminding my son that no one likes pre-teens, either.
  6. I will not buy a Clean Step Mat just because it resembles the magical cleaning properties of the Sisal Carpet from my play, “The Good Old Days”.
  7. I will not tell the Little Neighbor Girl that every time she freaks out about a spider, mosquito or stink bug, and every time she leaves her doll, iPod, game system or homework at my house an angel loses its wings.
  8. I will not make up a whole bunch of fake email addresses with which I then comment on my own blog posts with opposing arguments and opinions just to make it feel like my posts are powerful and edgy.
  9. I will not divorce Kim Kardashian, Sinead O’Conner, Drew Barrymore, Ali Landry, Pamela Anderson, Britney Spears, Carmen Electra, Jennifer Lopez, Renee Zellweger, Lisa Marie Presley, Katy Perry or Ashton Kutcher this year.  Well, probably
  10. If I grow a tomato that looks like the Virgin Mary, I will not put it up for sale on eBay. If, however, there’s one that looks like it has Justin Bieber’s hair… well, that one will be up for grabs.
  11. I will not fall prey to the complacency that comes from everyone saying that December 21, 2012 is going to be the end of the world – my vegetable-based religion will be ready to take over the world and I will be named Prime Potato of the First Couch of Veganomicalism at the Most High Holy Time of 13:13 on December 22, 2012.
  12. I will not try to convince the kids that if they watch the cats play with balls of yarn they will be on the road to an easy PhD in physics as they solve all of the mysteries of String Theory.
  13. I will not sprinkle catnip into my wife’s pillowcase and blankets just so the cat will bother her enough to make her wake up. Well, at least not on the weekends.
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