Dick Clark is dead. He is sorely missed.

My wife and I watched Mike Birbiglia's movie Don't Think Twice last night. 

Excellent film. Gillian Jacob's performance was especially good. 

At 11:57, we switched over to network television to watch the ball drop. We watched as a female singer (later identified as Mel B) pretended to beg off Carson Daly's pleas to perform. The two went back in forth in faux disagreement, and then with less than two minutes to go, she  threw off her large, fur coat, revealing a sparkly dress beneath and launched into "All That Jazz" as backup dancers conveniently appeared behind her and joined in. 

Even though Elysha and I joined the banter mid-stream, it was clear that it was a set up. We all knew that Mel B would be singing something. 

It was also the stuff of a middle school talent show. Truly.

About 30 seconds before midnight, Mel B informed us that she was so excited that she might pee. 

I stared at the screen and thought, "Someone was paid to write this bit. Millions of people are watching and listening this terrible dialogue."

Then another thought: "This is why network TV is dying."

It was especially depressing having just watched a film filled with excellent dialogue. 

Sadly, Elysha and I didn't even get to see the ball drop. Either ABC doesn't have the rights to air the ball as it descends or they screwed up their camera angles. Either way, we missed it. After the stroke of midnight, we quickly switched over to NBC, only to be greeted by a platform of shirt-tugging douchebags surrounding that guy from American Idol. 

Next year, I think we'll just count down to midnight on our iPhones. 

Resolution update: May 2012

I am six days late in posting my mostly lack of progress in terms of my yearly goals.  

On a positive note, I still have more than half of the year to complete these goals. 

On a less than positive note, I have been a pathetic disappointment thus far.

1. Don’t die.


2. Lose ten pounds.

Since my wife went on doctor-ordered bed rest three weeks ago, our friends have been sending over food on a fairly regular basis, and I couldn’t be more thankful.

However, the food that they send over tends to be the kinds of dishes that are easy to transport and reheat. Lasagna. Casseroles. Pizza. Pot roast. Spaghetti and meatballs. All delicious but also heavy on calories. Add to this a decreased workout schedule because of my wife’s constant position on the couch and I now find myself twenty pounds over my goal weight.

The birth of my son last week is not helping. Less time at the gym. More delicious meals from friends.

I’m going to be very hungry during the second half of 2012.

3. Do at least 100 push-ups and 100 sit-ups five days a day.  Also complete at least two two-minute planks five days per week.


4. Practice the flute for at least an hour a week.

My broken flute remains in my car. I drove by the repair shop this morning, but I was driving my wife’s car, so I didn’t have the flute with me.

I mention this in a veiled attempt to imply progress.   

5. Complete my fifth novel before the Ides of March the birth of my next child.

Not complete. I’m quite disappointed with myself.

6. Complete my sixth novel.

Though I am not currently working on my sixth novel, I have about 12,000 words already written for one of them, and several thousand words written for two more. Plus about 3,000 words of a memoir.

Perhaps this is why I am failing so miserably with the previous goal.

7. Sell one children’s book to a publisher.

No progress in the month of May. All writing energy has been directed at finishing my novel.

8. Complete the book proposal for my non-fiction, photographic  collaborative project.

This project will be tackled during the summer.

9. Complete three chapters of my memoir.

This project, which will be part of an overall proposal, will be completed this summer.

10. Complete at least twelve blog posts on my brother and sister blog.

My sister posted for the first time this year, and I have since responded. Two down, ten to go. She promises another post this week.

It should also be noted that Kelli is writing these posts on her phone, since the fifteen year old IMB laptop that she has been using is no longer functioning. She plans to visit this month to see the new baby, and I will give her one of my old laptops, which will probably seem impossibly futuristic to her. More importantly, it will help her to produce work faster.

11. Become certified to teach high school English by completing two required classes.

Elysha continues work on this project. I believe that she has one class ready for the fall and is still in search of the other.

12. Publish at least one Op-Ed in a newspaper.

I published a piece in Beyond the Margins in April, which is not exactly a newspaper but is a great place (and maybe even a better place) for an author to publish.

I still have two pieces currently in the pipeline with hopes of both finding their way into print soon.

13. Attend at least five Moth events with the intention of telling a story.

My plan for attending my third StorySlam of the year in April were quashed when our then-unborn son decided to create problems with my wife’s placenta, necessitating fulltime bed rest.

My third Moth appearance will now take place at the GrandSLAM championship on July 17 at the Highline Ballroom in Manhattan. The theme of the night is “Fall from Grace.” If you would like to attend the show, let me know and I can alert you as to when tickets are available.      

14. Complete the necessary revisions of our rock opera (The Clowns) so that it can be staged as a full production in 2013.

My partner and I plan on finalizing the script this summer. The director of the playhouse has recently expressed excitement over the project and a desire to assist in the revision, which sounds great to me.

15. Rid Elysha and myself of all education debt before the end of the year.

Incremental progress has been made on this front in May.

16. Give yoga an honest try.

It does not appear that yoga classes will be happening at my school after all. I need to find another introductory class to attend. Anyone? 

17. Meditate for at least five minutes every day.

I mediated for five minutes a day for approximately 25 of the 31 days of May. I haven’t realized any benefits from this time spent yet, but I will continue trying.     

18. Agree to try at least one new dish per month, even if it contains ingredients that I wouldn’t normally consider palatable.

In May, I tried honeydew for the first time and found it palatable but boring.

19. Conduct the ninth No-Longer-Annual A-Mattzing Race in 2012.

The race is planned for the fall. 

20. Post my progress in terms of these resolutions on this blog on the first day of every month.

Six days late, but my newborn son is seven days old, so I’m using him as an excuse.