Tuesday, September 22, 2009

02009 New Year's Resolution #29: Why I Aughtta…!

Suddenly, it has become clear that my lawn mowing hours are not reliably my best thinking hours. This afternoon, as I was mowing the lawn, here's what occurred to me:

In 02001, I did not once say "twenty aught one".
In 02002, I did not once say "twenty aught two".
In 02003, I did not once say "twenty aught three".
In 02008, I did not once say "twenty aught eight".

Here we are, nearly at the end of the year, nearly at the end of the aughts, and I have largely squandered a golden opportunity. How very sad!

This leads me to my twenty-ninth New Year's Resolution of the year:

I resolve to try to remember to use "aught" in speaking the name of this year (or any year since 02001), should the opportunity arise.

Frankly, I don't remember when the last time I uttered "two thousand nine" was. It occurs to me that I rarely ever find myself needing to say the year. Would it surprise me to make it through the rest of the year without having to say what year it is? No. But if I find myself in such a position, I intend to make a point of saying "twenty aught nine".

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

02009 New Year's Resolution #28: Add to My Circus Arts Repertoire

A few years ago, I received a unicycle as a birthday present from Libbets. She knew that I juggle and I guess she figured this would get me that much closer to running off and joining the circus. I don't think that's really going to happen, and I don't have any real aspirations of becoming a clown or any other sort of professional or semi-professional entertainer. I don't even seriously hope to ever be able to juggle while riding on a unicycle. However, I do really want to learn to ride my unicycle. I have not gotten around to putting in the effort yet, but that's going to change, with my 28th New Year's Resolution of 02009:

I resolve that I will learn to ride a unicycle by this time next year.

My goal is to be able to cleanly, confidently, and comfortably mount and dismount without aid of people or other supporting devices; to ride in a controlled manner, turn in either direction, and maintain my balance without feeling like I'm at constant risk of losing my balance. I am not aiming to do any super fancy tricks. I'm not aiming to go up or down stairs, to ride off-road, to do jumps, etc. I just want to be a proficient basic unicyclist.

02009 New Year's Resolution #27: Floss My Cochleae

This resolution is (roughly) to my ears what #25 was to my teeth. I aim to keep them and I'm trying to protect them.

A couple of years ago, Beth and I went to get our hearing checked. We each sat in a "soundproof" booth and had a series of beeps piped into our ears through a set of headphones. We indicated when we heard the beeps and in which ear. When we were done, the technician told us that she wished that everyone's hearing was as good as ours.

Beth, of course, thinks that I have hearing problems — or at least that I have listening problems. I think, instead, that I suffer from a bit of a delayed perceptual response.*

That is, I frequently miss the first one to three syllables when a silence is broken, as my mind needs at least a fraction of a second to boot up and go into listening mode. As such, I frequently miss the exact point of Beth's questions, and end up frustrating her with too many utterances of "what?" Inquiries and requests are indistinguishable without clarification. For example, "did you turn the oven off?" and "will you turn the oven off?" both come to me as "[cue to start listening] you turn the oven off?"

There is one obvious solution to this problem. It would be greatly amusing, but something tells me it's not going to happen: Beth could more completely embrace a manner of speaking that resembles that of Foghorn Leghorn. That is, she could start saying things like "would, I say, would you please run the dishwasher?"

Anyway, while my hearing is still good, even if my listening is more suspect, I've made my twenty-seventh New Year's Resolution of 02009:

I resolve to consistently wear protective ear plugs whenever I am running either the lawnmower or the snow thrower.

* I was going to use the phrase "slow brain syndrome", but I checked Google and discovered that SBS is an actual disorder, and [believe it or not] actually has something to do with tinnitus. I don't believe that I truly suffer from that particular disorder, so I chose to go with "delayed perceptual response", which is just a vague substitute, designed to not cause any confusion.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

02009 New Year's Resolution #26: Take a Lot of Crap (Right Quick)

Usually, when I make these resolutions, I try to provide a nice little story that somehow ties in. This one's going to be short and dull. Sorry.

I am guilty of not being the most conscientious scooper of kitty litter boxes. This is not especially good. So I'm making this, my twenty-sixth New Year's Resolution of 02009:

I resolve to train myself to scoop the clumps from Willow's litter boxes on a daily basis instead of just when I remember to get around to it.

That's it. Short, simple, and years overdue.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

02009 New Years Resolution #25: Keep My Teeth

A few months ago, I visited a dentist for the first time in way too many years. Among the things I learned is that I had developed some periodontitis. Treatment (scaling and root planing, followed by the injection of Arestin into several sites in my mouth) was not painful or even genuinely unpleasant. However, it was inconvenient (inasmuch as the dental office is quite a long drive from home) and extremely expensive. Well, I'm not interested in having to go through that (or worse) again. Which brings me to my twenty-fifth New Year's Resolution of 02009:

I have resolved to make flossing a regular, lifelong, habitual part of my daily routine.

The truth is that until this most recent visit to the dentist, I had really never been much of a flosser. I always considered it to be a hassle. It was uncomfortable and generally unpleasant. Besides that, it was always easier to simply forget to floss than it was to remember to floss. Well, now that I'm faced with the prospect of potentially losing my teeth to gum disease, flossing has suddenly taken on much more of the feeling of a necessity rather than merely an inconvenient good idea.

So I'm flossing every day. It's not fun, but it's not awful. The bleeding stopped after the first few days. I'm not finding it difficult to remember to do it. I should have made this a habit decades ago. I didn't. Shame on me. Now I just have to maintain the practice and hope that it does the trick. I really don't want my teeth falling out!