Tuesday, January 7, 2014

My 2014 To-Do List: 13 Things I Want to Accomplish This Year

1. I want to try those strawberry muffins at Woolworths, the ones that come in packs of six. I never even knew strawberry muffins existed until I saw them in the Woolworths bakery today. I would have crossed them off my 2013 list already if they came in single packs, or packs of two, but as the saying goes, the one that was on a sweatshirt given to me when I was a kid by my mom (who must have known I'd grow up to idolize Oscar Wilde -- or maybe she wanted me to), I can resist anything but temptation. Which reminds me: I also want to try to buy something that comes in packs of six and not feel like I have to eat them all by the end of the day.

2. I want to go a day without running or hitting the gym and not feel like I've let my body down and just given up. Then the next day I want to run all the way from my apartment in Gardens to the other side of the City Bowl, taking High Level Road, and then run along the boardwalk and the Atlantic seaboard all the way to Camps Bay and back, of course.

3. I want to try hypnosis. It looks so cool when they do it on TV. I wonder what kind of repressed memories I've stashed away in the cobwebs in my mind. Though I no longer need them after nearly two years of not using them, I'd still like to know where I put that long-misplaced box of Klonopin. A guy in Melbourne offered to put me under last year, but my multiple questions about the process annoyed him. He took it as a sign that I didn't trust him. I took his impatience as a sign that I needed to be hypnotized by somebody else.

4. I want to overcome my fear of heights, which is the reason I still haven't scaled Table Mountain in Cape Town. It's not that I'm terrified of going up up up in one of the cable cars (thought I sort of am), but I can't help but think that it's cheating. I like the idea of earning my marvelous views (which I did on Lion's Head and Signal Hill, as well as in Jerusalem), and I probably would have earned Table Mountain's by now and climbed to the top if I hadn't heard that there are ladders involved. No how, no way.

5. I want to be as comfortable in my imperfect body as Albert, James Gandolfini's character in Enough Said, was in his.

6. I want to hit at least four new African countries. At the top of my wish list: Mozambique (where I think I'm headed to in February), Zimbabwe, Kenya and Rwanda. I know I'm supposed to want to go to Botswana, but I'm just not feeling it.

7. I want to drive for the first time since September of 2005 (which was my last trip to Los Angeles), even if it means driving on the left side of the road.

8. I want to stop hyperventilating and say "no problem" every time someone on TV or in a movie or on a podcast says "It is what it is," "I could care less," or "no problemo." What the hell is "No problemo"? I wanted to reach into the screen and ring Paul Giamatti's neck when he said it in Saving Mr. Banks. Is that supposed to be Spanish? Do they not know that the Spanish word for "problem" is problema? But what's wrong with "no problem"? It sounds just as good to me. Oh well, I could care less. It is what it is. (Hey, maybe I'm doing this one already!)

9. I want to give up tequila shots. What's the point of having a great time or doing body shots off the torso of a really hot bartender if you can't remember any of it the next day?

10. I want to watch those four seasons worth of Weeds episodes that my friend Marcus saved to my laptop last June, and all of the movies in my hard-drive queue as well as at least half of the unwatched ones on my external hard drive (As of last week, I've made it through all of the saved documentaries!), if only to free up some space so that I can collect more movies and TV series that I'll spend the next few years not watching.

11. I want to stop listening so closely to my body that every minor-to-major sensation -- a stab in my chest, a spasm in my arm, an ache in my abdominal area, all of which could very well be only in my mind -- is no longer a sign of the end of my days. Better yet: I want to stop feeling those discomforting sensations altogether and sleep through the night.

12. I really want to see him again. Then forget about him. Then fall in love -- with someone else.

13. I want to self-publish my book. Target release date: May 7, my 45th birthday.
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