Friday, January 01, 2010

More Carrots. Fewer Sticks.

Poor liver.  You didn't deserve that.

Happy New Year, everyone!  It's January 1st, the most magical day of the year.  It is on the first that we can begin anew with a heart full of optimism and a liver full of champagne to remake ourselves on the blank surface of a spotlessly clean slate.  It's the beginning - THE BEGINNING! - and anything is possible.  I love the new year and all the unknown good it holds.  It's the one time of year I really do abandon my crusty grumpiness and wonder at the possibility of it all.

And so, I make resolutions.

Now, this used to be a major process that usually began somewhere in November.  For years I'd type up a comprehensive list of goals and resolutions under different headings like "Health," "Work," and "Family," then break them into subgoals if necessary, using this blog as a model.  One year I even cross-referenced them.  It was a lot of work, but a lot of fun, and I'd have a great sense of both accomplishment and potential as I'd print that sucker up and tape it onto the first page of my organizer to remind me throughout the year of what my goals were.

Then I started getting treated for a mild case of OCD (No, I don't wash my hands that much.) and became normal.  Well, more normal.  Just a little more.

So, to tickle my resolution bone, but without aggravating my crazy, a couple of years ago I started just choosing one word to guide my goals and actions for the year, an idea taken from this blog.  It was satisfying for the month or so that I'd be able to remember the word, but then it'd all dissipate like so much coke in a hooker's bloodstream and I'd be back to my shiftless, aimless self.  Maybe if I'd combined the comprehensive list with this overarching holistic goal word it'd have worked, but I'm trying something new this year instead.

This year I've decided to follow this blog's advice and create a list of personal commandments.  I don't know what they are yet, but when we're in Hawaii I plan on taking some pleasant time out on the lanai with some paper and a pen to figure it out.  It seems less putative and more affirming to come up with an articulated list of values to live by throughout the year rather than an annual list of things to do.  If I come up with anything particularly good, I'll share it here later.

Until then, please accept this as a free gift to you, dear readers.  This is the playlist, titled "Rad Sauce," that I listened to all the time when I was on my mission to drop 20 pounds three years ago.  The songs aren't so current anymore, but I just rediscovered Rad Sauce at the gym on Wednesday and TORE. IT. UP. on the elliptical.  I became that frantically sweating, super-motivated, machine-shaking madperson that gym-goers both deride and envy.  It was awesome.  If you're resolving, like 99.9% of all humans, to lose some weight this year, here's a gift to you.

1.  Re-Fresh by Common Market.  "It's time to let it go..."  Hell yeah, it is!

2.  Gonna Fly Now (Theme from Rocky) by Bill Conti.  At this point I like to increase the resistance and/or speed on the machine to reflect Rocky's triumphant struggle up the art museum steps.

3.  Black Tongue by Yeah Yeah Yeahs.  It's nearly impossible not to sing along with the "Uh-huh's."  Do try, however, or else the old guy on the machine next to you who looks like Kenny Rogers and Santa Claus's biologically impossible lovechild is going to give you dirty looks. 

4.  Intervention by Arcade Fire.  It's O.K. to go slow until "Who's gonna reset the bone?," at which point you must BUST SERIOUS ASS until the end of the song.  It's the rule.  I didn't make it, but I don't break it, either.

5.  Step Aside by Sleater-Kinney.  It's a pop song that rhymes "discrimination" with "exploitation," so you can either work out hard because you're happy or you're angry.  Go fast!  Win-win!

6.  Cheated Hearts by Yeah Yeah Yeahs.  You are bigger than the sound.  That's why you're working out, fatty.

7.  Under Pressure by David Bowie & Queen.  This is a dangerous song for me because I'm still rich with postpartum hormones and sometimes get a little weepy thinking about Freddie Mercury dying so young when he's begging us to give love one more chance.  It's cathartic.  I get worked up, but then I leave it on the field like a good soldier.

8.  Sunday Bloody Sunday by U2.  This works similarly to Step Aside.  The music is so deeply martial in tone, but the words are all about describing and ending violence.  So it makes me want to kick ass in the name of peace.

9.  London Calling by The Clash.  My favorite song EVER, this works best when you do lean forward for the first words like The Clash does in the video.  I don't know why it's important, but it just is.

10.  Bellydancing Shakira Song (I think it's called Whatever Whenever, but that's how it's written on my ipod) by Shakira.  Don't think hard about it, just SHAKE YER ASS.

11.  Brass in Pocket by The Pretenders.  I cool down to my personal anthem.  "I'm special/ So special/ I've got to have some of your attention/ Give it to me!"

Happy New Year!  Resolve to make it a good one!

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