Published in the San Diego Union-Tribune, January 3, 2022
By Neil Senturia
First column of 2022. The possibilities are limitless, the page is blank, the world stands before all of us, waiting for the paint to be applied to our unique picture, the optimistic words written for our own story, as well as to face the slings and arrows, lurking out there, waiting for us to turn the corner and stab us in the back, just like they did in 2021. Déjà vu.
But as we turn the corner and yes, cross at the light, I think it is appropriate to make both some New Year’s Resolutions and New Year’s Predictions. Herewith:
Resolution: I will wear a mask when required. I hate masks, but I will put my fellow humans’ safety ahead of my personal comfort.
Prediction: I will probably wear the mask about 72 percent of the time, occasionally letting it slip beneath my nose, because the damn mask fogs up my glasses so I can’t see anything, and I am liable to bump into some woman and then, while I stumble, I may inadvertently grab a part of her body, in order to keep me from falling down (no good can come of that), or in the alternative, just go ahead and fall, breaking my leg and then have to make a claim against the restaurant owner who recently waxed the floor, and I would hate to do that, because frankly their lasagna is out of this world.
Resolution: I will avoid all social media that stupidly show pictures of food or vacations that make me jealous.
Prediction: I am a technical troglodyte, who still has a dial-up account with AOL, so for me
TikTok is the sound of my desk clock. I can keep that resolution easily.
Resolution: I will eagerly embrace the metaverse and cryptocurrency with an open mind and a desire to learn and understand what is new and different to me.
Prediction: Not a chance. There are people buying NFTs for real money, knowing that they own a virtual, digital something that is not exactly real. OK, so you own some blockchain. I’m thinking maybe a chain gang would be more appropriate. And as for Mr. and Ms. Meta, they are selling virtual buildings in a world that doesn’t exist. I’m going to Bunkers.com to buy an actual bomb shelter for the apocalypse that is coming when the real world wakes up and understands the virtual scam. Go ahead and try to get a real mortgage on that meta-apartment building.
Resolution: I will recycle.
Prediction: I’m good with this one.
Resolution: I will be calm, reasonable and understanding when talking to right-wing, QAnon Republicans who believe that Donald Trump is still president. I will listen to Hannity and Carlson (having taken my blood pressure medicine), and I will consider their point of view and try to stand in their shoes.
Prediction: I am going to make them a size 11 concrete shoe and invite them to meet me at the Hudson River for a walk-on-water moment.
Resolution: When I see a stupid deal involving a SPAC where the promoters get rich and the little guy gets crushed, I will resist the siren song of FOMO (fear of missing out) that is luring me to the Hudson again with concrete shoes, this time in my size.
Prediction: I’m good with that one.
Resolution: I will do acts of philanthropy and kindness.
Prediction: I can always do better and will improve on that one.
Resolution: I will buy an electric car. Climate change is real.
Prediction: OK, but never a Tesla.
Resolution: I will continue to see the analyst. He adds value to my life and keeps me sane (open to debate).
Prediction: If he raises his fee one more time, I am outta there.
Resolution: I will understand that my children and grandchildren are individuals in their own right and not an extension of my lost youth. I will honor their independent decisions, even when I am sure they are heading off a cliff, knowing that if they had any brains, they would ask me for my advice. And I will not criticize their parenting style, even though I am sure the kids will end up seeing their own shrink before too long.
Prediction: Vegas is 3-1 against me on that one.
Rule No. 694: Don’t look up.