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Monthly Archives: January 2013

Gonna Make a Resolution

Gonna Make a Resolution

Usually I’m not privy to saying very much about my New Year’s Resolutions because so many people don’t take them seriously, and until a few years ago I was one of those people who was doing the mocking. I made a lot of phony resolutions which, to say the least, were kept easily and didn’t require very much work on my own part. If it wasn’t that, I would resolve to do something totally outlandish and absurd which I didn’t stand a chance in hell of accomplishing. When my resolution to quit drinking so much soda at the start of 2010 became an unexpected success, though, I decided to think through the idea from that point out a bit more.

I thought about resolutions this year and came to these, mostly because I don’t see any other good ones. Much of my endeavoring this year is going to the goal of getting me back out of Buffalo, either soon or in due time. I expect it will be the latter, and I’m not sure where I’ll wind up. Chicago would be the ideal, but I can’t say I’m so dead set on it that I’m going to blind myself to opportunities in other places.

Number one is something I’ve been trying to do for a few years. I’ve been wanting to get back into college for some time, but just when I was starting to get off the ground back when I decided I wanted to do it, it would get tangled up in some other thing I wanted to do. Or I wouldn’t be able to afford the application fee. Or, back during my messenger days, my debts would get in the way; I was poor enough as it was when the economy went to hell because my income was entirely commission, and there was no work for me to do. Right now there isn’t much of an excuse for me to not be able to focus on this goal, and I’ve also finally narrowed down something I want to specialize in. I knew I was interested in a medical-based field and gave serious thought to therapy, but then an out-of-nowhere candidate came in and took the top spot: Nutrition. My sudden interest in nutrition was sparked by my body’s apparent inability to stay at the nutrient levels required by blood donors, and I began being more careful about what I eat. (Well, more so.) It also had to do with my next resolution.

After years of doing just enough to stay in the decent shape I’m in, I’ve decided to try to build real muscle. Although I normally eat and act in healthy ways, this is going to require a much greater commitment on my own part. Watching food portions and exercising every day are great starts, but actually going out and – well, dare I actually use this term? – bodybuilding will be putting my body through an ultimate challenge it hasn’t been through before, and certainly my mutation will add an extra dimension to finding a reasonably workable program which can get me off the ground. The ruling logic behind this radical idea is the same logic which caused me to make my pop-quitting resolution back in 2010: I’ve tried to do it on a more gradual basis, and kept blowing it. So I decided that, in an instant, that would be that and I was going to go all the way with it or it wasn’t going to happen at all.

I’m going to finish my book and start trying to submit more writing samples. My book is actually almost finished as it is. As for general writing, I’ve been stuck for far too many occasions, and to a point I’ve been afraid of sending queries because it seems like all the publications I want to send them to use regular staff members to do their writing instead of contributors. Although I’ve tried to get published in the past, I’m kicking myself for not doing this sooner, because what’s the worst that can happen? It isn’t as if I haven’t been rejected from anything before. The only difficult part is finding a unique and interesting topic to write about.

I’ve been wanting to try stand-up, since I’ve been listening to it since I was about six or seven years old. I used to tell stories at slams in Chicago, and a few years ago, with a little encouragement (actually it was more like a challenge) from my friend Dana, I began writing an act. I would like to have the chance to finally try it, and to learn what works and what doesn’t work for me. I’m also going to continue writing for it more. Speaking of writing, I will maybe get a bit more serious about journal-keeping, because there are some thoughts that I just shouldn’t say out loud or on a computer, or really in public at all.

What’s the point of living if you’re not expanding your list of interests, after all? Hell, ten years ago I didn’t know anything about global politics or alcohol, but I learned a bit about those subjects in short order. Ten years ago, I never had never seen a full baseball game, and now baseball is one of the sports whose teams I have genuine emotional attachments to, plus a little internet fame as a baseball book reviewer. Unless it can be proven otherwise, I’m still convinced that we’re here to learn and grow as much as we can. First, though, I have a little stop to make in Chicago!



“Leave a message…”


“This is Nick…” 


“Hi, I’m getting back to Nick…” 


The eternal dance between my counselor and me tends to go a lot like this. As I previously covered, the place where I usually go to look for work and financial aid decided to split in two parts, and the most pertinent part packed up and headed off to the northtowns. This means I can no longer take the 45-minute bicycle ride down my street to give her short updates to her face.


The two of us are currently, seemingly locked into an endless game of phone tag because my exercise habits frequently have her calling whenever I’m out of the house. Of course, I’m going to have to rectify this situation, and that’s probably going to mean going outside at earlier hours – which, despite my being a very early riser, is still going to be very disagreeable to my body – or later hours, an idea disagreeable to both work hours and daylight hours. Not to mention rush hour, which matters because the ignorancevilles of Buffalo don’t have sidewalks, even though they have plenty of angry, car-wielding speedsters.


This has become important because she’s helping me register at UB, and my inability to get in and out of her new office location at will is going to make things a lot tougher. Not that it isn’t already difficult to make appointments; she’s busy, and it isn’t uncommon for me to only hear from her two or three days after leaving a voice message, but this brings the stakes higher because she’s not the in-face presence she was when I met her. I can’t bike down, say hi, and give her a brief update as to what’s going on anymore. Everything has to be done by phone, and by predetermined appointment. Since the office move, its been over a month since I was able to last give her a real update. 


The last time we spoke was through voicemail. I explained that I was having trouble getting through to the admissions department, and she responded with a message about the move itself and also being sick. The more we go on, the more it looks like I’m going to have to just swallow my bodily pain and get used to the idea of early-morning, pre-breakfast runs or bike rides. If I’m getting to UB, her help is essential, and I’ll only be able to get her help on her time, not mine.