Sunday, January 4, 2009

Becoming Fine in 2009, Part Two

Continuing the Almost the Truth review of U.S.News & World Report's "50 Ways to Improve Your Life in 2009"...

11. Investigate tales of Edgar Allan Poe. Mr. Poe was born 200 years ago, as of January 19, 2009, and this apparently calls for a celebration of the literary works of this macabre, morose man. So go dress yourself in black, stop washing your hair, and try as hard as you can to not hear the beating of a tell-tale heart. Bwa-ha-haaaa...

12. Silence noise pollution. I would say more about this, but I've already made more noise than I should.

13. Get some new job skills. You know, like, try actually showing up on time. This will put your boss in the cardiac care unit, and you can earn brownie points by making a hospital visit. Or try spending a day without surfing the Web and see what that does to the company's productivity ratings.

14. Be a microblogger. The two paragraphs in the magazine associated with this heading are a shameless promotional blurb for Twitter, which is just like Facebook without any photos, games, or nifty-galifty applications. In fact, it's basically Facebook's status statement. ("What are you doing right now?") I've created a Twitter account for myself, but honestly, if I think the majority of astute beings on the planet would have no interest in reading the posts I produce here, what possible following could be created for knowing that "I'm working," or "I'm wasting time at the computer"?

15. Save that November 5 paper. Amazing! The normally tree-hugging, go-green-or-go-home editors of U.S.News, etc., are now saying that, instead of recycling, I should spend 50 dollars to deacidify and preserve my newspaper that announced Obama's victory in the Presidential election. 50 DOLLARS! Yeah...I'll get right on that...right after I finish my do-it-yourself root canal.

16. Brush up your Socrates. Is that legal in all 50 states?

17. Make yourself an author. This piece sings the praises of self-publishing, specifically print-on-demand services like, which -- ahem -- just happens to be where you can find my book, Almost the Truth About Youth Ministry: Salesmen, Secretaries, and Smart Alecks. Check it out at And now...back to our program.

18. Do a crossword puzzle. Crossword puzzles are a fine way to spend a little spare time. I like crossword puzzles. If crossword puzzles were human, I would request them as my friends on Facebook. But is this really going to improve my life? Improve? My life? Really?

19. Learn to speak Russian. The word is out! Russia is on the rise, set to once again become a world power. Learn the language now and save all that embarassment of trying to explain to the KGB why you didn't know about the law against laughing in public.

20. Keep a simple diary. The editors are advocating that you "distill your day's experiences into a single sentence each day." Call me a moron, but doesn't this sound like a repackaging of the whole "microblogger" suggestion they made back at number 14? Maybe one of the ways to improve their lives should be a memory course. My parents took one of those recently, and my dad just couldn't say enough good things about they were taught to associate people's names with objects, creating a picture in their minds to help them recall the person's name. I asked him what the instructor's name was and he said, "Wait a minute, let me think. It's a flower...lots of petals...thorns on the stem..." "Rose?" I suggested. A spark of recognition shown in his eyes as he called out to the kitchen to my mom: "Hey, Rose? What was that instructor's name?"

2 B contin-yewed...

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