I don’t have to tell anybody that it’s the end of the year. Resolutions? I gave up on those a very long time ago, but one thing I’ve gotten into the habit of doing is to review my last year—kind of like a wrap-up. Before going into the positives, I’m going to delve into the negatives. What didn’t I learn in 2014? A lot, that’s for certain: I didn’t learn how to speak French, to shave on a regular basis, to let myself not be annoyed by people who open up to me too quickly, to use Excel, to be able to bench over 200 pounds. Some things are easier to do than others, but nevertheless, some things still escape me. I mean how hard is it to take a razor to my skin once every other day? Other things? I can’t seem to be able to quit smoking no matter how hard I “try”. I am unable to turn off my ears when people are talking across the room. I still get sensory overload whenever I walk down an aisle in the supermarket that has a lot of things written in small English print. Anytime a Chinese person speaks to me in English, I always try to translate it into Chinese. These habits I would like to change. I will not, however, resolve to make that kind of turnaround. All I can do is to look at the things I’ve learned over the past year.
What exactly are those? Vocabulary: waiter in French, mink in Chinese, credenza in English. I’ve learned that a bottle of Jägermeister a day doesn’t keep the doctor away. I can finally remember all twelve signs of the Chinese zodiac. I’m now comfortable when bidding on an item at auction. I know the difference between a real and a fake Griswold cast iron skillet. I think I’ve finally figured out how to cook a hamburger on the grill that not only will people eat, but will also pay money for. More vocabulary: shit in French, karma in Chinese, aioli in English. I’ve reaccustomed myself to driving again. Picking up the difference between the Doobie Brothers and the Allman Brothers helps. Now I realize that some of this newly acquired knowledge is totally useless, but it makes me more comfortable nevertheless, not to mention the fact that it sometimes makes me a bit of cash, or rather not lose so much dough. Speaking of losing, I’ve also regained, what I thought was, a long lost ability to shed a few pounds.
Maybe next year I’ll be able to order goat with a bit of aioli made on a real iron skillet in a French restaurant, drink it with only one glass of wine, pay for it with my newly saved money, input those expenses into an Excel document, and wonder if karma will bite me in the ass, and get me served some shit placed on the credenza instead. But hey, one step at a time right? Happy New Year guys.
by Tim Hoerle