Saturday, January 02, 2010

Resolutions Rehashed (for 2010)

All of us make them, and most of us break them. Unless you're like those two jokers Rhett and Link, who keep the bar low enough to come out ahead. Nice work, guys.

Of course, they don't have "Sal" -- bless that woman's heart -- to keep the bar raised much higher. Two years ago, I drew up a "Top Ten" list of resolutions. She once took on the self-appointed duty of giving me a hard time over whatever resolutions I made that I probably didn't keep anyway. Well, as we say back in Ohio, "them's fightin' words!" Below is the list from the original 2008 post entitled "Resolutions," with an assessment of how I did under each one in 2009, in blue italics. We'll keep dredging this up until we get it right. Most of it.

10) Pick up the guitar and the banjo again and play like I used to before I entered the Art Institute.

After playing bass for two years, Paul began teaching himself guitar. I got him some help for Christmas. Now I'm preparing to help myself. Stay tuned on this one.

9) Complete refresher courses in the summer on cascading style sheets and javascript.

Thanks to the help of some fellow students, I got better at web coding skills. It remains for the management to make more use of it, and for me to find a more user-accessible web hosting service.

8) Finish my studies at the Art Institute.

I finished last summer, or so they told me. There is only the portfolio requirement to complete. Unless the Institute jerks me around again, that should happen this year. Meanwhile, I've added video editing to the resume.

7) Finish getting my house in order, do a serious spring cleaning, and cut the rented storage in half.

School got in the way last year. I won't have that excuse this year.

6) Reduce my credit card debt, and refinance the mortgage.

I bought a house shortly before the housing boom went bust, so my mortgage was ... well, a bit creative. The upshot is that I'm in no position to refinance. But my variable rate remains low for now. The company that holds the mortgage is helping me monitor the situation. They appear to see me as being worth the effort. My credit card debt tends to fluctuate, but the past year has seen it reduced significantly.

5) Brush up on my Latin, and train at least a dozen guys to serve the Traditional Mass.

I'm not as involved in the general training as the priests now, but I assist with rehearsals for Solemn High Mass, and consult on establishing standards for training. I did manage to train a few guys in the past year, though.

4) Brush up on my -- oh, who am I kidding here? -- learn Tagalog.

Most of my orientation in the past year has involved customs, societal norms, that sort of thing. In modern Tagalog (known as "Filipino") there is enough English and Spanish in the vocabulary, that it is possible to get the gist of some conversations.

3) Earn the scout commissioner's "Arrowhead Award," and possibly the "Commissioner's Key."

These are essentially training awards. They like for us to look busy. I have one more requirement to complete for the former. The latter will have to wait.

2) Lose the thirty-five pounds I lost and gained back in the last five years.

During the fall, I lost fifteen pounds, and three inches off my waist. I've kept it off, even during the holidays. While I still have a ways to go, my suits fit better, and (most important), Mom noticed the difference between summer and fall.

And the number one resolution ...

1) Get at least one step closer to heaven than this time last year.

The jury is still out on this one. But as John and John (They Might Be Giants) are quick to remind us with their usual theological astuteness, I'm running out of time.

“You’re older than you’ve ever been, and now you’re getting older, and now you’re getting older, and now you’re getting older ...”


Rick said...

Impressive resolutions. Good luck with those.

Every group appreciates it when someone tries to learn their language. Filipinos here do understand English well enough.

David L Alexander said...

There are over 160 languages in The Philippines. What most people call "Tagalog" is actually a modernized version of the language that is "taga ilog" or "of the river" -- specifically the people of the Pasig River valley, what is now Metro Manila and environs. Known officially as "Filipino" is basically Tagalog with more frequent use of English and Spanish vocabulary.

If you know someone well enough, there is enough English in the conversation to get the general idea of what is said. There is also a phenomenon known as "Taglish" which is occasional use of English phrases. But many Filipinos in conversation actually go from Filipino to English and back again -- a phenomenon known to linguists as "code switching."

Never could figure that out.

Rick said...

Wow. You probably know more about Tagalog than the Tagalogs themselves. FYI, there are also Chinese words in Filipino e.g. susi, tsaa but the linguistic foundation is Malayan coming from the third source of the population e.g. malaya, salamat (The first two are the Australian aborigines & Indonesians.) Just like the language is the food which is also a fusion. Enjoy your balut and soup no. 9. Hope you life and post about it.