Best intentions: Jump high or stay home

I suck at New Year's resolutions. Resolving to discontinue my various bad habits is, I know, nothing more than an exercise in good intentions. Stop eating crap? Curtail my endless shopping for useless ephemera I coveted as a child? Refrain from procrastination? These things will never happen. I'm smitten with dishes, old books, record albums by obscure lounge singers of the '60s. The only task I don't drag my heels toward is one that involves acquiring more of these items while simultaneously consuming a big, crinkly bag of Cheez Doodles.

And so, at the end of every year, I'm left with a list of small, attainable things I failed to accomplish. It's frankly humiliating to look back on resolutions like "Clean out basement" or "Switch to decaf" and realize I've fallen short of even these wee tasks. Therefore, I've resolved this year to make really huge, utterly unreachable resolutions — assignments I could never, no matter how hard I tried, actually carry out. That way, at least, I can look back in awe at my intentions while also offering a water-tight excuse ("My goals were too lofty!") for not having scratched a single item off my list. And then I, a mere mortal, can return to the solace of eBay and Frito-Lay.

I will find Osama bin Laden and force him to lip-synch to an old Dolly Parton record. I resolve to track down the world's most wanted terrorist and hold him at gunpoint while a team of drag artists makes him up to look like Faye Dunaway in Mommie Dearest. I'll have them dress him in a floor-length evening gown made entirely of American-manufactured polyurethane eyelet lace, topped by a tutu and toe shoes, then I'll videotape him as he pantomimes to "Jolene." I'll hand over the tapes to and Inside Edition for free, because although I'm not especially patriotic and don't really like drag queens all that much, I do like watching radical kingpins being humiliated while wearing tulle.

I will win first place in American Idol Season Eight. I'm at least twice as old as the cut-off age for competitors in this musical competition, I can't sing a note, and I wouldn't know a fermata if one entered me from behind, but I resolve to become the new American Idol champ all the same. I figure, if a talentless teenager like Blake Lewis can trump the huge gifts of fellow contestant Melinda Doolittle, as happened in Season Six, I can take home the big prize next season, too. Whether I can take several months of listening to Paula Abdul blather and drool is an unknown, but I do have faith that my beatbox version of "Papa Don't Preach" will annihilate the competition. And the new rule about contestants playing a musical instrument during Hollywood Week will only help my cause, as my Flut-o-phone solo on "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" will wow the crowd and jam the phones with votes. In the semi-coherent words of Randy Jackson, I'll "bring it, dog."

I will finally empty out the "Re-Gift Box" in my upstairs closet. This sounds like an easy-to-accomplish resolution — getting rid of all the things people have given me as gifts that I don't really want by gift-wrapping them and giving them to others who probably don't want them, either — until one considers the sort of crap with which people tend to gift me. To whom will I give the five-pound, cocoa-scented candle shaped like a giant Hershey's Kiss? The box of bath salts marked "from Madrid" that is more likely from The 99¢ Store? The clever, heat-activated ceramic cat-shaped frame that plays the chorus of "Memory" whenever one comes near it? (Note to friends and family: I live with a cat, but this does not mean I wish to own items made in his likeness.) In the past, I've not had the heart to give this kind of cheesy garbage away to anyone in my life (although they obviously don't seem to mind foisting such hoo-ha off onto me), and as a result, I can't get to my collection of Ugly Ceramic Crucifixes because the Re-Gift Box is spilling its unsightly contents all over my upstairs walk-in. But in 2008, all bets are off. So, consider this my advance apology to anyone who receives from me as a gift this year a glow-in-the-dark Garfield paperweight.

I will "out" a closeted celebrity. I haven't decided which one yet, or whether or not I even care if he or she is actually a homosexual. Ryan Seacrest? Janet Napolitano? Andy Thomas? I'm looking for attention here, and I don't mean attention for gay liberation or Hollywood hypocrisy. I mean attention for me, so that I can maybe swing a book deal and stop trying to be funny about stuff like making bogus New Year's resolutions. See you in 2009.


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