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**PRINT: FRIENDS FROM CINCINNATI: Installment 24 features this part coming-of-age short by Chicago's Patrick Somerville, author of the Trouble collection of shorts out in 2006. | PAST BROADSHEETS |

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Kevin O'Cuinn

--How did I do?

1) Aspirin is not health insurance -- Vitamin C is not The Elixir of Life. Get some health insurance.

I only put this in my _04 list because my girlfriend at the time was German. In Germany everybody has health insurance, it's something they take seriously. But then she (my girlfriend) left me for him (my squash partner), so I didn't get around to it (insurance). (Interesting note: He's still my squash partner, good squash partners being hard to find). So health insurance is still on my list, like...like all kinds of stuff, don't even start me. On a more cheerful note, my procrastinating is saving me around 400 bucks a month. Bottle of Aspirin? $11.99. 0/10 (impending circumstances).

2) No more working with kids or animals.

Roscoe and I are getting along just fine since the corrective surgery. 1/10.

3) Stop telling people that music is your religion. You are a lapsed Roman Catholic, live with it.

3.1) Stop misleading people, cf no.12.
3.2) No more air-guitar.
3.3) You did not write a Doctoral Dissertation on "Rock Star Deaths," or anything else.
3.4) There's a difference between Roman Catholicism and Roman "slavery."

Room for improvement, 5.5/10. Easier to steer clear of the whole music thing. Movies are a far less contentious issue.

4) Don't drink before dark.

Was doing okay till February, when I got the ringmaster job and the circus went on tour to Finland and the Baltic states. 1/10.

5) Stop telling people your favourite word is "Guinness."

5.1) Stop telling people your favourite word includes the letters g-u-e-s-s. D'oh. (carried forward to 2005).
5.2) Stop saying D'oh, even if, especially if, it's directed at someone else.

Pretty much over the verbal reflex (working on the accompanying cringe, brow-slap), 5/10.

6) Stop coveting the neighbor.(Not out of any religious conviction, oh no, but rather because it sets a chain of events in motion that leaves me depleted and slumbering, sometimes several times in any given 24-hour period.)

0/10. I thought being on the road would help. Wrong. She's just like Paris, my personal imaginary moveable feast.

7) Do not start smoking heroin.

10/10. 2004's success story.

8) Take hypothesis out of your life; stop saying "if."

The transition to "unless" has been relatively smooth. 7/10.

9) Lose some timber, stop calling your excess weight "timber."

0/10, the jeans still fit.

10) Clean the fridge.

10/10, weekend before my birthday.

11) Stop making derogatory remarks about WASPy Americans.

Didn't realise it was an election year till Dean popped his clogs. 2/10, will try harder next year.

12) Tell people your correct age.

There's nothing wrong with being 34. Even if I was born in '67. That was a good year. Bonnie and Clyde. Arthur Ashe. Summer of Love. If people aren't interested enough to work out the math, why should I bother telling them the truth in the first place? Do they really matter? Who cares anyway? 0/10, dumb resolution, only really put it in to make up the numbers, didn't want to end up with 13.

13) Go to church occasionally.

Two funerals. A 100% increase on previous year's funeral, 20/10.

14) Your father thinks you look like a lion, get a haircut, shave, why don't you?

This wasn't a real resolution. I just put it in for a laugh. So OK, it's not funny. What does my father anyway know about shit, he thought The Big Lebowski was a porn movie.

Total points: 61.5/140.

Roll on '05, expecting worse, but hoping for better.