Hermits Rock

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Yeah, I know. You’re dying to know how the trip went. I’m working on it. Now that it’s over, I’m thoroughly intrigued by the fact that the number of crosses has increased exponentially since the last time I drove I-40. I also look forward, after I finish that ridiculous Everyman, which I’ve been dragging my feet about too long, to reading: I have new books, including Cormac McCarthy’s, The Road, which I look forward to because I adore bleakness and cannibalism, and Derek Hayes’ Historical Atlas of the United States. More on all that soon enough and eventually.

Meanwhile, a question: Do you make resolutions anymore, and if so, what sorts? For several years my one resolution was to learn something new. It’s how I picked up the guitar; it’s also how I found myself at the end of January one year playing Claudius in a production of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, which was fly, although any praise I got for my “acting” was a bald lie. I haven’t given up resolutions since, but I haven’t had any eureka! resolutions, either, and some, such as “Never have a baby sister,” have recently been made impossible to keep. Mostly, my recent resolutions have been mild attempts to reclaim something of the self I was before graduate school: to run again, for example, or actually to play the guitar I own (not, strictly speaking, a resolution, only a desire fruited by circumstance). I ask, of course, because I’m contemplating what to resolve this year. I have a few things in mind, but I wonder if they’re specific enough, or if they’re too ambitious. I mean, is it a good idea to resolve to do something, not including the breaking of addictions like nicotine or heroin, that will turn much of my everyday life on its head?



Cancel cable TV (did this years ago). Ration movie viewing (Netflix is great). Ration internet/computer use (HARD). Make love three times a week. Write everyday. Those are my resolutions.

I always resolve not to make any resolutions, and then I seem to end up having made some in spite of myself. This year it’s not snacking at work and, in a general and vague sense, not moping. Actually, I resolved to stop moping when I moved to Wyoming, and I’m getting a little better at it. I think. It does seem to involve spending a lot of time staring at a computer screen.


I never would have imagined that you’re capable of moping. I know I wouldn’t be able to keep that resolution.

Although I always have the predictable plan (I don’t call it a resolution, cuz that’ll jinx it) of upping the exercise frequency, I think this year I’ll start with more easily attainable goals—things like “play ball with cats more often each day” and “shave legs more frequently.” I can imagine success in these areas. Otherwise, forget it.

Yeah, L, I wouldn’t label you a moper, either.

And for the record, my “drastic changes” aren’t anything on the order of “have a sex change” or “become a vigilante.” It’s much more mundane than that, mostly requiring more diligent policing of my time.

Scott Esposito has an intriguing column about his resolution, such as it is, to read a few books. I generally tend to read read as the mood strikes me, but lists aren’t bad… and I like the notion of return: recognizing that reading is a skill, something like Gravity’s Rainbow would be a good test book for reading once, then reading again later to see how one’s progressed.

(Esposito looks forward; Laura looks back.)