Resolution Week

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Don't worry Facebook friends, I'm not going this route

Posted By on 01.11.12 at 03:45 PM

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Last Friday, for Resolution Week on the Bleader, I blogged—OK, whined—about having to quit smoking for a third time after a foolish (and foolhardy) lapse. Thanks in part to catching a terrible cold, I think I've succeeded. But I have a long list of other resolutions: cook at home more, exercise more, etc etc. The usual.

So my eye was caught by this piece in Sunday's New York Times. In it, Science Times columnist John Tierney, coauthor of a book on willpower, assures the reader that you're more likely to achieve your goal if you make a formal resolution and stick to it throughout the month of January, then adds that "with a few relatively painless strategies and new digital tools, you can significantly boost your odds of success."

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Saturday, January 7, 2012

NBA resolution: Walk less, not more

Posted By on 01.07.12 at 05:58 PM

Watch that pivot foot, Kobe.
When the National Hockey League went through labor strife, it used the opportunity to reform the sport. Along the way, it added rules changes to open up the game, such as moving the nets out from the boards to create more space behind them, pinching the blue lines together toward center ice for the same reason, and allowing the two-line pass. It also stopped permitting players to freeze the puck along the boards, which has done much to speed up the game, as anyone who remembers all those stoppages and ensuing face-offs can attest. But when the National Basketball Association had the opportunity to make some necessary rules changes while it was rewriting its labor deal, it was all too eager to get back to business as usual—including the utter scrapping of the rule against traveling.

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Friday, January 6, 2012

Once burned, thrice shy

Posted By on 01.06.12 at 11:00 AM

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The first time I lapsed was in the mid-aughts. I was driving to O'Hare to pick up my mother, and was so anxious about what I'd find that I stopped at a convenience store for a pack of Camel Filters. I hadn't smoked in a couple of years, but, boy, did it sink back in with a vengeance. I got to the airport, parked the car, conducted a somewhat frantic search, and found my mom in the wrong terminal, wearing a large wooden cross and chatting amiably with a stranger.

I must confess I continued chain smoking throughout her visit, shepherding her to Wrigley Field, paying $50 bucks for parking, leaving her with a vendor for safekeeping, etc, etc. "Oh, Kathleen, just stop it," she'd say of my puffing. But that took me a while.

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Say you want a resolution?

Posted By on 01.06.12 at 08:00 AM

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Resolutions? In January? In Chicago? Pishposh, I say! Humbug! If we want resolutions that mean anything, we ought to move New Year's Day to May 1.

Here in the so-called temperate zone, most conventional plans for self-improvement are subverted as soon as the sun goes south for the winter. It's plain foolish to tell yourself you're going to stop overeating at precisely the moment in the year when your body is crying out for a nice, warm, protective layer of fat. Or to promise to start exercising just when the trip to the gym is fraught with ice-glazed danger. Did you decide to learn a new skill or improve your mind? Good luck doing it on one of those short, gray, frigid days that cry out for a long nap. And if your goal is to be more cheerful, well, you can try that while digging out your car. Under the circumstances, the only truly doable commitments are to watch more TV, sit by more fireplaces, buy more blankets, and make more plane reservations.

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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Rahm swears off swearing for 2012

Posted By on 01.05.12 at 08:00 AM

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For his New Year's resolution, Mayor Emanuel has decided to confront what he perceives as his lone weakness: his tendency toward indelicate expression. Or, as the mayor himself has put it to confidantes: "I'd like to do something about my potty mouth."

According to irreputable sources, the mayor informed his closest advisers of the resolution during a New Year's Eve conference call from Buenos Aires, where he was vacationing with his family. "No more cussing for me, and I am not fudging kidding," Emanuel said.

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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A resolution for 2012: Watch more Indian movies

Posted By on 01.04.12 at 08:00 AM

Satyajit Ray
  • Satyajit Ray
During my recent interview with Popular Electronics’ Ahmed Meniar, I asked him to recommend some good Indian movies. I wasn’t just making conversation: as my knowledge of Indian cinema is so minimal, I can use all the recommendations I can get. For some time, though, I’ve had an idea of what I’ve been missing. My limited exposure to the films of Satyajit Ray hinted at a major body of work I’ve only started to explore, and Madlib’s remix album Beat Konducta in India (which I’ve had in steady rotation since 2007) has given me a taste of the grand entertainment that is the Bollywood musical.

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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A resolution for 2012: A more comprehensive and specific approach to writing about art

Posted By on 01.03.12 at 08:00 AM

Flying Lotuss Cosmogramma
  • Flying Lotus's "Cosmogramma"
I’ve spent some time recently, mostly in the past few days but also in the rest of 2011, thinking about the idea of “originality.” Most of my writing gigs before working at the Reader were music-related, and one thing that most people writing about music bemoan, both recently and in the past, is a lack of originality. This has been an especially resonant issue with critics since the rise of the Internet, when music has been more available and attainable than ever. For serious listeners, this has presented an interesting paradox: Now that we can hear everything, it’s likewise easier for us to hear contemporary music’s influences, and concordantly, to pinpoint just how imitative or derivative the music is of a past artist’s work.

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Monday, January 2, 2012

Nixon, Mayor Rahm, Herman Cain, and Pam Grieronly in the Reader!

Posted By on 01.02.12 at 08:00 AM

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One of my resolutions for this year is to watch all the movies on J.R. Jones's list of great movies from last year.

Got a ways to go, as so far I've only seen one—Bridesmaids. Though in my defense, I've seen it three times.

I love you, Kristen Wiig!

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