I feel about New Year's resolutions the same way I feel about New Year's parties: in my experience they are neither especially useful nor particularly enjoyable, so why bother? However, there is something to be said for marking the passage of time. Generally, I'm a fan of using one's birthday to do this, coming as it does with a ready-made excuse not only for people to party, but to do so specifically in your honor at the place of your choosing bearing gifts for you.
I'm also a big fan of listmaking, and the annual odometer roll is as great an opportunity to look backward over what's gone down as it is forward to what one might like to experience.
And I've been dying for an excuse to do one of those "100 things" lists.
So, without further ado...
100 Things I've learned in 2004 (Part I)
- Cable TV kicks ass.
- Digital cable TV on your Cinema Display kicks Double Secret Probation ass.
- If you get a strange rash on your face, do not treat it with your leftover hemorrhoid cream.
- Nothing perks up a room like a fresh coat of paint.
- Except maybe a red sofa.
- And art.
- While it is not necessarily advisable, it is possible to take an excellent picture from a moving car while driving.
- You can avoid almost all bar chords with the capo.
- Working out is not as bad as you think it's going to be and the way it makes you feel is ten times better than you ever dreamed it could be.
- I can do three sets of 20 pushups.
- Boy pushups.
- If you want to get to the Westside in a timely fashion, avoid Olympic between Highland and Fairfax, Wilshire between La Cienega and Santa Monica and the 10 between 7am and 10pm.
- Angelyne shops at my supermarket.
- There is a diminishing point of returns in online dating and it's pretty firmly fixed at 18 months.
- There is such a thing as bad sex.
- Any kind of sex, including no sex, is preferable to bad sex.
- The best way to make a steak is to sear it on each side for two minutes in a white hot cast iron pan, then stick the whole kit-'n'-caboodle in a 350ºF oven for 6 minutes per inch of thickness.
- If you live in an apartment, you should probably disconnect the smoke alarm before doing this.
- As long as there are no kids involved, you do not have to spend one single second in a relationship you're better off dispensing with.
- Rilo Kiley kicks ass.
- So does Ollabelle.
- Ditto Raul Malo.
- Billy Idol is oddly compelling in person, even though he is a little skeevy and shouldn't be taking off his shirt in public anymore.
- Batch processing in Photoshop will add years to the life of your wrist tendons.
- When you're getting ready to produce a show, figure out in advance how much everything will cost, then double it.
- If you glue magnets to the backs of your remotes, you will never lose them as long as you watch TV near something made of metal.
- As if the above didn't prove it, I am a geek.
- Woodford Reserve is better than Maker's Mark, but Maker's Mark is better than Knob Creek.
- There are cool art galleries in L.A.
- There is one really cool gallery in Cambria. Yes, Cambria.
- No, it isn't any of these.
- No, I won't tell you what it is, not until a certain painting I have been lusting after for months is safely in my clutches.
- You can still get a free ($40) pair of shoes if you are in one of the performers' unions, but they do not make it easy to do so.
- Knowing how to sew your own curtains is very empowering.
- LACC is a great place to learn, even if their website is ass.
- If you press *70, you can keep other calls from ringing through when you're on the phone.
- Just because a play is at the Taper and the playwright has suffered inordinately does not mean it is good, even if everyone in the theater jumps to their feet at the curtain.
- Just because a play is at the Ahmanson and the house is woefully empty does not mean it is not fantastic, even if you are the only one on your feet at the curtain.
- There is a diet that is a bigger pain in the ass than the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.
- It is called the Candida Diet.
- If you spend your summer eating dates stuffed with cheese wrapped in prosciutto and washing them down with large quantities of red wine, it is almost guaranteed that you'll end up having to go on it.
- That cobbler everyone said could make you an exact copy for $150 of the Prada pumps you bought for $300 but that came in the wrong size cannot, as it happens, do so.
- Those stovetop espresso makers make a mean cuppa.
- The best color toenail polish is silver.
- Just because someone is a dentist does not mean he is better at cleaning your teeth than a hygienist.
- The ROI on making your bed every day is surprisingly high.
- The ROI on emptying your garbage every day is, surprisingly, not.
- Aphids and ants share a symbiotic relationship on hibiscus plants.
- Liquid ginger in seltzer is a pretty good substitute for a Charger.
- When you blog, amazing things happen.
Read Part 2 here.