Aaaaand we’re back, folks! I hope your holiday break was filled with as many reality-TV marathons and flu-riddled Kleenexes as mine was.

As per tradition, I try to start off every spring semester with a column of New Year’s resolutions. Looking back on last year’s column o’ resolutions, however, I would say that my performance matches a Kardashian marriage: lots of enthusiastic money invested at the beginning, a very short amount of dedication in the middle, and in the end, I’m playing mediocre basketball by myself in New Jersey. Metaphorically speaking, that is.

For example, I resolved to “eliminate cliches from my writing, such as comparing anything to Hitler or saying anything is ‘on steroids.’” You know, the writing is on the wall, and my cliches are sticking out like sore thumbs. There’s no crying over spilled milk, though. I’ve paid the piper, hook, line and sinker, and I have to give the devil his due. Despite my checkered career, I’m cool as a cucumber, and chomping at the bit to nip this problem in the bud. I’ll leave no stone unturned in my columns . . . this day and age . . . the tip of the iceberg . . . on steroids.

Anyway, here are some of my new New Year’s Resolutions. I resolve to . . .

. . . keep up more with international news. I tried following the whole Arab Spring thing, but there were so many countries revolting that I got lost trying to keep up with which one had deposed its despot and which one had put on elections. This year, I think I’ll just pick one (i.e., Yemen, or Quebec) and root for it. Maybe start some sort of Democracy Fantasy League (“I’ll trade you Tunisia’s youth movement for Egypt’s and throw in some oil reserves”).

. . . treat college like an educational opportunity, not a series of flaming hoops that I, the circus dog wearing a tutu and a rubber nose, am forced to jump through. I know there are plenty of folks out there who would kill for a college education, and every time I skip a class, somewhere, a poor child’s lunch box opens and spills into the gutter. But I’m going to have to swallow a lot of pride (and special Resolution Juice) to get through another lesson on proper works-cited formatting.

. . . put away my Christmas decorations before February. Or at least before the presidential elections. 

. . . brew my own moonshine and market it as “Resolution Juice.” Sometimes, I just write things to make sure my mom is still reading my columns.

. . . eat better. Oh, sorry. That was supposed to say “eat butter.”

. . . find out what women love so much about Adele. I have a theory that both genders base their music preferences on what makes their driving experience the most pleasurable. Men like music that they can drum along with on their steering wheel, and women like music that they can sing along with passionately (with lots of eye-closing and hand gestures) at volumes that make them miss ambulance sirens. You can test this theory at stoplights.

. . . read a classic novel, instead of just telling people I read it and trying to remember the episode of Wishbone where they covered it. All I know about Tom Sawyer is that Jack Russell terriers look really cute in overalls and straw hats.

. . . be more considerate of my wife. Like finishing a column before midnight, for once.

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