my 2011 (gasp!) resolutions

In an attempt to be more accountable (public acknowledgment is a wondrous form of keeping me in check), i crafted a list of goals (of resolutions) for 2011. This litany was much more difficult to construct than i thought. Deciding what i was comfortable sharing and goals i truly want to reach was interesting.

So without further ado, i, macario.james, with utmost diligence, before the gods, deceased and yet alive, resolve to:

  • Take saxophone lessons In my continued quest to augment myself, i must learn to play an instrument. Being that i believe jazz is the divine music, i need to learn to play the instrument i love to hear most. Plus, since i no longer play basketball or any sport regularly, i figure getting my wind endurance back could happen with months, years of saxophone playing. Maybe. lol.
  • Learn to play the guitar I’m an autodidacticism proponent, so this is a no-brainer. My brother taught himself how to play, so i’m sure i could learn, too. I want an acoustic guitar at first; they seem so bad ass lol.
  • Publish my first book of poetry (self-published or traditionally)I hope i’ll have enough new and revised material to get the process rolling of publishing my first book of poetry, dust.
  • Develop a WordPress theme for public release using the Thesis framework A firm believer and supporter of FOSS (free and open source software) and WordPress, i want to contribute to both communities. The theme is tentatively titled scholar. An avid note-taker and highlighter of passages from books, magazines and websites, i want a digital realm to store them and my own writings as well. I want it to be searchable; to showcase related passages and books (based on author and article content); to have a minimalistic and clean aesthetic. For me, it will be a digital journal/diary or something like my own personal JSTOR. My ultimate goal is for it to be an asset for fellow students, scholars, professors, etc. And, if not, at least it’ll be a great learning experience.
  • Publish an ebook on how to secure your name on the Internet As i brought up in my bio, i am a control freak when it comes to my own name and identity on the web. I’ve had friends and clients ask me how to make their search results for their company or name the #1 hit on Google. It’s not an easy, quick process, but there are ways to increase visibility. This ebook will be a guide and case study of securing someone’s name and identity on the Web. Should be fun.
  • Construct and stick to a reading regiment For each month of 2011, i want to focus on a particular genre of books. So, for January, i plan on reading only non-fiction/history. These don’t include books for school, only for leisure and own auspices. In the past, i’ve been too wishy-washy, too mercurial with my reading habits. I think structure deserves a shot this year. By the end of the month, i hope to unveil a new section to this blog, one focusing on book reviews.
  • Discover my ancestral roots and family lineage I’ve touched on this before, of being of mixed “racial” heritage. I’m currently awaiting DNA genealogy results from 23AndMe. My family, like many American families, is disjointed and without any person or place serving as family historian. I want to first be able to know as much about my ancestry as possible, and then to be able to share that with my relatives.
  • Curtail my drinking Continuing with the theme above, alcoholism runs in my family; it’s been the bane for many relationships. Too often i’ll resort to the liquid goodness in a futile attempt to get out of the dumps. It’s a failing endeavor. The issue, though, isn’t excessive drinking that hinders productivity, or that it’s a daily occurrence resulting in blackouts; it’s a pastime that is an on-going detriment to my overall mood and disposition via increased reliance during social settings and activities. It may only be two or three days a week, but over six months of the same activities, it begins to influence my mental state. I parallel it to the diminishing return of a laptop battery: keep it charging all the time and eventually its max capacity goes from 100% to 92% then 70% and so forth. That’s how i feel after months of recreational and social drinking: my overall mood is more dour, more cynical; i become more irritable and restless. I need to return to states of lucidity and cheerfulness.
  • Learn to drive Nope. I don’t drive. Yes, i’m in my mid-twenties. I’m a born-and-raised New Yorker. No need to drive. So, what’s changed? I plan to emigrate from New York within the next three to five years, so i will have no choice but to drive. I think it’s time i at least get my learner’s permit lol. Oh, and no, i won’t drink and drive. Lack of driving is most likely an added reason why i indulge in alcohol consumption: i have no responsibility to drive, only to walk or be driven home. I have free reign.
  • Resume learning French I have a long-standing goal of being able to read and write French at least half as well as English; speaking well isn’t as high a priority. I’m going to take a page out of James Weldon Johnson’s book by initially memorizing 300-500 words, reading newspapers and magazines. I’m thinking about Rosetta Stone, too; but it’s expensive.
  • Blog five times a week, minimally, on Mental Ephemera I need to write often, but also to publish. If nothing is put forth externally, what’s the use in manufacturing it internally? If I can get back to 2009 levels of blogging at least once daily (weekdays), it will give me 240 posts annually. Over/under of 10-20, and i’ll be content with that.

That wasn’t that bad. I look forward to 2012 when i can look back at this post and see how well i did.

Enjoy your 2011!