Here just hours before 2011 arrives is that noblest of pursuits: a list of resolutions I will brush aside during the first week of the new year. Anyone can brush aside one resolution, two resolution, three resolutions … but here I have listed 26 resolutions. I can’t possibly brush all of them aside, can I? Just watch. I’ve already said, “Thanks but no thanks”, to five of them while typing this intro. No, I’m not going to tell you which. You’ll just have to guess. You’ll probably guess wrong, though. The mind of the Cajun Tomato is a whirlwind, a friendly whirlwind, but a whirlwind all the same. Well, it’s time to post this baby. May you have a wonderful evening and may 2011 bring you all the health and wealth your megachurch pastor promises.
1. Come out of retirement with the fury of Jordan when he put on the “Four Five.” I intend to score 55 against the Knicks next month in Madison Square Garden. That’s probably a metaphor for getting a job pumping other people’s gas, something I know I can do.
2. Continue making jokes about being retired until it becomes sad. Which is never. I’m going to tell my grandkids someday that I retired at 26. They will be confused. I won’t elaborate. They’ll think grandpa is crazy, curse their existence and promptly leave the nursing home.
3. Prove the haters wrong. I don’t even know if I have haters. Probably not enough to be relevant in the hip-hop universe. Oh well. This shouldn’t be on the list. Scratch it off. I don’t need haters; I need lovers. (<3 <3 <3 <3 swoon swoon swoon swoon)
4. (*aka the real No. 3*). Put good words on paper. Put bad words on paper. Put clean words on paper. Put dirty words on paper. Put words on paper. Make that paper. Stack that paper. Recycle that paper. Paper, paper, paper.
5. Sing everyday like it’s Sunday night at Joe’s Cellar in Portland. Sunday night is karaoke night, of course. SWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEETTTTTTT CAROOOOOOOOOLIIIIIIIINNNNEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!! WHOOOOOOOOOAAAAAA OOOOOOOOOOOOOH OOOOOOOOOOOOH!!!!!!!!
6. Learn to cook like a chef … or, better yet, like an adult. Now that I’ve kicked my fast food addiction — funny how not driving eliminates the drive-thru window option — I need to learn how to make tasty entrees. Or just continue eating lunch meat like its middle school. Mayo. Low-salt turkey. Wheat bread. It’s so dyn-o-mite.
7. Refuse to admit I ranked Drake too high on my favorite albums of the year list. This is self-explanatory.
8. Stay in touch with my friends from coast to coast. You shoot me your mailing address and I will drop you a line (or two) … literally two sentences and a salutation. “I’m good. How are you? Sincerely, Ray” This is part of my plan to single-handedly revive the postal service in this country. Think about how many letters would need to be mailed to have an actual conversation.
9. Improve my French diction. I like how the French language rolls off my tongue more so than English or Ebonics, my native dialects. Sadly, I only know a few French phrases. C’est la vie. Je ne sais pas. Je m’appelle Ray. Il habite a Portland. Comme ci comme ca. Ca va? Ca va bien! You get the Eiffel Tower postcard.
10. Regain my country strength. This has nothing to do with Gwyneth Paltrow’s new movie. She stole the term “country strong” from me. She is married to the Coldplay lead singer, who is the polar opposite of country strong. How am I going to get my country strength back? Easy. Lifting mad bales of hay, taming wild horses and drinking cartons of milk with one gulp.
11. Get True Blood abs. This has been a stated goal since like three weeks ago. That’s how serious I am about getting True Blood abs; I leaked my intentions well before the release of this screed. You need only watch 30 seconds of HBO’s “True Blood” vampire sex drama to know what True Blood abs are. This actually should be my No. 1 goal. Forget coming out of retirement like Jordan.
12. Wake up before noon on the reg. This might be the least reachable and most ambitious resolution on this list. I don’t sleep in Portland; I hibernate. I’m not a bear; I’m a man. I use semi-colons now; I’m so refined. Q: You know why I’m refined? A: Because I hibernate. Life comes full circle.
13. Find a way to watch Season Three of “Jersey Shore” even though I don’t have cable, and most people here find the show reprehensible. I might have to go to the coffee shop to watch the episodes online. I’ve got to create a plan with the quickness. Snooki, J-Woww, Situation and Co. are returning to the boob tube next week. Beat the beat, yo!
14. See Kanye West perform live. Or Lupe Fiasco. Or Tv On The Radio. Or Radiohead. Or Florence+The Machine. Or any of the awesome bands I haven’t seen in way too long (or forever). PS: Tv On The Radio, you’ve taken a year off. Make music again, please. Sincerely, Ray.
15. Be a little more ridiculous and absurd and random and inappropriate. I was too buttoned down in 2010. I look back at the year and realize I didn’t take enough chances. My heart told me move to Darfur. I ignored my heart and moved to Portland. I COULD BE IN DARFUR RIGHT NOW! (sigh)
16. Become Portland’s first 220-pound ginger male supermodel. This goes hand-in-hand with Resolution No. 1, No. 10, No. 11, and No. 12. I’m going to do it without becoming a pretty boy. I DID IT MYYYYYYYYYY WAYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!! Why hello Resolution No. 5! Nice to see you again!
17. Continue my ongoing diplomatic relations with Portland’s unemployed population. Random Unemployed Guy: “Excuse me, sir. Can you spare me a dollar? I’m unemployed and I’d like to get something to eat.” Me: “I feel you, man. I’m unemployed, too. Can you spare me a dollar? I need something to drink.” Oh, the connections you will make … with the unemployed. Dr. Seuss’s, er Ray Zeus’s new life handbook hitting the mean streets in 2011.
18. Multi-task like the grown ass man I am. Like right now … I have clothes finished washing, and yet I am writing, instead of putting them in the dryer. This is not an effective use of time. But it’s not 2011, yet. In 2011, I will stop typing, put the clothes in the dryer, and resume typing. Ah, who am I kidding? I am going do that right now.
19. (PAUSE)(Clothes now in dryer, HOO RAY!) Appreciate the beauty around me, whether it be people, nature, architecture, food, odd situations … find beauty in everything. Oh, and write more empty clichés that are on everybody else’s resolution lists to celebrate performing an adult task like putting wet clothes in the dryer.
20. Steer clear of Portland’s cougar population (or better yet, the world’s cougar population), regardless of how much they are on the prowl for young lions like me. Could be difficult. Cougars are always on the prowl. Cue Teddy Renois voice: “DUDE, SHE WANTS ME, BRUH!” I miss Teddy more than cougars. True statement.
21. Strike up a conversation with a random pretty lady in the coffee shop just so I can tell my dad I did. This one’s making me giggle. “But dad, I go there to write, not to talk to strangers.” “You’ll talk to somebody.” [Awkward silence on the phone] Imaginary conversation – Me: You like coffee? RPL: Um duh, I’m in a coffee shop. Me: I thought you were here for the free Internet. RPL: This conversation’s over. Me: Good. I need to call my dad, anyway.
22. Stop counting French fries as vegetables. Start counting them as fruits. Switch potato chips from fruit category to vegetable category. Accept that my diet is perfect. Watch self-esteem go through the roof.
23. This was Michael Jordan’s number before he put on the “Four Five”. That’s not a resolution. That’s more like a statement. What does it mean? Once I’ve mastered my first career, i.e., pumping gas for others, I should take on a second, more challenging, yet less fulfilling career, such as nagging strangers to donate to Children’s International. Remember when Jordan played minor league baseball. Yeah, that was forgettable.
24. Come up with more New Year’s Resolutions so I can write one for every year I’ve been alive. Still need two more. MUST. HAVE. NEW. NEW. YEAR’S. RESOLUTION. BY. TIME. RYAN. SEACREST. NEW. YEAR’S. PROGRAM. COMES. ON. (I think the periods at my disposal might just have gone on strike. That’s how much they hate Ryan Seacrest.)
25. Find it in my heart, not to love the Hoyt House cat, but to tolerate it, even though it blows up its litter box on the reg and chewed through my wall charger cord for my Mac Book. On the positive tip: Lil Bailey the cat has half of a Hitler mustache. That’s got to count for something, right? No? Didn’t think so. Good, that gives me more reason to hate him/her.
26. I’ve reached the Cajun Tomato 2011 New Year’s Resolutions summit. I want to thank all of you who supported me in 2010 through word, deed or in spirit. You were/are much appreciated, each and every one of you. I resolve to start 2011 with a bang. Hopefully, your New Year’s 2011 is one to remember, too. Cheers!