I’ve decided to break with my tradition of not making New Year’s Resolutions  this year and actually make some. And, as a promise made to yourself is easily forgotten whereas one made to the world is somewhat less so , here are my resolutions. Look upon them, ye mighty, and despair !
1) Be more selfish
One of my major annoyances from last year was the sheer number of people who asked me for money  and just expected to get it. But what really chapped my hide was that many of these folks demanded money for essentials while frittering away their own money on trivialities. So I’ve decided to take a break from being the “First National Bank of John”. If someone asks me for money this year, I will take a leaf from Heinlein and simply tell them “No” .
2) Be more sinful
It says something when your mother gives you a beer stein and your sister-in-law gives you a cigar case for Christmas. They told me that I didn’t have enough vices and needed to cultivate more. So I will. This year, I’ll spend more time dancing, drinking, laughing, going to movies, eating, smoking, blogging, writing, and doing all the other things that are frowned upon in soi disant “polite society”. Heck, I might even think about dating again .
3) Live like I’m a grad student
I’ve been looking over my finances (as I do every two weeks, in order to keep myself on the fiscally straight and narrow), and I’ve noticed a troubling trend. Though my income has increased enormously, so have my expenditures. And though most of them were either necessary (e.g., house repairs) or purely personal and therefore essential (e.g., trips to far-away places), there have been a number of frivolous expenses as well. As a result, I’ve only saved about half of my income .
Now, a large part of this has been deliberate on my part. Rather than saving money, I have focused on reducing debt. As a result, my total indebtedness has decreased by more than 15% in the past five years, and my short-term debt (credit cards and such) is effectively zero. But part of it has been a slide in standards on my part. I used to have to budget for trips and save up the money in advance. Now I can simply pay for it afterwards, which leads to spending more money than I should have.
So I’m going back to having accounts for different purposes and using the money in an account only for that. I’ll have a vacation account and one for house repairs and one for fun. And when the money is gone from any of those accounts, that is it – that’s all that can be done. That is how I lived as a graduate student, when I had little money and lots of fun, and that’s how I’ll live this year.
4) Have more fun
Of late, I’ve allowed my trivial health concerns to limit my life. I’ve not been able to exercise  nor to drink nor to smoke nor to basically have any fun. In effect, I’ve been living the part of the protagonist in the old joke about living to be a hundred . And I don’t like it. So I’m going to have more fun. Sure, it might mean that I never live to see 97 . But I will see a lot more of life in the years that I do live.
So there are my resolutions. What are yours?
 Why don’t I make resolutions? Because they are rarely practical (e.g., “Lose weight” sounds great but is woefully short on the mechanics of how to do so) and even more rarely kept (because of those absent details).
 Which means I hope to keep these resolutions in effect for at least a month…
 Poetic geek points for the reference!
 Note that this is different than those times that I offered money to folks who needed a hand.
 However, I will be somewhat less brusque than he suggests, unless the person insists on it.
 But don’t bet on it. As the prophet said, “Marriage is a young man’s folly and an old man’s comfort.” Since I fit neither of those categories, I’ll stay single a bit longer. Say until I’m 97.
 Mostly in the form of retirement funds and real estate. Though both of these are good investments, neither of them is really liquid (i.e., something that can be turned into usable cash).
 The great swamp adventure happened when the doctor told me that I was allowed a little exercise. Obviously, he and I had different ideas of what “a little” meant…
 In case you haven’t hear it, the joke goes like this: ‘
A guy goes to his doctor and says “Doc, I want to live to be a hundred.”
So the doctor looks him over and says “First, you need to stop smoking.”
“No problem, doc – I don’t smoke.”
“OK, then you need to give up drinking.”
“No sweat, doc – I don’t drink.”
“You have to cut out all fatty foods.”
“Not a problem, doc – I’m a strict vegetarian and I never touch vegetable oil.”
“And you should stop having risky sex.”
“I don’t have sex at all, doc.”
At this, the doctor looks at the guy quizzically and asks “Then why do you want to live to be a hundred?”