Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year’s resolutions.

Only idiots make New Year’s resolutions because everyone knows that noone can keep any resolution they make. I gave up making NYRs in about, oh, 1970 something. That’s when I figured out it was pointless. I had made resolutions which I knew would be really hard to stick to.

In 1988 I resolved to give up smoking. I took it up again on the afternoon of the 1st January 1989. I was stressed. I was with the future husbastard and his family, in Bundaberg. It was hot and humid and it was hard to sleep, the bed was awful, old and saggy, with a board under it which only kept the bed up from my head to just past my hips. Just dreadful trying to sleep there. No flyscreens... yuck. The next day the ex-to-be-but-not-betrothed-yet pitched a fit and threw a tantrum and took off to the beach on his own.

I should have known then that he had issues. (And that’s a whole other story.)

The resolution was to give up smoking. The ex didn’t smoke and I decided that I needed to do something as cigarettes were getting a bit pricey. I tried to go cold turkey on new year’s day, but it didn’t work. What I did was cut back so that I smoked the weakest strength of cigarettes. Then I cut back on the number of cigarettes I smoked, I just limited more where I could smoke. Smoking at work or at home was banned, Telecom had banned smoking on premises and the ex didn’t smoke so in deference to him I didn’t smoke inside at all. Eventually I was able to cut back smoking to about only a few a day and the cigarettes were getting stale before I smoked them. Stirling Menthol when I finished smoking, they were the very lightest for tar and nicotine. Cadging cigarettes from others was not a good idea as they were way too strong for me to smoke.

I cut back the tar and nicotine from the day that I decided to give up, 31 December 1988.

It took me a little longer to completely stop smoking. Twentieth of July 1990. You know that none of my friends noticed that I had given up smoking until about, oh, five to eight years later.

There was one lapse at Christmas 1990. It was a Winfield green. It was so awful I couldn’t smoke it. I was cured. I haven’t had a cigarette since.

That’s the only resolution I made which I kept.

People who make New Year’ Resolutions are idiots. That’s why I don’t make them.

In 2007 I lost 10kg and had another, oh, 25 to go. I’ve since put on fi.. er, a few kilos, I haven’t been sticking to the regime. This year, I resolve to lose weight.



RebeccaH said...

Never made any serious resolutions. At least not any I could keep. Health forced me to give up most of my vices, anyway (happily, smoking was never an issue for me). So I usually resolve something like, "I vow not to flirt with men who are younger than my children", or "I vow to do housework promptly, unless I don't feel like it". Something like that.

kc said...

Mine are about like yours, Rebecca! Though I have added one this year that I'm quite serious about - whining (what do you Aussies call it...whinging?). Gonna try to watch how & how much I talk about myself.

Except at Kae's blog!!!

Skeeter said...

Kae, I found giving the ciggies away very easy when I was in my forties.
It was so easy, I did it four times over a two-year period.

Anonymous said...

(OT) Speaking of idiots, how many Vietnam vets you know who think 'Apocalypse Now' is serious comment on that war? And who can casually contemplate 'media images' of 'napalm' without getting disturbed?

Someone perhaps, for whom the Vietnam war was a welcome opportunity to reinforce older ingrained provincial prejudices of 'Oversexed overpaid and overhere'. All about 'Me' rather than any poor dead Asian people filling out the background of his tableaux.

Who, by his own admission, gave his military superiors trouble because of his precious narcissistic ego and sense of superiority nurtured by 2 years in teachers college, yet now uses his military experience to gain attention from younger mil folk.

Not that I've got anyone special in mind.

But my uncle flew in WWII and never spoke a casual word about it to his dying day. Nor would he have used it loosely in any partisan or political debate, and would get very angry if anyone else did, or if anything other than verifiable facts on the subject were presented anywhere. How I miss him and the old dominance of the views of his 'greatest generation' when I was younger.

So I begin the new year looking back at what has been lost and lamenting at what is left.

kae said...

Skeeter, I only gave up the once.

It took from Jan 1, 1989 to July 20, 1990 for me to stop.

Bruce, Hi!

I can't imagine who you'd be talking about.

Most people I know who don't agree with Tim Blair and other right thinking bloggers/journalists don't bother to comment or even read the articles by those they don't agree with.

I most certainly don't read left blogs or rags because they make me cranky with how stupid they are.

I don't understand why they bother to troll over to Tim's and make silly comments.

There are many commenters at Blairs and Bolt's that I don't bother reading, and some posts which don't interest me I also don't bother with.

My guess is Digital Dude.

1735099 said...

"(OT) Speaking of idiots…….

Someone perhaps……….. tableaux.

Who, by his own admission ………….folk."

Thanks for the comment. It's strange that you (or Kae) weren't prepared to identify me. I'll be charitable and assume that you didn't want to hurt my feelings. That's unnecessary - I have a thick hide. If Kae has any integrity she'll allow me to defend myself. If this appears unedited, we will know she has.

I'll be as brief as I can –

I have never commented on "Apocalypse Now". For what it's worth, that movie has as much relevance to the reality of Vietnam as Baz Luhrmann's "Australia" has to Australian history. "The Odd Angry Shot" is a much better portrayal of Australians in Vietnam.
"Someone perhaps..."
Your comment about "ingrained provincial prejudices" is interesting. Would the opinions I express be transformed into well-informed comment if they agreed with yours? I was in a better position than most to judge.
As to "All about me", and "poor dead Asian people", are you saying I should refrain from comment about my experiences? Perhaps if more veterans attempted to convey the reality of military conflict, it might be less likely in the future. It may interest you to know that I travel regularly to South Vietnam at my own expense and am developing a project to assist Vietnamese teachers working with children with congenital defects. Incidence rates for these impairments are very high in SVN.
Responding to "gave his military superiors trouble.." Given that I was conscripted to fight in a war I didn't support at the beginning of what was my chosen profession, a degree of resentment was probably pretty likely. I was brought up by my father (a WW2 veteran), to speak up if I believe something is wrong or unfair. I've seen nothing in the last sixty years to suggest that value is unfounded.
As to "gaining attention", I have been invited to present source material on Vietnam to schools, and do so on a semi-regular basis. This developed because of my involvement in my local educational community, both as a parent and school principal. I have presented in both private and public schools in a very conservative community. I use primary source material (mostly photos and correspondence – my letters home), and present it without interpretation. At no time have I ever expressed a personal opinion about our involvement in Vietnam. I present the material and allow the students to make up their own minds.
With my large family and the responsibilities that go with that, part-time consultancy work in bush schools, travel, projects and committee work, I get all the attention I need. The family joke is that I disappear regularly westwards to escape.
Blogging and commentary is a hobby that is isn't compromised by aging. I'll continue to post. You don't have to read what I post, but refrain, please from name-calling. It doesn't become you.

kae said...

Dear DigiDude
Welcome. The duct tape across the computer didn’t last for long – damn, this blogging and commenting is addictive, huh?
A few things I’d like to say.
My flesh-and-blood/face-to-face friends sometimes don't get along, or are not friends with eachother. These friends have different personalities, and different points of view on many subjects. I dont expect all my friends to be pally and best friends forever, life and friendship isn't like that. I love my friends because each of them with their different perspectives and points of view and passions (Oh, how I hate the overuse of that word), help me to notice things which I haven’t seen before , and enrich my life with their diversity.
Some of my friends are more left than right. I try not to talk politics and so on with them, it only leads to pain, mine! (Although there are a few who I can talk with, even though we don’t entirely agree on some subjects, as we have enough in common to be able to get by our diferences of opinion on matters.)
You are a smart man, unfortunately your experiences have made you who you are – I say unfortunatly because some of those experiences seem to have been negative. I also think that you are a teacher from “the old school”, a bit like my mother – personal opinion is not something that you project on children (not sure what age you taught), and teaching children the three r’s is the go – although these days teachers are expecte to be much more than just a teacher, and many parents have no respect for teachers or their job, and offer no support to the education of their child/ren.
I think I am a little offended by this:
It's strange that you (or Kae) weren't prepared to identify me. I'll be charitable and assume that you didn't want to hurt my feelings. That's unnecessary - I have a thick hide. If Kae has any integrity she'll allow me to defend myself. If this appears unedited, we will know she has.
I did indentify you, Digital Dude. So kind of you to be “charitable” to me. Glad to know that you have a “thick hide”, you shouldn’t be offended if I comment on the blogs that I think you’re making a dill of yourself or tiresomely flogging the same half-dead horse?
If I have any integrity I’ll allow you to defend yourself? Go right ahead. The only comments I have deleted have been some trolls trying to stir up trouble and ones I’ve been asked to delete (and my ones where I’ve realised I’ve made a mistake). You can’t edit comments in Blogger, it’s all or nothing.
In Blogger you can delete your own comments, using the trash can at the bottom of your comment (this only works if you log on as you, if it is an anonymous comment you can’t delete it).

I hope I’ve punctuated that correctly and the grammar is good, Teacher.

kae said...

Sorry that comment is all bunched up together, I did write it in Word and cut n' paste.

Anonymous said...

Standard narcissistic or psychopathic behaviour:

Projecting one's own traits and motivations onto others, the goal being to create a whirlpool around oneself - drawing all towards the beatific vision. How can anyone not want to endlessly behold the all-pervasive 'Me! Me! Me!'

Classic internet trolling.

1735099 said...


The only trolling I've ever done is for Mackerel. I'll admit to stirring occasionally, mainly to enjoy the shrieks of outrage from subscribers to Bolt and Blair.
Narcissus was a handsome Greek youth. I'll admit to handsome, but I'm not Greek. If I remember my Psychology 101 accurately, a psychopath is defined by the need for gratification in criminal, sexual, or aggressive impulses. Thanks for the on-line analysis, but I'll go for a second opinion. Do you charge the common fee?

1735099 said...

Gidday Kae

You're right, blogging is addictive, and I enjoy it because of the opportunity for dialogue it provides with individuals from a wide range of backgrounds. You learn so much from people who think differently, and this continued learning is the best antidote to aging there is. You could call this process "antidotage" which was second choice for my blog's title when I set it up last year. Your blog is refreshing because there's nothing contrived about it.

I'm not sure that "left" and "right" apply any more. If you broach it with Millennials like my youngest, they have no idea of the concept, and I think it will die with my generation.

Experiences are what you make of them. The cliché "what doesn't kill you makes you strong" holds true. This applies to Vietnam the same as to anything else.

My mother was also a teacher (as was my dad). Mum belonged to the generation of female teachers who had to resign when they married, and consequently she resigned and was re-appointed four times in total before the rules changed. She had six children in all, and taught for fifty years. She ran my dad's little bush school from 1942 until 1946 when he was in the RAAF.

I intended no offence in my remark about not being identified. The use of my regimental number has been criticised roundly by some and I assumed you weren't using it for that reason. My view is that I didn't ask for that number, was given it whether I wanted it or not, so now believe that it's mine to use as I please.

I've taught all ages, but after returning from Vietnam moved into teaching kids with disabilities and have been working in that field in a variety of capacities ever since.

My blog never censors comments. Yours seems set to be set up the same. I can't see the point in setting up a forum for discussion and then removing dissenters. This is like cooking without seasoning. It removes any flavour.

*Grammar – 10/10
Spelling - 7/10 (diferences, unfortunatly, indentify)
Punctuation – 10/10

*(You did bring it up! They look like typos to me – like patios for patois).

kae said...

LOL Teach.
My mark is pretty good, but I'm disappointed (with myself) about my spelling/typo mistakes - you do realise that if someone else had written it I'd have seen them immediately? I call it "red pen syndrome", I think it's genetic, you get it from a teacher parent.
Of course I often don't see my own, I like to fix them if I can. (Unfortunately, I have to edit a couple of publications at work.... I get that way that I can no longer see the errors because I've seen the publication so many times before, as I also assemble one publication so I know the information. After it's formatted for publication I have to check it again, and funnily enough all the italics and some punctuation disappear, so I start again.)

I use the left/right to identify a point of view.

kc said...

Ya do just fine from THIS point of view, Kae. As Child, Grandchild, Niece, Aunt, Cousin and Friend of teachers (& being a bit of one myself, at the preschool age), I know we ALL make mistakes in spelling, grammar, & punctuation. Those are forgivable, in my opinion, based on the fact that many who blog & comment here are ALSO doing something else at the same wondering why the Toddler Pixie is so quiet...& the cat isn't!

Many of the perceived mistakes are simply an attempt at colloquialisms or a more casual attitude, in my case. I pick blogs to read where a comment by me won't be picked apart by the professional educators. I have a thinner skin than some & less formal education than most of my online friends. I'm not here to get a grade, I'm here to find interesting, amusing points of view & have some fun meeting some people otherwise out of my 'neighborhood.'

When the regular commenters at Tim's welcomed me in from lurking a few years back, I was THRILLED. Now I comment at some of the spinoffs, where I feel quite 'at home' despite my lack of credentials.

So, don't change anything, Kae - Mr. Numbers seems to feel a strong need to fling opinion & viewpoints around. It's YOUR blog, if it gets offensive, I believe you'll fling right back.

I admire that in a person.