The only thing better than a good blog is a really good blog within a good blog. It’s kind of like when a bartender decides to upgrade your second drink to top shelf during a 2-for-1 happy hour.
I have no shame in admitting I’m leaning on Scott Hansen for this one. I’m simply playing the role of advocate. He’s the star.
I first met Hansen, a Maple Grove resident, when I wrote about him in the July 2010 issue of Maple Grove Magazine. We met for a lunch interview, which turned into the most entertaining interview or lunch (let alone both) I can remember. I was hooked. He invited me to a couple shows and even to see him and his close friend Louie Anderson guest host the KQRS Morning Show. I learned quickly that Jay Leno wasn’t lying when he said “[Hansen] is funny all of the time.”
Whether they admit it or not—most people who entertain for a living, whether it be athletes, musicians, actors, or comedians—take plays off. I don’t think Hansen knows how to. His brain is simply wired to be funny.
Don’t take my word for it. Go see Hansen in his hometown element at Maple Tavern Bar and Grill as he performs a standup New Year’s Eve Comedy Show (one at 7 p.m. and one at 9 p.m.) As far as New Year’s Eve entertainment is concerned, the $20 for advanced tickets and $25 for day-of tickets are about as reasonably priced as you’ll find. If you want to get fancy, you can get a front-row VIP table for four with champagne for $150 (limited table available).
Before you go, check out Scott’s New Year’s Resolution Revolution blog, aka the really good blog that rescued my blog:
New Year’s Resolution Revolution
As the end of the year approaches, I am forced to confront the New Year’s resolutions that I made last year. It is time for me to compile a list of the promises to myself that I completely ignored for 365 days.
Instead of being hard on myself, and my lack of ability to achieve a personal upgrade, I must try to embrace the positive view of my personal, slipshod, power of self-improvement. I hereby acknowledge that I am a success at failing to fulfill resolutions.
I know that I am not alone in this annual humiliation. I am not the only person that makes a resolution and then fails to fulfill the commitment. To support my belief, I began scouring the internet for data. Surely I am not uniquely inadequate.
While scrolling through a conglomerate of websites and blogs filled with indiscriminately concocted opinions and fictitiously formulated facts, I found a list of the Top Ten New Year’s Resolutions That People Fail to Keep. The article immediately caught my attention like a shiny fishing lure to a hungry trout.
Note: It should be admitted here that I also made a resolution two years ago to maintain focus while researching on the internet. As previously confessed, I am consistent in my lack of commitment.
The list I found was interesting for two reasons.
1. Nearly all of the 10 resolutions have been a part of my annually-bungled promises. It was almost a checklist of my own breakdowns. The list could serve as my personal inventory of failures to change my life.
2. The list was researched by scientists (and scientists are always right) and based upon figures checked by a reputable accounting firm (and accountants are always honest). These always right and always honest people had made a list of resolutions that over 10,000 people had admitted to failing to fulfill.
The reported breakdown of the 10,000 people was called a “sample group.” This means it represents only a thimble full of the actual amount of people that can’t keep a promise to themselves. This was great news!
To say that I was pleased is an understatement. Not only was I allied with my first sample group, but based upon my score in surveys from women’s magazines—which I took while waiting in the doctors office—I was a leader in my field.
If you do not understand my joy, be not confused. It is because I am an optimist. The account represents, in a positive manner, my near-perfect consistency to fail. The list also shows that millions of people share my blunders. I am not only good at not fulfilling my resolutions. Now I know that millions of people share this annual dilemma.
To paraphrase the movie Close Encounters, “I am not alone!”
Since I am now the leader of a sample group, I must assume some responsibility. I must reach out to these people. I believe that I can help solve some of their foibles by sharing my shortcomings and personal solutions. Let’s look at this list.
On the top of most resolution lists is spending more time with family. This seems like an easy task. A few phone calls or attempts at social networking, and this can be achieved. The problem I ran into in 2012 was that while I was trying to spend more time with my family, my grown children were trying to spend more time with their new families. When I got there, they were gone.
To help this problem I tried to reduce my workload. But now that my job is less demanding of my time, my kids are beginning their careers. In an economy that demands focus and discipline, they are required to work and support their families. This leaves me at home during the day, bored, cruising the internet and watching Jerry Springer. While my children are leading productive lives, I am trying to avoid spending my savings on eBay and questioning the paternity of every family member. “You are NOT the father!”
What happened to my family? Weren’t these kids constantly demanding my precious time just a short time ago? Now if I am able to match an insidious combination of text messages, tweets, emails and pokes, I just may get a glimpse of someone from within my common gene pool.
My solution for 2012 is to adopt a highway. I resolve to put my emblazoned moniker on a fluorescent sign on the side of an orphaned side road.
This way when I miss my family, I can rev up the Chevy and head down my foster freeway. It is just as rewarding to see my name on a sign as a proud parent of a paved pathway as finding out that I have been tagged “Happy Belated Birthday” in the Facebook world of one of my children. My one-mile stretch of County Highway 109 will always be there when I am lonely. “You ARE my highway!”
Lots of people vow to lose weight in the New Year. In 2011 I actually succeeded in this. I got on the Atkins cattle truck (bandwagon seems inappropriate) and lost 40 pounds. I got healthy the Atkins way. For nearly two months, I ate bacon, steak, ribs, hamburger and bratwurst. I topped them off with whipped cream, butter and fried eggs. I ate a salad once in July…on a dare. I lost weight and most of my gastro-intestinal tract.
My problem wasn’t the diet. The problem was that no one noticed my weight loss. I guess that my shedding of 40 pounds, when you start at my size, is like giving Lasik surgery to the Elephant Man. It’s a start. But does it really make a big difference?
My solution to dieting in 2012 is to not resolve to lose weight. Instead I resolve to buy bigger clothes. My reason is simple. The main reason to diet is to have people approach you and say, “You look great. Have you lost weight?” It’s obvious that their memory of your rotund form has been obscured. They are not sure of what you looked like the last time they saw you. This makes the perfect opportunity to help build your self esteem.
For that reason, in 2012 I vow to treat myself to a super-sized closet of corpulent clothing that will hang from my body like an octogenarian’s excess arm flesh. I want clothes that will make a Shar Pei pelt look tight next to Joan River’s face. I want trousers that I can pull up to my neck with enough extra space to hide a plasma screen, a microwave and a hotel refrigerator. I want my pants held up by a belt twice wrapped around my body that is long enough to circumnavigate Donald Trump’s ego. I want a shirt that can catch the wind and sail me to the New World. You get the idea.
I guarantee that sometime in January someone will say to me, “Scott, your clothes are falling off of you. Have you lost weight?” My response will be, “Yes I have. Does it show?”
Some of the other top resolutions are to quit smoking, quit drinking, or get out of debt. To me, these go hand-in-hand. If you quit smoking and drinking you will be able to pay your bills.
Two of these resolutions would be easy for me to fulfill. I have never smoked a cigarette in my life and I only drink when the Vikings win the Super Bowl.
I am lucky to have not had to battle these problems. I do empathize. Quitting smoking seems tougher than quitting drinking. Most of my relatives that have had problems with alcohol have managed to stop. Those that have tried to quit smoking still smoke like a bituminous burning power plant. My aunt tried to quit smoking several times by going to a hypnotist. She went so many times that she got hooked on hypnosis. She had to start working at a tobacco company until she broke the hypnosis habit.
My uncle tried to stop her habit by using subliminal messages. He joined a craft class to learn to make ceramics. He then made my aunt a custom ashtray. It was black and in the shape of a lung.
My theory as to why it is harder to stop smoking than drinking is simple. If you drink too much, you will eventually do something stupid. When you do, a loving group of friends, family and loved ones get together to tell you how stupid you really are. Problem smokers just get sick and die, or get told to sit on the patio.
Getting a DWI is enough of a stupid thing for some people to stop drinking. This is not true for the hearty German, Polish, Danish and Prussian stock of the Hansen family. Let’s be honest. If it wasn’t for liquor, most of my family would have never been conceived. Hansen family members have driven cars into holiday parades and waved to viewers. One brought farm animals into the house on New Year’s Eve. One got on the roof of a fast food restaurant and threw cheeseburgers at the police. Recently, one lost a car in a cornfield. And, on many Christmas Eves, one has told the entire family to shove the world into their reverse blow hole. If drinking were smoking, a lot off my family would have spent years on the patio.
Food is my demon. I’m not much help here. But isn’t it nice to know you are not alone?
Maybe I can help you get out of debt. Sure. Right.
My chances of getting out of debt are equal to yours. Slim to none, and again, the same as the Vikings winning that Super Bowl. I will not waste time on that issue. How can I purport to know more about the economy than Congress? Surely the Senate, Cabinet and the President are better qualified to deal with the problem. Why should I be qualified to give advice on the economy just because I live with it every day? That would be a stupid idea. Don’t listen to the average guy.
Every day I read or hear or see that the clowns in Washington have wasted a trillion dollars. Do you realize how much money that really is? I didn’t until I used the calculator on my phone. That’s enough to give everyone in America a new iPad, a 52-inch 3D television and one of those swimming pools you can get at Wal-Mart. All I know is that if I was able to have a trillion dollars to waste, I would at least have a new swimming pool. The President, Congress and Senate don’t have a new swimming pool—and they wasted a trillion dollars.
I don’t have a new swimming pool. Do you? I’m just saying. That is a simple standard. Maybe it doesn’t help, but at least it’s in terms I can understand.
Another common, annual resolution is for people to pledge to give more to charity. This is something I have tried to do, but the charities are making it tougher on me.
Why is it that every charity fundraiser is tied to some type of physical feat of endurance or marathon? These impractical exploits make it impossible for me, an average lazy person, to participate? Is it really necessary to ride a bike 500 miles, run 50 miles or walk 30 miles to be of assistance to unfortunate people?
The physical activities also seem to be taunting the poor, disabled people that are supposed to benefit from the event. That’s just cruel! It’s like saying. “Hey roll over here and watch us healthy people enjoy ourselves, get free, matching t-shirts and make ourselves feel less guilty about you unfortunate people.”
If you want my money then let me participate. If you need my dough, create a marathon that I can complete in. I know I could complete the “Lay Down for Leukemia Marathon.” I am certain I could win the “Sit on Your Ass for Alzheimer’s Fundraiser”. How much money could you raise for “The Sleep Apnea Fun Rest” or “The Do Nothing for Diabetes 0 K.”
Maybe you charities should resolve to adapt for me. I want to give. I want my name on a plaque. I want my XXXXL marathon t-shirt.
Enough said. I promised myself I would keep this short. Oops!
There is one thing I have learned about making resolutions: It is important to try to improve. This year I resolve to try improving my resolutions. I am going to make them realistic and practical. I am only going to resolve to things I know are possible for me to achieve.
Then, in the middle of January, I will adapt them to fit my limited capabilities.