I had a pretty mellow introduction to the New Year this year. I was invited by a friend to a house party of his friend, and was excited at just the idea that I had even been invited to anything in this new town, so I had hyped up the party to being something great. And when I got there, it was pretty meh, hmmm, okay… not from my definition of great. A great New Year’s Eve party to me would go something like this: a casual event with friends and possibly (hopefully) some new and handsome faces, some tasty appetizers and fun alcoholic beverages, some great hip-hop/pop dancing music, a loud countdown into the new year, and some drunken singing of Auld Lange Sine. But it turned out to be a black tie affair of a cocktail party with wine & champagne, and pretty much ALL new faces except for my brother and the 2 people who invited me. There were tasty appetizers, but if I ate something, that meant that I would have to stop talking, and since everyone was in some sort of conversation with someone else, I didn’t feel justified in taking a moment of silence to eat. We didn’t even sing after midnight… just some clinking of champagne glasses, and everyone went right back into their little conversational groups. It made me think… is this the kind of swanky adult party that I had grown up just waiting to be a part of? Maybe I’m just not in that state of mind yet (maybe I never will be), but it was pretty dull.The next night was more fun, and that was game night. I’ve always been a big fan of musical instrument video games, and spent one night learning how to play on one of these guitars while after an orchestra rehearsal, playing with several doctoral students who had no inclination to do anything but play Guitar Hero. My new friends were the owners of Rock Band – same concept, same setup – and I had a blast. I love to sing karaoke, but it takes me awhile to build up the courage to do it… but once I get over my fear of sounding ridiculous, I’m unstoppable. I sang every freakin’ rock song that we played. I even sang Chop Suey by System of a Down. Received a couple of “100%s,” and “Flawless,” and “Top Performer” scores, and by 3am, I was pretty satisfied. But after those two days of partying and fun, reality came back down on me. I realized I had some resolutions that were important to me – not the kind of resolutions you say you’ll keep and don’t, but ones that I feel will really help my life for the better. Ones that I will keep. Ones such as… getting into shape. I know I know, everyone says that! But this year I really mean it. I thought back to the last time I lost weight effectively, and realized several key points to that more healthful time. 1. I was exercising on a consistent basis, 2. I was eating better, and 3. I made time for it in my schedule. I know it will take me some time for this change in my life to be a normal everyday part of my life, but I can feel in my bones that it’s going to stick with me this time. Oh yeah, the other resolution that I had for this year is a continuance of last year’s resolution, which was to learn how to play the guitar. I ended up buying a guitar, and learned all the basic chords and could play several songs fairly well. Well, this year, not only will I continue to play… but I resolve to be GOOD at the guitar, too. I hope to be able to play AND sing at the same time, which, at this point, is impossible. It’ll happen though, I can just feel it….