2017: Approaching The On-Ramp

(originally written 12/28/16)

2017 is a few days away, which bothers me.
It bothers me because 82 days into the year, barring the unexpected, I will turn 37 years old. That's a lot of years old, more years old than I've ever been before. I'll officially be in my late 30's. People will look at me and expect grownup behavior, maturity, wisdom, etc. when all I'll be likely thinking about is baseball cards and chocolate milk.


By that day, I expect to have dropped 15 more pounds. I've compiled a list of unhealthy impulse foods I will not ingest under any circumstances in 2017 and intend to follow it, under penalty of a stern finger-wagging by my reflection. Harsh, I know. But effective.


Also in 2017, I'm going to actually watch new movies when they're released in theaters once again, and reacquaint myself with classics older and newer. It was startling to learn that of the past seven Oscar winners for Best Picture, I have seen exactly zero combined minutes of them. Not to mention, this week I've felt minimal grief over Carrie Fisher's passing, having never seen Star Wars (by choice, but still).  Not full-time with the kid anymore, not neck-deep in sports, work will ease up in January...no excuses.


Uh, what was that you said about sports, Skillz?
In the second half of 2016, I followed baseball as closely as I ever have. But basically all interest in watching the NFL and NBA faded for the first time since high school, and I'm not really sure why.


Actually, I am sure why: Colin Kaepernick's protests, Colin Kaepernick's crappy team, and flag-happy refs combined to sap my NFL interest. Meanwhile, Kevin Durant coming to a Warriors team that didn't need him and gutted half the team to pay for him soured me on said Warriors and the NBA by extension. I haven't watched a full 49ers or Warriors game all season and don't expect to, but hopefully interest in both resumes in 2017, since a critical element of TheSkillzReport.com are sports blogs. However, without a functioning crystal ball on my desk...restored fandom cannot be guaranteed.


In 2017, I WILL again make my Fantasy Football league's playoffs, whether Steve Smith retires or not. And I WILL have a winning record! But I will not dethrone Andrew as champion. That guy's defense doubled the COMBINED point total for ALL FOUR of my receivers last week.


In 2017, I will voluntarily do two things I've long said I'd never do: be in a wedding, and go to a foreign country. I am doing both because Chicken Thompson asked me to. Enough said. Now, to scour the globe in search of a fitting suit...


I've also been setting aside funds for separate trips to Legoland (in Carlsbad, CA) and Sin City, where my longtime bud Arnell and family reside. I've only been there once, on a layover six years ago. This time...there will be real gambling. Unlike David Silver, though, I will not be inviting strange women to my room just because they're smiling. He lost hella money that night. But I'm not here to talk about the past.


Every Decemer, DJ Earworm releases a mashup of that year's Top 25 songs. This year's version, titled "Into Pieces", is awesome. I'm saying that in spite of only recognizing two of the 25 songs used. 


You see, the inferior quality of today's music finally reached the point of no return with me, and in response I swore it off this year—if they didn't play it at our local public pool, I didn't hear it. But it turns out I’m not ready to be that disconnected yet, so in 2017 I intend to at least make an effort to give new jams a chance. Except Bieber. I really, really, really loathe the entire composition of him.


Lastly, sometime in 2017, I'm going to finally fill my child in on the fantasy that is Santa Claus. Probably two years overdue, I know. But her photos with him are so damn cute! Glad we squeezed in one final one last week—I think it was the best. Overall, this will be a huge learning year for Josie. There's going to be a lot of firsts for her in the 12 upcoming months, and I'm going to make most of them happen...if nothing else in life, my child is going to have knowledge and experience.


In between all of that, there's gonna be a lot of time to fill doing...whatever. So what do you say, everybody? Let's make 2017 a fun and prosperous ride...one which I'll probably nap through, since I'm so old. But still.