You say you want a resolution

It’s time to make those New Year’s resolutions so that you’ll be healthier, happier and more productive for the entire upcoming year, or at least until mid-January when you break your resolutions and return back to your lazy, selfish, gluttonous, meaningless existence.

Marie and I always make resolutions. This year I’ve vowed to hike more. She’s vowed to stop physically assaulting me.

Perhaps you want to make some resolutions but haven’t done so yet. Need some hints?


Too bad. I already wrote the column. Here are some traditional suggestions.

Stop smoking.

I know what you’re saying: “But I don’t smoke.” Well today is as good as day as any to start. That’s right, light up. Vow to smoke for one year. It will probably be the one resolution you actually keep. Commit yourself to say, one or two packs a day. That way, next year you’ll be able to obtain the sense of satisfaction that can only come with quitting a bad habit.

Eat healthier.

Rather than chomping down a triple McWhopper and large fries every day for lunch, you should consider healthier alternatives, such as getting the medium fries instead.

Also, the CDC says you should eat at least 2 cups of both fruits and vegetables a day.

This is where even simple efforts at eating better can do wonders. Take, for example, the case I read recently of Louisa Sampson of San Diego. Exactly one year ago, she weighed 380 pounds. But Louisa ditched the fatty foods and started eating vegetables. Do you know what happened? She choked on a radish and died, so maybe that’s a bad example. But the point is, eat more vegetables.

Donate clothes to the poor.

It’s always amazing how good you feel after helping others. Especially when — for tax deduction purposes — you get to fill out the estimated value of the donations on the receipt. After giving some clothes to Catholic Outreach the other day, I left there with a warm, fuzzy feeling, knowing that someone in need will soon be wearing my $14,000 sweater and Marie’s $38,000 jacket.

Start an exercise program.

The benefits of exercise cannot be overstated. Several scientific studies have shown that people who exercise tend to have (on average) 67 percent more Spandex in their closets than people who don’t exercise.

Start small if you have to. Take the stairs. Lift small weights. Walk, don’t drive, to the place where you buy your cigarettes.

Become more productive.

With the advent of the time-wasting Internet, this is a serious issue. Some people out there spend most of their waking hours downloading naked pictures of Megan Fox, while other people just waste their time.

Vow to become more productive this year by getting high-speed Internet. It will make finding naked celebrities on the Web much easier, and you’ll be a better person for it.

Get organized.

To help you with this, I printed out a list of the top seven things you can do right now to become much more organized. Or maybe it’s six things. I can’t seem to find the damn thing. Let’s come back to this hint later.

Lose weight.

The key here is to set reasonable, long-term goals. The only way you’re going to lose 200 pounds of fat overnight is to leave your husband.

So beginning Jan. 1, hop on that scale and write down your weight. After a full week of exercise and healthier eating, get back on the scale. Make sure the children aren’t around so they won’t hear the profanities.

If the results are not to your satisfaction, don’t give up hope. You simply will have to either step up your efforts or get a new scale —preferably an older, broken one that’s always 5 to 10 pounds too light.

So take these resolutions to heart and start now on fulfilling the promise of the great life you were meant to live. It’s a new day. A new year. And a new you. By thinking, living and acting positive, 2010 will be your best year ever!

Then again, probably not.

Happy New Year.


NEW ORLEANS — Lil Wayne emerged as a top-selling musician known for his clever wordplay and risque lyrics, but like rappers before him, he’s staring down a year behind bars at the peak of his career.

The artist returned to his hometown of New Orleans for a performance Monday on what he’s calling his farewell tour.

“I’m nothing without you,” he told the screaming crowd of thousands of fans at the New Orleans Arena after opening the concert with “A Milli,” which last year earned him a Grammy for best rap solo.

The 27-year-old rapper, whose real name is Dwayne Carter, pleaded guilty in October to a weapons possession charge and will be sentenced Feb. 9. His plea deal calls for a year in jail.

The charge stemmed from a 2007 traffic stop of his tour bus in New York when authorities said they smelled marijuana, and as they approached, he tossed aside a bag with a loaded .40-caliber handgun.

In a separate case, he also faces trial in March on felony drug possession and weapons charges in Yuma County, Ariz. More recently, he had to postpone a show one day after authorities stopped two of his buses in Texas and found marijuana. The case has been referred to the sheriff’s office.

Some of those at Monday’s concert said they were disappointed with the rapper’s legal troubles.

“It’s kinda sad, the stereotype and that he fell into it,” said 19-year-old Lee Farrell of New Orleans.

Lil Wayne is set to follow some of rap music’s biggest names — from Tupac Shakur, Lil’ Kim, Beanie Sigel and Shyne to New Orleans natives Mystikal and C-Murder — who have served a few months to several years behind bars for crimes committed after they became famous.

Corey “C-Murder” Miller was convicted earlier this year of second-degree murder for the 2002 shooting of a fan during a nightclub brawl. He was sentenced to life in prison.

T.I. reported to a federal prison in May for his conviction on weapons charges. He is expected to serve a year and a day.

“I hope Lil Wayne will follow in T.I.‘s footsteps,” said 32-year-old Jed Wright of Metairie, who brought his 11-year-old stepson to the show as a Christmas present. “T.I. promised to turn his life around. Lil Wayne can do the same thing.”

Lil Wayne has been rapping since he was a teenager. Over the past two years, his career has reached new heights with several Grammys and gold records. His “Tha Carter III” topped all album sales in 2008 with 2.8 million copies sold. The record had the No. 1 smash “Lollipop.”

“He’s very unique,” said 18-year-old April Nguyen, of Metairie, La. “He expands his genre, even does rock music, and is constantly reinventing himself.”

Lil Wayne’s next album, “Rebirth,” is due for release Feb. 1. After New Orleans, he is scheduled to play a couple of dates in Texas and another show in southern Louisiana.

LOS ANGELES — A contentious lawsuit between Marilyn Manson and former bandmate Stephen Bier has been settled without the multimillion judgment the keyboardist initially sought, court records show.

An agreement calls for attorneys representing former Bier to be paid $380,000. Manson’s insurance company will pay $175,000 while the rest will be paid by Bier’s former business managers, Manson’s attorney Howard King said.

Bier sued the shock rocker for $20 million in 2007, claiming the singer kept money from him and spent it to furnish a lavish lifestyle buying Nazi memorabilia, an engagement ring and other exotic goods.

Manson denied Bier’s claims and said Bier didn’t properly perform his duties as a band member.

Bier, who went by the stage name Madonna Wayne Gacy, was among the original members of Manson’s band when it was known as Marilyn Manson and The Spooky Kids.

The case had been scheduled to go to trial this month after frequent delays and months of fighting between the two sides over depositions, documents and scheduling.

King declared victory, saying Manson will not have to pay any money directly. He said the case should have never been filed.

A dispute over how the $380,000 settlement should be divided has kept the case from being formally dismissed. A law firm that Bier also sued is seeking more than $70,000 from the settlement for legal fees it was awarded after having portions of the case dismissed and the ruling upheld on appeal.

Bier’s attorney, Keith A. Fink, said the settlement also calls for some of his client’s equipment to be returned.

Today is the 364th day of 2009. There is 1 day left in the year.

On Dec. 30, 1853, the United States and Mexico signed a treaty under which the U.S. agreed to buy some 45,000 square miles of land from Mexico for $10 million in a deal known as the Gadsden Purchase.

In 1813, the British burned Buffalo, N.Y., during the War of 1812.

In 1903, about 600 people died when fire broke out at the recently opened Iroquois Theater in Chicago.

In 1907, the Mills Commission issued its final report, concluding that Abner Doubleday had invented baseball, a view few sports historians, if any, agree with.

In 1922, Vladimir I. Lenin proclaimed the establishment of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

In 1936, the United Auto Workers union staged its first “sit-down” strike, at the Fisher Body Plant No. 1 in Flint, Mich.

In 1948, the Cole Porter musical “Kiss Me, Kate” opened on Broadway.

In 1972, the United States halted its heavy bombing of North Vietnam.

In 1979, Broadway composer Richard Rodgers died in New York at age 77.

In 1989, a Northwest Airlines DC-10, which had been the target of a telephoned threat, flew safely from Paris to Detroit with 22 passengers amid extra-tight security.

Actor Joseph Bologna is 75. Actor Russ Tamblyn is 75. Baseball Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax is 74. TV director James Burrows is 69. Actor Fred Ward is 67. Singer-musician Michael Nesmith is 67. Singer Davy Jones is 64. Actress Concetta Tomei is 64. Singer Patti Smith is 63. Rock singer-musician Jeff Lynne is 62. TV host Meredith Vieira is 56. Country singer Suzy Bogguss is 53. “Today” show anchor Matt Lauer is 52. Actress-comedian Tracey Ullman is 50. Rock musician Rob Hotchkiss is 49. Track star Ben Johnson is 48. Actor George Newbern is 46. Singer Jay Kay (Jamiroquai) is 40. Rock musician Byron McMackin (Pennywise) is 40. Actress Meredith Monroe is 40. Actor Daniel Sunjata is 38. Actress Maureen Flannigan is 37. Actor Jason Behr is 36. Golfer Tiger Woods is 34. TV personality-boxer Laila Ali is 32. Singer-actress Tyrese Gibson is 31. Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James is 25.

Having a birthday today


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