New Year's Rulin's

Madeo Soapbox 2012 list.jpg

What's on your list?

By Rob Madeo

soapbox badgeIn 1943, Woody Guthrie sat before the WGY microphones to talk about his autobiography, Bound for Glory. Guthrie was appearing on The Author Meets the Critics, a program that was sort of like NPR before NPR. Interestingly, its producer, Martin Stone, later went on to launch The Howdy Doody Show. So much for the high-brow stuff.

Anyhow, the WGY program was moderated that day by none other than Granville Hicks, well known author and literary critic, director of Yaddo, Grafton resident, and noted socialist. It must have been quite a show -- and I can't help but wonder if tucked inside Guthrie's bag that day in Schenectady, next to a copy of Bound for Glory, was the notebook holding his New Year's Rulin's.

A lot of you may have already read Guthrie's list, which is like 33 points for better living. Written in 1942, they're elegantly simple, and a pretty good example of how you might want to start fresh in the new year.

But first thing's first: forget about the word resolution. Think of them instead as aspirations, goals not promises. So many resolutions are doomed to fail, but aspirations? Those are so much more forgiving. Better yet, just call them rulin's.

Having said that, I thought I would share a few of my own New Year's Rulin's, which I have jotted down in a notebook much like Mr. Guthrie's:

+ Don't listen to local talk radio in the morning. It will make you stupid.

+ Walk past the candy dish.

+ Eat more fiber.

+ Give money to someone who needs it.

+ Say something nice every day, even if it brings you great pain.

+ Follow the 100-mile-diet rule when it comes to beer.

+ Defend the defenseless.

+ Don't get mad at people who drive poorly, or inattentive pedestrians, especially in Albany.

+ Keep your expectations low because you might be surprised.

I'm sure you have many of your own, which I hope you'll share in the comment section. If you can't come up with any, let me suggest number 19 from Woody's list: "Keep hoping machine running."

Rob can be found at lunchtime in downtown Albany huddled near a wi-fi hotspot.

Rob on the Soapbox:
+ Jeffrey and Me
+ Something wicket this way comes
+ Growing where the cows come home
+ The Albany parking lot district
+ The Earl of Pearl


My rulin this year is to live purposefully.

I will steal two of yours however:

1. Follow the 100-mile-diet rule when it comes to beer.
2. Keep your expectations low because you might be surprised.

Nice post.

Okay, I'm curious... what IS the 100-mile-diet rule when it comes to beer?

Summer: I've drawn my inspiration from the book The 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating, which advocates limiting your consumption to things grown in close proximity to where you live.

I'm far too weak to do this with food, but beer? That I can probably handle, allowing me to enjoy Saranac, Ommegang, Brown's Brewing, Chatham Ale -- and maybe Magic Hat if we are not too fussy with our measurements.

Already added to my 2013 list: Don't spend so much time thinking about beer.

@ Rob you can probably drink Brooklyn too since most of it is made in Utica. (I've always enjoyed pointing that out to people, especially my friends in Brooklyn)

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