Wishes Great and Small for This Year
Things I hope - but don't necessarily expect - to experience in 2011: Less texting. More face-to-face communication, involving sound waves from human voices reaching actual ears.
A continuation of the too-good-to-be-true burst of bipartisan holiday spirit (if that's what it was) that saw the passage of several important pieces of legislation during the closing days of the lame-duck Congress in Washington. "We're not doomed to endless gridlock," President Obama ventured. We'll see.
Speaking of gridlock: No more traffic jams like the one that practically paralyzed the exits from Pinecrest Plaza shopping center for way too long on the afternoon of Christmas Eve Eve. Ridiculous and maddening.
No more stupid power outages. (Once again, our little residential block appears to have been the last in town to get restored after the Christmas-weekend blackout, requiring us to spend the night in a motel. I'm seeing a pattern here, Progress Energy. Was it something we said?)
More people adopting black shelter dogs.
More standing rib roasts.
More animation like the dazzlingly detailed and imaginative kind in the movie "The Tale of Despereaux." It came out in 2008, but I didn't get around to watching it until the other night. If you also missed it, give it a try sometime. It's amazingly creative stuff. (I'm talking about the animation technique here, not necessarily the story, which is pretty weird.)
Fewer pork rinds.
More fresh fruit.
A decision by the peace-loving Muslims of the world (and that must include most of them) to rise up courageously in public rejection of the murderous extremists among them.
More backyard gardening and home canning going on.
More people listening to National Public Radio.
More sane and civil comments on thepilot.com and other websites and less bitter attack and insult. But I'm not holding my breath.
More TV commercials like the "Taco Party" ad for AT&T, which is a low-key scream. Anyone who works in an office will identify with this ultimate example of showing one's tail socially.
Much less of Glenn Beck's fat face.
Nothing more from Charles Rangel, who needs to slink away into obscurity.
Less "reality programming" and more quality scripted shows. Specifically, more dramatic series like the classic years of "E.R.," "The West Wing" and "The Practice."
More of movie cutie Amy Adams.
A statewide victory by Marci Houseman of West Pine Middle School, who recently brought honors our way by being named Regional Teacher of the Year.
Fewer people riling other people up over imaginary sinister conspiracies to take "under God" out of the Pledge of Allegiance, "In God We Trust" off our coins or "Christ" out of Christmas. Do you know anybody who actually wants to do any of those things?
More guys wearing bow ties. (Real ones, not the clip-on or hook-around-your neck kinds. Tying them, I'm finding, is not the inscrutable mystery I thought it was - thanks to John Tampa, who got me into the things.)
More people bicycling to work, prompting local municipalities to do more to accommodate them with bike paths and such.
Even more people flocking to The Country Bookshop in downtown Southern Pines, now part of our Pilot family.
More disc golf courses, better maintained.
More families establishing weekly evenings devoted to playing games like Yahtzee, Trivial Pursuit, Pictionary or rummy. (No electronic versions.)
More people grasping the true meaning of Christianity, which has to do with peace, love and compassion - not rejection, superiority and bigotry.
And most of all, as always: a happy and prosperous new year for you, Dear Reader.
Steve Bouser is editor of The Pilot. Contact him at (910) 693-2470 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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