Do you really need to reply to all? This year, writes Geoff Kirsch, you should think before you click. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Do you really need to reply to all? This year, writes Geoff Kirsch, you should think before you click. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Slack Tide: Resolutions for Alaska’s Capital City 2021

Try not to reply all unless it applies to all.

We made it — January 2021. Hard to believe a whole year passed, most of it in either 25- or 45-minute increments, depending on whether you’re power-streaming comedy or drama.

But regardless of any ill will we may feel toward the previous year — insert your own 2020-related gripes here; I’ll spare you yet another re-hash — this time of year presents a natural opportunity for reflection and a renewed commitment to self-improvement. And yet, while half of all Americans make some type of New Year’s resolutions, statistics show nine out of 10 of us will ultimately fail to keep them. As Oscar Wilde once said: “Good resolutions are simply checks that men draw on a bank where they have no account.”

That’s not to say we can’t improve our odds, and not just by making super easy resolutions like quoting Oscar Wilde more often. Experts generally agree the most effective strategies involve making specific resolutions, publicizing those resolutions and enticing others to join the effort.

[My Evolution to becoming Winter Shorts Guy]

In that spirit, I present my annual list of New Year’s resolutions for Juneau, or, as I like to call them, ’Neau Year’s Resolutions.

In 2021, let us all resolve to:

■ Find out exactly what purpose the “bagel” button on a toaster actually serves—because it doesn’t seem to affect slot size or toast time, and I can’t think of anything else.

■ Resist the urge to police other people. Instead, let’s save our vigilantism for ourselves and ourselves only… especially when it comes to late-night ice cream.

■ Write the correct year on checks sometime before February. Actually, you know what? Scratch that. It’s 2021. Why are we still writing checks?

■ Intensify our ongoing search for Sasquatch; he’s got to be around here somewhere.

■ Compost. And I mean really compost, not just letting your jack-o-lantern molder away on the front porch all winter.

■ Exercise. Or, at least play more sports video games instead of first person shooters.

■ Stop “turtling” out of driveways, parking spots and stop signs. Go or don’t go—make a choice and stick with it. And pedestrians: let’s resolve to cross streets ONLY at appointed crosswalks, as opposed to, say, a dark, icy four-lane highway… dressed in black.

■Cut down on our consumption of La Croix, or as I like to call it, “the Diet Coke addict’s methadone.”

■ Look local first. Well, except for brain surgery. Best look elsewhere for brain surgery. Sure, you can find someone here to do it for you, but not licensed or bonded or anything.

■ Not “reply all” unless it actually applies to all.

■ Be patient while: Zooming with Boomers; waiting for the weather to change; waiting for the weather to change back; helping your seventh-grader with their math homework—you don’t know how to do it, either; listening to your nine-year-old tell you a story about anything; explaining to outsiders (yet again) that in Alaska, it’s dark in the winter and light in the summer, just like everywhere in the Northern Hemisphere; trying to find an avocado that’s ripe the day you need it; watching your spouse or significant other load the dishwasher; watching your spouse or significant other back down the driveway and watching your spouse navigate the remote control. Man, that one drives me especially crazy…

■ Lose 10, 15-hundred pounds?

■ Stop watching so much Netflix; that’s valuable Disney+ time we’re missing.

■ Start the New Year fresh and leave 2020 behind by foreswearing the following: “WAP;” jokes about what “WAP” really stands for (my favorite, courtesy of my wife, “War and Peace”); the phrase “abundance of caution;” hoarding flour; CBD (what’s next, infusing everything with non-alcoholic beer?); talking about Donald Trump (same resolution every year since 2015—this time, let’s make it stick); inciting riots at the U.S. Capitol building (d’oh! Broke it already); and can we please be done passing off cauliflower as tater tots, pasta and pizza crust? There’s only so much roughage one man can take.

■ Fix all cracked windshields. You know you’ve got one.

■ Try not to wear pajamas all day. Or, at least try to try.

■ Take everything a less seriously. And I mean EVERYTHING. Well, except fire safety.

■ Enjoy the hell out of 2021, because honestly, it’s a miracle we’ve made it this far.

Happy New Year, Juneau. Should old acquaintance be forgot, don’t worry—that’s just Covid-brain.

Geoff Kirsch is an award-winning Juneau-based writer and humorist. “Slack Tide” appears twice monthly in Neighbors.

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