I expect the thing about ironing will make Jack laugh derisively

Last night between the hours of 2:00 and 4:00 a.m. I had ample time to meditate on this whole new year's resolution gig. Jackson's woken up two nights in a row now, out of his mind with an idea for a new open source database obsessive thoughts about some dumb TV commercial it was my bright idea to let him absorb the other night as I was debating whether or not to let him watch Family Guy. It was a spot for a film about some jerk who calls people up on the phone and tells them they're going to die. At 2:00 a.m., a wailing child in a room ten feet away cannot be argued back to sleep. Nor will standing in the child's doorway, glaring at him, help. Your absence -- stomping to the kitchen for milk and then, what the hell, carrying the puppy out for a pee -- only ensures the boy will work himself into full, bleak, unbreakable consciousness.

It's easier to be nice when you've had a full night's sleep.

Or, as Alice once said, "Yelling at them always calms them down."

Half an hour of trying-every-trick-in-the-book later, as I climbed up into Jackson's bunk bed and he snuggled gratefully in my arms, I was also reminded of something the Dalai Lama always says (maybe he heard it from Alice): "My religion is kindness."

So that seems like a good new year's resolution: kindness. Not that it will be easy. You want to aim for kind but honest. Flexible, but not a doormat.

After from the men and dogs in my life, the biggest test of this resolution will be ferreting out only the most high-toned gossip to post at MamaPop -- that recent bit I did on Michael Jackson, while amusing, probably won't earn me a summons to Oslo. Other potential resolutions I am almost ready to commit to!

1. Keeping my check register legible.

2. Maybe doing some ironing since all of our napkins and placemats look like we store them in test tubes.

3. No more ordering shit online. Last month I paid $17.00 in round-trip postage for the pleasure of trying on a coat, and an as-yet undetermined amount (I'm afraid to go to the post office) for some deceptively heavy Flor tiles that made walking barefoot an experience akin to lining your flip-flops with 40-grit sandpaper.

Anyway, here's what Jackson did yesterday:

sand surfing

The idea here is to make all my snow-bound relatives weep.