Monday, January 3, 2011

A Stupid Resolution

When people speak of making New Year's resolutions I'm always reminded of my freshman year of college and a dude named Dave.  I spent my freshman year at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine.  This was when I thought I was going to be a historian or a literature major, before I opted for a glamorous and highly lucrative career in forestry and a transfer back home to the University of Minnesota.

Shortly after returning to school from Christmas break there was a dance held at the cafeteria, featuring some band up from Boston and Ever Clear punch.  I'm not sure what genius decided this would be a great idea. "Hey, I know! Let's have a dance in a packed 90 degree cafeteria to get everyone hot and thirsty, and then let's serve Kool Aid spiked with lighter fluid!"

What ensued will probably go down in history as the shortest dance ever. One of the early casualties was Dave, a six foot five inch bean pole who had been a quiet, bookish guy for the first semester.  It was odd to see him completely smashed.  A buddy from the dorm floor named Ric and I half walked, half carried Dave across campus back to his dorm room.  Dave kept mumbling/slurring over and over, "I made a resholution.  But I made a resholution."  It seemed like a mantra laced with deep regret.  Finally Ric said, "It's OK Dave, everyone breaks their resolutions once or twice. Don't worry about it."  To which Dave stopped, seemed to sober up in an instant, and said with great dignity, "No, I made a resolution to drink more.  I thought I'd get more chicks that way."

Ric looked at me, rolled his eyes and said, "And how's that working out for you?"  We spent the next hour getting water and aspirin down his throat, while meanwhile comforting Dave with platitudes like, "If you just be yourself there are plenty of girls who would like to be with you."  And other lies like that.

I try not to make resolutions, because I know there are aspects of my basic nature that I'll never be able to change.  But this year I am making a couple.

First, I need to bake and cook with acorns more.  That is, after all, what this blog is all about, and I've become Exhibit A in why humankind moved away from a healthier, more peace-inducing food source in favor of the planet-killing and war-inducing convenience of grains.

The other is to spend more time exploring two themes/concepts: A new approach to classifying oaks, and concept of synchronicity in acorn production.  I'm always griping about the way oak species and hybrids (and don't worry, I'll continue to do so), but anyone who complains that much should also start to offer alternatives. 

I'm also fascinated by some research I've read lately and some correspondence with readers & friends about how and why oaks over vast areas "know" to produce large crops only periodically, and the implications of this for oak becoming (re-becoming) a major food source.

Not sure if those topics are thrilling enough to keep you tuned into Oak Watch this year.  But for me at least they are a lot healthier than a resolution to get drunk more often!

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