With 2011 nearing an end, it's a good time to check back in on your New Year's Resolutions and update your progress.

THEN: "I want to lose weight and get fit!"

NOW: Well, I ordered a bunch of fitness books and home gym equipment off the web. Although it took a couple trips, I got them off the stoop and into the foyer. When we had a dinner party I carried them all down into the basement. Then rainwater leaked in and my wife had me move the boxes to the second floor. Now they're in our daughter's closet. I think. Also, I experimented with this thing where I stretched before going to bed and again first thing in the morning.


THEN: "I'd like to try something new!"

NOW: The month of April was just a series of firsts. It was the first time I dug up and opened the Power Flex 33DX Beta; it was the first time I injured myself setting up exercise equipment; and it was the first time I saw a doctor that specializes in "trunk-related injuries." It was the second time I'd slept with a back brace.


THEN: "I want to see more of my family!"

NOW: The pain has become excruciating. My spine looks like some fancy climber's knot. My doctor asked if I was a contortionist and said that in retrospect, surgery had been a mistake. This was about the time my parents flew out and moved in. It was like childhood all over again, with my mom feeding me baby food and my dad assuming I didn't understand when he used sexual innuendo.


THEN: "I'd like to learn a new language!"

NOW: As it turns out, I've learned a few Spanish phrases while communicating with our Hispanic in-home nurse. When I want more medicine I ask, ¿Me puede dar más medicamento? More often than not she responds No, which, it turns out, is the same in both languages. Did you know vela could mean either candle or wakefulness? There is no Spanish word for Baby Motrin.


THEN: "I want to make a scrapbook to chronicle my year! It'll have photos, pressed flowers, and mementos that I collect!"

NOW: What? This sounds miserable.


THEN: "I'd like to do some volunteer work!"

NOW: On weekday afternoons, medical students come study and experiment on me. I mean, I think they're medical students—it's hard to tell when they only speak in Spanish.


THEN: "Stop drinking."

NOW: This I have done.