January 2007 Issue: A Clean Slate

We have arrived at January, which means for those of us with faith in alljan07 things Gregorian that it’s a new year, to be celebrated with friends, fireworks, promises of constructive change, and likely a vicious hangover.

I won’t bore you with my personal goals for 2007, as my fulfillment of last year’s resolution, achieving self-actualization, has rendered any such growth impossible. Ever the workhorse, I still have spent hours of reflection developing a set of visionary resolutions… for everyone else.

My sources on the Internet have informed me that every time a reggaeton song is played in public, a ninja kills a kitten and doesn’t even care. In defense of kittens everywhere, I propose that all restaurant, club and bar owners in Zona 1 get creative and more fully take advantage of the eclectic tastes of the local population and ever-present herd of travelers. The continuous success, with Guatemalans and foreigners alike, of distinctive, low-key nightspots suggests that a steady bill of reggaeton, splashed with a night of salsa, may not be the only way to attract a crowd. Please, think of the kittens and form resolutions accordingly.

Moving on, I have stepped out of the closet as a gringo – although I haven’t yet told my parents – and understand that it is my duty to wield the mighty XelaWho sword with the hope of provoking change that bumbling behemoth I call home. So for starters, as an alternative to the recent amendments aiming to legally render marriage a heterosexual country club, I have proposed that the U.S. government introduce a mandatory, federally-funded six month honeymoon of travel in a developing country before any marriage can be formalized.

The current fuss is ostensibly about preserving relationships, particularly state-sanctioned ones, and you all should know there is no better way to learn about the strengths, weaknesses, perspectives, idiosyncracies, neuroses and meltdown points of your partner than by making hundreds of mundane decisions together every day in unfamiliar environments.

No feedback from Capitol Hill yet, but I expect it soon.

On a final note, let’s all try to actually trot out the clichés we hit on every New Year. After all, they cease to be clichés if nobody has to talk about them anymore. So even if you don’t lose ten pounds or drop the cigarettes, be good to each other (or at least to me) and yourselves, and Happy New Year.

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