Periscope Depth

be careful as you pass; move along, move along

Lisa Simpson: You promised to take us to the lake.
Homer Simpson: I promise you kids lots of things. That’s what makes me such a good father!
Lisa Simpson: Actually, keeping promises would make you a good father.
Homer Simpson: No, that would make me a great father.

- “When You Dish Upon a Star

I’ve made a couple of ambitious plans this year that I may not keep.

Yes, I’ve kept up with my travel plans, making it to London on schedule (next stop, Hong Kong). Yes, I’ve finished one novel and should be done with a second by December 31. Yes, I’ve been social and made advancements at work and thus and such.

But there’s a good chance I won’t read 50 books this year. Even if I manage to finish Dhalgren before Christmas, which I’m counting as at least three books. This isn’t a real crime, as I’ll still have read a wagonload of books this year – thriller novels, serious sci-fi, eye-opening non-fiction and the like. But I said fifty and I might do forty-six.

There’s also a good chance I won’t finish The Show That Never Ends. I planned to hit up one concert a month every month from October 2009 until September 2010. I had to cheat a little and see some of the same acts twice (Ted Leo and the Pharmacists; the Psychedelic Furs). I’ve seen a lot of great live music and supported some of my favorite acts through a generous stream of merch. And I’ve even picked up a few new favorites by tuning into the opening acts (The Obits, She Wants Revenge). But I said twelve and I might only make eleven.

I don’t consider the effort wasted. Reading forty books is only a little less enlightening than reading fifty. And I’ve seen more concerts than I normally would. But I love setting ambitious goals and then delivering on them. It’s a sign of confidence and a way of attracting attention. You make a big deal of raising the tightrope, focus the spotlight on it, then march right across.* If you botch the crossing but don’t fall to your death, people applaud regardless. But you know what you did.

Having learned nothing, then, here’s my self-imposed schedule for the next year.

One of the reasons I tell myself I live in Boston, rather than a cheaper city, is because of the thriving artistic community. Museums, theater, concerts, all that good stuff. While that’s great rhetoric, I don’t take much advantage of it.

So, starting in September 2010, I will see one theater performance every month through August 2011. Just to make things interesting, I’m not counting ImprovBoston shows toward this tally. Not that I don’t think IB is legitimate theater, but I go there so often that it barely counts**.

This means that friends of mine in Boston’s theater community – of which I have several – have carte blanche to pester me to come see their shows. If you need to fill seats, remind me that I promised to see a show every month through the middle of 2011.

If nothing else, this will give me fodder for more blog posts. And I always need things to talk about.

*Yes, I did just compare reading on the subway to walking on a tightrope. If you’re not into that sort of pomposity, find another blog.
**I may count Gorefest, but come on. That’s Gorefest.