Today's Friday Five is of a rather philosophical, personal-goal-establishing nature, what with there being only a few weeks left in this bloody, tumultuous year...here goes:

1. List five things you'd like to accomplish by the end of the year. Make biscotti, banish clutter, energize my daily routine, winterize the house, brush the cat.

2. List five people you've lost contact with that you'd like to hear from again. Since *I* am usually the one who slacks off on correspondence, the people I'd like to hear from *me* again are all my friends in California (Judi, Paul, PhaPha, Wyeth, Kathy, Mark), plus my friends Marcy and E.G. right here in Boston!

3. List five things you'd like to learn how to do. Bake successful bread, play "Red Eyed and Blue" on my guitar, operate a standard transmission, listen without interrupting, surf.

4. List five things you'd do if you won the lottery. I'd take the lump sum, keep half, and give the rest away. I'd pay off all my loans, and those of my family and friends. I'd endow a chair at Tufts in American Studies, then ask for the job. I'd start a foundation for Massachusetts public schools, write big checks to Mass NARAL, Howard Dean, and 34 Million Friends, and fund task forces on gun violence in Boston and national single payer health care. Then I'd buy a few new gadgets to play with, and perhaps a house, before heading off to Australia with Nat for a month.

5. List five things you do that help you relax. reading, stretching, musing, cooking, and...um...ecstatic chi realignment. ;-)

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