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  1. Ah, ‘tis the season for the annual evaluation to determine which list you belong on. No grey areas, just black or white, right or wrong, naughty or nice. Let’s look at the year that was 2016: Throughout the year, I laughed at the foppery, and cried at the tragedy. I performed my civic duty, accepted when it did not go my way, performed my civic duty again, and mourned the end of an era. I gave charitably to those in pain and need, I wore the pin in solidarity with my frightened brothers and sisters. I read more, I wrote more, I ran more, I cooked more, I cleaned more. I became a supporter of media creators I respect. I played more games and applied “Wheaton’s Law” in all my social interactions. I interacted more. I took out my headphones when I walked and smiled at my fellow passengers on this ball of rock hurtling through the cosmos. I engaged strangers and helped those in need. I was humble in my successes, and reflective in my failures. I tried harder every day. Next year will bring its own challenges, but for 2016, I was nice. I can’t speak for anyone else, but that is what my goal was this year.

  2. I’ve been permanently placed on the naughty list. If you ever go to St. Jude’s hospital in Memphis and ask older doctors and nurses about 1984, chances are you’ll hear something that I did. Attempted escapes (I wanted some fried chicken from the place I could see from my room!), hiding in a toybox and causing the hospital to go on lockdown, locking myself in a bathroom to avoid a shot and the maintenance folks having to come remove the door… What can I say? I was a defiant little 4 year old who hated being poked and prodded (and I REALLY wanted some fried chicken!!!).

    I’ve been in remission for decades and only go back about every 5 years as part of a long term follow up study (studying the long term effects of the treatments used so they can find better ways to treat cancer without many lasting effects), and there are always at least a dozen new doctors or nurses that approach me and ask me if something they heard is true, and it usually is.

    So yeah, I’ve been on the naughty list for over 30 years.

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