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The 2004 monkey is off my back - Ed Brock

Oh my God, my year is over.

I'm a monkey, see. I mean according to the Chinese zodiac I was born in the Year of the Monkey, 1968, and 2004 was also the Year of the Monkey. That means I was supposed to be extremely lucky, it was going to be my year.

Well, the year's not over yet, so there's still time. And all and all I guess 2004 went pretty well.

My wife and I have a daughter on the way and so far she's coming along well. She'll be a rooster.

That is to say, next year is the Year of the Rooster. Apparently that means she will be hard working and definite about her decisions, according to one Web site, and she's likely to own a restaurant and be a world traveler.

Of course, she's already a world traveler, and her old Pops would certainly like a child who could provide free restaurant quality meals, so it looks like we picked a good year.

Also, since my child will be born in that year, perhaps 2005 will be just as lucky for me.

But in the end it's up to me to make my own luck, which brings me to my resolutions for the new year.

I resolve to finish one of the books I'm writing, either the murder mystery or the semi-autobiographical one. This is a standard resolution I make just about every year.

Another standing resolution is the one to tighten up my slightly rounded stomach, even though, as I always tell my wife, the muscles have just grown into that shape. They're still strong!

Stop laughing!

In 2005 I will make an extra effort not to scream in traffic. I'll just curse under my breath and clinch the steering wheel until my knuckles pop.

I resolve to stop making up the news on slow days, and no more pandering to the liberal left. I'll join the team and come on in for the big win.

I resolve to break that last resolution as soon as possible.

I resolve to read more, and not just at those moments of contemplation that come three times a day (for me, at least.) I'll turn off that stupid television.

Then again, the new seasons of "24" and "Carnivale" begin next month, so perhaps I'll pick up on that resolution about mid-way through the year.

I resolve to stop aggravating my wife, even though she's really cute when she's aggravated.

And, finally, I resolve to work hard to support my family and do everything I can to bring about world peace and environmental responsibility, yadda, yadda, yadda.

So in case I don't see you, or I'm so drunk when I do see you that I can't form the words, "Happy New Year!"

Ed Brock covers public safety and municipalities for the News Daily. He can be reached at (770) 478-5753 ext. 254 or at ebrock@news-daily.com .