Recommended diversions

Kinky Boots

Start the year off on the right foot with this 2005 Brit flick starring Joel Edgerton as Charlie Price, the hapless inheritor of a shoe factory, and Chiwetel Ejiofor as Lola, the charming drag queen who sets Charlie’s world on fire with the idea for a new niche market of sexy boots. Life allows us to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, if only to learn more about our own insecurities and hidden abilities. In this case, these shoes come in the form of “two-and-a-half feet of tubular sex.” The film’s soundtrack ain’t too shabby either with soulful hits from David Bowie, Nina Simone, and James Brown. My favorite is the sassy salsa number “In These Shoes” by Kirsty MacColl.


Exercise Calendar & Stickers

While you’re making those New Year’s resolutions, try charting your progress on a calendar. Better yet, each day you work out at the gym, run, swim, bike, aerobicize or get some form of exercise, mark it with a sticker — like the ones you used to get for good work in kindergarten. It may seem silly, but it works as a motivator. Keep the calendar somewhere in the house where you’ll see it every day. I keep mine on the bathroom mirror. I like using a colorful assortment of thumbnail-sized stickers with pictures of googly-eyed bugs, butterflies, flowers and fruit. Add a little fun to your exercise goals in ‘08.


Bad President

Count down the last days of Dubya’s lame duck presidency with this handy page-a-day desk calendar featuring head-shaking Bush quotes, fun facts on countless White House blunders, lies from Cabinet lackeys, and quips from your favorite comedians about the Commander of Misspeak. Take another walk through the hall of shame that leads to the Oval Office. The trillion-dollar disaster in Iraq. How we went to war on phony and misleading evidence. Underestimating the subsequent Iraqi insurgency and civil war. Billions in military contracts missing or unaccounted for. Warrantless wiretapping that began seven months before 9/11. Denials of torture and secret prisons only to be proven true. The underfunded, ill-advised, high-stakes testing farce known as No Child Left Behind. The Katrina fiasco. Lax environmental protection. Tax breaks for the rich. Poverty rates that have risen steadily since Bush took office. A ballooning deficit ($9.1 trillion and counting). But you can bet, ol’ George is grateful for his time in the saddle as Leader of the (sort-of) Free World. In his own words back in 2004, he challenged us to hope: “I’m honored to shake the hand of a brave Iraqi citizen who had his hand cut off by Saddam Hussein.”

— Michael Beadle

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