This is what I will and won’t do in 2024


I’m not a list-making type of person because of a personal flaw I seem to share with many others: I frequently don’t keep my promises. For example, at that point in my life I would be fluent in two or three languages, live abroad at least once, and settle near a beach.

One, two, three strikes and I’m out.

California is about to be hit by a wave of aging populations, and Steve Lopez is taking advantage of it. His column focuses on the blessings and burdens of old age and how some people are challenging the stigma associated with older adults.

However, here’s another new year and I came up with the brilliant idea of ​​making a list of things I will NOT do, suggesting greater chances of success. I had no problem creating a build, but because it makes me sound like a curmudgeon, I’ve created two separate lists: six things I won’t do in 2024 and eight things I will do. Perhaps a little positivity will allow me to avoid the indignity of a permanent classification of grumpy old man.

Six things I won’t do in 2024

1. Make lists.

I’m not sure when lists became so popular, but enough is enough. We’re not far from reading about the Richard M. Nixon Presidential Library and Museum’s 11 best places to stand upside down, or the 17 best ways to lick an ice cream cone in an elevator.

And then there’s the annoying issue of odd numbers, based on the misleading notion that readers are more curious about the specificity of, say, nine and 21 than they are about 10 and 20. Since this is my first (and last) list of 2024, I’m defiantly going with even numbers, although there may be one, three, or five reasons why I might change my mind.

Five people in a row outside a building with the letters "DMV" in that.

Will our columnist write about the DMV in 2024? Count on that.

2. Stop talking to the DMV.

Judging by my email, there is nothing (not illness, not prescription costs, not death) of greater interest and irritation to Golden State readers than the license renewal process at the Department of Motor Vehicles. So watch this space for all things DMV and wish me luck as I try to renew my license this year.

3. Stand in line, except maybe at the DMV.

I have to thank Howlin’ Ray’s Nashville Hot Chicken for this. When it first opened in Chinatown, I was dying to try the products, but the line was practically all the way to City Hall.

At the risk of falling into cliché, I think there is an age when you hear the clock ticking and decide that you are not going to waste time doing things you don’t want to do. I understand that younger people don’t mind waiting in line and socializing at a trendy place, like Howlin’ Ray’s or Eggslut. But Los Angeles has a million restaurants and I’m a whore for those who don’t wait in line.

A long line of people next to a word wall "whore eggs" in that.

A lunch line at Eggslut in Los Angeles’ Grand Central Market wraps around the corner of the restaurant.

(Los Angeles Times)

4. Setting foot in a noisy restaurant…

unless I’m with people I really don’t want to talk to, in which case I’ll take them to Bavel in the Arts District.

A few years ago, I reached my lifetime noise accumulation limit in a Middle Eastern restaurant. I couldn’t hear what the specials were, I couldn’t hear what anyone at my table was saying, and if an asteroid had fallen from the sky and taken out the kitchen, no one would have heard the crash.

5. Visit Huntington Beach or retire in Idaho.

I know good people who live in Surf City, but the foolish majority on the City Council is hell-bent on turning the city into a political backwater. They have problems with the Pride flag, with masks and with library books, among other things.

As for Idaho, it’s the home of choice (as The Times’ Jack Dolan and Gina Ferazzi reported) for retired California police officers and firefighters who couldn’t stand the politics of the Golden State but didn’t mind getting into bed with the taxpayer-funded, sucking watering hole. large pensions that they are now spending in another state.

A man with a smile outdoors.

Gerry Turner, the “Golden Bachelor,” at the Westlake Village Inn in August.

(Mariah Tauger/Los Angeles Times)

6. Look at the gold degree televised wedding

However, if it is televised, I will watch the divorce.

Eight things I will do in 2024

1. Cheer on Benny Wasserman.

In early 2023, I went to the batting cages at Home Run Park near Disneyland with Albert Einstein stuntman Benny Wasserman and watched him hit 90 mph fastballs. The column caught the attention of the Topps baseball card company, which made its own cards for him.

A man dressed in a baseball suit holds a bat as an orange ball flies toward him.

Benny Wasserman keeps his eyes on the ball in the batting cages at Home Run Park in Anaheim.

(Christina House/Los Angeles Times)

Wasserman is fighting cancer, but hopes to reach his “90-90” goal. He wants to be able to drive the fastball when he turns 90 in early April, and I look forward to seeing him do it.

2. Visit California’s oldest survivors.

As someone who writes about aging in a state that has what may be the oldest tree in the world, a White Mountain pine, along with countless elders of the sequoia and sequoia varieties, I am forced to make a pilgrimage.

I reached out to the Save the Redwoods League for guidance and connections to the oldest known experts on the oldest known trees, so stay tuned.

3. Make my dream come true.

As a man with a guitar and modest dreams, how can I say no to José Bautista de Tujunga’s multiple offers, including this most recent one?

“Steve, it’s not too late. Let’s start a garage band. You and I play the guitar.

“I know a mandolin player. We… need a bassist, a drummer and, ideally, a keyboard player. “We start small and add people as needed.”

4. Check my story list twice.

I never got to two of the topics on last year’s list of story ideas. One concerned the rewards of volunteering in retirement. The other was a visit to people who have lost friends and family and are aging in isolation. At best, perhaps we can help forge a connection between two groups that need each other.

A man plays a harmonica in front of a hill with his "hollywood" sign.

Pete Teti plays the harmonica while walking through Griffith Park.

(Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times)

5. Walk with Pete.

When my phone rang the other day, it was Pete Teti, reminding me that I have an open invitation to join him and his friends on their daily 7am walks in Griffith Park.

Teti, who studies fractal geometry for fun and uses computers to create music and art, turned 100 in November and told me not to worry about the state of the world, which will always go through good and bad. After writing about him, I received an email from Morrie Markoff, an amateur sculptor who had his first art exhibition at the same age and is now 109 years old.

“He and I have a lot of things in common,” Markoff said of Teti. “I would like to meet him. You can fix it? I’ll work on it.

6. Call Dr. Saxon.

This is just a personal reminder. My pacemaker battery is dying and I need to make an appointment with my cardiologist.

7. I keep my eye on the ball.

As the wave of aging accelerates in 2024, millions of people will struggle with their finances, housing and healthcare. I’ll be looking for new angles on this epic global demographic shift and I’m eager to hear how you’re overcoming these challenges.

8. Take you to dinner.

In fact, the most fun aspect of my first year on the Golden State circuit was interacting with readers. To show my appreciation, I’ll go through the January mailbag and take the person who sends me the best idea to dinner.

Naturally, it will be a special offer for early birds.

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