Share this article

print logo


We all know Spanish philosopher George Santayana's most famous line:

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

What few know, however, is the corollary Santayana uttered years later, apparently after having tried to cram a book deadline, a meeting with his child's math tutor and a three-day sangria bender all into one week:

"Those who are over 30 are too tired to remember where they put the car keys, much less the past, and are condemned to rely on yearly 'in/out' lists to tell them what not to repeat." ("Santayana: The Hung-over Rants," Oxford translation, 1952)

His point?

Eventually, real life erodes one's hipness detector.

One day you're in college. The next you're trying to pay bills. And before you know it, you're shuffling around in a stained terry-cloth robe mumbling, "I don't know how to dance anymore."

You no longer know what's right and what's wrong; what's in and what's out; what's hot and -- echhh -- what is not.

You need a cheat sheet.

Thus, our annual proclamation of what will matter for the next 12 months in food, fashion, sports, music, pop culture and the ever-amusing, ever-horrifying world of personal relations.

And all of it presented with a Santayana-like caveat:

Those who cannot remember to stop wearing clunky heels, drinking chardonnay and ordering tiramisu are condemned to stay home alone -- and probably wind up on a three-day sangria bender.

Stuff We Say


He's gotten huge He's gone Brando

Get in touch with ... Reach out to ...

I'll pay Comped
Forever F'days (for days)

Excuse me/I'm sorry My bad

What's up with that? What up?

Say a prayer for ... Have/think a good thought for ...

Been there, done that Seen the movie, got the T-shirt

Stuff We Do With Each Other

Obligatory social kissing Prolonged, heavy, sweat-inducing eye contact

Chat-room or e-mail sex An actual love letter. On paper. In your own handwriting

Marriage therapy weekends Tantric sex instruction weekends

Monologues about heinous past relationships Letting them go, for God's sake A little more scent A lot less scent. Maybe none -- just you

Nuked popcorn and a new release Cooking hugely and then watching a lush epic

Emotional baggage as anxiety- Emotional baggage as relief-inducing sign inducing sign this person could be trouble this person's actually had a life

Stuff We Eat and Drink

Microbrews Bud longnecks

Merlot Pinot noir, red zinfandel

Cajun Fusion (Asian/French, Asian/Italian, etc.)

National, kitsch-filled chain eateries Small, chef-owned joints that seat 20 tops

Silk centerpieces Edible centerpieces

Heavy chocolate desserts Fruit desserts

Stuff We Listen To

Mall-ternative (Wallflowers, Active rock radio format (Metallica and

Bush, Oasis, etc.) Bosstones alongside Van Halen, etc.)

Liam and Noel Gallagher as Beatles Ben Folds as Billy Joel

Jewel goes back to Alaska Ani DiFranco goes international

Crowd riding at concerts Standing there and listening to the !@#$ music

Mope-rock bands unwinding post-show Pile-driving rock bands unwinding post-show with a

with a quiet veggie meal at hotel TV hurled off the balcony at hotel

People Getting Sweaty

Dallas Cowboys, "America's Team AFC upstarts, i.e. K.C. Chiefs, Denver Broncos

Watching Air Jordan slam dunk Watching Lisa Leslie slam dunk

Jim Kelly as arrogant jerk Jim Kelly as human being

Marv Levy as God Marv Levy as fallen angel

Going to the game Watching it at home on dish

Sprewell as pawn in a setup Sprewell as spoiled brat

Sabres as favorite party we must attend Sabres as dysfunctional family we must endure

Us, Getting Sweaty

Snow tubing Snow biking

Boarding as neo-punk pastime Boarding as winter Olympic sport

NordicTraks Ultra-high-tech and/or family-size treadmills

Pro-franchise attendance Hanging out with your rec league

Pop Culture

Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Aniston Cameron Diaz, Clare Danes

Chris O'Donnell Matt Damon

Quentin Tarantino Harmony Korine (wrote "Kids," directs upcoming "Gummo")

Movies as guidepost for the imagination Movies as occasional mind candy

"Beavis & Butt-Head" "King of the Hill"

"Daria" "South Park"

MTV's "Real World" VH1's "Pop-Up Video"

Barbed-wire tattoo around bicep, tongue stud Inkless bod, hole-less face

Low, hot sports cars you see outside Panache Huge, scary SUVs you see in your rear-view

Gaudy musicals in Toronto Smart plays in downtown Buffalo

Boot-leg and flare pants Capri pants

Chunk heels Ballets, flat sandals

Seattle Boston

Call waiting *69

Screening your calls Answering the phone and getting real: "Hi. Stop calling me."

Forever In


The St. Patrick's Day Seneca Street pub-crawl

Levi's 501s

Broadway Market on Good Friday

Leather watchband or belt

Coffee regular

John Otto

A standard transmission

Eddie Murphy's "Honeymooners" bit

Schwabl's roast beef
Forgetting in/out lists; going with your gut