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This just in! There is a mind-boggling amount of stuff going on in the world outside my door. This precipitates an ongoing crisis, because all that stuff is forever threatening to be more important than what goes on in my day-to-day life. Clearly, some balance is required.

Therefore allow me to remind my readers that there is a very important topic that deserves their immediate attention: me.

While most of my goals for the coming year are tentative, one thing I will definitely do is turn forty. This saddens me for a number of reasons. A big reason is that I had hoped my career as a concubine would have taken off by now.

I was hobbled from the get-go by the fact that I never made it into concubine school. My GRE scores were OK, but I couldn't produce any letters of reference. Maybe it's just as well, considering what you have to do to get one of those. Anyway, without a degree it's hard to establish trust with potential new clients, let alone get research grants.

At this point, I should probably just admit that I am the only client I will ever need, and give myself a business card. Who knows -- I might win a free lunch!

On the other hand, one thing gives me hope: Living Out Loud, a 1998 chick flick starring Holly Hunter. Like always, she plays a cute and watchable lady who has some problems. The movie also has problems, but there is one perfect bit: a synchronized dance number, almost an anthem, on the need to be touched.

Maybe Holly Hunter is the only client I'll ever need.

In other news, I find this projection on climate-related problems over the next 40-50 years extremely disturbing. What this map makes shockingly clear is that climatologists can't color between the lines. When the supposed experts show you a map with blobby smears all over it, how can they expect you to take them seriously? Clearly, more debate is required.

I challenge the experts to disprove my counterthesis: namely, that the world is a Family Circus strip, and God lets Billy draw it every week. That would at least explain the map.