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Lately I've fallen for the hardly unusual (and actually pretty pedestrian) spell of nostalgia. My transgressions: Asked for (and got) Ball fruit jars for Christmas. Bought some cotton clothes. Framed some pictures of my grandfather. Three words: Dylan, on vinyl.

Thusly I have to this conclusion, and please excuse its Orwellian timbre: "Old is good, new is bad."

For instance, my mother's quilt – pieced of her wool college skirts and embroidered with "TO LUKE LOVE MOM 1980" – is the oldest thing in my possession (outside of my own body, that is; inside my body, it's too dark to see). It is also the best thing in my posession.

The television I bought last month is one of the newest things I own; it has proved to be one of the worst.

And so it is that with reluctance I replace my calendars. As a new year shoos an old one, early indications suggest the axiom holds: Old year good, new year bad. Baa-aa.

Consider what we have to look forward to: Monica before the Senate and Mary Bono in the House. A Minnesota-Denver Super Bowl. Pat Robertson exploiting Y2K for profit.

Internet stock corrections; subsequent riots in SOMA. Hiring freezes. No baseball games under $10, no concerts under $30. A Backstreet Boyz movie.

Fox presents: "The Millennium's Craziest Crashes." No way around go.com. Only three months in which to conceive a child for the 20th century. Lots and lots of Prince.

It all makes me want to hang on to 1998. It was a good year, for me: great times with good people. Given the chance to repeat it, I would.

Stop. Time is what we make of it. Dates are arbitrary. The fiscal year, the school year and the ecumenical year all have greater impact on our lives. Besides, 1998 was knee-deep in shit a few times itself. And 1999's perils notwithstanding, there is a certain Memorial Day movie to look forward to.

This New Year's Eve, I'll get home form work around 11:30. There is a cheap bottle of champagne I've been saving, and today I picked up a $10 dollar cigar. As soon as I hear gunfire, I'll pop the cork, light the match and resolve this: Respect the past. Relish the future. Make the best of the present.

"Old is good, new can be better." Baa-aa.

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What's your New Year's resolution?