Goal Books

We’ve been moving out a lot of clutter the last week and Karen found a piece of loose-leaf titled “Goal Books.” It’s a handwritten document laying out the framework for a volume fo 100 goals, 1-2 per page with illustrations. The goals, both long and short term, would be created by Nate.

Nate seems to remember the idea, telling me it was from 2007 when he was still in high school. Lest you think the Katz’ always accomplish their tasks and leave no stone unturned, I can tell you we never did this. Sad really, since it would have been interesting to see who Nate thought he was 5 years ago and what he expected from his future.

All is not lost. There are nine entries under “Nate’s ideas.” Here’s what was on his mind:

  1. I would like to win Super Monkeyball II before summer – I checked with the big fella and he said he never beat it. Oh how he would get frustrated by the various mazes of Monkeyball, yelling “This is impossible!” as well as the occasional curse word. Video games have always been an asset. They really helped Nate learn problem solving and focused his attention.
  2. I’d like to cook many ethnic international meals – Nate used to like to cook. Not so much anymore. It’s a funny goal since he eats the plainest of foods – pizza, fries, bread, plain burgers, pasta with marinara, rice. The closest he’s gotten to world food is that he now eats Crunchwrap Supremes at Taco Bell – meat and cheese only!
  3. I would like to graduate high school by 2009 – done and done! No sign of college on his radar back then. I don’t think it was on my radar either.
  4. I would like to have new friends – Not yet. Nate has become more social, and being in college made him interact more with his peers. But friends, in the sense we think of them, no.  Nate has rarely brought up friendship and when he does my heart breaks a little.
  5. I would like to do my own 3-D animated graphic – I’m not sure he’s ever done that, but he is a college graduate with a degree in graphic design. That counts for a lot.
  6. I would like to go to Ithaca by Apr. 1 – My guess is we took him there.
  7. I want to build a house in 3 years – Not by a long stretch, but he is on the verge of replacing bathroom fixtures in his room and that makes him very happy.
  8. I would like to be an architect – We never worked towards that, but he is a professional artist, having sold a handful of original work at his SoHo gallery show. He’s also the sole artist at Alpha Folks, which we hope to unveil in the fall. Not exactly the goal, but pretty damn good!
  9. I want to see the next Simpson set coming out soon – By 2007, Nate had outgrown his unbelievably out of control tantrums that were a result of waiting for the next Simpsons release date, then acquisition, then waiting for the next release date, and so on. But it was enough on his mind to make this list.

Not a high percentage of achievement, but Nate is in a place in 2012 that none of us could have dreamed had we ourselves been asked to write a list of goals for him five years ago.

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About Jeff Katz

Jeff Katz is Mayor of Cooperstown, the “Birthplace of Baseball” and home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. His latest book, Split Season:1981 - Fernandomania, the Bronx Zoo, and the Strike that Saved Baseball, (Thomas Dunne Books, 2015), received national attention, with coverage appearing in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Sporting News and NPR’s Only a Game, among others. Katz appeared on ESPN’s Olbermann and The Sporting Life with Jeremy Schaap and MLB Network’s MLB Now, with Brian Kenny. Split Season: 1981 was a finalist for the 2016 Casey Award for Best Baseball Book of the Year.
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