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Attention Span

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LIVE THE HIGH LIFE

Forget about the stupid parties and lame festivities; there's nothing wrong with staying home alone on New Year's Eve. But because the forecast indicates the possibility of chaos and apocalypse, you have to balance the partyin' with preparation. Before locking yourself into some small, windowless room on December 31, shopping must be done. First and foremost — since it is New Year's Eve and this is America — get alcohol. Because it is the millennium, only the best will do: The king of beers (Budweiser) and the champagne of beers (Miller High Life, back in style). Purchase 99 beers (four 24-pack cases and a 40-ouncer — the equivalent of 3 12-ounce bottles and a bit more). Not just because it is the last day of 1999, but, more importantly, you'll need a new beer for every verse of your solo performance of "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall."

END SWEETLY

At the crack of dawn, if you make it, celebrate with a bowl of "Once in a Lifetime Millenios from Cheerios." They're sugar-coated Cheerios in the shapes of Os and 2s — like the year 2000, get it? — to help mark the first day of a new era. Even if you don't survive, the cereal box itself is designed to serve as a time capsule. Write your name in the blank, shove in a couple of empties, the movie, the CD and a brief manifesto to let the postapocalyptic conquerors know you went out in style.

GENERATE THE MOOD

Of course, singing by yourself will get old faster than the year will, so more entertainment is required: Taxi Driver and Black Sabbath's We Sold Our Soul for Rock and Roll (available at amazon.com for $12.99 (VHS) and $13.99 (CD), respectively). These two gems will remind you that just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you. As the feelings of impending doom increase, spending $449.99 for that new 2700-watt, 5-horsepower Honda generator (available at Northern Tool & Equipment Co.) will seem like a good investment. Once midnight hits and it all starts coming down, the generator will allow you to stay warm and the beer to stay cold.

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