It’s hard to believe that a year has gone by since my first
guest spot. For 52 weeks, I’ve been blessed to hear from you guys, both when
you think I’m right and wrong (or when I’m just plain stupid).It’s a gift and I’m grateful to have a
community for whom I can write and with whom I can converse.
When I took this gig, I had no real direction. I’d taken a
job I didn’t want, bought a house I didn’t like and was doing things that were
boring as hell. I was lost in a life I wasn’t sure would lead to anything that
would make me happy. Having a weekly spot gave me something to look forward to.
It gave me a chance to think, to write and to share. It’s been a salvation of
sorts and I don’t know if I’ve said thanks enough for that. Having folks like you and a life-long friend like Ms. A are things to treasure for sure.
Until I realized that this was a full year, I hadn’t really
reflected on what had happened since I had my first brain dump at First Draft.
To more fully understand the year that was, I figured I’d take a look back at
the best and worst of the year:
Best Stupid Republican Trick:
From the Hannity/McCain interview-
Hannity: And on top of all the other responsibilities of
being vice president, and that means national security, and all the other
McCain: Could I just interrupt for one second?
Hannity: You can do whatever you want.
Best “service likely to be abused by pissed off
The“you’ve got VD” e-mail postcards you can send to folks
you had a one-night stand with. Ah, youth. Jeff Foxworthy was right: we married
folks might not be seeing as much action as you folks out there on the front
lines of the sexual revolution, but we are living to fight another day.
Best thing I didn’t know about sports but learned:
Jackie Robinson was aRepublican who supported Richard Nixon against John F. Kennedy,
a decision he said he later regretted.
Best imagined conversation:
Steven Hawking meets the Pope.
I’d love to see this conversation.
Pope: God bless you, my child.
Hawking: Dude, what’s up with that hat?
Best kids’ programming thing ruined for life:
One of the perils of being a parent is the stuff your kids
tend to watch. My kid has started to like Yo Gabba Gabba, which is making my
brain bleed.With all the flap
from Jerry Falwell about the “gay” Teletubby why hasn’t someone come out protesting howMuno the cyclopslooks like a studded dildo?
Second best imagined conversation:
Last yeara movement was
afoot in South Carolina to change the state’s constitution.
Apparently, 1895 Jim-Crow-style language argued that every kid had a right to a
“minimally adequate” education. It’s been more than 110 years since that’s been
written and yet “minimally adequate” still controls the dice in that state.
I found myself imagining the dinner conversation at a
typical SC house:
Mom: Did you get your minimally adequate education today,
Son: Yes, Maw, I did. We learned about nouns. Next semester,
Mom: Hell, son, if you don’t quit now, you’ll get adjectives
and such next year as a senior.
Favorite “moment in the sun:”
Got an email from Ms. A that the
post I wrote aboutthe 1984 Orange Bowlwas picked up by USA Today.
The Minnesota Daily announced
its plans to reduce its five-day-per-week schedule to four days a week
while pleading poverty and loss. The paper operates on a $3 million annual
budget and has three students who make more money than I did in my first two
professional jobs. F’n Gophers…
Favorite moment of self-reflection:
Goodnight, Jim O’Toole
Best “do you get the joke yet” moment:
“Journalist” Jessica McBride was schtuping the chief of police in the close proximity to the time where she was interviewing him for a massive profile in Milwaukee Magazine. My favorite moment after I wrote this came from a friend of mine who’s wife knew McBride during her time as a student journalist at UW-Milwaukee. We were in the middle of something, so I asked him to text her and ask for her reflections on McBride. The response? “Tell Doc she’s a whore who occasionally wrote stuff.” Classic…
Best emotional crisis sated by a bad movie:
What would Dirk
Worst read of an audience’s reaction:
In reviewing theHenry
Louis Gates situation, I don’t think I was wrong, but I didn’t realize that I
would be alone in that estimation.
Second worst read of an audience’s reaction:
70-cent beers in a dozen” post had people pissed that I dissed on Grain Belt
Premium. For God’s sake, it’s SHIT BEER. I didn’t say I didn’t like it, just
that you’re not going to see the social elite quaffing it at La Scala.
Best thing I discovered while trying to fill out the QTBS:
Most obvious thing to me that was apparently not obvious to
the people in charge:
Favorite thing I wrote in a long time:
anniversary duel between Harvey Haddix and Lou Burdette. God, was that fun.
Thanks to all of you who indulged me in reading it.
Favorite thing I wrote after getting the reaction:
Mrs. Lipske.After her retirement, she sent Mom a letter explaining that someone
found this for her and sent it to her. She knew immediately who wrote it and
told Mom that in all of her time teaching, I was probably her favorite student
because I had feelings like these. I can’t even think about that idea without
Best thing I realized:
I get to do this again next week.
Thanks to all of you for allowing that to occur.