The year 2012 was not my most eventful year ever but it definitely made the top ten list. I have to say, the events were mostly all life-affirming. They represented finally reaching the light at the end of a tunnel. I finished phase one of a college experience, married a wonderful man, travelled outside the United States for the first time ever, found a new and better job and moved to my new home. Of all that I left behind, the things I miss most are some very good neighbors and friends, and a really wonderful garden.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot? How 'bout the presidential campaign, the 112th Congress and Newsweek magazine? Journalists usually favor year-end recaps of news but as a public service I'm going to focus instead on the glorious months ahead, in this handy precap of 2013:
Here's my annual list looking at 2012:
HOLLYWOOD - God bless America, and how's everybody?
Sure, Paul McCartney can still sing at age 70, but have you taken a good look at his hair? During the concert to benefit victims of Sandy, and a few nights later on "Saturday Night Live," McCartney's locks were positively mesmerizing.
This year, the politically correct gestures of seasonal salutation (Happy Holidays, Season's Greetings, etc.), which for too long have served as substitutes for the real thing, have become vacuous, stale and boring. This year, somehow, they seem especially inadequate to express the sentiment we so desperately need to hear at this moment in time.
It's not tougher gun control, stupid.
It's only human nature to want to take action after such a harrowing traumatic event. To do something. Anything, to protect our kids. And make sure that Newtown never ever happens again. Here. There. Anywhere.
HOLLYWOOD - Merry Christmas, everybody, and God bless America.
Journalists often exaggerate by using the phrase "shattered lives."
HOLLYWOOD - God bless America, and how's everybody?
Ah, the holiday season is upon us. What better time to show our support for our men and women in uniform?
We here at the Tribune have observed what has been dubbed "Christmas Spirit Week" this week. There have been days dedicated to wearing Christmas attire, Christmas bling and Christmas colors. Of course, all week, the table in the break room has loaded with Christmas cookies and assorted Christmas snacks.
Sheesh! Successful people in France are getting a lot of grief lately.
Last week can lose my number, stop telling people we dated in college and untag the pictures of us together on Facebook.
If more Americans were self-employed independent contractors, the country would soar.
"Ewww!" said my wife, when I told her that BrandsOnSale.com is marketing leftover "Breaking Bad" meth lab hazmat suits as Ebola Containment Suits this Halloween, at $79.99 a pop.
Everything you need to know about Bruce Braley was made clear by the candidate himself in a thirty-seven second video of him speaking to his real constituents - his fellow trial lawyers - at a fundraiser in Texas.
Let's take a break from our Ebola freakout and debate something a bit more benign - like word usage. For instance, why do we keep using czar?
How much would you borrow to buy something that you would never use and might kill you and everyone around you? If we're talking about Uncle Sam's outdated and useless nuclear arsenal, the price tag is $1.1 trillion. A better-and cheaper-idea might be doing what Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan and a host of others wanted to do in the first place: Get rid of nuclear weapons.
Former Clinton Administration Labor Secretary Robert Reich recently called on the government to force young people to spend two years either "serving" in the military or performing some other type of government-directed "community service." Neoconservative Senator John McCain has introduced legislation creating a mandatory national service program very similar to Reich's proposal. It is not surprising that both a prominent progressive and a leading neocon would support mandatory national service, as this is an issue that has long united authoritarians on the left and right.
Arrogance doesn't sit well with most Americans for very long.
"Politicize" is a jab meaning the other side is trying to capitalize on a news topic. "The Republicans have tried to politicize the border crisis," says Nancy Pelosi. Reince Priebus says Democrats are trying to politicize Benghazi. Jay Carney says Republicans are trying to politicize Benghazi. Steny Hoyer says Republicans are trying to politicize the VA scandal. Rush Limbaugh says Democrats politicize EVERYTHING.
Add Ebola to our long and growing list of federal screw-ups.
In what has been a season of jaw-dropping news, the largest bombshell seems like it was ripped from the pages of Mad Magazine.
A garment that has elicited a lot of wolf whistles is turning 75 years old.
More secret money is being pumped into politics than ever before. For that ignominious milestone, we can thank Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and his four Republican-appointed pals.
I'm starting to feel bad for President Obama, if you want to know the truth.
Race is one of those subjects that never seems to simmer down.
As America waits, ever patiently, for the economic recovery to trickle down to the rest of us, at least we won't have to worry about Kevin Cramer. This former radio host has figured out a way to get a piece of the pie not just for himself but for many of his relatives as well. Unfortunately, he's cashing in because he's a congressman, so his method probably won't work for us poor slobs who have to work for a living.