By All Memes Necessary

Another meme via Red.

1. Was 2006 a good year for you?

It had its tough spots – a planned job change followed by an unplanned one, some other stuff, runarounds with schools that are fodder for many posts to come, and the unending comedy of my personal life – but all in all, it was good. Kids are in better school situations, I’m in an awesome job – I’m pretty happy, all in all.
2. What was your favorite moment(s) of the year?

  • Sitting in the press booth at the State GOP convention, interviewing one notable after another, seeing candidates lined up out the door waiting to talk with us.
  • Honestly? Driving around with my kids Christmas evening.
  • Climbing over the rail, walking down to the field at old Taylor Stadium, and scattering part of my grandfather’s ashes under the goalposts. More below.
  • Sitting at the top of the Navy Pier ferris wheel in Chicago at about 10 at night, looking over Lake Michigan.
  • That’s all I can tell you about…

3. What was your least favorite moment(s) of the year?

Let’s not go into that.
4. What did you do in 2006 that you’d never done before?

Drove a minivan.

5. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I don’t do them – but I have goals for the year. None of them really panned out, but ’07’s another year.

6. Where were you when 2006 began?

At a friend’s house.

7. Who were you with?

My girlfriend at the time, our various kids, and her family.

8. Where will you be when 2006 ends?

At an undisclosed location.

9. Who will you be with when 2006 ends?

Not who I’d like to be. And yet there’s noplace I’d rather be.

10. Did anyone close to you give birth?

No, but my sister – who turned 40 this year (and still looks all of 28, the little brat) found out she’s expecting; the baby is due one of these next few months, and will join her 16, 14 and 12 year olds.

11. Did you lose anybody close to you in 2006?

No, but we sorta closed the book on my grandparents. I never got around to writing much about it; I went to North Dakota in August to scatter their ashes around the college where they met (and where I graduated). It was fun – I saw my aunts and uncles, including my mom’s brother, whom I’d not seen in almost thirty years – and sad as well.

12. Who did you miss?

See above.

13. Who was the best new person you met in 2006?

Let’s not go into that, either.
14. What was your favorite month of 2006?

July. I got to go back to my 25th reunion. I had a wonderful time.

15. Did you travel outside of the US in 2006?


16. How many different states did you travel to in 2006?

NoDak, Wisconsin and Illinois. That was it!

17. What would you like to have in 2007 that you lacked in 2006?

Senses of peace, accomplishment, and that my kids have finally, officially turned the corner.

That, and some sort of national syndication deal for the NARN. (A guy can – no, indeed, must dream).

18. What date from 2006 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Not sure any date is “etched”; some of the usual important days, I’ll remember.

19. What was your biggest achievement of the year?


  1. Current job
  2. Getting my daughter into a much better school situation. The change makes “night and day” look trite. It’s the change I’ve been praying for for years. Hopefully this year my son will follow suit. He is, actually – with Bun, it’s been a dramatic shift, while with Zam it’s been more incremental.

20. What was your biggest failure?

I can’t honestly say there were any huge “failures”. I had one job that went sour unexpectedly, but I can honestly say I did my best on that one, and I’ll tell it to the face of the little jag that caused the issue.

21. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I was actually very healthy this past year. I hope I haven’t jinxed myself.

22. What was the best thing you bought?

I can’t think of a single thing I bought.

23. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Honestly? My daughter’s. With the school change, she went from being – honestly – a straight F student to achieving well in line with her abilities; and oy, does she have abilities. I am serious – you can not imagine the weight this has lifted from me.

24. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Chad the Elder.

No, seriously, I expect so little of people (especially celebrities) that nothing really appalls me.

25. Where did most of your money go?
The mortgage, Excel Energy, and food.

26. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Don’t ask. It didn’t pan out.

27. Did you drink a lot of alcohol in 2006?

I drank so little this past year. I bought a six-pack of St. Pauli Girl in October, and there’s still a bottle left in my fridge. I barely made it to Keegan’s, either.

28. Did you do a lot of drugs in 2006?

I wish. That might actually be a relief.

But honestly, I may have had a dozen Aleve this past year.

29. Did you treat somebody badly in 2006?


30. Did somebody treat you badly in 2006?

No. A couple of situations disappointed me, but it had nothing to do with “bad treatment”.

31. Compared to this time last year, are you:

i. happier or sadder? – At the moment, sadder. But it won’t last. If you leave out the comedy of my personal life, I’m probably happier.
ii. thinner or fatter? – A little thinner, actually. That’s a big goal for this year.
iii. richer or poorer? – A little richer, and a lot smarter. That’s another big goal.

32. What do you wish you’d done more of in 2006?

Everything fun; relaxing, hanging out with friends, sex, travelling – yet more goals for the coming year.

33. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Worrying, grovelling.

34. Did you fall in love in 2006?

Yet again, let’s not go into that, either.
35. What was your favorite TV program(s)?

I finally discovered Scrubs. Oh, I’d seen part of an episode or two, years ago, and thought it was funny, but I never absorbed all the real poignancy the show also has. For all the surreal laughs (and go ahead and ask my kids – I laugh harder and more loudly to this show than any show I’ve ever seen), it’s got a bittersweet, real edge to it. It yanks me back and forth from shrieking mirth to gulping back a tear in less time that it’s taken to write about it. Wonderful.

Oh, and catching up on 24 was a six week hoot.

36. What song will always remind you of 2006?

That “OK Go” song.

37. How many concerts did you see in 2006?


38. Did you have a favorite concert in 2006?


39. What was your greatest musical discovery?

I can’t actually think of one.

40. What was the best book you read?

No question – Red sicced me on Children of the Arbat by Anatoli Rybakov. A chillingly mundane look at the early Stalin era. Incredible.

41. What was your favorite film of this year?

I think Eternal Sunshine was last year, right? It might have been Little Miss Sunshine.

42. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

Opened a card and presents from my parents, took the kids out to Bascali’s, a little Italian joint by the Fairgrounds that I save for special occasions.

43. What did you want and get?

Nothing, and more than I could have asked for.

44. What did you want and not get?


45. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Many little things, few big ones. Everything from finally conquering my personal finances to meeting the “right” person.

46. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2006?

Stay Alive.

47. What kept you sane?

Prayer, Blogging, the NARN, and the fact that going insane is never really an option. No matter how freaked out I start to feel, dinner’s gotta get cooked.

48. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

The winner, as for the past 15 years – Marisa Tomei.

49. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2006.

Sorry, no.

50. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
With a nod to the honorable mention, Warren Zevon’s “Play It All Night Long”, I gotta go with one that might be no surprise; if my life were a movie, Bruce would be half the soundtrack:

One soft infested summer, me and Terry became friends/Trying in vain to breathe the fire we were born in./Catching rides to the outskirts, tying faith between our teeth,/sleeping in that old abandoned beach house, getting wasted in the heat, and…

(CH) Running on the backstreets, running on the backstreets. /With a love so hard and filled with defeat./Running for our lives at night on the backstreets.

Slow dancing in the dark, on the beach at Stockton’s Wing,/where desperate lovers park we sat with the last of the Duke Street Kings./Huddled in our cars, waiting for the bell to ring,/In the deep heart of the night, we could cut loose from everything, and go

(CH) Running on the backstreets, running on the backstreets. /Terry you swore we’d live forever – taking it on the backstreets, together.

Endless juke joints and Valentino drag, where dancers scraped their tears up off the streets dressed down in rags,/running through the darkness, some hurt bad, some really dying,/and at night sometimes it’d seem you could hear the whole damn city crying./Blame it on the lies that killed us, blame it on the truth that ran us down,/hell, you can blame it all on me, Terry. It don’t matter to me now./When the breakdown hit at midnight there was nothing left to say,/but I hated him. And I hated you when you went away…

Lying in the dark you’re like an angel on my chest,/another tramp of hearts crying tears of faithlessness./Remember all the movies, Terry, we’d go see, trying to/learn how to walk like the heroes we thought we had to be?/Well after all this time, we find we’re just like all the rest,/stranded in the dark, and forced to confess to…

(CH) Running on the backstreets, running on the backstreets. /Terry you swore we’d be forever friends, on the backstreets ’til the end…

7 thoughts on “By All Memes Necessary

  1. Mitch,
    I somehow fell upon your blog a month or two ago, and have been skimming over it ever since because I like your occasional references to Jamestown High School. I am a classmate from the class of 1981. Anyway, I see that you went back for the 25th reunion and “had a blast”. I haven’t talked with anyone that attended, but I’d love to hear all about it, who was there, etc…

  2. Nancy,

    I sent you an offline email. Hope to hear from you…

    …so I can figure out which of our class’s Nancys you are!

  3. “going insane is never really an option”

    There is a complex profundity in there, considering the nature of insanity is nearly always involuntary.

  4. Real mental illness is usually foisted upon one…

    …but that’s not really the type of “insanity” at issue here.

  5. Hair-splitting time. If the legal definition of insanity is the inability to differentiate between right and wrong, does it not also follow that one cannot choose wrong and still be insane? Therefore “going insane” and “option” are natural nonsequiters.

  6. Perhaps, and not really relevant. It’s not about the legal definition of sanity. It’s about the personal feeling of being out of control, and that buzzing sound that accompanies being in that feeling for a long, long time.

  7. Prolonged stress? It usually leads to depression, with the occasional anxiety attack as a pressure valve.
    Not that I’d know personally….

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