Friday, December 29, 2006

COLUMN: Shout-Outs!

Deeeeck the halls with boughs of holly,
Fa la la la laaa, la la l...

Whaa? What are you doing here? It's Christmas weekend, go open a present or something. Leave me alone.

Excuse me? You need a column? THIS week? Forget it, bub, I'm knee-deep in ham and like an hour into "A Christmas Story." For the fifth time today. I can't write a column.

Umm... "not an option?" I "HAVE" to write a column? "Disappoint my fans?" What fans? Jimmy down at the gas station? The girl who sends me the naked Polaroids? Frankly, I've got better thi--

Okay, okay. Fine. Sheesh. I suppose there's one thing I've needed to do. Actually, Christmas IS about more than stuffing your face and opening presents. It's about appreciating those around you who bring you happiness and warm fuzzies. With that in mind, indulge me in some holiday thanks to:

• MOM & DAD, the greatest support staff a guy could ask for. Oh, and since she won't get this mailed to her 'til after the holidays, I can break the surprise from last week's column: I bought my mom an iPod for Christmas. And then I opened it up before I wrapped it and loaded it up with ASTONISHINGLY bad music that my mother somehow finds enjoyable: Michael Buble, Celine Dion, Barbara Streisand, etc. I can't believe any of these terrifying vocalists spent time on my hard drive. Which brings me to:

• MY CO-WORKERS, for also listening to all this unlistenable junk, thereby allowing me to borrow -- ahem, sorry, PURCHASE* (*procure in a perfectly legal, non-copyright violating manner) -- all of this aforementioned terrifying music.

• BILL GATES, for installing a volume control on my computer, thus saving my ears from the evils of Celine Dion. Now give me some money. Please.

• MY BOSSES -- Barb, Kelly, Nick, Mike, & Joe -- for filling my heart with sunshine. And because I'm a huge suck-up.

• CHRIS GREENE, my "work wife," for baking me homemade lasagna and meatloaf and chicken enchiladas in the work Christmas gift exchange. Onion-free, no less. (My onion hatred knows no limits, thereby making it a challenge to eat 80% of Earth's home-cooked meals.)

• MYSPACE.COM, for providing an answer to the epic question, "I'm soooo bored. What can I doooo?" Friend me at

• BRUCE CAULKINS, my best friend from high school. We'd lost contact back in 1993-ish, and found each other on Myspace earlier this year. And it's like we never stopped talking.

• J.J. ABRAMS & DAMON LINDELOF, for creating "Lost" and giving me a reason to make it through the week. Now enough pussy-footing around. Who the heck are the Others? Tell me. TELL ME!

• SEAN LEARY, for being the most creative person I know and the greatest human being to bounce ideas off of. "You should try to submit some columns," he said to me years ago. "But they'll probably turn you down," he also said. It's okay, man, I've learned how to selectively listen.

• JASON SCHLAUTMAN, for being my best friend for 18 years running. It's a tough job, folks, to ENJOY hanging out with someone as inept at basic life skills as I am. I'm pretty sure he's changed more tires on MY car than his own.

• MRS. KATIE HOLMES CRUISE, for giving me WAY too much column fodder this year. Don't worry, someday you'll escape his evil clutches, and when that happens, I'll be right here.

• NATHAN WILLIAMS, the only human being who can go to lunch with me every day and then suffer a bullet wound to the skull every night. Usually from my sniper rifle. Man, I love playing "Call of Duty" on X-Box Live.

• CO-OP RECORDS, for giving me the incentive to get up, drag my sorry butt to work, and earn a living. Were it not for my music addiction, I'd be living in a box somewhere.

• LINNEA CROWTHER. One day, I'll wake up and realize that we ARE soulmates. Until then, our Friday lunches are becoming the stuff of legend. Mark my words, someday soon you'll see her name on the spine of a best-selling children's book. When that moment comes, buy it. Even if you don't have kids.

• HARMONY FOLEY. For being my newfound favorite person in the world. Of course, I have to say "world" because she's been in Beijing, China for the past half year. There's a column and explanation on this one coming, gang. Suffice to say I'm a happy guy for the time being.

• TERRY TILKA, RYAN MCKEE, THE ENTIRE STAFF, & ALL THE REGULARS AT 2nd AVE. in the Rock Island District, for making me feel 9 feet tall every weekend. Of course, that might be due to the DJ booth being 3 feet in the air. Still, there's no better side gig than making you people dance. (But can we pick a different song? I'm starting to grow reeeally tired of bringing sexy back night after night.)

• ALL OF YOU, for strangely giving a rat's posterior about what a geeky, awkward, chubby social misfit has to say week after week. All I've got to say THIS week, though, is have a Merry Christmanukkwanzaafestivus. Have a great holiday, gang.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What's up Shane? This is Gucc, remember me from Augie and beyond?