Ladies and gentlemen, just in time for Turkey Day I present my 5th annual "thanks/no thanks" list. Like the previous four editions of this list, I keep the context to a bare-bones minimum; it's merely an acknowledgment of all the things that have been in my peripheral in the past year. While I'm grateful for my friends and family, this list tends to focus on the intangibles in my life. It's my way to letting you know me better, one ambiguous morsel at a time.
THANKS: The stupifyingly easy Yahoo! daily crossword, the continued brilliance of The Onion, my DVR, NBC's Thursday night comedy lineup, the fact that I'm still employed, hockey's newfound relevance in Chicago, Zach Greinke, and all my new friends and classmates at Second City.
NO THANKS: Another Yankees World Championship, Glenn Beck, the coldest summer in recent memory, anything involving Nadya Suleman and the Gosselins, old friends that never check their e-mail, still living at home, writer's block, and the system errors and various other maladies that plague this otherwise wonderful web site.
+ NBC is about to be gobbled up by Comcast. Is this what broadcast television is being reduced to? This is almost as sad as it is symbolic of how much mass media has evolved (mutated?) in the past few decades.
+ Let me reemphasize the fact that the Bears' woes are not Jay Cutler's fault. The players won't listen to the coaches, the secondary is middling, there's no running game, and our defense is too small and too old. When I alluded to Jay's prima donna attitude before the season started, I was half-kidding. The best player on this team right now is Robbie Gould, can we all agree on that?
+ Detained terrorists in Illinois? The prospect of having them in my home state is a little off-putting, though tiny Thomson is inexplicably welcoming the idea with open arms. In all honestly, I'm on the fence; if it creates jobs for this dying Mississippi River town, so be it. Besides, isn't driving 150 miles on I-88 a punishment in itself?
+ Speaking of hockey, last night I met Dustin Byfuglien of the Chicago Blackhawks. What an incredibly nice guy.
Next week: the year in music, 1974.