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     Two down, 363 to go.

     2010 is gone and it's gonna start with a burst--a new Governor in Madison, along with a fresh state legislature.     Among the people working in the Capitol is my former partner, John Jagler.   His departure from Radio City was one of the many things that made 2010 challenging, to say the least.   I miss my former TMJ bud, but know he'll kick butt in Madison.   The Dome is about to get a big heaping blast of Vitamin J and will be a better place for it.

      It's hard to believe all the things that got crammed into the last 12 months for yours truly.    There were moments of great triumph including the graduation of my daughter from St. Norbert College last spring--that, and the fact that she had a job waiting for her the day after getting her diploma.   No mean feat in these challenging economic times.   And, she's engaged.   I have a year and a half to come up with serious cash.

     My son is now halfway through his sophomore year at Marquette University, bringing home a 4.0 this autumn.   I think he's seen just about every movie ever made--certainly within the past decade--as his passion for film continues.

     He and I did L-A for our annual summer baseball trip--a tradition that gets better with each passing year.    It's hard to believe that the fresh-faced little boy who rode shotgun with me all those years ago is now a shaving, voting adult.   He'll be able to join me at the hotel bar this next time around, provided we do it after his birthday this July.  

      I know it's the time of year for resolutions, but I really don't make any.   I promise to be a better person, to work out more and to eat/drink less.    I want to listen more and talk less.   I want to watch more "good" television, but I have to admit that I'm drawn to that crappy game show with the pile of money that falls through the floor.   I want to finally read the classics, but that damn YouTube is a wonderful place to kill time.   I'd like to make it through an entire summer without any crabgrass, but from what I've read I'm already too late with my application of corn meal for it to to any good.    I'd love to conquer some new home repair skills, but water and electricity still scare the you-know-what out of me.   My wife would like me to tackle new recipes, claiming that I like to cook and should expand my repertoire.    I don't like to cook.   I like to eat, which is why I step in behind the oven on the days she works.    I hope she maintains her hankerin' for the fruits of my Traeger (another huge shift that came in the past year as I pretty much deserted my old-school Weber for the joys of wood pellet smoking).   I should reconnect with more old friends, what with the Internet making such things far more doable.   That said, it's not as though I'm in witness protection.    If they wanted to find me, I suppose they would've done it by now.

      It's a modest to-do list, to be sure, and if my problems run no deeper than those I've listed above, I can safely say I have a charmed life.   It's always hard to predict what will happen over the course of the next 12 months.   I've made it through 53 years on this rock with far more good than bad.     The one thing I've learned is that your life can change in a matter of seconds--with a phone call, a trip to a doctor or any of the "routine" things that can forever alter you.   You hope you can cope if the worst happens, and all you can do is pray that it doesn't.

      The routine starts Monday.   The holidays are gone.   The Christmas tree is in the process of coming down, and the fridge still holds leftovers from the Rose Bowl party the mancave hosted Saturday.   The kids head back to work/school.    Dad's alarm is set for 1:30 a.m.   It's time to get back to the same old same old, because when you add it up, it's pretty damn sweet.

      Let's hope the same can be said by all of us 363 days from now.  

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