Well I figure it's high time I end my partially self-imposed hiatus from the blogosphere. The fact I haven't done my radio show the past two Sundays combined with the busyness of Christmas/New Years has sapped my motivation. Yet here I am late on a Friday evening just to prove I'm still alive.
A few quick updates.
Had a great New Years weekend last week as my wife and I traveled to Rockford, IL to see Jim Brickman and friends in concert. One of the featured artists on tour with Brickman included Minnesota native Ben Utecht. You may recognize the name from his having played Tight End for the U of M in the early 2000s as well as a modest stint in the NFL with the Indianapolis Colts (with whom he won a Super Bowl five years ago) and Cincinnati Bengals. After suffering a serious concussion at 2009 training camp with the Bengals, Utecht decided to retire at age 28 and pursue his other passion --- music. I have to say that I was impressed with his singing and certainly wish him the best in his musical career. And given he has such a fascinating story, I approached him in the lobby after the show and invited him to be a guest on my radio program sometime (yeah, I know. I'm such a shill). My wife and I then proceeded to ring in the New Year with Jen's good friend from high school and her husband. I'll just say that it's still difficult to accept that I'm barely able to last much past Midnight at this point in my life.
Unfortunately, I didn't have much time to recover from the fun weekend, as I had to be back at work Monday. As such, I was a little more frazzled than normal on Sunday evening when trying to wind down the weekend. To make matters worse, we noticed our beloved cat Macbeth was struggling to breathe and was making some rather guttural noises. As I got ready for work Monday morning, I noticed Mac wasn't engaging in his normal routines. Typically he would sit on the blue chair just outside our bedroom as he waited for me to head downstairs to feed him and our other cat Cleo. He would then take a couple of quick bites of his food before he would come over by me to beg for the milk I poured on my cereal. Once all that was done, he would follow me to the master bathroom and lounge in one of our closets until Jen & I finished getting ready. He would often openly complain about the high pitched noise of my wife's hair dryer. Sadly, all he did Monday morning was lay at the top of the stairs in obvious discomfort. Since Jen had the day off, she decided to take him to the vet. I felt the urge to crouch down and spend a few extra minutes with Mac in an effort to try and comfort him (Can you tell we don't have any kids?). Sadly, it would be the last time I would see him alive. By the time he arrived at the vet, Mac was making the most awful noises as if he were struggling for every single breath. Sure enough, it was ascertained that he was suffering from fluid around his heart. Essentially he had the feeling as if he were drowning. With Jen beside him, Mac laid there calmly as he was given oxygen and then a shot to allow him to pass peacefully and mercifully. Five days later, I still miss him terribly.
On Tuesday evening, I was invited to be third wheel on The Late Debate with Jack and Ben. With the Iowa Caucuses taking place that night, we planned on reviewing the night's events. Instead, because it was such a hotly contested race between Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, a winner was not even declared at Midnight, the normal ending time of LD ----- so we went to a THIRD hour. Finally at 1:30, Romney was declared the winner of the Iowa Caucus by eight votes. Eight. But the highlight of the evening was the three of us with our "peanut gallery" commentary as we played speeches of the various candidates as well as CNN's live coverage. Considering I had that much fun pontificating on a rather meaningless event (Iowa's 25 delegates are non-binding), I can only imagine how much of a blast I'll have co-hosting AM 1280 The Patriot's coverage of November's general election!
So there you have it. Between holidays, road trips, dying pets, radio moonlighting and 60-hour work weeks, the blogging had fallen by the wayside. But I'm glad to be back!!