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Brian begins 2016 with excitement and dread

So we are now closer to the year 2030 than we are to 2000. It's true. I sat down for nearly five and a half hours over Christmas break and did the math. And since it's a new year, that means a fresh start for lots of area folks. For example, Duluth Mayor Don Ness and Superior Mayor Bruce Hagen are both moving into 2016 with just days left in their respective administrations. (Ness because he loves his family first and wants to write more books. Hagen because he hates the First Family and writes a lot on Facebook.)

I guess it's true what they say: "A new year is a new beginning." Or do they say, "It's beginning to look a lot like New Year's!" Eh, who cares? I never listen to them, anyway; they say a lot of silly things. I do know that 2016 is going to bring many challenges and opportunities to our household. My wife, Sue, and I are excited, yet dreading, what's coming up. You could say we're "dread-cited." If you were silly. Like them.

Our daughter Kaylee is now halfway through her senior year in high school, which means she's halfway closer to leaving us to go to college. On the one hand, we're looking forward to the gift of more time we're going to be receiving. Time for new adventures, like kayaking and geocaching and eating all the food we used to like before Kaylee declared it "gross" and so we haven't been able to eat it since 2001.

But it's also going to be a difficult task to adjust to life without the child around. Sure, we put up a brave front with cute phrases and too-wide smiles ("Looking forward to that ol' empty nest!") but the truth is, we are vats of emotional goo. Neither of us can remember what our routine was like before the kid showed up. Did we have fun? What were our interests? Who were our friends and, more importantly, where did they go? And what kind of friends are they anyway? You disappear just because we've been ignoring you since 1998?! UNFEELING, UNCARING, TRAITOROUS JERKS!!!

Yeah, it's not gonna be pretty.

I guess we'll just have to concentrate on what's right in front of our parental faces today and celebrate Kaylee's fall/winter successes: playing the lead in the school musical to rave reviews, her recently-completed debut album recorded at Sacred Heart and all the colleges that are desperately vying for her attention. We can worry about tomorrow at the appropriate time.Tomorrow.

For now, we better go find some friends ... Wait! Bruce Hagen might be having some more time on his hands!

I wonder if he likes kayaking?

Brian Matuszak is the founder of Rubber Chicken Theater and invites you to follow him and his theater company on Twitter at, like them on Facebook at Rubber Chicken Theater and visit their website at If you’d like to purchase a copy of Kaylee Matuszak’s CD, keep checking here. I’m sure a proud parent will be trumpeting it more than Doc Severinsen at a brass instrument jazz consortium.

Brian Matuszak

Brian Matuszak is the founder of Rubber Chicken Theater and invites you to follow him and his theater company on Twitter at, like them on Facebook at Rubber Chicken Theater and visit their website at