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So this is my 226th Budgeteer column, which means two things: 1. I've been fooling a lot of people for an extended period of time. And ... 2. I forgot to make a big deal about my 225th column. The first reason should be obvious to anyone who knows that I've been married for nearly 30 years. However, No. 2 is entirely my fault. I had planned on trumpeting this amazing accomplishment last week, but my trumpet was in the shop. I bent the mouthpiece after my lips clenched up on the high note of "Feels So Good." But I am proud that I've written so many columns.
So if you're anything like me, you begin your day by pulverizing two-packs of Frosted Cinnamon Pop-Tarts, then pouring the sugary debris into your briefcase to use as a quick pick-me-up during the afternoon lull at work. No? OK, well, I bet you've had a job. And so, surprisingly, have I. Yes, over the years I have tricked — uh, I mean found — people willing to pay me for the successful completion of various projects such as sweeping, baking, writing, monkey-wrangling ... OK, one of those is a lie. I don't know how to bake.
So, lately it feels like life is rushing past me faster than Roger Reinert puts out press releases. It's time for me to slow down and enjoy life. Kick back, put my feet up and realize that just because my Budgeteer column is due this week and I don't have a topic idea is no reason for concern. My head is jammed full of so many Random Thoughts, I've got enough material for 20 columns! But I only need one, so here we go ... + As a Vikings fan, I feel the pain of that Packers playoff meltdown last week against Seattle, believe me.
So we're a couple of weeks into the NFL playoffs which, coincidentally, means the Vikings have been done playing football for a couple of weeks. (Actually, the Vikings were done playing football in September.) It's always exciting when the Vikings are part of the annual Super Bowl tournament, but by the same token, it's also soul-crushingly sad.
So it's been a couple of years since I wrote a column celebrating the life of Mickey Glazman. Mickey and her husband, Jimmy, were one of the original Duluth Playhouse power couples and were inseparable; you couldn't think of one without the other sliding into your memory. Sadly, Jimmy left us over this past holiday season, but happily, he is now reunited with Mickey, so those two angels can continue spreading even more joy and sunshine in a heavenly place that's literally overflowing with it already.
So my first column of 2015 may also be my last. It seems I have a cold. And it's not the common one, either. In fact, it's as UNCOMMON as a pothole-free street in Duluth. You may want to hold your Budgeteer as far away from your face as possible, maybe get some of those extender robot arms from the planet Merzhidottle so you don't get infected. Yes, I caught that evil bug that's been descending on more Northland residents this holiday season than those TV car ads featuring weird elves dancing with a misshapen Santa Claus.
So as we near the completion of another 365-day revolution around the sun, it's time for some personal reflection. I need to sit back and ask myself the following questions: Did I provide my loved ones with the respect and support that they so richly deserved? Was I kind and compassionate to those less fortunate? And, most importantly, how did my Super Bowl prediction pan out? Who cares about the first two?
So the number of shopping days left 'til Christmas is smaller than a sack of Don Ness hate mail and just as depressing. It's a good thing we've got holiday songs emanating from every musical orifice to put us in a better mood. Now, I'm not here to proselytize about your self-inflicted shopping panic attacks, but I would like readers to take note of how I worked the word "proselytize" into a column. My editor wants me to come up with more highbrow content and not rely on easy jokes like Proctor and Jay Fosle's goatee.
So as we careen wildly towards the end of the year, we have a choice to make: Do we finish preparing for the holidays — get the tree in an upright position and slap tinsel on it, roll out the cookie dough and chop it up into little reindeer shapes, furiously wrap gifts in a flurry of paper and ribbon — or do we concentrate on those New Year's Resolutions we mistakenly vowed to complete in 2014? There's only a half-month left, give or take, and unless you're a traveler who can span the dimensions of time and space, you don't have enough hours left to accomplish figgy pudding, let
So as you get ready for the end-of-the-year holiday-of-your-choice, it's important to keep one thing in mind: I wear an XL in "Star Wars" T-shirts. And I enjoy chocolate. I know, that's two things, but it's OK because I really need that chocolate and I'm certainly not going to go buy any with your holiday-of-your-choice purchasing right around the corner.