Sunday, February 22, 2009

Welcome 2009

On 12/29/08 I drove a standard shift car when my long-time swimming friend, Bob (Mr. C), brought me out to lunch. It had been many years since I last drove a standard transmission car, and I did quite well (yet I did stall once).

Mr. C., has an interesting story related to the New Years date and I extract this from a recent email from him;

Here is the story of friend who provides Will Shortz with list of names new to news during each year. The program on which Shortz gives the quiz is the Sunday morning news on National Pub Radio... on a Sunday near end of year.

Anyway, about fifteen years ago, Will Shortz introduced an end-of-year news quiz in which he listed the names of people of whom most people hadn't heard the previous year. It struck me as being a good way to break the ice with my students upon returning after the Christmas holidays. Then it struck me that the faculty members might also enjoy it, so I ran off enough copies and put it in their mail slots. Pretty soon it grew into a tradition and my colleagues would tell me how much they enjoyed it, were embarrassed by how little they could remember, and looked forward to it every January.

Ten years ago I was all set with my cassette recorder and Will Shortz came up and ... horror of horrors, no people-puzzle, just a stupid game of categories. I went back to school with no quiz, and was almost lynched. I dashed off an SOS to Will Shortz and, bless him, he sent a list that he had been tinkering with but hadn't got round to broadcasting. My colleagues' appetites were satisfied, and we got on with the rest of the school year.

But at the back of my mind, I thought, if he can miss one year, he can miss another, and then where will I be? My solution was to collect names which I thought likely candidates and send them to him every year and see if he liked them. So I did. I waited by the radio late December 1989 and sure enough; the people-puzzle came on, and with it, on-air credit to me for compiling the names. I nearly fell out of bed!

In the last decade, he's only failed to use my list of names once, I suspect, because my email didn't get through. My friends and neighbors, who know I do this, sometimes suggest names for inclusion in the list, though I've usually beaten them to the punch.

So there you have it. A few seconds at a time, I'm gaining my fifteen minutes of fame. It's rather fun, actually.

1/18/09: Marley and Me (movie reviewed)
Last night we went to the theater and saw the movie ‘Marley and Me’. It is a fabulous, emotional movie. I read the book (see within Blog posting, "Comments about our recent move/Acknowledging how far I’ve come"). The movie did not deviate from the book. I cannot understand how this movie received any negative reviews. I have written before that I have difficulty getting emotional as a result of my TBI, yet I sobbed, embarrassing my family colleagues. Marley and me is the story of a Labrador mut, who's "The World's Worst Dog". Marley brings a family together, then ultimately dies. It's especially emotional for a dog owner/lover, that I am.

1/21/09 John (from New Jersey):
I wish I knew your e.m. address to have a discussion with you. I hope that I can give you encouragement and I wish you and your son the best. If you feel comfortable with having an email discussion with me, make another comment to my BLOG with your e.m. address included in it. I will not "publish" your comment, but, simply contact you via email.

John, let me clarify that if you make a comment with your email account in it, your comment will go directly to my email address. I will not publish your comment. Only I will see your email address.

1 comment:

davidglennbriggs said...

Dear Joe: I am a TBI survivor who has just discovered your story. I was particularly moved by your documentary.
I would like to keep in touch with you. Is this possible?
David Briggs