The blog may have been offline for exactly three months, but that doesn't mean the world just ceased to turn on its axis during that time. A lot of stuff happened, some of which I might've liked to discuss on here, and now that HJS is more or less fully operational again, now's as good a time as any to go over that stuff, just to make sure we're all on the same page about stuff. (By which I mean you're on the same page with me, since you haven't had me around for the past few months to tell you what you should think and feel about everything.) So here's a quick refresher course -- Five Things I Probably Would've Posted About Over The Past Three Months If The Blog Had Been Up:
I got a job
The most recent development, obvs, and the catalyst for the blog going back up to begin with. My sidebar profile is accurate -- I am indeed a paid lackey for a Fortune 500 company now, albeit one that treats its employees very well and has given me a fat benefits package. I'm not gonna tell any of you assholes where I work, for fear that one of you is gonna do something like order 50 pizzas and have them sent to my office, but suffice to say I'm a working man again, and very happy to be one. (OK, I can't keep a secret: I'm a hired assassin for BP, taking out whistleblowers in the Deepwater Horizon case. Did you know they actually have hitmen on payroll? Although on my business cards it says "Information Security Specialist.")
"Justified" and "Community" are two of the best shows on TV
Being unemployed obviously gave me a lot more time to watch TV, but in the case of "Justified" and "Community," that may have been a good thing. "Justified," the show with Timothy Olyphant as a federal marshall assigned to return to his hilljack hometown in eastern Kentucky, would probably have been worth watching if it'd just been Olyphant showing off his considerable bad-ass skills and shooting people for an hour every Tuesday night, but instead the show surrounds him with a whole cast of well-drawn characters with unpredictable nuances -- including Walton Goggins as Olyphant's Neo-Nazi-turned-backwoods-preacher bête noire -- and works equally well as both drama and action series. "Community," meanwhile, started kind of slow but got steadily funnier as it went along, and launched into overdrive with the "chicken fingers" and "paintball" episodes toward the end of the season -- seriously, whether you have to get them on Hulu, Netflix, your cousin's DVR, or a pirated Chinese DVD out of the trunk of someone's car, watch both of them ASAP -- and as far as I'm concerned is now appointment viewing on Thursday nights, particularly with "The Office" appearing to sort of go off the rails. Joel McHale's character is poised to join the pantheon of Awesome TV Douchebags whom I'm increasingly trying to model my life after.
I don't get the iPad
Like everything else Apple makes, it's real purty, and it's a fun toy, but am I that far off in describing it as a really big iPhone that can't make phone calls? Which is not to say I wouldn't gladly take one if it were offered to me, but I can't see paying five or seven hundred dollars for what is basically a toy. (I can only see myself paying three hundred dollars for a toy, specifically the Lego Taj Mahal, which you're damn right I'm gonna go out and buy now that I have a job again.)
I'm glad conference expansion ended up not being all that big a deal
As many things that I find nonsensical and infuriating about how Division I-A college football is currently set up, I didn't really want things to change so radically that we ended up with maybe only four 16-team "superconferences" around which the entirety of Division I-A was supposed to revolve. Not that I necessarily had a lot of faith in the idea that a "Pac-16" would work, though, because by more or less adding an entire division of the Big XII to its roster, the Pac-10 would've been opening itself up to the same problems that caused fractures in the Big XII: Just as that conference tacked on a bunch of Texas schools in an effort to expand and have a conference-title game, causing Nebraska to feel slighted enough in the proceedings that they eventually bolted for the Big Ten, the "Pac-16" would've had two completely different divisions -- the old Pac-8 on one side, and a "Red Dead Redemption" division (to borrow Spencer Hall's phrase) full of schools with little or no connection to the Rose Bowl or any of the conference's other traditions, but whose money and TV markets still would've become the conference's new power center. (Not to mention, of course, that anything that distracts people's attention from the superiority of the SEC is unacceptable.) In the end, the Big Ten and Pac-10 went to 12 teams, and the Big XII survived by shrinking back to 10 -- which is ridiculous, sure, but no less ridiculous than making Texas A&M fans truck their asses up to Pullman, Wash., or Corvallis, Ore., for conference games.
I'm really touched by how much y'all appeared to miss this thing
I'm gonna try not to get too maudlin here (or, conversely, let myself get too big a head about any of this), but when you're a blogger of any kind -- but particularly an unemployed one who sometimes finds himself struggling to come up with a reason to even get out of bed in the morning -- you sometimes wonder if anybody really cares what you have to say, and if it would matter all that much to anyone if you just stopped doing it. Well, I was pestered with enough "When are you putting the blog back up, assbag?!?" queries over the past three months to know that quite a few of y'all did care, and while some of you were bigger dicks about it than others, the concern still meant a lot to me. And now that things seem to be getting back on track in any number of aspects of my life, I feel like y'all are owed a debt of gratitude for making me feel important during a period when it was hard to find reasons to feel that way. So thanks to all of you, and I want you to know that just because I'm a working stiff again doesn't mean I'm going to be any more mature, or any less of a douche, on this blog going forward.
So here's to better times ahead. For everyone. And here's the Random Ten:
1. Stevie Wonder, "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours"
2. Beck, "Debra"
3. The Chemical Brothers, "Playground for a Wedgeless Firm"
4. Ebn-Ozn, "AEIOU Sometimes Y"
5. The Smiths, "Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want"
6. Beck, "Modesto"
7. The Romantics, "What I Like About You"
8. Gnarls Barkley, "Surprise"
9. DJ Shadow, "Changeling"
10. Paul McCartney, "Live and Let Die"
So: Anything you've been wanting to get off your chest for the past three months? Throw it in the comments, along with your Random Tens if you've got 'em. And happy weekend.