I did a little more stuff reduction today, tackling a little box that sits amongst a heap of dust-gathering crap. Perhaps I could move some of the crap into the box, but there was stuff in the box, including a ticket stub from the very first Brickyard 400, and — Kirk, you’ll like this — a pay stub from the Columbus Dispatch, March 1979. I earned $215 a week in what would have been my third month of employment.
The inflation calculator says that’s the equivalent of $690.22 today, and I sort of wish I hadn’t looked it up, because it shows how very un-remunerative my newspaper career has been. Only in the past year has my income recovered to its 2003 level, but oh well — I’ve always been a saver.
I kept the ticket stub, pitched the pay stub.
As I vacuumed up the dust — and may I just say, there is nothing like low winter sun to magnify every mote in the damn room — I recalled March 1979 was when I was cruelly snubbed from the pot-brownie distribution list before the Clinic, the Dispatch’s annual all-staff professional-development event. (Too early; no one knew me yet.) Kirk was not, and neither was Borden, and both were so stoned during the program they were lucky the entire management tier consisted of fossilized old men whose knowledge of intoxicants began and ended with Canadian Club. The keynote speaker was some guy from the AP, who pronounced the name of the 50th state “how-ah-ya,” after which I heard my colleague Karen (ate the brownie) say, “Fine. How are you?” Snickers rippled up and down the row.
Years later, Kirk and Karen would get married. And that’s about where anything even remotely interesting about that story ends. But the reverie made the cleaning go a little faster.
How as everyone’s weekend? The thaw came, and it is ongoing, but that was a lot of snow, and much of it is still out there, even as the gutters gurgle and the wet sidewalks become treacherous as soon as the sun goes down. Wendy and I had a miserable walk — more like a mince — this morning. There’s at least two months of winter left, and there’s only one thing to do: Head down and push on through.
Fortunately, this is why the lord gave us Bulleit rye. I just had two fingers, neat.
Man, am I sore, the result of an unfamiliar workout and a case of overdoing. So here are a few links, and I’m out:
How one-party rule came to pass in 36 states. Lengthy, depressing, infuriating.
For you Bruce Springsteen fans: Which albums are under-, over- and correctly rated. From Grantland.
Now I have to watch “True Detective” and read Tom & Lorenzo’s Golden Globes tweets. Enjoy the week ahead?