a newspaper man adjusts his pen

Friday, December 26, 2008

Finding the bright places

“When you’re in a slump, you’re not in for much fun. Unslumping yourself is not easily done.” – Dr. Suess

By Amanda Gillooly

This is when winter starts to really suck.

Our beloved Steelers are headed into their last regular season game against the hated (but wretched) Cleveland Browns, and after that there are only a few more precious weeks of football left.

No more quarterbacks getting jacked up by James “Silverback” Harrison. No more diving catches by Santonio Holmes. No more little prayers that a third-and-long will be somehow converted.

Nah, this is the time of year that Dr. Suess described in all his work (and one of my favorite books) “Oh the Places You’ll Go” as The Waiting Place.

That’s not a good place to be, surely, but here I am: Waiting for the New Year, waiting for March Madness, waiting for spring to emerge from the gray that pervades this part of the country for a few miserable months each year.

Suess advised that to combat The Waiting Place trap, we must “find the bright places where boom bands are playing.” I’m not sure what a boom band is, or where they might be playing (I check Mayrz Inn, no dice), so I’m thinking that place might be different for everyone. Some sort of metaphor or other literary measure.

So, I guess I could grumble and whine and wait for any number of adventures to come my way. I could stay in, wrap myself up in an afghan, read some books and wait for the sun to come out sometime in March (hell, this is Pittsburgh. It might not be ‘til April).

Or I guess I could press up, and try to find those bright places for myself. So before New Year’s, before Levance Fields affixes his “I’m ready to tear it up” headband and kicks ass for his Pittsburgh Panthers, I’ll have to combat the winter yucktasticness and get my fun on.

For me? My bright places include my sister’s house for SpongeBob and beers (to clarify, I watch SpongeBob with my nephew before he leaves for Grandmas’s house, then drink my brother-in-law’s microbrews). And visits with my pals at our college bar being served refreshing adult beverages (not Beveridges) by renowned mixologist, Sir Harold, is always a bitchin’ time.

Yeah, there’s no more football, no more Steelers Huddle, no more Uncle Billy and Tunch. But there’s still fun to be done, I suppose, with or without James Harrison.

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