Life Is Not An “Etch-A-Sketch”

“Turn Etch-a-Sketch upside down and shake and everything disappears.”

When December 31 turns to January 1 on Saturday night, 2016, the good, the bad, the strange, the crazy won’t magically disappear.

No kicking the year to the curb, kids. It’ll still be there, hanging around in your mind with important thoughts like, “Did the cat get stuck in the closet again?”


Relax, kids. Mookie’s fine.

I was told I was a little too dour in my sum-up-2016 post from earlier this week, so let’s fix that with just five quick off-the-top-of-my-head things in 2016 that made me smile:

5. Boaty McBoatface. Even though things ultimately didn’t work out with the name.

4. My Metropolitan Dumpling Bartolo Colon’s first home run. 

3. Radio Garden which gives you a world of radio, airing live. Spin the globe, click, and suddenly you’re listening to the top hits in Namibia (which I whole-heartedly recommend you do right now). It’s old school radio and internet awesomeness smooshed together. It could swallow up your entire morning.


2. Zamboni Guy who drove his Zamboni through a Tim Horton’s drive-thru in Canada last week.

1.And, Bartolo Colon’s home run again. But, this time in Spanish.

I wanted one photo to sum up 2016.  And, I knew immediately which one I wanted. It’s not a baseball photo, which I hope doesn’t bum you out too much.

In March, the University of Virginia was a favorite to make it to the NCAA basketball Final Four. Then they played underdog #10-seed Syracuse on March 27. And, things were going great for the Wahoos. Until Virginia gave up a 32-21 first-half lead to lose 68-62. Don’t let the final score fool you. It wasn’t close. The second half was slow and painful and horrible and stunning. (Unless you were rooting for Syracuse.) Everything was going great. And, then all of a sudden, everything wasn’t.

And, in the aftermath, this is my photo of the year.

And, not because Virginia Guard London Perrantes looks so devastated.  Perrantes didn’t even go through the handshake line at the end of the game, and that still annoys me a little. But, that slight didn’t matter to Syracuse’s Michael Gbinije. In the midst of the Syracuse celebration, he stopped, walked over, put his hand on Perrantes’ shoulder.

“I came over to him and said ‘Good game. You’re a good player,”’ Gbinije said.

There are millions of things more important than sports. But what is important is being a good sport. A compassionate sport. In all things.

Whether you like it or not, 2016 will not shake and disappear on Saturday night. But life will go on. There will be a new Boaty McBoatface. Bartolo Colon will do something awesome. And, Mookie will hide in the closet again.

Some days we’ll need a hand on our shoulder. And, some days we’ll need to be that hand.


8 thoughts on “Life Is Not An “Etch-A-Sketch”

    • Even showing Bartolo Colon’s homerun … twice! … can’t make up for the hard year that so many people had. (I did toy with just running a year-end post of the home run video over and over … say 20 or 30 times. I wanted to see if people would call me quirky.) But, I didn’t want to make light of what so many people endured this year and the losses that they had, including yours. I’ve been thinking of you and wishing you a better 2017 … and hope your family, including your tribe of cats, are doing well. Please give a special head scratch to Rufus for me.

    • Badfish, you stopped by! When I wrote post I really, truly thought: “Radio Garden is the ‘sound’ version of Badfish’s blog.”

      Ahhh, Bartolo Colon, my Metropolitan Dumpling — all 5’11” and nearly 300 pounds of him. He’s 43, pitches for the NY Mets, won a Cy Young in his early years, and just when you think his career is done, he’s like a phoenix (or Madonna’s career), rising from the ashes, remade, and proving that he can still twirl. Since he spent almost all of his 20 seasons in the American League until joining the Mets in 2014, he has few at-bats to his name, and this one, from May, was his first home run. History was made — Bartolo became the oldest player to hit his first major league home run.

      I just thought it was … … … wonderful.

  1. Pingback: False spring … and hope for better days – A Silly Place

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