Thursday, January 1, 2009

"The wise man does not celebrate...."

Long Winters--"Blue Diamonds (live)" (mp3)
Long Winters--"Scared Straight (live)" (mp3)

..."that which he has not yet earned."

All of us who work at this school know that saying well. The old headmaster used to say that to the students on the night before graduation to remind them not to do something stupid which might cost them their diploma. The more recent headmaster adopted the phrase lock, stock, and barrel. So, we hear it every year. The parents laugh. We grimace. Such are the traditions of a private school.

My favorite Chinese restaurant in town was actually a buffet. Not only did it provide an ample selection of really garlicky and/or sweet offerings, they also had one of those Mongolian barbecues in the back where you could put whatever uncooked meats, vegetables, and sauces into a bowl and hand them to a guy who would cook them for you on this cool, water-only grill.

Anyway, one day, the place put a sign out on their billboard to celebrate their success: "SEE, WE STILL HERE 5 YEARS." Yes, it's that convoluted translation logic you see sometimes, but I'm sure you get the essence of what they were boasting about--their longevity. And, with a month or two, they were gone forever. Sign on the door, boarded up, gone. I never knew why.

So it's fair to say that I'm a bit hesitant to be too celebratory about this, our 200th post.

But it does fall on New Year's Day, which already quite a benchmark, eh? Coincidence? But still, 200? Get to 300 and you have enough to hold off the Persians at Thermopylae. Get to 300 and you have a very, very respectable lifetime batting average. Get to 300, and, well, for us, it will most likely mean that we've made it well past a year.

Of course, maybe I'm the only one who cares. Here's my pal Billy's celebratory reaction to our 200th: "I've never been the best for standing on ceremony. If I ran a country, it probably wouldn't have holidays. I'm the guy who forgets his mom's birthday and shit. So seriously, if you've got something you wanna say about it, or even if you just have another post more or less ready to go, have at it. Being #200 or #201 ain't much of a difference for me."

Keep on truckin', William. We'll get there.

Both Long Winters songs come from a live show available at

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