Tougher than the Rest: A Song, a Story, a Wedding

I do not want to get married again.

Yes, that sounds harsh, but before everyone cancels their RSVPs and returns their gift cards, perhaps I should clarify. The statement “I do not want to get married again” is a true statement, with the key word being “again.” That word, those two little syllables, imply Marriage the Reboot, which, simply isn’t the case.

I had accepted, even encouraged, the thinking that I would be alone the rest of my life. I’d become a hollowed out person, unable to allow anyone to come close enough to hurt me, let alone love me. Sure, I’d date, perhaps even attach a label to it, but I wanted that distance, needed it to survive, even though it was killing me.

In almost exactly one week from this moment, I will be huddled in a hallway with the woman who changed all that, and our small gathering of guests will be listening to a song that captures us. It is not a shock to anyone that it will be a Bruce Springsteen song, but what might escape everyone is just how on the dot the lyrics to “Tougher than the Rest” are.
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Wilco, the Project

A friend recently came to me with an interesting little project: his girlfriend, who usually has stellar taste in music, just can’t get into Wilco (who, I should note, is a band my friend I both count as a personal favorite). Oddly enough, she’s digging Tweedy, which is the side project of Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy.

So, my friend asked me to compile a tracklist designed to get her to love Wilco, or, at the very least, appreciate Wilco. I thought about the options, and what I sent is below. In the meantime, I ask any fellow Wilco fans to weigh in on what I included or, more importantly, what I left out.
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Springsteen creates special bond with nephews

It is the hackiest way to begin a story (“It was a dark and stormy night”), but in this case, the night truly was dark and stormy, so I guess it’s fair to say a cliché led us to this moment. So, if you’ll indulge me, I want to share my own version of that time-honored story, the one of how a truck ride in Haiti led to a musical night in Nashville.

It will, of course, involve Bruce Springsteen.
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Father’s Day: Song meanings can change over time

I didn’t always get along with my dad, and at its worst, I remember listening to this song and thinking this verse summed it all up:

“Now I don’t know what it always was with us
We chose the words and yeah we drew the lines
There was just no way this house could hold the two of us
I guess that we were just too much of the same kind”
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More than just hot dogs, chili made Sue’s special

I wish I could tell you I’m speaking from the heart, but really, I’m speaking from the belly.

That’s what happens when you learn that a place as meaningful as Sue’s Hot Dogs is selling its business. Sure, the new owners could possibly keep that Steamshovel Road tradition going, but it just won’t be the same, no matter what happens.
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The very best in music, movies, books, TV, concerts and more of 2012

UPDATED: Dec. 28, 2012
A long time ago (or, actually, two years ago), I would make annual Best Of lists, usually for movies and music, and I loved doing it. I always wanted to include TV shows and books, but I often found myself unable to list 10, and since all good lists come in groups of 10, I would leave them off and be done with it.

Last year, though, I opted for an overarching list that included all things I loved about the year, so I’m now thinking that’s the way to go. Oddly enough, this year, I had a hard time narrowing my TV shows down to 10 – we really are in an amazing era of quality TV. Note: These aren’t necessarily listed in order of favorites or quality.

So, I give you The 2012 List of So … There I Was’ Favorite Things
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Bruce Springsteen, Louisville, Nov. 3, 2012: A view from the pit

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band played for more than three hours Saturday night in Louisville, and I got to be one of the lucky ones in the pit, the front section closest to the stage. I managed to get quite a few cool shots before my phone finally died, and for anyone wishing to relive the concert (or pretend you were there), enjoy:
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