Words carry weight; choose them with love

Our words carry weight, with messages both subtle and obvious. People are listening, often paying close attention, whether you know it or not.

Some choose to hide behind a message of hate, tossing off words without a care in the world who gets harmed in the process. It’s sad that all that’s being asked is tolerance; that’s not even acceptance. It’s merely the absolute least that can be provided – “yes, I tolerate you.”

There is, however, another choice.

Last week, the Georgetown News-Graphic published a column I wrote in response to a married couple’s letters to the editor bemoaning the fact that same-sex couples now share that same right to marry. The response, fortunately, was overwhelmingly positive, with friends and strangers alike sharing the love.

One, though, stood out, and it’s with the family’s permission that I share this story:

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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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Dear Charlie: An Open Letter to My Friend’s Newborn Son

Dear Charlie,

Let me tell you about Wilco.

First, though, let me make a few introductions: my name is Kevin. You’re going to get to know me pretty well over the years, but for now, I’ll hit the basics of what you should know: Springsteen. Wilco. Scorsese. Tarantino. Football. Seinfeld. Arrested Development. The Simpsons. Football. When you learn to talk, if you’re remotely familiar with any of those things, we’ll get along just fine.
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You see that man over there? Probably not, because although I know little about babies who are about 12 hours old, I’m fairly certain I recall reading that they can’t see long distances. OK, so how about this? The next time the bearded redhead holds you, the one in the Phillies cap, that’s your dad. His name is Cory. I’ve known him a long time, and one thing I know about him more than just about anything else, he’s waited for this day more than you (or anyone) can possibly imagine (realizing, of course, you are 12 hours old and can’t imagine anything right now, but even when you are much much older, the sentiment will be the same).

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Are certain albums better suited for certain seasons?

Last week, I was (as is often the case) in the mood to listen to some Wilco, but not just any Wilco because it had to be just the right Wilco. The wrong album at the wrong time can be a disaster, particularly on those days where the songs need to complement the mood rather than set it; I needed music as an enhancer, not an enforcer.
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5Ks are tough, but picking the proper music is tougher

Saturday morning, for the third consecutive year, I’ll be at Natural Bridge State Park to take part in the Powell County Kiwanis Club’s annual 5K. In general, 5Ks aren’t so tough (I say that like I’m an old pro at them, when, in fact, this is only my third one ever), but since this starts out at a miniature golf course then moves up a GIANT AND STEEP HILL to the Lodge, I can rightly say it is a bit rough.
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The very best in music, movies, books, TV, concerts and more of 2011

UPDATED Jan. 4
In sitting down to pick my top movies/albums/etc. of the past year, I realized I would have a difficult time picking 10 in any particular category, which is kind of a key component in any top 10 list.

So, instead of the usual “best of” format, I’m going to borrow from Stephen King (who happens to be on this list) and include the things I loved in 2011. Other than being grouped by category with a No. 1 leading the way for each, they’ll be in no particular order.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give to you …

The 2011 List of So … There I Was’ Favorite Things
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