Smile Politely

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Writing this first column for Smile Politely feels sort of like going on a first date, except, you know, without the duct tape, ball gag, and totally justified kidnapping charge. As you may or may not know, I used to write a column for Buzz magazine until recently, like last week recently. I wrote there for eight or so years, apparently just long enough to get a message on my work answering machine telling me my work was no longer needed at their publication. Still, I don’t want to seem like a dick and mention that, so let’s move on. Short story long, it feels weird writing for Smile Politely, but it also feels really nice.

I’ve thought about switching over for a while, but I could never quite pull the trigger. Honestly, it was nice being in print, and more than that, it was just something I got used to doing and felt a certain allegiance to. I probably would have never quit, but getting the axe made it feel a little bit liberating. When I really stepped back and looked at it, I found that I read Smile Politely a whole lot more than I read the Buzz, so the whole thing sort of makes sense.

So, I have to say I’m excited to be here. It’s probably not a good thing to admit, but there have been times recently where it felt like I was writing the same column every week. Sure, the topics may have been different, but it all felt a little too familiar and boring a large part of the time. It’s tough to change, but in the long run I’ve found that it’s often for the best. I hope that’s the case with this.

Because of these things, I hope to make my column a little different over here. Don’t freak out or anything. It will still suck. It will still suck quite a lot. It’s just that the form the sucking takes will be slightly different. I hope to get out and actually do things and then write about them, at least every so often. I may also try to cover a few different topics a week instead of just one. So, shorter sections, easier to read, and still terrible — how can a person go wrong?

Out and About

This past Thursday, a friend and I, let’s just call him Ward, went to see the Bottle Rockets in a living room in Champaign. It was part of some acoustic shows they are doing every so often at people’s houses. It was weird seeing them in that context, but it turned out to be pretty sweet. The living room really had some nice acoustics and it just sounded cool. The band was even nice enough to play just about every song that was shouted at them. Try that shit at a Radiohead concert and see where it gets you.

I went out for a while on Saturday and I kept forgetting it was St. Patrick’s Day. Only I couldn’t forget for long, because every 15 to 30 seconds I would see some drunkard wearing one of those oversized green foam cowboy hats asking someone to “show me your tits.” There were just so many things to dislike about going out on an evening like that.

First off, I’m not a huge fan of any sort of over-sized headgear, but I would have to say the big green hat is the one that bothers me the most. I can only assume this is because it probably has a dipshit inside of it. Besides that, I don’t really understand some fellas’ quests for seeing a pair of titties. Don’t get me wrong, if someone is showing them, chick or dude, I’m probably going to look, but to actively seek it out seems sort of ridiculous. Personally, I would find the display of genitalia far more interesting, but I realize many of the large-hatted, holiday drinkers don’t have that sort of time. If you need some sort of holiday to go drinking, you’re not going drinking with a guy like me.


  • If you have any desire, you can follow me on Twitter. It’s under @thisportinglife. It’s sort of tricky because there really should be two “s‘s” back-to-back, but I typed it in wrong. I often ignore the account, but I’ve been trying to tweet more often. This in no way makes the world a better place.
  • It’s about two weeks until baseball season starts. It sounds sort of impossible, but I find that I actually drink a little more when there’s a ballgame on.
  • So far this global warming thing hasn’t seemed all that bad to me. I saw a dude trip and break his sandal last week. It’s really hard for me to feel any sort of compassion for something like that.
  • Stop back by again next week if you would like. It shouldn’t be any worse than this.

Buona sera, signorina, kiss me goodnight.

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