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Resolved: Dig deep into the brain and stop calling it Jeff Tech

December 31, 2013 - Paul Giannamore
I vow to try in 2014 to avoid creeping old curmudgeonhood, but I vowed that in 2012 and 2013, too. Like all usual resolutions, it’s a waste of time that ends sometime after 12:01 a.m. on Jan. 1.

Normally, it settles in because I hear some auto-tuned pop singer belting out some sound-all-alike Disneyworld tune on some New Year’s Eve show that was better before Dick Clark became ill and then left us.

Maybe the vow should be to use the power of creeping old curmudgeonhood wisely. It involves getting to know the powers of the unplumbed depths of my mind.

For instance, I could resolve to buy a car that fits the image. I’m lookin’ at you, Buick LaCrosse. Or maybe a used Mercury Grand Marquis with a fake convertible top.

But I think more of this power is rooted in my use of and inability to change old names, or use new ones.

I keep on calling the local hospitals by their old names, hoping against all hope that St. John and Ohio Valley will ride again. Somehow, I’m just glad I’ve avoided writing those names into news stories during the past 20 years.

The YMCA Wellness Center at St. John Arena is still "the arena" in my head. At least I can switch quickly to "the Y" as needed in conversation.

Ditto Jeff Tech. Er. Jefferson Community College. Er. Eastern Gateway Community College. Yah. That’s it. EGCC.

I keep on calling our entertainment magazine, Ticket. I had a small part in the design of that one way back in the 1990s. I think I said, “Yeah, I like that” about the choice of one font to the actual designers. It was Tempo when I started, when my boss Fred had an afro, we both wore dark shades because Italian guys did that in the 1980s, and he was called “Freddie the Tempo Editor.” It’s the Weekender now, and I lay it out every week, asking when the copy and photos for “Ticket” will be done. I get quizzical looks from one or two people but everybody else in the newsroom just answers. Thanks. And no, I call him Fred, not Freddie the Tempo Editor. He does have the pen in charge of my work schedule, after all.

I called them the Oakland Raiders for all the years they were in Los Angeles and I was rewarded by them becoming the Oakland Raiders again. So, I do believe this refusal to acknowledge new names thing has some limited powers.

I like the sound of “World Series Champion Pittsburgh Pirates.” Except in baseball, the power of using names from 1979 might be trumped by superstitions. Maybe I need to stick with Lets Go Bucs! Or is that the Alleghenies?

I still refer to Macy’s at the mall as Kaufmann’s, but Macy’s at the Mall at Robinson is Macy’s. I know. I don’t get it either. My brain has obviously unplumbed depths.

If I start calling The Future Mrs. Marcus Giannamore by her married name 10 months before it actually exists, does that guarantee a great wedding or a year of frightful wedding planning for my son and future daughter-in-law? Probably it has no effect whatsoever. The planning will be frightful because wedding planning is frightful. Anything less is a blessing. But hence, from now until early October, she will be referred to as “The Future” here in the blog.

And, by continuing to refer to myself as “the bald fat guy,” I find I hit the gym more often and for longer workouts, thus fighting off the advance of ill health that comes with creeping old curmudgeonhood.

See? Those unplumbed depths do possess some hidden powers. Truly.


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