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Lou Pickney's Online Commentary

The Setup Man

Tuesday
December 30, 2014

"When seconds pass slowly
And years go flying by"
-Ben Folds Five "Jackson Cannery"

The year is almost over. Soon enough, 2015 will be here. My 20-year high school reunion is looming, which freaks me out more than you know. The clock only moves in one direction.

It's been an interesting year, to put it mildly. My trip to Miami Beach this past weekend was great fun, but it deserves more than a cursory mention in a year-in-review column. More soon on that.

2014 chased me across the country as I flew from Charlotte to Las Vegas on December 31, 2013. The new year had already begun on the east coast before my flight landed at McCarran International Airport, and it didn't take long for 2014 to finally reach me in the Pacific Time Zone.

It was a fun few days out there with Vegas Girl, but I retained my Setup Man title when she ended up flipping later that month to the man she ended up getting married to this past summer. This isn't exactly a new thing for me; it's happened with at least a half-dozen girls in the past, and those are just the situations I know about definitively.

If you're not familiar with the concept of the setup man, it's from the world of baseball. The setup man is the pitcher brought into the game generally in the 7th or 8th inning to hold the lead ahead of the closer, who then enters the game in the 9th inning to secure the win and earn the save. It might sound silly, but the correlation is very real.

And, to be clear, I write all of that with zero bitterness. I value my freedom tremendously, and with the way adventure often has an uncanny way of finding me, having the latitude to take full advantage of fun situations has been wonderful. Life for an unmarried 37-year-old man is considerably easier than it is for an unmarried 37-year-old woman.

You may not like the truth, but don't shoot the messenger. Life isn't fair.

My trip to Seattle in March was great fun. I had never been to the Pacific Northwest before, but my friend Scott Massey lives up there now and I finally was able to pay a long overdue visit. Seattle is a wonderful city, with people who in general are very friendly and intelligent, at least based on what I observed.

Scott took me around to a bunch of really cool places in the city during my visit:

9lb Hammer
Central Saloon (Seattle's oldest saloon)
Moe Bar
Big Mario's Pizza
Ivar's Salmon House
Serafina
Eltana Wood-Fired Bagel Cafe
Pike Place Market
Skillet Diner
Ballard Pizza Company
Fremont Brewing Company
The Fremont Troll
Brouwer's Cafe
Add a Ball Arcade (where I captured the high score in Ms. Pac Man, just as I did at the Pinball Hall of Fame in Vegas two months prior)
EMP Museum
Space Needle
CenturyLink Field (where we watched Toronto FC beat the Seattle Sounders in a Major League Soccer match)

In hindsight, I have no idea how we crammed so many stops into such a limited amount of time. But I had a blast.

And it was during that trip that I was first contacted by Fight Club about a TV news producing job possibility in Columbus, Ohio. It was actually the second station in the market to contact me, and while my talks with the first station never went beyond the initial stage, this one eventually led to a job offer and my subsequent departure from WSAZ in Huntington, WV at the end of May.

There's a tremendous amount I would love to tell you about my time in Fight Club, but... well, you know the rules by now, don't you? Though, as miserable as that three month long experience was for me, I made some good friends while I was there. No regrets.

If nothing else, the move to Columbus liberated me from the Penrose staircase I was stuck climbing indefinitely while my well was secretly being poisoned -- and I'm not talking about Freedom Industries or MCHM.

As for my future in Columbus, it's a great city and a fun place to live, as I've mentioned here and elsewhere many times before. I can't say for sure what is going to happen after my apartment lease expires at the end of May of next year. As always, time will tell.


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