If you have a long memory, don't worry. The last time I used that headline was when I was fitted with a pacemaker. Nothing that dramatic is happening this time, unless you count giving up weekly blogging after almost 15 years. (See 15 Years Later below)No, all I am going to do here is spoon feed you a few glittering generalities and hope you like them. Regulars will have noticed that the column is no longer weekly. I'd like to say a few words about that.
Mostly, I just don't feel like being that confessional anymore. I've enjoyed writing about my life because I think it is interesting, so I think you'll think that too. It was always a little odd, of course, to run into people in the real world, and find that the process off catching up was short circuited when they said, "I know, I saw it in your column." Odd, funny, but reassuring as it meant people were actually reading it (about 80 a week). But the passion to record, comment on and find the larger meaning of, the events of my life, is, I find, no longer there.
There are a whole bunch of reasons for this. For one thing, I am just less passionate about a lot of things. Take politics for example; Newt Gingrich was driving me nuts with the Clinton Impeachment when I started the column. Boehner was merely irritating me with the shutdown, which was much worse for the country (although no less wrong and stupid), and which affected one of my close relatives personally. This time, I didn't feel I had anything to say that hadn't already been said.
In September, I marked my 61st birthday. I took it as an occasion to re-examine my priorities. I love to write, but I love doing some other things more, and I have found other writing projects that scratch that itch. It is time to be conscious about my choice of how I spend my time.
As a friend of mine noted, I had a good run. Herb Caen lasted longer and wrote daily, but his column was rarely personal. I outlasted the godmothers of the modern personal column, Anna Quindlen at the Times (13 years) and Adair Lara of the Chronicle (12 years). I enjoyed almost every minute of this version of PSACOT. Thank you for taking the time to read it.
By the way, speaking of my pacemaker, after six years mine needs a new battery. I might write about the replacement procedure, I might not.
I still expect to blog from time to time when the spirit moves me. I'll share things like my opinion of Gravity (great film, perfect length) and Captain Phillips (good film, about an hour too long). I'll share really good video links like the Miley Cyrus original video and the stunning SNL parody featuring "John Boehner" and "Michelle Bachmann." I will share moments of great joy. But I am not going to chronicle my ups and downs, nor reprint outsider submissions unless they move me enormously. Nor am I going to write very week just to write every week.