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beware the blues of february
the shortest month is short on inspiration
by michelle von euw

Is there a month worse than February? Every other month that graces the calendar has something to recommend it: March Madness, the start of baseball season, Memorial Day weekend, all the way through the sultry days of summer, the crisp weekends of fall, the cold nights of the winter holidays, culminating in January, a month packed full of long weekends, birthday celebrations, and good football. And with them?

Good column topics.

Just last February I complained about the overabundance of television commercials featuring a Super Bowl-winning Manning. Which is only a bit more hilarious than my 2004 column, a piece that takes the form of a Dear John letter to the Red Sox, expressing my refusal to put up with any more of their near-miss loser ways; instead, I was reveling in my new love, the victorious New England Patriots.


As I peruse the 102 columns I’ve written in Abigail Breslin’s lifetime, I note that a year in the life of Michelle as a columnist goes something like this: sports, television, Being a Writer, sports, music, movies, Michelle gets up on her soapbox and tackles some political issue, television, the Red Sox, OMG Orlando Bloom, something personal and sentimental guaranteed to make one of the women in my life cry, sports.

Right, so you can see where I’m running into a little trouble here.

Theoretically, I should have something slightly intelligent to say about politics, what with Super Tuesday right behind us, and me going to the polls this week, and for the first time in my life, having not a clue what lever I’ll pull… and to be honest, not really caring, because I know which party I’m voting for in November, and really, my friends’ dog Bear, who is very cute but has a bit of a biting problem, would still garner my vote if he somehow swept the nomination.

But really, I don’t want to write some wildly digressive piece on Hillary and how I wish women in this country would start acting like we’re a political interest group, or how seductive Obama’s television campaigns are even to me, who majored in candidate manipulation of the media, or the dominance of McCain over the all the more conservative-types he’s been running against, or my fascination with Huckabee, at least 37 percent of which has to do with I Heart Huckabees, and the lack of exploitation of the movie title. Besides, I’m still too enthralled with Tracey Kelley’s column on the Iowa voting experience to even want to sidestep into the political arena she so ably occupies.

I wrote about the writers’ strike a couple months back, and since then, I haven’t really come up with anything new to say about TV, other than I am not at all satisfied with "Gossip Girl" reruns, and I’ve become stingy with the episodes of "Friday Night Lights" saved on my TiVo. (I can tell you that, despite failing a geek test, I’ve managed to acquire a tiny pretty blue object that allows me to carry my favorite episode of "Battlestar Galatica" in my pocket. If I were to admit to you that I can whip out video of Starbuck and Apollo beating each other to a bloody pulp interspersed with flashbacks of sex faces, it may destroy any credibility I may have. Feel free to stop reading right now, and return to my column from February 2001, where I compare myself to Carrie Bradshaw -– favorably even -– in an attempt to prove that I don’t get personal when I write my columns while coyly sliding in mention of my fiancé).

Anyway, the only ideas I have about TV pertain to the characters I’ve missed, and someone taller, blonder, and quicker than me already wrote that column. Oops.

Which leaves me with my favorite topic for columns, the one that’s carried me through many a quickly passing deadline and bouts of writers block, the one that’s right there as part of my freakin’ title.

Yeah, it’s too soon. I have nothing to say about THAT.

OK, I do have something. I cannot believe that I’m meeting my three most ardent Patriot-fan friends in NEW YORK FREAKIN CITY this weekend for a trip we arranged months ago to not coincide with the big game. Just in case.

Thank god we missed the parade.

I guess it’s never too soon to talk about the Red Sox, a topic that should make me happy and feel somewhat relevant and recent, as just last week, I was led on a scavenger hunt for twelve different Red Sox-related birthday gifts. Because my husband the Orioles fan somehow continues to rock as he not only indulges but fuels my obsession, contributing to the coffers of Major League baseball and John Henry to the benefit of my wardrobe. I could wear a different Sox shirt every day through Spring Training, and still have my Okajima jersey fresh for opening day.

I could tell you about the 90 student-written poems I’ll be reading this week; or slide in something about my frustration with the process of trying to obtain an agent and find time to write while life keeps getting in the way; I may even allude to some of the more tragic and difficult stuff that I so carefully keep on the very outskirts of my public persona; or maybe I'll just express my outrage that 3:10 to Yuma got no Oscar love, despite boasting the incredibly subtle and amazing acting turned in by Christian Bale, overlooked for approximately the nine hundredth time in his career.

Or maybe, for the 103th time in my life, I’ll just stop, and leave you right there on the screen.


Originally from Boston, Michelle is a writer, editor, instructor, obsessive sports fan, loud talker, quick laugher, new mom, and chances are, she watches more television than you do. Follow her on Twitter at michellevoneuw

more about michelle von euw


my mother's daughter
reflecting on one day and two lifetimes
by michelle von euw
topic: writing
published: 5.8.09

to be or not to be
fleeting satisfaction, lingering frustration
by michelle von euw
topic: writing
published: 4.11.07


sandra thompson
2.11.08 @ 8:57a

I watched my first superbowl game this year because I did so want the Patriots to have a perfect season. I love the Red Sox by default because I HATE the Yankees so very very much. I love Friday Night Lights and I cannot give you a coherent reason. Probably that guy who plays Tim Riggins. Maybe because the writers have developed every single character to show them as the bewarted human beings all of us ultimately are. Ditto Battlestar, and various forms of frack have appeared in my speech and deathless prose. As a yellow dawg Democrat I understand why you'd vote for Bear. Maybe we're related somewhere back in the mists of time. Anyhow, you certainly show good taste. Ahem.....


jael mchenry
2.11.08 @ 12:47p

February is also the traditional dumping ground for bad movies. Which I think explains why Fool's Gold was #1 at the box office this week. I think the last good February movie I saw was Kissing Jessica Stein, and that was probably intentional counterprogramming.

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