2013.01.02 Taylor agrees to fill the gap

Written by David Green.

My son-in-law Taylor once made the mistake of volunteering to write a column for this space. Now he gets asked every time he visits.

Sometimes he comes through and sometimes he doesn’t. He probably gauges my apparent level of desperation. This week we had another Sunday night deadline. Desperate situation.

 By TAYLOR BALLINGER

2012 has been a wonderful year for the Ballinger family. Caroline is happy and healthy, we’ve had a chance to visit with many loved ones, the University of Kentucky won their eighth men’s basketball national championship, and we survived our annual holiday road trip from Louisiana to Kentucky to Michigan and (hopefully) back again.

This year, I got to watch Caroline take her first steps. I got to meet my nephew Ryland. And I got to visit new places with Rosie and Caroline. This year, I ran two half-marathons. I went to the Final Four. We took Caroline to her first LSU football game.

By the time you’re reading this, though, it will be 2013. 2012 is old news, so it’s time to look forward to the New Year. Consider this column my New Years’ resolutions mixed with some Nostradamus-esque predictions (mostly sports-related) for 2013.

In 2013, I will run a marathon. You read it here first, folks. Now it’s your job to keep me accountable. I don’t want to come back here in 2014 with the great shame of having not fulfilled a promise.

In 2013, the Cincinnati Reds will win the World Series. I’m no Miss Cleo, so this is less a prediction than a great hope and dream of mine. The Reds haven’t won the Series since I was a child, so it’d be nice for them to win one that I can actually remember. I know that I shouldn’t complain. At least I’m not a Cubs fan, right?

In 2013, we’ll get lots of visitors for Mardi Gras. This will be our second (and potentially final) year back in Louisiana, so I’m predicting an apartment full of Kentuckians and Michiganders for this year’s festivities. Book your reservations now.

In 2013, the Royal Couple will have a girl. Call it a Midwestern guest-columnist’s intuition.

In 2013, the Green Bay Packers will win the Super Bowl. This may be more realistic than my Reds prediction. As a Packers fan, it’s pretty clear that there is a small window of opportunity for them to seriously contend for Super Bowls over the next few years. One thing I can predict with certainty, though: the Detroit Lions will NOT win the Super Bowl in 2013. Sorry, Lions fans.

In 2013, the world will not end. I’m going with history on this one. If the Y2K scare and the Mayan calendar didn’t get us, I don’t think 2013 will.

In 2013, John Boehner will take the title of “Most Overtanned Man in America” from Paulie D of “Jersey Shore” fame.

In 2013, our daughter Caroline will grow a full-blown mullet. It’s a Ballinger family tradition, and she’s pretty close right now. If we choose to not cut her hair for the next couple of months she’ll be all the way there.

In 2013, most fans will hope for both Alabama and Notre Dame to lose the BCS National Championship…and they’ll be disappointed. Two of the most hated programs in the country playing for all the marbles. I’m picking Notre Dame, if only because I dislike them significantly less than I dislike Alabama.

In 2013, Rosie will convince me, yet again, that we don’t really need a nice television and cable. For the past couple of years I’ve wanted a new TV, and each time I bring it up Rosie uses the power of logic to convince me we don’t need it. I’m guessing her run will continue, and we’ll probably be better off for it.

In 2013, we’ll start seeing ads for the 2016 Presidential Election. At least we don't have a TV to watch them on.

In 2013, the Stanley Cup will be won by no one for the second time in eight years. There aren’t a lot of hockey fans where I live, so folks don’t really care, but isn’t it a shame that millionaires can’t come to a decent enough agreement for how to share their profits?

In 2013, I will continue my run as one of the luckiest dudes alive. It’s been such a joy watching our Caroline learn and grow, and I’m truly blessed to have such a wonderful family and great group of friends. I hope you and yours have a very happy New Year.

  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

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