My thanks to Sharon for her typically generous invitation; may the family trips be safe and enjoyed by all. Having recently watched The Jerk for the first time in years, I feel a bit like Steve Martin, running the gas station in Jackie Mason's absence. Hopefully, no one will drive off with the church next door before Sharon returns.
I can't say for sure what I'll be contributing, but I can say regular readers can expect the following:
1) Not much politics. It's not that I have no opinions to offer, but I rarely follow issues as closely as Sharon does, and would not have the eye for the telling detail that she often brings to bear. The proprietor's been giving you fine dining, so I'm don't want to degrade her kitchen by offering substandard fare. (Of course, in the likely event that Bush, Rove, Coulter, etc. do/say something asinine, I will likely chime in. Easy targets, I can hit.)
2) Nothing NJ-specific. I'm posting from Indianapolis. Besides, you've seen The Sopranos.
3) Nothing about Sharon's home life. If you need a fix, watch Animal Planet. Or get yourself a wonderful husband and ridiculously adorable children.
One thing I can offer -- a call-back to a topic I helped introduce to this site. The aptly named Band Madness (http://bandmadness.net) is about to wrap up the tournament that began months ago, with 512 artists whittled down to a remaining 8 "greatest of all time". Many of you will be surprised to learn that voters on this site have managed to push Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode and The Cure into this rarefied territory. (Fine artists in their own right, perhaps... but... wow.) Of course, if you've ever seen the Internet, you will not be surprised at what happened along the way. As the site's author tells it:
In the past week, our once enjoyable little site has mutated into an orgy of dick-comparing, homophobic slander, people arguing a band’s importance by saying the band’s name with exclamation points or by a list of their songs, and just generally uninteresting, mean-spirited idiocy.
So organized niche voters? Check. Mean-spirited idiocy? Check. It seems like if we substitute "9/11" for "the band's name" in the above quote, we might start to develop a metaphor for something.
(This is why I didn't claim "NO politics.")