2008: The Long Road Home

20081the beauty of 2008 is in the eye of the beholder.

sure, there were pitfalls and trips to the hospital. sure, there were home repairs gone awry and increasingly demoralizing memos at work. sure, the economy tanked and the state and the nation went to pot in general. but for some reason, and i don’t want to embarrass anybody here, i wouldn’t hesitate to say that 2008 was the Best Year of My Life So Far. 

maybe it’s cause 2007 broke me? perhaps someone is slipping me some sort of medication? but 2008 is setting theteet up for an even more exciting 2009.

let’s start from the top.

January: There will be blood.

this is the month i am found cowering in the corner, eyes clamped shut, waiting to be punched in the head again. is it really over? is 2007 really behind us? are the skies finally clear?

well, no. not really. grams has a heart attack the first week, but miraculously, she recovers. all are thankful. in other medical news, Maybel has her ladyparts removed. her temperament continues to disappoint.

the rest of the month is spent in a torturous holding pattern. TOP finally asks me to the Enchantment Under the Sea dance, or rather, offers me a new (dream) job, but i’m not quite in a position to fully accept it, so i sort of work at 23 publications for a while. that was totally mental.

i hit not one, but two whitetail deer in so many days, in so many cars. convinced that god hates me, i let colleendrive to cincinnatti and the two of us visit miss mae klingler. on the way home, colleen’s car dies (i’m cursed!), so we ride home with the man in the tow truck. hours earlier in the First Watch parking lot, five damsels in distress — including one on crutches! —  are largely ignored by the greater cincinnatti community. we push the Bug into the parking lot, anyway. priceless.

February: The show on the road.

2008 initially trends poorly for motor vehicles. in addition to the death and the deers, we fishtail our Accent into a snowy ditch. luckily, no one was coming the other way. (this is largely because all four cars on the road at the same time had also careened into the ditch.) turns out the salt trucks were about 20 minutes too late.

after stringing together an embarrassing set of words in front of grandma, i give up swearing for Lent. i trick everyone into paying the DOLLARSAUR. i win the Oscar pool (no believed in us, Marion Cotillard) and i see Barack Obama live in concert.

it starts to sink in that newspapers are, well, effed.  in a weird twist of fate, lisa captures noblit doing an impression of seth teter doing an impression of print journalists. it sill looks nothing like us. our wide plank pine floors arrive, and i make this, which i’m still really proud of: 

Let’s play a fun game with exploding dog! Click on the Question to reveal the Answer.

1.) How is your new job coming along? 2.) If you’re unhappy, why don’t you just find a new place of employment? 3.) I don’t really understand why you’ve been frustrated longer than the Writer’s Guild of America has been on strike. Can you explain in not-so-cryptic terms? 4.) How is the house coming along? 5.) What do you fear most about the workday? 6.) What do you think Dennis will notice about that last answer? 7.) Yes, but does that long commute bother you? 8.) How is marriage working out for you? 9.) Do you miss reading Cat Tales every week? 10.) What is the best thing about Columbus?


Technically, I still haven’t secured the job that was offered to me. but! things on the homefront compensate for my office shortcomings: we. have. finished. floors! overwhelmed by our own awesomeness, seth and i dream of making out with our favorite celebrities. in this state of mind, anything can happen. Yes. We. Can.

i start a making a rug i still haven’t finished. seth falls in love with Brooke (like a stream. or a meadow.) of American Idol. i tell everybody i want to be a nurse again.

i see mark major slip into the office and i avoid talking to him. we find out the next day that mark major is dead. i regret this and other things at his funeral. he was rude and bald and lovable in his own weird way. i pray that jesus has found him.

April Fools

we all mourn Dennis Laycock’s retirement from ACN — as read about exclusively on theteet.com. i celebrate my first TOP cover story, which continues to maintain its No. 1 pick-up status for the year 2008. i’m guessing it was the byline on the cover that generated newsstand interest, and not the lingerie-clad supermodel. seth stores a few copies under the mattress. for safekeeping. danny russell celebrates by ruining my life and leaving the paper.

we make raised beds in the garden, and life is surreal. we start going to church in the country.

May: The beginning of Lil’Peckers as we know it.

Can you imagine a time when theteet did not talk about chickens? It seems distant to me. The time BC. Before Chickens.

Anyway, in May, the baby chickens arrive. For nearly three weeks, there is no gut-wrenching drama at work. i write and write and write and i garden and garden and garden.

I click on something called “Columbus Underground” for the first time and think “maybe someone should write a story about these Columbus blogger people.” the rest is history. (you’re welcome.)

looking out for selfish interests, i make a blog urging everyone NOT to hire dan williamson. it almost works.

All of my girfriends tell me they are gay in one weekend.

June: Ten things that happened while you weren’t reading

1.) I tearfully cross Dan Williamson off my Columbus on the Record Dream Panel list — but not before he fights for my life in The Best Email Exchange There Ever Was.

2.) Eric Lyttle becomes my … boss? sure. my boss. the days of Tuesday deadlines (known as the Reign of Terror) are over forever! we get our Thursdays back again!

3.) We lose several family members to Sudden Infant Chicken Death Syndrome.

4.) seth and i probably kill that kitten

5.) lin, lisa, meredith, mr. mike and erik come out to bangs yo see my chickens during a thunderstorm warning — and no, that’s not a euphemism.

6.) on Father’s Day, we answer the question, “How much wood can a wood chop chop?”

7.) Birds Hate Bill Schottenstien.


9.) A tree falls near the house

8.) Our family is attacked by a skunk

July: The bear inside her quieted

I begin to settle down for the year.  There is peace in my heart. It becomes gross.

Everyone comes out to celebrate the Fourth. We fire up the pressure canner for its inaugural run. Megan Pringle comments on my blog! The meat chickens are slaughtered and packed in the freezer. I come back to Jesus — without a neck brace or a court date. Our pastor and his wife come over for a burger. We think they are the one! Barbara Kingsolver teaches me about rhubarb. I blast a racoon’s face off with my very first .22-caliber rifle.

August: In Quotes.

“Well, gotta run. What do you think I do? Sit around typing emails to nobodies all day?” — the Steter, upon being published in the Wall Street Journal

“Why didn’t you believe me?” — Jess Meyer, pointing to a postcard of a cat painted like Charlie Chaplin, during her whirlwind tour of Bangs, Ohio

“Congrats on beating me in the Veepstakes pool.” — suckers at work, reflecting on my underdog Sarah Palin pick

“Ordinary people can do extraordinary things.” — Barack Obama

“Dear Gene Carr: Please fire Lyndsey Teter.” — Walker Evans, on my birthday

“It’s like crack to her.” — Jenny Wray to Lelia on my addiction to Columbus Underground.

“This is the best birthday card I’ve ever received in my life.” — Lyndsey Teter, reacting to her blogger-inspired birthday card from TOP staffers.

“What’s your address?” — Megan Horn, moments before mailing the Best T-Shirt Made By Mortal Man

“I was the only man sitting alone holding a purse.” — Teth Steter, an intoxicated hero, at a 10 p.m. showing of The Women

“18 Then I realized that it is good and proper for a man to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given him—for this is his lot. 19 Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work—this is a gift of God. 20 He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart.” — God, in Ecclesiastes. 

September: Testing the limits of your WHOLE-SO-MEters. If such a thing exists.

Kyle Sowash saves a piece of vegetarian lasagna for his beautiful bride. lin and lisa get engaged! i keep the secret for nearly three days. steve weeks asks for my hand in internet marriage. he continues to make a strong case to this day.

we start to tear out the upstairs. we plan a tearful tribute for its completion in Sept. 2009. there are hurricane force winds, and i resist the urge to chop the felled trees at work. unfortunately, the majority of bloggers survive the power outage. 

on a sunday evening, seth and i take a plate of cookies to a gospel concert at our church. the scene was enough to force me to swallow my pride and embrace organized religion. i become a card-carrying methodist, and i remember eternity. like, more than once a week, and it becomes apparent that i probably shouldn’t waste my life on earth. unless I’m watching this:


Barack Obama is voted off theteet.com, edged out only by Jesus. i make ben marrison’s family very mad at me and i think his mother threatens to kill my chickens, which might not be a bad idea because by now, we’ve eaten quiche at least four days in a row. the teters and the johnsons come out to Bangs to celebrate the birthdays, where seth and my father purchasing matching reciprocating saws for one other. their love grows.

in a storage room in granville, ohio, mae decides to keep mr. twinkie. the college-era bath lotions don’t make the cut.

 at church we meet margaret, and i realize that we’ve found community, which i’ve been praying for for, like, four years. praise jesus.

November: In Photos

concept courtesy donewating.com

concept courtesy donewating.com



why the bedroom is now in the living room

why the bedroom is now in the living room

seth and i watch the Browns lose in the ice rain with the Johnsons. theres really no better way.

seth and i watch the Browns lose in the ice rain with the Johnsons. there's really no better way.

December: Getting the poo out

it’s about 52 degrees in the house, but mother and father rush to our aide. we get 100-year-old mouse poo and lord knows what else out of the attic. we fill the entire Dumpster, and we decide it’s okay that the house will never, ever, ever be done.

we cheer on grandma as she recovers from a seizure. Walker Evans unfriends me. the gays turn me into a sympathizer, and i develop Straight Guilt.

we travel 800 miles this Christmas, spreading good news and cheer across the great state of Ohio.

2009, you’ve got a lot to live up to. perhaps we’ll get goats or something to spice up the posts. as always, i welcome your feedback and suggestions.  

thanks for reading, you smart, sexy person, you. and remember: no one loves you like theteet.com.


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  • Mae

    Twinkie the Kid made the cut! He’ll be ecstatic – (there’s a really sick joke that I’ll only tell you on an untapped phone line someday). And…not all your girlfriends have made the switch. If you lose hope for me, it’s all over.

  • http://meryl321.livejournal.com/ Meryl

    A hard year to top. Thanks for the recap. :) I especially like the exploding dog Q & A.