Report Card: January

4 February, 2013 | | 2 Comments

OK, as promised in my annual state of the year address on the 1st, I’m taking a more active role in managing 2013 – I’ll be giving it ratings and marks on a monthly basis, and we’ll see if we can’t dress it up and take it out by the time December rolls around.  After all, the 21st Century is now a teenager. 

Without further ado, let’s start with the number one story of the year, which is that Starbucks plans to open a coffee shop in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, finally putting an end to the war in that country.  That’s it, folks – it took a long time, but we’ve won.  Jane Fonda owes us all Venti Caramel HoChiFrappaMihnos. 

In other news, car sales for the month are up – good – but after going 220 days without a tornado fatality in the US, January decided to rock that clock, killing one person and injuring at least 17 others across several states.  Gotta take some serious points off for that kind of thing, January.  There was another up and down ride this month as well, with first managing to avert the Fiscal Cliff – a solid plus – and then Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D was released.  So, a net minus there. 

The month picked up some big points for the inauguration, with the nation’s first Muslim president taking the oath of office for the 4th time – the most oaths since our most recent Roosevelt.  Also scoring some big points for January, Pakistani schoolgirl blogger Malala Yousafzai was discharged from a hospital in the UK, despite having been shot by the Taliban last October for being brave, bold, and bigger than life.  That’s a serious A++ right there.  On the downside, hostage taking is on the rise, from Algeria to Alabama to Aurora, Colorado.  On a scale of one to ten, that’s a minus five per hostage.  Not a good score there, which lead to the on-again off-again gun control discussions you’ve been hearing.  We’ll be tracking that as the semester, er, year, progresses. 

A new inquest began this month into the death of British singer Amy Winehouse after it was discovered that the original coroner was not qualified to conduct the inquiry because he was, quote “just out of rehab himself.”  (His initial report had indicated that he was “pretty sure she was dead.  Really, she looks dead.”)  A second inquiry into Winehouse’s death concluded that the singer died of alcohol poisoning, noting that her last words were evidently “No, no, no.”  Speaking of poisoning, an Ilinois man was determined to have died of cyanide poisoning after winning the lottery this month.  His last words were reported as, “Honey, I want a divorce.  Hey, what’s in this drink?” 

Back to the gun debate:  This month, a 16-yr-old opened fire inside a classroom in California, two people were killed in a community college in Kentucky, a gunman opened fire on a college campus in Texas, a 14-year-old was shot in Atlanta, and writer Stephen King issued a 25-page essay calling for gun control.  OK folks – when Stephen effing King tells you that you need to think up new ways of killing one another, because what you’re doing encroaches on his realm of “fictional horror,” you might need to consider a new hobby.   I’m just saying, is all.   Still scoring a low “D” on that front.

In other news concerning our ability to kill each other, the United States Armed Forces overturned its ban on women serving in combat, potentially clearing the way for women to serve in front-line units and elite commando forces.  This is widely seen as acceptance that woman are just as willing and able to shank a bitch as the next guy. 

In technology news, Boeing 787 aircraft were grounded worldwide over concerns about the safety of their lithium-ion batteries.  Am I the only one concerned that the newest and largest jet on the Boeing lot is powered by the same batteries that I use in my Blackberry?  I can just see some pilot having to land that monster halfway across Nowhere, Indiana, to re-charge the damn plane because he had to take one more call.  Also in early January, NASA scientists beamed a picture of Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece, the Mona Lisa, to a spacecraft orbiting the Moon.  The moon not only had no comment, but, like the rest of the earth, had no idea if she was smiling or frowning. 

Also in space news, NASA’s Kepler space telescope was placed in a precautionary 10-day safe mode after engineers noticed a problem with the instrument’s orientation mechanism – they were worried that it was a problem with the latest Windows 8 updates.  It turned out that Kepler had been focused pretty much exclusively on the Kardashians.  Can’t give January more than a C on that one. 

In politics, former Mayor of New Orleans Ray Nagin was indicted on 21 counts including fraud, embezzlement, money laundering, bribery, and tax evasion.  Say it with me – shocked, shocked we are.   In international news, tens of thousands of people rallied in Paris in support of the legalisation of gay marriage.  Since most of us thought France was pretty gay to start with, that’s a push – good job showing the US how civilized countries do it, but no real news there.

All in all, January gets a “C” from the Big Ugly Man Doll.  I want 2013 to try to cut down on hostages and tornados in the next 4 weeks.  We’ll revisit the grades in the month or so.  In the meantime, keep your gum in your mouth and your pants above your hips.  I don’t care if your hips don’t lie – January’s hips lie like rugs.  Run with it, but study your ass off.  Come on 2013 – I hope you know that this will go down on your permanent record.


  1. Jen says:

    I thought it was an F. That’s awesome.

  2. Big Ugly Man Doll says:

    @Queen of Everything: Lucy for the win, again! Thanks, that cracked me up.

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