To: Luke
From: Owen
Re: The Antipodes Beckon

This weekend, Dad published his annual holiday column, a tradition going back, I don't know, it's gotta be more than 15 years. "My favorite things," is its theme, and his range from guilty pleasures like burnt potato chips or sausage gravy to the simpler ones like sports, television programs or the silly things the family pets do. He always mentions my brother and me, and he saves the last paragraph for Mom.

This year, the same as all the others, I saw the headline and skimmed right for my name. My brain still reacts to this like I was seven years old. It's hard to characterize without sounding vain, but every time Dad's written something about me, it's certified that I was special, different, and fortunate in ways my friends, though loved no less by their parents, were not.

We now live in the Internet age, when anyone and anything is instantly publishable to a potential audience of millions. There are 150 channels on basic cable, a zillion more on satellite, and I'm not sure there's any "Hi mom!" innocence or wonder left in appearing on the tube.

And yet there's no byline I've ever had that has ever meant more than seeing my name in my Dad's paper. Every kid should be as lucky as I have been, over the past 36 years, to have had these moments.

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They'll always be one of my favorite things.

Some weekend headlines:
Desert Bus Charity Shatters $100K Goal
Dyack Brags that 'Staggering' Layoffs Make His Studio 'Oldest'
Format Gaffe Prevents PS3 Owners from Playing Dragon Age Soundtrack
Their Bodies, Our Games
Cover Athletes: Putting More Than a Name Into a Game

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