This week, my guest is a blogger who sprang from the East River full grown. Ain't he purty? Here's Al. Al was asked to define Rookie.
ROOKIE, n. somebody who's new at something. Rookies are usually young, but not always. In fact, many bloggers don't enter the field until well after they've been diagnosed with advanced dementia.
In some endeavors, like professional sports, being a rookie is charming and endearing, therefore widely publicized. On the other hand, if you've been playing for two or three years and the reporters are still calling you "rookie", its probably because they can't get the phrase "this guy sucks" past their editor.
In other fields, like cosmetology and neurosurgery, a practitioner's rookie status is held in the strictest confidence, The customer (or next-of-kin) is always the last to find out, and then only under force of subpoena.
In uniformed service, one can usually spot the rookie as the guy who hasn't yet figured out how to wear his hat. With rookie cops, look for a gunbelt worn 'round the knees. With firemen, look behind the speeding red truck with the flashing lights. The rookie is the guy lying on his back in the street, screaming and flailing away under a full load of gear.
Rookies are often subjected to "hazing" by their more senior colleagues. Hazing is an initiation ritual best enjoyed when particularly abusive and embarrassing. It is in that spirit that I report here today, wearing my thick skin and hoping for mercy - but knowing better.
About Al: Al, we hardly know ye. But we're starting to. Assuming Pia relaxed and enjoyed a productive vacation, the second best thing to come out of Pia's guest-post-a-rama was many of us came to know a poor commenter without even a blog to call his own. Three short weeks ago, this homeless Manhattanite rectified the situation and, like all stalled gypsies, moved right into the penthouse suite. Al's site, Downtown: Up The Hudson with Gun and Camera has to be about the most professional looking blogger blog near Earth. With terrific graphics in the bag, Al started his site with a moving request for information to help identify the people in a photo found in the post 9/11 wreckage and moved right into an interesting and engaging conversation.
Al does conversation well. I haven't quite put my finger on what he's doing over there but it works. So far, his posts begin with an essay or report and end with a Q&A section seeking input from his blogging friends. Al gives good one-liner mid-paragraph. It starts fun and stays voluble. Not much is known about this guy so far so but with research and intentional distortions of his meanings I can offer the following assessment of the man's identity and character, based on his own reports.
Al is 56 years old, and a Sagittarius, and a computer consultant. He majored in psychology, minored in self-deception and claims to like both cats and dogs, suggesting he has fish. He claims to be originally from South Philadelphia, a former New Jerseyite and a current resident of downtown Manhattan. This is plausible as only people from those three places consider those to be three places. He has used the adjectives darling and lesbian to describe his wife. He also called Minka a valkyrie so I'm inclined to believe him about his wife, too.
Other than that, we know he's competitive to come in first, gracious in defeat through conditioning if not by nature, and a pleasure to have in the mix. Thanks to Al for doing the guest spot here and doing it well. When's the old lady coming by? And didn't I win her in a bet already?
How to be a guest on this site: To be anointed, I will need your email address and permission. So, were you to send an email to dpascover at mac dot com and say in the subject line something like "OK, ok I'll do it," that would definitely work unless I thought it was spam and deleted it. On an upcoming Wednesday, after posting that week's guest I would then send you an email with a word not in The Devil's Dictionary which you could then spend the next three days writing a definition for and return to me with a graphic or two of your choosing. The only rules are no profanity, no novels and anything else I make up. If you've done this before, I may ask you again if you're around a lot. If you've done this before and not been heard from since, just let me know that you want to be a guest and then disappear again.