Last push

Welcome to this week's Reno News & Review.

I'm getting down to the end of one of my master's degrees. On Wednesday—the day before this paper hits the stands—I'll be defending my master's thesis.

Journalism thesises? Thesii? Thesopaloozas? are a bit different than thesnadoes in other schools. We do what is called a professional project, and they can run the gamut. One woman did a documentary in Algeria, another did a website to help identify the life in and around the Truckee River. I designed an app. It's not that exciting, compared to some of the others' work, but well, sometimes my hard work and commitment just aren't enough to overcome my lack of creativity and low intellect.

Fortunately, it's not a competition.

When that's complete—assuming I successfully defend what I've done—I've got two more major projects and two pretty substantial papers to finish up, and my semester is finished.

And you know what that means: The drinking season is upon us. Seriously, it just creates another three-way quandary: Do I party my ass off for the summer (which sounds totally dysfunctional, but it's how I manage my high-output during the other nine months of the year); do I stay on the wagon and get focused on my heath (since I've gained about 30 pounds since the last time I got health-obsessed); or do I attempt moderation (a behavior I've been failing at for more than a half-century)?

I'll tell you how I'm feeling about it at this moment at 10:30 on Monday morning: If I had a jug of Buffalo Trace on the desk in front of me, the decision would have already been made. But I'm sure that's just the end-of-the-semester ennui talking.

My goodness. I don't know if it's because Mother Nature prematurely ejaculated spring upon us, but I'm feeling an intense craving to feel the sun on my skin and some soil under my finger nails. The deck needs staining, the gardens need tilling, and there are too many people I haven't seen in too long.

I am the groundhog. Commence with commencement.