Sorry in advance, but I'm about to get sincere all over you people for just one minute. (To tide you over, ducklings: POOP POOP POOP POOP POOP POOP POOP POOP POOP.) This will be my last piece of writing in The Stranger for the foreseeable future and, I think, the last Concessions column ever. Cry. I've accepted a new job (a bloggy job that will remain nameless until I'm 100 percent sure that I don't get pre-fired for excessive POOP POOP POOP POOP POOP POOP POOP POOP POOP), and my new job insists that we go steady—which means no more writing "POOP POOP POOP POOP POOP POOP POOP POOP POOP" for whatever hussy of a weekly newspaper shakes its pooper in my direction. And so I am gone. Poop.
I just want to say, with my whole heart, that I've had the fucking time of my life, I've never felt like this before, yes, I swear, it's the truth, and I OWE IT ALL TO YOU, STRANGER (also, Jerry Orbach). As a kid in Seattle, I grew up on The Stranger—and then, for the past seven years, I really grew up at The Stranger.
When I was in high school, Famous Celebrity David Schmader™ was in my top 10 favorite writers. Now, David "Dave" Schmader is the person I send my shitty excuses to when my column is late because I spent too much time watching House Hunters International ("I could really see us eating food in this dining room!" COOL STORY, DINGDONG). During my freshman year of college, which was terrible, I used to copy and paste my favorite editions of Charles Mudede's Police Beat column into a Word document on my desktop computer ("HOW DOES THE INTERNET WORK!?!?!?"—me, year 2000) and then read it over and over to remind myself that life wasn't just one endless root canal, because stuff was funny and sometimes people had a knife where their penis should be. Now Charles "My Friend" Mudede is this sort of strange/drunk African wizard who pops up in my dreams to explain what to do should a dog bite me on the leg ("Grab a stone and dash its brains!!!!!"). I don't know how it happened, but I'm super fucking lucky.
When I first started at The Stranger (May 26, 2005—a 23-year-old baby!), I was a shy weirdo who didn't know what the poop I was doing. (Not like now, when I am basically the entire dictionary [Merriam-Webster's All-Caps and Fecal Synonyms Edition].) I've learned something from every single magical human at this paper, made at least half of my best friends, and turned—somehow—into a hireable grown-up. I know I'll go the rest of my professional life wishing for the freakish level of creative freedom (POOOOOOOOOOOP!!!) and nurturing band of hilarious geniuses I'm leaving behind. I'm so grateful. Now FIND ME ON THE INTERNET, BITCHEZ.