I’ve been a little too strident in recent posts and I’m feeling a little sorry about that. It hit me this morning that I should offer an apology. So I am. A totally smooth and edgeless voice in the column would be boring, of course. But I shouldn’t be quite as snarly and self-righteous when it comes to flying-monkey wires and hair colors and such. I like a good argument as much as the next guy but you need to watch it tone-wise.

Something or somebody else takes over when I’m writing HE stuff. It’s a little bit of an alternate-personality thing. There’s the guy I want to be and need to be and like being when I’m dealing with people and visiting my mother and walking around shopping malls and renting cars in airports, and then there’s the other guy who comes into the room when I write the column.

The other guy isn’t wrong or…you know, saying things just to agitate without thought or reflection. I know what I know and passion always involves a bit of gnarly-ness. One of the reasons the other guy works as a voice is that I stopped saying “uh-oh, I’d better not say that” a few years ago. Well, I do say that still but a basic other-guy component is that he’s a bit a loose-screw personality. There’s a bit of a Larry David thing going on. He’s knowledgable and seasoned and knows what he knows but he can be little bit of an eccentric at times, which is why I keep him locked down and muzzled for the most part when I’m dealing with people and opening doors for people and asking for favors and dealing with the upstairs “party elephants.”

I’ve got the other guy figured out voice-wise and attitude-wise and theology-wise and that’s a good thing, but every so often I tell myself I should have pulled back a bit and been a little nicer. And I’m sorry when I haven’t modulated some of my posts with a bit more finesse. It’s kind of a candy-assed cop-out to say “this is a really tough job” and “you try banging out eight to ten stories per day” but it’s true to some extent.

The other side of the coin is that this is a great job. I sometimes feel enormous pride and often a good deal of satisfaction, depending obviously on the day and what’s gone down. The truth is that I’ve been feeling exhausted and a little gloomy on the side over the last few days. I think it’s partly because Jett went back to Syracuse last weekend and I’m feeling kind of despondent on a certain level because of this. I always feel badly when the kids leave. Anyway, I feel slightly better today and will try to be a little nicer and keep the other guy on a slightly gentler leash.