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First, an apology. I’m going to list a group of people with some bullet points. Apologies that you didn’t rate a full entry like JEFF, but we’ll circle back on that when our friendship surpasses the 18 year mark, ok?

But there are a few people that I kind of want to at least call out for meritorious service over the past year or so. Last year, I threw myself a birthday party and as I was looking around, I realized that apart from maybe 2 people, the rest of the people there were folks I’d met within the past 3 years or less. And I was kind of amazed that I’d somehow managed to make enough acquaintances in a fairly short amount of time to populate a pretty decent birthday party (which, in a surprise to me, turned into the epicenter of Syracuse ukulele punk?). I digress… basically, I gave Jeff an entry and now you should learn a little more about a few other people, in no particular order. You will see how accomplished they all are as well as rating high in friendship points. I’M ALSO SORRY IF YOU AREN’T ON THIS LIST. WORK HARDER NEXT YEAR. So:

Let’s start with Zeke Leonard, who I played a show with last night. Also known as BassMal, I met Zeke just under two years ago at the first Malvinas practice. And from that point, through providing the rhythm section for the Malvinas, I found that, much like Jeff, Zeke and I are weird friend-siblings, that like weird creepy cacophonous sounds and share a sense of humor that favors poop jokes and other filth. But amidst all that, there have been some good bits of real friend conversations about life and support (including the moving of bits of furniture) from him and his wife, Karen, during difficult times. Zeke is the kind of person that people are drawn to and like as soon as they meet because he’s personable and does really interesting stuff – glad I am one of those people that gets to participate in a few of those interesting things (as long as we don’t die in a car crash). Like the instant classic “Applying Tung Oil for DES 341.” GOOGLE IT.

To keep with the Malvinas theme, I absolutely must mention Joanna Spitzner and Jessica Posner. ABSOLUTELY. Amazing artists and amazing friends. So Jessica was one of the people at the birthday party that I had known for more than 3 years. We met while I was messing around in Yet Another grad school program and made a short film together that involved a puppet I built. We fell out of touch a bit and then met up for lunch one day when she was back in town and then awhile later, I got an email from Joanna about this band that they were putting together… the rest is history, of course. I could list a long, long number of ways in which they have been excellent, but I think it can be summed up best in telling you that as I was hobbling along near the end of my marathon last year, having hurt my knee and just trying to finish the darn thing, to see the two of them coming in the other direction to meet me and bring me in across the finish is literally one of the most touching things that anyone has ever done for me. I don’t think I’ve conveyed to them exactly how much that meant to me and mentioning it here does not begin to do so either, but… yeah. I am continually thankful that they are in my life.

Mike Intaglietta just got a new job and he’s pretty important now. But prior to that, he was a pretty good friend what with the furniture storage and Slack discussions and whatnot. It’s too bad that he is dead to all of us now that he is very important (he also played God in a few scenes at the improv show last night, so, you know…). To Mike, and gainful employment. And let’s not forget @dagsly, who also provided furniture support and friendship, as well as those stuffed jalapeño things at a picnic earlier this year. I rate a stuffed jalapeño thing pretty highly. Speaking of food, Caithlin, through Twitter and email chats from afar and the sharing of literally the best dumplings ever (LAMB AND CORIANDER 4EVS) is firmly placed on this list.

And then we have my Top Texting Trio: SamanthaTracy and Kristin. Sam and I went to grad school together at Cornell. Tracy and Kristin and I met via the Syracuse Twitterati many moons ago. The backchannel communications via text and Facebook and in person chats in Saratoga, at Lofo, at Recess, while running, etc. etc. etc. have been absolutely priceless and their advice, commiseration and commentary are things I look forward to daily. Also, Sam is probably the only person I actually talk to on the phone. Is that sad or a commentary on the strength of our friendship? I could detail this all further, but we’ve all signed non-disclosure agreements. They know. We’re good.

The more I wrote this, the more names that came up, but I think we’re good here right now. I’m lucky.