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April 2, 2014

MOSS: Some thoughts while dreaming of a nap

— I put off a nap to write this. Seriously.

I don’t joke about naps. They matter almost as much as lunch. I am 60, old enough to accept retirement but not old enough to feel fully deserving. So I kind of work, kind of do not. When not feeling guilty, I feel relieved.

That’s when I actually am awake, of course.

Some days, when the nap is interrupted and lunch does more to me than for me, I do not believe I will live to see new bridges open or my Hoosiers win every basketball game they should. Other days, I believe in the future like I did that I’d always have hair and energy. I have quit believing that the Pulitzer Prize committee finally will come its senses. But I still believe my wife might give up expecting me to make the bed.

Anyway, as part of my reintroduction to you, after all those years in that other newspaper, here is some else of what I believe:

I believe we will adjust to Ohio River bridge tolls like we do to paying for 1,000 TV channels and 1 million cell telephone minutes. But the tolls will set back regionalism, will especially pinch Southern Indiana work commuters plus any business that relies on metrowide appeal. I believe that tolls should not have been an absolute must. A recent study confirms the incredible economic boost new bridges will provide. If any project is worthy of Uncle Sam playing sugar daddy, this one is.

I am not sergeant-at-arms of the Fire Tom Crean club, but I can relate to whoever is. I believe Crean, IU’s men’s basketball coach, is all too ordinary in all too many ways. His offense seems uninspired and as stagnant as Congress. Opponents adjust during games, why doesn’t IU? Mistakes made against Kennesaw State in December were still being made against Illinois in March. Crean couldn’t lead to the Final Four our 2012-13 team with two top NBA draft choices. He has taken Indiana to March Madness only twice. Crean hits occasional grand slams as a recruiter, yet in-state elites routinely still shun Bloomington. IU players transfer as often as do New York subway commuters. I believe this, few if any blueblood basketball schools would trade coaches with IU. I forever will love IU. Right now, though, love hurts.  

I still believe a casino belongs on the riverbank in Jeffersonville or Clarksville. While Kentucky continues ridiculously to pass on getting into the blackjack biz, Indiana could step up its foothold by making it still easier to rake in Kentucky’s money.

I believe it inevitable that gay marriage will be legal in Indiana and everywhere else. Equality is right, simple as that. Why must it typically be so excruciating to attain?

I believe the demise of the middle class is real and really destructive. Jobs are being created but not enough are bread-winning jobs. Working people should be able to afford decent houses and cars and they can’t. Raising the minimum wage seems part of the solution, but prices will increase. We must be ready to pay more if we insist workers be paid more.

I believe New Albany’s Roger Baylor, and his soulmates around the world, are to be toasted for convincing we rubes to drink better beer. The good-beer evolution resembles revolution. Just check the beer aisle at mainstream sellers such as a Meijer.

I believe my list of heroes also must include Elizabeth Starck, of Jeffersonville, and those like her who rescue animals from shelters and then arrange adoptions. Starck and friends promote what I too believe — good people are better with pets.

I confess that I can feel annoyed to fit a funeral home visit into my obviously hectic life. Yet I invariably end up glad I did. I believe it never a waste of time to be nice; too bad I occasionally need reminding.

 I believe most of you, like me, are ever less reliant on Louisville. I wouldn’t trade our geography with Seymour’s or Jasper’s, however. Being partners in a metropolitan area comes with pricey costs along with enduring benefits. That’s the deal. However evolving. However frustrating, Southern Indiana’s coziness with Louisville remains well worth it.

I have no trip planned to Colorado. But should marijuana become legal in Indiana, I believe I might try it. Don’t tell me you’re not likewise curious.

The Indiana approach to the Big Four Bridge really will open and, I believe, it will be more popular than was the Culver’s in Jeffersonville its first days. By the opening being delayed like 59 times, though, Indiana spoon-fed Kentucky a reason to feel superior. Never again, please.

Help.

— Send your column ideas to Dale Moss at dale.moss@twc.com

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