I’m back on American soil. I’m at the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport, waiting for my flight out to Jamestown, where my parents will be picking me up. I’m tired and smelly, but, surprisingly, in a good mood. It feels good to be back home.

So, apparently, Fall Out Boy recorded a cover of “Beat It.” Northwest Airlines’ had the song looping on their onboard music playlist. And it’s total crap. It’s just one of those songs you don’t cover.

But the song got me thinking about what I missed during the summer. I had limited access to goings-on across the U.S. so I’m sure I missed stuff. For example, a few months ago I found out that in 2003 (when I was in Iraq and had virtually NO access to the outside world), Lifesavers replaced the lime-flavored candy with green apple. I love me some green apple, but as an amateur candy connoisseur, I was floored.

So here’s my question to you, dear reader: What did I miss this summer? What was going in the news while I was on the high seas? What has everyone been watching, reading, listening to while I was searching for octopi in the Pacific?

Here’s a list of things I already know:

  • The Dark Knight is flooring audiences and causing controversy. I saw the film on my last night in Japan. Heath Ledger was amazing and it’s even more sad that he’s gone. He made that movie. In fact, I would say the Batman played second fiddle to the Joker. (The theater, however, did not show the Watchmen preview. I’m not a big fan, but I read an interesting story in Entertainment Weekly. Anyone see the preview?)
  • Comedians and newsmen died over the summer (George Carlin, Tony Snow, etc.)
  • When You’re Engulfed In Flames by David Sedaris. I’ve had some time to think about the book now, and the stories I remember the most are the ones about the old-lady neighbor, the crazy birds, the spider, and the human skeleton. Anyone else read this yet? What stood out to you?

And if anyone says anything about The Mole I will kill them. I am planning to watch the episodes online when I get to my parents’ place.

I swear to god, I’ll hunt you down and kill you like I did those Iraqis!