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|| News Item: Posted 2008-12-21

My Top 5 Cool Things for 2008
By Scott Strazzante, Chicago Tribune

Photo by Scott Strazzante / Chicago Tribune

Photo by Scott Strazzante / Chicago Tribune

Chicago White Sox batter Alexei Ramirez hits a grand slam in the 6th inning against Detroit Tigers at US Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois on Monday, September 29, 2008.
5. Watching my favorite team, the Chicago White Sox, as they won three straight games against three different division rivals on three straight days to win the American League Central crown, highlighted by Alexei Ramirez' grand slam to beat Detroit and the 1-0 "Black Out" of the Twins in game 163.

4. After dealing with surprisingly arrogant Chicago Cubs' fans all season long, enjoying the Lovable Losers' sweep at the hands of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Maybe next year?

3. Being able to collaborate with Brian Storm and Chad Stevens as MediaStorm produced "Common Ground", a multimedia piece on my 14-year-old personal project on a piece of land in suburban Chicago as it transitioned form rural to suburban. Oh yeah, getting part of the project published in National Geographic didn't suck.

2. Even though we didn't have a fancy nickname, it was a "dream" to be part of a "team" with LA Times' Wally Skalij and Robert Gauthier at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. Now that I think of it, on a especially sticky Beijing afternoon, Robert and I coined our crew- "The Three Layers of Sweat".

1. The important things in life- spending quality time with my fellow photographers especially Rob Finch, Sol Neelman, Rod Mar, Kevin German, Jonathan Newton, Robert Gauthier, Chris Detrick and my fellow Chicago Tribune staffers, getting married in January to the lovely Anna, adding two sweet step-daughters (woo hoo Sophie and Caroline) to the family, moving into a new house in a new suburb and watching my kids (love you Betsy and Cameron!) thrive in their new environment, having my wife be diagnosed with bladder cancer and then having her come out of it healthier than ever. Too many good things for one person. Hopefully everyone's 2009 will be as blessed as my 2008.

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