Where have you gone Vic Mackey?

I can already feel the pain of withdrawal setting in.

This is the first Tuesday night in months where I won’t be able to plop in front of the TV to watch a gritty new episode of “The Shield” and I can tell that I’m going to be a little lost when 10 p.m. rolls around and there’s nothing new to watch on FX.

The night is going to seem a little empty without a furious, morally corrupt Vic Mackey bulling his way through another mess or a bumbling Shane Vendrell digging himself and his doomed family into a deeper hole.

I don’t know where I’m going to turn as a TV viewer for the adrenaline rush and sense of violent, tragic, impending doom that “The Shield” provided every week.

It may be time to cue up the first season of “Sons of Anarchy” on the DVR to see what I’ve been missing. It just might be the shot of violence I need to get over “The Shield.”

* WHATCHU TALKIN’ ‘BOUT?: My wife and I are having our first kid in April and to keep up on the different stages of the pregnancy I signed up for a weekly update from PregnancyWeekly.com. The information is cool but the presentation cracks me up every time because PregnancyWeekly.com just rubber stamp your name all over the weekly e-mail.

Every week I get a little message along the lines of “Hello Joe Blow, as you progress through your second trimester and your belly grows, you may begin to feel less and less comfortable, more swollen, and out of breath more quickly. Remember to always pay attention to how you feel and slow down or take a break if you need. You’ve still got a long way to go in your journey towards motherhood – there’s no need to push yourself to exhaustion!”

If I’m on the journey to motherhood we’ve got some really big problems. I like to leave that kind of stuff to Arnold Schwarzenegger (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0110216/ and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSz4jOGior8).

* DIFFERENT STROKES FOR DIFFERENT FOLKS: It’s undeniable that the economy is in bad shape and journalists would be among the last people who would argue against that point as newspapers around the nation continue to lay off and buy out scores of newsroom employees.

There are clearly a couple of ways to handle the situation.

One journalist took a buyout which opened the door to what she dubbed “buyout sex” with a former co-worker (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/23/fashion/23love.html).

A couple of other journalists at another paper passed on buyouts and were promptly banished to the mailroom (http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/search/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003892766).

In the end, it doesn’t matter whether you take the money and head for the bedroom or pass on the cash and head for the mailroom — the only thing that’s certain is that everyone gets screwed.

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