Yes. I do know the sex columnist. Yes. She is qualified.

The Weatherhuman’s identity is none of your business, but yes, it doesn’t like you.

No, I don’t think Courtney Stevens should be fired. But yeah, I can see your point about Zach Phillips’ “menstruation column.”

Uhuh, I get paid. Less than I’m worth.

You can always send a letter to the editor.

No, I won’t be apologizing/pulling the article/taking the article off the website because you now show up in Google hits for “drunk in public.”

I think that just about covers it – every answer to every question posed to me from readers for the past year. And what a year. Excuse me for taunting you with my superiority complex and self-fellating egoism, but this is the column to do it in. My goodbye column. My au revoir to the Daily Nexus. My exit stage left.

We got some redesigns, plumped up our columnists to opinion page ratio, hired the best staff this side of the Goleta Slough, broke top news, saved the Nexus from government ineptitude with the cunning use of middle-fingering, and hey, along with the Daily Sound, we’re the only daily newspaper left in this city. Cheers!

Yep, to answer your next question, I am pretty hot shit.

And I owe it all to you. No, not you, the average reader, reading this. I mean the people below in the staff box, and all those who came before and all those yet to come. Thank you, Brendan Buhler, Jason La (I learned the most from you), Daniel Haier, Matt Dozier. My hat’s off to Kristen Richer. Thanks for the memories; hope y’all join me in Nexus Valhalla for a few drinks.

Where would I be without my loyal staff this year? It’s rare to work with people you love, and even rarer to work with people you respect and trust to do the job well.

My friends, I wish I had the words, I often do, but they say to write from your heart and since you have half of mine, this message will be a slice of what it could have been.

To Devon Claire Flannery, for being my first lieutenant and second set of eyes, particularly for catching all those potentially ugly mistakes (as well as the ones that got through). You not only polished the paper, you made it sparkle. You also kept us out of a lot of trouble, while managing to raise hell. If I weren’t such a stickler, I give you a smiley emoticon right now.

Police Blotter extraordinaire Nikki Moore – barrel of monkeys level of fun and Southern Comfort level of intoxicating. You steered a big ship at county desk, and brought in too many catches to count. Here’s to your passion; it made it all the while.

David Ferry. Stop whatever you’re doing. No, put it down. Put Aria down. And yes, there is a Santa Claus. He’s bringing you pants without holes in them.

Dana Olsen, you’ve got a big job ahead of you, one I know you’re ready for. Have fun covering county supervisors, court cases, drunken revelry and the occasional dead albino raccoon. You’ll do it with flare and maybe a “Legends of the Hidden Temple” shirt.

Miss Lindsey Miller – you were a constant counselor, a wise peer and a good friend. You did a better job at university desk than I, and probably with a lot less yelling. I’m glad we grew up in the office together. The honor was all mine. (Comma splice!)

Megan “I’m not 15” Snedden: I had you picked out from day one, kid. You’re going far. You deserve nothing less. When I own my own paper, I’ll let you cover Leg again, if you really want it.

Aria Miran. You and Ferry need a timeout. But really, a few laughs and inappropriate jokes with you make the medicine go down. You definitely make it to my top eight MySpace friends list. Even as a fresh-faced reporter you stuck out as something more, like a fresh-faced university editor. Welcome to the desk; I wouldn’t want it left in any other hands.

I’m really sorry, Sabrina Ricci, for all those times we accidentally called you “Christina Ricci” when you weren’t in news meeting. Now you know. And now I’m graduating, so you can’t get mad. You got heart and the fortunate job of “layout editor,” complete with all the sexual innuendos associated with “laying” stuff out.

Aaron Wu and Matt O’Leary, y’all put up with some confused editors, last minute shots and spectacularly boring board meetings. Thank you for your endless patience. We would be spectacularly boring without you. And sans pretty pictures.

To my most valuable player and fellow graduate Anna Oleson-Wheeler. What didn’t you do? AOW, with a flick of your wrist you had AP, reception and production under wraps, with a bit of nod to sports. Thanks for the memories and double thanks for the booze.

To Barb Maclean, Linda Meyer and J.E. Anderson. Your devotion to us kids knows no bounds, and your guidance was irreplaceable. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I hope we made you proud.

More with sports, we got Chris Hoffman, but my heart belongs to Monique Moyal and Jeff Gibson. Monique, we missed you. And Jeff, you need to stop stressing. You should try pot sometime.

Those cool kids at Artsweek – Mollie Vandor, Sophia Kercher and my fellow Lasallian Cameron Smith – thanks for putting up with the changes, but also thanks for delivering the hipster to our pages. It’s nice not being lame through and through.

Oh, Nicki Arnold. Way to hold the fort down in the opinion office, and thank you for being a great staff writer the year before. You are the bee’s knees, and have a contagious smile.

Mark Batalla, my answer to your question is “Oh. Dear. God. Sigh. Fine, print it.” You were my happiest excuse never to censor, and I’m glad you trusted to ask me first. You dedicated more of your talent here than just about anyone, and it certainly didn’t go unnoticed. I’d mention each of your artists by name, but I’d rather someone write in angry about it so I could see more of their work. You all made the opinion page everyone’s first stop in the morning. It was a pleasure.

Online Editor Craig Calkins, Jesus Christ you stepped it up. We’ll make it to that shining city of perfect websites one of these days. You were tenacious, talented and occasionally morally perverse, a contradiction wrapped in a certainty. I don’t even know what I just wrote, but you were awesome.

But I’m eager to get on you, copy cats. Copy, you will always be loved, sometimes feared, with nothing but a comma and an adverb separating the two. Dianne Jobson, good luck in your new position. Just slow down on the caffeine pills. Kate Rushton, I’m glad to be graduating with you, though I’ll also be glad to see you at your new beginnings – you’ve got the right stuff. Valerie Tidwell, not only are you a worthy redhead, you’re also the sharpest knife in the drawer, capable of cutting anyone down to size. You were a miracle staff writer as well.

Melissa Davis and Becky Gayle, you deserve a special place in my heart, and I will miss you. Melissa, McCarthy was a bad man. Becky, goddamn we missed you.

I’m not going to name all of you, copy (par for the course, right?). Just know you had the hardest job and a hushed respect in the office. You made my nights a joy, and my newspaper the best I’ve seen. Thank you so much.

How much happiness it brings me to end with you, Nick DŸrnhšfer. The wisest advice I received when I became editor I will now pass on to you: It doesn’t matter if you break the biggest story of the century, or take down some bad guys or win first place awards in every category. It matters that you take care of the Nexus so that one day, your successor can. You’ve learned all you can from me, and outpaced my creativity. I got a sneaking feeling you’re going to be that first-place-winning successor.

Just remember that a year from now, all this will seem very funny. You have no idea what that means now. I didn’t when Dozier told me, or when Daniel told him, etc. You’ll get it. But don’t rush there. You got some time to put in.

Goodbye, my friends. So long, and see you later. Goodnight Nexus, one last time.
Your Friend,
Kaitlin Pike

P.S. Oh, and to Jerry Roberts: Don’t worry, I would never sue you.