Best non sequitur: Said one of my colleagues, "This has been going on since time immaterial."

Shortest filibuster: Sen. Walter Baker (D-Eastern Shore) roared late one night that he was going to talk until dawn to defeat a judicial appointment, then sat down after 15 minutes. The appointment was approved, and a new phrase "fili-baker" was born.

Worst lobbying: Advocates of "home education" kept their kids up till 3 a.m. on a cold rainy night to follow our debate, ensuring its defeat.

Best lobbying: Senior citizens from the American Association of Retired Persons single-handedly defeated a House-passed measure to regulate out-of-state drug firms.

Most intense controversy: Workers compensation laws. The gulf between labor and management is as confrontational as the Gulf of Sidra.

Funniest moment: Senate President Melvin Steinberg (D-Baltimore County) read an address in halting Spanish, only to discover that the people in the gallery were not the expected group of South American students. The blank stares were very polite, however.

Worst bill to pass: The Stadium Authority law. An unelected group could ultimately put the state on the hook for a new $300 million "Circus Maximus" that baseball fans and other taxpayers don't want.

Best headline: "Maryland Senate Caps Pain and Suffering."

Trendiest phrase: "Pro-active," replacing "level playing field," which replaced "23 skidoo!"

Dreariest clich,e: "Let's send them a message!" Why not use Western Union?