Monday, June 30, 2008
Today was "one of those days" - not nearly as cute as that poster of the cat hanging from the tree, or the poster of the cat gripping the toilet seat for dear life (for that matter) and not nearly as dramatic as some of the fight sequences of The Matrix either BUT - it felt like "one of those days" none the less.
I over slept. I am all but out of my face wash. I could not figure out what I wanted to wear to work today - even though I, the obsessive compulsive that I am pick four shirts and four ties every Sunday to go with my four pairs of khakis to wear Monday - Thursday (I try to be "spontaneous" of Fridays (so I lay out my Friday out fit on Thursday evenings)) - I could not get focused early in the morning and then, by the time Joy and Ava and my parents showed up for a delicious lunch in the middle of the day - it was alllllll over but the show.
By mid-afternoon I had a co-worker in tears, I had a stress level that made me want to eat everything in the kitchen and a pulse that would have easily killed the 500-pound me. I wanted very, very badly to just sort of freak out and yell and scream and slam my chair against my desk and storm out of my office. Old Sean would have totally done that. Old Sean would have done that - crossed the street to Red Sage across from the old office and had a margerita and chips and salsa. Old Sean would have done that and loved it.
New Sean is a bit of a "wuss" though . . . or so would say Old Sean or fans of him (Ben Mufti is shaking his head in mortified contempt as I blog) and New Sean did nothing. Very Edward Norton to his Brad Pitt - if you get my drift - speaking of Brad Pitt . . . saw Wanted this weekend. Such a great "summer movie."
Anywho - New Sean was very milky-cereal about his Monday. He sat at work. He solved the problem on behalf of his less-than-inspiring co-worker and he did all the other things on his to-do list despite having to shuffle around his entire day. New Sean didn't give in to the urge to eat at all. Not even for a protein bar or a sugar-free lollipop (slippery slope, slippery slope). New Sean didn't swear or curse. New Sean asked his boss for advice on how to be more effective in this type of scenario. New Sean felt bad that his co-worker was crying (okay, to be FULLY honest, he only felt bad that he was to blame for the tears - the fact that her makeup made a mess of her face entertained even New Sean).
I might not have known what to wear to work this morning and I might not have gotten out of work to spend time with my parents as early as I wanted to but - for the most part - New Sean had an okay day, as moral victories and baby steps forward go.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
1 - Vega4, Life Is Beautiful - I think this song was on one of my earlier playlists (I'm way too lazy to check) but I really like it. It feels like the opening credits to an episode of Grey's Anatomy but - there are worse things in life. The song is about, uh, life being, uh, beautiful and "stuff".
2 - Two Spot Gobi, Sunshine Lady - I heard this song in the background of a podcast that I like to listen to and actually e-mailed the podcaster to find out who the song was by and the name. I was so awkward about e-mailing him though that I went on and on and on about what a huge fan of the podcast I am and how I listen every week and how I go to his website all the time to check out additional content and so on. When said-podcaster typed me back he pointed out, very politely, that at the end of every episode of the podcast he tells who the music he featured was AND on his website is a section that contains the artist and song informatio as well. Open mouth, insert foot, up to calf or maybe knee. Anywho, good song.
3 - Coldplay, Lost! - My boys are BACK and they don't disappoint me (I know, I know, Coldplay "sucks" and they haven't had a good song since "Yellow" and blah, blah, blah - zip it all you haters - no one ever said that Chris Martin had to become some super hero for the anti-establishment. It is NUTS what getting married and having a kid or two can do to a man, right? Lost is my favorite song off the new album but I'm still really "getting to know" the CD (I listen to it daily, literally) so that might change over time. "Just because I'm losing, doesn't mean I'm lost, doesn't mean I'll stop, doesn't mean I will cross." - Interesting for those of you that have me on depression-watch, when I hear just because I'm losing . . . I think of weight loss. The song takes on a whole new meaning in that context. OH - and for you cool kids - there is also an accoustic version of the song on the CD. I prefer the plugged in one though.
4 - Alanis Morissette, Orchid - Having gone on and on and on about Alanis once before (and not long ago), I will simply say that her new album does not disappoint me either. Orchid, on the bonus CD, is a great song. My favorite lyrics (that remind me of my life with my wife) . . . "So I've lived in my blind spot thought myself usual when I'm not and your garden is a nice spot as long as it is brave and where you are." Check out the whole CD.
5 - My Morning Jacket, I'm Amazed - I love My Morning Jacket. No - I've never been to Bonnaroo and I don't have much street cred on the music front (I've already defended Colplay in this post and I'm going to tell you what my favorite Leona Lewis song is a little later). ANYWHO - I love My Morning Jacket. Their album Z was an instant favorite for me and I have anxiously awaited this album. Favorite song from the new album - I'm amazed. Favorite lyrics . . . im amazed at the evoltion im amazed at the lack of faith. Reminds me of my own doubters. The song, as a whole, is about loving Mother Earth or something like that though. Who the heck knows what this Bonnaroo hippies are even talking about half the time? It just sounds GOOD.
6 - Barenaked Ladies, Eraser - Picture it, Hamden, Connecticut. Fall. 1994. I'm channeling my best Estelle Getty on Golden Girls here to tell you about how Molly Scott introduced me and Chris Delenick to Barenaked Ladies. The rest is history, as they say. What went from the little band that "only I" knew of went on to release a song of their first album (If I Had a Million Dollars, any one?) and then "blew up" and "lost it" but I stuck by them. I've seen them four times in concert (a personal record) and I still believe they have some credibility - mainly just having fun with their music. Now all fathers, they put out Snacktime a few weeks (months?) ago full of silly tunes for their kids. Eraser and Here Come the Geese are my favorites. Eraser fit better on this particular playlist.
7 - Notorious B.I.G., Big Poppa - Oh man. Christopher WHY did you have to leave me? Once upon a time the kids called me Biggy and I invented the remix under their guidance. B.I.G. was the man and no song made me feel more entitled to be morbidly obese than Big Poppa. I mean the man said "'cus I see some ladies somenight who should be havin' my baby - bay-bay!" and it didn't even feel silly or ironic at the time. Rest in peace, big. We still miss you.
8 - Adele, Chasing Pavements - Huge fan of Adele. I've talked about her in this blog before. Chasing Pavements is my second favorite song on her debut album (her version of Make You Feel My Love just didn't flow on the mix). I don't even know what it means - to Chase Pavements - but the song makes sense none the less.
9 - Grizzly Bear, Knife - Confession. I heard of Grizzly Bear through a blog that I like to check out from time to time. The blog takes musical acts (some that are really famous, some only mildly and some probably only famous to those who really "know" them to begin with) and puts them on the streets of Paris (or around Paris) and they have them perform (Vampire Weekend performs in a van, while driving, for instance). Anywho - so they perform Knife and I am all enthraled and I pull up iTunes and I can't find it. Why? Because I thought the name of the song was NIGHT (I missed where it plainly says KNIFE on the video). I thought it was a beautiful love song and it is actually about obsession. While reminds me of my obsession and how all I want to do some nervous minutes is recount my calories and exam my hanging skin flaps to guess how much they weigh. Anywho - good song.
10 - Kraak & Smaak, Squeeze Me - I can not tell you where I stumbled on this song (maybe it was a free download from iTunes) but I'm addicted. Ava is too. She does the full booty-drop dance with the head shakes and the elbow shimmys when we turn it all the way up in the car. If I did work out like I am supposed to - this one would be on my gym mix.
11 - Mika, Happy Ending - The one downer of the mix. It makes me miss a few of my old friends and regret that I lost touch with them. The rest of Mika's CD is really good though. I downloaded it the day I got home from the hospital after my surgery and listened to it all those lonely nights that I walked the highways of IBM in Somers alone.
12 - Leona Lewis, Bleeding Love - So she won the UK equivilant to American Idol and now she's really popular here. I don't know why but, like last year's Umbrella, this song seems to have made its way in to my heart as the OFFICIAL SONG OF SEAN'S SUMMER. Laugh all you want, I can take it.
13 - Jon Foreman, Deep In Your Eyes (There Is a River) - I love my wife. I can't state it enough or simply or clearly enough. I let Jon Foreman make it all sticky-sweet instead.
14 - Pras featuring ODB and Mya, Ghetto Superstar - Summer. 1998. I had moved to DC after meeting my boys Michael, Ben and Bob and the ladies of my life - Megan, Val and Helga the Red (I still love you best, Olga) and we lived in a beat-down two bedroom apartment with four guys and no central air. We DID have cockroaches though. Lots of them. Big ones. Afraid of nothing. They would ask you to pass magazines in the bathroom they were so bold. Across the interesction from our apartment was a movie theater though. It was still showing Titanic when I moved in and, as summer rolled around, Bulworth moved in (DC being a sorta political town and all). I went to see that movie four or five times in the first two weeks it was out. Mainly for the cold, cold air that blew around in the theater. Secondly for the popcorn they sold me. Not so much the movie itself (I LIKED it but - It was no Lethal Weapon 26 (or whatever) that came out later that summer). Great song. Great song. Great song. The Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers original is not bad either (Islands in the Stream - for those not familiar with the Dolly Parton hit Ghetto Superstar).
15 - The Rolling Stones, You Can't Always Get What You Want - Kevin Costner was supposed to steal the show in The Big Chill. The movie was supposed to be all about him. Instead we only ever see his hands and hairline in the coffin during the opening credits of this great, great movie (with an even better soundtrack) about college friends who grow apart but come back together for the death of a friend. I don't know why but the minute the organist starts in the film, I sort of knew this song was coming. I will still watch this movie every chance I get. It makes me think of Danielle (mmmmBella) Magaldi/Dopman (who had the soundtrack) and my college friends and how I hope that we might someday all spend a weekend together again just to let our lives recross and remingle. What an adventure that would be.
16 - Stevie Wonder, Master Blaster (Jammin') - I love me some little Stevie Wonder . His four-disc super collection that came out in late 99 or early 00 is one of my all-time favorites (I've bought several copies of it for friends too). Joy and I had Stevie do our wedding music (well, his CDs at least) and I don't think I will love a song more than I love "As." It is summer though. Master Blaster is the way to go on this mix. Play on, Stevie.
17 - P.M. Dawn, Faith in You - Here is a couple of brothers (they really are related, I don't mean that in the "jive talk" sense (in case any one thinks I am a closeted racist)) that love them some Jesus Christ and love them some music. Set Adrift on Memory Bliss may have been about Christina Applegate but almost 99% of the rest of their songs are about God and spirtuality (including their cover of Norwegian Wood). Faith in You makes me think of all the diets that I tried that failed and my commitment to making this journey work. It makes me think of Joy too. I know, I know, I'm sorta' pathetic.
18 - The Police, De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da - Just give it a listen. I don't need to defend this one or explain it.
19 - The B-52s, Roam - Ava loves the B-52s. I love them accordingly (Tin Roof Rusted and such). Roam is my favorite B-52s song though. It is about adultery, or so I've been told. I don't support that - or a happy song about it - but I like the idea of endorsed adventure and seeing the world and understanding it. I moved to Kansas. I am a man who can take risks and find the rewards. Come on out and visit - tornado season ends tomorrow.
20 - Katy Perry, I Kissed a Girl - I'm not really sure what I like about this song. The last time a song had this title it was the 90s and Jill Sobule was a staple of Sean "GUYK" Christopher's CD collection. This song is just straight up different. Not something I would usually like. Not my genre and not my flavor. It gets in your head though and, before long, you are shouting along. And your co-workers are trying to figure out why you are shouting along with a woman who is telling the world she kissed a girl and "liked it."
21 - Oasis, Wonderwall - This one reminds me of Pezzullo. He loved him some Oasis (he really, really loved the Beatles and I think he WANTED Oasis to be the next coming of Paul and John - sorry that didn't work out for you, mate). It is a great song though that feels like a nice way to wrap up an iTunes mix. Maybe . . . you're gun-be-da-one that saaaaves me. Cuz after awwwlllll, yur my wondur-wah-eh-al.
Anywho, that's the mix. What's in your ears these days? Let's get some chatter going.
Friday, June 27, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
8. Lose Weight: Possible Savings 13.1 gallons/yr for each 100 pounds you remove ($104/yr) - Government estimates say that an extra 100 pounds in your car can reduce fuel efficiency by up to two percent. And that's an average -- the smaller the car, the more extra weight makes the engine work harder.
I drive a Toyota Matrix (a small car) and I've lost 240-ish pounds. That is a savings of at LEAST $250 on gas. Annually.
Here I thought gastric bypass was about extending my life and living a healthier existence but - gravy of gravy - I'm saving at the pump too. This just keeps gettin' better!
SO - congratulations to allllll my fellow GBers (and dieters in general) for saving money, helping mother nature and striking a blow against the current fuel "crisis" we are facing in the fifty-nifty!
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
We went to a nice, healthy (TOTAL sarcasm) dinner at Red Robin to celebrate his special day. It was my mother, father, wife and daughter as well as Lexy, my father- mother- and sister-in-law too. It was odd to celebrate a family occassion with such an odd configuration of "family" - it made me really miss my brothers and Joyell, frankly.
I had the cup of chili with cheese and red onions and my father and Joy enjoyed some birthday cake after Joy got home from class.
I didn't envy the cheeseburgers, french fries, milkshakes and chicken "fingers" that the rest of the table enjoyed and I certainly did not feel bad about not having a big slice of cake at 10:00 PM. I don't think, a few years ago, I could have resisted THAT much temptation in one evening. By now - it feels like "old hat".
HAPPY, HAPPY Birthday, Dad. I love you and I'm extremely happy that you were able to spend your special day with us here in Kansas.
One more week to go with the 'rents in town. We're excited to make the most of it (rumor has it I might even take some time off from work tomorrow afternoon and all day Monday to hang out).
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
Ava and Sebastian drove Ava's pink Cadillac Escalade around the driveway for a while and then stripped down naked to do some swimming and a good time was had by all, I think.
The BEST part of the post-gastric bypass life is that you are encouraged to eat protein, protein, protein and that is what grilling is all about. Shrimp, steak, chicken, pork, turkey-burgers. I grill them all. Yuhhhhmay!
Anywho - Joy bought me some new grilling gear for Father's Day and she took my picture in my apron and matching hot-glove and I felt compeled to share that picture with the masses.
If you are in the Wichita area and you are hungry, swing on by. We're hoping to grill as much as possible this summer and we'd love to feed you something hot, spicy and full of protein.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
My mother has lost about 40 pounds since she had her hosptial scare in the fall and she seems to be feeling a lot better. My father seems to be doing well at his attempts to diet as well.
My parents did get on me a little bit about some of my "negativity" here on the blog and how "hard" I am on myself.
I thought it was important to clarify for any one else that might be confused or have some questions about my general tone and demeanor when I get "negative" like I did on Monday.
It is actually quite simple - I was glib for a full decade about my life and how I lived it. I took my friends (I was a wonderful friend to them and they were wonderful friends to me on the average day - I have never said I never deserved friends) for granted. I worked too much and for the wrong reasons. I ate way too much and lied about it to myself and others and I was developing an alcohol problem on top of my food problem.
It is very, very important for me to take a look at all of that and to acknowledge the failures of my past and try to build over them with positives in my future.
How friggin' boring would this blog be (how much MORE boring - I should ask (smile)) if all I did was sat around and talked about how wonderful I used to be and how great I was and how perfect life was? Would any one read that crap? I wouldn't.
The reason that I have decided to share my "journey" with the world (and, scary as it is some weeks the hits I get on this blog make me afraid the world truly is reading) is because I wanted to talk about the larger process of gastric bypass. Too many people think the surgery is about four hours on a table with a laser and a surgery team followed by skinny bodies and perfect lives.
It is really important, to me, to let people know that - as far as my own experience or the experience of any one I know who's been through this procedure - that is JUST four hours in the life of the real process - the real journey.
I apologize if people think I'm overly harsh on myself in this forum but - ask anyone who know or loved me then (or knows and loves me now) and they will not hesitate to tell you that I've always had a very healthy self-esteem and an overly ripe sense of self.
I am not beating myself up now. I think I'm blessed to have come through all of this alive and I think that I am the luckiest man alive to have such a wonderful wife and daughter and home and job and family and friends. I had allllll those things before my surgery though. And I knew how lucky I was then too - I just didn't openly appreciate it as much. I was not as "aware" as I am now.
I'm simply looking at who I was and who I want to be and trying to quantify the differences.
Let me know if you still have any questions, Mom and Dad (and others).
Monday, June 16, 2008
With that in mind - I wanted to declare that, as I see 15-months since my surgery looming on the calendar for later this week, that I am ALMOST the person I want to be and I am ALMOST ready to declare a victory in my battle against my weight and my demons. Of course almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.
Just know that I'm not there yet. I'm still working on it. I'm still trying to figure out those last puzzle pieces and trying to cram them in to this 1,000 piece jigsaw rendering of three kittens playing in a basket of bright, cheery yarn. I'm gonna' get there and when I do - then I'll really have something to talk about.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Joy wanted me to share to show how "skinny" I am. I am, instead, posting it MAINLY to show that I have learned how to dress myself before leaving the house (see post below).
The good news, regardless, is that I am wearing a khaki suit today - something I wanted to do on our wedding day - and I feel pretty good about it!
It's fine. Big friggin' whoop. I pretty-much hate birthdays and have a general distrust of people, especially full grown adults, who get tooooo excited about their birthdays).
I will, however, use this occassion and the you-have-to-do-what-I-say-because-it-is-my-birthday-and-I-said-so mentality that the 12 year old me would inspirt to remind you to PLEASE support the American Heart Association and pledge even $1 to support me the cause and the walk-a-thon I am participating in on Saturday (I don't see a dime of it so feel confident in giving until it hurts).
If my appeal is not enough - consider that I have given YOU a gift for my birthday. I found this picture (while trying to find a non-cringe inducing picture of me on my birthday from my childhood) and decided it might be the most ass-kick-deserving look I've ever left the house with. Even my little brother (not exactly a fashion plate at the time) is giving me the stink-eye in this shot. Ahhhhh, misty water-colored memories of the way we were!
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
I had easily gained the freshman fifty (what's that - it is the freshman fifteen? well - not in my experience) and I was working the only job I could find following two weeks of searching around . . . I was working the night shift at a local factory that made sample sized items and mail inserts (think hotel shampoo, samples of new toothpaste in foil-packs and individually wrapped calcium tablets).
I was taken with the CD and with Alanis Morissette. I don't know what it was about the CD but I think part of it was the anger and part of it was the hope. I bought the CD the day it came out and I listened to it again and again and again that whole summer and well in to my fall semester of my Sophomore year.
Truth be told, I probably gained and then lost another 50 pounds while listening to the CD.
Yep, your moans are justified . . . I'm about to link my life's experience to Alanis Morissette's discography.
The next time we heard from Ms. Morissette, I had just moved to DC and her single from the film City of Angels (Uninvited) was an instant favorite for me. I listened to it again and again and again and it made me think about how your best intentions can mean NOTHING if the object of your intentions is not interested. Incidentially, must by money and food were uninvited in my life. I lost over 40 pounds as an unpaid intern and returned to my college graduation a slimmer, healthier and happier person than I left the campus six months earlier.
By the time Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie came out that November life was "complicated" - I was making money and was back to eating and counted graduate school and binge drinking as my two least favorite time sucks. The CD blew me away. To this DAY I can not hear "Thank You" without getting nostolgic for life as I knew it then including when she says "Thank You providence" - she meant it in the spiritual sense but, to me, it remind me of Tim and Jess and the time I spent at their place in Providence (Rhode Island). That I Would Be Good was a song that I also still carry around in my iPod and on many a mix CD. My weight was going up, the depression was setting in and I was just hoping that I would figure it out and survive the process. That I would be GOOD when it was over.
Fast forward a year . . . November, 1999. I didn't go home for Thanksgiving because my weight was so high I didn't like to move. That and my checking account or maxed out credit cards were not all that keen on picking up the tab for a plane ticket. Instead I sat - alone - in my DC apartment for the entire four day weekend and drank and ate and played PlayStation (the ORIGINAL one - Tony Hawk, y'all) and listened to Alanis Morissette Unplugged again and again and again. The live and accoustic version of "That I Would Be Good" was just too much. "No Pressure Over Cappucino" was hopeful for me . . . still is. It is on Ava's current lullaby mix-CD. Words to live by are contained in that one.
Alanis played God in (and put some music on the soundtrack for) Dogma later that year. Love Kevin Smith. Love Alanis. Love George Carlin. Love blasphemy. Good times.
Under Rug Swept came out in 2002 (February, I believe). By that point I was just a miserable person. I'd started leaving notes to people I love in my apartment bedroom - you know - just in case (insert awkward smile here) and I had no real pretenses that I was ever going to figure out how to get happy and how to deal with my food impulses. The previous fall had been a DISASTER. A friend's father had a stroke and later passed away. September 11th had hit, literally, DC and my father had a mini-stroke and crisis of identity that fall. My crisis was not far behind. My roommate Bob had just moved out to start his married and family life and Ben had moved in to the front room of the apartment. I was too freaked out by alllllll of it to deal with any of it. At That Particular Time nothing was making sense and no one was talking any sense. The song was pitch perfect for where my head was at. I had stopped drinking 18 months earlier but food was all the more powerful in my life.
Then the So-Called Chaos started to make sense. By the release of the album in May, 2004, I had met and was madly in love with Joy. Her presence as the new center of my life and my new obsession had really started to curb my love of food and my hatred for myself. I was saved as far as I was concerned. If I could only muster up enough self-love to love this woman as she deserved to be loved, I would be fine. Oddly enough - this CD came at around the time that Alanis got together with Ryan Reynolds so it was the first UPBEAT CD Alanis had put out. My life was getting better and hers was too? NOW you see where all this is going (or I HOPE it is going). Just listen to the song Everything and you'll understand what I'm talking about.
In July of 2005, Joy and I had just gotten married and the 10th anniversary of Jagged Little Pill was marked with an accoustic version of the album. How interesting that I had survived the very, very awkward 20s of my life and that I was in a very, very different place than I was when the first CD came out. You Learn took on a whole new meaning. Joy and I probably listened to this CD 1,000 times in the first month we owned it.
Later that year, right around Christmas, The Collection came out. A greatest hits album had never seemed so perfect. They had just canceled my gastric bypass procedure in Baltimore and I was regaining all the weight I had lost in prep for the surgery. I was realizing that I needed EVERYTHING to go my way for anything to seem right, fair or justified. A decade older - no more mature in many ways. Best song on that CD - by leaps and bounds - was Mercy. The song will put chills in your spine - event when you've heard it 1,000 times. When Ava was born we used the song for a video we put together for Ava's new grandparents. It makes me think of how small and how strong Ava was when she was born and how strong I became with and through her.
And that brings us to yesterday - when Flavors of Entanglement came out. I've just listened to it for the third full time and I have to say - it might be my favorite Alanis CD yet (and I've liked them all). Check out Underneath, Tapes and Incomplete (my FAVORITE song on the CD and my favorite song of the moment - the introduction in the video reminds me of how I used to think life actually worked and how I realized it works very, very differently) if you don't want to spring for the whole CD on iTunes. I've lost almost 240 pounds since the last time Alanis came out with a CD (and Joy and I saw her live in concert in Baltimore). I've learned a lot more about myself and how to wrestle with life and how to make it through the much without food or alcohol or any of my former vices (if only I could curb my emotional swings one of these albums (smile)).
It seems like me and Alanis have both come to peace with our lives. We know what we want - we know we don't have it all and we know that we are largely to blame for what we don't have. It feels pretty good to know that I'm not alone in this continued struggle.
Thanks for seeing me through the chaos, Alanis. I appreciate the soundtrack!
Happy Birthday, bruddah! We love and miss you!
Monday, June 9, 2008
This is the game she plays . . . she says (to those she has not seen in a while and who were not at our wedding (we eventually cut off the people they could invite to our wedding (smile)) "And this is Sean and his wife Joy on their wedding day" and then flips to the picture of my family at Easter time and asks "and do you know who THIS is?"
And then she waits, anxiously, for two or three seconds as people confess they don't know or think perhaps it is my brother Ryan in the picture or just sort of look at her wondering why the people in the picture seem so proud to be having their photo taken with one dozen crushed Easter Eggs.
After she forces her friends and family to cry "Uncle" - she tells them that it is ME in the picture.
Insert their looks of shock or their giggles or their "no way" barkings immediately after.
Here's the thing . . . I love that my mother is proud of the weight I have lost. I love that she loves me. I love, frankly, that I don't look today like I looked on my wedding day.
I'm sure plenty of people play similar "before and after" photo games with their surgery-selves and with pictures of people they know and love that have had surgery. There is nothing WRONG with the practice and I'm not upset with her for playing but, truth be told, I really wish that the game was not so popular or that SOMEONE might win a round one of these days!
I've been saying to Joy more and more lately - and I mean every syllable of it - that I'll just be happy when I finally hit my goal weight and then a year or so can go by with just minimal weight gain and loss (settling, like the foundation of a HOUSE) so that I will just look like "me" - not the new me. Not the old me.
That is my birthday wish (a little bit early) . . . that - by a year from now - there is just one picture of me in my mother's brag book. And that her bragging will go back to her beautiful granddaughter instead of me!
Sunday, June 8, 2008
We had an absolutely amazing time, frankly. We talked the entire drive up about some short and long term goals and ambitions and we just really enjoyed getting away - just the two of us - for the first time in a long time.
We had dinner at the Hays House Restaurant where we were treated to a free dessert on the house (Joy ate part of it - I had none, for obvious reasons) because the Cottage House staff had told them we were celebrating our anniversary when they made our reservation for us (nice people there at the Cottage House). Anywho - Joy had "smoothered chicken" for dinner and I had steamed shrimp. Sooooooo good.
Anywho - in addition to taking a nice, long, leisurely stroll around the town of Council Grove (we probably walked about two total miles - a nice primer for my walk-a-thon this coming Saturday (please click on the link and even donate $1 - it is a wonderful cause!)) we also enjoyed the big, huge, jacuzzi (sp?) style bathtub. I won't get in to details here - BOTH sets of my parents (and my NIECE) read the blog (I'm KIDDING, you should hope) and the super-luxurious robes that hung in the bathroom.
I mention the bathrobes because I had another of those "ah-hah" moments yesterday evening. Having NEVER been able to fit in to a hotel batrhobe in my adult life, I poo-pooed Joy's suggestion that I put on a robe and relax. I fought her and fought her and then tried and POOF - it was wayyyyyy bigger than what I needed it to be.
All in all - a wonderful evening away with my beautiful bride and an exciting way to spend a lot of time doing a whole lotta' nuttin' in a small, historic Kansas town.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
1 - Weigh 245 - 240 pounds by my birthday, June 12th - MISSED - With just seven days to go, I weigh 250.16 pounds. I won't make it BUT I will only miss my goal by 5ish pounds. Life will go on - and I WILL lose those pounds.
2 - Participate in a 5k Walk/Run (Walking, naturally) - MET (SORT OF) - I am registered for the 2008 Heart Walk here in Wichita on Saturday, June 14th. I'm going to try the three-mile course (I think). Click here to see my webpage for the event and to donate to the cause (if I get over $100 in donations, I get a free t-shirt and, like any time I go see Barenaked Ladies in concert - I feel like I sort of "need" the t-shirt).
3 - Become more serious about my bike riding - IMPROVING - I rode twice last week and hope to make it three times this week. One pedal at a time. I'll get there.
4 - Re-establish a connection with God - IMPROVING - I have been "talking" with God on an almost daily basis as of late and researching religions and cultural assumptions about religions (and the religious (very interesting)). I'm still leaning towards embracing my inner-Jew but, we'll see how that goes in good time.
5 - Take Care of Old Business - IMPROVING - I have had hard but wonderful conversations with three of my four people that I felt I had to reach out to. One is an old boss. That one went really, really well. One is an old girlfriend that I felt I was never really honest with (including dating her for almost two years and never introducing her to a single one of my DC friends (e-mail me if you want the scoop, DC people (smile))) who forgave me and was very happy for me and who seems to be doing very well herself these days. One is a good friend from high school that I just lost touch with after some harsh words. I've left four messages for the last person (including a totally embarassing one with his mother) and I won't leave more than five. I have to try to reach him though. For any one else who feels I owe them an apology (and feel free to be honest - e-mail me. email@example.com).
6 - See Ten Movies - IMPROVING - I've seen two - Iron Man and Indiana Jones. We have a plan to see The Happening next weekend and Batman the weekend after that. We have Wanted later this summer and a few other "must sees". Slow and steady. I'll get to ten this summer. Arena-style movie theater chairs ARE sort of comfortable after all (I never actually understood it before (smile)).
7 - Weigh 200 Pounds by March 20, 2009 - IN THE WORKS - I am waiting for my insurance company to tell me which doctor(s) I can go see in Kansas City to resume my post-surgery care regimen and I will work through them to address my excess skin and how I will get the rest of the weight off my body.
8 - See My Brothers and Have Them See Their Niece - N/A - We are supposed to head East in either August or September and we'll make a plan to see my brothers when we put the plan together.
9 - Get Rid of My C-PAP - IMPROVING - As I told you earlier, I've essentially taken myself off the snorkel (NYtoVA). I am waiting for a date in the coming weeks to retake my sleep study (I will likely do a "twilight study" which is done in the home with a computer-equiped self-calibrating Bi-PAP) and we'll see what the professionals tell me.
10 - Start Writing My Book - MET - If STARTING to write was my goal, I'm there! I have a title page and the preface written and I'm working on the first chapter (my pre-school adventures). I have a general outline for what I want to include in the book and the direction I plan to take for each section/topic/etc. I should, at this pace, be done by sometime in mid- late-2023! Look for it in a trash can near you later that same year.
11 - Make New Friends - IMPROVING - I have met a few people through my role on the board of a non-profit group here in town that I like and a former co-worker and I are talking about getting our families together one evening. I guess that is some progress, right?! We are going to see Joellyn and Ryan and Paige this weekend and Tricia and Sebastian in a few weeks. Let's agree that this one is improving - but needs more work.
12 - Go Floating - MET (SORT OF) - We are committed to driving out to South-Eastern Missouri the weekend of the 4th. I'm super excited. I was in a Bass Pro Shop while we were in Kansas City for business a few weeks ago and I got all excited looking at canoes and life jackets. I even bought myself a super-duper hat to wear on the river. I can't WAIT!
13 - Become Creative Again - MET (SORT OF) - My flute is at Wichita Instruments for repair as we speak. I bought some finger paints the other night for Ava and I to play with. I have my book started. I'm still blogging. It is another work in progress. Feeling groovy about it. Joy has class on Monday and Wednesday evenings so we are going to start painting before bed time on those nights (Daddy doesn't mind the mess like Mommy does).
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
That's right. I've been a husband for three full years already. In a way I can't believe it has been three years (it has gone soooo quickly with all the changes we've seen since that lovely day) and, at the same time, it feels like I have ALWAYS been married. Regardless - I still feel, very much, like I am the Luckiest man in the world.
Joy was my first real love. I dated four women in the 27 years of life I lived before her but never actually loved any of them - at least not the way I love Joy and I am positive that I've never been loved by any one any where near the way Joy loves me.
She and I were laughing the other day about our relationship and how it has evolved since our somewhat awkward first date on August 2, 2003. We joked about all the weight we've lost and gained, the three times we've moved (including moving in together in Baltimore). We laughed at my insistence - when we first began talking/typing - that I would never get married or have children and yet how much I enjoy my roles as husband and father.
We agreed that we were proud of the fact that our relationship has always been about friendship and support and love instead of just hot, passionate sex. TRY to clear that mental image and enjoy the rest of your day, I dare you! We high-fived at the fact that we both undertook huge transitions from day one in our relationship to afford the other person comfort in our future.
We both shed a tear over how wonderful our friend Vinu is for having introduced us (even if his intentions might NOT have been for a long, shared life) and we both laughed at how much we resisted his efforts to put us together and how "us" might have never been.
Here's the thing - today, three years in to our marriage, is possibly the first day that I really feel like I am honoring my part of our commitment to each other.
We stood in front of 125 of our family, best friends and friends of my parents (smile) and we cried and cried and shook and twitched at the idea that we were getting married. We spoke vows that were filled with promises of things to come and we were as sincere as the day is long in those promises and hopes and dreams. Today - frankly, we are starting to live those dreams. Really live them. Really enjoy our marriage. Really hold our promises to each other.
I've lost 235 pounds since my surgery. I've finally gotten myself in a working situation where I can find true work-life balance and can handle the time commitments and demands of each. I'm finally at a point where I am comfortable in my own skin and I finally like myself. I finally love myself as much as I love Joy. The old addage that "Until you love yourself, you can't love someone else." MIGHT be true but I would argue that sometimes loving someone else is the only way to love yourself.
I loved the PROMISE of me for all the years, months, weeks and days between Joy and I meeting and the man I am becoming. I loved myself for my commitment to giving Joy the life I wanted her to have and for being willing to make whatever changes I have had to make to get our life here. I loved myself for being able to snag a woman like Joy and some how trick her in to spending her life with me (smile).
I am happy for the first time since I was a student in college. I am motivated in ways that I never thought I would find energy and draw and I am more ambitious about life than I ever was. That is all because of Joy, Ava and the influence they have had on my life and for the love I am lucky enough to recieve from them.
I FINALLY got something right the first time . . . I finally know what all the mistakes, wrong turns and stumbles in my life were for and all about.
Joy is living her life on her terms. She is a mother. She is a wife. She has a home she is finally happy with and she's kicking butt and taking the names of the same people she might have once allowed to talk over and step upon her. She is back in school. She's finding true balance between all the interests in her life and she continues to get more and more beautiful every day (she promised me to always be s-e-x-y (kidding)).
Anywho, pop tart, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! Thanks for a wonderful first three years of marriage. I look forward to the next three HUNDRED years ahead of us and to continuing to be the man
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
I'm excited AND nervous, frankly. I don’t even know how far three miles IS, truth be told, and it should be in the mid/upper-80s by the time the walk is over so I might actually have a heart attack before it is over. Old Sean would have (smile).
Monday, June 2, 2008
I chose Washington, DC for one very simple reason. The Clintons were there. That's right. I moved to DC to be closer to Bill, Hillary and Chelsea.
Sure - I know that sounds a bit creepy but the reality is that I was deeply in love with politics at the time and Bill Clinton was my second-Idol (Mario Cuomo was, is and always WILL be THE man) and Hillary is a very, very close third for me.
I had the pleasure of doing some work with/for the Clintons over the years at my old job. I met them both (the picture above is me - super heavy and a little drunk - at a housewarming fundraiser during her 2000 Senate campaign) and I have continued to admire them as they have gone from the White House to the Senate to the presidential trail and . . . now . . . to who knows where.
Many are counting Hillary out. I hope they are wrong. The Clintons have been counted out many, many, many times since they first started their lives in Politics and - as of today - they are still going strong and their critics have always been wrong.
We'll find out tomorrow, many believe. Senator Clinton is supposed to make her primary season-ending speech in New York (which really doesn't mean anything, for the record) Tuesday night and then, the next morning, she will start the next phase of whatever is ahead for her.
Obama can NOT wrap up the nomination on Tuesday though and there is still much work to be done with these "super delegates" in terms of them figuring out who is most likely to win the White House itself (that is the whole point of this contest anyway, right?).
Anywho - say it ain't so, Hillary. Stick it out. Fight the fight. I still believe you are the best person we have to lead this country for the next eight years (one term is just not an option (smile)) and you fighting and fighting all these years just motivates me to overcome my own struggles and issues. My weight and mental health don't seem nearly as big of a problem when you compare them to trying to run the Free World!