Friday, January 30, 2009
That being said - you earned yourself a story.
In the spring of 2004, having dated Joy for about eight months, I decided that I absolutely HAD to make her my wife as soon as humanly possible. Joy was planning and executing weekend seminars for a "medical education" group at the time (pharma companies doing doctor research at over-priced hotels and resorts with golf tee times included in most programs) at the time and, while her travels took her away from me (and often FAR away) for most every weekend - on one particular spring weekend she was only "up the road" in Philadelphia.
I decided to join her for the weekend and - while she was working - I decided to walk down to the "diamond district" of Philadelphia (where my friend Delenick bought his wife Michele's rings) and do a little shopping.
I went in and out of about a dozen shops. I had some ideas in my mind for what I wanted to do but I found the whole thing heady, emotional and a little overwhelming.
My distractions clearly got the best of me because, while in a smaller gallery (I wish I could remember the guy's name here because he had amazing, hand made stuff that I would love to buy a piece of for Joy), I decided I had to make a few phone calls for emotional support and back-up.
I had been holding (on my right pinky) a few rings that I liked and was considering. I told the gallery owner I had to walk around to think about the purchase and I returned the rings on my right pinky.
I left his gallery, got five feet down the street and realized that I still had ONE of his rings . . . on my left pinky.
I quickly returned to the shop and returned the ring. He was shocked that I had taken it. More shocked that I returned it and very thankful that I realized my mistake and returned it.
SO - there you go. I once stole something worth a little over $5,000. And returned it the minute I realized my mistake.
I'm NO thief, dear readers. I'm just a mental, forgetful mess on any given day.
Oh - for the record - I did NOT pee on a street vendor in New York City (and have never, to the best of my knowledge, ever peed on another person) BUT that story - sort of "co-created" by myself and Chris Delenick - has been told to probably a HUNDRED people in the 14 years since it was first spun and only one of them (two, if you count Corona's claim that he knew better) has ever called us out on the lie.
I was an escort. And by "escort" I mean that - for $20/hour I would accompany a 78-year-old, mostly deaf widow with a lot of money and questionable fashion sense to monthly(ish) events at the Kennedy Center, art gallery functions, shopping outings and other random stuff (including a dinner party at Bob Dole's Watergate apartment one evening). Her family lived away from DC and her son had listed the job in an internship book at George Washington University. The woman got put in a "home" (or whatever politically correct term you might prefer) one day and I never say or heard from her again. I DID get to keep the tuxedo she bought me though. Swanky!
And I did once date a member of one of America's richest families but - for all I know she reads this blog (and still sort of hates me (long story)) so I'll tell that story on another day and for different reasons.
So - you can't even tell, 400 posts in to this blog later, when I am being honest and when I'm not?!
Tsk, tsk, people.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Two reasons - first, I've never really felt the urge to place my hundreds and hundreds of pounds of weight over two metal blades and two - if my hundreds and hundreds of pounds ever fell the wrong way, my shattered hips would make me feel terrible. Almost as terrible as I would feel when the EMTs slip-slod to pick me off the ice with their huge spatula!
New Sean - new attitude thought, right? RIGHT!
So - when my agency's monthly "Account Service
Outing" (some team-building crap, I'm sure) was proposed as ice skating - I triple-cow-towed (sp?) to join the team for some fun on the rocks (get it - rocks/ice (I'm sooooo fuhnay)!
And fun it WAS!
I was not the least bit timid. I didn't worry about my hips or deep bone bruises once. I didn't fret about all the little kids that zipped by me laughing at the fat-guy sprawled out on the ice. I didn't even let my freezing cold hands or my Smurfy-blue skates get me down.
Around and around I went. With relative speed, relative poise and relative self comfort (save for the split-second the picture at the right was taken (smile))!
I could only stay for about 45 minutes (Joy has class on Thursdays) but - in that time - I saw two of my co-workers bite it, another take about 10 minutes to loop the rink only oncebefore returning her skates (God bless her heart and likely fragile hips (age vs. body mass) and, in the process, I heard a song by Daughtry (they play the safe tunes at the public skate) and realized - once again - that my body is not what it once was and that physical activity (in moderate doses (smile)) can be enjoyable!
Thanks for putting together the outing, Shawn. And for taking the pictures, Imp.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Daniel went home. Sadness. but the most important part of the episode, and the part where I lost my ever-more-fragiling mind happened in the gym days before the weigh in and before the elimination.
I'm trying to find the video to link to here (the full episode is not on the NBC site yet) but Daniel is in the gym and Jillian is all-up-in-his-grill about how maybe he's given up and why his head is not in the game and why he's not pushing himself.
He looks at her . . . stutters . . . and then deadpans - to my breaking heart and "I've been there and felt that way" sadness - “I never thought it would be possible to not be fat.”
Joy and I had that exact conversation once. We cried almost as hard that night as we did last night. It is a hard thing to look at yourself and to realize that you are NOT the person you want to be and that you don't think you can be that person.
It could be weight. It could be hair color. It could be career. It could be family. It could be choice of outfit on a given morning. It is just frustrating and sad and miserable to feel like there is "nothing" you can do to get up over the hump of what is holding you back (you - nine times out of ten) and to get started and to get to your goals.
I felt that way every single time I ever thought about my weight before meeting Joy (and several times after) and even in the months leading up to my gastric bypass surgery (and a few panicky moments after) I was still not entirely convinced that I would ever be thin. Hell - 22 months later - I'm still not "skinny" in the classic sense of the word and I don't always believe as much as I should that I'll ever get there.
But at 400+ pounds (or whatever Daniel weighed at the time) I totally know how overwhelming it can be to think of myself as "thin" or potentially "thin". Like in my own situation though - Daniel has seen the light. He's shed over 100 pounds and he promises to shock everyone at the finale.
Daniel - you've reminded me of my former desperation and former self for the last time. Next time I see you - I hope you are as thin as can be and you see yourself as even thinner. THANK YOU for reminding me of who I once was and for doing so with such courage on national television.
I think I'm just "hardened" to bad weather. I grew up in Upstate, New York. We coined the phrases "Noreaster" and "Lake Effect Snow" - we went to school for anything less than eight-over-night-inches. I just don't know what it means to live in relative fear of minor snow and slush conditions. I guess every one's idea of "snow" and "hardship" is relative.
The general panic here in Kansas, to me, is laughable but this is not the first time I have lived in an area where a dusting of snow can put the world in a panic BUT - unlike Wichita - it was justified in my "once upon a time" reality. At least in the DC/Baltimore area the populations and urban demands of the area lead to logistical challenges that can actually allow a little snow to create a crisis.
That being said - this "storm" had me thinking.
Six years (and a life time) ago, I was a 500 pound man living in Washington, DC. My life was pretty much about work and home, home and work. I was heavy enough that I would generally take cabs to and from work vs. work the four blocks to/from my apartment to the Metro and the two blocks to/from the Metro to my office. Yep. I was that fat, tired and lazy. I am not proud of it but it is reality. I was very lazy but I was still a bit of a workaholic and a neurotic to boot. Here is where the post gets relevant . . .
President's Weekend of 2003 - we had a full blown blizzard in the DC area (I am pretty sure the entire Northeast got hit by it but I know the beltway did). We got FEET of snow. And the streets were closed. Businesses were closed. The Metro was closed. The federal government was closed. The entire city was closed. My office . . . was OPEN. For those of us (myself, the boss and one other guy) that were able to WALK in to work.
So, for two straight days, I got up an extra hour early for work. I took my normal shower. I watched my normal Today show. I ate my normal four Pop Tart breakfast (frosted cinnamon sugar was my go to - frosted fudge worked in a pinch - blueberry if I was feeling "healthy"). I drank my normal 1 liter of Diet Coke. I put on my khakis, button down and sweater. And then added another sweater, a jacket, a scarf, a hat, gloves, socks (never used to regularly wear them), another pair of socks and my boots. I packed a change of clothes (the sweat I would put off on the walk was not conducive to staying in those clothes for the next 10 hours). I turned off the TV and the lights. I grabbed my portable CD player (iPods were not a given at the time) and my David Gray White Ladder and Dr. Dre 2001 CDs (mandatory listening at the time - don't ask why) and stepped out on to the front porch. I cursed my life and started down the buried stairs.
And then I walked. 2 1/2 miles up the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue, SE - over the Capitol (they cleaned those sidewalks and steps off very quickly) and up Pennsyvlania Avenue, NW. It was like the Presidential Inaugural Parade . . . only twice as long . . . and without the millions of adoring fans and the Secret Service detail. And the limo just behind me if I got tired. It took almost two hours. Each way. Each day.
It was peaceful (there was NO ONE out there) and it was beautiful and it was sort of majestic to see the monuments, statues, Mall and city in all that snow but it was also miserable. I weighed 500 pounds.
I guess, like I said though, every thing is "relative".
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Between the comments here on the blog and e-mail votes I have received 31 total votes.
If my math is correct, it looks like . . .
20% of you think I'm not really a gigilo.
25% of you think I would not really pee on another person.
30% of you think I'm lying about my romance with the elite.
25% of you think I'm too honest to steal.
And yet NONE of you think I'm not too honest to lie though. Hmmmm. Get your votes in and look for the full story (or the very, very sincere (smile) apology on Friday).
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
I could fit in to a pair of 38 waist pant (proving the Gap jeans were not just a fluke) and I wore a 16 1/2 inch dress shirt.
I am going to "man up" and get on a scale (for the first time in just about forever) this weekend to see what's going on inside this skin of mine. I can only hope and pray that I've lost some weight. My two-year surgaversary is only coming up quick, yuns!
Unless it is "romance" time (DISCLAIMER - I won't elaborate here (our mothers both read this blog and) but when your wife is in costume and you are going under an assumed name it isn't really romance anyway, right Mrs. Naughty Librarian?!?!) and at approximately "normal" body size, that should be plenty of space for Joy and I to hunker down after a long day, the approximate 90 mintues it takes to get Ava to go to sleep on any given night and our nightly toothbrushing/flossing, mouth rinsing and face washing rituals, put some DVRed Real Housewives of Orange County, Good Eats or 30 Rock on and fall quickly to sleep.
Since becoming a parent and ditching the C-PAP and having our baby become a "big girl" I've noticed that our bed is starting to feel more and more like a bad game of Tetris (one that you can't win, I might add) lately.
If I'm the long and straight four-block piece (I am getting skinnier, I sleep like a proverbial log and I actually prefer to be on the edge of the bed to being in the middle) and Joy is the L shaped piece (she has this knee thing she does because of her hip issues) then Ava is the little lightning bolt looking thing and Lily, God bless her, is the square piece. All night long the pieces seem to fall, in random patterns, from the headboard of the bed and they move, gently (unless you hit the down key) to and fro to make interlocking patterns that, once complete, break off in moans, groans, mutterances and snores.
"They" always make it seem like the proverbial family bed was some blessed, snuggled and wonderful piece of Americana. "They" don't sleep in our bed . . . and - sadly - neither do we!
Thursday, January 22, 2009
"Forget magazines, they don’t taste nearly as good as Thin Mints! Yes, Girl Scout Cookies sales are back. If you’ve not already had a uniform-clad young lady knock on your door to sell you cookies, there is an order form at the front desk. Checks can be made out to Brown Troop 40836. Order early & often!" the early morning e-mail from a co-worker read.
We were just talking about Girl Scout cookies here in the PR department yesterday. This will, I'm sure, come as a shock to many of you but I used to be more than just a "fan" of the Girl Scout cookie. I was also their number one customer for a few years. I'm pretty sure my order would single-handidly qualify some random niece of a former co-worker's best friend (or whatever) for the iPod or trip to Disney World or whatever they gave those years to reward America's Most Ambitious Junior Obesity Enabler (smile).
"What was your favorite?" I was asked.
"The ones that come in boxes." I deadpanned.
Seriously though. I was an equal-opportunity inhaler.
Thin Mints? Not for long!
Do-Si-Dos? My PARTNER!
Trefoils? Tres Delicious!
Samoas? Yes PLEASE (get it - Samoa? Some Moa? Some More?)
And those are just the classics. The "limited edition" cookies tempted me year after year after year.
I would buy, I kid you not, 25 or 30 BOXES of cookies a year. They would last . . . a week?! Maybe?! I mean - how could they last long when I was eating them four or five BOXES in a sitting (you only got like 15 in a box and they were essentially bite-sized, right?). Have you ever really LOOKED at the nutrition information on a box of Girl Scout Cookies? Oh my!
I don't have very many happy memories of Girl Scout Cookies, frankly. Even in high school I overate them and with little intention of actually enjoying the cookies themselves. I never, frankly, really understood the logic of eating for "enjoyment."
I mean - sure - I could go to a nicer restaurant and get a smaller entree that was overpriced and was very decadent and satisfying because of it but - as my BOXED foods go . . . they didn't really seem to be cultured or enriching beyond the sweet effects of that much sugar in my tummy.
I'm all for you sickos who can have "just one" cookie or who can make a box of cookies last for a week or two without it being awkward that they are just sitting there - in the pantry or freezer taunting you (they do taunt all of us, right? (smile))! I am NOT saying they should not sell the cookies or that it is the Girl Scout's fault that I got up to 500+ pounds. I'm all but positive that the cookies should be available to the world without any responsibility to ensure healthy eating. I'm not even bashing the Girl Scouts here. We Boy Scouts (yes, I am/was (long story that makes my mother cry) an Eagle Scout) sold popcorn, for the love of God. I'm just saying that - before my surgery an e-mail about Girl Scout Cookies would have put me in a tizzy/lather of junk food anticiatipation.
I can honestly tell you that I do NOT, since my surgery, miss or long for or regret that I can't partake in or wish I could "go back" and have the Girl Scout Cookie (or any other sugary snack I once binged on). I really don't. I know I'm in the majority here. I've had plenty of interaction with other GBers who assure me they MISS and LONG FOR sweets and junk food and other things we all swore to put behind us.
I don't know why I'm somehow not missing or craving these foods. Truthfully - I think it is because I know me and I had to stare down my demons and swear them all of and I have to acknowledge those demons and continue to swear them off again because I live in constant fear of dumping and reverting to my old eating and self-abusing ways.
I've moved on. I am healthy now. I am happy now. I have am wrestling my emotional baggage and the crap that once made me feel like food was my only friend. It never was my friend. I know that now.
Sure - I still partake in sweets. I've got three different bowls/jars of sugar free hard candies (5 - 15 calories each) on my desk. I enjoy a 60 calorie sugar free pudding snack about four nights a week. I have the occassional splurge with some Murray's Sugar Free cookies too. Honestly though - most of the time - my fat free milk and a teaspoon of organic peanut butter (30 minutes apart, of course) are currently my two favorite sweet things in the world - I'm still holding out for the Sugar Free Swiss Cake Roll - and they make me happier than any boxes of Girl Scout Cookies ever did.
Sorry, girls. No top-selling prizes for you this year!
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
I'm still trying to get my little brain around it but (since the cats clearly didn't work out) we were at Pet Smart on Sunday considering a rabbit or a few fish or a chinchilla as a family pet and - about 48 hours later - we became the proud, adoptive parents of Lily - a five year old Red Heeler (Australian Cattle Dog).
Lily, to clarify, is a gift from Joy's Aunt Melinda and Uncle Bill. The family dog, Lily had to go because Aunt Melinda takes care of her beautiful grandkids during the day and her grandson, Matthew, turned out to be crazy-allergic to dogs.
ONLY allergies could drive a human away from Lily. She's sweet and patient (particulary with 2 1/2 year olds who seemingly don't yet fully understand that dogs are not 100% directable like dolls, stuffed animals and other "toys" in the playroom).
We are still settling in to life with Lily (and vice versa) but - so far so good! She's gotten to know and, uh, "marked" our backlawn and she's found herself a nice place to sleep. My oversized and beloved chair in the living room (you can see it in the pictures of Ava and Lily at left).
Lily came with a full collection of beds, crates, toilet training, great manners, leashes, toys, grooming tools, funny habits, foods, food and water bowls, shampoos, lotions and medicines. Lily, you see, is prone to ear infections (like I was before I had my tonsils and adnoids out (smile)) and she has food allergies that we'll need to watch for too.
We've been warned that Lily is a bit of a "princess" - just what I need with my beloved Queen Wifey and Princess Ava already at home reading books, coloring, fending off the dragons and learning how to strum the harp (or whatever random stuff I picture two highly creative and very talented women do when they are spending the days together) but - if I can handle two members of feminine royalty, I can manage three (smile). We're sure she'll fit in, no matter what.
Here's the plan for Lily and me . . . walking buddy. She likes to get outside. I NEED to get outside. She has energy to burn. I have energy to burn. We have a huge and lovely dog-filled park about a block from the house that we can go frequent and lots of twisty-turny streets in the neighborhood to stomp around on.
In the meantime, we're excited about getting through the adjustment period and just having fun with and making our home more "Americana" and our family a foursome. Ava's already loving life (as this picture clearly illustrates)!
Treble. Bass. Balls bounce above.
From Northeast intrude.
Proud daddy. Cute girl.
Hardware store meltdown. Glass breaks.
Proud northeastern roots.
“No, no, no, no, no. Trust me.”
Making presence known.
The Rubber band ball.
Clay turtles and plastic toys.
So much stupid stuff.
He never matches
What’s up with his old-man socks?
The North kicked him out.
But we don’t want him either.
Move to Canada.
Tries to be a Bamf
Grasping for his youth.
Oh, the sweater vest.
Argyle socks and orange pants.
Bringin’ sexy back.
Gloats about his vast 'stable'
Joy waits with a knife.
I sorta' wish, for the first time in about three years, that I was on the streets and the metro in DC today. I can't imagine the vibe and the energy.
God Bless America!
Monday, January 19, 2009
At one point Imp said that her friend got the cute guy and she got stuck with "fat, stupid, loser man." Interesting, to me, that she led with "fat" (in front of me no less (I scolded her, fret not)).
I can think of a lot of reasons to totally dismiss someone but I guess, in a list including stupid and loser (not that these are nice things to say about anyone either (Immmmmmp!)) . . . I would not go with fat FIRST. Of course maybe she could verify he was fat before stupid and or a loser.
Regardless, it reminds me of something Prince said that reminded him of something James (Brown) used to say "I like 'em fat, I like 'em proud." It also reminds me of something that my (now) wife used to say . . . that she loved me for the man I was inside and not the man I looked to be from across the room.
I am not going to chide Imp here (she's a reader and she doesn't deserve it (smile)).
NOR will I insist that people should be less "superficial" in their evaluation of people (yuns go ahead and do what yuns want to do) but I have a female friend of mine that once told Joy and I about a male friend of hers that was "perfect."
He had a boat. He liked to eat at nice places. He was funny. He was charming. He was sweet. He was respectful. He was good at Scrabble. He was . . . just not "as" physically attractive as she would like him to be. Joy and I both wondered what constituted perfection if a mean double word score with a Z in the mix doesn't make any woman swoon! She never said he was fat but I know her well enough to know he probably had bad hair, uncharming eyes and some excess weight.
Long story short . . . it is easy for me to say, now, that people who can accept and see the beauty if a fat person are blessed and that fat people can become less fat but "stupid" and "loser" are likely forever-adjectives (smile) but I wish that Imp, and my other female friend with the critical eye and the rest of the ladies (and GUYS) out there that won't dance with or embrace their bigger, less perfect and fellow single would-be suitors listened to more Prince and/or James Brown.
Life is good!
Sunday, January 18, 2009
This is me, Chris Delenick, Tom Kelly and Mrs. Pezzullo. Note the "Ms. Senior Sweetheart of America Pageant" banner above us. We, as you might gather, shared the hotel with the contestants of the event that weekend. Oh - the hook up stories I could tell (smile) . . .
And here, finally, is visual proof of the most uncomfortable outfit I've ever worn in public. The irony being how good the outfit looked on a skinny guy like Delenick.
Thanks for the memories (then and now, in the photos) . . . TJK!
Friday, January 16, 2009
I understand and believe you must protect a child. You can't give a kid to a drug addict. You can't put a kid in harm's way. You wouldn't allow a child to go to parents that don't have food on the table or a roof to put heads under. You would want to make sure that kids have the best options for their long, happy life and the security of parents BUT . . . we only hold parents to those standards when they are looking to adopt. "Natural" parents are only penalized once a problem is well documented (already traumatizing a child).
Enough with saying you can't be a parent because you are too fat. I will admit it is EASIER to parent at my current weight than it would have been at 500 pounds but I could and would have loved Ava as much at that weight as I do now and she still would have had no better or less chance of going without in life unless the random flukes of life (poor health, accidental death, etc.) got in the way of our family.
Let BEING a parent encourage better behavior and discipline and practices and life decisions. Let holding your child thrill and scare you. Let you feel the weight of your weight in proportion to the feathery bulk of a baby. It should motivate you to address your demons and to be better. I won't argue that it is up to a newborn to suffer you if you fail in your attempts to kick your demons (food, drugs, etc.) - it is NOT - but until they start nicotine screening would-be adoptive parents, I don't want to hear anymore "prior restraint" because of obesity.
Do they say no to smokers? Drinkers? People with genetic pre-dispositions to cancer and other conditions? Do they refuse on race? Can you not parent because of gender? Do most places continue to discriminate on sexual orientation? No. No. No. No. No. But be fat . . . and be out of luck.
I've got on my soapbox twice this week and I apologize.
I'll try to have a better attitude come Monday!
Enjoy the weekend!
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
I have never really understood the Kennedy obsession but I am all TOO obsessed with the Cuomo family (I could go on and on and on and on and on) and I would be very, very happy in Governor Patterson made Atty. Gen. Cuomo a Senator . . . and if he figured out that sugared beverage tax.
The days and weeks that immediately followed were tense and emotional and there were lots of ups and downs and ins and outs but we flew to Wichita and, from the first minute we saw Ava on the TV monitor during her ultrasound, we knew we had seen our daughter and that we were a family.
Three years later - there are still moments, almost daily, that humble me and remind me what a challenge and a reward it is to be a parent. And then there are the moments that just confirm why I am going grey and bald (smile).
Here is one of the moments that thrill me, intended mainly for just four very special people in Ava's world but . . . I could not resist sharing it with the rest of you weirdos that actually read this blog.
PS - Many thanks to the Usselman family who's trampoline became an OBSESSION for Ava to the point that we had to get one of her very own . . . if only to stop being asked (Yep, I know . . . I already told you she still takes my breath away . . . of course I'm a sucker parent that gives in on every little thing).
PPS - Joy would be horrified if I didn't clarify here that we don't actually live like gypsies. Joy is in the process of painting the dining room - hence the lack of furniture, the green plastic on the floor and the shoddy trim work!
PPPS - No. To answer a reader who e-mailed me about this already . . . we don't let Ava run around the house in a tutu and leggings every night (just on Wednesdays (kidding)) but we DO let her wear her tutu when recording trampoline-based videos for Grandma and Grandpa Terry and Gamma and Gampa Amo' though. Oh - and we have added "Avalina Ballerina" to her ever growing list of nicknames. It is a sickness, I tell you, a SICKNESS!
Monday, January 12, 2009
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Friday, January 9, 2009
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Monday, January 5, 2009
You clearly know my feelings on people who criticize gastric bypass surgery (and those that have it) and try to boil obesity down to nothing more than lazy people who don't want to do anything about their weight and/or that make gastric bypass look like some "easy fix" to the problem to begin with but - I am a little shocked that - if sincere - Gervais, himself not always exactly a "stick-of-a-man" (his weight has gone up and down, like the rest of us) having such tough words for the obese. Unless, as I wonder he might have been, he was kidding.
"I laugh about being fat, but I should be ashamed. I should walk down the street and have people shouting 'Fatty!'. That's what I want, to get me out of it. I get up in the morning, look in the mirror, and say to myself, 'Oh, you f---ing fat b-----d'," he jokes!
Either way - I still love Ricky and The Office, Extras and Ricky's Podcast!
With 11 months and 26 days to bang them out . . . they are sort of ambitious but realistic none-the-less!
1 - Find a hat that actually "works" for me - When I shared this goal with Joy - she politely looked me in the eye and said that she "knew" my goals for the year were going to be "full of sh*t" but I was not kidding her and I'm not kidding now. Here's the thing - as Michael Thomas can/will vouch . . . with the exception of the year I got two knitted ski caps from Vinu for Christmas . . . there has never been a hat that looked good on top of my large, balding dome. Baseball hats? Not a home run. Bowlers? Struck out. Derbies? That horse won't run. Porkpies? Crumby at best. I'm cursed, I think. I'm not defeated though. I shall find a hat that makes me whole (or at least protects my increasingly exposed scalp) by year's end. Keep your eyes peeled for me in the meantime.
2 - Get and STAY under 200 pounds - Enough already. I dropped through the 400s in just a few months. I saw the 300s go in a few more months. I've been "in" the 200s for a year. I'm still at least 25 or so pounds from the 1 at the front of my weight that I last saw in the late 80s/middle school. I must get to my goal weight . . . and stay there. Otherwise, this isn't as much about vanity and ego as it could be (smile) and they will NOT let me jump out of an airplane or have reconstructive surgery in the meantime (so this goal has three very exciting heads). Mark my words . . . by the time this decade ends - I will know what it is like to drop, very quickly, towards the flat and beautiful Kansas landscape . . . and to do that, I've got to lose the weight that keeps me "safe" on the ground.
3 - Excercise 200 times - I know. Absurd. That's like four times a week . . . more than once every other day. At least 180 times more than I might typically have excercised in a year before surgery but if you figure I'm counting and 30 - 45 minutes of sustained physical activity that both raises my heartrate and helps enhance my balance, strength and body tone . . . I can totally manage that. Besides, I need to get fit if I'm going to lose the rest of the weight and make a few of the goals below (read 'em as they come, no cheating). Besides, that is one work out for each pound I eventually want to weigh. Totally managable, right?! RIGHT?! Say it is. Please. Just tell me I can do that. Oy with the excercise!
4 - Clear my nightstand - If you are lucky enough to get the invite to me and wifey's boudouir, you would see a few things that are potentially shocking. No, not the "love swing" or the collection of silky-lacey things she makes me wear to bed (we keep those things neatly hidden away). Not even the shoes that pour out of Joy's closet. What would shock you are the piles of books and magazines that Joy and I each have on our respective nightstands. We thumb at them. We read a page or two of this or a chapter of that. We browse. We mean to read and digest all the literary goodness that Stephanie Meyer (on Joy's side) or Moses (on my side) but we, instead, spend our time on other pursuits . . . like the love swing (I'm kidding. We don't own a love swing. Yet.). I have six books, three magazines, a cookbook and two pamphlets for preschools for Ava that I need to read that stare at me last thing every night and first thing each morning. That pile needs to be addressed.
5 - Get to the Washington, DC/Baltimore, MD area - I miss my people there and, perhaps as importantly, I miss the sites and sounds that my beloved beltway offered. In times B.J. (before Joy) I went, faithfully, every Saturday and/or Sunday to my favorite art museum, if only long enough to look at my favorite painting for almost five straight years. I've not seen that oil-covered canvas in almost three years. I need to fix that. And I need to hang out with Clara Thomas. Check in on Ben (someone needs to (smile)). Walk M Street. Give WMATA some of my dough (while helping Ava learn orange from blue from red from yellow from green). Eat at Lebanese Taverna. I need Ava to see where Mommy met Daddy and where Daddy lived the highs and lows of his 20s.
6 - Get a new job - Yes. This IS a personal goal and no, people at my current job, you don't need to worry. Nope. I want a new job in my current office. I am, I can admit, a career-defined person. Enough already with the current responsibilities and toil. I need to get moving up the ol' ladder and shakidup!
7 - Cook 25 meals for people other than "just" Joy and Ava - I love cooking. I love hosting. I love trying new things. At least twice a month for the next year, I will do all of the above and will enjoy it. Come on over. Seriously! Give us an hour's notice and any food allergies or limitations you might have. Expcect something high protein and low fat for an entree and an over the top dessert to reward you for suffering my issues through the main courses. We'll play Cranium after we eat and, if you are lucky, Joy and I will let you look "comptetive" at it (smile).
8 - De-bloggify my communications efforts - Here's what typing a blog that hundreds of people (including strangers and people I dearly love (and a mix of the above)) read on a daily basis. I don't feel like I have to "tell" anyone anything. Want to see Ava's latest hair cut? It's on the blog. How's my diet going? I blogged on it. Curious about my weekend plans? Read all you want to. It has made me lazy and I regret that. I'm still going to blog but unless all of you start blogging too (and you should, dammit) I'm going to need to start calling, e-mailing and visiting in person more often. I'm serious. This time. Really. Let's get it going. How about a weekly conference call to start - TJK, Linksy and Bah-rooosey?!
9 - Grow something - Joy and Ava grew tomatoes last summer. They (the ones that survived Ava's tender loving, uh, care) were delicious. We want to blow that out this summer with an herb garden, a vegetable garden and maybe even showing the floral beds that the woman who sold us our house put so much loving care in to some of our love. My father has a very green thumb. Surely some of that genetic talent spilled on to me, right?! We'll find out this year. We're going to start with 50 sunflowers along the garage. I'll keep you posted and maybe send you some of our squash!
10 - Show my brothers our home and life here in Wichita - I saw them with an entire week to spare in 2008 and we made my parents the happiest 60-somethings in America by all gathering in Groton for a few days. It's time they venture west of the Mississippi (for more than work) and they see our house and our life and see how we "do things" here in Kansas. We're actually going to have a full blown birthday party for Ava this year. I'm desperately hoping they will come for that but - I have a full year to harass them either way. You've been warned, boys!
11 - Take three vacations - I'm not talking about the Louvre or the Nile (this year) but be it a trip to Missouri to "float" or a drive to Texas to visit Vinu and ChaCha or the above mentioned trip to DC or maybe just a long weekend with a tent at a national park . . . the Amore family is hitting the road in 2009. Thrice! Specific plans still pending!
12 - Spend at least four hours a week doing something that brings me joy - I love movies. I love donating time and efforts. I like feeling helpful. I like learning new things. I love musical performances. I like trying new experiences. I love just being "out there." Time to spend no less than 200 hours (see the growing trend here) doing all of the above and more in 2009. I might take Joy and/or Ava with me some weeks. Others, I'll do it alone. Other times, I might take Dad Terry or Other Mother or Lexy with me. It'll depend on the week and the joy I seek.
13 - Buy and wear fewer neutral clothes - When we do the laundry every Sunday the "brights" load is dominated by Joy's love of vibrant color. The "pinks/reds" load is pretty much all Ava's pink, purple, red and all-of-the-above clothes. The "lights" . . . almost entirely my grey t-shirts, my khaki pants, my navy blue sweaters and my ecru oxford shirts. Enough. I need to get more "invested" in the other loads of the laundry. All EIGHT loads we do on the average Sunday. This is the year that I continue to expand my fashion horizons. Orange cords and pink pants are just the tip of this iceburg of color. If only I could afford you, Ben Silver!
14 - Get Dad Terry's entire record collection on my iPod - I have all the tools. The USB-ready record player. The iTunes software. The HUGE tub of KILLER records from the 60s, 70s and 80s and the desire to convert those bad boys. What I don't seem to have are the dozens and dozens (hundreds?) of hours it might take to actually digitize the music. I'll have to find the time though. Some weeks goals 12 and 14 might just have to overlap.
15 - RUN the 34th Annual Turkey Trot on November 21, 2009 - They say you should end any list of goals with the biggest, the hardest, the most ambitious and the most meaningful. Well - for me - that means running a two-mile "race" (and by "race" I mean I'll be the last one to cross the finish line long after the hundreds of other runners have already gone home, showered and moved on to their weekend plans) but running is one of those things that always baffled me and it is time I figure out what you nut cases who engage in the activity see in the idea of running . . . for "fun." Wish me luck. Oh and rent Run, Fatboy Run. NOT in any way connected to me setting this goal but a very funny, touching and encouraging story that was written by the very talented Michael Ian Black and directed by "Ross" (of all people). Anywho - I'm going to go for it. My goals of working out and making time and taking time and finding joy all lead up to two miles of running. Just in time to start thinking of my 2010 goals.
I'm sure I'll have some short term goals that pop up throughout the year but - by December 31, 2009 - all 15 of these will be accomplished . . . mind, body, pride and logistics willing!
Wish me luck!
Saturday, January 3, 2009
Sean Combs. John Candy. Shawn Carter. John Adams. Shaun White. Okay - not Shaun White - I don't so-much admire the Flying Tomato! It is just coincidence . . . or a Lostonian conspiracy that great men just happen to be tapped as Seans and Johns!
Friday, January 2, 2009
Thursday, January 1, 2009
We had an interesting end to our trip and we were exhausted by the time we got "wheels up" over Syracuse (as witnessed by Ava, above, skipping the sights of 34,000 feet in favor of a little Finding-Nemo-on-the-iPod and nap time).
I have a lot of blogging to do (my 2008 year in review, my 2009 goals, some more ups and downs of the trip, another one for the "strangest dream ever competition", etc.) but - for the next 24 hours or so . . . we're just recharging the ol' batteries and chillin' in warm, sunny and wonderful 6-7-2-1-8).
In the meantime - HAPPY NEW YEAR!