Archive for September, 2007
Days Until I Am Married: 19
Current Weight: 168
Tonite I find myself in an unfamiliar place and in an unfamiliar situation. I’m sitting in the plush bed of the airport Hilton in Tampa and I am unable to fall asleep. I’ve been traveling for work quite a bit lately; this is my third hotel room in five nites. Usually traveling doesn’t affect my sleep patterns. Actually nothing usually affects my sleep pattern, I’ve fallen asleep quickly my whole life. This makes dealing with insomnia quite challenging for me. Tonite I’ve decided to blog myself to sleep.
In the past week I’ve flown five times, and I’m catching a flight at 7am tomorrow to head back to Tallahassee. I spent the weekend in Tampa enjoying my last bit of free time before the wedding. Tomorrow begins a two week sprint to finish everything in time for the big day. But that is tomorrow, right now it’s time to relive my exciting weekend. Friday started on a bad note when my flight from Fort Lauderdale to Tampa was delayed. In a strange twist of events, the flight crew was delayed in rush hour traffic in Miami because some idiot crashed a small aircraft in the middle of I-95 during rush hour. This made me quite late for my dinner date with Megan in Tampa. She was in Tampa on Friday for business, and spent the nite at the hotel with me before driving back to Tallahassee on Saturday.
I spent the first part of Saturday taking a woman out to dinner and a movie. That woman is my 80 year old Grandma, and the movie she picked was Hairspray.1
Afterwards my uncle came by my hotel room and hungout for a few hours. Nothing too exciting because I was saving my energy for gameday on Sunday. My uncle scored us tickets to see the Rams play the Buccaneers on Sunday. My uncle knows a guy who has a private box at the stadium, and it is amazing. The room comes with a free buffet and a friggin’ bartender. I was so excited that I of course got trashed immediately. From what I remember, I had a really great time.2
One of the girls hanging out in the box was actually from St. Louis. This would have been way cooler if she didn’t repeatedly steal my hat or if she didn’t have the personality of a dishrag. I guess chesty blondes don’t really need a personality to get by.
I passed out immediately after the game and slept from around 5pm till 2am. I woke up fully clothed and rather confused. After a downing a bottle of water and several ibuprofen I went back to sleep. I probably got about 14 hours of sleep last nite, which is the only reason I didn’t wake up with a massive hangover this morning. This is why I am unable to sleep tonite. I have to wake up in five hours to catch a plane, but instead of sleeping I’m typing. Hopefully getting back to my routine tomorrow will help me fall asleep faster. As for tonite, I am going to give the sleep thing another try.
1 The movie was not as bad as I thought it would be, mostly because I thought it would be the worst movie ever. John Travolta in a fat girl suit was so unnecessary. Give me the John Waters, Ricki Lake original anyday.
2 I had to check and see what the final score was this morning because I don’t remember much past half time. As it turns out St. Louis got creamed, so I guess it’s actually not so bad that I can’t remember much.
Days Until I Am Married: 23
Current Weight: 169
Before I get to the wedding-weight-loss-recap portion of my blog, I feel the need to tell a random story that will inevitably lead to a rant of some kind.
So I’m waiting at the Tampa airport this evening for a flight to Ft. Lauderdale on Southwest. Even though I’ve been traveling a lot lately, it’s has been awhile since I’ve flown Southwest. Normally I wouldn’t notice the difference, but Southwest is different. Flying Southwest is a different experience than flying any other airline, but every Southwest experience I’ve ever had has essentially been exactly the same.
Southwest always has long lines at check-in, a long line of idiots standing in the “A” line an hour before the scheduled flight time, and always departs late. Everyone puts up with the shitty services because the tickets are so cheap. Everything involved in my Southwest is typical up to the point where I sit down.1 I see the typical flight Southwest flight attendants on the plane, i.e. the bored young one, the older women with bad hair and too much makeup, and the middle aged guy that overcompensates for his flight attendant shame by being extra wacky.
Just as I’m about to zone out with the iPod while the wacky middle aged guy goes through his pre-rehearsed set of zany safety instructions, I hear him announce that there is a celebrity on the aircraft. Not believing that a celebrity would actually ride Southwest, I take out my earbuds and listen. He informs the passengers that one of flight attendants is actually a guest celebrity.
Turns out the middle-aged lady with bad hair and too much makeup is actually Susan Lucci. It takes me a minute to recollect who Susan Lucci is, and then I vaguely remember she is a soap star who is famous for always losing at the Daytime Emmys.2 Apparently she is conducting some research on flight attendants for a documentary that she is producing. She eventually took my drink order in flight and I had to repress several cracks about the fact that she was taking my drink order.
The reason that I am telling this story is because I am not really that amazed a celebrity was on a Southwest flight. This kind of thing seems rather normal down here in Florida. What I found interesting is that this sort of thing would never occur in St. Louis or anywhere in the Midwest. Celebrities simply never travel to anywhere in the Midwest. I never realized how true this was until I moved out of Missouri. I’ve seen more celebrities during my year in Florida than I did the previous 20+ years I lived in Missouri. The only celebrities I ever met in St. Louis happened to actually live there, like Ozzie Smith or Nelly.
I think most celebrities probably avoid the Midwest like the plague, and for good reason. The few stories I’ve heard about celebrity sightings in the Midwest always end in “and then a mob of people rushed towards the celebrity, and they promptly left.”
If Susan Lucci or any other nominally famous person was on the same plane in the Midwest they would have been forced to sign autographs, pose for some pictures, and be generally pestered for the entire flight. The passengers on this flight seemed slightly amused, and then went back to their business. Florida residents seem quite used to celebrities. I think that the lack of celebrities almost forces Midwesterners to behave like Japanese school girls when one approaches. And here I am bitching about it, even though I just wrote a whole page about meeting Susan Lucci.
Anyhoo, on to the wedding-weight-loss-recap portion of my blog. My weight-loss is going well so far. I’m hitting the gym regularly and eating right. I’ve even done well with not drinking, except for last weekend. Megan and I took a mini-trip last to Orlando last weekend to spend some time with our friends Amir and Julie.
We stayed at Disney World Friday and Saturday nite, and spent all day Saturday at Universal Studios. The weekend was really relaxing and enjoyable. We wanted to have one weekend before the wedding that required no planning. We ate at nice restaurants, did everything there was to do at Universal, and enjoyed hanging out with our friends from Sarasota.
I really enjoyed Universal, it was cool to be in a theme park that wasn’t full of Disney or Looney Tunes characters. Give me the X-Men and Dr. Seuss anyday.
Sunday we spent shopping at a mega-mall in Orlando, where Megan and I finally picked out and purchased our wedding rings. Earlier in the week we applied for our marriage license. These two events really hit home that I’m getting married soon, more than anything else has so far. While it felt a little strange, it mostly felt exciting. As the planning intensifies and the date gets closer I find my excitement level consistently growing. With a little over three weeks to go I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it looks mighty good to me.
1 I even had some guy comment to me that Southwest was getting rid of the A, B, and C ticketing process next year. I’ve had someone say this to me on every Southwest flight I’ve taken for the past five years. These are the same people that insist that the U.S. is changing to the metric system next year, or that American soccer is supposed to explode next year. I don’t know why people continue to spread these myths.
2 I think this may be perhaps the worst thing to be famous for ever. I know that soap stars are supposed to be bad actors, but to lose at the Daytime Emmys for over a decade redefines what it is to be a bad actor. I used to think that former reality stars were the lamest celebrities. Susan Lucci has now set my bar even lower.
Days Until I Am Married: 30
Current Weight: 170
One month from today I will marry the woman I love. This is not a lot of time. I am hitting the home stretch, and I still have a ton of things left to do before the big day. It’s the kind of thing that can drive a man crazy. Yet it has not.
Despite how busy I have become, I find myself in a good spirits. My job is already working out much better than I had hoped it would and Megan and I are adjusting quite well to living in a city that neither one of us is necessarily excited about. We have yet to venture out of our little community, but so far this hasn’t really been necessary. We are enjoying long walks in our neighborhood’s lush surroundings as well as our nightly viewing of the cows across the street. Around dusk every nite the heard slowly meanders by our front porch. This has a profoundly calming effect, an evening matinee of black-and-white-spotted Buddhas out for a stroll. These odorless and noiseless cows have made life around the house quite relaxing.1
The cows have made coming home from work more enjoyable, but not nearly as much as the daily presents. So far we have received an average of one wedding gift in the mail every day this month. By the time the wedding rolls around we’re going to have a brand new kitchen set, and I’ll have the bar set of my dreams. This whole wedding thing is a real racket; I’m starting to feel like an extortionist. Not that I’m complaining.
I have also been quite busy hitting the gym in the past few weeks. My original weight loss goal for the year was to lose 30 pounds by the wedding. Well, the day after my birthday I realized that this would involve losing thirteen pounds in a little over five weeks. Recognizing this as an unrealistic goal, I committed myself to instead do my best to exercise and eat right as much as possible. I also vowed to give up alcohol until the wedding in an effort to cut out unnecessary calories.
Since then, I’ve done a really good job of exercising for at least one hour every day and eating right. So far I’ve lost two pounds, and I’m hoping more will start to fall off soon. So while I might not be as lean as I would like for the wedding, I think that I will still feel pretty darn good.
As you can see, I’ve kept pretty steady and low key over the past few weeks. Well, that is unless you count my bachelor party three day weekend in Las Vegas. But since whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, I’m afraid I can’t comment on that weekend.2
With that being said, I will end my blog by looking ahead at the next month. I’ve got thirty days to pull together all of the details of what will be the most planned day of my life. I hope I can pull it all off and still manage to keep a smile on my face.
1 There has been one major exception. A couple of weekends ago while I was out of town, Megan was woken up at 3 a.m. by what she said sounded like a cow being slaughtered. She went out to the front porch to find a cow across the street giving birth. The noise coming from the cow was too loud to attempt a return to slumber, so Megan grabbed a seat on the porch and watched the birth of a calf. She named the calf Lil’ Meg.
2 This of course is complete bullshit. Vegas was 72 hours of nonstop excitement with five of my closest friends. However, this defiantly falls into the “things I shouldn’t blog about” category. Feel free to ask me about it, I’ll tell you anything you want to know.
Days Until I Am Married: 40
Current Weight: 172
Today is my twenty-ninth birthday. My feelings about my birthday are conflicted; it has always been both a blessing and a curse.
My birthday usually falls on Labor Day weekend, which really sucked when I was a kid. Opening presents both at the end of summer and few days before I returned to school was always difficult. At most I had three days to ensure He-Man’s defeat of Skeletor before being forced to learn cursive against my will.1
During my college years the Labor Day birthday was fantastic. Having a birthday the second week of school meant no one had homework and everyone still had money to go out. I had a huge birthday blowout four years in a row.
Currently my Labor Day birthday has translated into having a paid day off to turn twenty-nine. Not a bad deal. After a weekend that involved watching the kick-off of college football season2, a boat ride in the Gulf and birthday party with family, and two solid nites of drinking with friends in Sarasota, I spent my birthday with Megan enjoying fine dining.
Megan returned to Florida for my birthday after having spent the weekend in St. Louis for her bachelorette party/wedding shower. We had lunch in Tampa and I consumed the best coconut-crème pie known to man. Megan stayed in Tampa to attend a conference, and I drove four-plus hours3 back to Tallahassee.
Now I am sitting at my computer enjoying my favorite beer, Carlsberg, and pondering the number twenty-nine. Here is where the true conflict arises.
I spent most my twenty-ninth birthday contemplating the significance of growing a year older. This practice dates back to my twenty-second birthday. Every year since then I have tried to pinpoint exactly what turning a year older means to me. This usually involves an intense period of self-reflection. For example, I spent my twenty-fifth birthday walking around Sunset Strip in Hollywood by myself trying to figure out the direction of my life. This year my thoughts were consumed with the concept of youth. I determined that twenty-nine is the last year that I can consider myself young. This is a difficult reality to accept.
Looking back, I spent all of my teenage years trying to prove how mature I was despite my age. I spent the early-to-mid part of my twenties enjoying the benefits of youth with minimal drawbacks. This carefree feeling lasted until my twenty-seventh birthday.
Twenty-seven freaked me out for two reasons. First off, twenty-seven has signaled the demise of people far greater than me. Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain and Jim Morrison died during their twenty-seventh year. They managed greatness by twenty-seven; I managed to complete half of my Master’s degree.
Second, twenty-seven signaled the entrance into my late twenties. If 20-23 is the early-twenties, then 24-26 is the mid-twenties, and 27-29 is the late twenties. In my mind the late twenties involved accepting my own mortality.
The late twenties is the last bastion of youth. Twenty-five was the last time that growing a year older was beneficial to me. When I turned twenty-five, my car insurance premium went down and I was able to rent a car without incurring additional fees. This is the last time that growing a year older results in benefits of any kind. My next beneficial birthday is when I turn fifty-five and I qualify for acceptance into AARP4.
Every birthday since twenty-five has involved the unpleasant reality of growing older. At twenty-six, I could still claim I was in my mid twenties. Twenty-seven made me realize that my youth was on a downhill trajectory. If this is true, then thirty is the bottom of the hill.
This is currently how I feel, close to the bottom of a gradual hill that goes straight down from here on out. In other words I don’t feel old but I don’t feel remotely young anymore. Ten years ago the main priority on my birthday was getting intoxicated immediately. Today I am more concerned being sharp for work tomorrow. Age is a funny thing. So here’s to twenty-nine, my last opportunity to live fast and die young. Good riddance.
1 I remember telling my third grade teacher that learning cursive was pointless. Why do I need to know that the lower case “m” has three arches instead of two? Technology has made my hatred of handwriting legitimate. God bless the computer.
2 While I still don’t understand what is exciting about watching an extremely lopsided football game played by 19-year-olds, I can appreciate consuming fried foods and cheap booze at noon on a Saturday.
3 Usually the trip takes four hours, which is comparable to St. Louis to Kansas City. Today I spent an extra hour on the highway at a dead standstill because of an accident involving an SUV and an eighteen-wheeler. This was infuriating for more reasons than I care to admit.
4 This is true unless you count the constitutional provision that requires thirty-five years of age to run for President of the United States.