As summer gives way to “Back to School” sales and parental celebrations, I figure it’s time to kick my blog back into action.
I have LOTS of cool stuff planned and some of the ideas leave my wife in tears. (Tears of laughter, of course. I’m not out to try and make anyone sad).
But first, for both of my loyal and concerned fans, let’s take a quick look at just TEN of the things I’ve been up to all summer. Not only will it clue you in to the reasons behind my absence, but it will also help set the stage for some of the stories to come.
1. I gained my Freshman Fifteen. 20 years late.
I was a beanpole back in high school and college. No matter what I tried I couldn’t gain weight because my metabolism was completely out of control. Had I been able to bottle it, I would have become an overnight bazillionaire. Finally, at the tender age of 39, I’ve managed to unlock the secret. The strategy is simple: Increased pizza and ice cream consumption combined with a sedentary lifestyle. Who would have thought? My “Hip Hop Abs” fundraiser challenge couldn’t come at a better time.
2. I bought camera lenses on eBay with reckless abandon.
Without knowing what all the nifty little numbers and acronyms meant, I blew hundreds of dollars on camera lenses I still don’t understand. And accomplished little more than a cramped camera bag.
Although I must say that my expanding grasp of the “F Stop” led to this gem:
3. I learned that swimsuits + saltwater + sand = walking bowlegged.
The progression is simple: While body surfing, sand and broken seashells will become trapped in your swimsuit’s netting. Like a rock polisher, the salt, sand, and shells go to work on your inner thighs…gnawing and grinding away at the skin. The more you walk, swim, or crawl, the more red and irritated your skin will become. There is no escape unless you’re air lifted from the beach and it won’t be long before you’re walking like it’s high noon in a bad Western. For days.
4. I drove the reliable car to Ohio and it cost me $4,500.
Never, I repeat never, suggest that you take your “reliable” car on vacation. By the time you finish uttering those words, little gremlins are already hard at work under the hood wreaking havoc on parts that must be ordered from Nepal. The cunning creatures they are, the breakdown won’t occur until you’re at the furthest point in your trip. On Friday afternoon. Before a holiday weekend. 3,500 miles outside the factory warranty.
5. I almost bought a church.
Well, not a real church. At least, not in its current state. It used to be a church way back in the 1800′s. Today, it’s a quaint little garden shop in New Bern that would make the best ice cream store ever…”Heavenly Ice”. I loved the name so much that I actually toured the place and tried to imagine where all the celebrities would sit. I came to my senses when I realized that just having a name for your new ice cream store isn’t enough. Apparently, you also need a business plan, some inventory, and work ethic. Sounds hard. Plus I know my family would eat all the profits.
6. I was diagnosed with skin cancer.
Nothing screams comedy like “melanoma” but I had it right on my cheek. Not on my rear end, but on this purty lil’ noggin’ of mine. They used a sling blade, some folks call it a kaiser blade but I call it a sling blade, and hacked away at it until I had a nice gash. Six stitches later and I was Al Pacino in Scarface. Without the Cuban accent. Or the yayo. I was happy to get the call that the margins were clear and that the cancer was gone, but sheesh, that was kind of a downer.
7. I discovered new muscles in my back.
You can accomplish this too. Just find yourself an air mattress with an undetectable leak and then fall asleep on the mattress when it’s as firm as possible. Do NOT attempt this alone because you’ll need an able-bodied person (and possibly a crane) to extract your body from the deflated plastic surrounding you by morning. It’s around this time that you should be nice and sore in areas you didn’t even know existed. Just FYI, you may want to pre-arrange a masseuse who’s comfortable working with Icy Hot.
8. We bought a house.
When we left Texas for reasons not limited to heat, sun, ginormous bugs, flesh-eating spiders, human-seeking fire ants, painful grass, desert, and cactus, we decided to move to North Carolina. It’s lovely here but we realized that we just didn’t move far enough north. We missed New York too much. So, during a “let’s just look and see what’s out there but not buy anything” trip, we bought a house. It’s in the heart of the Finger Lakes, which is wine country in central New York, and we can’t wait to get there. Although it does mean we’re packing to move for the second time in seven months. At least this time it’s permanent.
9. I hired our movers at a hot dog stand.
Nothing builds confidence like meeting a guy at a roadside hot dog joint to hand over $150 as a deposit on your upcoming move. They are scheduled to be here next Friday to load our trucks. I say “scheduled” because I half think I’ll be loading the trucks myself. Perhaps I’m worrying for nothing because he did give me a receipt…albeit scribbled in pen on a piece of scrap paper.
It reads simply: “Received $150 for September 3 move.”
Man, I hope they show. If they don’t, I’ll never trust a nameless mover at a hot dog stand again.
10. I rediscovered my passion for blogging.
Part of me was close to turning in my virtual pen. It was depressing to go from hundreds of comments on a grand slam post to crickets the very next day. I like to know that people read what I write, for that’s what motivates me to continue. But it got discouraging when I thought I was writing to no one.
Alas, in my travels and through conversation, I realized just how many people read my blog, enjoy it, and simply don’t comment. I realized that I needed to stop obsessing over comments and just write because I love to do so.
To those who comment, thank you, you are my fuel. To those who don’t, it’s cool, we can still be friends. Just let me know every now and then that you’re still lurking in the darkness. I love stalkers.
See you tomorrow.
Wow. It feels good to say that.