The Half Marathon

Maritime Race WeekendWho in their right mind would ever think that me…a 40 year old father of a bunch who used to consider Kraft Dinner to be a full meal…would even consider running/jogging/crawling through a half marathon?

Certainly not me.

Yet that seems to be the case at this point. Because I have got a wedding coming up that I’ve been trying to get into “okay” shape for, thus I have changed a lot of my eating habits and have been exercising a bit. That seems to be decent enough motivation, but I think I was looking for something more. That “something” came in the form of a little motivation called the HALF MARATHON.

Y’see, Sunshine pitched the idea to me initially and I was really hesitant. I mean, really? Me? Walking 21 km (13 mi) all at one time? You’ve GOT to be kidding me! There is NO WAY that this 200+lb man is going to be able to walk that kind of distance without collapsing into a heap mid-way through.

But then I thought about it for a second. Why couldn’t I do it? What is the real obstacle in my path other than laziness and worn-out excuses?

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been getting out and hitting the pavement. While it has slacked off the past two weeks due to (a) being sick and (b) ummm…”other” issues, I’m fully focused and ready to get back out there and continue on the path to healthiness. I’ve already lost 10 lbs and, about a month ago, Sunshine and I walked 15 km (9 mi) on a Sunday morning…which is over 3/4 of a half marathon. While sore and a bit tired, I fully believe that I could have continued going if I had to.

What this means is that when I walk my half marathon, I’ll be ready. I’ll be TOTALLY ready. I may not run and I may not jog, but I’ll be walking strong and proud over the finish line with my NEW WIFE by my side. Hell, the marathon is even taking place on my birthday and has a pirate theme (SERIOUSLY)…how can it NOT end up being totally awesome??

CBG Confessions: I’m A Thief

This is a story that I previously only told to Sunshine. Yet in an effort to clear my conscience, I’m opening up a deep, dark secret to all of you.

Okay…here it goes…

The year was 1991. I had just finished an abysmal first year at the University of New Brunswick (i.e. I was kicked out for bad grades) and had returned home with my tail tucked between my legs. I was working at my dad’s pizza restaurant as a waiter, scraping by to get whatever tips I could get to add to my minimum wage. I had just moved out and into an apartment of my own and was hard-up for funds.

Not that I’m making any excuses…just setting the stage.

So on a uneventful Saturday afternoon in September, I was moping around the local mall when I noticed that the record & tape store was having a cassette sale (I know…I’m REALLY showing my age here). As I walked up to the store, I saw that they had a couple of tables out in the hallway of the mall…a “discount bin”, if you will.

I decided to look through and see what they had to offer. One particular cassette caught my eye because…well…because it was by a band I wouldn’t normally buy a cassette of: the New Kids On The Block

On this particular day, I saw No More Games/The Remix Album sitting in the discount bin for under $10. Now I was never a huge fan of NKOTB, but I thought that maybe this particular cassette would feature some “cool” remixes that I could actually enjoy. Specifically, I saw that there was a remix for Call It What You Want that I thought would be pretty sweet (turns out, it wasn’t as good as the original).

But wait…was I actually going to pay MONEY for this cassette?? OMFG, no. I couldn’t DARE show up at the cash register in a small town at aged 19 with a NKOTB cassette, even if it WAS on sale. I’m a dude, after all…and dudes just don’t buy that type of cassette.

So I looked around…saw that nobody was paying any attention to me…and I slipped the cassette in my pocket.

Embarrassed…scared…excited at my master criminal mind…I quickly (but nonchalantly made my way out of the mall and straight to my car. Because the discount bin was in the mall hallway, there were no sensors going off to alert the authorities of my dastardly deed. I had gotten away with the most incredible crime of the century!!

All for this…

GUILTY OF THEFT!!Yes, kids…that is the actual cassette that I stole from a mall store over twenty years ago. I recently found it when my dad had a “clearing out the basement” garage sale. Somebody ended up spending $5 on an entire box full of cassettes, of which this particular gem was one. The “PIZZAH” inscribed on the middle of the cover is the nickname I used to have “back in the day” because I worked at my dad’s pizza restaurant. It was eventually shortened to what my friends still call me back in my home town, ZAH…but that’s another story for another day.

So here we are…after years and years of guilt…where I have decided to come forward and admit to my crime. I am only hopeful that the statute of limitations has expired on this particular incident as jail time for this would be REALLY difficult to explain to “Hoss the Angry Cellmate” as he tells me of his bad murder rap.

There…conscience cleared.

The Countdown Is On

The wedding is now less than three weeks away. The fine details are being finalized and the anticipation is mounting.

Of course, along with the anticipation is the stress. I can’t tell you just how happy I am to know that we’re not having a large wedding because I think we’d both go insane! At this point, we’re looking at 45 guests (which is actually 5 more than we originally planned) so it should be considered a small intimate affair. It’s just funny how the fine details seem to creep up on you and then so does the stress.

We were sent an initial run-through of our ceremony. The officiant actually forgot a couple of things and the flow wasn’t what we were hoping it would be, so even though it was a “first draft” our hearts sunk a bit and our stress levels shot up to the point that we ended up (unfortunately) taking it out on each other. Of course, by the next day we had sent in the suggested changes and everything seemed to flow a lot better once we got the second draft. We both just had to relax and go through it long enough to make the changes.

Sunshine is having trouble sleeping. She’s worried that things won’t work out the way they’re supposed on the big day. Me? I’m doing alright…but I’m starting to worry about the financial aspect of things. I’m actually looking into a big change for my future taking place just after the wedding (details to come) so that’s adding a bit of stress to the already full plate.

At the end of the day, though…I suppose things could be a LOT worse. Our food is ordered. Our officiant is ready to go. Our music for both the ceremony and the reception has been picked out and is already on a playlist. The flowers are ordered. The venue is waiting for us. The only thing that would throw a wrench in the machine would be if it rained as the ceremony is taking place outside, but we’re already mentally preparing for that as a worse-case scenario and are going to be happy regardless.

The time I have to write is limited at the moment. I haven’t stopped writing and I haven’t taken a break or anything…life will resume to “normalcy” soon.

Sunshine & CBG: 07-20-13

The Inability to Live the Dream

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it on the blog before, but the dream my entire life has been to be a radio disc jockey. I don’t even know when the dream first started, but I think it was from the very first moment I saw Dr. Johnny Fever say “booger” on WKRP in Cincinnati that this dream was implanted in my head.

I began to fulfill this dream the moment I sent in my list of 11 cassettes for a penny to the Columbia Record & Tape club back in 1983 (my first cassette was “Lick It Up” by KISS). I began “programming” my own music from the comfort of my own music collection, and from there things grew.

I DJ’d dances during my final year in high school. Once I turned 19, I began DJ’ing at a bar in Sackville, New Brunswick called Mermaids. While being there, I started my initial on-air experience at CHMA, which was my university radio station. In a very short period of time, I actually became program director. In fact, I was so dedicated to the job that I ended up flunking out of school that year (yes, I eventually went back and graduated).

I then moved on to a club in my hometown of Amherst, Nova Scotia (located inside of a hotel) called Legends. I DJ’d there for three years and had some of the most incredible times of my entire life. Every Saturday night I had throngs of people in the palm of my hand, dancing to music that I was choosing for them. It was a natural high that I could never replicate with any kind of drug.

Fast forward to almost a decade later. I’ve turned down opportunities to play music for a high school graduation and a friend’s wedding because I thought I had “grown up”…I had moved on to “real jobs”.

The problem was that I never stopped wishing that I had pursued that dream. And by this time, I now had a couple of beautiful children and “adult responsibilities”, so applying for a student loan in order to fulfill some wild and crazy dream of being a radio disc jockey just seemed incredibly foolhardy and unrealistic.

A few weeks ago, I caught up with a friend from a former job. We’ve since gotten together with our female partners and have had some great times and discussions, one of them being that he recently started a new career in radio…at age 45.

Turns out that two years ago, he took a two year college degree in telecommunications and became Dr. Johnny Fever…a dream he had wanted since he was a kid. So here was my friend, at age 45, starting a new career as a morning disc jockey on a local classic rock radio station.

He is living my dream.

I had a conversation with Sunshine yesterday about it all. She has known about my dream for quite some time. She also said that if there was any way…ANY way…that we could afford to support four children while I went to college that she would find a way to do it. It was awesome because she meant it, and nobody has ever supported me in my aspirations and dreams like she has.

But it was also a bit bittersweet, knowing that right now I just don’t have the ability to live the dream that seems incredibly possible. I never thought that I could start over in that particular profession while in my 40’s, but my friend has proven me wrong. Now that my life-long dream seems so attainable, the responsibilities that I have as a father and a soon-to-be husband prevent me from pursuing that dream.

Rock…meet hard place.

I never really thought about it too much because I thought it wasn’t possible. Now I know it is…but because it’s out of my grasp it’s a little more difficult to process.

Our Honeymoon Has No Icing

With all of the running around that Sunshine and I have been doing for the wedding over the past couple of months, we’ve kinda forgotten to plan any kind of honeymoon. I mean, we do plan on going somewhere to celebrate our nuptials, but we’re jumping straight from our wedding on Sunday into our week-long “family vacation” with two of my kids and her two kids…so any chance to have a honeymoon will have to wait for a little bit.

That begs the question: Where should we go?

The options are many, my friends…

  • Cruise through the Caribbean – We fell in love with cruising a couple of years ago when we went on our first trip through the Eastern Caribbean. I proposed to Sunshine last year when we were cruising through the Western Caribbean. Ultimately, we’d love to go on a Mediterranean cruise, but due to finances it’s not going to happen any time soon. Southern Caribbean is another distinct possibility, but the extra money it’ll cost to get to Puerto Rico to sail out or go on a longer cruise based out of Florida just isn’t in the cards at the moment.
  • Fly somewhere within Canada – One of the items on my Bucket List is to drive across the country, from the Maritimes to British Columbia. The problem with that is, obviously, the logistics required. The back-up plan would be to fly to Montreal or Toronto or Vancouver or even St. John’s, and be a tourist in another Canadian city for a weekend. Definitely something to keep in the back pocket as I’m intrigued by this option.
  • Go to an all-inclusive resort – I know that you can get great deals on vacations for singles, but I hear a resort like Club Med is also great for couples looking to have a fun time. Either way, I’m not sure that we’ve got the time available right now to truly sit back and enjoy a resort like that…though it’s extremely tempting.
  • The Stay-Cation – This, more than likely, is what we’re going to end up doing for our honeymoon. We’ll probably find a cabin or hotel or inn that has off-season rates in late September or early October, and we’ll travel to Cape Breton or somewhere on the South Shore of Nova Scotia. It’s the economical option and we’d make our own fun, so why not?

Realistically, we’ll probably have a “mini” honeymoon in September or October and then save up for a “real” honeymoon on our anniversary…maybe one of the other options as noted above.

In the end, all that really matters is that we’ll be married, we’ll be happy, and we’ll be together. Anything else we do after that is just icing on the cake.