Wednesday, September 29, 2010

rams and packers and bears..Oh My

I make this world a place for you and me
I make your happiness my responsibility
To make this world the world you want to see
I'll do anything

When i see the light upon your upturned face
I can hear the angels sing
To see that no one ever takes my place
I'll do anything

To make you see what I'm imagining
To know the pleasure your smile can bring
To keep the light from vanishing
I'll do anything
Jackson Browne

Jackson Browne was simply amazing. I really wasted a huge chunk of my life being best friends with my TV and refrigerator and pizza delivery guy. I'm not sure that when he was 21 in '69 he really thought he'd still be running on empty at 61 in '10. He put on a great show. 1/3 acoustic 2/3 with the full band. Close to 3 hours of music with no opener. Played everything you would want to hear, plus dug deep into many albums for some obscure material and even dropped a few covers in the mix. A really special fun night for me and the start of a long 4 day weekend.

Picked up Jacky at the airport Saturday night at 5 pm following her week in Malibu at the soft opening for the new fitness ridge. I will give a better report on Malibu in the next blog. Hit the road heading south at 7 pm and stopped in Bloomington, Illinois for the night. Was back on the road at 9 am and into St Louis at 12 noon and waiting for my good friend Eric Jackson at the airport. Scooped him up , met my brother Jay and headed down to the Edward Jones Dome to watch the Redskins and the Rams. My family had season tickets to the skins games when I was growing up. I would see a few games every year. And I always got to go to the game where Santa Claus would make his appearance with my grandfather. Lots of wonderful memories. My last NFL game? The NFC Championship game on January 17th 1988. Not quite the gap that befell Jackson Browne but a significant chunk of my adult life.

There are two ways to see a game at today's stadiums and in two days I saw them both. Sunday's game thanks to my brother, Jay, we spent the game in the Clarkson Jeweler's box. Tv's everywhere, an open bar and buffet, waiter service throughout the game, spread out seats, no lines in clean bathrooms, close up parking, and a private entrance with an elevator.

Certainly about as cush and comfortable as a gameday experience can be.

As to be
expected, I was the normal in person jinx that I normally am and the Redskins played terrible and lost. Just for the record though a fan of the team, the name is way offensive and needs to go. After the game thanked my bro and started heading north for the next kickoff. Without tickets for the game.

Now I have been slinging tickets since I was a kid. Making a quick buck when available. You can always get tickets to a game. But the ticket business has changed because of the internet and counterfeit tickets are everywhere. So i bit the bullet and bought through and got two tickets to the Bears Packers game for a lot more than I thought I would ever pay for a football game.

Chicago has been the wrath of many of my previous posts because of their traffic issues. This trip no problem. No traffic. I think travelling with a Mormon in the car may have its benefit. We saw Soldier field the oldest stadium in the league. However the did some renovations that have changed the look of the stadium. It's sort of like a spaceship landed on the Acropolis but it works. The closest parking to the stadium at about 3/4 of a mile was $46 bucks. Ugh we set out in search of a new plan.

I remembered my friend, Greg Ryan, lived in Chicago. Hadn't seen him in over a decade but figured a call might be helpful. Turns out he lived in a high rise overlooking Millennium Park and Navy Pier about a half mile from where I was calling and there was a shuttle that left to the game in front of his building all night for free. Spent a couple hours catching up, checking out the building magnificent health club, and admiring an amazing view of the city. When you see the prototypical skyline shot of Chicago Greg's building is right there staring back at you.

The shuttle to the game was just a school bus. Can someone tell me when the decided to put the seats so close together on a school bus. Those poor six foot four plus kids must not enjoy there rides all that much. After what is now a fairly short walk, but one that would have had me bent over a few years ago we arrived in section 318 for the game. Exactly none of the amenities of the previous day. Instead we got two 40 year olds with blue and orange face paint, beer vendors in constant rotation, and lots of people happy to buy the $8 beers, seats that hugged my ass, and a slightly worse view. I got the seat on the end of the row of 16 people. The other end of the row abutted the wall so there was only one way out of the row. And what happens when grown men drink a lot of beer?? They have to piss every 15 minutes. I spent half the night getting up to let people out of the row. 50 times easy. But hey I'm counting it as a squats workout. The game was close the whole way. The home team made the home fans and the visitor from Utah very happy. Apparently even though I don't actually root for them my jinx ability extended to my home state Packers who played poorly and made a ridiculous amount of mistakes and penalties and still should have won.

So which day did I enjoy more? It's not even close. Given the chance to do it again I'm choosing in the stands with the commoners every time. The atmosphere and passion makes the lack of amenities moot. It's a football game, you don't need to feel like you're in your living room. I'm not ready to sign up for season tickets and make it a weekly trip but every now and then sure. Hey look in the picture One of the 5 packers isn't holding can you point him out :)

So my weekend driving was like this: Friday 4 hours, Saturday 3 hours, Sunday 6 hours, Monday 6 hours, Tuesday 4 hours. A couple hours short of the drive to Utah, which thankfully this time will only be the two hours north from Vegas as I am flying into the dessert. And as the GM and I enjoyed some of what Chicago is deep dishly famous for I realized I have a lot of work to do to get ready for my return in less than 4 weeks. I need to start running again which I haven't done in 6 weeks and I sure need to know the knee is going to not be more sore than normal. Two weeks of volleyball, some walking, lots of swimming have gotten it back to pretty good but I'm not sure that equates to scaling Camelbak or Stop Sign or doing another triathlon. We shall see. It was an amazing fun weekend. Made better by good friends, and great tunes on my new itrip which made listening to music so much easier. No more dragging bags of cd's every place I go :) More fun to come WICKED tonight and Volleyball on Thursday and Farm Aid on Saturday. Because I can :) Peace and Love, Jim

Friday, September 24, 2010

Doctor, my eyes and my knee

I wanted to live in the realm of the senses

You've got to know how

And for some kinds of pleasure there are no defenses

I know that now

Our love is a crackling ladder of lightning

Our love is a fire

Our love is a wave moving deep in an ocean

Of need and desire

I need your wonder and I need your light

I need your tender touch to heal the night

I need you laughing and I need you free

And I need to lock you away deep inside of me

Waiting for you

I have no problem telling right from wrong

The way some people do

I know exactly where these arms belong

My problem is you

Waiting here for you

The Incomparable songwriter Jackson Browne

As always let's start with some good news. I'm over the moon excited to go see Jackson Browne tonight in Milwaukee. I consider him the greatest songwriter of my lifetime, and a man who truly believes in what he espouses about freedom, equality, the environment, involvement, and love. Flawed? no doubt... but we all are. I have seen him once before. I am very sad to report the year was 1979. 30 years between concert dates, ...sigh. We can't change the past only the future.

Speaking of things that happened a long time ago I had a wonderful birthday party surrounded by great friends, who made me drink things named..... dirty girl scouts, pineapple upside down cakes, smurf jizz, and apple tequilla sunsets. I was able to maintain a modicum of composure and get home safely. Love that the people that really care for me went out of their way to see that I had a very special day.
I started playing volleyball again. My exercise really has been limited to the pool for about a month so I figured that was long enough. I need to start getting back on my feet and back on the trail or I have no chance at being ready to hike in Utah. So far, ok in the sand. I get sore afterwards but have been able be fairly pain free during the actual time playing. I was as scared as I can be the first time I went back out there, but you forget about the knee fairly shortly and competitive juices kick in.
I know I have been doing a terrible job updating this I apologize. I promise the next one comes much sooner and I do plan to blog regularly when i get back to the ridge on the 24th of October. Have a great week coming up. Eric the GM from the ridge is in town. We are heading to St Louis and Chicago for some NFL football. I will see Wicked on Wednesday, Volleyball thursday, and Farm Aid Saturday.
I got an email from the winner of the contest that asked that the week be donated to someone who deserves it. I will get with Paige and Eric when I am in Utah and see that someone who really can use the week recieves it. Hope all's well, Jim

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Sixteen Candles

Should be sayin' that to you by now, shouldn't I?
Layin' down the law that I live by,
Though maybe next time

I've got a thick tongue,
Brimming with the words that go unsung
Simmer then the burn for a someone,
A wrong one

And I tell myself to let the story end,
My heart will rest in someone else's hand
My 'why not me?' philosophy began,
And I say

Ooh, how'm I gonna get over you?
I'll be alright, just not tonight
Someday, oh I wish you'd want me to stay
I'll be alright, just not tonight,


Well, Let's start this week with easily the best news and best thing to happen this birthday week. The new Sara Bareilles cd was released on Tuesday. Go buy it, it's fabulous. And the song I really, really love is the one above. She's just such a talented songwriter, piano player and singer. Fun, happy and a real pleasure to listen to. I have been singing her praises as long as this blog has been in existence...not going to stop now.

My knee is getting better. I hope. I miss sweating that's for sure. This picture is from the last really good sweat I had on the treadmill at my swim club. I have started doing rehab at the UW health and fitness center pool. Took a deep water class, that was well, interesting. And even though I am turning older this week it's really hard not to feel really young in a pool class. It looked like the pool in the movie Cocoon. And the fellow classmates sure enjoyed talking during the class. One thing about pool classes is you get out of them what you put into them, and I wasn't in the mood to mess around. Thankfully I didn't run over any of the participants like a killer whale landing on a kayak, but no promises next week. I have a meeting with the nutritionist there as well, because I need a new plan, my current plan that worked fairly well for two years just isn't working anymore.

Which leads me to my birthday. First off I can't have a birthday without thanking the person that should be celebrated on my birthday, my MOM. She did all the work, and still gets all the credit for making me who I am. Thanks Mom. I am having a small celebration at the bar that hosts our volleyball matches. We have been picking up gift cards this summer for winning and figured it would be a good night to burn through them all. So hurry come to Madison and I'll get you some shots :)

Which leads me to the contest winner.... Goes by the initials JB, had the biggest spread to land on, guessed lower than most of you. By my count I lost 127 lbs this year....... but gained 95..... :) to finish with a total loss of 32. I am disappointed that I came in way under most guesses and that I can't reward one of you that had the most faith in me. I am a little embarrassed that I didn't hang a bigger number. I'm sorry. But at the same time, I weigh less than I have in a really long time, and I'd take a few more years of -32 to get to where I want to be. I can't lose eating what I used to. I bow to peer pressure and parties like wicker furniture under my butt. I'm not perfect and I couldn't find perfect with a search warrant and a pit helmet. But I did do a triathlon, did appear on national TV and in the New York Times, I hiked slots, the vortex and camelback. Won a bunch of volleyball, looked in the mirror a few times and said "not too bad", and rode a a bike again for the first time since Reagan was President. I played basketball, wore clothes I had never worn before, and sweated like a faucet while marrying a couple. I saw so many concerts, my parents in Florida, the Terps in Indiana, great friends in Vegas, and so many new and old friends in Kayenta/St George/Ivins, Utah, where once was Fitness Ridge became the Biggest Loser. It was a good year. One I will never forget. Thanks to all of you for being along for the ride. Here's to an even better next year. It's going to start awfully well, with a Jackson Browne show, a Rams-Redskins game, a Packers-Bears game, Wicked, and Farm Aid. And that's all in the last week of this month. Can't wait. I hope our paths cross. Thank you to all of you who have taken the time to comment, sent me emails, added me on facebook. More than once I have felt like I didn't want to continue but I have read what you guys have written and chosen to continue. I can't thank you enough. All of you inspire me to just be better, to embrace life, and keep many fabulous memories of year 46. Peace and Love, Jimmy Trudeau