My birthday celebration
Copyright 2009: Jim Penny
Word count: 1318
Yes, even here with me old as dirt, birthdays still occur every year, just like clockwork, on January 18. Two of my friends have managed to freeze time, holding at 29 and 39, respectively, something I have not figured yet, and so time marches on, leaving me more, shall we say, distinguished every day. Distinguished? I don’t get it either, and I certainly don’t feel distinguished, but that’s the word often used to describe the aging male, especially by the female of the species. When I hear it, I smile and wonder what would happen if I used a gender-equivalent expression to describe her age. Or weight.
The celebration of my glorious birth began promptly at 6:20 a.m. when I popped out of bed wondering what time it was. I was also thirsty and needing a bit of bathroom time. With a quart of water and a tab of generic levothyroxin sodium down the hatch, I started the coffee pot, fired up the computer, and checked the Weather Channel. I would like to report that my coffee of choice was Jamaican Blue Mountain, but the requirements of full disclosure require me to write that my coffee was, and still is, Food Lion Extra Blend, which was probably an MVP special when I bought it.
Within the hour, I was well along into the pot of generic coffee, Facebook notifications wishing me a happy birthday, collecting gold for my Facebook Fairy Garden, Weather Channel, and CNN Headline News. I had also eaten first breakfast, which this morning consisted of three hard-boiled eggs smooshed with a fork and mixed with mayonnaise and Texas Pete. For dessert, I had a large tab of Benicar HCT with an l-theanine chaser. For as much as the left-handed OTC enatomer from The Vitamin Shoppe warms the cockles of my heart, I believe it is the smooth mouth-feel of the potassium sparing diuretic that is the HCT part of the Benicar HCT that makes my morning complete.
At 8 a.m., it’s time to slam a BC and hit the gym. Yes, I’m running later than is my norm, but it’s my birthday, and I can take it easy today. Besides, I’m not sure this is going to work. I don’t generally make New Year’s resolutions because I can find easier ways to disappoint myself, but I did decide to work on a little physical conditioning when the year started, and it did help that Josh was working on his physical fitness assessment for the Air Force. Yeah, watching him run made me yearn myself.
Initially, I had been walking a little, maybe a mile or so twice a day, at a pushed pace. After doing a sorta-run with Josh, I decided to try the gym in the apartment building. The treadmill there doesn’t expose me to traffic and the misery of cold weather and rain. For the last couple of weeks, I had been going twice a day for a walk at 3.5 MPH, thirty minutes, inclination ranging from 3% to 15%. The on-board computer told me that each of those 30-minute walks burned 386.6 calories, and I liked knowing I was dropping an additional almost 800 calories a day. However, I figured that soon enough a foot would blow out, and I’d be piled up on the couch again.
For the two days before the celebration of my glorious birth, I had declared double days. The Japanese have a formal name for those days in physical training where you double up, and years ago when I had a life, I knew that word, but no longer. Friday and Saturday in the little gym had been my double days. Once in the morning and once in the afternoon, I went in for an hour. When I finished Saturday, I wondered if I’d make it back up to my apartment. However, for two days, I had dropped some 1500 calories each, assuming we believe that machine, survived in a manner of speaking, found some respite in that, and smiled on my good behavior while settling in a the Most Dangerous Night on TV from the Sci Fi Channel. Oh yeah, I was asleep by 8 p.m.
For thirty minutes, I walked, sweated, ignored the stiffness in my legs, and stared at the TV. All done, I left the gym with a nodded grunt to the rounded young thing on the elliptical trainer, cursed the abject misery of breathing in the brutal cold for thirty seconds, and soon found myself back in the apartment with a quart of Crystal Light.
At 9 a.m., I gathered the laundry. There were five loads available, but I only took three because that’s what the basket would hold. The other two could go later. Sunday morning is usually a good time to visit the laundry room. My fellow apartment dwellers either go to church or sleep late, and I don’t have to wait for a machine. This day, the news of my glorious birthday celebration appeared to have everyone in fevered preparation. One day, I have to find a laundry with wash, dry, and fold service.
After folding the warm laundry and putting it away, I returned to the gym towards 1 for another 30 minutes of afternoon delight on the treadmill. This time, a couple of gentlemen from the Middle East were there, pretending to lift weights. Mostly, they provided an exhibition of grunting and straining. Why men bother with this activity, I have no idea. It’s not like they’re doing anything other than strutting a little testosterone. A workout with weights is certainly worth the trouble, but these guys needed a little instruction. However, with the TV on and the treadmill whining, I tuned them out and drifted off into my personal aerobic high.
By 2 p.m., I’m back in the apartment cooling down, thinking about a shower, not taking a shower, applying deodorant instead, and suiting up for a walk to Kmart to fetch a set of bathroom scales. With all this good living, it seems reasonable to track my tonnage. The walk to Kmart is uneventful but cold, and I notice my legs wanting to assume the gait from the treadmill. Of course, I forgot to bring Kleenex, and my nose decides to drip, this, right after stepping into a puddle with my muddy Crocs. I am going to make a fine homeless person one day.
By 3 p.m., I’m back in the apartment opening the bag from Kmart. I have a Homedics Thera:P blood pressure machine, three packs of American Fare faux Nyquil, and one large box of Mucinex-D. Someone forgot the scales, and I scold that someone, but then remember that tracking blood pressure is probably as important as tracking tonnage. Now, scales now appear on the grocery list, but it’ll be Monday before Food Lion comes up.
At 4 p.m., it’s time for a snack, which means a carrot first, and then a salad. I curl up on the couch for a dull flick on the Science Fiction Channel, and towards 5:30, it’s apparent that it’s gonna be an early beddie-bye for this bonzo, not that I’ve been out of PJs long enough today to make the case that I was ever out of bed. By 6, I’m wrapped in a bundle of afghans on the glide path towards my pillow. The tab of Zocor melting slowly in my tum, turning it’s attention to the evening’s duty in my liver.
Somewhere between 6 and 7, the boss calls. He and his husband want to step out for an evening of dancing. I point out that the place they’re planning to visit has karaoke on the evening’s schedule. We chuckle over that. However, I decline the offer as I’m already half asleep. By 8, I’m mostly asleep, but still vertical. At 9, I crash, bringing the celebration of my glorious birth to it’s ribald end.