Forty by 40

November 1. All Saint’s Day. The day after Halloween.

And my birthday.

Goodbye, 37. Hello, 38.

Time for a change.

Therefore, today marks the start of my “Forty by 40” campaign. The goal is simple. Lose forty pounds by my 40th birthday. That’s two years away. Twenty pounds a year.

Ambitious, but not over the top.

More than ambitious though. Pretty much mandatory.

Simply, I need to get myself in better shape. I need to exercise more. I need to eat better. I’ve got to start somewhere. And that somewhere is here and now.

Why? I mean, heck, I’ve been ‘husky’ ever since mom would take me back to school shopping. Always needed the ‘husky’ size pants. I’m a big guy. I’m not huge. And, I actually think I carry it well. I won’t tell you my weight here. Sorry, I won’t. But, let’s just say you’d be surprised. At least I think you would.

And now I want to surprise myself and work toward this goal.

I’ve done well with the more exercise in the past. When I’ve belonged to a gym, I’ve pretty much been a gym rat. There were two spans of at least two years apiece where I worked out five days a week, including three spinning classes per week. I loved it.

With two kids, life is a bit different. The gym isn’t easy. But I need to make time to be more active. More than time, I need to make the effort. I’m not joining the gym tomorrow, but I’m going to be conscious of certain things. I’m going to try this slowly but surely and hope to build the activity level up.

It’s the food, though, that I need to work on most. I love food. Love. Love. Love. And, again, I’m not going cold turkey to start. I’m going to try to be sensible. That means no heath bar muffin from the bakeshop at work after I’ve already had two english muffins at home. And, you know what I put on those english muffins? Butter. And peanut butter. It might well be the best tasting combination ever. But, yeah.

This means no stopping for vanilla shakes on the way home, just because. I’m sure my son will still get McDonald’s treats. Well, maybe I need to try that southwestern salad or something. And, when I go to lunch at one of our regular spots, it means that when I pass up the reuben and rock the salad, that I need to get the fat free dressing.

Again, my goal here isn’t cold turkey on anything. It’s to try and ease into this and slowly make some life adjustments. And for those around me daily, I need your help. I’m not going to give up an occasional treat, but Chelle, no more muffins from the bakeshop. Anna, no more slabs of cake. Molly, no more pop tarts or incredibly good potato chips.

My wife is making me a birthday cake. But she didn’t buy ice cream. We agreed that the cake is sort of mandatory, but we didn’t need the ice cream to go with it.

The bottom line in this: I will admit to being a bit scared. I’ve never said this to anyone. Never written it.

My dad passed at 65 from cancer. His passing never really made me think much about my own mortality, so to speak. But, my brother. Yeah. If you’ve been reading, you know he died suddenly at 45. From a heart attack. And he was in fairly good shape. You hear about stories like him all the time.

I don’t want to be one of those stories.

I’ve already lived more than half of my father’s life and even more of my brother’s life. That’s not enough. Not when I’m the dad of a three-and-a-half year old boy and a four-and-a-half month old girl. Not when I’m still a son, brother, uncle, nephew, friend and husband.

So, yeah. Forty by 40. Slow and steady. Ease into it. Small changes. Small steps. And while I need your help with this, the effort is mine. It has to be. Can’t be any other way.

The last thing I want is to let anyone down. Especially myself. The time for excuses is over. And putting this out there publicly is hopefully all the motivation I need to meet this challenge.

What else? I got nothin’.

National Candy Corn Day (Um, for real.)


Someone told me that today was National Candy Corn Day. Who am I to argue?

Besides, it’s the perfect excuse to unveil for the first time to a mass audience all that is special about my — well — candy corn collection.

I know, I know. Why candy corns? But, come on. People collect everything. So why not candy corns?

They live in my desk drawer and come out only once a year, maybe twice for a special occasion.

The bag the collection lives in is originally dated “11/2/99.”

Yes, I’ve had some of these same candy corns for, don’t laugh, eight years.

I can’t be the only one to take credit for this incredible collection. My former colleague Mike, who is now an elementary school teacher, was right there with me the entire way. While the collection started by accident when we noticed one or two misfit corns, we soon devoured bag after bag looking for the elusive corns we secretly wanted for this collection.

Take a look at the photo and you’ll see some unique things. The basic, more traditional candy corn is white, orange, yellow. The chocolate ones are here because they, too, are unique, but our focus was on white, orange, yellow.

Notice the top row only has two of the three colors — pretty interesting, dont’ you think?

The second row is my favorite. Look at the beauty of the solid candy corn. Who knew how gorgeous they could be in all solid? The middle corn in that row is the jewel of the collection. The elusive all-white. That, and some others, weren’t part of the original collection. It has continued to grow over time. And that’s the beauty of it. It’s not like candy corns melt or breakdown in some other way.

The bottom row are true misfits — only captured in the collection because of their shape or size or otherwise visible production line error. I don’t consider them to be any more than just ‘unique.’ They certainly aren’t as special as, say, the elusive all white.

So. There you have it. My candy corn collection. The perfect way to celebrate National Candy Corn Day. And, the perfect reminder to you — that the next time your hand dips into a bowl of candy corns, be on the lookout for something unique, and if you find it, let me know!

What else? I got nothin’.

Good Stuff Coming — I Promise

Jeez, you go away for a few days and the people want more, more, more!

I promise a great post probably later today or tonight, since this is in fact, National Candy Corn Day. I will not disappoint.

Speaking of not disappointing — that’s what the Red Sox did. Woo-hoo! And, see, they won without me at Game 2. Maybe I would have jinxed them? We’ll never know. But I’m just thrilled that they won. Aidan born in 2004: Sox win World Series! Erin born in 2007: Sox win World Series. Hmmm.

And, speaking of winning, the Patriots win (again) and now face the Colts this weekend in the most hyped regular season game ever. It should be the most hyped here, too, because of the bet I have with KLC, a diehard Colts fan. Let’s just say that one of us is going to eat crow while blogging next Monday about how great the winning team really is.

What else?

We were in Vermont visiting some dear friends this weekend. As opposed to some deer friends. Ok, I tried. Should have a couple of pictures to post soon, too.

Oh, and, yes, my birthday is days away. For those of you scoring at home, it’s November 1. I have no worries sharing that. I love birthdays. And, this year, I’m going to try and use it as a motivator for me — but more on that later.

And, I was tagged for one of those ABC posts. I’ll get to that, too. I promise.

What else? I got nothin’.

Sometimes I Amaze Even Myself.

So I’m home waiting for the DIRECTV guy. Oh, don’t worry, he’s coming between 8 a.m. and noon. Yeah, it’s 11:10 right now.

Anyway, the phone rings. It’s my cousin.

“Want to join me at the game tomorrow night?”

Now, keep in mind, when he says ‘game,’ he’s only talking about Game 2 of the World Series featuring my beloved Red Sox. Oh, and the game is at Fenway Park.

“Um, for real? Hell yes,” I say walking to the calendar. “Shit. I can’t. Work function. Wait. Let me think. Give me 30 minutes to figure this out.”

 “Ok, but the ticket is gone after 31 minutes.”

First of all, can you imagine how many people get rejected when inviting someone to the World Series? Like zero.

The problem is, we’re going away this weekend, and there are work commitments Thursday and Saturday night. Now, those of you that know Molly works for me are probably saying, well, can’t Molly cover? Well, she’s already covering Saturday night.

Of course, it’s the World Series. And perhaps the last game of the year at Fenway. And Schilling is pitching. And, it’s the World Series. Have I mentioned that?

I hemmed and I hawed. I called a friend for advice.

And, well, here’s my loyalty problem. I feel like I should be at the work thing tomorrow. It’s a pretty big thing. Now, keep in mind, Molly can handle it. And would if I wanted her to. But I feel like I should be there. So I will.

“I can’t go. I can’t do it,” I said, the words barely coming out of my mouth.

“I understand,” he said.

He understands? He’s being polite. He doesn’t understand. Hell, I don’t understand.

Attention bosses as we get ready for this merit review process, your ace publicist just turned down a ticket to the game of a lifetime because of work. That alone is worthy of a raise.

What else? I got nothin’.

Emptying Out a Cluttered Mind

It’s Tuesday. I’m not sure what that means, really. Just stating the obvious. I guess it means that it’s time to share with you a few random thoughts. So, without further adieu:

It’s a great time to be a New England sports fan. The Sox are in the World Series, the Celtics have their buzz back and the Patriots may well be the best assembled football team ever. These are the glory years.

Two related sports things.

First, Renee and I were never going to have kids. We just weren’t. It wasn’t our thing. Well, that obviously changed with the arrival of Aidan in 2004. Know what else happened in 2004? Yeah, the Red Sox won the World Series.

Well, my loyal readers will know that Erin was born this year — 2007. And, look at where the Red Sox are. The World Series. We are both Sox fans. Have been for life. And, heck, I gotta tell you, if they win this year, that means you can thank Renee and me.

It also means we might have to (at least!) entertain the thought of a third! I mean, Red Sox Nation could be counting on us.

The second interesting thing sports wise is related to my friend, KLC, who just happens to be a huge fan of the team that shall not be named here. Here’s a hint, they were lucky enough to win last year’s Super Bowl.

Well, if you follow football,  you know that November 4 is a huge day. It’s the day when the two best teams in the NFL will play. On the field, you’ll have Brady on one side, Manning on the other.

Off the field, it’s me on one side, KLC on the other. And, based on the results of that game, there will be at least one very interesting blog on November 5. You see, when the Patriots win, KLC has to write a minimum of 400 words about how great of a team they are and how good Tom Brady really is. If for some reason the Colts actually win, then I have to do the same on my blog — post about how good the Colts and Peyton Manning really are.

Should be interesting!

New DVR coming tomorrow, along with a new dish. I’m a little nervous about giving up my TiVo, but Directv doesn’t have a contract with them anymore, so what can I do. I’m sure the DVR will be fine — afterall, it holds 100 more hours of programming than my current TiVo.

I love Pushing Daisies. If you’re not watching, you should. Besides being funny, it has, well, only my favorite Kristin Chenoweth (love her).

Ok, so it’s slipped here and on a few blogs that Bon Jovi is my man crush. Heck, why not, right? Well, I’ve got a new female celeb crush. Maybe crush isn’t the right word. I’m going with intrigue. Who is it you ask? Well, don’t hate me in the morning….but I will say I’m oddly fascinated and intrigued with Kim Kardashian. I know, I know.

I turn (gulp!) 38 in just over a week. Are you kidding me? Thirty-freaking-eight? When did this happen actually? Am I more than half way through my life? These are the things you think about when you are about to turn 38.

And, related to that, I’m going to announce my big plan on my birthday. Time to get the house in order, so to speak. It’s not earth shattering. It’s common sense, and I’m going to rely on all of you to help.

I’ve had two huge customer service sagas in my life lately. I won’t bore you here, but let’s just say I won them both. Let’s also just say that if you ever have to call Verizon customer service, talk to Jackie. I’m sure there are 100 Jackies, but the one I had, well, let’s just say she rocked — and all the Verizon people should know it was her and her alone who kept me a customer. If you know me well, you realize now Jackie should be nominated for sainthood.

Speaking of Jackie, that’s my mom’s name. And, speaking of my mom, it’s clear where I get my sentimental stuff. Just the other day, she hands me a folder of stuff that she thought I’d want to add to this incredible scrapbook she made for me and my siblings years ago.

What was inside? Well, among other things, the first two letters I wrote home from college. Can you believe that? Safe to say I was a naive geek. Excerpts from some of those letters to come.

And, given the spirit of the season, you’ll also soon be blessed with a picture of my candy corn collection. It’s not just any collection, however. Stay tuned to learn more.

What else? I got nothin’.

South Carolina. Mmmm. Tasty.

So Aidan, who is three and a half, has caught the geography bug. It started rather innocently. Friends gave him a map game to play with. It’s like a leap pad thing. He touches a state and it says it for him. It also gives capitals, state birds, famous people and places for each state.

He fell in love with it because when he hit Connecticut, where we live, it plays the name of the place where I work, so he had an instant connection.

This toy has been played with for hours and hours. I don’t know if Pierre is the capital of North or South Dakota, but Aidan does. He knows where the Snake River is, where the liberty bell is, what the Ocean state is and tons of other things I’ve never learned in my nearly 38 (gasp! more on that soon!) years.

He does an 80-piece puzzle of the states on his own. I watched him do it this morning. He put Washington in, then Montana, leaving the perfect amount of room for Idaho, because he knew that goes in between. These are the things that make me go, wow.

Last night, we had one of my favorite meals — breakfast for dinner. Renee made pancakes. We cut up Aidan’s for him and he was eating away fine when all of a sudden he stopped and said, “I just ate South Carolina!”

The kid was looking at his cut up pieces of pancakes and comparing their shapes to those of states. After devouring South Carolina, he went on to eat Nevada, New York, Virginia and Kentucky.

Not a bad meal.

What else? I got nothin’.

So How Did You Get Here?

Loyal readers, it’s good to be back.

It’s even better to be back knowing that you were left in the capable hands of Clink, Michelle and Hallie while I was gone. I can’t thank them enough for stepping in and sharing some good stuff with you.

So, perhaps it was through one of the aforementioned that got you here to I Got Nothin. Or, perhaps you found me another way. Whatever it is, I’m glad you’re here. Really.

But, for this post, let’s take a look at how some other folks got here. These are actual search engine terms that led people to this blog:

Bobby, if you weren’t my son I’d hug you.
No idea what this could possibly even be. I think that’s why this search engine term thing is fun.

“So thirsty I could”
Could what? Tell me! I’m dying over here.

I want to sleep with my boss on business.
Hmmm. I’m assuming “trips” should be the end of that. Either way, intriguing.

Tim got caught with Renee.
Tim is the name of one of my brothers. Renee is my wife. No worries though. But an interesting coincidence.

“my brother” and “penis bigger than mine”
Someone’s a bit insecure (or jealous). Or both.

Shirt, wrinkle, seatbelt
Ah, a person after my own heart. There’s nothing worse than a freshly ironed shirt that gets wrinkled by those annoying seatbelts. Well, there are a few things worse. A lot even. But you know what I mean. I hope.

Bob Denver “smoker”
Go here if you want to relive my adventure with the “little buddy.”

I got nothin’ on you baby
Song lyric maybe? Beats me.

Trying threes
Ah, now this I know about.

Those are the highlights so far. A few interesting ones. It just can be intriguing, trying to figure out what these people were looking for, and how they actually got to me as a result. Some I understand, but for others, I have no clue.

And that’s what makes this fun.

What else? I got nothin’.

Guest Blogger: Hallie

HELLO everyone in Blog world!

Oh boy this is a nice view from Mike’s seat!  **Me moving around getting comfortable in his “chair” here at Mike’s got nothing…..*** Oh boy I hope I can live up to Mike’s wonderful comments!  Well here goes!!!

I have to say I am so excited!!  Mike called me last week leaving a message that I needed to call him he had something important…..So I called back not really knowing what mike could be looking for….You see we work at the same place, I work in place just different department, I work in the education and sailing programs.  Mike calls for random things so nothing to get too excited about…..In calling him back he asked if I could do a favor.  Sure, what ever you need…

He asked if I would be his guest blogger!

I squealed!  I was so excited!  I was honored! Wow I got just got picked to write a guest blog!   You see, I am one of those bloggers who started because of Mike.  He kept saying you need to start one.  Well, what the heck, I started this summer!  It has been fun.  I actually have been able to keep some friends up to date with new pictures of the kids, or just some fun stories family and friends across the country and overseas to keep up with some of the shenanigans my boys and I have gotten into.  You can check me out at Hallie’s Place So thank you Mike!!

Now Mike says he has an idea what I might write about!  Humm….now that has got me thinking…I actually wrote a little something before he left but now I am rethinking this…perhaps I should write about something else just to keep him on his toes….so do I write about Mrs. Palmer and Mr. Jennings?  Do I write about Mike’s pink socks? Or how about telling the cell phone story?

Let’s go with the cell phone story…

So in my world, I believe the cell phone to be a very sacred thing.  I find the phone to be a convenience for the other person.  If I do not know you very well I do not like to call your cell phone.  Well here at work people are not always at their desk so they give their cell phone numbers out.  So I have some random numbers in my cell phone, from movie directors to publicist to teachers…. Well this is my story….

I was driving home one night.  My ride to and from work are usually the only times I find I get a quiet moment.  So I like to call a friend or brother or my mom, you know to check in.  It is about 15 minutes of uninterrupted time, no one asking when dinner is, help me with my homework, or he hit me…you get the picture. Right three boys looking for my attention at once. 

I scroll through my numbers and call who I think is my brother.  And here is how the conversation went:

Hallie: “Hey Mike, How’s it going?”

Mike: Ok? You?

Hallie: So mom tells me you are coming to the east coast?  When are you coming?

Mike: What?

Hallie: The east coast when are you coming?  (Loudly as if he could not hear me!)

Mike: who is this?

Hallie: Your sister!

Mike: I am not your brother!

Hallie: WHAT! OMG! I am so sorry I was trying to call my brother….

And so it goes…..

Inadvertently I had called Mike, yes our beloved Mike instead of my brother!  I was so embarrassed!  I could not believe I called the wrong person.  Imagine mike when he was talking on the phone to me.  I did not know him very well at the time and he must have thought I was crazy!  Every now and then Mike ribs me about that fact he is not coming to the East coast! Oh and don’t worry I have changed the two mikes in my cell phone!

Well Mike I hope you had a fabulous trip!  Thanks for letting me come hang out!  It was great fun!  Maybe someday we can tell everyone about the pink socks you have!

Peace!  Hallie

Guest Blogger: Michelle

So here I am, Michelle the Guest Blogger. On Mike’s site. This is like getting called up from the minors!

The guest bloggers earlier this month wrote some great stuff about how they know Mike, and I think I’ll follow suit. Hopefully you’ll enjoy…

I first met Mike when I was interviewing for Molly’s job. (I’m assuming Molly met him around the same time.) I was working on a temp basis for a local college doing some recruiting after a semi-long stint of unemployment. Prior to that, I’d worked for a company with mixed reviews among the community that Mike was also familiar with.

So, what do I do when I meet him?

Tell him all about the lie I’d just expertly delivered to my employer.

It went something like this:

Mike: So, did you have any problems getting here?

Michelle: Nope, I told my boss that my back hurt. I’m at the chiropractor now. Wow, is this therapeutic.

And, from that moment on, I’ve never told a lie, or even a half-truth to Mike. And I’m hoping he’s done the same.

We spent the next hour or so “discussing” that company I’d mentioned, talking about the other job I was interviewing for (which is where I’m employed now, and we do a lot of work with Mike’s company), bantering on about baseball, chocolate, the weather, I guess we must have talked about some job-related things but I really can’t remember what they were now.

It felt more like catching up with an old friend than a job interview—which is pretty weird given that we’d just met. (And it’s a good thing he’s such a cool guy because fessing up on that whole chiropractor bit would likely have been uncool at your typical job interview.)

Mike’s a guy that tells it like it is-for better or worse. I can count on him to tell me when the Yankees are tanking, when he thinks our ad campaign stinks, or when someone is being a total moron at a meeting.

But I can also count on him for some really good career mentoring, heartfelt wedding and marriage advice, and an understanding and empathetic nod when a work scenario is uncomfortable, annoying, or just plain weird.

He makes you feel like he genuinely wants the best for you. Whether it’s an act or not, who knows… he IS a very skilled performer… but I’ll leave it up to him to post about his annual holiday acting gig. But I truly do believe that he’s about as sincere a person as you can find.

So, in honor of my job interview confession, let’s all fess up to Mike. What are some of the work-related (or, if you’re uncomfortable with that, non-work related) lies you’ve told? I promise not to call your chiropractor. (Or your boss.)

Guest Blogger: Clink

By all accounts, Mike is a pretty good boss.

Scratch that – the man is an awesome boss. And an awesome person. For example:

-He supports Molly’s blogging and has no problem with her writing posts at work; his philosophy is “as long as she gets her work done, I don’t care what she does.”

-He has his own blog (um, duh, this is it), where he writes about everything from the cute things his kids say and do to how his life has been affected by tragic deaths, and everything in between.

-He has a mancrush on Bon Jovi (sorry Mike! I had to slip that in.)

-He has become a bonafide force in our little blogging community – I like to think of him as a 25 year old female trapped in the body of an adult male.

-He (and Anna!) decorated Molly’s desk and bought her wedding magazines and, most importantly, chocolate shortly after she got engaged, to celebrate.

-He makes me laugh, even if he DID defend M’s right to keep the damn Patriots garbage can.

I have asked Mike many times to please please please come to New York and be my boss but for some reason he just laughs off my request. I don’t think he realizes that hi, I’m not kidding, get your ass down to Manhattan.

You see, I’ve had some bad bosses in my time.

Scratch that – I’ve had some shitty bosses in my time.

There was that boss at the snack bar where I worked one summer who used to slip all the girls cups of iced – ICED – Heineken in soda cups with hopes that we would get drunk enough to sleep with him. He was married.

There was also that boss, at my second job after college, who used to cheat on his wife and have me cover for him. In fact, he was in the midst of a year-long affair with his best friend’s girlfriend. The amount of cocaine he did would make even Lindsay Lohan step back and say “dude, you might want to take it easy.” Cocaine = mood swings = you never knew what you were going to get when he walked into the office. 

My female bosses weren’t much better: one of them made us work 12 hour days, three to five days a week for NO REASON. Seriously, it wasn’t as if we were especially busy or overloaded. If anything, it was the opposite – we were a bit overstaffed. When we voiced our concerns because, you know, when the hell are we supposed to do laundry or, you know, have lives, she said “well, you decided to work in TV. Go get a job in HR if getting out at 5pm is so important to you.” She also didn’t speak proper English (despite it being her first language) and blatantly cheated on her fiance (hmm, are we noticing a pattern here?)Actually I can pretty much sum her up with this anecdote: During a huge meeting with executives from a major network, she said that certain talent we were considering didn’t want to be pigeon-holed. “You know,” she continued, “they feel like we’re holding them by the neck and not letting them free. Like you would hold a pigeon.” Which, as we all know, is NOT THE CORRECT DEFINITION OF PIGEON-HOLED.

Still, she doesn’t hold a candle to the mess of a woman I babysat for during college who would ask me to watch her children in their suburban mansion Friday night and then wouldn’t show up again until Saturday or Sunday. “You didn’t have plans, did you Clink?”  Sometimes she’d show up when she said she would (score!) with a man she had picked up in a bar (d’oh!). Those poor kids of hers were always waking up to someone new at breakfast. Speaking of breakfast, she never ate, to the point that she and her ten year old daughter shared clothing. Her eating disorder was a result of her divorce: her ex-husband ran away with their former housekeeper to Puerto Rico. Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up. I only hope that she’s getting those kids stellar therapy.

So, yes, while my current boss is nothing short of wonderful, I have been through the gamut of crap bosses, which makes me appreciate Mike, on behalf of both Molly and employees everywhere.

He’s become so much more than my Imaginary Internet Bestest’s boss. He’s become a friend. A friend who loves my baked goods and gives me hope that not all bosses/men in general are cheating douchebags.

I heart you Mike. Maybe even enough to send you some more homemade Oreos.