A Good Friend and A Cheap But Elegant Dinner
A big thanks goes out to my friend Cruz for posting on my behalf last night. Very rarely do computer problems hamper my schedule with this blog, but when it does, oh man, you talk about frustrating! After pulling my hair out for over two hours and deciding that driving to the studio to write and post in the middle of a sleet storm was a bad idea, I decided to call Cruz. I gave him my login information and what I wanted him to post and how to post and he took care of the update. Cruz is a wonderful friend of mine. We both started in stand-up together and he was the biggest believer in me. Cruz is a fantastic comedian who was with me at every crucial turning point of my stand-up career until I decided to head west. When I moved to Los Angeles, Cruz was back here in Oklahoma, but promised to join me within months. My job then was to get out there and lay a foundation for our future success. Our future hopes and dreams depended on it! I say “our,” like we were a comedy team of sorts, not at all. Our styles couldn’t have been more different. What we had was an understanding, whoever “made it” first, would open doors for the other. My rapid progress in L.A. gave Cruz big time hopes and dreams. All of a sudden what seemed so out of reach to a young Oklahoma comic from Peru was within sight. He listened close as I relayed stories of sharing the Hollywood Improv stage with the likes of Damon Wayons, George Wallace, Dave Chappelle, Harland Williams, and so many others. He knew our time was coming soon. Then his belief reached a peak as he watched me perform in a bit on Jimmy Kimmel Live. We were gonna make it! Cruz immediately packed his Honda for a trip west and the bright lights and big city. While Cruz was thrilled at the idea of being out there with me, I was discovering some important lessons on priorities. My family needed me back home and Cruz needed L.A. A few days after the Kimmel appearance I decided that L.A. could wait and my family couldn’t. When I called Cruz to give him the news he was already on I-40 headed west. The next day we met up at a truck stop in the middle of New Mexico. I was on the way home and Cruz was on his way to L.A. He couldn’t believe what was happening. He wasn’t turning back no matter what and he just knew I was missing opportunities of a lifetime by going home. I can’t type all of the heated expletives I heard that day while standing outside that truck stop on that warm July afternoon. I knew that the most important opportunities I was missing were back in Stillwater. The fear of ripping my family apart motivated me to make the right decision, much the same way I’ve been motivated in making the decision to lose weight and get healthy. Cruz and I rarely talked for the next couple of years. We finally re-connected upon hearing the news that fellow comic Mitch Hedburg had died of an overdose. These days, we rarely talk about comedy. Cruz is still in L.A. doing stand-up at night at some of the hottest clubs around and being a real life private investigator the rest of the time. I think Cruz now understands that my dreams didn’t die when I left L.A., my priorities changed, and with it changed my dreams. Being a successful father to my children and husband to my wife, and losing weight while sharing the experience with these writings, in hopes of inspiring others, those are my dreams now. That dream is coming true every day. I can’t wait for Cruz to read this post, I can hear it now “Wow, could you have been a little more dramatic? A simple thank you would have worked just fine.” I love that guy.
My Friday was a busy one that started with Dr. Amy as my guest host on the radio show. The show was fantastic! She’s an absolute natural on the air. The things I’m learning from her are things that can make a profound difference on this journey. The great thing about Dr. Amy is, she doesn’t do it for the money. In fact, she devotes a large amount of time and money in presenting health talks free every week at her practice. She gives away what so many others in her position would charge top dollar for. I asked her on the air why she didn’t charge for the health talks and she said, “It’s a way to give back something and because I didn’t want anyone to have an excuse not to come.” The excuse certainly wouldn’t be the cost, she’s made sure of that. It just shows the passionate pureness in her pursuits.
After a great morning show, I quickly settled into my day with a positive boost. Irene started my day a little after 5am with a fantastic breakfast, so I returned the favor by starting her “day” with an amazing dinner. I found some lean center cut pork chops in a convenient three pack for just over three bucks, can’t beat that! With 160 calories per four ounce serving, it was nice. I was a little creative in the preparation of the chops. I spiced them up and baked them in white wine. Then I took them out and pan seared them right before serving. I fixed Irene’s favorite vegetable, broccoli with cheese, it is my least favorite by the way. In fact, not even my least favorite, it doesn’t make the list at all. I don’t do broccoli, not even covered in a rich creamy cheese sauce. To me it’s just a way to ruin some perfectly good cheese. But to my beautiful wife, it’s a delight! I also boiled some half ears of corn and whipped up some instant “loaded” mashed potatoes, with a serving coming in at right around 100 calories. I nixed the plan for green beans, after all, we already had three veggies on the table (counting the potatoes ;) and of course Irene and Courtney enjoyed some salad too, so that’s four veggies. The entire meal was under 400 calories and very flavorful and satisfying with a nice presentation!
Saturday evening I’m handling the music for a wedding. I’m doing it as a favor for a friend, and I’m a little nervous about the responsibility. This is important stuff! It’s their wedding, and if I goof up the music they’ll never forget it! My friend has DJ’d many a weddings, I never have. So wish me luck. I’m sure it will be awesome. I wonder what wonderful foods I’ll be able to write about from the reception? We’ll find out with the next blog. Good day and…