Missing Part of The “Old” Sean and A Salty Night
Every now and then I have a day where I miss the “old” Sean. I don't miss the out of control food addict Sean, I miss the comedian Sean. Usually it takes something to remind me of my stand-up days and today I had a couple of things that took me back. A friend of mine pointed to a TV and said, “hey is that your roommate from Los Angeles?” Yep, that's him doing one of his Comedy Central Specials. Ralphie and I binged together, we did. His comedy career was much further advanced than mine, but our eating? Oh, we were together on that for sure. He was fun and completely understood my love of food. When he would say, “you fly, I'll buy,” I knew we were about to feast. Popeye's Fried Chicken was the most common stop. Yeah...good times, good times. I'm so happy for Ralphie. Not only is his career going fabulous, he ended up married to fellow comic Lana, our roommate and his girlfriend during my stay. They have two beautiful children and Ralphie has lost a considerable amount of weight. I can't wait to see the two of them again someday. They're not going to recognize me at all!
Then---as if seeing Ralphie on TV wasn't enough, I went back in the archives to exactly a year ago and found a post all about those days. From March 27th, 2009, Day 194:
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.
I do have fond memories of my stand-up days, along with painful ones, but when you add it all up—I made the right decision to come home and I have zero regrets about that. It's one of the best decisions I've ever made.
Every now and then somebody asks me “So, you gonna do stand-up again?” Well, maybe. I really would like to do it again, even for just one show. One night. I would have to re-write 80% of my set, because I'm not over 500 pounds anymore. So much of my material relied on my size back then, and I never liked that, but whatever got the laughs, I did it. A stand-up routine from me today would be drastically different. I'd like to do some crazy stuff too, maybe convince Jack Sh*t to be my writer---He wouldn't have to write anything new, just give me permission to take his tweets to the stage for one night. I've been bugging him about this for some time with zero luck. And really, with me, it was always a very personal relationship with the audience, a very real connection. I always understood that the best comedy came from a very real place. But part of me would love to just do some really fun stuff on stage that wasn't personal, just quirky crazy, and funny. Oh Jack, you reading? ;)
My Saturday involved a little work, not much, but enough to keep me in town. I managed my time fairly well today. I cooked a good breakfast this morning too. No surprise here, it was an omelet...but I prepared it a little differently. No cheese this time and I mixed the salsa into the eggs before cooking. It cooked different and tasted different. Not as pretty on the plate, but very tasty---and the calories were the same. I cooked the mushrooms a little longer too before adding the egg mixture. It was wonderful!
I went overboard on the sodium today. Good thing weigh day is still four days away. Wow...I knew it when I was doing it, but I did it anyway. This evening with friends, I enjoyed a 230 calorie package of mini pretzels and then---after looking over the menu where we were---and seeing “fried this” and “batter dipped” that, and not much else...I simply asked for tomato slices with salt. Yep. I took perfectly healthy tomato slices and enjoyed them with a salt shaker. And this crazy salt binge was only about an hour after the salty pretzels! This isn't typical for me. I usually don't eat too much added salt. For some reason tonight, I don't know...maybe I was craving salt? Hmmm...well...You see, I'm not a salty snacker---never have been, so it's strange. I'm a cool and creamy snacker, a melted cheese snacker, a chocolate snacker...a salty little binge is out of character, but it only cost me 250 calories and some temporary water weight I'm sure...good thing I don't weigh everyday!
I talked with my mom today and she reported that she's down to 202! When she drops below 200, it'll be the first time she's been in "onederland" in a very long time, I mean---a very long time! I'm thrilled for her, absolutely thrilled!
I also talked with my oldest Amber tonight. She spent the day volunteering at a Special Olympics event. My conversation with her tonight reminded me about how important our attitude is in determining how we feel over-all. Amber told me that she was urinated on, had ketchup smeared all over her shirt, and had to dig in a nasty trash can to find a medal that an athlete had accidentally thrown away...and she had a blast! She recognized and enjoyed the humor in her constant messy misfortune. She was laughing as she recounted the details. Attitude is everything, you know that. Thank you my dear daughter for this wonderful reminder!
I did 100 non-weighted squats, 40 push-ups (not all at once), 60 sit-ups (again, in 3 sets of 20), and I stretched really good. It was a really good workout. The best indoor workout I've had in a very long time. It was at least three times as strenuous as I normally do in the mornings. It wasn't a Y trip or a 5K at the trail, but it was a great workout. I was proud of myself!
And so another day along this road comes to a close. Tomorrow I'm headed to Stillwater with Courtney and Irene to visit grandma and celebrate her 83rd birthday. Irene is so loved by everyone in the family. I'll never forget the day I told grandma that Irene and I were divorcing, she just sit there and cried so tenderly. Her tears that day just broke my heart. She's going to light up when she sees Irene tomorrow! It'll be good for everyone.
Thank you for reading! Goodnight and...
A couple of tiny little pictures from my stand-up days. Look at that giant face...oh my. At my heaviest for sure!