Curing 30 Years One Month At A Time

March 9, 2009

Do You Have A Bad Case Of March Madness? JOIN THE 30 To Cure 30 TOURNEY TIME CONTEST

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — 30tocure30 @ 2:42 pm

 

Who Will Be Cutting Down The Nets?

Who Will Be Cutting Down The Nets?

For the rabid and somewhat obsessive sports fan like myself, there are few periods in the year more thrilling then the month of March. For a few weeks, my thoughts are consumed with brackets, seedings, Cinderella’s, and sleepers. My productivity at work halts to an almost stand still pace. For some odd reason, every year I seem to catch a 48 hour bug on the Thursday and Friday of the opening round of the tourney causing me to miss work and be forced to “rest” at home.

In a quest to fill out the perfect NCAA Championship Bracket, I devote my entire attention to figuring out who will cut down the nets at the end of the tourney. However, my indecisiveness throws a wrench in those plans and I end up filling out 1,001 different brackets. This has placed me in quite the predicament on numerous occasions where I find myself torn between which team to root for in a contest as my brackets are split straight down the middle. I’ll go into more detail in a future blog post about how I become consumed with March Madness and all of the possible scenarios when it comes to filling out brackets.

Consider this month’s focus is on decisiveness, I have committed to filling out a single bracket this year or as ESPN Radio Host Mike Greenberg calls it coming up with a “Sheet Of Integrity.” If my predictions fail and I find there is nothing particularly sweet about the Sweet 16 then so be it. This could actually be a good thing. For the first time in awhile, I might be able to enjoy the games without the need to eat Tums like they were candy to relieve the heartburn I am feeling over which #12 seed will go deep in the tourney.

Wanting to make this endeavor a little bit more interesting, I have decided to create a Bracket Challenge group for the readers of the 30 To Cure 30 blog. You don’t have to be a basketball junkie in order to join. All are welcome to participate. For the ladies who could care less about basketball, fill out a bracket based on which school uniform you consider the most fashionable.

Another technique might be deciding winners based on the possible outcome if the team’s mascots were ever to meet face to face in a real life battle. You could even leave it up to pure chance by flipping a coin or using a dartboard to make your picks. My 4-½ year old daughter, Madison, will have her own bracket and chances are good she will beat her old man.

Invite friends to join. The more the merrier. The only rule is you are stuck to the same constraints as I am: only one bracket per person. Right now the prize for winning is strictly bragging rights, but if we manage to get a big group together I might be swayed to give the winner a sweet prize.

 

Follow this link to join (the necessary info is found below):

30 To Cure 30 Tourney Time

Group ID #42855

Password: 30 To Cure 30

**DON’T FORGET – Be sure to complete your brackets before registration closes at tip off of the first game of Round 1 on Thursday, March 19**

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March 8, 2009

According To My Swatch Watch, It Is Time To Stop Being Switzerland

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — 30tocure30 @ 10:28 pm

 

How Can You Disrespect A Country That Brought The World Swatch Watches?

How Can You Disrespect A Country That Brought The World Swatch Watches?

 

 

My indecisiveness has led some to believe my actual residency lies somewhere in the snowy hills of the Swiss Alps and not the sandy beaches of Wilmington, NC. If I received a nickel for every time I have heard the expression ‘stop being Switzerland and choose a side already!’ I would be a very rich man who would funnel his money into one of those secretive Swiss bank accounts. The rest of my days would be spent strolling the streets of Geneva – a city that just happens to offer the highest quality of life in the world.

If you ask me, Switzerland gets a bad rap for remaining neutral. Due to them not choosing sides, we lose sight of all that is great about this country. Yes, it might be true that they haven’t been to war since 1815, but this is of little concern if you are lucky enough to get a chance to ski down the slopes of The Alps. Sitting in the lodge sipping on hot chocolate, you check your favorite Swatch watch and realize that you are just in time to watch ESPN Classic replay the 2004 Wimbledon Finals.

After witnessing Roger Federer, the greatest Swiss athlete of all time, take home one of his 13 Grand Slam titles; you hop into your Smart Car and head over to your friend’s house for a fondue party. It might be hard for you to choose sides about a lot of things, but you are confident there is nothing better than dipping pieces of bread into warm melted cheese.

It might not seem this way, but there is a purpose behind Switzerland staying out of the world’s conflict. Being a small country in a geographical vulnerable location, there is safety in not choosing sides. As long as they remain neutral, other countries cannot invade it no matter how bad they want to storm the Alps in hopes of stealing the secret Swiss fondue recipe.

Contrary to the popular saying, I believe there are more than two sides to every story especially if I am the individual others are looking towards to settle an argument. While Person A has their viewpoint and Person B holds their slant, I am trying to mesh both sides together and create Story C.  Why do I hate picking sides so much? Part of it is not wanting to make anyone feel bad. Somehow I think by withhold a decision I am being respectful to the individuals who are on separate sides of a disagreement. I want them to feel like they are being heard and understood.

At first glance, this appears noble, but if someone were to dig deeper they would realize this action is rooted in pure selfishness. More than anything, I want to be liked and rocking the boat by picking sides has the tendency to disrupt any relationship. By living in the middle ground, the Swiss receive stability, security and safety. However, in return for my many years of sitting on the fence all I have to show for it are splinters stuck in my butt.

March 6, 2009

Hearing “I Don’t Know…Where Do You Want To Eat?” Always Makes Me Grimace

 

Didn't You Watch Super Size Me? This Is Your Body On McDonalds

Didn't You Watch Super Size Me? This Is Your Body On McDonalds

 

 

After a challenging day at work, nothing cheers me up more than walking through the front door of my house and being bombarded with hugs and kisses from Maddie and Paige. If I am also greeted with a delicious smell coming from the kitchen, I know it is going to be a good evening. Jenn is an amazing cook with lasagna, cheesy corn chowder, shepherd’s pie and teriyaki chicken being some of my favorites.

Every once in awhile Jenn will experience a day when the girls have been a pill demanding her full attention and the last thing she wants to do is cook. Some husbands would say, “Don’t worry honey. You take a break. I’ll fix dinner” as they whip up a three course meal. Unfortunately for Jenn, she married a man whose extent of cooking before meeting her involved making Ramen Noodles in a coffee pot. The cook I am not.

Instead, I play the cavalry by picking her and the two littles up from home and taking them out to eat. The funny thing is that this should offer some form of relief, but it often creates more stress as it means someone has to pick the dinning establishment for the evening. Not good news for a man who struggles with indecisiveness.

One would assume deciding on a dinner destination would not be that challenging of a task for two highly functional adults. After all, the shoestring budget we live on knocks out fancy French food unless it comes in the fry variety. Our options continue to dwindle when we take away places where being kid friendly means they serve ice tea, but only tea that is brewed straight out of Long Island.

We then have to subtract the places where our family’s picture is plastered on the hostess stand with the inscription “allow entrance at your own risk.” These restaurants match up almost identically to the locations on our “Walk of Parental Shame” list and involve stories of tossed chicken fingers, meltdowns and spilled drinks.

This leaves us with the garden variety sit down chain restaurants whose menus are almost interchangeable. There are just so many times you can dine at a Ruby Tuesday’s or TGI Friday’s before the thought of eating another meal there gives you a bad case of the Mondays.  Now you find yourself hurting, as it appears you are left with only fast food joints. You know that frequenting McDonald’s will leave you grimacing every time you try to squeeze into your jeans as you slowly turn into the chubby purple being known as Grimace one Big Mac at a time. 

So, what does that leave Jenn and I with? Not much other than a great possibility that we will either hear or utter the expression we despise the most “I don’t know…. where do you want to eat?” This normally takes place the moment my car keys enter the ignition, but before exiting the driveway. We then proceed to scan through the Attractions Coupon Book the next-door neighbor kids roped us into buying along with the chocolate bars, magazine subscriptions and Avon products. On a side note, I would not be surprised if they were secret business moguls who have their own Twitter accounts where they sell an e-book focused on utilizing the guilt factor to boost your sales quota. 

Back to the car where I am now playing the time honored multiple-choice game known as “Give Me Three Options” where Jenn offers up the same suggestions she did the last time we found ourselves in the CRV hungry and looking at each other clueless. The peanut gallery in the second row listening to The Count Sings About Numbers offers up their two cents as well.

Tonight’s winner is Atlanta Bread Company. In my battle to combat indecisiveness, I wonder if this technically counts as a decision or a step towards growth. Granted, I did decide where we were going (1 point for me). However, it was kid’s night (minus 1 point) at place we frequent so often the majority of the staff knows our name (minus 1 point), exactly what we order (minus 1 point) and gives us an extra free cookie coupon so both girls can get a desert (minus 1 point) as they’ve seen the chaos the can be caused by splitting a cookie between girls. If I am doing my math right, this means making the “simple” decision of where to eat put me three in the hole towards decisiveness. 

March 3, 2009

Yeah, After Second Thought I Am Going To Need That Rose And Ring Back

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — 30tocure30 @ 11:05 pm

 

When Reality TV Goes Too Far...

When Reality TV Goes Too Far...

My life up to this point has had its fair share of awkward moments. Take for instance the day in 7th grade when I wasn’t paying attention and walked straight into the wrong bathroom. Or what about the time while in the crowded mall I came up behind my wife and gave her a cozy hug only to find out from the slap in the face I had suffered a bad case of mistake identity. Then there was the time I fell in a six-foot ditch after being chased by a pack of wild geese while on vacation.

Some would say that my luck, or lack thereof, is on par with Greg Focker from Meet The Parents. One of the reasons I trust Jenn and I are meant to be together is due to the fact it required a miracle from the God for this to take place after the wealth of awkward experiences that occurred while getting to know my in-laws. The summer after graduating college I spent out in Carmel, California where Jenn grew up.

This domesticated city boy looked really out of place during the family camping trip. The level of discomfort was taken up a notch when my tiny bladder decided to act up causing me to spend the majority of time in the state park restroom. A few weeks later Jenn and I were settling down to watch a movie when her parents decided they weren’t tired and instead staid up and joined us. The movie we watched this evening just happened to be Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo. I do not remember much of this Rob Schneider movie masterpiece because my hands were glued to my face the entire time out of shear embarrassment. There were probably other moments that summer that were on par with this, but I have attempted my best to erase then from my memory.

As awkward as all of these moments might be, nothing compares to the painful interaction I witnessed last night. It was a train wreck of epic proportions. Even though I wanted to divert my eyes, I never mustered enough strength to change the channel.  Like most of America, I remained on the edge of my seat befuddled at what I was watching wondering if reality television had finally reached the breaking point of bad taste. The dirty moment that made me want to go take a shower was none other than The Bachelor: After The Final Rose.

After losing interest in Heroes, I flipped over to watch The Bachelor (Jason Mesnick) give an engagement ring to Melissa. At first, it appeared much like previous seasons where the two cuddled and kissed as the credits ran. I went to go mark my calendar for a year from now so I could be sure to catch the TMZ episode that would report the couple destined to be together sent out press release through their agent saying they decided to part ways and were now “just friends.” Before I could even put the pen to paper, Jenn was urging me to get back in here.

What I then proceed to watch for the next hour made me feel completely uncomfortable. I kept asking myself if this was actually happening. This has to be scripted, didn’t it? If I could sense the awkwardness emanating from the television screen, I cannot imagine what Melissa went through in real time. I mean how do you respond to your fiancé when he says, “yeah, I think I am going to need that rose and ring back from you?”  I guess when your on primetime television you use the word Melissa uttered that rhymes with dastard.

Only six weeks after proposing to Melissa, Jason had a change of heart and decided to see if runner-up Molly wanted to grab “coffee or something.” Talk about being a flip flopper. How is it possible that he couldn’t make up his mind after devoting his entire focus to finding a mate from 25 eligible women? And to think I thought I struggled with being indecisive.

Every month so far I have enlisted the help of a few people to hold me accountable about changing my behavior and attitude. The first 30 days of becoming a man I relied on the strength from the guys in my small group. I sought the wisdom of outgoing people who were comfortable being in a crowd to get over being socially stunted. Last month involved reading articles from relationship experts and asking advice from husbands in strong marriages I admire. Knowing I wouldn’t hear the end of it from Jenn’s friends if I dropped the ball also kept me on my best behavior. Needless to say, the flip-flopping Bachelor will not be on my board of advisors for this month’s focus.  

March 2, 2009

And The Winner Is (Here’s A Hint): I Got My Swim Trunks And My Flippie Floppies….

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — 30tocure30 @ 11:05 pm

 

I Am The King Of The Flip Flop

I Am The King Of The Flip Flop

The school bell rang 15 minutes ago, but that is of little significance. Attendance today is sparse at best. Upon hearing the possibility that an actual snowflake might fall to the ground somewhere in southeastern North Carolina, many of the issues, fears and regrets assumed school would be cancelled for the rest of the week. Once word got out about the white stuff panic ensued. Paranoia especially freaked out.  He fought the lines at the grocery store to stock up on eggs, bread and 5 gallons of milk, which is a bit odd considering he is severely allergic to wheat and also lactose intolerant.

I guess you can never be too prepared for a cold, rainy drizzle.  There is no point in even attempting to start a lesson because no one is paying attention anyway. The issues that actually showed up just happen to be the 4 that are nominated to be head of the class for the next 30 days: Impatience, Cynical, Anger and Indecisiveness.

They all reacted differently to the news that their fate lied not in my hands, but with all the voters living in Internet Land. Anger went ballistic and had to be restrained by numerous regrets until he managed to find his ‘happy place.’ On the other hand, every free second Impatience had was spent checking the website for updated results to see where he stood. Indecisiveness went back and forth trying to figure out if he should get his friend, Hesitation, to hack into the system to ensure he would come out on top. But, he never made up his mind. It came as no surprise to anyone when Cynical sat on his hands and did absolutely nothing figuring the outcome was already determined. At least I know from their reactions they are all committed.

For the majority of the day we just twiddle our thumbs waiting for the online voting to come to an end. The clock dings five times and everyone knows what that means. As I turn on my Macbook, all of the issues come up front and huddle around the computer.

 

Anger (squeezing a stress ball): “DANG IT! If this thing doesn’t load soon I swear I am going to throw it across the room!”

Impatience (tapping his feet): “I know. C’mon, boot up already. This is taking forever.”

Indecisiveness (hands over eyes): “I don’t know guys….do we really want to see the results? If we do, things could change between us and get really awkward. On the other hand, one of our lives is going to be changed forever. I’m torn as to what to do…”

Cynical (rolls his eyes): “Oh please. You seriously cannot be that dense, can you? Whoever the ‘genius’ was that came up with the idea to put this month’s focus to a reader’s vote is completely clueless…” (gets cut off)

Me: “Hey, Mr. Glass Is Half Empty you know that is me you are talking about right?”

Indecisiveness (hands still over the eyes): “Actually, scientists haven’t determined the whole glass argument. Like myself, they cannot decide if it is half empty or half full. They are split 50-50.”

Cynical (throwing hands up in the air): I’m just saying….you put up a poll with 4 issues you need to work on and one of them just happens to be indecisiveness. Indecisiveness! Am I the only person who sees the irony in this? Well guys, I can’t make up my mind on what to focus on so I am going to leave it up to you. I am not even sure why you put it to a vote.  Let’s just get on with this silly charade.”

Impatience (pacing back and forth): “Still loading…ah, this is killing me. Can’t you pick up a stronger Wi-Fi signal?”

Anger (clinching his fists): “For the love….I am going to snap. The breathing exercises my therapist taught me aren’t helping at all.”

Cynical (chuckling): “It’s up….and the results are just like I thought. Now the fun part comes watching this train wreck of a decision or lack thereof.”

Me: “Well, the voters have spoken and indecisiveness it is your turn.

Indecisiveness: “Man Teach. You are really putting me on the spot. You know I am not good with that.”

 

So, for the next month my focus will be:

30 Days To Make A Decision….Well, Maybe.

 

**FYI: For the curious reader, here is the breakdown of the votes: Indecisiveness (22) Cynical Side (19) Impatience (18) Anger (10) and Other/Reader’s Choice (1)**

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