Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Going through the "Fat Al Gore" stage of life

Memorial Day has passed. I didn't go anywhere, primarily because I had to stay at my sister's house and babysit their dogs while they are in New Mexico. I caught a great show at O'Leevers on Sunday. I caught X-Men 3 (woah, tons of gay subtext there! - an antidote that can prevent people from being mutants, even though many believe that being a mutant is not abnormal and shouldn't be treated as a virus, yet some are willing to take the antidote so they can finally fit in and have the life that is so coveted for hundreds of millions of people: a life with a spouse, house, two kids, two dogs, enough cash in the family for one person to stay at home and care for the kids and dogs - no alarms and no surprises).

I didn't do anything health-wise. I haven't really since I surrendered Friedman. I ran the dogs, took the dogs to the dog park (they shouldn't have to suffer the consequences of my apathy). But in general, I've been on auto-pilot. In my defense, it's been hellishly humid in Omaha and my allergies are raging. Running while sneezing your brains out is right up there with having an allergy attack with no kleenex in an awkward situation (such as doing a presentation in front of your peers).

This weekend, beer has replaced wine. I've ate fast food more this weekend than I do in a month (think I hit McDonald's, Arby's and Wendy's once in the past five days) - and even Village Inn for a Sunday breakfast. One-and-a-half hours on the X-Box replaced my one-and-a-half hour workout. Triscuits and organic peanut butter has replaced spinich and cauliflower. In essence, I've been a slug.

I went on a bit of a buying spree, buying bedsheets for a wedding gift for a good friend of mine, then I bought the Dixie Chicks' new one partly out of curiosity, partly out of obligation (any group that can piss off the right and elicit protests from mainstream country radio has my initial respect). I also bought Jack White's latest side project. I knew this was just me compensating - trying to fill a void. And, of course, this type of therapy always ends up with you feeling all the more emptier (especially when it comes to your wallet).

I went to a bookstore this weekend and browsed Dave Remnick's book Reporting. It's a collection of some of his best stories for the New Yorker. One of the interviews was with Al Gore - the post 2000 election loss Al Gore. In the interview, Remnick described how Al Gore sort of let himself go after the election. He traveled to Greece and a few other spots, but when he came back, he grew his famous 'grizzly' beard, put on weight and generally looked like a guy who was going through a divorce. But Gore has cleaned himself up and this year, he's practically a rock star with his film An Inconvient Truth (which I'm expecting the inevitable backlash. Remember all the raves about Fahrenheit 9/11? By the time the Academy Awards announced their nominations, that film went from being considered for 'Best Picture' to being dismissed as leftist propoganda).

In short, Gore has come back. I think everyone goes through their "fat Al Gore" stages of life - especially those who try to write/act/perform for a living. I'm currently going through mine right now. But I'm doing my best to make this stage last a few days, not a few months.