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After several recent posts about the holidays, family and the kiddies, I wanted to get back to the meat and potatoes of what this blog is all about.  Mmm…meat and potatoes, yummy.  Sorry…what was I talking about?  Oh right, the purpose of this blog.  Anyway, if you’ve been with me since the beginning, you’re either a fan of my idea, my writing, or somebody with nothing better to do.  Whatever the reason, I appreciate the support and hope you’ll continue the journey with me as the big 3-0 approaches. 

With the holidays having passed through like a tornado inside a hurricane, it took a few weeks to recover around the Chaney house.  As life begins to settle back in, I decided I needed to take another look at The List and report back to you, my loyal readers, as to my progress (or lack thereof).  So this morning, with one eye on the computer and one on an episode of Handy Manny that I don’t believe I had seen before, I took stock of my 30 Before 30. 

#1-3: Define progress.  Have I begun training yet?  No.  Have I assembled my new treadmill yet?  No.  Have I made space in my basement in order to lay down the box that contains the treadmill?  Yes!  That’s progress folks.  Look, the house is small.  There’s only one place the treadmill can go and unfortunately, Christmas threw up down there so we had to start with a little cleanup.  My goal is to get the treadmill assembled this week and begin running daily like I used to. 

As far as getting in the shape I want to be in goes, I am working on that.  Now some of you are going to hate me for saying this, but I have a really hard time gaining weight.  I’ve been 125lbs since high school so even when I devote myself to working out, the best I can do is look like an under fed 16-year-old with a six-pack.  So while many people try to lose weight in their effort to get in shape, my goal is to gain weight.  My laziness has hindered my efforts to actually work out, but I have begun gorging myself with extra helpings of protein and carbs so I’ve got that going for me.  Thanks to my handy smart phone, I’ve even downloaded an app that helps me keep track of my calories.  I’m not sure if the wife is as excited as I am about it.  When I add up my calories at night and find I need a bowl of ice cream to put me over the top, she shoots me a look that says “I hate your skinny ass.”

#4: Barring any unforseen circumstances, or me chickening out and screaming like a little girl when my toe touches the icy water, this one will be crossed off the list by the end of the month.  Saturday, January 29th is the date for Maryland’s 15th annual Polar Bear Plunge and team “30 Before 30” will be there.  That’s right, in an effort to raise money for a good cause, I called out to you, my loyal readers, to join me for this event and you answered the call!  Well, 4 of you did.  I gotta say, I’m a little disappointed people.  Many of you donated a few bucks to the cause which I appreciate, but only 4 of you are man (or woman) enough to jump in the Chesapeake with me?  C’mon!  There’s still time to donate or join the team if you’re up for it though so check out our team page.  And if I still haven’t been able to guilt you into taking the plunge, feel free to at least come out and watch me literally freeze my ass off. 

#5-10: I’m grouping these together because there’s not much to report here.  The tattoo has not yet been determined.  In fact, the actual design, placement, and parlor have not yet been determined.  I asked for some suggestions early on but the responses were either too elaborate, completely uncharacteristic, or wildly inappropriate (I’m looking at you Grandmom…just kidding, but wouldn’t that be funny?).  Anyway, I’ll keep you posted on this one. 

As mentioned before, the trip to Cooperstown is likely not happening so i’ll be replacing this item with something else soon.  We’re planning a short family trip to Cape Cod in the spring so I’ll be working on tickets to Fenway shortly.  March Madness is still a possibility, just haven’t gotten around to pricing tickets just yet and white water rafting will probably take place in the summer.  I need some time to thaw after the plunge before participating in anything that involves water again.  As far as #8 goes, I’m going to give myself and the Ravens a few weeks to heal from the loss this past weekend before turning my attention back to football.  I’ve got some people working on this one for me so we’ll see how it pans out.

#11: I continue to get questions about this one.  People want to know when and where so they can come and watch.  There’s two possible reasons for this.  1) They secretly wish they had the guts to do it themselves and are looking for the motivation to get up on stage or 2) They’re just looking for an excuse to have a few drinks and why not watch me make a fool of myself in the process?.  Either way, I hope at least one person who comes out for the event will be inspired to perform as well.

Coordinating this little outing is no easy task however.  When you have kids, planning even the simplest night out is like trying to synchronize a military manuever behind enemy lines.  It’s got to be detailed, communicated properly, and well executed.  Operation Karaoke is still in its infancy at this point, but details to follow.  Over and out!

#12: I’m finally ready to put the wheels in motion on this one.  I’ve been in touch with the person who will serve as my teacher for this endeavor and was just waiting to get through the holidays before getting started.  Now I just have to dig out that guitar from my attic that I received several years back when I first wanted to learn.  Hopefully this time around, I’ll actually follow through with it.  Apparently owning a guitar doesn’t mean you can call yourself a guitar player.  Lesson 1!

#13-14: Christmas served as the jumping off point for these two items.  I received Anna Karenina, widely regarded as one of the best novels ever written, and all of the movies on my Top 10 list.  We are now more than 3 weeks removed from Christmas and the movies are still wrapped in that impenetrable cellophane and I am on page 34 out of 817 of the book.  Not great productivity at this point, I must admit.  In all fairness, it is rare that anything other than Mickey Mouse Clubhouse or Imagination Movers finds its way onto the television screen in our house these days. 

#15: This one will take some time to complete seeing as the Orioles don’t take the field again until the Spring.  Thankfully, after what seems like 47 straight losing seasons, tickets are not hard to come by.  The Wizards and Capitals seasons are in full swing right now though so updates on when I’ll be attending these games will be coming soon. 

#16: This is going to be fun.  If you’re a golf fan, you’re probably salivating over this one.  One of the most difficult courses in the country, Bethpage Black has hosted 2 US Opens in recent years and will challenge even the best of the best.  Seeing as I am not even the best of the worst, I plan on going in with low expectations and several boxes of golf balls.

#18, 20 and 21: Ok, there’s no real connection between these 3 but I’m getting tired of listing each number separately.  #18 is self-explanatory and needs no real explanation so we’ll move on.  #20 remains my “Eleanore”.  If you’ve seen the movie “Gone in 60 Seconds”, you know what I’m referring to.  It’s the one thing on my list that seems potentially unattainable.  My only hope is that as this blog grows in popularity, perhaps my reach will widen and I’ll make some contacts that can help me out.  Until then, I continue to reach out to The Sports Guy via every form of communication short of telepathy.

As for #21, I must say I am really looking forward to making this happen.  From what I’ve been able to find out, my former high school golf coach, Mr. Nelson, is still coaching at my alma mater (Overlea High…go Falcons!)  Most of what I’ve learned about the game of golf, sportsmanship, and good-natured heckling of your opponent, I learned from him so getting a chance to play with him as an adult rather than coach and student, will be most exciting. 

#22: I’ve got the kit.  I’ve got the ingredients.  Only thing left is to come up with a name for this swill I am going to concoct.  Any ideas??

#23-24: I grouped these two together because I hope to possibly accomplish both during the same weekend.  The wife and I are looking into an extended weekend trip for our 5 year anniversary in May.  Hard to believe it’s been nearly 5 years since she looked at me up there on that altar and thought, “I guess he’ll do.”  What a magic carpet ride it’s been.  Seriously though, the plans for our little getaway are in the works but if we can pair it with a concert, how efficient would that be?  It would probably be the most productive I’ve been in the 5 years that we’ve been married.

Ok, let’s speed this along…we don’t have all day!  Ok, ok, sorry…let’s lightning round the rest of this list.

– So far so good on the picture taking.  I continue to post out of focus, low lighted, ridiculous looking pictures of myself for your amusement.

– Gift Certificate for The Charleston will come in handy seeing as the options for the menu are “packages” that start at $74 a person!  Looking forward to using my calorie calculator after that meal.

– The “adventure” remains a mystery, even to me.  Not sure what this will become but if its hazy details keep you intrigued, I’ll continue to be vague as long as possible.

– Disney trip is being booked soon.  Sometime in October, that much I know.  Iz will be in 7th heaven when she gets to meet “Gonald Guck” for the first time!

– The letter to my kids will take some time.  This isn’t something I want to rush through.  Of course, based on my track record of procrastination, I’ll likely be finishing it up as the clock nears midnight on November 7th.

#30: This one is still up for grabs.  Would really like to make this something exciting (but inexpensive) that will leave me with a great memory.  As always, I look forward to any suggestions and maybe thinking about my 30 Before 30 will inspire you to make your own list!  I know this was long-winded, and if you’re still reading you must really not have anything better to do, but thanks for sticking with me.  Now get back to practicing your karaoke!