Paying with Pennies

A bunch of coins. Yeah, I wasn't very creative with this caption.

I was a real asshole in high school. I think this was probably because I didn’t have a ton of friends and I didn’t fit in entirely well. It wasn’t that I wasn’t liked, but rather I just had a distinctive sense of humor and I really thought my accomplishments in life up to that point set me apart from everyone else in high school. In retrospect, they did, and my humor was well appreciated by those who could understand it, such as the crowd in college. I know that’s kind of arrogant and insulting to the people that went to Lee High School from 2003-2006, and yeah, well, it is. If you’re reading this now and thinking that I’m wrong, maybe I’m still just an asshole.

Regardless, the state of me being an asshole isn’t the point of this post, but rather I wanted to tell a story about what Mikey and I did sometime during one of our high school lunch breaks. I think that hanging out with Mikey, someone who felt just like I did — a very cynical, sarcastic guy, in other words — really made us feed off each other to do stupid things that stupid kids are likely to do. One such great idea was paying for lunch with of a fistful of coins. I’m not sure who came up with this genius idea, but I’m glad we did because I look back on it and still laugh, even though I know it makes me a bad person for doing so. But, this was probably nearing on eight years ago (wait, am I really getting that old? Damn!) so I feel like I’m justified in saying I’m not the same person anymore, and neither is Mikey. We’re still cynical, sarcastic jerks, but in a more endearing way, I assume.

This place is pretty good. But I don't get how it is so expensive.

So, what we ended up doing was going to the bank and getting a couple rolls of nickles and pennies and then mixing them up in a big plastic bag, and then heading to Sonic, America’s  Drive-In (apparently), and ordering a few things to eat.

When the girl came out to hand us our food, we quickly took it and we both were already trying our best to stop the laughs from just knowing what we were about to do. Then, I pulled out the bag of coins, scooped up a huge handful of them and then poured it in her hands. The girl didn’t know how to react to this and just stood there trying to cup the overflowing mountain of coins while they showered down to the pavement making so much noise that everyone at the drive-in was probably staring directly at her. When this finished, I managed to stammer out one sentence while Mikey was looking the other way and crying laughing:

“You might want to count that.”

So, the poor girl sat there, collected all the spilled coins, and then counted it all out for somewhere around five minutes. After all this, she finally had the right amount of change to give back to us. Then I told her:

“Oh, you can keep the change.”

I Googled "Heaven" and I got this back. If Heaven looks like a Lisa Frank binder, maybe I don't want in.

I’m thinking right there, at that moment, God was looking down from Heaven with a big red Sharpie and crossed my name off the guest list. (He’s probably looking at me now to see if this is an apology but I’m still laughing while I write it, so I guess I’m just screwed on this one. Sorry God!) I feel sorry for this girl, and I instantly did as I said this, but I couldn’t stop from laughing. The ridiculousness of the whole situation was incomprehensible and Mikey hadn’t stopped laughing the entire time, his face buried in his clothes as he tried to stifle the laughter.

I think what this whole situation proved is that this girl was just a bystander that we dragged down, and yet, somehow, she was able to remain calm and actually not flip out on us. I’m sorry, but Sonic does not pay enough for me, if I was in that situation, to hold back. I would have thrown the coins back in my face and tried to kill me. So I guess the whole point of this story is that, one, it’s awesome and hilarious, two, it’s sad and depressing, and three, it proves that this girl was incredible.



This was the before photo, but it was already after months of improvement

This really has been echoed in the past by a lot of attempts to get in shape that really failed miserably. The main factor in my failure was doing little to no cardio (eh, who am I kidding, it was just no cardio). As well, I didn’t have a gym so I thought that if I did a billion sit-ups and push-ups a night I would be in shape, but I couldn’t even manage to keep that up regardless. So, last year, literally Jan 1st 2010, I decided that I would start going to the gym and working out. The results have been pretty incredible in a year — or at least, I think so. The real motivation were the comments I kept getting from friends and family describing me as “able to drink a lot of beer” or “having a lot of fun in college” when they pointed at my stomach pudge. Gross. Well, I guess, thank you family because it worked and it was actually in a good time frame, considering I joined the Navy soon after. Mentally, I had already been mulling over the option and so it helped me get the routine started.

This was in mid-October, still work to be done

Initially the January through April period I had just bought a lot of stuff to do at home because I was embarrassed about going to a gym. One, I looked pretty awful, and two, I had no idea what the equipment did or how to use it. I had never been to a gym, never ran on a treadmill, or did a lat pull down. And, my gym at the time was provided as part of my tuition at Trinity University, so that meant I would have to see close friends, most of whom I felt where completely ripped and would think I was a fool. I realize now that most people who are working out actually really like helping other people and giving pointers. After all, getting in shape is kind of like a club. We’re all addicted to it and we want to get more people to join in.

I opted to take bi-weekly progress shots to help me get motivated as well, and that was, at first, horrific, and later, much more pleasing to reflect upon. The first time I went to the gym I got on the treadmill and tried to do a mile at 5 MPH, which was impossible. I couldn’t breathe and thought I would die. Yes, I’m serious, I was that out of shape (thankfully though, I was only 218 lbs at my fat kid peak, so it wasn’t awful on my frame). I still remember the moment I did a ten minute mile. I felt like a champion — and I told a friend who quickly noted that she could do that in middle school. Wow, I was a total joke.

My arm in early October. Neat.

Through a mixture of weights and cardio, however, I am now, almost a year later, in the best shape of my life and really content with my progress. (I can run 7 miles a day easily and I’m usually doing around 40 miles a week, with a day off for just lifting and rest.) The process of getting here kind of sucked. Protein shakes and targeted exercises, lots of pushing myself to limits I couldn’t even imagine being able to go. It really does suck. But if you push through it, I guess anything is possible. The hardest part of it all was starting and then staying motivated.

Get into my belly

I’m actually not sure what I should do next. Get a six pack? I actually think those are kind of gross. I wouldn’t mind getting larger pecs or arms, but I feel like being bulky isn’t really good for the Navy. And although the Jersey Shore says being a juice head is a good goal, I’d rather be slim and trim. Currently, I’m about 170 lbs of raw steel and sex appeal. I can always make better my best and I never plan to let it rest, so it looks good for the future. All this said, I still eat fast food at least three times a week. There is nothing in this world that will ever stop me from eating delicious 99 cent chicken sandwiches  from Jack in the Box. I could eat this 3 times a day every day, and, in college, I usually did.

25 December 2008

BBQ for Christmas, just like God intended

In a few hours, I will be getting to eat some delicious food. I know, I know, I am underscoring the true meaning of Christmas… the presents(cough)! But, I already bought my present so I’m waiting on the food. My mom is a masterpiece cook and so is my dad. Today will be a feast so great I had to share it with the world — a Texan-style feast with smoked brisket and other southern delights.

10 November 2007

I know you're checking out my bass.

Okay, so not much interesting has happens. I’d say the most fun I’ve had so far is visiting the ranch these past few weekends and having a blast in nature. Caught a bass, cooked a bass, ate a bass. Pretty fun weekend experience for the most part.

Thanksgiving is around soon, though, which should be nice. I can’t wait to have some good home-cooked foods. And then, Christmas. Maybe this semester will finally end.

19 April 2007

School is almost over. That’s getting more and more crazy to think about. It will be nice to get done though. May 4th is my last day. That’s pretty wicked.

I’m sitting here with about 2 hours of sleep in me, like usual, and with a stomach ache from the food from our cafeteria, like usual. I should probably take a nap. I have a forensics presentation today (Yes, I actually still have that presentation for your viewing pleasure: Presentation (Ballistics Trauma to the Skull)). I also have an art history project due on Monday. There’s apparently yet another essay in my English class. I have a final on Tuesday for ethics. A paper due the first of May for forensics. And some other stuff. Lame.

7 Jan 2007

How could this upset my stomach?

Well, it appears that my last few days on break were hardly a break. I caught what has to be the worst stomach virus in the history of horrible non-lethal stomach viruses. And that’s pretty bad.

I believe it started Wednesday when my dad came down with it. I was fine, save for an upset stomach. Thank God. Then my mom got it Thursday. But, I was still a-okay. Then it all came crashing down on Friday morning at about 2 AM.

Since that point, I couldn’t keep anything down, let alone sleep or function as a human. I have a pretty weak stomach when these things come around, but this one trashed me out like no other. Friday afternoon I was given a shot to stop the loss of any more fluid from me (no IVs yet, and I’m crossing my fingers).

Needless to say, I drank very little and ate even less. So then this morning I decided to drive back to campus for classes — I felt pretty good. I mean, not great but enough to go in a straight line for five hours.

But I was starving, and feeling pretty good, so I thought I would try … Jack in the Box. In retrospect, I have no idea what I was thinking, but the pain my stomach is in at the moment is pretty incredible. It’s such an interesting pain as it’s really located on the left side of my stomach, but the right is fine. Who knows what this means.