Here’s to a new and improved me in 2016
Officially, the New Year began at the stroke of midnight on Dec. 31, although I suspect most of you pushed your New Year’s resolutions until Monday, Jan. 4. Nose to the grindstone, hit the gym, blah, blah, blah. Right?
Sadly, this was not how my New Year started.
I made a quick trip to Michigan to check on my father. Not a big deal; early flight out of LAX, switch planes in Minneapolis, three days in all. Along with a change of clothes and shaving gear I packed my brand-new jump-rope, tangible proof of my commitment to a year of exercise, healthy eating, proper rest and a new and improved Doug McIntyre.
The problem began when I realized there’s not much open at LAX at 5 a.m. The lone kiosk ready for business offered slim pickings: shrink-wrapped sandwiches of indeterminate age and stacks of chicken Caesar salads. I was resolved for 2016 but not so resolved I was going to eat airport salad for breakfast.
So instead I bought a $6 bottle of Smart Water hoping it would add enough IQ points so next time I’d remember to pack one of the 50 refillable bottles rolling around the floor of the car. By now I was starting to get that stomach grumble thing, but the line at Starbucks was longer than the flight to Michigan and McDonald’s was verboten given my new commitment to healthy living.
Maybe a tin of mints? How fat can you get from Tic Tacs?
But when I heard my flight being called I also heard my voice tell the cashier, “... and a bag of Reese’s Pieces and give me a Hershey bar, too.”
Don’t judge me.
I had a three-hour layover at the Twin Cities’ airport. Three delicious hours. Cheeseburger, yes with bacon, and fries, two large iced teas.
“No dessert, I couldn’t.”
The flight from Minneapolis to Lansing is a quickie. I barely had time for a couple of peanut butter cups and a bag of chocolate covered almonds. I got to Dad’s place just in time for dinner.
That evening, after pie and coffee, I dug through my luggage for my jump-rope only to remember I took it out at LAX while I dug around for my phone charger. If by chance you happened to be at Gate 24B in Terminal 5 over the holidays and found a jump-rope, I’d be much obliged if you’d send it to me care of this newspaper. I will reimburse postage.
Of course, I had to come back through Minneapolis, and that meant another three-hour layover and another bacon cheeseburger. Unfortunately, it also meant a major snowstorm, a weather event in today’s parlance, turning my three hours into six hours. Add a plate of spaghetti carbonara, half a loaf of garlic bread and a modest slice of key lime New York-style cheesecake, which really isn’t anything like New York-style cheesecake but delicious in its own way.
I waddled in the door at 3 a.m., exhausted, disgusted and starved.
Dropping my suitcase quietly, I plopped into my comfy chair in the dark. The sad drooping branches of 2015’s Christmas tree angled this way and that way as the cats took turns stretching and licking. While The Wife slept soundly in the bedroom, I took roll call of my New Year’s resolutions and found every one shattered like the million crumbs from the packet of Chip’s Ahoy cookies I bought at a gas station on the drive home.
But the New Year is about fresh starts, and this weekend I expect to eat the last of that box of See’s Candies one of the neighbors dropped off, and then there’s only half a bowl of red and green Christmas M&Ms standing between me and a kick-ass 2016.
Doug McIntyre’s column appears Sundays. Hear him weekday mornings from 5-10 on AM 790. He can be reached at: Doug@KABC.com.