(3.31.12) Today is my birthday. 53 years ago I was born in Honolulu’s Kapiolani Maternity Hospital. Although I’m too lazy to dig out my birth certificate (yes, ‘Birthers’, I do have one) that shows the exact time, it’s not surprising to many that in some time zones, I am actually an April Fool.

My first conscious thought this morning was to actually hold off on checking my Mega Millions Lottery ticket so I could enjoy the last few hours of my “normal” existence. I am sure my life will become very hectic doing all the good things I could do with that money. I take a moment to remind God that after I take my $6 Million cut, the rest will go to those good deeds. I promise! Clearly, nobody else could be as noble and judicious a custodian of the excess cash as I will be.

The possibility of me ‘NOT WINNING” the $640 Million prize hasn’t really entered into my thinking, until now. I immediately become agitated; my stomach churns. Now I’m pissed. “If I don’t win it, I hope nobody does!” Then I begin to ponder my plight if I don’t actually win the $640 Million. I am consumed by the fear of being plunged into certain economic darkness and uncertainty. I am so screwed.

Despite accumulating a lifetime of experience that points to the contrary, I still entertain the notion that I can screw my way out of any uncomfortable emotion. I roll over to see if my bride has a birthday greeting for me; the large red “5:33 AM” on her bedside clock reminds me that this might be a little early on any day, much less a Saturday. Among other things, I am certain she’ll say something like “Technically, in Hawaii, it’s still yesterday. Go to the gym.” Resentment sets in.

It’s only 5:34 AM. I am already filled with delusion, fear, anger and resentment, and I haven’t even taken my morning leak! Amazingly, through all the doom and gloom that has engulfed me, I remember my morning “Thanks for letting me wake up again!” prayer. It’s funny how I forget how the tiniest sliver of gratitude simply displaces every other emotion. I slip out of bed and make my way downstairs.

Experiencing a very rare momentary lapse of judgment, I check my phone and see the winning ticket was sold in Maryland. Damn it! My life is ruined.

I head to the gym.

When I scan my card at the entrance, I’m greeted by an electronic “Happy Birthday!” At 6:45 AM on a Saturday morning, the gym is teeming with people. Interestingly enough, I recognize most of them. Given the life altering Lottery “Loss” this morning, I am determined to defy age by doing something dumb. My workout* includes ‘bench jumps’. I am pretty certain this is not an approved activity for a 53-year-old with one replaced knee, and the other in need of being replaced; it seemed dangerous, and appropriate at the same time. Of course I am all in! ‘Dumb’ accomplished. On to 25 minutes of cardio where passersby greet me with happy wishes and Cindy Magnuski “Happy Birthday” for me.

I then head over to meet some friends for coffee. Of all the things to talk about on my birthday, I don’t know why Beth McIintosh would have to bring up …. Humility? Really Beth?

It’s not even 10:00 AM and I am really pretty proud of myself for recovering so quickly from the devastating Lottery Loss of 2012. In addition to voice mails, texts, emails and birthday cards, when I get home I see my Facebook page has already blown up with birthday wishes. Blaine Steigerwalt is so overcome with the giddiness, he sent wishes via multiple mediums! I am really blessed with such friends and family members.

I am also reminded out of 981 members of my Naval Academy class, five of us have the same birth date; Tony Barnes, Patty Crandlemire Whitney, Neal Kusumoto and Jeff Freeman; with Neal and Jeff also being from Hawaii!

Tony and I teamed up in 1981 for our senior project. I have to admit I was devastated when he replaced his Facebook Profile picture showing the two us, with a photo of him sitting with Condaleeza Rice. Really, Tony?

Leigh and I catch up with Patty and her “Army” husband Dan in recent years at Army-Navy game. (Patty – my tickets are ordered for 2012!)

Neal and I grew up about 2 miles from each other in Kailua. I have no pictures of Neal, which may be due to potential security precautions, or Net Nanny.

And then there is Jeff; our pre-Academy cross-country jaunt was documented in “I Thought I Was Superman”. If you choose to read this, please remember it was the 70’s!”

Now it’s time for a birthday “nap”, then off to dinner with friends Dan and Michelle Piscioneri.

Although I may be short on my duly earned $6 million “cut” from the lottery proceedings, I am way long on awesome friends and family. I love you all. Thanks for the journey !


* For the record, The Workout 3-31-12

– Leg Extensions 12 X 45 lbs, 3 sets

– Sit-ups, 10 lb weight overhead, 3 sets 25 each

– Bench Jumps, 10

– Bench Press 12 X 135 lbs, 12 X 135 lbs, 10 X 185 lbs, 7 X 225 lbs, 10 X 185 lbs, 12 X 135 lbs, 12 X 135 lbs

– Lat Pull Downs 12 X 120, 3 sets

– Sitting Pec fly machine, 10 X 160 lbs, 3 sets

– Tricep Dips – 15 reps, 3 sets

– Cardio – 25 minuts

– Stretching – 20 minutes

3 thoughts on “I May Not Be Much, But I’m All I Think About

  1. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, PAT to a fellow Aries. My birthday was the 25th. Have a great day! Lisa Shedlosky

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