NYC, Part 1

marching-bandLast spring my oldest daughter Sarah decided (partially out of free will and partially out of some motherly pushing) to sign up for marching band. Sarah played flute during middle school but was not in band freshman year, so in some ways, she was back at square one in tenth grade. I told her the same thing happened to me when I was a geek in middle school, took a year off, and then decided to rejoin their ranks. It can be a difficult time.

She attended a week of band boot camp last June and got a very good start. But in August, at the end of two grueling weeks of full training, she didn’t get a spot on the team. Most rookies don’t, but this was especially hard since she, as a sophomore, didn’t feel like a “rookie” at all. Dejected at the prospect of standing on the sidelines as an alternate for the season, she wasn’t sure what to do next. I told her the same thing happened to me when I didn’t get my geek placement and I, too, ended up as an alternate.

So one door closes. Crushed, she dragged herself back to practice the very next day. Surprisingly, she returned home very excited about something. “We need to talk,” she announced that evening after dinner. Apparently two color guard spots were now vacant and she could try out if she wanted to. And right on cue, another door opens. (And just like that, she’s suddenly out of flute-playing and into flag-waving.)

macy-parade-logoRewind to 2006. The band director submitted a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade application. Each year parade organizers select just ten bands from the hundreds of applications received. So you can imagine how excited everyone was when we received word our school had been selected to march in this year’s event.

Mom will not deny that one of the reasons for encouraging Sarah to rejoin band was indeed to participate in the big parade. Mom will neither deny that she was hoping to tag along for the ride. Dad won’t deny that he thought this trip was waaaaaay out of budget. But dad doesn’t actually get any say in matters like this, therefore, we boarded a plane last Monday and headed north-east.

And now you know why Back to the Fridge ran re-runs all last week. Further, given the fact that the title of today’s post ends in “Part 1”, you now have a pretty good idea of what’s in store the rest of this week.

Onederland Update

The trip was going to be a double-whammy on the diet front. I mean, things were already going to be bad enough with the looming holiday, but then to overlay a vacation on top of that? It was almost too much to bear. Fortunately, things (for the most part) worked out.


The purple line is my weight. There are only two readings: one ‘before’ and one ‘after’. It’s very strange not weighing myself every day and frankly, I wish I could have. I’d love to see the data. (Yes, although I’ve long left high school, I’m still a geek. But at least I’m no longer an alternate.)

The green line is my caloric intake. In order to meet my generic “pound a week” goal, I have to (currently) consume roughly 2000 calories a day. This means my “no loss zone” is between 2000 and 2500. That zone is shown in green on this alternate view of the week:


I won’t go into the specifics of each day until we get to that day. (Otherwise I won’t have anything to write about all week.) So consider this chart a bit of foreshadowing.

Day 126
Starting Weight 224.0
Current Weight 205.5
Change from Last Week +1.0
Lost So Far 18.5
Pounds To Go 6.5

Although, to completely reveal this week’s twist ending, you’ll see I only went up a pound. That’s good. (That’s very good, actually. I can count on a two-fingered hand the number of years that’s happened.) But please hold your applause. You’ll see why as the week goes on.

In other news, no, I can’t believe it’s December already. And, no, I can’t believe it’s almost 2009. Someone get me out of this time machine.

13 Responses to “NYC, Part 1”

Mara said
December 1, 2008 at 4:06 am

Your daughter did exactly what I did… Didn’t make the marching band, ended up CAPTAIN of the flag team! We never got to do anything cool like the Macy’s Parade though!

I was up 3.2 lbs at this weeks weigh in… of course, it didn’t help that it was Saturday after 3 (yes 3) Thanksgiving dinners!

Biz said
December 1, 2008 at 6:06 am

Can’t wait to hear about the rest of the trip!

Did she have fun at least??

Glad your back!

Helen said
December 1, 2008 at 6:29 am

This is probably the only time in your life you will “do” NYC and the Thanksgiving Parade. You should bow down to the daughter who would not give up. And gaining only a pound? Remarkable. I can do that in 4 hours in NYC. I swear my sister and I plan our NYC trips around the food – who, when, what, where. As we sit to strategize we always say, “So many eating opportunities, so little time.” Seriously.

Tom Rooney said
December 1, 2008 at 8:56 am

Great story Charlie. I agree with Helen about only gaining a pound. When my wife and I take a trip to NYC we know that food is front and center the entire time there. Walking helps, but 2000 calories is laughable.

Congratulations to your daughter and the schools band. I’m waiting for part 2.

Megan said
December 1, 2008 at 9:49 am

That is so exciting that your daughter wa n the parade and I can’t wait to hear more. Yeah for only gaining one pound!

Tony Cannon-Blog Detective said
December 1, 2008 at 10:10 am

Did the bout with food poisoning help you maintain your weight? If so, I will leave some chicken out tonight!

Journey said
December 1, 2008 at 11:19 am

Congrats to you and your daughter! And yes, people are surprised and love the fact that don’t gain as much when they visit our fair city. Most don’t realize its all the walking they do as they sightsee.

As a NYer I enjoy seeing the parade from my comfy couch each year, and always wonder what it will be like for those visiting, looking forward to your next installments.

Tammy said
December 1, 2008 at 11:42 am

So glad your daughter got to participate in the Macy’s parade.

I worked my way to 1st chair flute during my years in the high school marching band, by my junior year. Ahhh, the perks of being head geek…

Tuscanystone said
December 1, 2008 at 11:56 am

Welcome back Charlie. I’ve missed you, even though I’ve spent the week reading your book, so really you were still with me in spirit ;o) I’ve finished it now, which is a compliment in itself as if a book doesnt hold my interest it usually takes me 10+years to read!

I love your writing style and laughed out loud more than once! I hope you continue this diet lark with that contagious humour of yours; exactly what all of us need when faced with (yet another) weight loss attempt. You are not alone……

All the best

Tusc :o)

Biz said
December 1, 2008 at 12:05 pm

Charlie – I posted my first of the month giveaway of your book and a snowman mug (you know me and snowmen!)

Just thought I would let you know that it’s up.


txdona said
December 1, 2008 at 9:42 pm

Congrats on your daughter and the band going to NYC! 🙂 And a big fat thank you for the book! 😉 I received it in the mail the other day and cant wait to read it! Still cant believe I won that drawing! What a fun suprise that was! Looking forward to hearing more about your trip and all the good marching band stories!! 🙂 Brings back memories of my days in the marching band spinning my rifle – waaaaay back in the 80’s! OUCH! 🙂

Squishy! said
December 2, 2008 at 9:19 am

From one geek to another, great job with the one pound! “Onederland” is right around the corner. Isn’t that exciting?! *grins* Oh, and I think you are right, it probably is the cookies and chex mix. 🙂

Stephanie Quilao said
December 3, 2008 at 3:27 pm

Love those one door closed a better new one opened stories. That’s awesome you & mom are so supportive.

Did I mention I LOVE your charts? So informative yet entertaining 🙂