Part of my job at Conan is to stand in the isle of the studio audience during the commercial breaks. Not too sure of the purpose other than keeping an eye out for people taking pictures or recording the show. The few times I’ve done it, my muscle memory has taken over from being a life guard back in high school — making general sweeps of the pool, looking for mischief or danger. I almost made some guy do crab walks for yelling at Conan . . .
Today, however, I got something better than whistle blowing at a public, pee filled pool. I was doing my audience sweep when a young, man tapped me on the leg. He was very excited to be watching Conan and he was holding his fist up to me, slightly punching it forward. He wanted a fist bump, to which I obliged — who am I to deny someone a fist pump. He then said something I couldn’t hear over Jimmy Vivino and The Basic Cable Band. I leaned in a bit and he said, “Man, you are so lucky!” “Really?” I replied, “How so?”
“Dude, you get to be here! Everyday! That’s so awesome.”
Suddenly, this epiphany flooded over me — warm and subtle. I realized that, yes, I am lucky. Very lucky. Not just for Conan, though. See, 365 days ago, at that very moment, I was sitting in the Live Stock Exchange Ballroom in Omaha Nebraska, toasting my brand spanking new marriage with the lovely, funny, smart and beautiful Megan Green. Damn, right, kid, I am lucky. I have this unbelievable wife, I have this dream job, I have met wonderful people over the past year, I have a family that supports and loves me — I’m alive. I have a random Conan audience member to thank for reminding me of that.
So, readers, if you haven’t already guessed it, this is the end of the line. This lucky guy has reached his 365th post. The last of the bunch. Did you think those numbers up there before the post titles were for fun?
This year has been filled with more life changing events than I have ever had before. Besides getting married, the one that stands out the most is leaving my home: Chicago. Eleven years ago, this past August, 2001 — a month before 9/11, I packed up a Penski truck, took the wheel with my then girlfriend shotgun and headed down I80 from New York to Chicago. Very much like my journey from Chicago to LA.
Chicago was a strange bird to me. I had gotten so uesed to the compact lifestyle of New York that walking more than 4 blocks to get to the train seemed painful. Hell, elevated trains seemed painful. Looking back, Chicago was the PERFECT city for me. I hope, someday, I can call it home again.
I do miss Chicago. I don’t talk about it because I want to embrace Los Angeles as much as I can. That will never change the fact that Chicago will forever be my number 2 gal . . . Megan being first. That city game me my career, my best friends, my fondest memories, my biggest changes, my education and my love. I learned improv there. I formed an artistic bond with my brother. I made my first real film there. I ate lots of hot dogs there . . . and on a cold Thanksgiving night in Chicago, I asked Megan to marry me. When people ask me where I’m from, its hard not to say Chicago. It’s molded me more than I can say.
And so Chicago has transported me here to Los Angeles, to today — the 1st anniversary of my marriage to Megan . . . We’re no longer newlyweds. I’m not sure we ever felt like newly weds. We had dated for so long that marriage, in some ways, was just a celebration and a confirmation of our relationship . . .
. . . Listen, the fact of the matter is I’m rambling. I really wanted this last post to be epic. I’ve thought about it since the day I started this blog. Part of me wants to give you all retrospective — but there’s a whole year worth pf posts for that. Read them.
Part of me wants to give you details on things I never got to write about (like the sadness of leaving Chicago), but that’s part of what’s making me ramble. The real deal is, 365 days after the beginning of this blog, I’m a different guy. I’m also pretty content. And when your content, sometimes you just don’t have a lot to say. As opposed to depressed people who love to share their woes. Hell, even super excited people love to share their victories. After a year of posts, I think I’ve shared them all.
That’s the point. This post is simply a journal of thought, victories and losses that are saved forever. A history of one year in the life of one guy. One day, when I’m old and Megan is telling me to wash the dishes (or the Bently) we’ll sit down, open this website and browse through our first year of marriage . . . And maybe, if our moms are lucky, our kids will disover their dad’s rambllings and non-sensical bullshit and say, “Wow, dad was weird.”
Then, again, something special could happen later down the line. . . After my Grandma Tamisiea passed away — I was about 10 — my dad let us go through some of her things to find a keepsake. Grandma and Grandpa Tamisiea had tons of cool things form traveling all over the world. I found something better, though.
I found this box of old drawings my Grandpa Tamisiea had drawn during WWII. They were drawn on anything he could get his hands on: military pamphlets, instructions, pages form books and even blank paper. They were all cartoons. All of them. They were really good. Most of them funny. I remembert looking at them ALL the time and thinking, “So, that’s where I get my creativity.”
Maybe, someday, when my grandkids are rummaging through our old stuff, they’ll stumble across this blog. They’ll read the posts and discover their gran-dad. Maybe they never really got to know me, or know me well enough. So, they’ll read through these pages and laugh or cry or say, “Wow, gran-dad was an angry guy.” Hopefully they’ll get to know me and Megan through this blog, like many of you have — like I did with my grandpa’s drawings — and they’ll say “So, that’s where I get my personality.”
Then our kids will look at their kids and say, “God damn right, I’m lucky.”