May 24: I’m Done

May 24

Post No. 45: You know what that means.
Today I had my graduation ceremony, bringing an official end to my life as a college student. And, believe it or not, it actually started to hit me. The concept of no longer being a college student. The idea that, from here on out, my mark will be made through my career rather than in a classroom.
It’s still a bit absurd. And to be completely honest, if I really want to put into words what May 24th was like, I might have to wait until May 25th to do the writing. It has been a long last few weeks. And appropriately enough, today has been a long day. Maybe one of the best and most memorable of my life. But long, nonetheless.
I’m afraid I will have to ask for your grace just this once to allow me to rest my head, gather my thoughts, and get back to you tomorrow. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. And if I am going to do justice to what Day 45 meant to me, it will have to be written a day late.
Hey, at the very least it will give me something to do in my first day as a college graduate.

***

 

The tiny clock in the corner of my cell phone screamed.

“1:49.”

The Towson Center was unusually busy. It seemed as though just minutes earlier I had gotten out of one of my final classes of the semester, in what may be the final semester of my life. Time was moving incomprehensibly fast.

Within the doors of the arena, and through the double-doors into the gymnasium, there was a hub of activity. But I had tunnel vision. Through my four years I have always kept a close watch on Towson’s Men’s Basketball team. Constantly looking for visiting players, badgering current team members about future teammates. I consider myself one of the few who discovered Gary Neal when he made his first home at Burdick long before he considered taking his expansive repertoire to the Towson Center. So when I saw head coach Pat Kennedy with assistants Eric Skeeters and Jay Eack working out a pair of guards and one big man, I had every intention of inquiring to the coach about the trio. But my original intent was to thank the coach for the three years I covered him and his team in some capacity. For always fielding questions, stopping to talk, and kindly scheduling time to meet with myself and other Towerlight writers. None of us really knew what to expect on a relational level from the first high-profile name to grace the program. He hasn’t disappointed.

Outside of the brown stone building there was action of a different variety. For a reason unbeknownst to me, a fight had broken out on the grass hill at the front of the arena between students from Towson and nearby Morgan State. I was puzzled. Encouraged to join. Reluctant to get involved. John Clayton would be of more use in a fist fight than I. Besides, there was no time to waste.

I left the scene on foot, with a bacon, egg, and cheese bagel sandwich in hand. I had class in 11 minutes.

I began to run. Through the black concrete path flanked on the left by Johnny Unitas Stadium, and on the right by an endless plot of trees, dirt, and dead leaves. Within seconds the scene changed drastically. I was a giant towering through enormous buildings in a town surrounded by green mountains. There was no cohesivity amongst the structures. Each was unique. But beyond the point of adding variety to the emerging skyline. It was utterly nonsensical. I was terribly confused.

I found myself atop the buildings, with no choice but to jump. I sprinted from the top of the round brown dome of one building, leaping five city blocks to the cylinder columns atop a stone high-rise. My feet landed well short of the building’s apex. Much to my surprise I landed unscathed at the foot of the tower.

With little warning I was sent to the final scene of this sequence.

Alone. Sun beaming through broad vertical shades in front of me and to the right. A dog laying anxiously at the foot of my bed.

I was awake.

That was my first dream as a Towson University alum. Or at least the first one that managed to be burnt into my memory. It was beyond bizarre. I woke up relieved. Not concerned about the unfamiliar town, or the 700-foot drop. Not worried about the fist fight between students of two area colleges. And certainly not thinking about the three Towson recruits (they all sucked in the dream, anyway). I was relieved because I didn’t have to rush back to my apartment, eat, shower, and get ready for afternoon classes. All in 11 minutes.

I wasn’t late, because as of May 24th, I was done.

It began to set in as I drove home from Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. After the ceremony, I went with my family–father, Paul; mother, Luella; sister, Nicole; brothers, Ethan and Justin; Justin’s wife Amie; and Aunt Lois–to the Rusty Scupper for a celebratory dinner along the water of the Chesapeake Bay. Something about the city of Baltimore finally made me realize that I was leaving.

I first visited the area in the summer before my freshman year at Phil-Mont Christian Academy. My father was speaking to a group of teenagers at a Christian camp in the suburbs of Baltimore. We drove down Bel Air Road, a road I would become familiar with in college. We navigated the traffic of I-83 and 695, both of which I have driven with great regularity. We explored the Inner Harbor, a place I would go on dates or with my parents when they came to visit. I came along with my dad on these summer trips each of the following couple years. They became a staple of my summers.

My class trip sophomore year at Phil-Mont was to Baltimore. I knew my way around the Harbor at that point. My friends, many of which were from the suburbs of Philadelphia and had not yet explored downtown areas on their own, were fond of Baltimore. I was too.

“If I don’t live in Philadelphia when I’m older, I want to live in Baltimore,” I said.

It’s funny how that works out sometimes.

I began to think about the college environment. The amount of freedom that comes with the life of a student. A few hours of class each day, sometimes less. Weekends that often extend from Thursday night to Monday morning. No parents to guide and direct. No hall monitors to require you to be in class. No curfew. You truly make of it what you want. Don’t want to go to class? Don’t. However, we all learn at one point or another that the class you miss is almost always the class with the pop quiz. In fact, I’ve heard stories of students who rarely ever went to class. And when they did, they were presented with a test and a scantron sheet. I have a hard time figuring out if that’s good or bad timing.

We are conditioned to working eight hour days through elementary, middle, and high school. The workforce calls us back to that schedule. We get a break in between. Well, some people do at least. I stood in line in the basement of the Towson Center alongside Brian Stelter and Chris Taydus, waiting for the student processional at the opening of Thursday’s afternoon commencement. Two fellow graduates, who rarely got such a break.

Stelter and I have been with The Towerlight since we were freshmen. I was content to remain a Sports Assitant Editor through my years (although I made the jump to Associate Editor my final semester). His aspirations were not so easily satisfied. He climbed from proofreader to Assoc. News Editor, and from News Editor to Editor in Chief. Stelter spent two years as EIC, significantly altering the paper’s content and design. Developing it into one that consistently increased its number of Society of Professional Journalists awards each year, found its way into College Publisher’s top-100 student newspaper websites on a consistent basis, and continuously challenged the minds of students, faculty, staff, and administration.

Taydus and I worked with WMJF beginning in our freshmen year. I worked with Towson Sports Weekly, and he with 16News. Our paths never crossed as freshmen, but as we each expanded our horizons and either started or worked with new shows in the following years, we began seeing more of one another. This was especially the case the past two years, each of which Taydus has spent as station President. Part of his responsibility was to be available to the various shows for support, whether it be for technical issues or to simply provide an extra set of hands in the studio or out on shoots. During his time the station began putting a bulk of its programming online, possible due to the rise in prominence of Google Video and YouTube. The breadth and variety of programming also grew significantly during his tenure.

In many ways it was appropriate for me to stand alongside two fellow graduates who each spent significant time in the same office and studio space as I did through our years. Each of whom have had tireless nights in either the Media Center or Union room 313, far more so than I have. Who have exuded so much energy to ensure the benefit of the media they represented. In many ways I have felt like an intermediary between the newspaper and the television station, as the relationship between the two has been noticeably unsettled. But none of that mattered as we stood draped in our gowns just minutes away from being presented to the audience as accomplished Towson grads.

I began to think about classes. How, upon walking into Hawkins Hall room 012 on my first day as a college freshman, I wanted nothing more than to turn around and walk out, and not just because it was Precalculus. I was intimidated. Downright scared. It was more than the anxiety of being in a room with unfamiliar people. It was having to do it for the next four years of my life. Knowing that these weren’t just people I would have class with, they were individuals I would live with. High school brings with it a number of individual battles that can have a drastic impact on someone’s self-image. But when 2:45 rolls around, you can head on home. In college there is no getting away (except for on the weekends, which is all too common at Towson).

I thought about the curriculum. I have had some terrific classes, with some professors that will have a lasting impact on my outlook on life, work, and relationships. I have taken a Physics course titled ‘How Things Work’, an Honors Seminar in Latin American Literature, The World Since 1945, Elements and History of Rock Music, a Cultural Studies course on ‘African-American English’, Acting, Cultural Anthropology, Principles of Advertising, Philosophy of the Sport Experience, Individualized Fitness, and Principles of Coaching (which kept me from getting straight A’s in my last semester, but the quality of the course was such that I was happy to accept the grade).

I have taken so many outstanding classes, and none of the aforementioned had the slightest to do with my concentration: Mass Communications- Journalism and New Media.

The people within the MCOM and Electronic Media and Film Department are superb. The quality of professors and resources at a school oft forgotten between the University of Maryland and the University of Delaware, provides students with more opportunities than they could imagine. There are plenty of ways to get involved on campus, but the fact is the professors make it such that a student could be just as successful without doing so.

Then I thought about how I went through my studies without a transcendent final series of studies. I feel as though we are given this idea going into college that our studies will gradually build up to a final crescendo where the arduous studies and arguments with professors all come together in a life-altering ‘Ah-Hah!’ moment. That’s how it may be for some, but by the final semester of most student’s lives, the focus seems to be on finishing rather than finding some higher purpose. Or maybe for me it came a bit early. Maybe it was last Spring when I took TV Studio Production, News Editing, Magazine Publishing, and News Reporting. Or in my Broadcast Journalism 2 Independent Study with Prof. Atwater. Quite possibly, it happened six hours away from the York Road campus when I spent last summer with ESPN, proving that my studies would pay dividends outside of Baltimore County. Lets hope that is in fact the case.

A number of feelings, thoughts, and memories flooded my mind as I drove. For whatever reason, it suddenly began to sink in as myself and my family went our separate ways; them to Manhattan and Philadelphia, and me back to Towson for a late nap before heading ‘uptown’ to the Towson bars, an extension of the previous two days’ graduation ceremonies.

Maybe the timing had something to do with me always having a difficult time seeing my parents leave. I always found great comfort in their visits, no matter how settled into life at Towson I was. I knew it would be months before I would see them again. I was back on my own. But for whatever reason, their departure seemed a bit more drastic this time. I wish I could explain why that was the case, but I really can’t. Maybe it was because this will likely be their last visit to Baltimore to see their son. Again, it’s hard to figure out.

The fact is, I could never ask for a more loving and supportive group of people. Since January they have each been asking about graduation, and forming their schedule around it. My parents, siblings, and in-laws are all extremely aware of what is going in my life and in the lives of each other, and are genuinely excited to be a part of each accomplishment, each raise, each promotion, each hiring, each marriage. And ultimately it’s a reflection of two parents who have a deep love for their four children, and every intricate detail of their lives. Parents who are always willing to sacrifice for the benefit of the family. When you grow up with five other people in the house at all times, and with such a solid, loving foundation, you can’t help but notice the significance of those characteristics.

And that’s what made the ceremony itself exciting. The fact is, in 20 years I won’t remember what any of the speakers had to say (even the theater major who mistook a commencement address for a monologue). But I will remember them all taking off from work to drive down to see me graduate.

These gatherings are generally reserved for Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. I always treasure those times, and dread seeing everyone leave in the days following each holiday. As a kid you tend to take for granted having siblings around at all times. As a teenager and young adult you really start to miss having that. So, the most memorable part of the ceremony was not necessarily walking across the stage. But rather knowing that there were seven people in the crowd who were genuinely thrilled to be a part of it (and do some yelling when my name was announced, to prove it). It’s a true blessing.

Sure enough, it finally hit me. The excitement of seeing some of my closest friends from college graduate. Being introduced as a graduate of Towson. And sharing it all with family.

It was ideal.

You just can’t dream that sort of thing up.

May 24.2

I cheated. There’s no way I was going to leave this picture off of today’s post. From left to right: Amie, Justin, Ethan, Dad (Paul), Mom (Luella), Me, Nicole, Aunt Lois.

As far as Forty5 Days goes, as of now I am finished. I will probably give some updates as career plans unfold (assuming they do). I’m still open to suggestions as for what I should do with the blog itself. It has really allowed me to soak up the last month and a half, and has certainly enhanced my appreciation of these final weeks. Where it goes from here is up in the air.

Thanks for being a part of it with me.

May 23: A Day Away

May 23

“Graduation is only a concept. In real life every day you graduate. Graduation is a process that goes on until the last day of your life. If you can grasp that, you’ll make a difference.”

~Arie Pencovici

I don’t know much about Pencovici (and apparently neither does Wikipedia), but if I had to guess, I would have said that he uttered these words at a commencement exercise. They’re just too perfect, to the point of being cliche. The only problem is, I don’t know if anyone knows who he is. But being that I don’t really know what to expect out of my commencement address tomorrow, I might just tell people that Arie’s fine words were the basis of the message. Works for me. By the way, Arie is an awesome name. I may consider it for my firstborn. It’s also the name of one of my favorite movie characters of all time (spelled differently).

Where was I?

To be honest, that quote has more or less summed up my outlook on graduation. I finished my resume tape today (cue fireworks), and even got the nod from my unofficial career adviser, Jenny Atwater (I honestly never thought she’d not find something wrong with it, she’s just that good). As we were walking out of the Media Center, I mentioned that I will truly feel like I have accomplished something when I land my first job. She urged me not to put that type of pressure on myself, but I’m hoping it will work in my favor eventually. Anyways, it’s not the exact definition of Pencovici’s quote, but I think in some ways it reflects what he is trying to say.

However, I think having a commencement ceremony at the end of every day could get a bit tedious. No?

I guess I’ll find out tomorrow.

44 down. 1 to go.

*Pictured: My mom cutting my hair. And that’s nothing new. She is the only person to have ever cut my hair. That’s not an exaggeration. No one has ever cut my hair who has not also given birth to me. She used to have people coming to our house all the time for trims, but in my 21+ years I have been her most loyal customer. I dread the day where I will actually have to pay for a haircut (I have a bad feeling it’s coming pretty soon). I figure getting one costs, lets say, 15 dollars (that may be way off, I don’t know, I’ve never had to worry about it). And if I get one cut every two-to-three months, that’s about five each year. So that’s 75 bucks. Multiply that by, lets say, 20 years. That’s $1,500. I tell people all the time that she is my full-time barber. I consider myself pretty fortunate.

May 22: Full Circle

May 22

It was roughly three years ago. Myself and current (well, former) Towson Sports Weekly producer, Ryan Dooley, had a long talk. About the television station. About God. About girls. About beer. We had a long walk from a friend’s apartment after the annual WMJF post-gala party to hash out all of the things that weighed on our minds through the course of our freshman year. There were no life-altering epiphanies. No transcendent conclusions. Just a meaningful conversation among friends. But somehow, with three years left in the balance, Ryan knew the discussion didn’t end that night.

We just needed three years to finish it up.

Since April 22, when I first ventured onto the roof of the Media Center with PSmith, I have promised myself to return.  For the last couple weeks Ryan and I have made it a point to head up there in one of the waning nights of our college careers to reflect on our time at Towson. Tonight was that night.

After helping me shoot a stand-up (for the third time), which I used to finish up my resume tape this afternoon (barring my long-time professor and unofficial career adviser Jenny Atwater doesn’t find something else wrong with it, as she has each time I’ve shown it to her), we planned on meeting up later tonight to take to the roof and rehash the aforementioned topics, but with three more years, and a handful of experiences, under our belts. Well, just as shows shot at student television stations never seem to go off without a hitch (or two, three, four…), our plans were upended relatively quickly. When PSmith and myself went up a month ago, there was no lock on the hatch that leads to the roof. This time a metal padlock with the words ‘Towson State’ inscribed on it kept us from enjoying a couple Blue Moons at the campus’ apex. After surveying the exterior of the Media Center for a secondary route, and Ryan looking up YouTube videos on how to pick padlocks, we decided to move on.

Our route to Plan B took us past the recently planted Tiger statue outside of Stephens Hall (the bronze statue, which features two enormous and realistic Tiger testicles, replaced the paper mache statue that was outside of Cook Library until a few douche bags from the University of Delaware decided to vandalize it after we beat them in Lacrosse last season…typical UD). We ended up atop the Glen Garage, but there was a limited view of the campus. We headed to the Towsontown Garage, but there were surveillance cameras everywhere.

We drove into Towson, to a garage in the hub of the town. The top floor was locked, but we hung out there for a little while. You could basically see the entire campus, but we were both a bit uneasy by the endless rows of untouched, unmarked cop cars on the top few floors. It was like that scene from ‘I, Robot‘ with the factory full of those deadly robots that Will Smith’s character eventually cabbage-patched to death. Except they were cars. Actually, the only similarity between the scene and the garage was the fact that there were a bunch of white machines in one condensed area. I actually have no clue what happened in the movie, I never saw it. So, um, we left.

Our next spot was our last. We stood atop the Union Garage for a solid hour and a half. Because the of the security cameras we ditched the Blue Moons. Instead, much like our talk three years earlier, we tossed around a number of topics. Our role in the development of WMJF. Our promise to donate $100 or more each year to the station’s fund. And our futures in the television industry. Our past girlfriends. The impact they’ve had on us. And our outlook on those we’ll have in the future. Leaving college. How making such a smooth adjustment from high school to college has eased our worries about making the jump from college to career. Where we will end up in the next year. God. Church. Beer. The list goes on.

The plan went a bit awry. There would have been a greater sense of symbolism had we been able to meet up atop the building we collectively spent a prime amount of our college lives in. But that was secondary to the talk itself. It was evident each of us has grown in a number of ways through our years at Towson. We were prepared to take on the next three years of our lives during that late-Spring walk in 2004. And from the sounds of it, we’re ready for the same challenge once again.

Sidenote: I’m glad to see the Boston Celtics get what they played for this past NBA season: not a thing. Danny Ainge, Doc Rivers and company notoriously tanked this season. Paul Pierce sat with an injury, or whenever it was close in the 4th quarter, as Ainge was taking Kevin Durant’s mom out for dinner and miniature golf. It was a complete embarrassment. They assumed they would land a top-2 pick in tonight’s NBA Draft Lottery, and thus end up with Greg Oden or Kevin Durant. They ended up at No. 5. Glorious. Oh, and Portland and Seattle are going to be sick next year. Especially if Stern lets them transfer over to the Eastern Conference.

Go Cavs.

May 21: Waiting Game

 May 21

It finally hit me.

Well. Sort of.

I’ve coasted through the past few weeks. Assignments have been turned in. Exams and quizzes taken. A few goodbyes have been uttered reluctantly. And, as you’ve all heard over and over, my life as a college student has all but come to an end.

So what?

I haven’t felt a thing.  Not the slightest hint of emotion or nostalgia. Just numb. I’ve taken my last class, hosted my last TV show, written my last column. Still, nothing.

So the last couple weeks I’ve gone from waiting for it all to roll over me, to trying to figure out why I’m on a permanent emotional anesthetic. Look, I’m not trying to start bawling at the drop of a dime. But graduating from college seems like a fairly significant step. It should get to me at some point, right?

Then I figured it out.

Ever since last summer my focus has shifted from graduating to getting a job. Fairly typical. But it’s more complicated than that. It’s not that my goal simply is to graduate and get a job. Instead I have invested so much mental energy into getting that first break that graduating has lost its luster. Almost entirely.

It’s just part of the process. It’s like finishing a 10-page paper for a class. You get that out of the way, great, but it’s part of a larger scheme. At the end of the semester you won’t be relieved that the paper was done in March. The real accomplishment is getting the A in May. That paper won’t mean a thing if you end up with a D. And graduating won’t hold any weight if I don’t get a job.

It’s weird. But this is what I’ve come to.

I know this is the case because when I think about walking across the stage it brings but a hint of a smile to my face. But when I think about landing a job in (Insert small town), (Insert respective state abbreviation), I get chills.

For a couple years now I’ve known pretty much what I want to do career-wise. After spending last summer in Bristol, Ct. talking with guys like David Lloyd and Mike Hill of ESPNEWS, and Stan Verrett, Scott Van Pelt and Neil Everett of SportsCenter, I have been prepping myself for the process of getting a sports reporting/anchoring gig in some small town. I’d have to put together my resume tape (which I plan on finishing tomorrow), ship it all over the country, make some visits, a few more phone calls, and pester sports directors until they give me the nod. All while sharpening my writing skills and on-air presence and delivery. So that’s been the focus. Graduating has always been a given. Getting a job is the challenge.

Now, I don’t know what I’ll actually feel when Thursday rolls around and I get my diploma. It could all come to a head then. But I’m not getting my hopes up. Instead, I’m remaining optimistic that, with some patience and persistence, I will be the new face of a town’s local sports broadcast at some point in the next 3-33 months.

And that’s when it will really hit me.

Well. I think.

Pictured: What helped get me through my round trip fight to Birmingham. I am halfway through ‘To Catch a Predator’, which is an inside look at the Dateline NBC series about online sex predators. For whatever reason the show piqued my interest, and Stefanie Lis, a fellow Towerlighter, got me the book as a graduation gift. It is both fascinating and disturbing. Eye-opening and heartbreaking. If you don’t recognize the utter depravity of mankind before reading some of the horror stories this book has to offer, you will get a glimpse of it within the first few pages. While my eyes scanned the first 100+ pages, my ears were tuned into Wilco’s latest release, ‘Sky Blue Sky.’ It’s good.

May 20: Jordan and Beth Conn

May 20

Birmingham, Al- Today, for the first time in my life, I saw a close friend of mine get married. There are a lot of ways I could go about explaining the wedding, the idea of having a close friend get married, what it’s like to know that I am entering a stage in life where this sort of thing will become commonplace, but years from now I think there will be one particular thing that stands out in my mind.

A smile.

Now, I don’t really know Jordan’s bride, Beth. Before this weekend I had never met her, and because of all the craziness of the past few days and the amount of people seeking out their attention, I never really got the opportunity to sit down and talk with her at any length. I don’t blame her, it’s just the nature of weddings. But I know Jordan very well. And there was something very powerful about seeing him towards the end of this morning’s ceremony. He literally could not stop smiling. There was an effervescent joy unlike any you typically get a chance to see. He was truly happy. Truly excited. Truly enthralled. Truly committed. Truly proud. Never, at any point in the weekend, did I see his confidence waver or sense the slightest of nerves. He knew this was right for he and Beth. And when the time came to exchange rings and be introduced as husband and wife, I witnessed an insatiable excitement. I’ve been a part of this for both of my older brothers, Justin and Ethan. It was cool to see it again from one of my friends.

Congratulations Jordan and Beth.

Tomorrow myself, Phil Baiocchi and Anthony Bradley will check out of our hotel at noon, grab something to eat, and then Bradley will drop us off at the airport. My flight leaves around 4:35 and I will probably get back to Towson around 9 (Birmingham is Central Standard Time, by the way). It’s been a nice weekend, but I’ve got graduating to do.

May 19: The South

May 19

Birmingham, Al-I met Jordan Conn in some of the earliest days of my Junior year in high school. It didn’t take talking him for more than 15 seconds for him to mention that the land he called home was far from that of most of the kids at Phil-Mont Christian Academy. With great pride he declared that he came up to Philly after growing up in Atlanta. He was from the South.

And so was born a running joke. Although that’s not exactly an accurate description. Neither would it be accurate to call it a point of contention. But it was a little of both. Since those first days our friendly banter in some way involved underhanded shots at one another’s ‘homes.’ I had to let Jordan know he was in the North now and this was how things were going to be. And like any man with pride, he had to defend his turf. We played off of familiar stereotypes (for instance poor dental hygiene, and poor use of the English language for Southerners…you know, in case you were so inclined to make such ill-informed attempts at humor). But, for the most part it likely had to do with a lack of understanding. He had been thrown into a new cultural construct, while I maintained my ignorance of any beyond the city line. It was beautiful.

Fast forward to today.

I can’t say I have much of a better understanding of life in the South after spending one full day in Birmingham, Alabama, but it’s been cool to soak up a short amount of time in an area where the warm greetings from people who are, for all intents and purposes, strangers flow as freely as the sweet tea.

So far, based on my minimal experience with this particular part of the country, I like what I see from the South. From the looks of it, a town like this could be a pretty cool place to work/live on day.

Just a couple of side notes. The house Jordan’s wedding will be in tomorrow is one of the nicest homes I have set foot in. The Dreamland BBQ that we had for the Batchelor Party dinner was one of the best meals I have had in a long time. Normally I would have a picture to accompany these outlandish claims. But as of right now I have no clue what image will run alongside this post. You’ll have to check back Monday for that.

May 18: Fright or Flight

May 18

Birmingham, Al.-First off, my apologies for the glaring absence of a picture in today’s post. Actually, I have no reason to apologize. It’s actually all the fault of the Marriott’s Business Center, which has three beautiful looking computers, however they are all programmed to run on some limited operating system that only allows for usage of the Internet, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Adobe Acrobat. In other words there is no program available for photo-editing or resizing. I had the option of running a huge picture of an airplane wing soaring over blue skies sparsely separated by white clouds, but I figured I was better off just waiting for my return to post the pictures. That said, Forty5 Days will likely be imageless until Monday night. My apologies?

Anyways, the reason for the title of today’s post (obviously a spin off of the ‘Fight or Flight‘ response to triggers to the nervous system) is because I took to the blue skies for the first time today since I was about eight years old. And I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit wary of the whole process. Despite 30 (or has it been 40? 50?) years of commercial airline success, something about the idea of an awkwardly shaped piece of metal gliding 10,000 feet in the air makes me a bit uneasy. Well, thanks to today’s flight (and a favorable next-seat neighbor) this whole air traffic thing is starting to win me over.

That being said, I am in Birmingham. The next couple days will be hectic. I think I already witnessed a drug deal (amazing how I can live in Philadelphia for near 20 years and notice a deal in Birmingham way easier than in my home town). I’ll do my best to keep you posted (sans the aesthetics).

Oh, by the way. This blog (as it was originally planned) has less than a week left in its existence. I’m open for suggestions. Bag it? Perhaps. We’ll see if we can come up with something more favorable.