Krispy gym bunnies and palindromes

Ah, the season of excess is finally past. And this year’s excesses seemed more extreme than ever. As if we want to get all our partying in before The End of The World as We Know It.

That’s the philosophy that landed me at an all-you-can-eat sushi bar for lunch on Sept. 11. If Western Civilization was doomed in any way, shape or form, I reasoned, at least I’d go out with a full tummy.

Oh yeah, thanks to the person who dropped off the box of Krispy Kremes on New Year’s Eve. It’s not even fair that you weigh, what, 86 pounds and work at the donut place. It’s just not right.

But staff writer Carli Cutchin and I did trade two donuts for a quick massage from Don Morrissey, who stopped by the office. Morrissey, a registered Karuna Rei Ki whiz, ordered my chi—my vital life force—for me. That’s good. I was feeling a bit disordered.

Getting into the fray this week probably would have entailed going downtown or to South Lake Tahoe on New Year’s Eve. Turns out, I’m not that dedicated to reporting what happens in crowds of 60,000-some revelers. At the end of the day, though, I might as well have gone downtown. The restaurant my party of four went to was nearly as crowded at 7 p.m. as North Virginia Street was at midnight.

It sounded like a brilliant plan, going to that mother lode of a beef joint, the supersized rib pit also known as the Claim Jumper Restaurant. I’d never been there, for one. The 90-minute wait for a table breezed by quickly. We had a great table in the pub, and a waitress turned me on to these enormous vats of something with rum and Midori.

The enormity of the drinks should have been a clue. People were leaving with SUV-sized to-go boxes. I watched in wonder as waitresses hefted wide platters stacked with enough protein to feed an Afghan for a year. Dripping with excess from the fries to the steaks to the gargantuan half-a-cow’s worth of ribs ordered by my friends, it seemed an appropriate place to cast off the old.

Later, full and drowsy, I still couldn’t sleep. Odd things popped into my head, like the fact that 2002 is another palindrome year.

A palindrome is a word, phrase or sentence that reads the same backward or forward, like “race car” or “mom” or “2002” or “raw war.” I don’t know why this seemed significant at 2 a.m. Jan. 1. At the end of this year, we’ll have lived through two palindrome years, 1991 and 2002. Before that, the last one would have been 1881. The next will be 2112. Sadly, this is the kind of stuff that keeps me awake at night.

I woke up Tuesday feeling beefy. Of course, the appropriate post-holiday behavior generally entails downing a few aspirin and heading to the gym to begin an exercise and weight loss program as soon as possible. In less than 45 minutes at Sports West, I’d burned 306 calories, according to the numbers on the elliptical crosstrainer thingie.

I felt good. Ordered.

I wondered if there were any Krispy Kremes left in the office.