After hearing the news, over a year ago, I'd be covering the 2008 Summer Olympics, I called my sister in California.
"I got the call. I'm going to Beijing," I said. "Holy crap!" she replied.
Because China is so big and we grew up with our six siblings in a place so small (Planada, Calif.), I thought her response appropriate ... but in a good way.
I'm going to travel 28 hours, to my first Olympics, for an event in an international hot spot (read: authoritarian society), to cover a U.S. men's basketball team people want to call a "Dream Team." (Not me. Not yet.)
I suspect working Super Bowl 34 — St. Louis Rams linebacker Mike Jones tackled Tennessee Titans receiver Kevin Dyson a yard shy of the end zone to preserve the Rams' victory — will pale in comparison to walking on the Great Wall, hearing the reception Yao Ming receives when host China opens against the USA on Aug. 10, and navigating the occasional squat toilet.
I'll share all of that with you ... starting now.
Bring on the scorpion on a stick!