November 17, 2012

A Dumpy Lump of Old Man Shit

Striving for something here.

Uh, no, don't get any ideas. The only way I could get close to Cary Grantness is after major plastic surgery, skin grafts, mouth job, hair realignment and yet another round of general reconstruction. And I still would have a ton of work left on the personality aspect of it all. But that's not the point.

The point is let's be a cool old man.

Next year I hit 60. To be perfectly honest the number doesn't bother me. Not at all. It's not the number. What bothers me is the way I've let myself get out of hand. I'm about 20+ pounds overweight. My stomach, not to mention manboobs,  all arrive in the room before I can even hear anybody talking. The worst part of the day is coming out of the shower and being embarrassed by what that looks like - even though I'm desperately trying to avoid looking in the mirror. But, you know, it's sort of like the macabre need to look into the car they're using the Jaws of Life on when you're driving by an accident. You can't help it.

And it isn't a matter of confidence or helping my confidence. Not the body issue / lack of self esteem thing at all. If anything I have too much confidence for the package. But that's been my story all my life. I'll say something pretty self-assured and people turn around, take a look, and go "that come outta him?" Been that way all my life. Too much so, at times. That's not the issue.

I'd like to look good in a suit. I prefer vested ones, just love 'em, but when you have a gut - that looks pretty stupid. It looks like some dumpy middle class guy trying to look rich. And it just comes out silly. But trim down and put on a nice suit like that - you're doing fine.

In general what I'm thinking of is that my whole adult life has been about trying (sometimes desperately) to not be a stereotype of what a middle-aged Middle-American, often looks like. Gut. Beer in hand. Has to sit down after a while. Teases the grandchildren mercilessly. Has the politics of a troglodyte and the IQ of a rock - and believes that to be a virtue. But the important thing is that this isn't trying to be something I'm not - because I know my limitations. It's trying to NOT be something I dislike. And I believe that's an important distinction, often glossed over by some folks who just knee jerk when I say stuff like that.

What I'm saying is that there's still a lot of work to do. Working on all the other stuff is a matter of an ongoing effort. But the physical appearance - partially superficial but also very much largely a real concern of one's health and well-being - is something I can attack vigorously and realistically. If I can't get the personality part down and be a cool jerk, I can still lose some weight and watch my habits so I can be a healthy and physically fit jerk.

So on November 1 I started at 197 pounds. By the rates and measures and all that crap for my height I should be anywhere from 152-169 depending on who you're reading. I think if I can hit 166 that would be great. If I go any lower I'd want to do a little weight training because, I'm sorry, 155 is just insane. I don't know why 166 sticks out in my mind but it seems like a cool number. And that would be 31 pounds. Which would be very cool.

It's November 17. I'm doing the Weight Watchers online for men thing. My last weigh-in - which was Monday the 12th - I was 188. I worked overtime last night and passed on the company-provided pizza because i want to "make weight" on the 19th.

I do recognize that in this world - with mass populations in need of food, shelter and medical care - what I'm doing and wasting time writing about can be seen as pure vanity. In a way it's very true. But what can I do? If I die of a heart-attack at 61 like my Dad what good can I do anymore anyway?

And I do have a thing about being just about the age of my Father when he died. Yes. I do have a thing about that.

So I'll keep you posted. I did this once before and lost a bunch of weight to get down to 195, where I last stopped. But that's it. I want to be a cool old man. And you can't do that when you look like a dumpy lump of old man shit.

November 09, 2012

And So To The Blissfully Mundane

Bullet points! Complete with this cool ice cube tray that makes.... ICE BULLETS!!! I used to think the concept of ice bullets was just so freakin' cool, until the Mythbusters showed how the dang things are useless and would melt en route to the target and just hit you hard with a glob of water. Oh well.

  • But never mind, the election is over and nobody wins. Woo hoo. And yet the stupidity continues. Comments heard from my ignorant white boy fellow workers?

    1. "I'm going to buy that gun because that n_____ was re-elected."


    2."They just gave it to him so there wouldn't be any riots."

    Yeah. Makes you proud to be a white man, don't it?"

  • What I haven't said is that I'm trying, again, to lose some weight. At one point - embarrassingly enough - my paltry 5'9" frame actually carried almost 220 pounds. This was some time ago when I had that sales job and the travel / dinners / junk food routine really ruled around here. I did Weight Watchers after that and lost 23 pounds to the 197 I've stayed at for some time. But 197 is still way over where I'm supposed to be. I'd like to see 180-185, and so on November 1 I began the points crusade again. Happy to say it is November 9 and I have lost 5 pounds. I think when I drop below 190, and see that 1-8... on the scale I am going to get that extra motivation to finish this time. Wait for it. The charts say, ideally, I'm supposed to be around 170-175. One thing at a time ok?  

  • For the two or three people who care - after years of being involved in the alternative scene for writers I have, for the last year or so, been working on an old-school novel that has some of my old contacts scratching their heads because it actually has things like A PLOT, and weird shit like CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT and even, you know, like, DIALOG. I may have mentioned before but it is a story that takes place inside the "Muslim world" and therefore is probably doomed never to be taken up by anyone in this Islamophobic culture of ours. But as I mentioned it is being "culture checked" by my very good friend, the superlatively intelligent and beautiful Faiqa Khan, and we're kind of doing that check in a moderately cool way. I've placed the story, as it is finished, at a site known as Fictionaut - kind of like a social media thing for writers - where she can check in completely at her leisure without someone sending her a big long attachment she would then feel compelled to read. And you can take a look at the project if you'd like. But I won't publish the link here - you gotta ask for it. So I figure the secret will be safe, he laughed. If - by the by - you wanted to catch some of the writers we've been featuring in Thrice all along, you'd see a lot of advan
    ce shit over at Fictionaut. Which you can Google. But anyway, just as a note to follow up because I mentioned it before, there's this bullet.
  • Speaking of the superlatively intelligent and beautiful - my wife (sometimes known as MrsRW, though I should more rightly be known as Mr MrsRW) won the Best Costume award at the halloween party we went to a couple weeks ago. She went off and got herself a custom-made exact, historically accurate (including the bakelite buttons and official GPBL patch)  reproduction of the uniform for the Rockford Peaches. And looked exactly this good in it too, may I add.
  • And our youngest granddaughter, Sophie, turns 1 this month. Holy freakin cow where did THAT year go?
  • All 4 nao...

    November 05, 2012

    My Last Notes On The Election, Thank God

    The plain fact is that the last man to understand the Executive Branch of government was George Washington.

     He disallowed the inserting of an "imperial presidency" into our governmental mix, was decidedly strict about the limits to the application of power as it related to the Legislative and Judicial branches per the Constitution (which was still a very new and original document when he took office), was personally gratified by the honor of the office but secretly couldn't wait to get TF out of there as soon as he could, was circumspect about and was extremely wary of what the country decided was to be its role in the world, suspicious of "foreign entanglements" not only because imperialism seemed anathema to him but because he worried about the influence of foreign powers inside our halls of government, was against the formation of political parties, and acted in all ways and means within the limits of the constitution - no more and no less.

    Presidents since him have either been at the mercy of political affiliations or were special agents of a narrow politic. For Lincoln, Nixon, Wilson, and both Roosevelts - well  name any -  the game seems to have been how much extra power can you gather in to this office. You can't just blame President Bush (2) for the accumulation of power into the Executive; it began to be accumulated from Adams (1) on, little by little; until you have what you have now - too much power resting in that branch. The idea of a three-branch government - the old "checks and balances" method - was constructed to insure that no one branch, no one party, no one strong personality, and no one current trend insinuated itself into the process to the point where that process was adulterated in any way. Well that's not what we have any more, and haven't had since his Presidency.

    What we have now, after the accumulation of two centuries of fiddling with the original intent, isn't anywhere near what the founders designed, in my opinion. Bit original intent is another issue altogether. We're just using my view on the matter for this post.

    If you have any doubt that the "original intent" of the Constitution has been slaughtered let's just use the example of the 4th Amendment.
     The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
    Three words that prove my point? Police Check Points. For seat belts, en masse sobriety checks (I was once in a group of over 100 cars directed off the highway into a parking lot on a Labor Day weekend wherein everyone was checked to see if they were drunk, without any probable cause).  It has always been odd to me that the same people who are so all-fired angry about what they feel the 2nd Amendment means, and base their argument on the idea that we should "be true to the Constitution", nevertheless never seem to give a shit about the 4th.

    Be that example as it may...

     The point is the Presidency is not now composed of the particulars that it was originally intended to be composed of. And there is no one person or praty to blame. It's the people who are to blame. You and me. For letting it happen.

    The other plain fact is that there isn't going to be one wit's worth of difference between a Romney administration and an Obama one. The drone attacks will continue. Obamacare will not be repealed for the simple fact that no President is going to want to be responsible for taking millions of people OFF the healthcare system. In fact a Romney Presidency will be marked by the amount of things he will explain to the Tea Party that they can't have. Either that - or suddenly tax increases, the rising of the debt ceiling, and the continued expansion of the national debt will be perfectly okay. Suddenly. Because a Republican is doing them.

    If not, there will be such a hue and cry from the extremist reactionaries that have been trying to hijack America for the last three years and continue to be denied by the Republican establishment, that the GOP will be fatally fractured if not completely destroyed by 2015. Unless of course a President Romney enacts the programs of that terrorist annex and we increase the unemployment rolls by destroying thousands of jobs after the budget cuts they want take effect.

    How many government employees currently working will be seeking unemployment insurance after a Tea Party sweep and why do we never seem to understand that cutting the government to the degree they seek after equals job killing legislation?

     And where is George Washington in all of this?

    He certainly isn't toting guns into the New Hampshire State House as Tea Party members are these days. He isn't carrying out unlawful drone strikes on civilians throughout the Muslim world these days. He isn't changing his position for the sake of political expediency or wearing magic underwear these days. And he certainly isn't spending millions of dollars completely lying about his opponents in order to get into office. That's the legacyt WE are passing down to our children and grandchildren. He's not.

    He's probably sick of the whole thing too.

    Whatever happens tomorrow the problem is bigger than one guy or another. It's bigger than party politics. It's more important than which one of a handful of insignificant internet blog posers will end up being right about this or that. The problem is this country is sick, sad and confused. And we have no one to blame but ourselves.

    And George's got nothing to do with it.