Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Champion of the Universe

I was texting with Q the other morning.  

"I have to go to the gym now to get big and strong."

When I got home, I had another text from Q.

"Did it work?"

"Sure," I said, and I included the photo above.  

That's Jake LaMotta.  He was one of the bad asses of his time.  You have probably seen the movie "Raging Bull."  Yea. . . that's Jake LaMotta.  I sent this picture around to numerous friends saying, "No liquor, no calories, no sex--man this diet is REALLY working!"

They all laughed.  I had to follow up with something, though, as they might be missing the point.  I told them that this was LaMotta in old age.  

"There is only one undefeated champion.  Father Time.  Nobody has ever beaten him.  He is the all-time winner of every fight." 

It is a difficult pill to swallow.  

It's just like this fucking Dry January and stupid fucking diet.  It is, by and large, a useless attempt.  So say the experts.  
The rise of new weight loss drugs like Wegovy and Zepbound has highlighted just how ineffective dieting has been for the millions of people who have tried it. In a 2021 clinical trial of semaglutide (the active ingredient in Wegovy), for example, those taking the medication lost about 15 percent of their body weight in a little over a year, while those relying on just diet and exercise dropped only about 2 percent.

He and others have estimated that for every two pounds of weight you lose, your metabolism slows by about 25 calories per day, and your appetite increases by about 95 calories per day. So in other words, if you lose 20 pounds, your body will burn roughly 250 calories less each day while craving about 950 calories more. 

If you want to change the way you eat in order to lose weight, you have to sustain those changes “for the rest of your life,” he said. “Otherwise, you’re going to regain the weight.”  

All of the experts we spoke with agreed on one point: People will benefit from adopting healthy habits, “even if they don’t lose a pound,” Dr. Collazo-Clavell said.

As I've proclaimed so many times, I'm doomed!!!

But as Christopher Hutchins said when asked how he was doing when he had esophageal cancer, "I'm dying."

Then, after a pregnant pause, 

"But so are you."  

I went to dinner with Tennessee last night.  We ate at that great Mexican restaurant with the pretty Venezuelan bartender.  I told her that I was doing Dry January, and she said, "I can make you a mocktail Margarita."  Tennessee is trying Dry January, too, and he said, "Make two of them."  Holy smokes. . . she is good.  She has just turned twenty-two this week (she showed us pictures of her party on her phone), but she is one of the best bartenders I've ever met.  The drinks tasted exactly like Margaritas.  

But they did nothing to take the sharp edges off the world.  

Tennessee is a top-notch athlete.  I won't go into it because such things are tediously boring (unless it is about me).  But he is reaching an age where I know the fire in his belly for such things is beginning to burn out.  The brain and the body just begin to want to relax.  Where once you wanted to go go go go go. . . well, you'd rather sleep in and eat a big breakfast.  It just happens.  There are guys who get old and decide they are going to be fitness freaks, and that is what they look like.  Freaks.  An old man all jacked on jungle juice looks like a moron, I think.  

"Like. . . what the fuck are you doing, dude?"

You've seen them.  You know.  They look like an advertisement for a mental disorder.  

Still, you know. . . it is hard to let go.  So. . . we diet and exercise and try to live forever.  

And it might be true.  Olive oil might just be the answer.  I think, though, you need garlic, too.  

I mean, look at Woody Allen. Here he is testing the limits of scientific knowledge.  That is Woody, isn't it?  He's getting ready for the Olympics.  

As my friend texted me this morning, it's great that they can pick one guy as representative of something and make it seem universal.  All you have to do. . . .

"He's just trying to get laid."

"Sure. . . Ozempic and Viagra."

"It's a wonderful new age.  Enjoy."  

This is not proper dinner table conversation, though.  Emily Post would surely disapprove.  And remember. . . chew with your mouth closed.  

I don't know. . . it is just all this shit passed across my computer screen this morning within a couple of minutes.  It is funny how coincidental things can be.  Travis is the King of Coincidence, it would seem.  He, at least, is acutely aware of them.  

This morning is cold all over the U.S. I was supposed to travel to a distant city to have breakfast today, but the plans got cancelled last night.  I would have had to wear long pants and shoes--two things I have come to dread.  I am a lazy southern boy who has no envy for those in colder climes.  Living in North Dakota, I think, is a sign of severe psychosis.  A friend just returned from a trip there last week.  He was impressed by the number of tall Nordic blonde "loose" women he encountered.  I laughed at his astonishment.  

"What else is there to do in North Dakota but drink and [have sex]*."

Oh, they had curling, he said.  

"Yea. . . that will do it."  

As a song goes, there is nothing between North Dakota and the Arctic but a barbed wire fence.  

It is 40 degrees here this morning, plenty cool enough for me.  

I got beautified yesterday in preparation for today's cancelled breakfast.  My little beautician, though, is in her last trimester of pregnancy and so I had to go to her home salon.  It is far away in a strange part of town, but I will save that story for another time.  She was born a True Beauty and has the photos to prove it.  As she got older, she started competing in Fitness competitions, trained like crazy, and won a few minor trophies.  She is still a pretty woman, but as I was saying earlier. . . .  Now she is pregnant at 45, and I think out loud, "WTF?"  But who am I to judge?  And she took me yesterday as one of the few clients she is doing now. . . and I look marvelous!  Ha!  Rather, anyway.  Now all I need is a little nip here and a tuck there. . . .  

Tennessee is a rich hillbilly.  Somehow I have a hard time reconciling his accent with all the sophisticated travel he does.  Lots.  All the time.  Last night, he was surprising me with his knowledge of NYC.  His experiences are much different than mine.  He stays in nice hotels, is invited to parties thrown by Christies at the Rainbow Room, eats at the best restaurants. . . .  I counter with my days at the Chelsea Hotel or at the former Barbizon when the daughters of wealthy families were still ensconced there.  Or, of course, the Algonquin.  Now, though, when I think of going to New York, I am looking up the price of a room at the Pod Hotel where the rooms are Ikea style, a place to sleep, no lux, so that when you roll out of bed you are in the bathroom.  He told me one of his favorite places to stay is the W Hotel in Union Square because he likes the street life there.  But he and his wife, he said, love to go to the Korean karaoke bars in Bryant Park.  Bryant Park?  It is a part of NYC with which I am wholly unfamiliar.  40th St. West Side.  Huh. I remember 42nd St. when it was hookers and porn shops before it got Disneyfied, but I have never spent any real time there.  He looked up the price of a room at the W right now for me.  It was like everything else in town, maybe a little cheaper at $400/night.  

"Yea, man. . . I'll be at the Pod on the East Side.  If I can afford that.  But not now.  Maybe Spring." 

Q just spent weeks there before the weather turned to shit.  Sky was there for Xmas and New Year.  My beautician had a recent trip, too.  And C.C.  And a bunch of people from the factory.  Jesus. . . what has happened to me?  

All I can reply with is. . . "shall I wear the bottoms of my trouser's rolled?"**

Well, there's a cheery ramble through the briars.  I think I got it all out.  The sun is shining for once, which, in spite of the cold, makes me happy.  I need to get out into it.  I don't need to spend another day moping inside.  

And so. . . as they say. . . until then. . . . 

*(that is not how I actually put it)

** (The Waste Land)

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