We have some sonic challenges today and tomorrow. Two sounds I hear in the kitchen all the time. They reminded me of something the first time I heard them, and I can't unhear them.

  The first. Go on, fill it in. My wife got it on the second listen.

Think about it. Answer to follow.

Not actually an answer, but you know what I mean.

Well, I wrecked my right arm. It can be safely ascribed to SMED, or Stupid Male Emotional Displacement. Last week was just wretched for a few reasons, and I decided that I would purge the sour dismay by going ALL IN! on a few machines. I’ve been at these weights for a while; why not push myself?

Because you’re OLD might be something but we’re not going to listen to that voice. So: the lat pulldown machine I can do 90lbs, no problem. Let’s try 100. Hmm: doable. So let us now take that as the daily duty. The Chestal Expander Unit or whatever it’s called has three positions of increasing misery; bump up to 120lbs and do the reps on the middle positions. Ouch! But doable. The first set is counting 1 - 10, the second is 10-1, the third is counting off pairs. Somehow this helps.

The targeted muscles can take it, but it turns out that the forearms had their own opinion, so now I have this meat + elbow thing that says Ha Ha, guess who’s really the boss? So I guess I have to lay off for a day or two, or maybe just take an Aleve and power through, making it worse. I haven’t skipped a day since I started, so that’s not an option.

Really: aside from vacations, I have no skipped a day since I started in, oh, October? And I haven’t gone off my low-low-carb / sugar thing, either. Why? you ask. Why deny? I don’t know. I felt slack and doughy before, and changing that was a project, and it was successful beyond what I had anticipated. I think a lot of it has to do with growing up the fat kid who hated gym and dreaded the locker room. It was a foreign place where none of my own supposed skills and advantages had any purpose. I dreaded gym, and the whole thing was saturated with humiliations general and specific. Which were, I’m sure, entirely my own imaginings. Now it’s my gym and it’s my locker room, because, well, there’s no one there.

But also because it has been a place of very specific success. I absolutely transformed myself at this late age. And there is still room for ice cream in my life.

We had an office party the other day, one of those “reasons to come into the office!” things, and there were many cookies. I had half of a small one, because if you decline the rest, the presence of the uneaten portion negates the caloric intake of the consumed part. This is science. I was discussing various diets (well, no, I do hate that word. Eating Paradigms, perhaps) with someone at the office, and she asked “so does it include giving up alcohol?” And I reared back in surprise: oh my stars and bars no, that would be nuts. In fact the whole point of this is to make the Friday Night Troika a celebration of life: Pizza, Whiskey, Ice Cream. I tell you, I lay down for that Friday afternoon nap, and I think: Pizza Whiskey Ice Cream.

And then I think of Saturday breakfast to come: some hash browns, the half English muffin with cream cheese and (sugar free) preserves, the eggs with fresh diced habaneros . . . and then the glorious hamburger (infused with bacon fat) with its fresh toasted bun, and then Sunday breakfast with a pancake - it’s an absolute Orgy of the Normally Forbidden.

Then it’s back to the treadmill, not to repent but to earn the next batch of sins. (Note: not, in any possible sense, sins.)

The amusing part is that I do the home cooking, and serve my wife normal portions of pasta and carbs while I had more protein-heavy portions, and she doesn’t gain an ounce. Possibly because she plays tennis for two hours at a stretch without pausing.

Anyway, it all goes back to childhood insecurities. Isn’t that novel? Imagine that, something as distant as childhood playing a role in your everyday thoughts and actions.

Good thing that’s probably the only example!



The matron on the left appears to be wearing the hollowed-out hindquarters of a pig on her head.







Here's your assignment: tie this to West Side Story, Twin Peaks, Gaslight, and Titanic.

Ah, that grinding troublesome score giving way to bittersweet melodic bliss, then staggering around with no idea what it’s doing.


It begins with family breakfast, and we have a glimpse of the middle-class house:


Except dad’s behind the 8-ball. Mom notes that the morning milk delivery included a past-due bill, and gives Dad a tight look.

Well, off to work. Wish I could find the location, but I can't.

Does it matter? Grand-scheme-wise, no

Anyway, he goes in to get a raise, but as it happens the boss tells him he’s going to be let go at the end of the month. There’s a twist, though: the boss also plans to kill himself, and would like our hero to help him! If his soon-to-be-fired assistant bookkeeper helps him make the suicide look like murder, the insurance company will pay off big bucks and help his family.

Seems a lot to ask of a fellow he’s just fired.

Well, he does it. At least I think he does it. The source material here, YouTube, cuts out the moment where he plugs the corpse, and the soundtrack jumps.

The cops on the job:


He’s supposedly a dogged, tireless investigator, but as with all his movie roles, there’s something absent. He’s just not a hard guy. He’s so much better when he’s got a comic note in his performance - either deadpan, as in Dragnet, or overt, as in M*A*S*H*. Perhaps I’m judging him unfairly, with the knowledge of what he could do. Perhaps he was effective back then.

Anyway. Any inadvertent documentary? Yes!

It’s a fine enough little B movie with a halfway decent denouement. It’s also short, which is always welcome.

Again, your assignment: tie this to West Side Story, Twin Peaks, Gaslight, and Titanic.

Now two ways to chip in!

That'll do: off on another week of stuff, and I hope you enjoy it.

Oh! Right. Almost forgot.


That's easy. Tomorrow's is tougher.





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