Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Better Call Saul – Episode 3-3, “Sunk Costs”


COLD OPEN: Various shots of the unforgiving New Mexico desert. Old tires, long stretches of road, a bullet-riddled ALTO sign (if you’re not a hispanican, that means STOP). And an old, dusty pair of high tops hanging from the power line that crosses the road right at the ALTO sign. A Los Pollos Hermanos truck rumbles through the intersection, shaking everything in its wake. Which, do bobtail trucks like that really cause that much of a racket? As the truck pulls away, it generates enough hullabaloo for the frayed shoestrings on the high tops to finally break, and they come to rest in the middle of the road.

(ASIDE: There are many explanations to the practice of “dangling.” Most popular is it indicates the presence of drug activity or gangs marking their territory. Others say It’s a move by bullies, or that it’s a memorial to a person’s recent death. I think it’s safe to say that here it’s a marker of some sort. And as we know, everything means something on this show. I wouldn’t be surprised if the same brand that Jessie was wearing when he first meets Walter White on Breaking Bad, or something like that. Or they could just be shoes on a wire. I which case, screw me. END ASIDE)

REPRISE the ringing of the phone sitting on top of the gas cap. Mike answers, and this time we hear the dusky, dulcet tones of Gustavo Fring on the other end. He wants to ensure the meeting that’s about to happen ends in an amicable fashion. You don’t show me yours, I won’t show you mine. Two car approach from opposite directions, one carrying Mr. Fring. He exits and engages in a delightful conversation with Mike. The acting here is just awesome. Mike wants an explanation to the DON’T note that prevented him from offing Hector Salamanca. And while Gus doesn’t want Hector dead, yet, he is OK with Mike continuing his beef with Salamanca, which is still a thing because Hector killed the innocent civilian that happened upon the truck of his that Mike robbed. And while Mike’s original issue with Hector is concluded (Hector threatened his family, Mike took his money, the end, right?), Mike is far from done with Hector Salamanca. Which is fine with Gus. Because when Hector’s business is bad, that’s good for Gus’ business. Again, really great exchange between these two.

Back at W&M, LLP, Jimmy calls Francesca and has her clear his schedule for the next day, and let Kim know that he won’t be back in the office for the day. Jimmy is resigned to his arrest and fishes an old pack of cigarettes out of his glove box, lights one up and cops a squat on the curb to wait for Five-OH. Chuck ventures out to reinforce to Jimmy that it’s for the best and that there are always consequences for your actions. Then Chuck blathers on about why he’s doing this – he WILL be pressing charge, and he just wants to show Jimmy he truly must make a change for the better and hopes he will be a better person when he comes out of this on the other side. Man I swear to GOD I would kick Chuck right in his self-righteous nuts right then. “You’ll find your path. And when you’re ready, I will be there to help you walk that path.” Sure you will Chuck. I’m not sure you’re gonna make it past the season finale. Then we see that Jimmy has finally had enough with Chuck. After detailing how one day Chuck is going to have another one of his episodes, will get shipped to the hospital and hooked up to the machines that beep and whir and hurt (you can see Chuck physically whence at this), Chuck’s going to die there – alone. And judging by the look on Chuck’s face, he knows Jimmy’s right. For so long Jimmy has given Chuck the benefit of the doubt because he is family. But family doesn’t do this to each other, and it’s obvious that Jimmy is so dunzo with his older brother. “Welp, there’s my ride.”

Cut to montage of Jimmy going through the drills of arrest and booking. Mugshot (reminded me of Raising Arizona, “Turn to the right. Howdy, Kurt.”) and fingerprinting (another genius camera angle shot here, POV of the fingerprint pad). Deputy District Attorney Oakley spots Jimmy and takes great pleasure in a bit of gloating (How the mighty have fallen) while Jimmy is processed. They both jockey for position a bit, Oakley to see if he could get in on that “sweet Davis and Main gig” that Jimmy left, and Jimmy trying to find out who’s gonna catch the case (both judge and prosecutor wise). Oakley blinks first and says he’ll see if he can get Jimmy’s first appearance moved up, then departs with some unsolicited advice. “Find the biggest guy. Punch him right in the face. Establish dominance.” Thanks dude.

Cut to Montage Number 2 – Kim waking up on her couch at work. She grabs a cup of Joe and a set of dry cleaned clothes, walks across the street to North Valley Fit and proceeds with a morning get ready for work routine. Shower, hair, Visine, makeup, fresh set of clothes and back across the street to the office. Looks as if she’s done this before, which means that while things are good between her and Jimmy at work, I’m not sure they are an item between the sheets anymore. Upon her return, Ernie is sitting outside the office. Evidently, he’s been fired and he feels awful for what happened to Jimmy. Man, for someone who didn’t mean for a lot for this to happen, it sure does seem to happen. He again spills the beans, and Kim now knows that Jimmy’s been arrested. And for me, it showed the depths of what Chuck will go to to prove his point. Jimmy is not the most scrupulous lawyer in the world, but at least he has heart. Chuck is a vindictive, lowlife asshole who only thinks he’s doing the right thing. And that only makes it worse. The entire thing was a ruse. A trap. Not just getting Jimmy on tape, but letting Ernie find and hear the tape knowing he’d go to Jimmy, that Jimmy would kick in the door mad as hell and destroy the tape, and that he’d have Jimmy arrested. All with one goal in mind – to get Jimmy disbarred. What a colossal dick. And what a colossal long con.

It’s Jimmy’s turn in front of the judge. Nice banter back and forth between her and Jimmy. “Not how I’m used to seeing you. Not how I’m used to being seen.” As Judge Arch reads the lists of offenses, Jimmy enters a plea of “not guilty” and Kim makes an appearance. And while she tries to insert herself as Jimmy’s attorney, he will have none of it. After making bond and cabbing it back to the office, Jimmy unveils a (somewhat) heartfelt and impassioned plea to Kim that he’s sorry for not calling her and telling her but he just has to do this himself!! “I can’t and I WON’T load this on to you, too.” He also explains how Chuck’s plan played out, that he played Jimmy like a fiddle and how he fell for it hook, line and sinker. Kim stares blankly at him, pauses and simply says, “OK.” Not what I think Jimmy was hoping for. Francesca points out to Jimmy that she finished the mural, touching up the edges that needed a little help after Jimmy ripped off the painter’s tape in anger. Another small sign of the growing relationship between Jimmy and Francesca. I think she will become a much bigger player as the season unfolds.

Mike makes a visit to the Clinica Gratuita to obtain something from a doctor, a meeting set up by a “mutual friend.” El doctor asks about the gringo waiting for him and is told it’s for “the revenge.” The doctor will see Mike, er, Mr. Clark, next. Seems Mike needs “package” about “yea” big. Doesn’t know how many grams. Just, you know, “yea” big. Mike takes the package and tucks it away in the trunk with his long-range sniper rifle, so we know he’s again up to no good.

Back at the courthouse, DDA Oakley takes his vending machine coffee and two bags of chips and settles at a bench for lunch. Jimmy joins him with a burger and fries. Jimmy proceeds to feel out Oakley (eww!) to see if he can get him to agree to a favorable plea bargain. However, seems that Oakley is not the one who’s drawn the case. He’s been conflicted out. In fact, the entire Albuquerque office is out. “We all know you, Jimmy.” They’ve pulled in an outside prosecutor, on that’s “tough but fair.” And Jimmy is none too happy about it.

And now to my favorite scene of the episode. Mike pulls off to the side of the road next to our bullet-riddled ALTO sign, pops the trunk and extracts a box containing a brand-new pair of high tops – the exact brand and color as the ones that fell from the power lines earlier in the episode. Mike opens the “package” and take what looks like either a bag of cocaine or heroin and shoves it deep down into the toe of one of the shoes. He then ties the shoes together and takes at least three tosses to get the back to hanging from the power line.

Mrs. Hay, Chuck’s attorney, arrives at his home and begins taking Chuck’s statement about the incident with Jimmy. Jimmy had a key and used to help Chuck out but Chuck had recently changed the locks (important to note because I think Jimmy can argue that he was concerned for Chuck’s welfare and only kicked in the door when the key didn’t work, thus negating the B&E charge). As she questions him, Chuck paints the picture of what happened, but also says that Jimmy has never been prone to violence and certainly would never physically assault him. Chuck assures her that he won’t back out at any point, and then asks about her strategy. She doesn’t plan on taking it easy on Jimmy because he’s a lawyer, and she won’t let him plea down the felony breaking and entering charge. She’s ready to get to work, and Chuck continues to play out his devious plan. He shows remorse and regret and caring for his brother, and he can’t help but think there is a better solution, for everyone. BEWM.

Cut to the barren New Mexico landscape and a slight reflection from atop a distant ridge. Mike is hunkered down with rifle and binoculars keeping watch on our favorite intersection. He soon spies Hector’s boys coming his way and lines them up in his sights. As they stop to deposit their gently used guns in the drop point, Mike fires off a few rounds into the sky. They drop for cover before determining the shots are probably coming from hunters in the area. The boys continue on their way and return to the truck as shots continue to ring out. As they start to pull away, Mike trains his sights on the high tops and drills the toe of the lowest hanging one. A cascade of cocaine/heroin falls silently onto the roof and back steps of the truck. Not a lot, but just enough. While very elaborate and a tiny bit far-fetched, it was still pretty brilliant, as we’ll soon see when the truck arrives at the frontera Mexico y Usatdos Unidos in 20 km. At customs, we see the same scene we once saw in Breaking Bad, officials and drug sniffing dogs comb over and through the trucks before being allowed to cross the border. A dog hits on our boys’ truck, and they are immediately arrested. Dugus supplyus interruptus. Just brilliant.

Kim and Jimmy are both working late, and she notices the glow of his cigarette through the glass block wall. Kim joins him for a drag of the incredibly old and stale cigarette (probably from when the doors still matched). Jimmy heard from the ADA, and it’s not what he expected. It’s different. Pre-prosecution diversion, an even more legalized term for deferred adjudication – what seems like the best possible outcome. Lucky break? Not really. The PPD was Chuck’s idea. What’s his game? Jimmy pleads guilty to all charges, but if he stays clean for a year, he avoids any jail time.  “I thought he wanted me in jail. He just wants my law license.” BEWM. Jimmy thought he could get through it, but Chuck has him boxed in, and Chuck practically owns the bar having made half of their careers. But Jimmy’s not alone. Kim offers her help in a plea that is essentially the EXACT OPPOSITE of what Jimmy tried to plea with hear earlier. It’s all chalked up to the fallacy of sunk costs (throwing good money after bad). So what next? Take that PPD and shove it right up Chuck’s ass! That’s our Jimmy!

So, what do you think? Was Jimmy running a long con on Kim to ultimately get her to help him? And make it her idea? He couldn’t have foreseen the PPD could he? Or is he sincere on all of this? Lemme hear from you!!

the idea that a company or organization is more likely to continue with a project if they have already invested a lot of money, time, or effort in it, even when continuing is not the best thing to do:
Economists would point out that the sunk cost fallacy is irrational, and could be described as "throwing good money after bad".

Monday, October 14, 2013

Is This Thing Still On?

So according to this here blog, I haven't posted in more than 3 years. Um, procrastinate much?

So where the hell have I been? Life got in the way. Aliens abducted me. I got mistaken for Kevin James and have been in Los Angeles shooting Mall Cop 2: Blart Strikes Back.

Actually, I got caught up near a rip in time fabric in the alt-universe and the Fringe team Ambered the entire block.*

Truth be told. Life just plain got in the way. I once read in Writer's Digest that if you say you don't have time to write, then you're not making your writing high enough priority. And while that piece of no-shit-Sherlock wisdom can pretty much apply to anything**, it pretty much fits me like my favorite pair of skinny jeans.***

For those of you who tuned in to FAT GUY before when I mused about my weight loss surgery experiences, I won't leave you hanging. I'm still around 30-35 lbs. down (give or take a hamburger or two) from my pre-weight loss surgery, which, if you read the fine print in all the commercials, it tells you that 30-35 pounds is the average amount of weight loss lap band patients achieve. The ones who lose 100-plus work out like 8 times a day. That's not me folks. I don't have time to write and/or work on my toenail sculptures, much less work out.

So if I would take my rotund caboose to the gym every once in a while, I might lose a pound or two more. But I've lost 30 pounds, and that can add up to 10 years on to my lifespan. So, the good news is that I'm not going anywhere, at least for another 10 years anyway.

The better news is that I've found my writing mojo again. And of all places, I found it at my 25-year high school reunion this past weekend. I ran into a friend who I hadn't seen in, you guessed it, 25 years. She told me that she had just LOVED what I was writing previously here on FAT GUY, so much so that she got her husband to read it. Then, said husband proceeded to tell me how much he enjoyed it and how funny it was.

So thank you to high school friend and said husband. Your compliments have inspired me. Was great to see you and meet said husband, too.

What can you expect from FAT GUY 2.0? Same warped sense of outlook on the world, applied to whatever tickles my underbelly. And hopefully a little more often than once every three years.

One last thing ... you'll notice I've done the whole asterisk/footnote thing here. I saw it in an Adam Davies book once and I kinda liked it. I thought it would save on the overusage of parentheses. Not sure if I like it or not. Guess we'll see.

And a piece of advice: make sure you go to your high school reunion. All the people you didn't know that well in high school and who you thought weren't cool are now very nice people and, in fact, are likely cooler than you are now. Plus, you never know what you'll find.

Until next time, peace, love and footnotes.

* The wife and I are on 5th and final season of a Fringe-a-thon, so you're likely to see many more Fringe references. I can see the question mark forming over your heads already.

** I don't have time to make life-sized statues of the cast of Firefly out of toenail clippings either, so I guess that, too, has fallen down my priority list.

*** Yep. Try to get THAT image out of your head.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Lap Band Reunion Tour Date Confirmed

Starting weight: 328 lbs.
Current weight: 283 lbs.
Amount lost: 45 lbs.

Mark your calendars, boys and girls. The Band is getting back together and is coming to a city near ME! With insurance approval and clearance in hand, I recently visited The Good Doctor again to find out what's in store for Lap Band 2: Beyond Thunderdome.

Good news all around! Bandin' 2: Electric Boogaloo should be much easier in all facets (or should that be .. fat-cets?). Liquid diet for only a few days instead of a week before. Three incisions instead of five, which is good since my scar-heavy belly is running out of uncharted territory. And since the band is already in place, I won't have to take the agonizingly slow stair step progression back to solid foods. Burgers, brats and beer in post-Op for everyone!

But most importantly, I get the Ball of Pain-meds back, along with my concubine and liquid gold BFF ... say it with me ... HY-DRO-CO-DONE ... CLAP! CLAP! CLAP CLAP CLAP!

Procedure should take only about 30 minutes or so and entails actually replacing the port on my left side. A new port on my port side. HA. Nautical shout out!

And about a month after surgery I get going again with another fill. I won't be able to go straight back to the level I was at pre-spleen splatter, but at least I'll finally have some gastric restriction again. And who out there isn't longing for a little gastric restriction, right?

Surgery day will still be a little bit of a whipping. Arrange for someone to take the girls to school. Get up at the butt crack of dawn. Get to the hospital, fill out the paperwork, sit and wait and wait and wait. But last time I was in at 6 a.m. and out by Noon. So in truth, it'll be more of a whipping on The Wife than it will for me. I'll be in La La Land counting rainbows and unicorns all hopped up on goofballs in a constant state of hooby gooby. She'll be the one dealing with it all on top of my stoned ass. Good times, right honey?

So the One-Day, One-City Lap Band Reunion Tour is set for Oct. 20. Which is deliciously ironical or coincidental (take your pick) in that it's almost a year to the exact day of my original surgery date (Oct. 21, 2009). That really doesn't mean a whole helluva lot. I just thought it was kinda neat-o (really? who still says neat-o?).

Honestly, it can't get here soon enough. While I've enjoyed partaking in food and drink that I previously couldn't or didn't partake in (see earlier reference to burgers, brats and beer), I'm ready to get back on the bariatric bandwagon. A colleague of mine recently hit the 100 lbs. down mark after her gastric bypass, and come hell or high water, or really tall trees for that matter, I'm going to hit that mark as well.

Next time out I'll review Lap Band 2: The Spleen Strikes Back while heavily sedated. Good times.

Peace, love and hooby gooby!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Putting the Band Back Together

Starting weight: 328 lbs.
Current weight: 280 lbs.
Total weight loss: 48 lbs.

It's been almost two months since my unfortunate yard diving incident splattered my spleen and rendered my bariatric implant null and void. But boy howdy if it hasn't made for a good story. I mean, I fell out of a tree. That's some funny shit.

Good news is that I'm all healed up and surviving just fine without my purple antibody making little buddy. Bad news is that my underwear is currently providing more restriction than my Lap Band is. So now that my surgeon has given me the green light to get back into my normal routine, it's time to make like Jake and Elwood Blues and put the band back together.

"We had a band powerful enough to turn goat piss into gasoline."
- Donald 'Duck' Dunn, bassist, The Blues Brothers

Now I won't go so far as to say that my Band was that powerful. I mean, I didn't actually TRY to use my Band to turn goat piss into gasoline. So I can't truthfully say that it couldn't. But what it could do was help me lose weight. And ever since my ill conceived and poorly executed turn as Tarzan, Lord of the Apes left me singing the little Billy Joel/Garth Brooks ditty, "I'm Spleenless," a plate of nachos (with cheese) and a heaping pile of jalapenos has done more to help me lose weight in the past two months than my Lap Band has.

My crash landing caused the tube to the port to come loose, and my surgeon had stitched it back into place but couldn't re-attach it. So, last week I went to see The Good Doctor (TGD) to find out what needs to be done to fix my band.

Let me just say up front here that I made a tactical error when scheduling this visit. Best piece of advice I got at the outset of this was to ALWAYS take the earliest appointment possible. Doctors, in general, tend to run long on each patient meeting. The Good Doctor, especially. Multiply that by 10-15 patients, and afternoon appointments become LATE afternoon appointments.

Needless to say, my 3:30 turned into 4:45, and by that time I was, as the kids like to say these days, HAWT!!!! And not in a good way.

For WHATEVER reason, The Good Doctor's minions had flagged me as a new patient, and that only made things worse. So as I not-so-calmly and not-so-politely informed them that what should have been a 15 minute consultation had turned into an hour-and-a-half ass whipping, The Good Doctor magically appeared out of nowhere a la All-American Burger manager Dennis Taylor after Brad Hamilton said, "Mister, if you don't shut up I'm gonna kick 100 percent of your ass."

Just had a few questions. What's involved? How much will it cost? How much pain medication can you legally give me without the AMA taking notice? (hee. I kid!) I was already a little irked by the disclosure I had to sign when I got there stating any "revision" would cost a fat (heh!) $1,100 outside of insurance coverage. So my blood pressure had red-lined from the get-go. Throw in a 90-minute wait and I was Mount Freaking Vesuvius all ready to get my pyroplastic flow on up in here!

OK, I wasn't really that irritated and loud, though I did tell them through clenched teeth that I had to leave and needed to reschedule. But you wouldn't know that by how everyone was scurrying around with ducked heads and tucked tails. I guess they aren't used to us fat people raging against the bariatic machine.

Anywho, just like that The Good Doctor and I tipped off into an empty office for a little chat. I explained to him what happened, and that my surgeon had faxed over the procedure notes so that he'd know exactly what went down at the spleen scene. Ain't no thang says TGD. Fax in a letter of predetermination to get insurance approval (which he seemed to think wouldn't be a problem) and then they'll put me on the schedule. Don't have to pay the $1,100 because this is not considered a "revision." Should only have to pay what the insurance won't cover (which hopefully will be only about 10 percent of it all). Three incisions, half an hour, in and out, done and done.

See. Now was that so hard? Next time out my ass will be waiting out in the hall for them to open the door. Early bird gets the fat worm and all that.

So, while I wait for clearance to fly from the friendly skies of UnitedHealthcare, I have to remain culinarily diligent and keep up with the exercise. Because the bariatric floodgates are open and all I can think of is ... some toasted white bread, four fried chickens and a Coke.

Peace, love and three orange whips.

Monday, June 14, 2010

My Spleen Has Fallen and Can't Get Up

Starting Weight: 328 lbs.
Current Weight: 273 lbs.
Amount lost: 55 lbs., minus whatever a spleen weighs

If you are at all familiar with Douglas Adams' mind-blowing, ground-breaking novel, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, you know that the answer to the ultimate question is simply this: 42.

And if you are at all familiar with the mind-blowing, earth-shattering events of my life from this past week, I can honestly tell you up front that the answer to your ultimate question is simply this: I have no freaking idea what I was thinking.

Saturday, my youngest and I were playing in the front yard. She's always been curious about climbing trees, so I often prop her up in the crook of one of the ones in the front. She gets the giggles of being up there for about 5 minutes but then wants down because said tree really isn't a good climbing tree, and she can go no further than said crook.

BUT ... for whatever reason, I decided it would be a good idea for me to show my youngest that her Big Bad Voodoo Daddy can make like the monkeys. So up I go, and quite nimbly I might add (thank you Mr. Lap Band). I proudly shouted down to my youngest, who smiled broadly and even got the attention of her sister. They both waved back quizzically as if to say, "Look at that silly Daddy up there in the tree. I hope he doesn't fall and bust his ass." Ah, the wisdom of youth.

So as I started to get down, I honestly thought to myself, "I need to be careful here so I don't fall and bust my ass." I surveyed my options and decided that the quickest, easiest and OBVIOUSLY the safest route would be to swing out on a branch, hang for a few seconds, then drop down. Easy breezy, right?

I must have underestimated my strength, grip, forward momentum, air-speed velocity and the limb's desire to be held onto, because at that moment, Howard Cosell started shouting in my ear.


Eleven and a half feet later, I landed flat on my ribs on the ride side, as well as the right side of my face. After taking a personal inventory to make sure I didn't have a bone and/or stick poking in and/or out of my body, I summoned my youngest, staggered inside and coughed out words rarely heard from a married man's mouth ... "Go tell your mother that Daddy just fell out of a tree."

At first glance, my injuries seemed minor. Ribs weren't in too bad of shape, and the small gash that had opened up in my right eyebrow near the bridge of my nose was only trickling blood.

Nonetheless, I stuffed my macho-ness into my back pocket and had the Wife take me to an Urgent Care facility just to be safe. Once there, the rib x-rays came back clean, and the small cut needed no more than a couple of stitches, mostly for cosmetic reasons.

But then, much like a recalled 2008 Honda Element sitting on a steep incline, I started going downhill ... Q-U-I-C-K-L-Y.

I knew at that point something wasn't right, and while I never miss a chance to don Shakespearean garb, embrace an English accent and shout, "Something's rotten in Denmark," (Hamlet, Act I, Scene IV), I grunted toward the doctor that I didn't feel so swift.

First came the cold sweats, then the nausea and then my systolic and diastolic decided to see how fast they could reach zero. Before long, the paramedics arrived to transport me to the big hospital, and upon arrival, a gaggle of doctors, nurses, technicians and for all I know, a few clowns, descended upon me to suss out the situation.

They did a CT Scan of my belly and watched my blood pressure ride the Shockwave at Six Flags, going up, down, round and round before finally deciding that I would be better served with my spleen on the outside of my body instead of letting it leak blood BP-style into my abdomen.

So ... a short time later I was out of surgery, which at that point had been deemed "emergency surgery," minus one spleen. Scary note: I had bled two pints of blood into my belly, thanks in part to the fact that the impact had caused my spleen to split into THREE PIECES!!!!

I spent the next day and a half in CCU, moved to a private room on Monday afternoon and was discharged late Wednesday night. Rest of the week pretty much consisted of hours and hours of cuddling up in a warm, loving embrace with my sultry mistress hydrocodone.

So what does all this mean going forward? Well, you can obviously live without the spleen. It does some cool stuff, but the amazing human body adapts. The spleen works primarily with your immune system, so I had to get several immunizations before discharge and will have to get yearly vaccinations to protect against particular infections. It also means that I'll need to immediately start taking antibiotics if I start running a fever above 100.4 degrees.

A small price to pay considering the alternative. It's amazing how an instantaneous decision can quickly turn into a life-threatening event. I consider myself very lucky and am very thankful to all the doctors and nurses who took such great care of me. I'm also appreciative to all my co-workers, friends, family and extensions thereof for the prayers, thoughts and well wishes.

Next time out I'll discuss how all of this affects the Lap Band and my weight loss efforts going forward. But for now ... PICTURES!

TOP: Behold ... FRANKENBELLY. 13-inch scar. 21 total staples. GAK!
BOTTOM: An illustration of the offending tree and surrounding area.

Until next time ... peace, love and pints of blood

Friday, June 4, 2010

My Cup Size Runneth Over

Starting weight: 328 lbs.
Current weight: 275 lbs.
Amount lost: 53 lbs.

So where have you guys been? I haven't heard from you in a while.

Yeah, I know. I have been a bit, um, shall we say, delinquent in my updates. I could sit here and give you a million excuses, but you know what the proverbial "they" say: Excuses are like assholes - everybody's got them, and most of the time they are really stinky (OK maybe I added that last part).

Truth is, when I decided to blog about my experience traveling the Bariatric Highway, I knew that putting myself out there warts and all meant that I was accountable to anyone who decided to read along.

So when the losing slowed, stopped and even began to go up and down more times than Linda Lovelace, I simply felt like I was letting myself and you as friends and followers down. And quite honestly, I was embarrassed.

To borrow a turn of phrase from Lost's great Benjamin Freakin' Linus, "Weight loss can be a fickle bitch sometimes."

When all is well, she can boost your confidence, quicken your step and energize your soul. But when all is not, she can leave you curled up in a blubbering heap clinging to an extra large bag of baked Cheetos (chewed slowly and thoroughly, of course).

All this to say that the reasons behind the decrease in weight loss are not highly scientifical or a Mystery of the Universe.

I was intaking more calories than I was extaking (hey look, new word!). I stopped eating right. I stopped working out. I stopped losing weight. Well, duh!!!

But, after a three-week bout of pneumonia that left me moving slower than British Petroleum, I have reversed course, gotten back on the eating right and working out train and am down a total of 53 pounds! More than halfway to my goal. YEAH!

So there you have it. I have confessed my shame and beg your forgiveness. Dramatic much?

Last time out I promised pictures, and here they are in all their shirtless glory. I realize many of you have no desire to see my man boobs, but hey, that's the way I roll! At least I have pants on.

Oh, and there is no truth to the rumor that 5 pounds of my weight loss came from getting a haircut.

BEFORE (top): Taken Oct. 25, 2009, four days after my surgery.
DURING (bottom): Taken June 4, 2010, 7 months and 14 days after my surgery

Until next time ... Peace, love and baked Cheetos.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

50 is the New 40

Starting weight: 328 lbs.
Current weight: 278 lbs.
Amount lost: 50 lbs.

That's right. You read it correctly. 50.

Fifty. One half of the greatest Van Halen album of all time.

Five O ... M ... G!!! And there was much rejoicing.

Since we last spoke (and the phone rings both ways, you know), I have been pounding the revolving rubberized pavement on a regular basis, choosing from the heart healthy section of the menu and generally behaving in proper Lap Bander fashion.

I won't say that things haven't been without incident. I went in for my second fill at the end of January, and I continue to be reminded on a regular basis that I MUST CHEW WELL and SLOW DOWN. I need to be such a superior chewer that I get named the captain of of the United States Chewing Team. I need to be the slowest train in the world.

Chew......... chew ........ chew ........ chew ....... chew. Wait for it. OHHHhhhhhh. I get it now.

I know I'm beginning to sound like the Department of Redundancy Department. Eat slowly. Chew well. Ad nauseum. But unless I hack this thing up and out and earn a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records with the weirdest loogie ever, it ain't changing anytime soon. So I'm all Don Cornelius here on the SLLOOOOOOOOOOOOW Train.

Another awesome bit of awesomeness to share. I've been walking two miles a day and slowly adding a bit of jogging into my workout. Well the other day I RAN A WHOLE MILE. All at once.

First time since high school. First time I've wanted to since high school. I can't say it's as a big a deal as receiving total consciousness on my deathbed, but the only time my former fat self would have run that much was when there was a B.O.G.O. on all Cheeto products at CVS.

So I got that going for me. Which is nice.

Next time ... Pictures!

"We wish you love, peace ... and SOUL!"