Friday, 25 January 2008

Feedback Friday: The Good, The Bad and The Bag Full of Urine

bulk :: 19st 1 (excellent. Finally I seem to making real progress. That’ll be the exercise. And the bananas.)
cigarettes :: 6 (I know, I know, I know. I’m sorry. I feel bad. Will explain and give excuses in a short while.)
alcohol units :: 19
bananas :: 17
runs :: 3
minutes run without stopping for cigarette rest :: 12
bottles of wine stolen by over-zealous airport staff :: 1
new Davids :: 3

So, my friend Keith has moved to Peckham. Ten minutes’ walk from the heart of Peckham Rye. Now, I’d always thought Peckham was the armpit of London, if not the scrotum, and for most of my life I have studiously avoided it. Indeed, the time I have spent there this week has done little to disabuse me of this, but also – despite the gobby teens, the astonishing amount of rubbish in the streets and the intoxicating, god-awful stench – it does have a certain charm of which I was hitherto unaware. Lots of fruit and veg stalls, for example, a preponderance of large African men singing religious songs in the street and yesterday I saw a steel drum trio, just playing in the street seemingly for the sheer joy of it. It’s kind of like Brixton in fact, but without the rather unpleasant drug culture and concomitant sense of impending violence. Plus, no one can deny the inherent charm in this shop sign…

Anyhow, Keith’s new house is in a little disrepair. It needs a lot of work, so for the last couple of days I’ve been helping him repaint his living room. I tried to make it into a fitness thing, applying the principles of the Mr Miyagi School of Fence Painting. So that was good.

However, speaking of unpleasant drug culture, I’m disappointed to have to confess that Keith recently purchased a large bag of stinky green. For smoking. So after an hour or two of the Miyagi Dulux Workout, the last two nights have dissolved into a predominantly workless haze of sickly sweet smoke, silly talk and giggles.

This is no bad thing of course - it was actually fantastic fun - except of course it meant that I found myself smoking tobacco for the second time in a week. Yes, as I mentioned in passing the other day, I also weakened in Istanbul and allowed a couple of low-down dirty Turks to persuade me that Turkish cigarettes are actually good for you. (If ever a Turk tries that tack with you, give him short shrift – Turkish cigarettes make Benson & Hedges taste like the elixir of life.) As a consequence of all this, I woke up this morning – cue blues riff - feeling like Death - cue clues riff - a cough like a convict - cue blues riff - and tar in my chest. So that’s bad. Very bad. But don’t worry, I don’t intend to make a habit of it. Plus I have already said a dozen Hail Marys, three Apostle's Creeds and half a handful of How's Your Fathers. So I’m sorted.

And the fact is, I don’t really feel that bad about the smoking because everything else is going so well. I’ve lost 10 pounds so far this month, and without wanting to turn into a weight bore (DAMN YOU, BRIDGET JONES!!!), I’m really really pleased about that. The running is obviously the key. It seems what they always said was true: bit of exercise, bit of fruit and veg, and suddenly everything’s coming up roses.

Except one thing. Keith told me this thing last night. He told me that for a couple of weeks now he’s had this sensation in his right hand, a little like pins and needles, and when it comes he finds it difficult use the hand. It’s been getting more and more regular and is now as frequent as every half hour or so. The fact that it’s so regular and has been around for so long worries me. A lot. I am a hypochondriac however. Keith is not. So I don’t want to infect him with my paranoia. But I am very concerned. I have convinced him to go and see someone. So, that's something. I know he’s scared, more scared than he’s making out, because he hasn’t told Patricia yet. Anyhow, fingers crossed, Keith (while you can still cross them!).

In other news…

1. I’ve just finished reading The Game and am now considering becoming a chick-a-day, finger-clicking pick-up artist. A dark little Fonzie, that’s what I’ll be. Give me a month.

I jest of course. But on a serious note, as well as being rather repugnant and an enormous cringe-fest at times, it was really rather fascinating. I intend to spend some of this weekend figuring out what I really thought.

2. I’m considering buying a lottery ticket. One a week for the rest of the year. Same numbers. What have I got to lose? Apart from £50 though, what? I know it’s lowest common denominator gambling-cum-cock tax but on the plus side, I’ve been thinking of all the wonderful things I could do with a few million quid. Selfless things too. I want to help people. The poor and the needy. I really do. In many ways, I am a latter day saint. Plus, even when you lose, it is for a good cause. Oh, God, I hate myself for even considering it. But I am…

3) If I can keep up the running and the weight loss at the same rate I managed this week, I reckon I should be down to somewhere in the region of 17 stone by April, which although by no means slender, is three stone slenderer than I was three weeks ago, and by that stage I reckon I’ll be ready to go speed dating. That’s right, speed dating. I have to give myself these hideous, terrifying goals, otherwise I’ll just stop and turn into a pork pie again. And I reckon speed dating is just the kind of baptism by fire that I need. So that’s that. It’s a decision I’ve made.

4. Give blood. Keith’s hand-spazzing and a conversation we had about how a blood transfusion saved his dad’s life – I like Keith’s dad much better than I like my own, I might add - I have decided that the least I can do is hand over some of my blood. It's the saintly thing, after all. Plus, I must have at least 12 pints of the stuff pumping through this hefty frame. I reckon I can spare an arm or two. I’m going to make an appointment.

5. Last night at Keith’s I met a workmate of his, a bloke called David. In the course of a (rather stoned) conversation, David told me about two other Davids I’d never heard of, both of whom were – in many ways – even better than the first David. These Davids were a) David Sedaris, and b) David Shrigley. Excellent Davids all.

That David Sedaris clip is really lovely. And just in case you were in any doubt – as I was – it actually exists.

Ooh, and one for the ladies too.

That’s nice.

Oh, and they do other equally tasteful products.

Jesus God, look at this: ‘Since 9-11 security has become a little tighter at sporting events. No longer can you sneak in your six pack of tall boys in a gutted out boom box. “The Beerbelly” saves the day.’

Wow. No matter how fat, ugly and sexless I may be, at least I will never ever be sad enough to either a) wear a Beerbelly, or b) use a terrorist atrocity to help me market one.

Now, time for my run.

So long.

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Glamourpuss said...

Hmmm, speed dating....

I went last year. It was interesting in the sociological/morbid curiosity sense, but otherise exhausting and rather depressing - there are a lot of fucked up people out there.

Personally, if you're going to try it, I think you need to be in a really strong frame of mind.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the weight loss!

Anonymous said...

I mean no offense by this. Really. I think speed dating is a bad idea for anyone who fancies himself or herself truly ugly. While men are often more willing to let a woman grow on them, the same cannot be said for women. We know instantly if would let you put your dicks in us. We do. Five seconds. Some say thirty, but I believe the time frame is much shorter. Five seconds. I know at first glance. It's because, on a biological level, we want to bed down men who are optimal breeding partners. Men, on the other hand, are willing to spread their respective seeds in all manner of women.

Ginny said...

Congrats on the weight loss :-) Keep thinking of the three-stone-off-by-April thing and that'll help you keep motivated.

As for the speed dating - good luck. I'd be too bloody terrified to go anywhere near something like that

La Bête said...

Thanks, all. Some interesting views on speed dating there. Especially the anonymous comment, which goes against much of what I thought to be the case. I reckon women are much more likely to allow a man to grow on them, and to see beyond the physical aspect, especially after time when less superficial and more important characteristics have come to light. Do women not value intelligence and honesty and even the ability to provide financial security more than physical appearance in a potential breeding partner? See, I would have thought so. Prayed so in fact.

As for speed dating in general, I reckon if I can do that, I can do pretty much anything. We'll see though. It may prove too much of a scary thing.

Anonymous said...

If you're looking for a dating method that requires or allows for "time to get to know someone," speed dating is a bad choice. Speed dating is for people who instinctually recognize chemistry within seconds of seeing or interacting with someone. Do what you want. I just think it's the wrong fit for ANYONE who doesn't rely on instantaneous attraction.

Congrats on the weight loss!

Anonymous said...

Selfishly, I rather hope you do try speed dating, just so I can read your report of the event. But really, I can't help but feel it's a bad idea. Why not place an ad in the back of Time Out? Then you can strike up an old fashioned literary relationship, in the style of '84 Charing Cross Road'. Though without the tins of corned beef & dried fruit.

On the subject of running, allow me to recommend the Garmin 305 Forerunner (about £130 from Amazon) - lets you know how far & fast you've run, plus how many calories you've burned (and loads more besides). And buy yourself some decent running shoes from a proper running shop (rather than regular sports trainers from JJB or similar). The difference is important, in terms of comfort and protection from injury.

Have you realised yet that Ange isn't good enough for you? Anyone who doesn't fancy Thierry Henri is a racist. Obviously.


La Bête said...

Hi anon. Yes, I'm sure you're right. The idea of trying to convince someone that ugliness is only skin deep in two minutes flat does sound like a tall order.

EasyEyes, yeah, I definitely plan to try personal ads soon too. I was thinking SoulMates, but there seem to be a lot of poncey types on there. I'll check out TimeOut when I have a mo.

Garmin 305 Forerunner sounds great, but I've drifted into a bit of a financial pit of despair at the moment so that'll have to wait.

I think you must be right about Ange. Thierry is lush, isn't he?

Suzi said...

Keth's hand symptoms sound like classic Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. A pain in the ass, but not at all life-threatening. If it's just begun, he can probably get better with physical therapy and anti-inflammatory meds. Really severe cases are relieved with minor surgery.

Damn, now you've made me late for my lunch date!

Suzi said...

KEITH!!! I meant to type Keith!

Anonymous said...

This is the first archive entry I have found where your weight was recorded (I don't recall seeing it on any of the December entries).

So now I know that you had been approx 20 st, had gotten down to 19 st by end of January and have lost a a further 3 stone to reach the 16 stone that you currently are.


I know this may sound dimmy from a Johnny-come-lately reader but many of your recent blogs your weight has hovered around the upper 15 stone / lower 16 stone range, therefore I was not sure if there had (at some time) been a loss.

So you HAVE lost approx 4 stone this year which is FANTASTIC, even if this weekend is not going so great.

Just think, Bete, if you could just lose another 4 stone you would be down to the "average man" size of 12 stone -- it is only 4 stone away!