After my culinary blow-out a couple nights ago at 'Islands' (my favorite burger joint here in LA) I decided the time had come to acknowledge my tiger blood and Adonis DNA and get back on the health wagon. So my wife and I made a trip to the heretofor mythical 'Trader Joe's' and gathered up a ton of healthy food. Everything from no-sugar, no-flour, no-taste peanut butter paste (questionably called peanut butter in the first place) to vegetable juice made from baby yak droppings to high fiber cereal which is essentially just a bowl of grass and gravel. No matter. I'm ready for it. I'm psyched up.
In addition I'm on a mission to lose the weight I gained for Adding Machine (although if you ask Angie she'll tell you I gained the weight despite Adding Machine). In my mind, I was suffering for my art. Regardless, I'm about twenty-some pounds heavier than I was four months ago. The madness has got to stop.
Here's an uncomfortable truth about aging: We get uglier. At least I do. So I've decided to embark on an anti-ugly campaign. And the first step is to get down to my fighting weight.
So the kitchen is filled with ridiculously healthy food right now. For my big 5.0. dinner last night we ate massive, Flinstonian steaks and some vegetables (courtesy of my friend, Paul). I washed it down with vegetable juice, vitamins and a can of whup-ass.
Next, as I said, comes the work-out regime. I'm starting with heavier cigarettes. Five pounders.
We usually take long walks during the day, ostensibly for the dogs, but also because it's my only form of exercise. This is coming to an end. From now on, I take the long walks while carrying a lot of change in my pocket. Up to three dollars worth at first and then later, about $7.30. All in quarters.
As you can see, I'm not taking this lightly.
As for the actual 'ugly' part, that's going to take a little more thought and care. For one thing, I'm buying more hats. A nice hat can take five or six years off you, I think, especially if it's a ball cap turned backwards. This can get tricky. Some hats don't help at all. For example a top hat doesn't really help unless you happen to be an emo hanging out all day at Venice Beach on a tall tricycle.
Also, I'm going to start wearing t-shirts that are one size too small. I'm told this will emphasize my biceps. I have some, in fact, that fit the bill but they've got the AARP logo on them. I think a simple strip of duct tape might be just the ticket.
I also need to work on my carriage. I say, my carriage. That's the way one moves, the way one walks. Mostly I walk with a sort of hunched, shuffling gait. It's because I'm fifty years old and standing up straight makes my back hurt.
And keep the head up, high and imposing, never looking down. This is a good thing to keep in mind while walking. Mostly I look down, constantly on the lookout for anything that might make me trip and dislocate a hip. Youth is all about confidence, I'm told.
The youthful walk should be somewhere between John Wayne and a pigeon-toed computer mope. This suggests masculinity without ostentation.
I've also purchased some 'wrinkle free' lotion that will allegedly smooth out all my face crinkles. This product is endorsed by Joe Pesci. I'll apply it daily until the only discernable feature left on my face is my eyebrows.
And finally, I've started an online course learning to talk in a hipper, more stupid friendly vernacular. I now call my wife 'Money' and any close friend, 'Dog' or 'Dawg.' Never 'Cat.' Cat is out. Dog is in. I refer to Angie sometimes as my 'Baby Mama.' I only do this around people who don't know us, though, otherwise it's just confusing.
I've also purchased some new jeans with enormous waist sizes and constantly keep one hand tucked inside them and plainly cupped around my genitals. This is actually more difficult than it sounds because if I don't stay concentrated it just looks like my Uncle Ernie after Thanksgiving.
So the new, improved, hipper, slimmer, sassy Clif is in the works. I've hung a massive poster of Justin Beiber in the bathroom. I'm using it as a prototype. I'm thinking by June, July at the latest, it will be nearly impossible to tell us apart.
In the next few weeks I'll start changing my musical tastes, too. I'm throwing out all my early Springsteen, all my Sinatra, all my Tom Waits and Joni Mitchell, and replacing it with, well, I don't know who. Maybe the 'Best of American Idol.' But that may be a bit too utilitarian. Maybe Will Smith's daughter. She's got some poignant stuff out, I'm told. Or maybe some rap. I've been far too cloistered when it comes to rap. Maybe I'll go out and buy some M and M. I hear he's good.
So I'm very excited about all these changes. Goodbye to ugly, fat, insufferable Clif and hello to slim, pretty, vacant Clif. Fifty is the new twelve, after all.
And to prove to the world that I'm serious about this new lifestyle, I intentionally lost a game of Trivial Pursuit last night. Smart is simply not hip. It was not easy. But I needed to. Besides, the guy who won needed it more than I. The last time he'd won a game, any game, was a drunken game of 'Clue' nearly forty years ago. And he beat two infants and a restaurant manager, so there was no real sense of victory. Frankly, it made me feel good about myself to let him win.
See you tomorrow.