Skip to main content

Holiday Q&A, Volume 1

These questions come to us from Grace. Thanks for sending your questions!! Answers below:

What is the most thrilling mystery you have read and/or watched?

The Eiger Sanction (book and film) by Trevanian is what's coming to mind. International espionage. Mountain-climbing assassins. Evil albino masterminds. Sex. Not a bad combination. Warning, this is completely a "guy" movie, and the film (feat. Clint Eastwood) is priceless 70s action movie cheese. But in case that's your thing...

What's the deal with Narcos?

Narcos is a Netflix show about the rise and fall (but mostly the fall) of Columbian cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar. Thus far there are two seasons of 10 episodes each. RIYL: The film Blow, starring Johnny Depp; the book Zombie City, by Thomas Katz; the movie Goodfellas; true crime; anything involving the drug trade. My brief review: Season 1 started out a bit slow and I know a bunch of people who never made it past the first few episodes. Some of the acting is a little amateurish at times; however, after about midway through Season 1 it starts to really take of and just gets better and better until the end of Season 2. Watch it if for no other reason than Pablo Escobar's ridiculously tacky sweaters and the incredible late-80s / early 90s costume work.

Best Christmas movie?

One word: Scrooged.

Which band, in your opinion, is timeless?

Really excellent question. I have spent a lot of time thinking about this in my life, and it's difficult because so many bands are "of their time" that it's hard to separate them from it. I'm not gonna cop out and just say "The Beatles," cause I'm not that big of a fan, but I think they are commonly agreed-upon as the timeless rock and roll band. People being born today are going to be listening to The Beatles and swooning.

People will scoff at me for this, but I would make the case for Boston as timeless rock-and-roll. Their first album, Boston, anyway. I think it sounds as fresh today as it probably did in 1976. Each time I listen to it, it's like the first time. It's just perfect, seamless, impeccable rock music from start to finish. Some might say it has that 70s corporate sound to it that ties it to the 70s, but I would argue that Boston created that stereotype, so they can't be victims of it.

What would you tell someone who is just beginning their fitness journey?

Another excellent question on a topic close to my heart. I offer you the following:

1.) When you start out, don't focus on losing weight or getting swole or fitting into a size ## or whatever. Focus on being healthy and trying to live the best version of yourself. When I started my fitness journey seriously (about a year ago) it started by asking myself: "What's the best I can possibly feel, and how do I get there?" From there I started looking at what I was eating and drinking. Then I started figuring out what I needed to do in terms of exercise. In that order.

2.) It's all about diet. What you eat and drink is 90% of the game when it comes to fitness and being lean. There is a common phrase in the fitness industry: "You cannot outrun a bad diet." You burn 100 calories running or walking a mile. There are about 100 calories in an apple or four french fries or half a beer. Get it? Drink two IPAs tonight and you have successfully obliterated the caloric benefits of the five mile run you busted your hump on today.

3.) Take it slow at first. Otherwise you'll hurt yourself or feel like crap and get discouraged and want to quit. Crawl before you walk. Walk before you run.

4.) That said...always be looking at making incremental progress. If you walked 45 minutes on the treadmill last time, walk 50 minutes next time. If you did three miles in 40 minutes last time, try getting it down to 39, then 38, etc. If you currently exercise two times a week, start figuring out how to do three. When that becomes normal, do four. Etc. Etc. Etc. until you get where you need to be. If you don't push yourself (even slow is fine!) you'll stagnate, backslide, and probably lose focus.

5.) Don't think of this as a fitness "kick" or phase. And don't make any New Year's resolutions, which were made to be abandoned in early February. Look at this as a lifetime process, a lifestyle adjustment, and you're a lot more likely to stick with it.

6.) Go guerrilla. Working out need not only happen in the gym. Start looking for ways you can incorporate exercise into your daily life organically. Walk to a farther subway stop. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk to Starbucks for your Saturday coffee instead of driving there, etc.

Those are my thoughts right off the bat. Thanks for your questions!!!


Popular posts from this blog

New Yorker Fiction Review #151: "The Bog Girl" by Karen Russell

From the June 20 issue...

My loyal readers (if there are still any, which I doubt) will know I'm usually not a fan of Magical Realism, which, as you may also know, is Karen Russell's stock in trade. That said, there's nothing I love more than having my antipathy for magical realism shattered by an awesome story like "The Bog Girl."

Briefly, an Irish teenager discovers the body of a young woman who as been buried in a bog for over 2,000 years and begins to date her. What more do you need, right? If I'd read that one-line description somewhere else, and wasn't on a mission to review every New Yorker short story, I doubt I'd have read "The Bog Girl." But maybe I should start doing a George Costanza and do the opposite of everything I think I should do.

Where Russell succeeds here is in two main areas: 1.) Making us really love Cillian, the teenager who falls in love with the bog girl, and 2.) pulling the unbelievable trick making the characters…

A Piece of Advice I Learned From My Grandfather

My grandfather was one of the most learned men I know. He read widely and voraciously, and not just in the sciences (he was a doctor); he loved politics, philosophy, and great literature as well. Whenever he finished a book he would write his thoughts about the book in the front cover and then sign and date it. To this day every once in a while I will open a book from my bookshelf or my mother's bookshelf, or at one of my family members' homes, and there will be my grandfather's handwriting. He was also a great giver of his books; if you remarked that you liked a particular one or wanted to read it, you were almost sure to take it home with you.

Reading is a very solitary pursuit but my grandfather was not a solitary person. He relished having family and friends around him which is convenient because he was blessed with a lot of both. And he carried out his intellectual life in a very "public" way as well. He was, in some ways, an intellectual evangelist. If he r…