Istanbul (Not Constantinople)

Richard soon will be leaving Istanbul on his way to Greece.  We’ll be looking for his report on his adventures on the Bosporus.  In the meantime, I can’t think of Istanbul without thinking of the They Might Be Giants version of Istanbul (Not Constantinople).  The Youtube version below is just ducky.


It’s Heavy

My new favorite show is Heavy on the Arts and Entertainment channel airing Monday nights at 10 pm. Heavy is a docudrama that follows two individuals each episode, one man and one woman who are facing life threatening health consequences because of their obesity. The men may weigh as much as 600 lbs and the women may weigh as much as 400 lbs. The show documents their transformation during a six month treatment program.

Last weeks episode was about Bill – age 52 – unemployed – who weighed in at 443 lbs and Julia – age 25 – unemployed – who weighed in 254 lbs when they entered Hilton Head Health for a six month stay where they are placed under the watchful eye of their personal trainer Beverly.

Bill was a football player for the University of Alabama in the late seventies. He played some professional football for the San Diego Chargers, but his career was cut short due to injuries. His addiction to drugs and alcohol caused him to finally lose his wife, his house and his job.

Julia was recently dumped by her boyfriend who no longer found her attractive and she became the caregiver for her mother who eventually lost a four year battle with cancer. Both Bill and Julia’s coping mechanism became food.

Typically the participants wonder how they have let their weight get so out of control, but under Beverly’s guidance Bill and Julia learn to exercise daily and adjust to a normal diet limiting portion size to around 300 calories per meal as opposed to the fast food meals they are used to eating that averaged 3000 calories.

To make a long story short, Bill lost 160 lbs when he left Hilton Head Health and Julia lost 90 lbs. My favorite part of the show is the reveal at the end when they inevitably say “I’ve got my life back” and their families and friends get to see their new and improved look, it always brings a smile to my face.

I have a couple of friends that are working hard to lose weight by watching their calorie intake and exercising as much as possible. I really have to commend them and wish them much success in their efforts.

Russell And The Masters On Main Street (Cont.)

A web album of photos of the pieces of Vassar students who are participating in the Masters on Main Street exhibition in Catskill, New York is now available on-line.  It is a diverse mix of paintings, photography, sculpture and drawings and can be seen here.  The web album includes five pieces by Russell from the show, including the one pictured above.

Fortunately, the Masters on Main Street exhibition runs until the end of May, so Kish and I will be able to see all of the pieces when we go to Vassar for Russell’s graduation.

Disco Bowling At The 2011 Salvino

Last night the firm held its bowling tournament, the 2011 version of the Carmen Salvino Akron-Canton Invitational, at Sawmill Lanes in northwest Columbus.  From that one experience, it appears that Friday night kegling is alive and well in Columbus, Ohio.

This is not bowling as Grampa Neal would recognize it.  The only common touchstones are a ball hurled toward pins and the propensity of bowlers to consume frosty adult beverages.  But now the balls are brightly colored, flashing lights line the lanes, a mirrored disco ball is located overhead about every 10 lanes, and spotlight images of stars and moons roam across the darkened alleys.  Loud music pumps out of the sound system, and music videos play constantly on large screens erected over the pin area.  When Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean is played, don’t be surprised to see every bowler in the place bust a move or two.

Last night, the music video selections were a pretty eclectic mix.  In addition to Billie Jean we heard Led Zeppelin, Peter Frampton, and AC DC, as well as a song by a woman who wore a bikini top that sprayed whipped cream and a song by a somewhat vulgar, heavily mascaraed woman who made it clear that she liked “the bass down low.”  I also managed to confirm my cluelessness by asking someone the name of the woman singing the song that was playing and learning that it was teen idol Justin Bieber.

Unfortunately, my annual attempt at bowling last night was a pathetic failure.  I do think my cultural horizons were broadened, however.