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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Ten Things Tuesday: Reasons Why Cigars Are Better than Women

  • Anyone know where I can get a good five-cent woman?Cigars don't get jealous when you look at other cigars.
  • A man can have more than one cigar in a night, no questions asked.
  • Cigars don't need to cuddle.
  • When the fire goes out you can always re-light a cigar.
  • No matter how long you have your cigar, the butt will stay the same size.
  • Cigars don't have divorce attorneys.
  • Cigars don't talk or nag.
  • A man doesn't mind being seen with an ugly cigar.
  • A cigar doesn't have a mother-in-law.
  • You can enjoy a cigar AND watch the game.

Equal time for the ladies next week.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Who Wants to Get My Birthday Presents?

A $25.00 El Rey chip featuring Willie Martello on the front.
Two Sets of El Rey Dice from the 40's/50's
I mean, my birthday isn't until the end of May, but why not start thinking about me (& saving your $$$) now? I know I am. LOL!

I found these at a very cool casino collectibles site called They also have a very reasonably priced El Rey ashtray in very good condition, but I'm planning on getting two different ashtrays from Mark Englebretson. He's the guy who sold me a way cool El Rey postcard and he also runs the Nevada Casino Ashtray Project website.

I'm not terribly concerned with quality of the El Rey items I find, but if I have a chance at getting two mint/near mint ashtrays at a price better than most people would pay, I may as well go for it. I'm coming to find that it is very hard to find ANY El Rey items and since they have a some collector value, my collection may one day bail me out of some fantastic financial mess. ;) Plus, Mark will let me take as long as I need to pay for them. WHEW!

Dice, Dice, baby!In any event, I'm not really expecting any readers to spend their hard-earned cash on crap for my amusement. I may be able to get a slight price break if I can buy all three items at once. I just thought I'd share with the class. Besides, other people put up "wish lists" on their blogs and actually expect someone to buy stuff for them. I'm just providing fascinating content.

I am intrigued by the dice. Casino dice seem to be gaining popularity among collectors, and even though these aren't perfect, they are pretty rare and in pretty decent shape from what I can glean from other collector's sites. Awhile back I found a scan of other El Rey dice that are different from the ones for sale here. Looks like I'll have many happy years of frustrated hunting and gathering in my future. LOL!

As always, anyone that may come across any items from the El Rey Casino in Searchlight, Nevada or may have some items to sell, please contact me and we'll see if we can work out a deal. I'm looking for anything at all - dice, cards, matchbooks, photos, ads, anything that may have survived all these years. I'm thinking I may have to write a book about Willie & the El Rey one day. Hmm...


Monday January 30, 2006 Weigh-In
229 Pounds
Loss for the week: 1 pound
Overall Net Loss: 11 pounds

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Thoughts that Boggle My Mind

What percentage of U.S. sewer waste is
represented by dead pet goldfish?

Saturday, January 28, 2006

You People Are Sick!

I've always said that if you're a woman that is even passably attractive AND on television for a few minutes, somebody is watching that few minutes and masturbating to you.

I guess the same goes for modestly attractive men on TV. I see far too many women getting squishy for men on screen that would never get the time of day from a gal if there was no "fame" involved.

In any event, when I posted my Random Celebrity Memory about Tai Babilonia, it was to coincide with the airing of the "Skating with Celebrities" TV show on FOX. After that post I noticed a slight in crease in traffic to this blog, but a serious increase in my blog popping up in searches.

Take a look at this random sampling of top search terms from a few days ago. These are just a few of the ways people found my blog.

You people are sick! Who the heck was looking for aggressive baboons in between Babilonia wanks? LMAO!

Friday, January 27, 2006

Did You Know...

FACT! According to adult film legend, Peter North, well-endowed metal rocker, Tommy Lee, and many others, eating good quantities of raw celery can increase your output of semen, both in quantity and in the degree of power with which you have an orgasm. Apparently it also gives you more energy, vigor, and desire.

FACT! Fresh pineapple slices, as well as pineapple juice is said to dramatically improve the taste of semen. Sweet fruit juices such as pineapple juice has proven among many reliable sources to make your semen taste better. Interesting.

FACT! Knowing these facts will not make a woman any more interested in giving you a blow job. NOT EVEN IN THE NAME OF SCIENCE!!!

Goddamn I'm funny!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

And Speaking of Finding Penguins

Fellow blogger and penguin-lover, Golfwidow sent me a link the other day, updating the saga of Toga the Penguin.

Toga, the stolen Jackass Penguin from a U.K. zoo, was never recovered. After a spell of depression and starvation, the parents of the young penguin began nesting again. According to the link, it looks as though another chick is on the way, along with some better security for the most treasured of creatures.

Happy Penguin Awareness Day!
In other penguin news, no sooner does Golfwidow leave a comment about no Hallmark card for Penguin Awareness Day, and Jade finds a lovely Egreetings Card to celebrate the occasion. I guess now I owe her more Llamas. How about a Lorenzo Lamas?

Here's a pic of Lamas taking a photograph of (now) celebrity ex-fiance, Barbara Moore. They were both attending the same Hollywood Collector's Show and Lorenzo was kind enough to snap a fan pic for some guy eager to stand next to a curvy Playmate. Isn't that sweet?

Watch yer hands, buddy.  I played a guy who knew Karate!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Back By Popular Demand! Find the Penguini!

Heh heh heh...In the Buffy!
Tonight's special guest star...Sarah Michelle Gellar!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Ten Things Tuesday: Rejected Olympic Sports

  • Brokeback Mountain Climbing
  • Synchronized Fisting
  • The All Smokers Marathon
  • “Hurling”
  • The 100 Meter Nose-Pick
  • Greco-Roman Ostrich Wrestling
  • The Ejaculathon
  • The Tom Cruise Couch Jump
  • Downhill Slalom Gymnastics
  • Naked Two-Man Luge

Two-Man Luge on Brokeback Mountain

Some Links and Some Thanks

As you know I cannot leave comments on some blogs using Haloscan so I must give shout-outs here when appropriate. That is the case with Blog THIS, Pal!

Gordon frequently mentions me in his blog and he has brought some valuable traffic to the site. Regardless of if I made the list of exciting things this week or not, he always deserves a thank and for you to read his blog. It is very good stuff.

Delenda Est Carthago was kind enough to mention my Pick-Up Lines list from Ten Things Tuesday, alongside some most excellent links to other sites. Please check out his blog and be amazed how vast and scary the web can be.

Another drive-by linking has occurred. I am listed in the links section of a very cool blog aptly called, Overactive Imagination. I wish I'd have come up with a clever name for my blog like that. Do you have any idea how many Andy Lands there are? LOL! Anyway, I don't know when I was linked or by whom, I just know that I'm grateful and I'll be adding a link in my sidebar soon.

I should also make mention of a friend's blog, even though at this posnt I'm not linked or anything. Do any of you remember Brian Szymanski, astronaut and all-around nice guy?

Action Hero Man!Brian sent me some cool pics of his job after I sent him some Andy memorabilia and I was humbled beyond belief. I'm a stupid juggler, he's taking flight in multi-billion dollar rockets. Plus he's "Action Hero Man" for goodness sake, how could I compete with that? LOL!

Anyway, he's set up a page at Tagworld and I'd like you to check it out. There, you'll find many photos from outer space, and from his daily life. Most notably, you should observe that damn near everybody on his "friends" list is a hot young lady. I guess the astronaut gig pays well in many areas of life. LMAO!

Brian is a great guy and one of these days we'll get to meet and share stories. His have to be way-cooler than mine, but I'll try and keep up with this high-flying American hero.

As always, thanks for all the linky-love and for reading my crappy chunk of the internet.

UPDATE: 12:55 PM

Turns out I missed a link. The fine folks at Brain Depot also plugged both my most excellent Second-Hand Smoke T-Shirt, and the blog. So be sure to check out that way-cool blog and buy a freakin' t-shirt, dammit!

I also forgot to add my weigh-in for the week.

January 23, 2006 Weigh-In
230 Pounds

Starting Weight: 240 Pounds

Loss for the Week: 3 Pounds

Overall Net Loss: 10 pounds

Goal Weight: 200 Pounds
(But I may shoot for 180 if I can maintain the loss!)

Saturday, January 21, 2006

I Wasn't Aware of Penguin Awareness Day

JadeI had no idea such a thing even existed. Thanks to the lovely and talented, Jade, I am now more than aware of Penguin Awareness Day.

She was kind enough to e-mail me with the news and that perked up my little penguin-lovin' heart. Sadly, I missed the big day. It was on January 20th. However, penguins being so damned cool, actually have TWO days out of the year to celebrate.

According to the site, WORLD Penguin Day is coming up on April 25, so be sure to mark your calendars!

Oddly enough, April 25th is also the birthday of my ponytail, which I've been sporting since 1987. I can't be sure if that is REALLY the birthday. I just remember starting this one two weeks before my Junior Prom and that date fits well.

So celebrate World Penguin Day and my long freakin' hair.

To show Jade my appreciation I've decided to "give her my Llama". In fact I'm going to give her my llama three times and she's gonna love the hairy bastard!

She's quite the Llama-lover and I have a few of cute photos taken at the Duluth Zoo back in 2005. What did you think I meant? Perverts!

Thanks, Jade. Enjoy your funky llamas!



Ding Dong!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Random Celebrity Memories! Vol. Seven: Tai Babilonia & Randy Gardner

With the debut of "Skating With Celebrities" comes another useless celebrity memory from yours truly.

NOT Andy Martello.  Not John Belushi either.  DUH!A few years back I was in Chicago working a corporate event as a Blues Brother. I did my singing, signed a few photos, posed for pictures, and mingled with the crowd as always. This was a bigger event and there were several rooms of activity to entertain the people.

One room was boasting a sports theme and even had figure skating legends, Tai Babilonia & Randy Gardner signing autographs. April's grandmother is a HUGE ice skating fan and watches figure skating & ice dancing any chance she gets. She even has videos to watch when no skating in on TV somewhere. Hearing that these two were at the event I simply HAD to try and get an autographed photo for her.

Tai & Randy wee extremely friendly, nice people. They are both very "pretty" people, as you would expect. I'm not talking about just being physically attractive (but Tai is quite babelicious!), there's more of a grace and beauty about them. I suppose being professional figure skaters has that kind of side benefit for otherwise good looking people.

They were laughing at the prospect of the Blues Brothers coming to see them and they were actually showing humble surprise to hear that April's grandmother would remember them and want their photo. I guess they still can't quite accept that they have fans. It is kind of cool when you think about it. Are they the most famous skaters of them all? No. Are they names you should know with a reputation for excellence? Definitely.

While we were talking to them, some people came up to me & my partner to ask for our autographs. I'm always amused by this because we make absolutely no bones about the fact that we are NOT the real Blues Brothers. Something about not being Dan Akroyd & the late John Belushi that should be the give away there. Nevertheless, we always oblige.

The photo we use doesn't feature me as Jake. Another guy, who used to do more of the bookings as Jake is in the picture. Jim has thousands of these photos so we just use them, regardless of how many more Blues Brothers gigs I do than the other guy. To cover up the fact that I'm even more of a fake Jake than the fake Jake in the picture, I always draw a moustache and beard on the photo, which makes the whole experience that much more amusing. Basically everybody has done this to a photo of their own or some other pic in a magazine at one point or another.

As I was doing this, Tai & Randy were laughing at me defacing the photo. It became something of a fun moment for us as I explained why I did this little bit of photo graffiti. As we were enjoying a laugh, Randy started doodling over Tai's face on their picture. Tai saw this and started defacing Randy's image. Teeth were being blacked out, hair was being drawn under armpits, it was most excellent.

Too Pretty to Deface!I enjoyed this because not only were they genuine and humble people, but it seemed to me that after so many years of working together this was something that they'd never done before. They were really enjoying a considerably less formal moment in public than they'd been used to and they were liking the fun at the expense of their very beautiful selves.

I BEGGED them to sign the photo and let me have it for my wall. They were VERY hesitant about giving it to me as they didn't want to risk having this photo end up on eBay. I assured them that this was my own personal treasure and will remaining my possession until the day I die. I'm notoriously bad at organizing my memories and photos, but this one has a place of prominence in my house. I will not break their trust and post the image here, nor will I ever sell the photo, no matter how broke I get. The best you can get is the story, which is certainly cool, and I can recreate the photo they scribbled on.

Available at the Tai & Randy website are several photos of the pair. The one on my wall is actually a combination of two excellent photos. These two were a real treat to watch on the ice and were genuinely wonderful people to meet. I am hopeful that neither one would mind my sharing the story.

Random Celebrity Photos! Vol. Seven: Penn & Teller

Penn & TellerThe only thing "random" about this is its placement within a blog. Otherwise, meeting the very funny and most creative comedy/magic team of Penn & Teller is a very easy thing to do. Always has been.

Penn & Teller have made it a point to make themselves accessible to their fans for as long as they've been together. When I first saw them at the Schubert Theatre in Chicago somewhere around 1989 I was amazed to find them outside after the show, signing autographs, posing for photos, and most importantly - selling their own merchandise. I'd always heard that they were very fan-friendly, but this ws my first time really seeing it in action.

They were just really hitting their stride as a team back then and were gaining more and more notoriety for their Letterman & SNL appearances, and for their ground-breaking performances. They were also making headlines for being extremely open about how magic tricks work, pissing off magicians everywhere (which is no real threat at all, to be honest).

I've always shared a similar opinion about the "magician's code" with Penn & Teller. That is to say, if someone really wants to know how a trick is done, they really only have to go to a local library or magic shop and read a few books about magic. It is all there if you want to find it. Moreover, for most people, knowing the secret doesn't ruin the trick anyway. Most illusions have extremely simple secrets behind them. Most people believe they're much smarter than they really are, so smart in fact, that they surely cannot be fooled by such a simple trick. Knowing the secret makes most people come to the conclusion, "That's ONE way it can be done. But how do THEY do it?". Besides, Penn & Teller don't really tell too many secrets. They do a lot to broaden the art and weed out the crap and every performer (except the crappy ones) should be thankful.

On my wall I have a framed montage of Penn & Teller items. There's the photo of April & me with the duo, a pic of April & her mom with them (all taken in Las Vegas after a show), a signed ticket from a Vegas show, and a program from that first show in Chicago. People are always extremely happy to get to spend a little time with these guys and I will always admire them for maintaining this practice throughout their career.

As it happens, both Penn Jillette and I are jugglers as well as graduates of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College. I'm about as ambivalent about my being in such an "elite" group as he is, but I was more gung ho about it back then. by the time I was at Clown College, Penn had pretty much stopped admitting his association with the place and hadn't called the College to update contact info and the like. I certainly don't blame him. being a Ringling graduate had its share of stigmas.

After the show

Notice how Teller wants to be so close to April and Penn is so repulsed by me. LOL!

At the Chicago show I mentioned to Penn that many of the students would see photos of him, and some of the other famous graduates and use it as inspiration to succeed. He seemed somewhat interested in hearing that. A short while later, while checking in with some friends at the college, Hope, the secretary/manager/mom to everyone there told me that out of the blue she received a call from Penn Jillette, with updated info and some friendly talk. I've no idea how true the story is or if I had anything to do with that, nor do I take credit for any sort of Sinatra-Jerry Lewis-Dean Martin-reunion. Knowing how friendly he and his partner are to fans, I was very happy to hear the story and hoped I had something to do with it.

If you are ever in Las Vegas, do yourself a favor and see Penn & Teller LIVE at the Rio All Suite Hotel. Tickets are very reasonable, the show is unforgettable, the souvenirs are most excellent, and you'll get to meet the guys and have memories to share on your own blogs. Also check out "Bullshit" on Showtime or on DVD, and be sure to get "The Aristocrats", available on DVD January 24, 2006. You should also try and find Penn Jillette on the radio alongside Michael Goudeau (another Ringling grad and cool juggler) .

Andy Land Makes News that's NSFW!

Not Safe for Work News
Or should I say, I made NSFW News? Either way, there's been quite an increase in traffic here thanks to this excellent links site. As it happens, Find the Penguini is a big hit with the kids today and I'm grateful for the mention.

If you've never checked out NSFW News, please do so. You'll find plenty of naughty stuff and funny news stories to amuse and titillate you. Be warned, the title should say it all. The content is "Not Safe for Work."

Thanks for the link NSFW!

Northwoods WomanAlso worth mentioning is the new link partner, Northwoods Woman. Livey has an excellent blog and since she's relatively close to my family there (You know, the folks with the kick-ass antiques & crafts store) I am very pleased to bring her into my blog family. She updates her blog a LOT so you'll never run out of things to read there.

Thanks for the link, Livey!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

In Case You Forgot...The Post Office Sucks Ass!

The Automated Piss-Off CenterRemember when I told you all about how moronic the USPS is, by demonstrating the futility of their nearly useless Automated Postal Center? Well allow me to add a little extra icing on the cake.

Out of sheer necessity I finally used this abomination of a machine. The lines at my local Post Office were too long, their one remaining vending machine was not working properly, and I had to get these marketing cards out.

So I broke down and used my credit card for some packages and such. Remember, the machines don't take cash, only credit cards and debit cards because they told me, "There'd be no way we could give out change."


After getting postage for my packages (not in actual stamps, only in printed & coded labels) I decided to buy stamps for the post cards I'd be sending out. Before the unreasonable and unjustified rate hike this year, that was a twenty-three-cent stamp. I found out that at the ultra-convenient Automated Postal Center, other than first class stamps, YOU CANNOT BUY ANY STAMPS THAT COST UNDER ONE DOLLAR! That's right, only the thirty-seven-centers or any stamps over one dollar, presumably for Priority Mail and so on. can't buy the additional ounce/post card rate stamps. you can't buy any of the low rate stamps to add to compensate for the new rate hike. You can't pay for your postage in cash and you can't even get printed stickers for any amounts less than one dollar (like you can with a package). THIS is where our money for USPS improvements goes.

Once the rate hike took effect, I assumed I could get my hands on some post card rate stamps via the vending machines or from the counter, if I felt like waiting that long. After all, they had the new thirty-nine-cent stamps available even before the deadline. I was wrong.

They don't have ANY twenty-four-cent stamps at ANY Post Office in the country. They won't even be available until the END OF FEBRUARY OR POSSIBLE THE MIDDLE OF MARCH!

Jesus, H, Tap-Dancing, Christ!

They announced the rate hike this past November and had the stamps ready to go and somehow they forgot that there might be people who need postage for an additional ounce on a letter? They do have the actual post cards available for purchase, but who buys a postage-paid post card from the Post Office? I have hundreds of fucking card to go out, and I can't get postage, even from their super-convenient Automated Piss-Off Machine?

Somebody "go postal" on the fucking Post Office already! Those fuckwads need an enema!

R.I.P., Wilson Pickett

R.I.P., Wilson.It is with a heavy heart that I bring you the news of the death of Wilson Pickett. He was 64.

I'm not going to go into a long story or discuss his impact on music. I just wanted to direct you to some news links about the story.

I've got a Blues Brothers gig in a couple of days. When we do "Mustang Sally" I know I'll get a little misty-eyed.

CBS News

Hollywood Reporter

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Hey Kids! Time for EVERYBODY'S Favorite Game - Find the Penguini!

Something smells fishy around here.

Tonight's Episode...Paris Hilton!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Ten Things Tuesday: Pick-Up Lines that NEVER Work

  • Excuse me, I can’t seem to put my mouth around my penis. Would you see if you can do it with your mouth?
  • Did you know that crabs don’t just go away if you ignore them? Not even after a year.
  • If I told you that you had a beautiful body, would you fuck the ever-livin’ crap out of me with it?
  • Do you have any self-esteem issues?
  • I lost my phone number. Can I feel your tits?I love movies. You ever see “Taxi Driver”? Jodie Foster was in that. She was playing some underage hooker. HOT! She was also in a flick with Dennis Hopper called “Backtrack” where she was kidnapped by Hopper, and then gets all hot for him & fucks the shit out of him. She was wearing black stockings and a garter belt & all that hot Frederick’s of Hollywood-hooker shit. You see that one? How about that one where Jodie Foster gets nailed on a pinball machine? Man that was cool. Not quite the hooker vibe I was going for but a very good film nonetheless.
  • You know, in this light, you look just like my mom.
  • Look at you - totally out of every man’s league, except mine.
  • Hi. I’m Andy.
  • Come on, don’t say, “No” so quickly. It's not liked I asked you for anal or anything.
  • The human head weighs eight pounds. No, really. I have one in my bag.


January 16, 2006 Weigh-in
233 Pounds
Weekly Loss: 3 Pounds
Overall Net Loss: 7 Pounds

Now go and read the baboon story.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Because I Can: "Love Under the Big Top"

Originally published at and later at Of course this is original work protected by copyright and blah, and blah, and blah. I made the font a bit smaller to prevent you from scrolling too much, even though you're now squinting too much.

Love Under the Big Top
By Andy Martello

When you are working as an entertainer, especially with a circus or other traveling show you are bound to hook up romantically with another performer once in awhile. Sometimes the only people you can even find to talk to are the folks in your production and you have no choice but to date another person in the biz.

I had only a few on-the-road romances in my time with the circus. I can’t say that any of them were Earth-shattering or exciting, at least not any more so than any other relationships I’ve had. However one story always comes to mind first and foremost when thinking about love under the big top.

Someone had a BIG crush on me. It was more than just a school-girl kind of attraction. It was a full-on, gotta have him, double-whammy of an obsession. Although we never dated and rarely saw each other, she was in LOVE with me.

She was a nice girl, but not my type. Were it not for the fact that we would occasionally work together I’d have never given her a second glance. She had bad breath and poor table manners. We never had an intelligent conversation. She had a mannish quality about her and she had no sense of style at all. She was of decent breeding, but otherwise would be considered “common stock” by most men. She was not attractive. She was too hairy, too stupid & too short. She was a baboon.

Irvin Hall came from a long line of circus performers. He had a couple good working acts. Aside from a unicycle act, he had a very good animal attraction; a baboon act. It was one of his baboons that fell in love with me.

You didn’t think I was talking about a real woman did you? Oh my God! What kind of animal do you think I am? I suppose it doesn’t matter because this baboon DID in fact think I was an animal and she had to get with me.

I’ve been fortunate enough to work among wild animals often over the years. I’ve encountered elephants, tigers, chimpanzees, and all sorts of exotic birds among others. Until I’d worked with Irvin the only baboon knowledge I had was leftover from my Ringling days.

Clowns are told to AVOID BABOONS AT ALL COSTS. To a baboon, a clown is just another baboon, thanks to the clown make-up. Baboons are quite territorial and aggressive and when they see a clown they have only one instinct; kick the clown’s ass!

I’d always made it a point to be very respectful of the animals on a show regardless of if I was wearing make-up or not. I would never try to pet them or engage them in any way. It is just common sense to treat them like wild animals and not as pets. More importantly, they were not MY animals.

With Irvin’s baboons I didn’t have to worry as much about being mauled. These were smaller, and did not have the same colorful faces as the larger, more aggressive baboons. Besides, I had long since hung up my clown togs by this point and since I never went out of my way to become chummy with another performer’s animals I felt quite safe.

My first meeting with Irvin started this unusual tale of love and infatuation. I went to Irvin to learn what behavior was appropriate around his animals and where it would be best for me to set up my gear. During our discussions he would “introduce” me to his baboons by calling out their names.

The first two baboons couldn’t care any less about me. The third baboon (I forget her name. I know, TYPICAL MAN!) was quite taken with me!

You could see a physical transformation in her face as she stared into my eyes. She became quite star-struck and her eyes were wide open. She was clearly excited to be around me. By all accounts it was love at first sight for this young lady.

At one point she left her seat and followed the length of her tether until she was positioned behind Irvin’s leg. She’d occasionally peer around and get a little closer to me.

Irvin noticed this and began to laugh. When I asked what was so funny he told me that his baboon was in love with me and wanted to get to know me better. Confused, I asked him to explain himself.

I’d always heard bizarre stories about circus performers dressing up and making girlfriends of their animal stock. I was hoping this was not to be one of those instances. I was in no need for a baboon lover nor did I want to hear any lurid stories about Irvin and his lonely life on the road.

Instead there was a simple and innocent explanation. I had reddish-brown hair and a beard that matched. This particular baboon had a history of falling in love with any man with that color hair. As it was explained to me, she’d decide the guy was one HANDSOME and virile male baboon. We both got a big laugh at this event and I asked if I should alter my behavior or worry about hers.

“No. She’ll watch you very closely and try to get your attention,” he said, “She may try to hold your hand or something, but otherwise will not do anything to harm you. She just wants you to notice her.”

Seemed reasonable to me. It was a funny story and loads of fun to watch this otherwise vicious baboon become a giddy little schoolgirl around me. Having never pet a baboon before it was very cool to be able to walk hand-in-hand with one. Eventually I could set up closer to Irvin’s props and sit with her. Irvin would keep a watchful eye and I’d joke about him being our chaperone. It was just adorable.

This is how most of my rendezvous with this baboon would go over the years. I’d give her popcorn or cotton candy (It seems all girls like candy) and she’d want to sit near me and hold my hand, hoping I would return her affection. In short, it was the sweetest and most amazing animal encounter I’d had while on the road. At least MOST of the moments were sweet.

It had been a few years since the last time I saw Irvin and my lady love. The passage of time did nothing to reduce her feelings for me. In fact it had quite the opposite effect.

While setting up my props backstage, I took a moment to sit and relax. I noticed that my favorite primate was making her way towards me. She approached cautiously and nervously, as if she were about to ask me out on a date.

When she got close enough she tugged on my pant leg and looked up at me. She reached out to grab my hand. I helped her up to the bench and she sat next to me, leaning in and resting her head on my side.

There we sat, hand-in-hand, watching the world go by. When I looked into her big brown eyes she looked up at me, squeezed my hand…and began masturbating with her other hand!

She was furiously rubbing and thumping her baboon parts with every fiber of her being. She panted and grunted and made it quite clear to me that she was NOT going to live with this platonic relationship any longer! Flattering, but unsettling to say the least.

I very carefully removed myself from the situation and got Irvin. We laughed a good laugh over the event and agreed that it would be best if I avoid her until this monthly urge of hers passed. She looked back at me with a sad face as Irvin led her back to her seat. That look would follow me for the remainder of our time together.

A few years later I found myself working with Irvin one last time. When I asked him where “my girlfriend” was he told me that she had died the previous year at the age of 23.

I asked him what had happened and he explained she had a form of leukemia. However that was not what killed her. During her treatments she developed a problem with a valve in her heart and died of a heart attack.

With a smug grin he said, “I guess you can say she died of a broken heart, Andy.”

While I found the joke amusing I was of course, upset to hear the news. These thing happen in the circus but you never get used to the idea of losing an animal any more than you get used to the idea of losing a family member. Irvin had that baboon since she was a baby and she was one of his best animals. I lost a truly unique figure in my life as an entertainer.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Nine Days

The Aristocrats, Coming to DVD January 24, 2006
That's right! Only nine days left to wait for one of THE BEST FILMS of 2005, "The Aristocrats". Pretty much it is the last DVD I need to get to complete the trilogy of best films of the year (the other two being "Serenity" and, of course, "March of the Penguins"). Okay, I am also waiting for "Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit". I guess that makes it a quadrilogy, but that doesn't sound nearly as official as a trilogy does. Moving on...

If you bothered seeing crap like "Must Love Dogs" or any of the art flicks that Hollywood pushes the last few weeks of the year to try and fool the Academy and the film-goers, without having seen any of the films I mentioned then you have certainly wasted some movie dollars, if not your valuable time. I'm not saying that there weren't some very good films made last year because there truly were. These just happen to be among the most significant.

Represented above are two documentaries (one about penguins and one about a dirty joke) that did record box office numbers, a fully animated claymation feature based upon two little-known British characters, and a major motion picture based upon an even lesser-known and cancelled science fiction TV program. These are things you don't see from Hollywood often and they are all ground-breaking and important films worth watching.

"The Aristocrats" has been a subject of many a blog post around here, and I am so happy that it is finally making its way to DVD, and eventually my home. I won't bother with any more of an explanation about the film and why it is so good than what I've said before. Just know that it is one you should definitely own as it is amazing.

I saw it twice in the theatres and intended on seeing it even more times were I not in the middle of my busy season when it came out. I was going to submit my own version of the joke for consideration by the producers to be included in the DVD extras, but chickened out. I was hoping this would have been available before Christmas as I know I could have given this gem to some people on the list. In any event, it will be here soon and I'll be among the first to own it. I hope you'll at least rent the thing if not outright buy it. See why it is one of the funniest and most incredible films of all time.

More and More Links

Time to update the old links list.

First off, my nephew, Chris, has a blog. If you're a geek, be it a techno-geek or any other kind (there are many kind of geek...and Chris has ties to all of them!) then you will simply have to check out GeekSpeak. He's only recently stared the blog, but there is some mighty good content in there. I may even start a regular "Ask the Geek" segment here where you can ask any sort of geek question and I'll get Chris to answer it for ya, assuming he's interested in gathering traffic to his site. ;).

He's gearing up for a move to Cedar Rapids to start a good geek job and his computer knowledge alone should make his responses to your questions interesting. However, just sharing good old Martello DNA will be the real thing that makes his commentary worth while. Check out the Omega Geek himself, at GeekSpeak.

I can't tell you how happy I am to see the lovely Marjo Moore back in blog action. She's a most excellent writer and will likely have a long and prosperous career in the writing field. I will likely have a long career in the food service industry if things don't pick up around here, but at least I'll have Marjo Moore's blog to read.

Without my knowledge I have been a victim of a few drive-by blog links. Since I check my stats pretty regularly I am happy to be able to return the linky goodness and direct your attention to The Sapient Sutler. I've mentioned this blog before but now you can find a permanent link in my links section and I am thankful.

Also another drive-by link, Mah Two Cents has added me to their blogroll. So why not return the favor. Check out this blog. There's a lot more than two cents worth of content in there to read. I know you'll enjoy reading all the news about Doctor Who, comics, and more.

In other link news, one of my columns, "Out of the Mouths of Babes", was referenced at a blog all about slang and the English language. My column and subsequent blog post, was more than enough to help a person understand the current usage of a silly word like, "binky". Don't believe me? You don't think my work is good enough to be used as a reference tool? Well shut the hell up and check out Neologasm and see for yourself.

Do My Eyes Deceive Me? Look Who's Back!

SoNnY Freakin' Vegas, Ladies & Gentlemen! Can the rest of The Fabulous Vegas Brothers be far behind?

Thursday, January 12, 2006


Check out the ad that showed up in my Yahoo Mail page as I was writing the previous post.

Spooky, eh?

Did YOU Get a Penguin for Christmas?

Ariel Humboldt Penguin MartelloI know it is long past the days where we should be bragging about Christmas presents. I suppose that's one of the reasons why I took so long to post this. Another reason? I completely forgot.

I always receive a few nice penguin gifts from friends and family. I also receive some GOD-AWFUL penguin gifts, but I either make those "go away" or...well I do something with them. Among the very cool penguin gifts I received this year was Ariel Humboldt Penguin, or as I like to call her, MY PENGUIN!

April adopted a Humboldt Penguin for me from the Brookfield Zoo and I'm very happy to have the new addition to the family. Here in the post you'll see this cute little info card about Ariel and Humboldts in general.

How can I not like this penguin? She has her own souvenir collector's card, just like her old man here. Click her card photo to read fascinating facts about Humboldt Penguins!

Carver Wombat MartelloI've been adopting Carver, the Southern Hairy-Nosed Wombat on her behalf for April's birthday for several years now and it seemed more than appropriate that she adopted young Ariel for me.

I even have a full-color photo of my new penguin and a certificate of adoption and it is hanging in a position of prominence in our apartment. Maybe if I feel like taking it out of its frame I'll scan that one for ya.

HEY! If you add "Martello" to her name, she could even have the same "A.M." initials as myself and April. It must be right!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

School Shows, School Assemblies, P.T.A. Functions, Library Programs

'Thank you so much for entertaining our small but SPELLBOUND group of kids at our PTA general meeting.' - Cathy Bohren, Woodland PTAA good portion of my year is spent performing for schools, libraries, and PTA/PTO groups. I offer a fun & memorable 45-minute program suitable for kids and adults. I work very hard to present an energetic program capable of holding the ever-decreasing attention spans of even the most rambunctious crowds. Though I do not specifically "teach" anything, students watching my show learn about juggling & the history behind the art and see the physical & mental benefits of taking it up as a hobby.

Performing for these markets has changed dramatically in the 20 years I have been a professional entertainer. Perhaps the biggest change has come in the types of programs offered.

I was raised to understand that education is not just confined to the classrooms. My father, a teacher for over 30 years, was quick to make sure that his kids and students saw the opportunity for increasing personal knowledge simply by taking keen notice of the surrounding world. Whether I was at school or taking a walk in the park the potential for gaining valuable knowledge and insight was always there.

'Thank you for taking the time to entertain our students.  Needless to say, YOU WERE OUTSTANDING!' -  Bill Fisher, Madison High School'When I was a kid and some sort of special program came to my school, more often than not the show was entertaining. If the school had an arts council or simply had money in the budget for some type of specialized assembly program, I could count on the program being entertaining. Sometimes the presentations were about history. Other times they were about science or the performing arts. Rarely was the focus of the program education. After all, why would you expect a man who has spent his life becoming a master puppeteer to be a qualified educator, unless you wanted to learn about marionettes.

We all learned something about the person on stage as well as what they were doing simply because it was interesting and presented well. These days, the vast majority of the programs offered to schools are saturated with a focus on "edutainment" and perfectly good magicians, jugglers, musicians, and so on are expected to somehow be substitute teachers at the schools. So many high-quality acts have become diluted because they feel they HAVE to have some sort of educational slant in order for the schools to even consider booking them. The result is lesser-quality performers trying to be school teachers. Some acts, barely qualify as either, adding a token, "Stay in School" message somewhere in their 45-minute show. This change in the industry has always been troubling to me. There are certainly exceptions to the rule, but far too many good teachers are forced to sit one out while some expert in the field of circus performing is expected to teach kids about staying in school.

I have the utmost respect for teachers. The amount of time and schooling spent earning their teaching degrees should not me minimized by some magician who took a decent illusion show and added a "Just Say No to Reading Books About Doing Drugs" slant to it. I would never lower the value of a high-quality educator nor insult the profession by pretending to be one myself. Teachers spend their lives becoming teachers. I spent my life becoming an entertainer. I am hopeful that biology teachers don't plan on becoming professional entertainers and I am confident that they don't want me as a biology teacher. That's just fine with me.

'What a GREAT SHOW!  Everyone there LOVED IT!  All told-AMAZING FUN!  I'm recommedning you to the entire library association!' - Leslie Ireland Anstedt, Jacksonville Public Library
As I stated before kids do learn a lot from watching my program. I can customize any program to fit the needs of a school and if asked I can always suitably add messages about safety or even "Character Counts" talking points.

Generally I let the kids learn by watching and enjoying the show.

  • They learn about the history of juggling and other performance skills, realizing that they can go to a library and find a wide assortment of books about the subjects.
  • They gain an appreciation for the arts by actually seeing the arts in action and they often end up asking many questions about what I do for a living.
  • They are reminded about being respectful to others by having to remain quiet while I am speaking.
  • They also learn valuable lessons about life when I make a mistake in the act. If I drop an object and there's a snide burst of laughter, they receive an explanation about how everyone makes mistakes, and while some mistakes may have comical results, laughing at someone's errors may not be the best course of action (after all, they could be the ones making the mistakes next). After making the point the students come to the realization that perseverance and dedication, even in the face of failure can lead to great successes. In essence - you can learn from your mistakes.
  • Students learn about safety & personal responsibility when I perform things like fire-eating, bowling ball juggling, and even the plate-spinning act.

All of these are lessons that can be gleaned from watching a show that never once purposefully tries to teach a darned thing. Never will you find an Andy Martello sporting a wide-eyed expression as he slowly over-pronounces every word and talks down to the children. When I perform, there are no outrageous rainbow-colored outfits and no assumptions that kids are stupid just because they are kids. I am a fully grown adult and I talk to the kids like younger people. If they don't understand something, they ask me about it. If they don't get a joke but see their teachers laughing they ask their teachers about what was so funny. By not talking down to the kids I help facilitate a good dialogue between the teachers and the students, and I don't need to look like a popsicle to do it.

Andy Martello: School Assembly PerformerIf you simply MUST have some kind of message I do give out a free souvenir collector's card to all the students in attendance. To promote reading, I do make a point of mentioning just how good these cards are as bookmarks. I told you I don't do a whole lot of preaching nor teaching. LOL!

If you have the unenviable task of having to book talent for your school assembly, PTA event, or library, I hope you will take a good look at my website and decide for yourself how valuable fun for fun's sake can be in the eyes of a child.

With a little luck, you have learned something about me today.


Everything on my computer is just a hair smaller than it was yesterday. Windows and photos are all the same, but all text is just a bit off. Very odd. Any ideas?

Monday, January 09, 2006

Ten Things Tuesday: Things You Don't Want to Hear Your Body-Piercer Say

  • Did you know you can get hepatitis from a needle ALSO? It was news to me. Just like me to do things "the old-fashioned way".
  • Dude, I haven't taken a shower in, like, a MONTH. It's my personal best!
  • I'm having the studio redecorated. Follow me out back, near the dumpster and we'll get you all set.
  • I'm not allowed to pierce nipples and genitalia since..."the incident". Stupid court order.
  • My last piercing studio was in Haiti.
  • Is it going to hurt? Fuck yeah! Ever watch live footage of childbirth? It's a little like that, only on your tongue.
  • OK, you're done. Over the next few days, to promote healing, you'll want to cover the piercing with a raw chicken breast.
  • You say, "Piercing", I say, "Stab Wound". You say, "tomato", I say...
  • Whoops! Oh man! Just sit there while I get the camera. Nobody's gonna believe THIS! Incidentally, did you ever see, "HELLRAISER" ?
  • "Employees must wash hand before returning to work?" What is this? Nazi Germany?

Odds & Ends

Just doing a little blog-whoring in gratitude for the blog-whoring done on my behalf by some other bloggers recently.

Awhile back I found out I was mentioned in the Church of Klugman blog, along with fellow entertainers Jack Klugman (obviously) and U2's front man, Bono. I can honestly say that I have never been included in such an eclectic mix of entertainers before. If I have and I'm not aware of it, then surely I was not also given a passive aggressive stop smoking sermon at the same time. For no other reason this post remains unique to me, if not also a little misguided.

Gordon was kind enough to mention my recent post about the things you'll never hear Dr. Phil say. In fact, Gordon mentions my blog and my entertainment services often so he is truly a most excellent guy. He's always trying to get me work, somebody should give him a job. Go read Blog THIS, Pal and then contact Gordon, offering him gainful employment, comic books, Doctor Who items - whatever.

That Dr. Phil post has been quite popular. Presumably from Gordon's recommendation, the Delenda Est Carthago blog was kind enough to mention it as well. Who knew I was funny enough to tell your friends? It was because of this blog that I found out the Jive Dudes from "Airplane!", one of the funniest films of all time, have a website. For that I am grateful. The blog-whoring is just icing on the cake. Many thanks!

Based on the popularity of the Dr. Phil post I'm going to try to do a list of ten things every Tuesday. I think I'll call it, "Ten Things Tuesday". If they're funny, fantastic! This won't necessarily be a Top Ten list as I have no intention of ranking them in any way. Of course, if someone from the Late Show Starring David Letterman would like to take a gander at my work, see how freakin' hee-larious I am and offer me a writing job, that's fine as well. Hell, they still owe me a shot spinning plates on Letterman, don't they?

Next, I've seen interest in forming/joining the Fat-Ass Bloggers Fit Club, but I see nobody posting their weigh-in totals or their goals. I never got around to creating any rules or anything so I forgive you. Here's all ya need to join.

  1. Tell the world your current weight and be honest
  2. Tell us your goal weight
  3. Do the math and figure out how many pounds per month, over the next 12 months you will need to lose to make that happen.
  4. Weigh yourself once a week and post your weigh-in totals.
  5. Tell others about Fat-Ass Bloggers Fit Club, referencing this post or the post that started it all.

You are on the honor system here. There's no prize or anything so there's no need to lie. If you're lying about your weight for vanity's sake then you are a complete moron already and you deserve the diabetic coma you're working towards by not giving this a shot. OK, that's harsh. Even I lie on my driver's license...but I tell them I'm a 6 foot, five inch black man named Mandingo. Not the same. ;)

See you tomorrow for the first official, "Ten Things Tuesday"

January 9, 2006 Weigh-in

236 pounds

Net Loss: 4 lbs

Not bad. Lots of freshly-squeezed fruit juices, water, and healthier home-cooked meals. No biggie.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Want to See the Future?

2006 Andy Martello Collector's Card - Ain't I Cute?Well only a few weeks into the future. I'm not that good.

Here's a sneak peek at the 2006 Andy Martello collector's card, due to hit the streets in a few weeks, depending upon when I can pay for them and how long they take to get here from Canada.

This will be the 5th card in production, though it is one of many in a larger series. Some people do collect these things and they have been great promotional items for me. I'm very excited about this year's card because it will be the first time that both front & back are in full color.

To view ALL the cards from the Super Star Performers series throughout the years, be sure to check out their website. They have Japanese performer cards & even ROBOT cards over the years. It has been quite a successful idea and I'm always happy to take a part.

I always take pride in the photos I choose and the things I put in for stats and useless info. I try to make them fun and unusual. If you check out some of the cards from other entertainers you'll see a big difference in approaches from performer to performer. LOL!

In any event, this is the new one and it will be available shortly. Of course, I will be posting these at my website & sending them out as free souvenirs to anyone silly enough to ask for one. I will also hand them out at all gigs booked directly through me. Since I have a good supply of 2005 cards available I'll likely be sending out TWO free cards with every request and that will also be big silly fun for fans and speculating collectors.

Andy Martello - School Assembly Performer
I've thought about doing two runs of cards, one with contact info and one without so I can hand them out at all gigs regardless of who booked me. I just can't swing the cash for that though. This is always one of the times of the year when the belt has to tighten a bit. One day I'll do a limited run of an Andy Martello Rookie Season card. For now, enjoy these.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

The Missing Business Card Recovered (Sort of)!

Those of you foolish or bored enough to be regular readers know that for posterity's sake I have been posting old photos, newspaper articles, and promo pieces. If I am ever even remotely famous this kind of crap will be cherished and appreciated...or at least sold on eBay.

Back in November of 2004 I posted a scan of my very first business card.

By May of 2005 I shared with you what ended up being my second and third business cards (same design, two different addresses).

In the May post I lamented the loss of my fourth business card. I didn't keep one for myself and after a massive search I could not find any family members, past agents or past girlfriends that still had one.

However, while shredding and tossing YEARS worth of old contracts yesterday I came across the original design for the card.

Andy Martello: Corporate Speaker!

Notice the same kinda lame/kinda cool artwork provided by yours truly. Less "in your face" than my previous card and a bit more classy.

The name of the show, "Random Juggling & Inspirational Entertainment" came from a guy that would later become my roommate and partner in (drunken) crime. One night, while we were out drinking and trying to find ladies willing to touch our ugly parts, someone asked me what I did for cash when not performing. I was a bit tipsy at the time and for the life of me I couldn't come up with phrases like, "juggling" or "entertaining", so my sentence started out, "Well, when I'm not out there doing...", my awkward pause was saved when Mike (roommate) interjected, "...Random juggling & inspirational entertainment." In my mind that was about as cool a name for a show as possible and I vowed to one day put that on a business card.

The problem was, too many people read the name and thought I was some sort of motivational or devotional speaker and it may have confused more people than amused them. I was stuck with the name for a long time though as it ended up on THOUSANDS of brochures (I'll post scans of brochures another time).

Before I got my computer and learned how to do things like make contracts and databases I ended up just Xeroxing the business card onto some paper and pretended to have actual letterhead. What a cheap bastard! I'd been relatively out of the business for a little bit for various reasons so this was a big step in bringing me back into semi-professionalism. I didn't even spring for a color copy, so technically, this is not quite what my card looked like.

However, with the magic of crappy consumer imaging technology I can create a reasonable facsimile of the card for your viewing pleasure.

Andy Martello: Now IN COLOR!

I was considering printing scans of some old contracts and such, but much humiliation at my own hands can I take? Besides I was really jamming at the shredding and tossing yesterday and it took all the strength I had to scan the header for this post.

I'm still interested in getting my hands on an original business card like this one. Now that you have a visual to work with, if you happen to have one of these resting in a file cabinet or wallet somewhere, e-mail me and I'll happily pay for the card. I know I could simply reprint them, but why? LOL!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

O.K., You Know-it-Alls, Did You Know...

That yours truly was once a TV game show host? It's true. I can prove it.

Here you see a newspaper story about the short-lived TCI cable game show for teens and tweens, "Know It All", hosted by the lovely and talented (and definitely less of a fat-ass than today) Andy Martello. It aired and originated in Skokie, Illinois and may have been sent through the TCI system in the surrounding area, but I don't really know who watched the show other than the parents of the contestants.

Andy Martello, Host of TV's 'Know It All'
This was a fun little local cable gig I took to fill in time and keep active in the biz a little bit. At the time I was not doing a whole lot of entertainment work and I was sort of out of the game for awhile. This just came about because some weirdo roommate of mine named Joe (a total FREAK that didn't last long in Andy Land!) heard about the show and tried out. When he didn't get the gig he mentioned it to me and I won the day. That's about all I won, though. The gig didn't pay one red cent.

I did get some freebies from local restaurants and record stores, and for a short time I was on the TV screens of many a suburban child's homes. If nothing else it gave me something to do that allowed me to be funny and quick-witted.

To this day I still have not seen a single episode of the program and I really doubt that the tapes are out there. TCI cable became AT&T cable, which later became Comcast. I suppose there is a chance that someone from the Skokie cable system may have some old videos of the show. I believe the studio and all that still exists. If anyone has a tape of this program I'd love to see it, if only to make fun of my outfits and the stupid things I said. I was and still am something of smart-ass you know.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Things You'll Never Hear Dr. Phil Say

  • Well, Missy, I think the only reasonable solution is for you to give your husband more head.
  • Listen up, ladies. "ANAL" ain't just the last for letters in "CANAL".
  • Yes, I know I'm full of crap. However, you're a fat, depressed housewife looking to me for guidance. BEAT THAT!
  • As soon as moustaches come back in style I'm breaking into porn.
  • Wiggle it...just a little bit.
  • OH MY GOD! "Oprah" spelled backwards is "Harpo". I get it now!
  • Does this jacket make my ass look fat?
  • Keep rockin' with DOKKEN!"
  • Come on, Oprah...back that ass up.
  • Rather than wallowing in your self pity, why not pick yourself up, dust yourself off, listen to Cheap Trick's "Live at Budokan" and fire up a fatty. I'll bring the chips.

Doesn't Get Much Older Than This

Here's a news clipping from my Junior year of high school. I was rehearsing for "The Real Inspector Hound", one of the many plays I was in where I played a guy who yelled a lot. This is from the April 7, 1987 edition of the Northwest Herald.

At least I was thin.  Well, thinner.
Looking at the photo I see some oddities.

I'm wearing a t-shirt from a local juggling convention. To make things more awful I've got the suspenders on, a look I like, but can't help feeling like I am a complete geek in the photo.

I also like the fact that this is possibly the worst candid photo ever taken. I mean, really now! NOBODY looks good in the picture. Both the girls in the picture were good looking ladies, but you'd never know it from the picture. Both the guys look like advertisements for thrift stores. I look like an ad for the 80's, really. Just awful.

Another thing that sparks some interest for me include the photo taken by Mike Crase. Mike is the guy who's little daughter was the inspiration for one of my columns, "Out of the Mouths of Babes".

Anyway, while going through more crap I found this and thought I should scan & save it before the paper disintegrated altogether.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Stress-Free Weight Loss - Andy Style!

I don't do the New Year's resolution thing. It is a silly practice and nobody really has any plans on keeping them anyway. I do use the first of the year as a starting point for goals I have since it is such a relatively easy date to remember and for a few months everyone will assume I'm trying to keep a resolution (like they are) and leave me alone.

In any event, a couple of years ago I came up with a simple weight loss plan that would have worked 100% for me, had I not gotten so distracted and lazy during the summer months, when I'm usually working fairs and festivals and eating virtually anything on a stick. I plan on reinstating the plan this year as it was both easy to maintain and considerably less pressure than all the crap the rest of you are trying.

Here's the basics.

  • Determine how much weight you want to lose, in my case it is 40 pounds.
  • Next figure out how many pounds you would have to lose per month over the course of an entire year in order to achieve the goal, making the entire task much less daunting than every other weight loss plan out there. In my case, I'd have to lose just over 3 pounds a month, which is actually very easy to do if I do the remaining other things on the plan.
  • Alter your diet (see below) & exercise more.
  • Splurge once in awhile, but don't go crazy when you do. Everyone needs a little pampering or treat every now and then. If your "now and then" is every day, then you're a pathetic fat freak that needs to heed this plan a little better.
  • Don't freak out if you miss your goal one month. Just recalculate and know that some months will be harder than others.

Why 12 months? Because it eases the pressure put upon you by most other plans and it is one full year of simple alterations that can lead to complete changes in your bad habits, and therefore positively changing your life. Besides, 3.33 pounds a month is a lot safer and easier to achieve than say, averaging 5-10 pounds over a 12 week period with ups and downs along the way.

How about the food? I found a few very simple changes can make a lot of difference. As an example, when I first put this to the test, one of the things I gave up altogether was sugared soda, heavier beers, and fast food restaurants. When I switched to diet soda and stopped hitting the drive through, I lost about 13 pounds in about 2 weeks. I lost more weight when I found a low-cal beer I enjoyed (Amstel Light and Sam Adams Light were high on the list) This was with no increase in activity or exercise at all. That's a lot of weight tied up in cola and Big Macs! Forget about the pounds from a six pack of good beer.

Otherwise I ate more poultry and fish, cut my red meat intake to about once or twice a month, eased off on the cheeses and sauces a bit, less breads and breading, and avoided the sweets. I didn't eliminate a damn thing from the diet, I just ate less of the bad and more of the good and I made a point of cooking more meals at home. I also tried not to eat much of anything after 8 or 9 PM. If I HAD to eat at a fast food joint I just ate something healthier than the standard items. If I was really in the mood for some ice cream, I had it. What I didn't do was be in the mood for that snack every damn day.

One last thing that made a difference was figuring out when I was truly HUNGRY. I read a long time ago that most people confuse hunger with thirst. I don't remember the percentages but it was very high (like 80-90% of all people). Most people instantly grab a snack when their urges would have been satiated if they'd grabbed a drink of water or juice. I increased my water intake, squeezed more juices at home, and drank diet soft drinks. If I had to snack I grabbed something healthier. Pretty simple to do all told.

As for the exercise, I walked more and when the weather got better I made a point of riding my bike for leisure and for running errands when possible. I didn't go crazy at the gym or try to become some kind of muscle-bound moron. I just got a little more exercise, choosing to walk the couple of blocks to the bank or the store instead of driving. It helped a lot.

That year, up to summer's end where I began a bit of a relapse of bad habits, I lost about 21 pounds (just over 1/2 my goal at the time) and I never had any hunger pangs or feelings like I was on a diet. I just altered my habits and I saw positive results. It was my own fault for falling back and after a couple of years I'm back at square one.

However, in the past if I did a stupid diet I'd gain the weight back very quickly. This took about a year and a half for the weight to return, likely because I had done a lot to change habits and very gradually went back to "the old me". Some of the new good habits are still in place telling me that I was right in some of the changes I made. Knowing that I can do the right things for extended periods of time, and knowing what seasons and situations tend to be my downfall I am ready to have another go at it and make the full year's worth of weight loss, and personal growth. It has to be a hell of a lot cheaper than buying new costumes and show clothes.

Anyone who wants to join me on this feel free to let me know. Maybe we can do a blogger weight loss summit or something like that. We can do the support system thing and post our results on our own blogs and all that. I'm not that organized so don't expect a huge wave of activity other than that.

This year I plan on making a few adjustments to better suit my life, but the basics are all there. I'll be cutting even light beer out almost completely as I've been drinking less and less anyways and I'll probably decrease the amount of diet soda and replace it with more water and fresh fruit juice. I also plan on getting a little more exercise in the house during the winter months, but that may end up being from just cleaning the damn place more often. LOL! I'll post my weekly scale readings if you're interested. I just thought I'd share since I got back on the wagon today.

Jan 2, 2006 Weigh In: 240 Pounds! Ouch!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

The Photo Says it All

Looks like a good year!

It just says it much better than I can myself.