Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Jack & Julie & Julia & Jack

Okay, my wife Anita and I were watching that Julie & Julia movie where Meryl Streep plays the innkeeper and sings that catchy “Dancing Queen” song… okay, maybe I was watching a ball game on my phone during parts of it.

What did get my attention was the blogging bits. Julie’s excitement over getting her first comment (only to discover it was her mother) or the joy in attracting a small following.

Actually, it was a pretty cute flick, and Meryl really did capture the essence of Julia Child. The most unbelieveable part of the entire movie was the fact that the Julie character didn’t pack on 40 lbs while making all those creamy, buttery dishes.

I was thinking about that as I was at the gym resting between sets. Sometimes, my rest periods are… um… lengthy. Sometimes the attendants come by and make sure I haven’t slipped into a coma… or tell me that they’re turning the lights off now and going home.

So it didn’t surprise me when I got a tap on the shoulder in between my chest presses.

“Excuse me, son,” came a gravelly voice. “Are you gonna stay on that machine all day?”

“Whaaaa?” I mumbled. “OMG… it’s the ghost of Jack LaLanne!”

“I’m not dead, dumbass.”

“Wow, I used to watch your show all the time. What was it called?”

The Jack La Lanne Show?”

“No, that wasn’t it. Hey, what was the name of that white German Shepard you had?”


“I can’t complain…oh yeah, Happy. Is he still alive?”

“Well, dogs age seven years for every one of ours, so Happy would be about… ummm… 350 years old now.”

“What a dog!”

“Did you know that I opened my first gym in 1936?”


“Most doctors at the time warned against working out with weights. They believed it could cause a heart attack or ruin a man’s sex drive. Can you believe that?”

“Well, that hasn’t been my experience…”

“I bet you didn’t know that I devised a lot of the stuff you’re using now, like leg-extension machines and weights on pulleys for lifting?”

“No sh*t?”

“That’s right, I was among the first to produce protein supplements and nutrition bars, too.”

“Get outta here!”

“And beginning in 1951, I hosted and produced TV's first workout program.”

“Was it called Jack, Jack the Jumping Jack?”

“At first, the show aired only in San Francisco, and I had to buy all the air time myself. Stupid TV execs were sure nobody would want to watch me do exercises. But in just a few years, the program was nationally syndicated on ABC, where millions watched regularly, up until 1985.”

“Is that when you died?”

“I told you I’m not a ghost! Is something wrong with you?”

“Maybe… according to some of the emails I get…”

“I kept myself busy. In 1955, I swam from Alcatraz to San Francisco… while wearing handcuffs mind you. And in 1991, for my 70th birthday, I swam a mile while shackled to 70 boats carrying 70 people.”

“For my 40th birthday, I tried to drink 40 shots of tequila…”

“I still work out two hours every day -- an hour in the gym, and an hour in the pool. And I haven’t had a sugary dessert since 1930.”

“Are you kidding me?”

“When I was a kid, I was addicted to sugar and junk food. But one day when I was fifteen or so, I heard an interesting fellow give a talk on health and nutrition. It really changed my life.”

“I’ll say.”

“I want to be able to do things; I want to look good; I don't want to be a drudge on my wife and my kids. And I want to get my message out to the people. I might live forever…”

“Well, so far, so good…”


  1. Adorable. Can we expect a Jack/Jack Project blog now?!

    I re-watched Julie & Julia the other night. I fear I am turning into one of them.........

  2. Loved Julie & Julia saw it in the theatre with my girlfriends! It's great that you caught some of the movie Jack :-)

    Great post once again I LOL !

  3. I loved Julie/Julia - thought it was a great movie. I see a book in your future, perhaps...who would play you in your movie??

  4. I want Jack L to come visit me too!!!!! OK, JackS too! :-)

    PS: I could have used those tips from your yesterday post but now I am home from my girls gone wild reunion!

  5. I love alliterations.

    re: Jack L. ~~ talk about walking the walk (swimming the swim?). That guy lives (still?) and breathes the healthy lifestyle.

    re: Jack S. ~~ you're kinda/sorta the same ... minus the boat pulling, Alcratraz swimming, tv show, protein and nutrition bars and White German Shephard but YOU are definitely are getting the message out. ☺
    Have a fantastic day!

  6. I'm already haunted by the inspirational (and very much alive) ghost of Jack Sh*t!

  7. nice job on the Meryl movies mashup. :)

    Julie & Julia came out when I was totally in love with blogging and my blog.. and inspired. Maybe I need to watch it again.

    Jack L & Jack S.. both amazing inspirational people! Glad to *know* you. :)

  8. Jack L. has one of the best, fittest bodies I've seen. I just watched an old video of him from the 50's (?) last weekend where he was using resistance bands! He's the O.G. of fitness.

  9. To funny. I love that movie!!

  10. You've always been one of my fave blogs. you realize that you just admitted to watching not one but *TWO* chick flicks in the same blog?

    Jes Sayin.


  11. I'm not going to lie to you, I can't stand Meryl Streep.

    In other news, I don't really know how I lived my life without knowing all those facts about Jack. What I do know is that he is the guy that makes an appearnce at the end of a juicer infomercial - a juicer that his name is plastered all over.

    That infomercial has special powers, because I can't NOT watch the darn thing when it's on. Mostly it's a really stupid person being introduced to the concept of a juicer...who then realizes that THIS is what her life has been missing. Jack's wife, Elaine, is the primary sales person...which is funny. You know, because her name is Elaine LaLanne. If I were her, I would've never married him - I mean, Elaine LaLanne? Could it get more confusing?

    The funniest part is when they turn on the machine to let the viewer hear how QUIET the thing is. They actually say the words "it's whipser quiet!" Only they have to shout over the hum of the machine that is, alas, not so very quiet.

    Plus, in those little blurbs where they tell you how much it's actually going to be, there is a woman walking through the gate that makes a really grandiose wave movement thing and it CRACKS my sh!t up every time. And no, I don't usually laugh at old people.

    Can you tell I've seen this a time or two? I can't help it.

    So back to your was good.

    The end. :)

  12. i need to see that movie!
    loved all the jack l info, i had no idea he invented so much. thanks for, as always, presenting it in such an entertaining way.

  13. I enjoyed the Julie/Julia movie a lot! It did make me hungry so I recommend that you cut up lots of veggies and have those around when you watch it.

  14. I guess he is walking talking proof that we all need to get our sh*t together and get fit!!

    Thanks Jack!! Both of you!!

  15. You covered all my faves today! 2-Jacks and 2-Julie/Julia's. I remember the man in the tights that only used a chair to work out!

  16. I've always adored Jack! My mom was a big fan back when I was a kid and to be honest, I'm pretty fascinated by the guy myself.

  17. lol, my husband actually read this one..
    he is doing weights right now.
    Good post. I hope I am just like mr. la lanne when I am old...minus the chest hair.
    Good post.

  18. I referenced Jack LaLanne the other day and my trainer just gave me this blank look.....had NO idea who I was talking about! Damn kids these days!

  19. Oh my!

    I had to Google Jack LaLanne. What a man. I now about Paul Bragg but not this man. They should be placed in history as high as any President.

    Pioneers in the world of health and fitness and the world never really wanted to listen to them. Shame!

    They are heroes.

  20. Wow! Just goes to show, you never know who you'll run into at the gym! ;)

  21. Oh, did he try to sell you a juicer?

  22. I was going to ask the same thing as Tonyne. did you leave with a lifetime supply of juicers? :)

  23. My step dad was asked if he was Jack La Lanne when we were at the mall once. Spittin' image!! lol

  24. Wow. Jack.

    You should really publish a book.

    Just on the comments.

    Really, they're hilarious.

  25. I've been told I look a bit like Myrel Streep.

  26. I love Julie & Julia! I actually read the entire blog (it's still online), and it's hilarious. She says in it that she actually does gain a lot of weight, but I guess Amy Adams didn't want to do that.



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