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Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton

Leslie's Buttocks vs. Mine, plus Exercising on Dryland

Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.
There is a school of thought in narrative tales that the easiest and arguably best way to present these is to start at the beginning and proceed, step by chronological step, to the end. Suspense in this standard form is built in a fairly straightforward manner: the reader, enraptured by event A, naturally begins to wonder, What oh what happens next? What is event B? Then C? And so forth?

Such stories often begin like this:

Once upon a time in Western Pennsylvania...

or

In the Pleistocene era, a patch of primordial ooze with the original signature genomic code of the Thornton family...

or

God so loved the world that he gave his only misbegotten son Jim to...

In more recent times, perhaps because of earth's burgeoning population of story tellers, each trying to differentiate himself or herself from the other person's self, a new model has emerged, still a bit less common, but alas itself fast slouching towards cliche.

In this model, pioneering narrators of the likes of Faulkner, Proust, Thornton, Joyce, Golgadkin, and so forth, purposely choose to begin their tales at the end, revealing the "denouement" or the "killer's identity" or the "money shot" or whatever else it might be that in earlier times would not be answered till the very last pages of the book or footage of film.

Suspense here stems not from the reader's curiosity about what will happen, for we already know the final outcome. Instead, suspense depends on a growing rhetorically manipulated curiosity on the reader's part about how and why this ending has come to be.

To reiterate: the author or auteur of such works, or in the case of a vlogger who combines the written word with the filmic art, the author-auteur, starts at the end, cuts back to the beginning, then leisurely fills in the intervening time.

It is this secondary model I have chosen to embrace.

Over this most Thanksgiving-worthy of Thanksgiving seasons, our Amish Mud hole-dappled region of the country was visited by none other than Leslie the Fortress Livingston, the single most beloved national champion that the USMS community has ever had the good fortune to grip to our collectively grateful bosom.

Leslie, as some of you might know, is a strong advocate of weight lifting and the whole shooting match of other painful exercises conducted on dry land, from Bosu Balling to virtually anything you can imagine doing on a rack.

During our precious several days with Leslie, she swam with our Sewickley SeaDragons, Geriatric Division, on Friday; then today, Saturday, after I had already done 68,000 lb. of Nautilus lifting (inspired by Leslie to give it a try), Leslie arrived fresh from her Seroquel-induced (off-label) beauty sleep at 2:05 p.m. sharp in the Y lobby, and the two of us proceeded back to the weight room. Here she showed me the elementary ropes of the non-machine strength training world.

During the course of this, and I will be presenting many of her 1000s of demonstrated exercises over the coming days, weeks, months, years, and seeming centuries (in fact, no need to read Leslie's blog anymore--this vlog here, much more so than her own, has now become the one-stop official site for all things visually and auditorially Leslie), we also conducted the 25 cent piece "Quarter Test."

By good fortune, Senor Haboush, the Spanish teacher at the local high school, was pumping iron at the Y, and he agreed to fire the quarter first at Leslie's buttocks and then at mine to see which set of glutei was firmer and therefore more bouncy to the quarter.

The first of today's films features this long-awaited and much ballyhooed Quarter Buttocks test. In some ways, one could argue the test is really the end of the whole narrative. For the results here proved so unexpected, so paradoxical even, that the reader will--I am sure of it!--be seduced into unbearable, dumbfounding curiosity.

Not about the "what happened?"--for it is indisputable that the quarter bounced much, much higher off my muscular buttocks than Leslie's firm but still somewhat squishy ones. Rather the dumbfounding stems from a seemingly unanswerable question: "How can this be?" After all, Leslie is obviously an amazing specimen of the weight lifting arts, and I am but a shlub.

How oh how? Why oh why?

I can't stand it! Help me see the reasons, Jim! I beg you!

In time, my friends. Answers shall come your way in time.

But first, the Quarters test...

This first short film will be followed, in turn, by today's inaugural set of exercises Leslie has taught me. (Sadly for her, once I master just these two, my buttocksial advantage is sure to swell even further.)

Please enjoy, especially now that the subtextual content is clear, and you don't need to think deeply or in an unguided way.

[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hp59AtsOeM0"]YouTube- The Quarter Buttocks Test[/ame]

Summary: Leslie loses convincingly to Jim in Quarters Buttocks Test and in a fit of pique refuses to continue with the moobs vs. boobs Coin Toss Test.


[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-TdHopNGuY"]YouTube- Getting Dry with Leslie Part 1: Shrug Dips and X Cross Squat[/ame]

Summary: Leslie teaches Jim how to do dips safely by shrugging girlishly, then takes him into an area he has never ventured before to teach him the X-cross squat, AKA, Hot Crossed Buns.

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Updated November 29th, 2009 at 01:14 AM by jim thornton

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Comments

  1. qbrain's Avatar
    After reviewing the visual evidence, I would say there was NO bounce on the first Jim bounce test. I have never seen a quarter stop dead during a bounce test. Congrats Jim, you get to be the first.

    Jim, another first! Your blog actually answered a question I had. I had no idea what a squat X press was, and you answered it with your vlog. I am so proud of you making steps to make your blog useful to others.
  2. Ahelee Sue Osborn's Avatar
    I've always thought it would be fun to go to a training session with Fort in the gym. And I don't enjoy weight-lifting...
    But somehow I'd bet she could make it less intimidating -and fun. After watching the video I see its true.
    A new line of training videos - or at least continue the training clips!
    Loved it!
  3. jim thornton's Avatar
    Thanks, Q and Ahelee, for your kind remarks.

    I shall continue to post Leslie's instructive videos followed by my attempts to execute, followed by Leslie's corrections, followed by my attempts to incorporate corrections, followed by more Leslie refinements, suggestions, form tips, etc., followed by my giving up in exasperation.

    As Q suggested, I am dedicating this vlog to being useful and not to making myself famous in a small way anymore.
  4. Jazz Hands's Avatar
    Isn't there, Jim, a third kind of storytelling, where the writer distracts you with circuitous flourishes until you believe, because he wrote so many words, that he must have actually said something or other by now?
  5. chaos's Avatar
    now inspired, i will embark on my own dry-land training program.
    today's session:
    (3x) 10x 25 cents tossed onto (someone else's) firm buttocks

    i think with my protestant work ethic, i can increase to (5x) 10x kennedy half-dollars by the years end.
  6. tjrpatt's Avatar
    I think that these clips would get better numbers than the Jay Leno Show.
  7. The Fortress's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Jazz Hands
    Isn't there, Jim, a third kind of storytelling, where the writer distracts you with circuitous flourishes until you believe, because he wrote so many words, that he must have actually said something or other by now?
    So funny! We actually discussed this very phenomenon over pizza on Friday night. Jim is very guilty of this! And admittedly so.
  8. jim thornton's Avatar
    Sorry. Wrtng by wrd = enmy pith.
    Reimbursement for above, at $3.76 per word, is only $26.32.

    Yesterday's vlog, by contrast, came in at 899 words, or $3380.24.

    Jazz Hands, you are an intelligent whippersnapper, I will concede that. But do the math. We pros have a different mentality from you amateurs. We also have a different mentality from our editors, but that is a different matter.
  9. RustyScupperton's Avatar
    So good, such storytelling. I willthrow in a Homeric simile in response:
    Just as the God Dionysus drank himself into an orgy of excellent nymph grapplings, so to does Jim wrestle down the words of the King's English into a tale fit for all of Christendom!
  10. RustyScupperton's Avatar
    So good, such storytelling. I willthrow in a Homeric simile in response:
    Just as the God Dionysus drank himself into an orgy of excellent nymph grapplings, so to does Jim wrestle down the words of the King's English into a tale fit for all of Christendom!
  11. jim thornton's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by RustyScupperton
    ....Just as the God Dionysus drank himself into an orgy of excellent nymph grapplings, so to does Jim wrestle down....
    Footage to come when and if it becomes available.
  12. jim thornton's Avatar
  13. SwimStud's Avatar
    One go of the weight squat swing and I think I'd be spasming....you know Jim has mounted that quarter in a shadow box right?
  14. jim thornton's Avatar
    I am so completely honored to wake up this fine morning and find a comment by the legendary SwimStud on my most humble of all vlogs!

    Welcome, Rich. Anytime you are in the Sewickley area, I will give you a reduced admission rate to the Leslie Livingston Shrine Museum built in commemoration of her Thanksgiving, 2009, visit to these here parts.